Talks and Slides by Collabora at FOSDEM 2022

FOSDEM 2022 – The Talks and Slides from the Collabora Team

Whether on-site in Brussels or as an online event like the last two years, FOSDEM is and remains the largest and most important gathering of Open-Source developers in Europe. We’d like to express our gratitude to the community and the organisers. The Collabora team gave numerous talks in the LibreOffice Technology devroom. Missed a presentation? Below you will find links to all videos and to the downloads of the slides.

 

Gülşah Köse

LibreOffice Technology devroom

OOXML Document Analysis

Collabora developer Gülşah Köse explains how we respond when we receive a problematic OOXML document from a customer and demonstrates the solution to a sample bug. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Miklos Vajna

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Document Themes in LibreOffice Impress and Elsewhere

LibreOffice has been capable of handling colour palettes on its UI for a while. Meanwhile, the competition introduced document themes, which are a fixed set of 12 colours, to be attached to various parts of documents. See what we have done to bring themes to LibreOffice and find out what still needs doing and how you can help. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Gökay Şatır

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Canvas For Rendering UX

Gökay Şatır shows why we chose to use Canvas for rendering the UI and the document, and explains the structure we created to execute this task. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!


Mert Tümer

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Editing Simulation

Performance measurements are really challenging. This presentation by Mert Tümer covers how we can achieve reliable and repeatable performance tests by implementing clever tools that simulate realistic use cases. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Jan Holesovsky

LibreOffice Technology devroom

LibreOfficeKit Recent Developments

LibreOffice can be used by other applications via its C++ API called LibreOfficeKit. Primary use cases for this are document conversion and editing in Collabora Online. The LibreOfficeKit is currently being expanded. Jan “Kendy” Holesovsky talks about these recent developments See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

 

Michael Meeks

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Online Performance – Making Collaborative Editing Quicker

Collabora Online has a novel model that re-uses the core LibreOffice Technology to provide rich collaborative editing. Recently, we have been focusing our development on improving the look and feel of document editing. Watch Michael Meeks talk about how Online performance wins are making browser-based collaborative editing quicker. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Szymon Kłos

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Building Collabora Online UI Based on the LibreOffice Components

JSDialog is a “framework” for sharing UI components between Collabora Online and LibreOffice. It was used to bring the Sidebar, the NotebookBar, and dialogs to the web. It provides native HTML widgets connected to the original LibreOffice code, giving the user rich editing options even on mobile devices. Watch Szymon Kłos‘ talk for a brief summary of what has already been done and how it works. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Pranam Lashkari

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Collabora Online on Kubernetes – Setup & Deployment

See this talk by Pranam Lashkari for a comprehensive demonstration of how to deploy Collabora Online using Kubernetes. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Ashod Nakashian

 16:00 – 16:30 – LibreOffice Technology devroom

Collabora Online: Async-Saving Design and Testing

This talk explores the challenge of saving and uploading documents to the storage server in an asynchronous way, to improve performance, user experience and also ensure higher reliability and resiliency. Ashod Nakashian covers both the design and the challenges of testing a highly critical component of a production product.

See details Join video & conversation

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

Henry Castro

LibreOffice Technology devroom

Macro Dialog Feature

Watch Henry Castro‘s talk on the implementation of a Macro Selector Dialog on the client side to execute VBA macros on the server side. See details

Watch the talk!
Download the slides!

 

 

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online 21.11 is our latest enterprise quality release. It’s suitable for large-scale deployment, and comes with SLA, enterprise support with signed security updates as well as interaction with product management, helping to direct our development priorities. Collabora Online integrates flawlessly into Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, and many of the major file sync & share, groupware and hosting solutions. It’s ideal for organizations that want to collaborate on documents, without losing control over them or compromising on privacy. With the ability to host it on your own hardware or to integrate it into a trusted environment, Collabora Online is the ideal online office suite for digital sovereignty. Enterprises interested in using Collabora Online can check out our home page for more information on partner integrations and online demos. Hosting and Cloud businesses that wish to add Collabora Online to their product portfolio can become a partner. For any questions or tailored solutions, do not hesitate to contact hello@collaboraoffice.com.

 

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Collabora at FOSDEM 2022

FOSDEM 2022 – Europe’s largest Open-Source Developers Meeting

FOSDEM 2022 will again take place as an online event. During two days the latest technical achievements of developers from all over the world will be presented. Our team is represented with 10 talks on the different aspects of LibreOffice Technology in the corresponding devroom.

Day 1: Saturday, February 5th 2022

Monica Madon (Canonical), Marius Quabeck (Nextcloud) and Pedro Silva (Collabora)

13:00 – Ubuntu stand

Contributing to Open Source Projects with Ubuntu, Nextcloud, and Collabora

Are you interested in contributing but don’t know where to start? Tag along and be part of the digital sovereign revolution! Everyone is welcome to join.

See details Join video & conversation

 

Gülşah Köse

14:30 – 15:00 – LibreOffice Technology devroom

OOXML Document Analysis

Collabora developer Gülşah Köse, will explain how we respond when we receive a problematic OOXML document from a customer and demonstrate the solution to a sample bug.

See details  Join video & conversation

 

Miklos Vajna

16:00 – 16:30 – LibreOffice Technology devroom

Document Themes in LibreOffice Impress and Elsewhere

LibreOffice has been capable of handling colour palettes on its UI for a while. Meanwhile, the competition introduced document themes, which are a fixed set of 12 colours, to be attached to various parts of documents. See what we have done to bring themes to LibreOffice and find out what still needs doing and how you can help.

See details Join video & conversation

 

Gökay Şatır

 17:00 – 17:30 – LibreOffice Technology devroom

Canvas For Rendering UX

Gökay Şatır will present why we chose to use Canvas for rendering the UI and the document, and explain the structure we created to execute this task.

See details Join video & conversation

 


Day 2: Sunday, February 6th 2022

Mert Tümer

 12:00 – 12:30 – LibreOffice Technology devroom

Editing Simulation

Performance measurements are really challenging. This presentation by Mert Tümer covers how we can achieve reliable and repeatable performance tests by implementing clever tools that simulate realistic use cases.

See details Join video & conversation

 

Jan Holesovsky

 13:00 – 13:30 – LibreOffice Technology devroom

LibreOfficeKit Recent Developments

LibreOffice can be used by other applications via its C++ API called LibreOfficeKit. Primary use cases for this are document conversion and editing in Collabora Online. The LibreOfficeKit is currently being expanded. Jan “Kendy” Holesovsky  will talk about these recent developments.

See details Join video & conversation

 

Michael Meeks

 14:00 – 14:30 – LibreOffice Technology devroom

Online Performance – Making Collaborative Editing Quicker

Collabora Online has a novel model that re-uses the core LibreOffice Technology to provide rich collaborative editing. Recently, we have been focusing our development on improving the look and feel of document editing. Come and hear Michael Meeks talk about how Online performance wins are making browser-based collaborative editing quicker.

See details Join video & conversation

 

William Gathoye

14:00 – Ubuntu stand

Setting up a Nextcloud Instance with Collabora on Ubuntu

Keeping full control over your personal data and documents, is more and more important. Learn how to create your own personal cloud with this easy built-in installation.

See details Join video & conversation

 

Szymon Kłos

 15:00 – 15:30 – LibreOffice Technology devroom

Building Collabora Online UI Based on the LibreOffice Components

JSDialog is a “framework” for sharing UI components between Collabora Online and LibreOffice. It was used to bring the Sidebar, the NotebookBar, and dialogs to the web. It provides native HTML widgets connected to the original LibreOffice code, giving the user rich editing options even on mobile devices. Szymon Kłos will talk for a brief summary of what is already done and how it works.

See details Join video & conversation

 

Pranam Lashkari

 15:30 – 16:00 – LibreOffice Technology devroom

Collabora Online on Kubernetes – Setup & Deployment

See this talk by Pranam Lashkari for a comprehensive demonstration of how to deploy Collabora Online using Kubernetes.

See details Join video & conversation

 

Ashod Nakashian

 16:00 – 16:30 – LibreOffice Technology devroom

Collabora Online: Async-Saving Design and Testing

This talk will explore the challenge of saving and uploading documents to the storage server in an asynchronous way, to improve performance, user experience and also ensure higher reliability and resiliency. Ashod Nakashian will cover both the design, as well as the challenges of testing a highly-critical component of a production product.

See details Join video & conversation

 

Henry Castro

17:00 – 17:20 – LibreOffice Technology devroom

Macro Dialog Feature

Come and hear Henry Castro talk on the implementation of a Macro Selector Dialog on the client side to execute VBA macros on the server side.

See details Join video & conversation


 

 

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online 21.11 is our latest enterprise quality release. It’s suitable for large-scale deployment, and comes with SLA, enterprise support with signed security updates as well as interaction with product management, helping to direct our development priorities. Collabora Online integrates flawlessly into Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, and many of the major file sync & share, groupware and hosting solutions. It’s ideal for organizations that want to collaborate on documents, without losing control over them or compromising on privacy. With the ability to host it on your own hardware or to integrate it into a trusted environment, Collabora Online is the ideal online office suite for digital sovereignty. Enterprises interested in using Collabora Online can check out our home page for more information on partner integrations and online demos. Hosting and Cloud businesses that wish to add Collabora Online to their product portfolio can become a partner. For any questions or tailored solutions, do not hesitate to contact hello@collaboraoffice.com.

 

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Collabora Online 21.11 Delivers New Features and Interoperability Improvements

Powerful Document Collaboration in a Secure, Private Cloud Environment

Cambridge, January 20, 2022 – Today we are pleased to announce the availability of a major new release of Collabora Online, which makes collaborative editing even more productive. This new release enhances personal and team productivity with design improvements, as well as smoother document interchange through improved interoperability, better performance and more.

Collabora Online is the collaboration suite that offers businesses and professionals the best features, interoperability, LTS, and custom support in open source, while respecting user privacy and corporate data security.

 

Addressing the Needs of Our Users

This new major version of Collabora Online is a further example of our ongoing development and commitment to ensuring it continues to address the evolving needs of our users in a rapidly changing world where choice, distributed working, privacy and data security have never been more important.

 

Quicker Functional Sidebar

The new Sidebar is “native” to your browser, thus much more responsive and always functional and easy to use

Collabora Online 21.11 introduces a new “native” sidebar. It is both a performance and usability improvement. It is now drawn directly on the screen by the browser by JavaScript, and no longer constructed on the server and then sent to your browser, making it far more responsive and natural looking. With its more snappy responding buttons and controls, it is a major improvement for all users!

The new sidebar at a glance:

  • Polished appearance
  • Better user experience
  • Faster responding buttons
  • Faster responding drop-down menus.
Collabora Online 21.11: Many elements, like dropdown menus, respond much faster in the new native Sidebar

 

View Documents More Easily

A number of new buttons in the NotebookBar improve the user experience when viewing documents. Zooming, full-screen view or switching the sidebar on and off are now accessible via clear buttons in the layout tab, and no longer only via the status bars or the burger menu. It makes these frequently used functions even easier to find.

 

Performance Improvements

Collabora Online 21.11 brings together many performance improvements that we have been working on through the 6.4.x lifecycle as well as some more advanced optimisations. These are rather hard to screenshot for your viewing pleasure for obvious reasons, but the next two images are a try at least.

There is a lot to tell on asynchronous save, accelerating of JavaScript, saving network traffic, improved multi-user editing and more. Specifically, in spreadsheets, we’ve made auto-spell checking and AutoFilter quicker. Take a look at this performance blog post for more background from a technical point of view.

 

Ongoing Work!

We continue to work to profile and optimise uses-cases that are important to our users, and the upcoming 21.11 micro-releases will exhibit more continuous improvement in this area – as well as ongoing improvements to our document pixel compression to make things even faster and lighter. It’s well worth staying up-to-date with the latest releases.

 

Right-to-left Support Available for All Document Types

Collabora Online 21.11 now supports right-to-left (RTL) text input within all modules. This makes it easier to create and edit documents in Persian or Arabic. The text direction can be set in the “Format” tab under the option “Page Style” (or “Slide Style” for presentations). The code in Collabora Online can detect several RTL language settings and will mirror the user interface accordingly.

 

Calc-Excel Compatible Formulae Improvements

Many functions in Calc have been improved both to extend interoperability with Excel, and to add new functionality. Support for sheet-local scoped names has been added to INDIRECT(), and both TEXT() and OFFSET() have been adapted to various corner cases to behave identically to the competition. TEXTJOIN() and CONCAT() now handle array & matrix arguments row-wise for improved compatibility. In addition, functions that use powerful regular expressions now correctly honour case-insensitivity flags.

 

Interoperability Boosted by Improved PPTX Import

Collabora Online 21.11 includes many interoperability improvements around the import of PPTX files, which we had already implemented in Collabora Office. Images within shapes – even those converted to greyscale or mirrored – are displayed online true to the original.

 

Better Shadow Effects

In earlier versions, shadows used to be rendered as solid copies of objects. The new Blur option now allows for a more realistic rendering of the shadows. The options of the feature can be accessed via the Shadows tab in the Area dialog or directly through updated “native” Sidebar. This feature was initially developed during a GSoC 2020 for the LibreOffice project mentored by Collaborans and then implemented with further refinements in Collabora Office 21.06 and is now also available online.

 

Glow and Soft Edge Effects for Shapes

Collabora Online 21.11 introduces further features allowing to manipulate shapes in a more granular way. Once a shape is selected, you can choose the radius of the Glow effect and its Soft Edges within the sidebar using the Effects parameter. Furthermore, you can select the colour and the degree of transparency of the effect. This function improves interoperability as it can be used for all shapes across Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw.

 

Consistent Use Of Language Identification

The basic model of language annotation that Collabora Online inherited from the LibreOffice core explicitly assigned languages to regions of text. This can easily lead to unexpected results when documents created in one local language (without specifying it further) are opened by another user with a different local language setting. Instead of a powerful, but potentially confusing multi-languages result, Writer now resets the language to the user’s UI locale if no document language had been defined. The current behaviour is more consistent.

 

Shadowed Tables For Use in ODS and PPTX Presentations

Shadow effects are a great way to add depth and appeal to elements. They are available for many objects, such as shapes, and include a range of feature enhancements and parameters, such as the blur effect and transparency. For tables within presentations, shadows are now also available in Collabora Online through the Table Properties dialog.

 

Miscellaneous Changes

In addition to the larger features, there are, of course, numerous smaller changes:

  • Internet Explorer 11 – dropped. This saves significant code complexity in some areas e.g. copy-paste, simplifies testing, and removes legacy javascript polyfills.
  • Auto-cleanup – on by default. We now, by default, are more aggressive towards processes that are idle and are consuming a large amount of CPU, after around five minutes of this behaviour they are killed, to disable that checkout the ‘cleanup’ section in coolwsd.xml.
  • cool conversion. We have migrated our legacy loleaflet and lool paths to browser and cool – which impacts a number of configuration files and binaries. Integrators should continue to use the URLs they receive from the hosting/discovery end-point. Those with reverse proxy and/or HA setups may need to update their proxy configuration with a simple search & replace, please refer to updated documentation of proxy settings. For more information, please read our upgrade notes.

 

Thanks to the Community

This release is a community effort and we fully appreciate and acknowledge their hard work that has made it possible!  A few weeks ago, we already celebrated the wonderful work of these people in this blog post.

 

 

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online 21.11 is our latest enterprise quality release. It’s suitable for large-scale deployment, and comes with SLA, enterprise support with signed security updates as well as interaction with product management, helping to direct our development priorities. Collabora Online integrates flawlessly into Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, and many of the major file sync & share, groupware and hosting solutions. It’s ideal for organisations that want to collaborate on documents, without losing control over them or compromising on privacy. With the ability to host it on your own hardware or to integrate it into a trusted environment, Collabora Online is the ideal online office suite for digital sovereignty. Enterprises interested in using Collabora Online can check out our home page for more information on partner integrations and online demos. Hosting and Cloud businesses that wish to add Collabora Online to their product portfolio can become a partner. For any questions or tailored solutions, do not hesitate to contact hello@collaboraoffice.com.

 

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Use Case: SIB delivering Nextcloud and Collabora Online to 2500 teachers and 33000 pupils in Brittany, France

Allowing students to have remote access, the choice of any device (smartphones, tablets, computers), advanced collaboration features around documents, and advanced sharing features including groups.
These were the requirements of SIB, a major, global public actor of digital services, when looking at improving their service to 33.000 pupils and 2.500 teachers in 57 middle schools!

SIB found an ideal solution in Nextcloud and Collabora Online

SIB supports healthcare structures and public entities in their digital transformation. The organization provides infrastructure to teachers and pupils: computers, servers, hosted applications, networks and support.
In this specific case (get the full case study!), they have been working on taking their information systems to the next level for the Ille-et-Vilaine department, including middle schools.

“We prevent interoperability problems when students work from home
with Nextcloud and Collabora Online, which avoids the need for specific Microsoft Office versions”

Using Nextcloud and Collabora Online

The new solution allows up to 33.000 pupils and 2.500 teachers in 57 middle schools to work from home, inside Nextcloud Group Folders along with Collabora Online.
This way teachers don’t have the issue that they don’t have the right Microsoft Office version to read the students’ work which removes any interoperability problems between Microsoft versions.
Also teachers and directors of the schools use Collabora Online for sharing and collaboration on administrative tasks.

Thanks to our partner Nextcloud for their great work in this project and for their blog about this case study.

Great user feedback

Users welcomed Collabora Online inside Nextcloud and all the features with great enthusiasm: they loved the remote access to documents, online collaborative edition and the user-friendliness of the solution.
Some teachers already used online hosted solutions. For them, having the same experience hosted in Britanny by a security, privacy and protection-oriented public organization was a very positive experience. For users unfamiliar with those services, support and personal coaching was offered during migration phases. They gained experience with the functionality and used it innovatively with their pupils during class time.

Tell me more!

You can read the full case study to learn more about the reasons that made SIB choose Collabora Online for this project, their initial requirements, technical configurations and infrastructure decisions.

 

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Collabora Online performance wins – what we did for CODE and Collabora Online 21.11

Learn about the many performance improvements in CODE and Collabora Online 21.11

CODE 21.11 – announced yesterday – and of course also Collabora Online 21.11 bring together many performance improvements that we have been working on through the 6.4.x lifecycle as well as some more advanced optimizations. These are rather hard to screenshot for your viewing pleasure for obvious reasons, so please forgive some technical details and links to further reading for those interested. It is ongoing work; more about that at the end of this blog.

Asynchronous save

Collabora Online works hard to preserve your edits in the unlikely case of server-side failure. We regularly auto-save the document while users are editing, however in the past storing your document through to the back end storage had to be completed successfully before the user could continue typing. This could cause some jerkiness from time to time as people typed. Now this up-loading part of the saving is done asynchronously – i.e. in the background. For more technical details you can enjoy a talk on the design. For times when it is necessary to save synchronously such as during a save-as, we now provide animated user-feedback, color-coded according to the respective current application:

Accelerated JavaScript

Lots of work has been done first to profile, and then to optimize the performance of Collabora Online. Our profiles showed, somewhat surprisingly, that a lot of the scope for improvement was in the browser. As such we have significantly improved our websocket message handling, pixel processing and grouping of UI refreshes to give very significant interactivity improvements to more recent 6.4.x versions.

Online calc profile image before optimization
avoiding duplicate work (shown) by performing DOM updates after processing a batch of incoming events.

Moving more of the document to the client

Collabora Online 21.11 brings an understanding of text documents’ page positioning to the browser. That allows us to rendering page surrounds there avoiding a source of perceived flicker when moving up and down documents, and giving a smoother experience. This builds on more recent work in Calc to render worksheet backgrounds, and grid in the browser for similar reasons – giving slicker editing.

Improved spreadsheet performance in Calc

Collabora continues to put a lot of effort into enhancing the performance of our collaborative office suite. As an example, our streamlining of the Find & Replace functionality resulted in a massive performance boost. Also, opening speed of large XLSX files saw a some significant improvements. In Collabora Online 21.11, we have fundamentally revised the way spell checking is done in Calc with a new spell check that prevents continual re-rendering as strings are processed, while also caching spell-checking information, yielding considerable performance improvements. Similarly, AutoFilter searching has been optimized for large numbers of unique records.

Improved multi-user editing

One of the unfortunately pathological test-cases users like to do is to mash the keyboard – which generates text at around ten times the speed of a normal typist. Nevertheless this is something we have been optimizing along with scalability to larger numbers of concurrent editors of the same document. For more details checkout some insights into our ongoing work, or a deeply technical blog on optimizing for a larger number of users. Failing that – we have a video of a torture test of an intense multi-user editing session showing old, 6.4.x, and 21.11 versions from top to bottom:

Optimizing pathological loads – old/6.4.x/21.11

Ongoing work

We continue to work to profile and optimize uses-cases that are important to our users, the upcoming 21.11 micro-releases will exhibit more continuous improvement in this area – as well as ongoing improvements to our document pixel compression to make things even faster and lighter. It is well worth staying up-to-date with the latest releases.

There is also a summary talk of many other recent performance improvements for those with a deep interest in this area.

Test CODE 21.11

 

Please try out CODE 21.11 and let us know of any workloads which you find have issues so that we may expand our internal testing & benchmarking to include them.

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online is the powerful LibreOffice-based online office that supports all major documents, spreadsheets and presentation file formats, which can all be easily integrated in many infrastructures and solutions. Key features are collaborative editing and excellent office file formatting support. Collabora Online is excellent for enterprises that need a powerful office suite in the Cloud, or on-premises, that protects their privacy and allows them to keep full control of their sensitive corporate data. Collabora Online – built on LibreOffice Technology – enables Hosting and Cloud businesses to include document viewing and collaborative editing functionality into their service offerings.

 

 

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