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!
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.
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 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.”
Christmas and the end of the year are a time to reflect on the events of the past months. We have come a long way together and would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers, partners and community for your great support! 2019 has been a big year with important new releases for mobile devices. We brought Collabora Office to iOS and released a complete rewrite of our Android app. Collabora Office, Collabora Online and CODE have seen significant growth in features and improvements in usability.
Our products now bring effective collaboration with maximum control for organizations. A truly Open Source product that gives users ontrol over their own data and privacy, with excellent Microsoft interoperability, on every platform. The team at Collabora keeps growing, and more people than ever before are benefiting from our products and code contributions. Of course, this all would not have been possible without our talented staff, our great partners and the engaged community of volunteers around LibreOffice.
You all have made 2019 a fantastic year. Here is a short summary of what we achieved together!
Collabora Online improvements
Collabora Online 4.0.0
In January, we celebrated the major release Collabora Online 4.0.0 including a completely fresh look. It featured a better, simplified and more appealing UI. It also marked the point where we started to bring more of the full functionality for important features available online such as custom headers and footers or rich table of contents management for text documents.
Collabora Online 4.0 also featured integration with Vereign. We partnered with the Swiss open source company to provide authentic documents bearing the qualified electronic signature of your hardened self-sovereign identity.
Collabora Online 4.0.2 & 4.0.3
March brought two versions with notable fixes and updates. For example, when collaborating on a single document it really helps users to see the names being displayed over the caret of the people that are actively typing and moving through the document.
Collabora Online 4.0.4
This release in May added the feature to rename a file while editing.
To improve security, and make them harder to ignore we added 45 degrees rotated user-watermarks for collaboration in these secure environments, as well as several fixes such as highlighting search results in read-only documents.
CODE 4.2.0 sets the bar for the next year
In December, we released a major refresh and upgrade of CODE, the Collabora Online Development Edition. CODE is perfect for home users that want to start to run their own online office suite and for tech-enthusiast. This CODE version is the base for the upcoming Collabora Online 4.2.0 release, due in early 2020. It has a fresh new look, with updated theming, and a refreshed toolbar, and we dare to say that it represents another huge step forward in features for online office productivity and collaboration!
One of the major improvements is the powerful sidebar. Changing properties of many elements and objects in office documents is now much while working in the browser, with close to the same feature richness that is available in Collabora Office on the desktop.
The sidebar and new dialogs support numerous advanced features.
Besides choosing a colour from a palette, you can also make use of the colour picker. The handling of links has also been improved.
Click to see some of the sidebar magic happen in Calc!
All the powerful functions of Conditional Formatting in Calc can now be controlled via the dialog.
Collabora Office 6.0.2 & 6.0.3 add new features
Collabora Office, our enterprise-grade, long term supported open-source office suite, sees major updates, new features and interoperability improvements every year. In January, Collabora Office 6.0.2 introduced the Unfloat Table button, making it easy to work with imported floating tables from Microsoft Word documents.
Another big ask from our customers was for redaction, so this year we created a built-in Redaction tool, and went on to extend that with fast and automatic marking of text.
Another really useful feature, particularly for web integration of spreadsheets is the Page per sheet PDF export we implemented for Calc, allowing users to see apparently non-paginated spreadsheet previews.
Collabora Office 6.2: The best in features, interoperability and support in open source
And right before the end of the year, we made another huge step. Not only concerning the release points, but also in features and interoperability. Version 6.2 came just in time for Christmas.
This includes many features from ourselves and the community, such as the enhanced printing dialog, and improved Help which make working with Collabora Office even more efficient and user-friendly.
Making the app easier to use: The sidebar contains contextual features and makes good use of the wide screen of the iPad.
Collabora Office on Android
Shortly after the release of Collabora Office on iOS, we released a complete re-write of Collabora Office on Android. This is now based on the same technology as Collabora Online. More than just a viewer it allows the editing of documents with a new phone-friendly UI. The beta version is available from the Google Play Store.
Community & LibreOffice
We love to work alongside with, and contribute to the LibreOffice community. We were pleased to sponsor the LibreOffice Conference 2019 that took place in Almería, Spain.
One day before the conference we organized a special team building day for our staff, partners and customers and went snorkelling in Cabo de Gata. Big fun!
2019 has also been a year full of traveling, conferences, … and of course slides. Here are just a few examples of talks held by Michael Meeks, Andras Timar and Jan Holešovský held this year. They and many others are available for download.
LibreOffice Developer Bootcamp in Ankara
As part of our community building investment we sponsored a LibreOffice Developer Bootcamp in Ankara. Here, Collabora Productivity Developer Muhammet Kara is teaching enthusiastic students of the Hacettepe University about C++ and developing LibreOffice. Pranam Lashkari has also been training students in India:
In summary, it has been a busy year here at Collabora Productivity. We can only present a small part of what we got up to with a few pictures and links in this overview. We have advanced our mission to make Open Source rock; giving users privacy and businesses control over their data, with our open products. Not only has our work produced excellent results, but we have also had a lot of fun. If you’d like to get involved its easy to partner with us, buy from us, or to get involved in the awesome LibreOffice community. We are full of energy and have lots of new ideas and plans in the pipeline for 2020. We would like to thank the whole team, particularly our great partners, and customers who make our work possible, and the community who make it fun, and we look forward to continuing the successful work with you in 2020!
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 for week 3 and week 4 (in Turkish), 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.
On November 13 more than 120 students in Ankara Hacettepe University’s Beytepe Campus joined the first session of the LibreOffice Developer Bootcamp, a course for students with interest in C++. There is a session every week, until the end of the semester.
The announcement of the course was received with enthusiasm at Twitter!
The first sessions gave a broad introduction on the course, Free Software & Open Source, LibreOffice & Collabora and requirements for the course. And after that, really into development: installations & setup, different IDEs, git, gcc, clang and the basics of C++.
The instructor of this course, Muhammet Kara, recently also held a talk about Google Summer of Code. Starting from that point, then doing a project for LibreOffice, he grew to a developer working for Collabora.
After the first session, Muhammet tells “There were many enthusiastic participants, even some from outside the town. I’m sure that at the end of the course, there will be many students with pretty good skills in C++ and LibreOffice development.”
This course in Ankara can be organized thanks to of course support of the Hacettepe University for the use of the amphitheater, Hacettepe ACM Student Chapter for the local/logistics organization, Collabora for sponsoring, and the enthusiasm and knowledge that Collabora developer Muhammet Kara is putting into it.
The weekly sessions will be given until the end of the semester, January next year. So if you’re motivated and love open source.. you may still be able to join 🙂 !