LibreOffice UK Hackfest: after action report

On May 21st LibreOffice Hackers converged upon Collabora’s Cambridge office for three days of discussion, development, and local diversions. Highlights included artisan ales served with rare English sun, a city boat tour, and of course a slew of improvements to LibreOffice.

Fourteen travellers participated in person: Cadbury’s Chocolate and two meter ethernet cables were had by all. Others joined the team via video and telephone conferencing for focused discussions.

Collabora's office whiteboard as the event started
Collabora’s office whiteboard
Setting up the microphone for video conferencing
Setting up the microphone for video conferencing

Improvements to LibreOffice

  • Stephan Bergmann fixed several issues preventing efficient use of automatic code testing tools ‘Address Sanitizer‘ and ‘Undefined Behavior Sanitizer
  • Jan ‘Kendy’ Holesovsky worked on improvements to toolbar rendering in the LibreOffice graphics toolkit, and issues relating to toolbar flickering when windows are resized
  • Tor Lillqvist improved the portability of LibreOffice Online server code, bringing support for other operating systems closer, and did basic client testing on iOS
  • Caolán McNamara fixed an unpopular bug preventing the colour-picker drop-down menu from appearing properly in a Linux window manager
  • Michael Meeks fixed a number of lifecycle related bugs, and helped Benjamin Niri get setup with LibreOffice development
  • Bjoern Michaelsen finished up a larger set of work which improves memory management of cursors in LibreOffice Writer
  • László Németh worked on adding support for quick insertion of Emoji icons and symbols into documents using special shortcode shortcuts (e.g. :smiley:)
  • Andras Timar fixed two DrawingML import / export bugs, and worked on two others which were causing problems for images in Powerpoint presentations (subsequently fixed)
  • Sam Tuke translated some German comments in the LibreOffice source code, after setting up commit access for the first time with help from Bjoern Michaelsen
  • Miklos Vajna fixed three bugs with Rich Text Format (RTF) and blogged about his progress (featured last week in our Team Blog)

Chilling in Cambridge

Beer and skittles

Thanks to careful planning, the hackfest coincided with Britain’s longest running beer festival, which took place on Jesus Green a short walk from the hackfest venue. As promised by its organisers the Campaign for Real Ale, the event offered “a wide range of local and national beers of all styles, as well as cider, perry, mead, wine and bottled & draught beers from around the world.”

Out in Cambridge en route to the beer festival
Out in Cambridge en route to the beer festival
The Collabora company picnic at the beer festival
The Collabora company picnic at the beer festival
The beer tent at the beer festival
The beer tent at the beer festival
Ordering one of hundreds of beers
Ordering one of hundreds of beers

Messing about on the river

The best way to see Cambridge’s beautiful historic colleges (or at least the backs of them) is by a pole propelled boat called a punt. Every participating hacker took a turn as the “punter” — propelling and directing the vessel by pushing the pole down to the river bed and away. With hand-made beers in hand, freshly pulled from the jetty pub adjacent, boats were commandeered, expensive laptops stowed, and we took to the water.

Preparing to launch the boats on the river
Riverside, preparing to launch
Caolán McNamara and Jan Holesovsky punting on the river Cam
Caolán McNamara and Jan Holesovsky punting
Jan Holesovsky and Stephan Bergmann taking charge of the boats
Jan Holesovsky and Stephan Bergmann taking charge
Team LibreOffice punting on the river Cam
Team LibreOffice punting on the river Cam

See you next time

LibreOffice hackfests are a perfect way to learn more about LibreOffice internals, get advice from experts, and discuss new ideas. The events are generously supported by the Document Foundation, and travel bursaries are available by pre-application. Join us in Hamburg for the next hackfest in October, or at the LibreOffice Conference in Aarhus in September!

Hackers outside King's College
Hackers outside King’s College

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