LibreOffice Online questions answered: what, who, how, and when


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Highlights

  1. Complete fidelity between LibreOffice desktop and LibreOffice Online
  2. All Writer, Calc, and Impress supported file-types supported
  3. Initially will include a basic HTML5 user interface
  4. Open development process from start to finish
  5. Expected by the end of the year

Questions and answers: all the details

What will the new application be called?
Provisionally it will be called: “LibreOffice Online” (LOOL)
Will it be hosted by The Document Foundation?
Yes: It will be hosted by The Document Foundation, and contributed to the LibreOffice project in the normal way, as was done for the Smoose / Collabora LibreOffice Viewer for Android, in accordance with Collabora’s open-first development policy.
Who will maintain LOOL after launch?
Collabora will maintain it alongside the LibreOffice community, and all are welcome to contribute to development.
How will document support compare to LibreOffice?
LOOL will include complete full document fidelity with LibreOffice desktop versions. All file types supported by Writer, Calc, and Impress will also be supported by LOOL, including OOXML and tens of other formats. No online office suite has achieved complete document fidelity across versions and devices. LOOL Would be the the first. Fidelity is achieved by using the same rendering engine as LibreOffice desktop (via LibreOfficeKit).
How will features compare to LibreOffice?
Editing features will initially be similar to LibreOffice Editor for Android. They will provide a subset of the features available in LibreOffice desktop versions.
What will be released at launch?
A new standalone LOOL server application, capable of serving a basic HTML5 web UI for viewing and editing documents.
When will LOOL be publicly released?
An initial release is expected by the beginning of 2016. Collabora has an open-first philosophy, all development work will be done in public, and can be followed and contributed to it as it develops.
What is the current status of LOOL development?
Work has already started and the results of this initial work will be shared shortly following this announcement.
When will the first public demos be available?
Video demonstrations are expected to coincide with the announcement on the 25th or shortly after.
What components will comprise the LOOL server?
1. LibreOfficeKit – an existing toolkit used by LibreOffice for Android and other LibreOffice projects, which houses the core document tiled rendering, layout, and calculating functionality of existing LibreOffice desktop applications.
2. An all-new tile server which communicates tiled images of documents to the browser, and manages the lifecycle of LibreOffice worker processes and cached image tiles.
What platforms will LOOL server support?
GNU/Linux will be supported at launch.
What languages will these components use?
Both LibreOfficeKit and the new tile server are written in C++.
What components will comprise the web client?
The web client will re-use and build upon the Leaflet JavaScript library for tile management and display, and shall be extended to show cursors and in-document selections. Other aspects of the user interface will be built upon Collabora’s existing Android UI work.
Will the web client require any addons or plugins?
No, the web client will use only JavaScript and HTML5.
What platforms will the web client target?
The web client should run on any device with a modern standards-compliant web browser.
What software license will LOOL use?
We anticipate uniform MPLv2 licensing for entirely new code, inline with The Document Foundation’s licensing model; although we are re-using and building on the Leaflet library which is BSD licensed.

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