Today, Oracle have uploaded version 1.0.4 of its PDF Import Extension to the OpenOffice.org extension repository. The repository have had version 1.0.1 for the last year under Sun’s branding. The extension is the 3rd most popular in the extension repository with just over 3,000,000 downloads in 2010. An improvised changelog would be issues #90800, #106853, #109406 and #110871.
The major change for me is the addition of Hebrew support (and probably other RTL languages). With the new version, Hebrew is imported correctly and not in a reversed order. The Hebrew support was done by Tk Open Systems which sent the original patch, later to be improved by Philipp Lohmann from Oracle (see #90800 for more info). More work is still needed (see #115184), but this version is a big step forward.
After doing some QA and checks for Philipp’s code fixes back in October, it’s nice to see the results released and to have others enjoy them.
As a follow up on my report from last month about bidi status in openoffice.org 3.3, today was a very good day for bidi in openoffice.org. The short story: two important bugs were fixed for 3.3, and we now have the bidi keyword for IssueZilla system.
It began with the fix to a cosmetic bug in the openoffice.org main screen which caused the icons to repaint improperly. While this isn’t critical at all, it just looks really bad to have it on the main screen. And I don’t want people to get the wrong impression. Thanks you Philipp Lohmann for fixing #97556.
Costmetic bug in oo.org RTL UI
The second bug was that AutoFilter isn’t working for RTL sheets (regards whether the UI is LTR or RTL). This issue was reported yesterday and got fixed in 24 hours. Thank you Niklas Nebel for fixing #114944. It took us longer to isolate the bug than to get a patch for it. I wish this will happen more (:
For closing, and in response to the bidi meta issue, a new keyword was created in the issuezilla: bidi. Till now, there was a bidi sub component in the UI, but this isn’t always helpful as sometimes it’s better to report against the actual component. The keyword will help us to better tag the issues for easy listing.
The thank you list is long, as there were more than a few people behind the scenes today. I’ll only mention Netanel, my partner to the Hebrew l10n team.
I recently saw a new bought Toshiba laptop. While the laptop had Vista installed, and also the Microsoft Office 2007 trail eddition, it had an icon named “Get Openoffice.org”.
I guess they didn’t just install Openoffice.org due to some limitaion from Microsoft (I’m just speculating), but still – putting such an icon isn’t common (at least with the laptops I’m seeing).
I hope more and more hardware manufactuers will install free software by defualt.
I found out that openoffice.org are running a user survey, and thought that should be more public.
Please help improve the OpenOffice.org office suite by completing this survey. It will take about 15 minutes and will increase our understanding of your requirements and expectations for the OpenOffice.org software. You will have the opportunity to make comments or suggestions at the end of the survey.
So, please help and fill the survey (it realy doesn’t take 15 minutes)…
Openoffice.org 3.1 release was postponed to may 7th. Meanwhile, you can check the new features list (some features already covered by oooninja).
I already blogged about the RTL issues fix in 3.1, but the next thing I’m waiting for the most are the calc performance improvements. I’m also looking forward for future changes related to this issue (see OpenOffice.org performance improvements at oooninja).
Openoffice.org Ninja already covered some of the new RTL features with openoffice.org 3.1, mainly RTL enabled controls (#30631). But following the bugzilla issues, it seems that version 3.1 also includes fixes for more RTL related issues. Here is a list of some of the issues I encountered:
- Columns reversed when pasting RTL spreadsheet into Writer (#77853).
- directionality lost when exporting a presentation to html (#16295).
- RTL Chart: Bi-directional writing in charts (#14365).
- Numbers / digits following RTL should be treated as CTL (#89825).
- WW8: re-import moves position of RTL numbering out of right border (#97023).
- WW8: centered rtl table moves to the left on import from MSword (#28656).
I’d like to thank everyone envolved with the fixes of these issues.
When my girlfriend told me her reason for installing openffice.org 3, I was happy about three issues:
- She started using free software willingly and knowingly (as opposed to back end software she isn’t aware of like Apache for websites).
- She did that because the commercial software didn’t work for here.
- The free software did a job she needed to.
And after that description you probably ask yourself what was the task? It was quite simple – open a Microsoft 2007 Word document in Hebrew with Microsoft Office 2000.
At first, she tried to use the “Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats“. While that Compatibility pack enabled her to open the document, the text wasn’t readable (probably becuase it was in Hebrew). She decided to download Openoffice.org version 3, which can open this file format, and after a quick installation it opened the document just fine.
So, thank you very much Openoffice.org developers (:
While Debian unstable is in freeze (and deep freeze), Rene Engelhard, started uploading openoffice.org 3 packages to the experimental archive.
I’ve been enjoying following the openoffice.org development process through updating the packages on my machine. As Rene keeps the packages up to date, I got to use 3.0-beta2, 3.0-rc2/3/4, 3.0 official, 3.0.1-rc1/2 and 3.0.1 official.
The packages are uploaded simultaneously with the availability of the versions. As I’m following the RTL related bugs (and fixes), I get a chance to enjoy the fixes very quickly and easily.
So, I see this as an opportunity to thank Rene for his excellent work (;
Is it just me, or you can’t get language packs from the openoffice.org website? I couldn’t even find them in the extension packs.
I know the code and files are outthere since, the Linux distributions continue to create such packages for their users, but why can I get the files from the official website (e.g. for windows users)?
I’d like to get the official openoffice.org version in English, and to add to it the Hebrew language pack (e.g. interface translation) – why should I redownload the whole software again just for the language pack?
I got my hands on a laptop with Windows XP installed, and can do whatever I want with it, except deleting the windows. I decided not to have a dual boot on it, but to try and make it free software only (well, except the windows itself).
The main uses for the computer are surfing the web (browser only, not email), editting documents, watching videoes and being able to burn files.
The results for now:
- Mozilla Firefox (browser) – set to be the default browser, and I also removed Internet Explorer (well, windows only removes the links to the software and not the software itself).
- OpenOffice.org (productivity suite) – set the be the default application to the doc, xls and ppt files. Can also read OOXML format.
- ClamWin (anti virus)
- InfraRecoder (CD/DVS recorder)
- VLC (video player)- set to be the default video player (including Microsoft’s file formats).
- Sumatra PDF (PDF reader).
See “open source as alternative” if you want to find an alternative for a specific closed software.