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 🙂 !
As we come to Christmas and the new year, it is great to reflect on everything that we’ve achieved this year. Collabora Productivity would not exist without the funding, support and friendship of our partners and customers. When reviewing what we’ve achieved we’re really grateful for your trust & input into our product development, helping to guide which features and fixes we invest in next. Of course we could do nothing without our talented staff – who have worked extremely hard to turn your ideas into working code, alongside a wide community of volunteers.
Because of you 2018 turned out to be an outstanding year! Here are a few tastes of what we achieved with links to the full details:
Collabora Online improvements
Collabora Online 3.0
In February we had a major release, bringing for the first time the infrastructure necessary to bring many rich dialogs to the browser:
This release also brought change tracking management, a thesuarus, sorting and auto-filtering, IPv6 support, PAM integration, and much more. It formed the base for a series of incremental fix and improvement releases through the year.
Collabora Online 3.1
The key feature in this update, requested by our Asian partners was much improved IME integration:
This release also brought support for chart data series editing, hidden tabs,
Collabora Online 3.2
In April we had an update, that brought chart creation to our existing chart editing functionality into writer, calc and impress, as well as data validation – allowing complex spreadsheet data entry:
We also managed to include context menu spelling correction, column formatting, and a new scripting API for integrators.
Collabora Online 3.3
In June we brought another update that significantly improved clipboard paste – preserving formatting, tables, images and more. Another great win was the ability to paste text as CSV (Comma Separated Values) into Calc:
We also took some time to allow people to set basic conditional formats, borders, and added a no-color option to the drop-down:
We also included responsive design improvements for mobile, as well as options to anonymize document and user names when logging and cleaning up our warning dialogs. We also added the ability to connect a remote monitoring server for better Alfresco locking integration and powerful cluster management. With some more fixes and improvements in a 3.1.1 follow up release
Collabora Online 3.4
In October we brought a major set of improvements with significantly improved interactivity halving typing latency in many cases:
We also improved our mobile experience, impress slide-sorter performance, as well as allowing a configurable web root and other fixes. With a pair of 3.4.1 and 3.4.2 minor releases to further address partner issues.
CODE 4.0 RC1
In December we released a major refresh and upgrade as a base for a Collabora Onine 4.0 release in 2019. This refreshed the look of toolbars with a fresh new look from Colibre:
This included lots of ergonomic improvements, improved shape editing controls with re-sizing previews and a convenient palette to insert shapes. A large number of mobile device improvements were also made – including a stripped-down viewing mode, with auto-hiding, scrollable toolbars, and panning menus. We also added zoom & pan of complex dialogs allowing access to rich desktop functionality on mobile:
Retina / HiDPI display improvements make text look crisp using the browser’s details to render at the display’s real resolution, getting crisp pixel rendering (example at 200% zoom):
Collabora Office 6.0 brings major improvements
Every year, we refresh Collabora Office; our enterprise-grade, long term supported open-source office suite. Collabora Office 6.0 brought a host of new features and interoperability improvements. After all the work on interoperabilty and our creation of an innovative new interoperbility tool: COLEAT, we called Collabora Office 6.0 The Migrator’s Choice.
COLEAT interoperability tool
One of the major problems large enterprises often have is un-documented, legacy line of business applications often written in VB using COM to drive and re-use Microsoft Office. With Collabora Office 6.0 we have created a great new complementary interoperability tool: COLEAT that lets Collabora Office 6.0 act as a drop-in replacement via our compatibility APIs. It also implements a tracing tool to allow easy troubleshooting it complements our work making many more VBA macro driven documents work out of the box.
Several of our partners asked us to improve PPTX interoperability so we invested a chunk of time in improving round-trip fidelity between Powerpoint and Collabora Office, avoiding unnecessary warnings, fixing export of group shapes, export of embedded videos, and preservation of customXML on export. We also implemented PPTM (PPTX with macros) – preserving the VBA streams on export. Other hard to visualize fixes around animations were done too, as well as improving document layout:
Other 6.0 pieces:
In 2018 – we deprecated the GovOffice brand, and made 5 years of support lifetime an option that can be ordered for Collabora Office. We included large numbers of features and fixes which we had implemented for our customers on top of LibreOffice 5.3 as well – from mail-merge, ADMX lock-down improvements, autotext import improvements, SharePoint lists / IQY import and much more.
We continued to implement small new features and fixes on top of 6.0 through 2018 including a built-in MariaDB/MySQL connector, font effect transformations and other VBA and interoperability fixes as well as ongoing security updates. In 2019 we’ll be releasing Collabora Office 6.2 incorporating another round of Collabora and community development by mid 2019.
Collabora Online for bulk Document Conversion
One thing that we tried to encourage this year is the move to using Collabora Online’s built-in REST API for Document Conversion – which can re-use all the efficiency, sharing and security improvements we’ve built into Collabora Online. Good process management of conversions, size limits, timeouts with hard-killing the few processes that mis-behave – all in a friendly package. And of course faster than JODConverter and unoconv too:
We could also enjoy spending the time tweaking various conversions to accelerate specific cases. It is great to be able to focus on specific conversions and squeeze out some low hanging fruit, eg. 5x faster ODT → XHTML
Adding, and using lots of new options such as NoFileSync, NoThumbnail, HiddenForCovnersion, and lazy loading autoformat tables when they’re actually needed.
Why not get involved in development using TestFlight and help us meet our goal of a good, Open Source, offline office suite solution in the first half of 2019.
Yet more LibreOffice goodness
Of course, we contribute all of our code changes back to LibreOffice, or
the relevant up-stream project. We love to contribute to and work alongside
the LibreOffice community (infographic). Serving with two seats on the TDF Board and Membership Committee, as well as being Advisory Board members.
Thanks to AMD we’ve managed to hugely improve parallel CPU computation of large spreadsheets, and test all available bug documents with both threading and OpenCL to ensure great behavior in all known corner cases. We’ve also re-worked text rendering to avoid lots of redundant re-shaping of the same text – accelerating complex text locales.
Working with SUSE, we have recently started to improve our support for SmartArt where shape fallbacks are missing, and making some progress towards sensible constraint-based layout of diagrams from Office files, follow Miklos’ blog for improvements working towards LibreOffice 6.3.
We’ve also managed to fix large numbers of bugs, and continue to do large scale cleanups of the C++ core to make it easier to develop against – more detail than can fit in what started as a short write-up.
Just a taste, a few screenshots and some pointers towards more details of what has been achieved. Thank you once again to all who worked with us as partners, customers who funded everything we do, and community who made it fun. We’re looking forward to achieving even more next year, if you’d like to get involved its easy to partner with us, buy from us, or to get involved in the community. And finally – thanks to the whole team that worked so hard to make it all happen.
On 19th October 2018, at Welle7 Workspace in Bern, Switzerland, we attended DINAcon – the conference on digital sustainability. Our General Manager, Michael Meeks, had a talk about “How best to migrate to LibreOffice”, where he explained the best ways to move to a supported Open Source and Open Standards solution. Also, he talked about Collabora’s latest work with our partners, and our new tool to migrate existing legacy Visual Basic line of business apps.
If you missed his talk then check out the slides above for the complete presentation:
Great news from Bern – we won the open source classic award at DINAcon! 🙂
For this award were running a lot of amazing open source products, including Collabora Online and Collabora Office. We are honored to receive this award – it is a big motivation for the whole team! Thanks a lot everyone for your support.
The conference ended with the hacknight and of course that we couldn’t miss it. It was the perfect time to work on LibreOffice bugs. 🙂
#DINAcon2018 HackNight is the perfect ending for a wonderful conference.
Another nomination! Collabora Office & Collabora Online are nominated for the Digital Economy Award 2018 and our partners, Adfinis SyGroup, presented about our products in front of the jury of the Swiss Digital Economy Award. (Thank you, Nicolas. 🙂 )
I had the honor to speak about @CollaboraOffice in front of the jury of the Swiss Digital Economy Award.
From September 18 until September 21, ownCloud held their annual conference oCCon2018 in Nürnberg, Germany. Participants joined the four days of the conference, hacking, learning and trying out new ideas on the ownCloud platform.
During the ownCloud conference, Collabora Productivity’s General Manager Michael Meeks gave a talk about how Collabora Online integrates into ownCloud. Collabora Online is a powerful LibreOffice-based online office that supports all major document, spreadsheet, and presentation file formats, which is easy to deploy in ownCloud, as a simple extension. Key features are collaborative editing and excellent office file format support.
Check out the slides above for the complete presentation:
Tomorrow – on 19th October 2018, at Welle7 Workspace in Bern, Switzerland, starts DINAcon – the conference on digital sustainability. The conference brings many open source enthusiasts including Katherine Maher, Wikimedia CEO, Simon Phipps, President of the Open Source Initiative, and our General Manager – Michael Meeks. His talk will be in the afternoon (14.30-15:30) and will be about “How best to migrate to LibreOffice”. If you are interested to hear about the best ways to move to a supported Open Source and Open Standards solution – then don’t miss his talk. Also, you will hear how LibreOffice can be used both on the PC and also in combination with other Open Source file-sharing products to provide a browser-based solution on desktop and mobile. Furthermore, you will hear about Collabora’s latest work with our partners, and our new tool to migrate existing legacy Visual Basic line of business apps.
DINAcon Awards honor the courage and innovative strength of companies, authorities, communities, developers and individuals. A jury of experts and entrepreneurs are responsible for the nomination and selection of the winners of the DINAcon Awards 2018 and we are delighted to be one of the nominated projects. The award ceremony will take place on Friday (tomorrow), 19th October 2018 as part of the DINAcon 2018 in Bern, Switzerland.
Do you have any questions, feedback or you just want to say hi? Let’s meet in Bern – drop us an email at email@example.com and we would be very happy to meet you there.