Collabora developers mentor successful GSoC Projects

Autumn is just around the corner. For many participants in the GSoC 2020, a busy and instructive summer full of hacking on open source projects came to an end a few weeks ago. Commits have been contributed and final reports have been written. This year experienced Collabora Productivity developers were again mentors for various projects of the Google Summer of Code for the LibreOffice project. Here are some examples of projects our team helped to succeed!

Analysing Writer documents with the “Style Inspector”

The “Style Inspector” is a great new tool. You can access it through a new icon (an eye combined with a pencil) in the Sidebar (also via “Sidebar Settings”). The Style Inspector displays in full detail (and hierarchical) all styles and also direct formatting applied to a cursor position in a Writer document. So you can analyse, identify problems and clean them up. Sometimes formatting in documents is messy and people mix styles with direct formatting. The Style Inspector allows you to see that.
The feature is available for testing in pre-released development versions of LibreOffice. Shivan Kumar Singh picked up the proposal from the LibreOffice Design Team. He was mentored by Collaborans TomažVajngerl and MikeKaganski with Heiko Tietze from the LibreOffice Design Team. Take a look into Singh’s final report! It is an inspiring a guide on how to approach a big project like LibreOffice.

Improving the way to find and add extensions

There are many useful extensions to LibreOffice and users should be able to find them easily! Like in app stores like Gnome Software or the Play Store. That is basic idea behind “Tight Integrations” and the proposal from the LibreOffice design team. Yusuf Keten made this his GSOC project a success and added the possibility to search and sort the through extensions without having to leave LibreOffice. You start this new way to search with a clear yellow star with a download arrow, that is in the templates dialog, at the icons in the view options, or from the galleries pane in the side bar.
If you are curios about this handy extensions feature you can already test and find it in the latest LibreOffice pre-releases. Yusuf was mentored ba Collabora’s Muhammet Kara and Heiko Tietze from the LibreOffice design team. Find all the details of Yusuf’s work in his final report.

I learned a lot of things during the GSoC. Although GSoC is finished, I will continue to contribute to LibreOffice. I am very happy to be part of the LibreOffice community.(Yusuf Keten)

Access the Tight Integrations manager through the icon in Gallery
Browse, search and sort through Templates, Galleries & Icons in the new extension dialog.

Changing the contour – shadows are becoming blurry

New blurry shadow option

Did you know, that in LibreOffice the shadows are just a copy of the object? There are already a lot of settings to change their appearance, like its colour, its angle, the transparency and distance behind the object. Mentored by Collaboran’s TomažVajngerl and Miklos Vajna, Ahmad Ganzouri added another option. The “Blurry Shadows” make use of the already implemented BitmapFilterStackBlur and make the shape of the shadow look very realistic. Find the details around the development in Ahmad’s final report. We have seen the Blurry Shadow option in the master branch and expect it to be available to all users in Version 7.1 of LibreOffice. The option can be easily accessed via the “Area” dialog in “Objects & Shapes” or directly via the corresponding Sidebar module.

The blur setting can be defined Area dialog.

Searching for a mentor? Join us GitHub!

Google Summers of Code are an excellent opportunity to learn working in many open source projects. But where to find mentors during the rest of the year? We recently moved the code of Collabora Online to GitHub. You will find a growing community there, with easy hacks to get started. Community Mentor Muhammet Kara and the rest of our team of open source developers are there and willing to share their vast experience.

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Updated LibreOffice growth infographic (2020)

Right after celebrating a great LibreOffice 10th Anniversary, we are delighted to present the 2020-version of our LibreOffice growth infoGraphic, including beautiful visuals and interesting numbers! We do hope you appreciate it and would love to hear your feedback. And of course it is great if you find the format, in which it is presented, convenient to share.

Many numbers are again up. Our devs are top code contributors to LibreOffice with 7518 code commits. And the popular “Collabora Online Development Edition” (CODE), for home use & small teams (find details here), has over 50 million Docker image pulls! We are extremely grateful for all partners and customers working with us to make this possible.

Would you like to see the previous versions; these are here: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, & 2014.

Soon there will be the  LibreOffice Conference 2020 (October 14 to October 16), where you can meet developers, including of course our developers, and other contributors from the community, and attend the online sessions of the talks of our developers.

So.. check out the updated LibreOffice growth infoGraphic on 2020 here:


Try out Collabora Office and Collabora Online!

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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.

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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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