Hear and discuss about Collabora’s contributions in the ecosystem at the openSUSE & LibreOffice conference 2020

From Thursday, 15th to Saturday 18th 2020 the openSUSE & LibreOffice Conference takes place as a virtual and joint event. We are glad to be one of the sponsors and to be able to contribute no less than 14 talks from our team members. To make it easier for you to keep track of all the topics, we have prepared a little overview of our talks. See you in the livestream!

⋅ Schedule Day 1, Thursday 15th 2020

Schedule Day 2, Friday 16th 2020

⋅ Schedule Day 3, Saturday 17th 2020

 

Day 1, Thursday 15th 2020

Keynote by Collabora’s Michael Meeks

10:30 UTC, Michael Meeks

Accelerating the adoption of Open Source! How does Collabora do that together with their partners and customers? About another year of investment into LibreOffice alongside the community, the ecosystem and our choices. #Collabora #Ecosystem Read more!

Bringing the Sidebars Online

12:30 UTC, Ashod Nakashian

Adding the Sidebars, with the rich and advanced editing features, to Online was challenging. Learn, how we succeeded! #OnlineUI Read more!

Bringing the NotebookBar to Online

13:30 UTC, Szymon Kłos

The story behind introducing new (optional) user interface for Online. Learn about the milestones of this new feature sponsored by Collabora. #OnlineUI Read more!

Implementing Vulkan-capable drawing using the Skia library

14:00 UTC, Luboš Luňák

Skia is a unified modern drawing across all platforms, so this is about the nice visual performance of LibreOffice and Collabora products. How is the implementation going? #LibreOfficeDev Read more!

Making Online trivial to setup

15:30 UTC, Muhammet Kara

We have recently released a big step in improving Collabora (thus LibreOffice) Online and lowered the barrier to liberating the documents of home-users. This is a quick presentation shows how the one-click installation app for Online works, and where we are at now. #OnlineInstallation Read more!

Day 2, Friday 16th 2020

Faster Jail Creation with Bind-Mount

11:00 UTC, Ashod Nakashian

A jail is an essential part of the secure work and collaborating in Collabora Online. Learn about the design and challenges of setting up jails… fast! #OnlineDev Read more!

OOXML / PDF Digital Signing in Draw and elsewhere

11:30 UTC, Miklos Vajna

LibreOffice did have support for digital signing for ODF files. Collabora extended this to OOXML files and to signing existing PDF files. Come and see where we are, what still needs to be done, and how you can help. #DigitalSigning Read more!

The history & pre-history of LibreOffice

13:30 UTC, Michael Meeks

Come and hear some of the stories of the beginning, and before the beginning. Hear a developer’s perspective on the first ten years of the project and how companies had to do with this, alongside amazing volunteers. #LibreOffice Read more!

Chrome OS as a new platform

16:00 UTC, Jan Holesovsky

Hear about the Chrome OS and the work we have made to enable the Collabora Office Android app for easy consumption on Chromebooks. #Mobile Read more!

Improvements to PDF support in Collabora Online

18:00 UTC, Tomaž Vajngerl

Recently we added possibility to open PDFs with Collabora Online, which opens the PDF in Draw as a series of embedded PDF graphics (each one in its own page). In this talk, hear about additional improvements to the PDF functionality – like searching and handling of PDF annotations. #PDF Read more!

Day 3, Saturday 17th 2020

History of Online & Mobile

12:00 UTC, Jan Holesovsky

Come and hear about the history of Collabora Online, LibreOfficeKit, Leaflet and other building bits that led to the Online as we know today. #Mobile Read more!

Re-using the Sidebar on phones

12:30 UTC, Szymon Kłos

The talk about work done by Collabora Productivity for improving UX on mobile phones. Editing on smartphones has never been easier. Hear some technical details in this talk. #Mobile #OnlineUI Read more!

Online – Improving visual consistency

13:00 UTC, Pedro Silva

For users it is most important that UI elements are easy to recognize. Hear about improvements that have been made on that front in Collabora Online. #OnlineUI #CSS Read more!

Mobile – Development on iOS

13:00 UTC, Tor Lillqvist

Important recent improvements in Collabora Office on iOS. #MobileUI #UX Read more!

Ecosystem, Branding & Investment

15:30 UTC, Michael Meeks

Setting up the project for growth. See how we can build a model whereby volunteers and ecosystem entities work alongside each other to drive the success of LibreOffice. #Ecosystem Read more!

Spanish Summit (Conferencia Latinoamericana): Collabora Online – UX

16:00 UTC, Pedro Silva

in PT/ES. For users it is most important that UI elements are easy to recognize. Hear about improvements that have been made on that front in Collabora Online. #OnlineUI #CSS Leia mais!

How to become a part of this

Very easily. The attendance openSUSE and LibreOffice conference 2020 is free of charge. Just subscribe to the conference website, meet the community and join three days of discussion about the latest developments with regard to LibreOffice and openSUSE. The complete schedule of the virtual conference is here at your disposal.

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Collabora Online Community Roundup #1

Last week, Collabora Online has moved to its new home on GitHub, and started settling in the new infrastructure, expanding its fantastic community, and continuing the work to deliver the latest and greatest developments in productivity and collaboration together. Check our new community website for all the details! 😉

Collabora developers also keep fixing and improving our lovely mother project LibreOffice. As all the good work requires some appreciation, let’s take a look at what the seasoned developers of the Collabora team, and the volunteer contributors from our community have been doing during the last week.

Week in Numbers

On the Collabora Online code repository in the last week, 21 authors have pushed 123 commits to master and 209 commits to all branches. On master, 274 files have changed and there have been 2,317 additions and 1,601 deletions.

Screenshot of GitHub Pulse for Collabora Online
Development Activity on Collabora Online GitHub Repository from October 1, 2020 to October 8, 2020
  • Commits on LibreOffice master by the Collabora team: 68
  • Total number of commits on Collabora Online master: 123

New Contributors

Congratulations to Kandarp Patel, Guy Lunardi, Yunus Bulut, and Andrea Gelmini for their first pull requests, and Andreas Kainz, Adolfo Jayme-Barrientos, and xklonx for reporting their first issues and improvement requests on our GitHub repository!

  • Thanks to Kandarp Patel for resolving the easy hack to ensure consistent function declarations, thus reducing code size a bit and improving readability. He had minor trouble with the Change-Ids on the first PR. Then Jan Holesovsky (a.k.a kendy) came to his aid, and he did just fine with his second PR. (By the way, Miklos Vajna has already made sure, such “missing Change-Id” problems will not occur again.)
  • Thanks to Yunus Bulut for killing WebDAVStorage in the code, thus getting rid of an unused/unneeded piece and making the code lighter.
  • Thanks to Andrea Gelmini, our code-base is now cleaner and more readable.
  • Thanks to Andreas Kainz, we have one more pair of expert eyes now, watching for user interface consistency and beauty.
  • Thanks to Adolfo Jayme-Barrientos for letting us know about translation platform alternatives better aligned with our open-source mission. We are acting on it. 😉
  • Thanks to xklonx for letting us know about the small inconsistency in the X-LOOL-WOPI-Timestamps.

Thank you all, and welcome aboard! 🙂

Join the fun!

You can also join the fun, and be part of our next list of new contributors! 🙂

Just go to our GitHub repo, fork it, build it, grab one of our newcomer-friendly easy hacks, and send your first pull request. And if you get stuck at any point, just drop by one of our communication channels.

Oh, last but not least: We are also participating in the Hacktoberfest. So don’t forget to check our hacktoberfest issues. 😉

Highlights

Collabora Online (COOL)

  • A potential JS issue was fixed, increasing security and stability of Collabora Online, thanks to Miklos Vajna
  • Convert-to API can now handle file names with non-ASCII characters[0][1][2], thanks to Henry Castro
  • ‘make dist’ error on openSUSE Leap 15.2 was fixed, thanks to Henry Castro
  • It is now much easier to theme COOL from outside the iframe by posting the CSS variables in the loleaflet.html, which will be showing up as improved looks of various integrations, thanks to Jan Holesovsky
  • Jan Holesovsky merged his work on the CanvasTileLayer to the code base, which helps make our rendering crisper at all zoom levels, particularly with an ongoing Chrome issue of odd device pixel ratios.
  • The Area panel of the Chart sidebar now resizes properly, allowing gradients to be selected again[0][1], thanks to Szymon Kłos
  • Writer’s Split Cells dialog is now async, and thus works fluidly in the online collaborative environments, thanks to Szymon Kłos.
  • Sidebar dropdowns are now shown properly all the time, with a correct layout on Impress, along with properly placed tooltips, thanks to Szymon Kłos [0] [1]
  • It is now possible to copy the hyperlink location on a text via the context (right-click)  menu, thanks to Gökay Şatır.
  • “Show Sheet” buttons are now localizable, and the npm packages under the hood are shinier, thanks to Gökay Şatır.
  • Thanks to Thaís Vieira for working on making all the tooltips look more coherent, with the same coloring.
  • Thanks to Pranam Lashkari, it is now easier to work with comments on Impress, with no more focus issues.
  • The language selection list is now properly localized and displayed, thanks to Pranam Lashkari.
  • Several items on the user interface have met with their missing icons, and visually improved thanks to Pedro Silva. [0] [1]
  • Created easy hacks for new developers, thanks to various Collabora developers

Collabora Office on Android & iOS

  • Area tab of the Chart Sidebar now shows the correct default color, thanks to Szymon Kłos.
  • Newly inserted hyperlinked text is now properly placed within the visible area of the slide on iOS, thanks to Szymon Kłos.
  • On iOS, the input bar is now accessible before opening the sidebar, thanks to Tor Lillqvist.
  • Thanks to Tor Lillqvist for making new iOS builds available for testing.

Collabora Online Integrations

  • For Collabora Onlines’s ownCloud integration, a pull request to improve user experience in terms of automatic locale setting on new files was created by Andras Timar of Collabora, reviewed and merged by Juan Pablo Villafañez and Phil Davis of ownCloud.
  • For Collabora Online’s Nextcloud integration, multiple npm components under-the-hood has been updated[0] [1] [2], thanks to Julius Härtl.
  • Activity Module, Collabora Online integration for Moodle, now has simple support for multiple languages, thanks to Andreas Grabs

New Workflow & the CI Issues

We write and use a lot of unit tests and cypress tests, and also run them integrated into our GitHub flow, to ensure code/product quality. On October 5, our CI for master stopped giving green lights because of a unit test failure, and it got fixed during the night, thanks to Henry Castro.

As we have just moved to GitHub, we are still getting used to the new environment, and trying to make the developer experience smoother for all of us. So please bear with us in this warm-up phase, and don’t hesitate to report any issues, or better, send pull requests to fix them. 😉

Honorable Mentions

  • For various improvements around web content, and compiling the translator credits for Collabora Online, and ensuring the quality of the software, thanks to Nnamani Ezinne Martina!
  • Thanks to Marc Rodrigues for keeping us updated on various news around Collabora Online and related FOSS projects, and creating a lot of yummy content to read!
  • Thanks to Andras Timar and Yunusemre Şentürk for keeping our servers running!
  • Thanks to Yunusemre Şentürk for setting up our CI chains, and keeping them healthy, thus allowing us, developers, to focus on the actual development!
  • Thanks to Andras Timar for keeping us organized, setting up our new home on GitHub, and delivering hot new releases of our software!
  • Thanks to Tamás Zolnai for keeping our cypress tests in shape, allowing us to ensure COOL works flawlessly on browsers all the time!
  • Thanks to Pedro Silva for helping COOL look cool all the time, by using his graphics and design magic, and for crafting our new community page!
  • Thanks to Guy Lunardi for correcting small punctuation and text issues on the README file, and on our community page.

Translators

Last but not least, we can’t thank enough to our translators who constantly help COOL and its friends talk many languages on this earth. Collabora Online speaks many languages, thanks to all of our translators in our translation project, and all of those who previously contributed and keeps contributing to our mother project, LibreOffice.

We’re continuing to work to find good ways to credit translators’ hard work in the product. Please see a list of those involved, and please get in touch if you’re not listed. Many thanks to all those who have worked on translating Online, you rock!

Collabora loves LibreOffice!

We’re still contributing to LibreOffice and encourage you too to do so because LibreOffice rocks. 😉

  • Thanks to Miklos Vajna, Impress now has support for an improved auto-fit-of-text layout across multiple shapes, also the snake algorithm now handles width requests from constraints much better for SmartArt graphics from PPTX files. This builds on top of the previous improvements around SmartArt support. Check out his blog post for the details.
    Smartart snake rows, new output

    Smartart snake rows, old output
  • The formatting on the first paragraph of the content, inserted from a file via scripting is now properly preserved all the time, thanks to Miklos Vajna.
  • The default color and the gradient color selection controls on the Chart sidebar are now working properly, thanks to Szymon Kłos
  • Thanks to Tomaž Vajngerl for a lot of improvements on annotated PDF documents: integrating some extended PDFium functions into LibreOffice, allowing to be able to handle certain properties like InkStrokes and Vertices, and expanding the range of the known annotation types, thus improving compatibility with external PDF tools.
  • Thanks to Dennis Francis for working on improving Calc’s performance by resolving issues caused by spell-checking on cells, and adding features like SharedStrings to cache duplicate words, which would especially result in a significant performance gain on large pivot data ranges etc. This change is expected to be even more effective on Online.
  • Thanks to Gülşah Köse for working on fixing the z-rotation positioning of certain text in imported PPTX files.
  • Thanks to Ivan Stefanenko for improving accessibility on Writer documents by adding a check for headers inside tables [0], on top of the work he has been working on for a while now. [1] [2] [3]
  • Thanks to Luboš Luňák for various improvements and fixes around our new drawing backend based on the Skia library, which allows LibreOffice to use the modern Vulkan API to graphics operations. The results of his recent work should be visible primarily on Windows platforms. All his patches can be seen on gerrit[0], including some fixing crashes[1], ensuring quality by adding more tests[2][3][4], and improving performance[5][6][7][8].
  • Thanks to Tor Lillqvist for his work on Building LibreOffice for Windows on WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux), towards making it much more easier & convenient developing LibreOffice on Windows. [0][1][2][3] We’re looking forward to seeing its completion. 🙂

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HowTo Switch – Collabora Online Classic Tool Bar or NotebookBar

The recent release of Collabora Online Developer Edition 6.4 yielded us some nice response on the brand new shiny NotebookBar!



Setting in the configuration

Of course, there is the choice which one to use. Currently that is in the configuration file, the loolwsd.xml, in the setting

<user_interface><mode>



Choosing at the start

There is also the option to chose at the start of Collabora Online. This is how you switch:

--o:user_interface.mode=classic or --o:user_interface.mode=notebookbar

For example to start the docker without ssl and with classic interface:

docker run -t -d -p 9980:9980 -e "extra_params=--o:ssl.enable=false --o:user_interface.mode=classic" collabora/code

More to come..

We expect a choice in the user interface, accessible for each individual user, will be added soon. Do get a demo, or more info on Collabora’s options for professional support and theming!

 

Collabora Online development

All about developing Collabora Online and getting involved, can be found on the Collabora Online Community Page.

 

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Collabora Online Shines at the Nextcloud Conference

#nextcloudconf2020

 

The Nextcloud Conference 2020 took place on October 3rd and 4th – typically for this year as a virtual event. Participants were able to follow the compact presentations in the livestream and then ask questions to the speakers online. On behalf of Collabora Michael Meeks spoke about all the latest developments for Collabora Online.

Watch Michael Meeks Talk at the Nextcloud Conference 2020

Showing some highlights

Documents always stay on your server, and on your server alone

Data security is one of the top features of Collabora Online. The application lets the edited document never leave the server; only images of the documents, pixels, are transmitted to the viewing and editing parties. This differs from other approaches for online cooperation and editing, where centralized keys or even the sending and receiving of the actual file at all devices are used. On top of that, the use of watermarks make the handling of the content of your documents even more secure.

New UI – Experience options

An absolute novelty is the new user interface, which was presented only a few days before in Collabora Online Development Edition release 6.4. The new intuitive NotebookBar arranges the most important functions in clearly arranged tabs, and can also be folded up to maximize the workspace. The user interfaces can be selected in the admin area. For Nextcloud users, the classic toolbar is currently the default setting.

Collaborating with annotations to PDF files

Collabora Online offers more features for PDF files. When a PDF is opened in Collabora Online, from the three dots menu of the file, users can now search the text and also add annotations. Allowing easier cooperation on PDF documents.

Questions from the Nextcloud Community

After the streaming of the talk viewers of the Nextcloud conference had the possibility to address questions to Michael Meeks. We give you the (slightly shortened) answers below with timecoded links to the full answer in the recording of the stream.
Michael Meeks answering questions from the Nextcloud community

How to you get the new NotebookBar?

There are two answers to that. We are working on putting a UI into Nextcloud to make that extremely trivial through a check button so that it will become really easy for people to check on it, play with it and see if they like it. This is to be incorporated soon with the stable release. Currently, you can edit your loolwsd.xml file – soon to be renamed into coolwsd.xml. You’ll find the UI settings in there. All the details are available in the announcement post of Collabora Online Development Edition 6.4. (watch full answer)

Can you use custom colour pallets and corporate design colours in documents?

In terms of documents, we have a very powerful style engine in the ODF file format to create all kind of elements in different colours. You can drop that into a template and use it in Nextcloud right today. In terms of UI colours it is quite an easy thing to push elements into the iframe. We invite people to get involved on GitHub & Telegram and play around we can help you extend the range of what is possible there. (watch full answer)

When will CODE 6.4 turn into an enterprise version?

That depends on the feedback. We want to make sure that it is really ready and fully baked. I’m seeing Collabora Online 6.4 released in a matter of 3 to 4 weeks. (watch full answer)

Thanks!

We’d like to thank the Nextcloud team for the invite and the community for the awesome work it is doing in the project. Since Nextcloud Hub 19 there is an easy to install built-in server option available in Nextcloud. Of course, you can also check on the quick try-out with docker. Fancy a closer look at the slides? Please find the download link below.

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