LibreOffice and Collabora at FOSDEM 2015

This weekend close to ten thousand Open Source enthusiasts will gather in Brussels for mussels, monk-made beer, 549 talks, and a great deal of hacking. Collabora Productivity will be out in force – at talks, booths, and a hackfest. Look out for our team in the ‘Open Document editors devroom‘ track – we’ve printed a fresh run of branded purple shirts and will be sporting them around ULB Campus.

VP Michael Meeks speaking at FOSDEM 2011
VP Michael Meeks speaking at FOSDEM 2011

Eight talks by Collaborans will range from LibreOffice on Android, to secure signatures in Writer, and include a presentation by Vice President Michael Meeks on recent radical performance improvements to Calc.

LibreOffice talks by Collabora

The LibreOffice conference booth, run by the Document Foundation, will be on the second floor of "building K", between Kolab Systems and Apache OpenOffice. Collabora Productivity team members will congregate there – pay us a visit for informal news and demonstrations of Libreoffice from Collabora. We’re also keen to meet developers looking for career opportunities – drop off a CV.

Map of booths at FOSDEM 2015
FOSDEM booths layout, building K


Following FOSDEM itself, the LibreOffice Hackfest, hosted by Betacowork, will see old hands and new join forces to work on features such as change tracking, QR Code support, and template management. Join veteran hackers, including six Collabora staff, for two days of collaborative task-oriented learning.

See you there!

SMOOSE and Collabora make LibreOffice Beta available for Android


Cambridge, January 21, 2015 – Collabora engineers today release LibreOffice for Android for the first time. LibreOffice Viewer for Android (Beta) is available in app stores, and marks the start of a new product series for the mobile market resulting from months of work with SMOOSE B.V.. Weekly releases are planned to bring new features and improvements.

“Freedom of Choice is a defining factor of our approach”, says Niels Spanjers, Customer Manager at SMOOSE B.V., “Having a competitive Open Document Format viewer on Android is an important part of providing that freedom to our customers and the larger ecosystem, as a part of our mobile strategy.”

The Open Source app for mobiles and tablets opens documents, spreadsheets, and basic presentations in Open Document and Microsoft Office formats. Complex presentation support and many additional features are planned for future releases.

“The world’s most popular Open Source office belongs on the world’s most popular mobile platform” said Michael Meeks, Vice President of Collabora Productivity. “By bringing LibreOffice to Android Collabora has brought cutting edge productivity tools to one billion mobile users and entered a new mobile market”.

LibreOffice on Android would not be possible without the foundational work of the rest of the LibreOffice community and many others have contributed to its success. SUSE provided a key foundation of cross-platform support, with Google Summer of Code contributions from Andrzej Hunt and Ian Billet, along with improvements from Igalia S.L., and core components by Mozilla Corporation.

LibreOffice Viewer Beta is available in the Google Play store free of charge at the above location.

About Collabora Productivity:
Collabora Productivity delivers LibreOffice products and consulting to the enterprise. With the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers, it is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice codebase and community. LibreOffice-from-Collabora provides a business-hardened office suite with long term multi-platform support. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora Ltd., the global software consultancy specializing in providing the benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specialising in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics industries.
SMOOSE is committed to ICT solutions based on Open Source. We strive to give companies the freedom to build and control their own IT environment and using products that have nothing to hide. Like knowledge, we believe software can be shared, edited, and distributed where owners see fit. SMOOSE adds value in the creation of a business model in which customer, supplier and user can excel.

LibreOffice on Android – one less barrier to public sector Open Standards

Today’s launch of the first LibreOffice application for Android pushes our community into exciting new waters. As we speak, new infrastructure is being prepared by Document Foundation Staff for documentation, translation, and bug reporting of the new app, laying the foundations for a busy future. This is just the beginning.

Rather than awaiting perfection, this Beta release strives to follow Eric S. Raymond’s revered principle of “release early, release often”. The app supports only newer versions of Android, and simple documents. More sophisticated features like embedded media and change tracking are also not available. The pace of development however has been rapid, and in the last week alone several major features including the built-in file browser have been added. Semi-weekly releases are planned to advance performance and stability at a steady pace.

The app comes at a sensitive time for Open Standards in the public sector. Many Governments are currently moving to require open formats, such as Open Document Format, internally. So far this month, France, Spain, Sweden, Slovakia, Germany and Finland have all announced commitments to making greater use of Open Source productivity tools. Open Forum Europe’s “Fix My Documents” campaign has meanwhile assessed the many file-types published EU institutions, revealing minimal adherence to current Open Standards policies and adding pressure for adoption of Open Document Format.

Bringing a new Open Source viewer of Open Document Format files to mobile devices can only help to remove barriers to public sector adoption of Open Standards and level the playing field for proprietary formats such as Microsoft Office, which already have mobile applications available. In theory 6,806 devices are compatible with LibreOffice for Android – a staggering amount belying the incredible reach that this operating system now brings to the LibreOffice brand.

Having led development of the initial launch application, we’re looking forward to swelling the ranks of LibreOffice for Android with volunteers of all descriptions. Please join us and the wider LibreOffice community in making Open Source productivity the best that it can be. Find out how to contribute at the Document Foundation website.