Collabora’s contributions to the LibreOffice Conference 2020

Three full days dedicated to LibreOffice technology

The LibreOffice Conference 2020, this year also known as oSLO 2020, took place from 15 to 17 October 2020 as a joint online event with openSUSE. The number of participants at the online conference was roughly the same as at an on-site event. A total of over 320 participants had registered on the conference platform. Individual talks were attended by up to 150 people simultaneously. The LibreOffice community in Latin America had organized an additional track in Spanish and Portuguese. Our team contributed 16 talks (find the complete list here). Enjoy some recorded recordings, download the slides and feel free to ask further questions in our forum.

Collabora & the LibreOffice Ecosystem

Some much-acclaimed topics were the lectures by Michael Meeks, which highlighted the exciting and long-standing history of LibreOffice, and those that dealt with the relationship between profit-oriented companies and the voluntary community—and pointed out possible perspectives.

“Collabora & LibreOffice” by Michael Meeks
“Ecosystem, Branding & Investment” by Michael Meeks

Collabora Online

This year’s talks on Collabora Online had a strong focus on improving the user experience. Ashod Nakashian talked about the challenges of integrating Sidebars into Online, while Szymon Kłos explained the path to the NotebookBar, the new optional user interface. Tomaž Vajngerl showed the great new features for PDF files. Pedro Silva held a presentation on visual consistency, user experience, as well as possibilities for customization. He also showed how to join the project. Slides of his talk are also available in Portuguese (as part of the Latin-American Track). Muhammet Kara‘s presentation highlighted the new one-click option, that makes installing Collabora Online by home users much easier.

“Bringing The Notebookbar to Online” by Szymon Klos
“Improving visual consistency in Collabora Online” by Pedro Pinto Silva
“Making Online trivial to setup” by Muhammet Kara

LibreOffice & Collabora Office

These talks dealt with new functions added to LibreOffice by the Collabora team. This includes the extensive work with the SKIA graphics library, presented by Luboš Luňák, and the digital signing of files in PDF and OOXML, showcased by Miklos Vanja. Collabora Office is now also available on Chrome OS. Jan Holesovsky outlined what it took to port the Android app to Chromebooks.

“Implementing Vulkan-capable drawing using the Skia library” by Luboš Luňák
“OOXML / PDF Digital Signing in Draw and elsewhere” by Miklos Vajna
“Chrome OS as a new platform” by Jan Holesovsky

Collabora Office on Android & iOS

Our mobile apps are a lot of attention. Their huge success recently added 500K users to the LibreOffice user base. Szymon Kłos presented technical details how the LibreOffice Sidebar get re-used on phones. Tor Lillqvist focused, on the latest developments for Collabora Office on iOS, while Jan Holesovsky presented the history of online and mobile.

“Re-using the Sidebar on phones” by Szymon Kłos
“Mobile – Development on iOS” by Tor Lillqvist
“History of Online & Mobile” by Jan Holesovsky

Living on video?

Missed the conference? Would you like to watch or re-watch some talks? The sessions at the openSUSE & LibreOffice Conference have been recorded and are going to be published. We have a playlist collecting all the talks held by our developers. Find it here on YouTube. We are continuously adding the all published oSLO2020 talks there. In the meantime, please subscribe to our YouTube channel to not miss any updates from us.

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Collabora Online 6.4.0-released

New major version of Collabora Online brings improved user experience and compatibility

Cambridge, United Kingdom, November 2, 2020Collabora Productivity is excited to announce a new, major release of our product Collabora Online, version 6.4.0. This release adds a new easier to use interface with a notebook bar as well as excellent display of Microsoft file format documents. This release not only brings a fresh look, enhanced usability, improved interoperability, and extra functionality. It also marks a harmonization of our version numbering. Collabora Online jumps from 4.2 to 6.4, to align with our other Collabora Office products: for the desktop and mobile devices. Collabora Online offers privacy as well as the only truly open-source solution for working with and collaborating on rich documents in the cloud.

Attractive and easy to use NotebookBar option in Collabora Online

Collabora Online 6.4 comes with a cool and modern NotebookBar providing another easy to use and pretty access to all rich features. The easily identifiable buttons allow users to quickly select functions and the thematic organization of the tabs is intuitive. Users will of course recognize much of the NotebookBar from the desktop version.

Version 6.4 – A huge leap in user-friendliness… and numbering

The new Collabora Online with the NotebookBar marks a big step forward in usability. The version number also makes a big leap with a jump from 4.2 to 6.4. The previous numbering of Collabora Online reflected the release cycles of our online products, first released in 2016. To simplify things we make the numbering similar to Collabora Office for the desktop. This more accurately reflects the level of development, since much of the technology is shared by both products. Our mobile apps Collabora Office for Android, ChromeOS and iOS will also catch up in numbering soon.

Saving space and other NotebookBar details

When the user needs to save space, a single click on the active tab will collapse the NotebookBar. All the tabs are still there to use.


The hamburger menu also packs some important tools for e.g. collaboration and language.

Use the hamburger menu to access more options

How to keep the classic mode

The new NotebookBar is set as the default interface in this new release, however we have no plans to remove the classic menu and toolbar UX – some users and deployments clearly prefer it. To change this back you can select ‘classic’ for the user_interface key in loolwsd.xml, and some integrations will provide their own admin UI for this, to configure it for the whole server.

The new look of Writer, Impress and Calc

In Collabora Online 6.4 the new NotebookBar adapts to the user’s needs. With each type of document, all available features are nicely sorted into clear tabs. The following images are taken from Writer, Impress and Calc.

Quick access, flexible interface option

Our developers worked effortless to provide the user interface that is both feature rich, and also flexible and small… if the user needs that. The following images present some possibilities with text, presentations and data.

New Spreadsheet rendering: freeze rows and columns

Spreadsheet rendering has been re-written from scratch in CODE 6.4! It continues to improve rapidly, please be patient as we work on performance tuning here. One big new feature is that users can now freeze rows and columns with the button on the tab Sheet or the entry in the menu View. Then, when the users scrolls/moves down in the spreadsheet, the chosen rows and columns will stay visible on top and the left. This is similar to the feature that is available in the desktop version of Collabora Office under View > Freeze Rows.

Collaborating with annotations to PDF files

Collabora’s products already have many powerful features supporting the increasing use of PDF documents. Collabora Online 6.4 allows users to collaborate around PDF documents by including a new feature to add annotations to PDF documents.

Various Collabora Online integrations let users open PDF files with Collabora Online, for example with a command in the file’s detail menu (More or simply ). After that, a comment can simply be added with Insert > Comment.

 

Interoperability improvements & consistent rendering

Collabora Online’s interoperability with Microsoft’s OOXML file formats, is as excellent as in our desktop product, since all share a large part of the underlying LibreOffice code base. This 6.4 release again adds dozens of improvements in Microsoft OOXML rendering for presentations, smart art, charts and more from the whole community. Some examples are given below:

Text can be set semi-transparent

A new feature in CODE 6.4 is the use of semi-transparent text, that can be set on the tab Font Effects. Therefore, now semi-transparent text from OOXML files is shown.

Improved import of SmartArt

With the release of Collabora Online 6.4 the import of SmartArt in MS Office documents has been further improved.

The slide displays an imported SmartArt diagram turned Shape in Collabora Online 6.4

Gradient backgrounds in slides

The pitfalls of interoperability nowadays lie in small details. For example, colour gradients in the background of slides used to be lost with the import of Microsoft PPTX files. With version 6.4, this is now fixed.

Updates & Security advisories

News on all Online 6.4-updates are in the release notes. And for security updates, pls check this page.

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online 6.4 is the first release (regularly updated) of our next development series, 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 is 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.

Thanks to the community!

Collabora has invested significantly in bringing a host of new features and functionality to this latest release, and accounts for the overwhelming volume of contributions. However we want to acknowledge all of our friends and colleagues who helped to contribute not only to this, but also to the underlying LibreOffice technology, you can check out LibreOffice community credits. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work. All of our code is open source, and available to the public on GitHub. Would you like to be part of the Online-story? Check the new website for Onlinewith information, easy hacks and a forum for Online, and participate today!

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Collabora to integrate Collabora Online with ownCloud Infinite Scale

 

Nuremberg, Cambridge, October 27th, 2020 – A broad open-source ecosystem is already building around the new ownCloud file platform. Now Collabora, too, announces an integration with ownCloud Infinite Scale.

ownCloud is working on a new file platform modernized from the ground up. Already, a broad ecosystem of open-source software has pledged to support the upcoming ownCloud Infinite Scale with integrations. One of the integration partners is Collabora, the company that brought LibreOffice into the cloud.

Integrating its open-source browser-based office suite Collabora Online with the new ownCloud file platform, Collabora enables existing customers to seamlessly migrate from ownCloud 10 to ownCloud Infinite Scale. This means that they can leverage the substantial improvement in performance and scale right from the start.

The combination of Collabora Online and ownCloud Infinite Scale enables users to productively work on documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more, right from within ownCloud and in their browser. It enables teams to collaborate in real time, with changes shown to all collaborators as they happen. Deployed on-premises or in a cloud of choice, ownCloud and Collabora provide organizations with a secure and sovereign workspace they fully control.

Collabora and ownCloud are already in a fruitful long-term partnership, providing Collabora Online for ownCloud Enterprise together.
They also jointly developed the data room feature Secure View. It makes the sharing of sensitive documents more secure by restricting the available actions for viewers and by identifiably watermarking documents. In addition, documents are displayed as images in users’ browser and the files strictly remain on the server at all times, providing the most secure data room service.

“For our new file platform ownCloud Infinite Scale, we follow a best-of-breed strategy of seamlessly integrating with strong solutions in the open source ecosystem”, explains Tobias Gerlinger, CEO of ownCloud. “We are especially pleased that Collabora Online as one of the flagship solutions in the open source community is already in the process of integration with ownCloud Infinite Scale.”

“We are excited about developing the integration of Collabora Online with ownCloud Infinite Scale. It is the logical next step in our long and fruitful partnership”, says Michael Meeks, General Manager at Collabora Productivity. “It enhances the usefulness of our products for customers, providing their staff with productive and secure workspaces that scale and perform.”

About ownCloud
ownCloud develops and provides open-source software for content collaboration, allowing teams to easily share and work on files seamlessly regardless of device or location. More than 100 million users worldwide already use ownCloud as an alternative to public clouds – and thereby opt for more digital sovereignty, security and data protection. Find more information online at owncloud.com or follow @ownCloud on Twitter.

About Collabora Productivity
Collabora Productivity created Collabora Online and therefore is the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the cloud. Collabora provides a range of products as well as consulting to enterprise and government. Powered by the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers in the world, Collabora is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice codebase and community. Collabora Office for Desktop and Collabora Online provide a business-hardened office suite with long-term support. Collabora’s multi-platform policy is completed with Collabora Office for iOS and Android. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora, the global software consultancy dedicated to providing benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specializing in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics industries. For more information, visit the product page on www.collaboraoffice.com or follow @CollaboraOffice on Twitter.

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Theming of Collabora Online

Theming Collabora Online – information for the upcoming 6.4.0 release – October 2020

How that works and how it looks

If you are a Collabora partner or a customer running your own installation, you can change the theming of Collabora Online. And it can be done very easily too; just by setting a couple of CSS variables through your integration.
Here’s how that works and how it looks.

Extra hidden field in COOL frame integration

In the COOL frame in the integration there is a form where you pass a access_token to COOL for loading the valid document. For your theming you have to add another hidden field to the form named “css_variables”. Then the css variables and their values for the theming can be passed, formatted as shown in the example below.

Content of hidden field “css_variables”

The default values of various css variables can be overridden by sending them in the post message in this format:
<input name="css_variables" value="co-color-main-text=#000;--co-body-bg=#FFF--co-txt-accent=#38257a;" type="hidden"/>
Note that the variables in the form are formatted slightly different from how they look in the css file!

Available variables

Various variables can be overridden for the theming. Their names, and the default values that are used in COOL are:

--co-primary-element: #4c566a
--co-primary-element-light: #706aab
--co-txt-accent: #38257a
--co-primary-text: #ffffff
--co-border-radius: 3px
--co-body-bg: #ffffff
--co-color-main-text: #000000

What it is, and how it looks

CSS Variables overview
New in 6.4: Theme it via CSS Variables
  1. primary-element (1) is for selected elements on menu’s and toolbars, various bars
  2. primary-element-light (2) is for selected unselected elements
  3. txt-accent (3)
  4. primary-text (4) is the text on these elements
  5. border-radius (5) is the rounding of the selection of  items on e.g. toolbars and the status bar
  6. body-bg is the background beside the document
  7. color-main-text is the fall-back in the case a specific element does not have its own color text value.

 

Examples of CSS varible tweaks
Tweak it and make it feel at home with your own integration

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FileAgo and Collabora Online announce partnership

Cambridge, United Kingdom – September 28, 2020 – Collabora Productivity, creators of the online LibreOffice, “Collabora Online”, and FileAgo, Mumbai, India, announce a partnership to work together around Collabora Online under which Collabora Online will be tightly integrated to their file management and collaboration software named ‘FileAgo’

“We are excited to have Grafen Solutions as our partner” said Michael Meeks, General Manager at Collabora Productivity. “we love to work with them to create advanced powerful and interesting solutions for collaboration.”

“We are delighted to be able to offer Collabora Online as part of our product FileAgo” said Viren Gada, Business Director at Grafen Solutions. “ With the secure and powerful file management and collaboration software we deliver, the ability to edit documents within FileAgo is something which our customers are going to love, all thanks to this partnership with Collabora Online. I see it as a win-win for everyone involved, including our customers.”

FileAgo incorporates a unique granular permission model which allows users to precisely control access on their files.
(more…)

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