Collabora’s LibreOffice development experts are supporting students for GSoC 2020

Collabora developers are mentoring students during this year’s Google Summer of Code

Google Summer of Code is an amazing, international program encouraging the participation of university students in open source software development. It enables students to independently gain practical experience on concrete projects and matches them with experienced developers. This year a record number of almost 1200 students is taking part in the sponsored projects. Collabora is always delighted to support GSoC projects: some of our experienced developers are mentoring the students: guiding them in the code, encouraging them, and supporting the growth of their skills.

Collabora developers at GSoC 2020

Also for this year’s GSoC several students are being mentored by Collabora Productivity team members. Tomaž Vajngerl, Muhammet Kara, Miklos Vajna, Mike Kaganski, and Michael Meeks are assisting the work on several projects around LibreOffice. And our companies involvement is not just limited to that. Andrej Shadura, a developer from our parent company Collabora, is in charge of various projects around the Debian operating system. Collabora’s support of these Google Summer of Code reflects our commitment to open source software and is also a matter of personal attachment. Several of today’s Collaborans like Elie Tournier and Rohan Garg have successfully participated in the GSoC program in the past. So have the current mentors Muhammet Kara, Miklos Vajna, and Pranam Lashkari from Collabora Productivity team.

A success story – development camps in Turkey

The successful application of no less than six LibreOffice office projects for this year’s Summer of Code would not be fully told without mentioning some previous happenings in winter. Collabora Productivity had sponsored the LibreOffice Developer Bootcamp in Ankara and the LibreOffice Development Workshop at the Anadolu University in Eskişehir (Turkey) during the Free Software Wintercamp 2020. These ambitious development courses by Muhammet Kara spawned no less than three of the six successfully submitted LibreOffice projects of GSoC 2020. Find out more about the great outcome of these development camps within our community news blog post.

LibreOffice projects mentored by Collabora Productivity

The student Ahmad Ganzouri has successfully submitted two projects. Supported by the mentors Tomaž Vajngerl, Miklos Vajna, and Michael Meeks, he will work on a project adding blurry shadows to objects in LibreOffice and on a second one that aims to move the current gallery data in favour to easier to handle ZIP files. Yusuf Keten, another participant of the LibreOffice Developers Bootcamp in Ankara, will be working on additions to better integrate extensions. Keten’s project is being mentored by Collabora’s Muhammet Kara.

Also Collabora’s parent company developers are mentoring

Another interesting GSoC project is bringing a CiviCRM integration to LibreOffice and Collabora Office. “Styles Inspector“, also mentored by Tomaž Vajngerl, is another project aimed at LibreOffice. We all look forward to the results of the students work. And for sure we will try to cover some of that here. Another wonderful story is that of Collabora Productivity developer Pranam Lashkari. He was a GSoC student during the last two years while graduating and this year he is already a mentor for two projects within the Boost C++ libraries. Collabora developer Andrej Shadura is mentoring no less than three projects focusing on Android SDK Tools for the Debian operating system. Find out more about these and other noteworthy projects in the Collabora news blog.

About Google Summer of Code

Google Summer of Code is a program awarding a three months stipend to students who successfully complete a free and open-source software coding project during the summer. The annual program started in 2005. This year, 199 organizations and 1199 student projects are taking part. Within the last 15 years more than 15.000 students from over 100 countries had been accepted. Developers from free and open source projects serve as mentors. Between 80 – 90% of the accepted projects get completed successfully.

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Great Response to the LibreOffice Development Workshop at Free Software Winter Camp 2020

Every Winter the Anadolu University in Eskişehir, Turkey, hosts a large Free Software Winter Camp. This year it took place from Jan 25 – Jan 28, 2020, covering over 50 different classes with more than 40 different topics, and close to 1500 participants tutored by over 100 instructors. One of those classes was the LibreOffice Development Workshop, sponsored by Collabora Productivity.

For the four days of intensive training 20 students from all over the country were accepted. While the workshop itself was free, the participants were expected to cover the costs for travel and accommodation. This year 16 students showed for LibreOffice Development Workshop given by Collabora’s Muhammet Kara – a number which was a significant increase compared to the number from the previous year!

The participants of the LibreOffice Development Workshop at Free Software Winter Camp 2020.

In order to be accepted, the students had to have knowledge in C++, the principals of object-oriented programming, and at least user-level experience on a GNU/Linux system. During the workshop the 16 participants got familiar with the processes and tools of LibreOffice development and bug fixing.

Within the four days workshop the students contributed 64 commits, documented in the LibreOffice wiki. Two memorable examples of contributions were an important improvement by Onur Yilmaz for the Automatic Redaction feature and a Python script to analyse the LibreOffice code-base for styling issues written by Batuhan Taşkaya.

Muhammet Kara reported, that the feedback from the participants was very positive:

“Almost all pointed out that they have improved their development skills, and they would like to continue contributing.”

We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation once again to the effort of Muhammet, the Linux Users Association of Turkey and Anadolu University for providing this exceptional training opportunity. We look forward seeing more contributions from that dedicated group of participants.

Are you searching for a interesting open source project to join? Remember, you’re really welcome to participate in CODE – the Collabora Online Development Edition.

Participate in CODE

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FOSDEM 2020 – The Talks by Collabora Productivity

The main auditorium at FOSDEM

FOSDEM is a success story! The growth that this major European developer conference has seen in the 20 years of its existence reflects the importance of open source technology. It is one of the most important venues for exchanging information about the latest developments and meeting like-minded engineers in person. It is an event that we never miss. FOSDEM celebrated the 20th anniversary. LibreOffice – turning ten this year – is looking forward to a milestone birthday, too.

Michael Meeks at the TDF Hackfest in Brussels
Michael Meeks at the LibreOffice Hackfest

Directly after the conference, the two-day LibreOffice Hackfest organized by The Document Foundation took place in Brussels that we of course joined. This FOSDEM was also record-breaking in our personal view. The team of Collabora Productivity held several interesting talks about document processing with a clear focus on online.

You find the video recordings of our talks and the complete slides for download here in this article!

LibreOffice turns ten and what’s next

In the history track in the main room Collabora’s Michael Meeks held a much appreciated talk about ten years of LibreOffice, demonstrating what is going on in LibreOffice today, and where is it going.

The second of three talks at FOSDEM 2020 by Michael was part of the devroom “Collaborative Information and Content Management Applications” and showed how (relatively) easy it is to integrate Collabora Online into different solutions.

Bringing Collabora Online to your web app

Collabora Online can bring the power of rich, secure, collaborative document editing inside your web app. This presentation shows how this works.

Most of the Collabora Productivity talks took place on Saturday in the Open Document Editors devroom. The speakers gave five presentations on different aspects of open document formats, customization and the optimization of Collabora Online on mobile systems.

Online Open Document Editing New Possibilities and Interoperability

Open Document editing is, as many things in life, more and more an online action. Collabora introduced the important first steps in 2015. Since then much work has been done and LibreOffice and Collabora Online grew enormously in possibilities. This presentation by Cor Nouws shows the new and improved features from last year, while the Q&A gives you an outlook to the future.

Make Online yours

Collabora Online is quite flexible in the means that you can alter the visual appearance to your personal taste and needs without the need to change other core components. UX designer Pedro Pinto Silva explains how to customize Collabora Online!

Online: wrestling web Copy/Paste to usability

Overcoming the synchronous web copy/paste API’s limitations in real browsers is extremely non-trivial. Michael’s talk is all about defeating the vast API and implementation disasters in copy/paste. Find out how we provide rich copy/paste support across documents and inside our app! Collabora Online clearly wins compared to other online applications.

Integrate Collabora Online with web applications

Collabora developers helped to develop many Collabora Online integrations. In this talk by Andras Timar explains the integration with web applications!

Collabora Office Android app gory details

We have chosen a new approach for the Collabora Office Android app. In this talk, Jan Holesowsky describes how we tweaked LibreOffice & the Online to get an Android app. Still in beta, but easier to extend, maintain and richer in features.

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Collabora supports Free Software Winter Camp 2020 in Eskişehir, Turkey

Twenty-one students have been selected to take part in the LibreOffice Development Workshop at the Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey. It is held from Jan 25 to Jan 28 as a part of the Free Software Winter Camp 2020.

Collabora Sponsored LibreOffice Bootcamp in Ankara
Impression of the previous LibreOffice Bootcamp in Ankara

Collabora Productivity is one of the sponsors. Muhammet Kara, Collabora developer who is giving the LibrOffice training, explains that it’s not suitable for just every interested student.

“Of course enthusiasm is very important. But we also require students to have knowledge/experience with C++, and come with GNU/Linux installed on their laptops. And they will try to build LibreOffice before coming.”

This looks as a perfect match for students that followed for example the LibreOffice Bootcamp in Ankara… but there will be others for sure!
Muhammet tells about the program:

“During the camp, we will go through the usual stuff of getting started with LO development, code- structure, tips&tricks etc. And will work on bugs to gain hands-on experience.”

The accommodations will be provided by the Linux Users Association of Turkey, organizers of the event. Find details on the LibreOffice-wiki too.

Thanks Muhammet, Linux Users Association of Turkey and Anadolu University for making this possible!
Of course we wish the participants good luck, and keep an eye on github for LibreOffice or online 😉

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Enthusiast students building LibreOffice – Report from Bootcamp in Ankara

Developing in C++ is not easiest thing you can do in ICT. But if you have some C++ knowledge and skills, it brings you great possibilities. What to think of building LibreOffice and working somewhere in the million lines of code? In Ankara, at the Hacettepe University’s Beytepe Campus, 40 students joining the LibreOffice Developer Bootcamp, just arrived at that point.

Muhammet Kara, Collabora Productivity developer, who gives the courses, tells:

We have finished the 5th session/week of the Bootcamp. So far, we did the following. The first four weeks we did C++ basics, and covered topics such as syntax, operators, data types, arrays, pointers, exceptions.. You name it. On week 2, 3, and 4 the students had to do three home works /assignments. In week 5 we looked at LibreOffice development: how it is organized, who are involved, tooling, habits. And of course: what is good about contributing to LibreOffice. The next week the students should have a complete building environment. So we’ll start the real development: working on easy hacks. More on that in the next report!

Collabora is really glad about the enthusiasm for LibreOffice development and happy to sponsor the Ankara Bootcamp.

The training program attracted much interest from the students side. In the first weeks, which were mainly about the basics of C++, were attended by 120 to 140 students were attending the course. The weekly plans, published on Muhammet Kara’s blog, show the ambitious amount of content they have been introduced to.  The LibreOffice Development Bootcamp was also widely noticed beyond the sphere of the Hacettepe University. The tweets posted on the topic generated many hundreds of interactions and over ten thousand views in the social network.

In week five the specific work on LibreOffice moved more into focus. It was discussed why it makes sense to contribute to it. 40 students took part in this phase of the bootcamp, a great number if you consider that it is not a mandatory course and the demands on the participants were very challenging. The weekly sessions will be given until the end of the semester, January 2020. We will keep you updated here and report about the next weeks of the LibreOffice Developer Camp in Ankara.


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