The Talks and Slides by Collaboran’s at the LibreOffice Conference 2022
The LibreOffice Conference 2022 (LibOCon) took place from September 28 to October 1 in Milan. It was the first LibreOffice Conference since the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic that took place as an in-person event. Collabora was one of the sponsors, and a significant number of our developers contributed talks on various aspects of LibreOffice technology. Did you miss any of those? Don’t worry! All our talks are available for you on YouTube inside our LibOCon playlist. Please also feel free to download the slides we included in this blog post.
Keynotes and Advocating
Michael Meeks: Sponsor Keynote Collabora
Michael Meeks, Managing Director of Collabora Productivity, takes a look at the latest developments in LibreOffice from an organisational and ecosystem perspective. See details
Michael Meeks: The ongoing story of Online
Hear Michael Meeks tell the history of LibreOffice in the browser. From it’s pre-historic past as StarPortal, through gtk-broadway prototypes, to Collabora Online as we know it today. See details
Sarper Akdemir: Chasing an Interoperability Bug in Impress
During the Quality Assurance track, Sarper Akdemir explained how to fix an interoperability bug by showcasing the whole process of understanding, fixing, and implementing tests. See details
Tomaž Vajngerl: Sparklines and Chart Data Tables – New Features in Calc
Sparklines are mini charts, that are drawn into a cell. In his talk, senior software engineer Tomaž Vajngerl presented the features and the challenges during the development. See details
Miklos Vajna : Content Controls in Writer
While LibreOffice and Collabora Office were already capable of filling forms via form controls or form fields, they can now also fully represent content controls. In this talk by Senior Software Engineer Miklos Vajna, see how this work was implemented! See details
Collabora Productivity created Collabora Online, a powerful online office suite, which you can integrate into your own infrastructure. It prioritises your digital sovereignty and provides you with all the tools to keep your data secure, without compromising on features. Collabora provides a wide range of products, as well as consulting services for enterprises and governments. Powered by the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers in the world, Collabora is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice Technology 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, Android, and Chrome OS. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora, the global software consultancy dedicated to providing the benefits Open Source to the commercial world, specializing in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics industries. For more information, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Sparklines are miniature charts that are heavily simplified and typically fit into a line of text or a cell on a spreadsheet. Their first appearances date back to 18th century chivalric novels and the display of barometric signatures of the notorious 19th century Krakatoa eruption. Unlike classic charts, Sparklines are meant to be succinct and located right where they are discussed. Microsoft’s XLSX format has included these mini-charts for quite some time. With the major release of Collabora Office 22.05, Sparklines became available within the LibreOffice Technology ecosystem. Shortly afterwards, they were also implemented in Collabora Online 22.05 and LibreOffice 7.4.
Creating Sparklines in Collabora Online
If you open a .XLSX or .ODS spreadsheet including Sparklines inside Collabora Online, the miniature charts will be preserved. If you want to create a new Sparklines chart from scratch in Collabora Online, you should start by selecting the row or column of cells you would like to visualize. Right-click, and chose “Sparklines > Insert Sparklines…” from the context menu. The “Sparklines Properties” dialog will appear including the chosen input range. The button besides the “Output range” field allows you to choose the cell the Sparkline will be created in.
Formatting Sparklines in Collabora Online
If you would like to edit or customise the appearance of a group of mini charts, right-click on the Sparklines and chose “Edit Sparkline Group…”. This will summon the “Sparkline Properties” dialog and grant access to several different settings. You can for instance choose between three different types of Sparklines. Just like Office 365, Collabora Online allows you to create a miniature Line Chart, a Column Chart or a Stacked Chart (Win/Loss). You can also customise the visual appearance by adjusting the line width or choosing individual colours for special points in the graph (marker, high/low point, first/last point).
Test this in Collabora Online or CODE
The Sparkline feature has been introduced to Collabora Online with the major release 22.05. You can test the feature in our free demo. Tech enthusiasts may also like to test it inside an installation of CODE, the free Collabora Online Development Edition, intended for home users and Developers who would like to help to test the bleeding-edge features first. Find all the instructions here.
The new Collabora Office 22.05 brings improved performance and better interoperability
Cambridge, May 30th, 2022 – Today we are pleased to announce the availability of the new major release of Collabora Office. With improved interoperability, better performance, and new features we can enhance the productivity of all users. Collabora Office, for macOS, Windows and Linux, is an enterprise version of the world’s most popular open-source office productivity suite LibreOffice. It is the foundation for new versions of our online collaboration suite Collabora Online, and also will power our apps for iOS, Android and Chrome OS.
The whole suite offers businesses and professionals the best features, interoperability, Long-Term Support (LTS), and bespoke development services in open source, while respecting users privacy and corporate data security. For news and improvements in the consecutive updates, check this release notes page.
“Jumbo Spreadsheets” with 16k columns in Calc
A frequently requested feature is that Calc in Collabora Office now supports up to 16384 columns in spreadsheets. This is a sixteenfold increase in the maximum number of columns compared to previous versions. This capability was previously available as an experimental feature, but with the current fine-tuning, it is now available to all users by default. Previously, Calc would display an error message on opening large sheets and crop the data in the extra columns. Combined with up to one million rows per spreadsheet, Calc can now handle enormous amounts of data on the right hardware. Previous performance improvements in Calc paved the way for this feature which also increases the interoperability with Excel spreadsheets from Microsoft. If you are interested in the technical details, we recommend you take a look at Luboš Luňák’s developer blog. This work was funded by DEVxDAO as part of their mission to support open-source and transparent research and development of emerging technologies and frameworks.
Sparklines are now available in Calc
Sparklines are mini-charts found in Microsoft’s XLSX format. The support for them premieres with the release of Collabora Office 22.05. Sparklines are always defined for one cell, but different ones can be grouped together. There are three different ways of displaying Sparklines. They can be displayed as lines, bar charts or stacked as win-loss charts. The Sparklines feature can be accessed through the right-click dialog. The unique data for a Sparkline is defined in the data range.
Word-style border fixes available for pages, tables and paragraphs in Writer
In Collabora Office 22.05 we have been looking at Writer and how it can better render Word-style borders around pages, tables and paragraphs. Word users expect to be able to import their documents to Writer and have a rendering that is true to the original. A series of fixes to the way page, table, and paragraph borders of OOXML documents are imported into and painted in Writer meets this desire. This is done conditionally, so existing ODF documents are left unchanged. As a result of this work, Writer now has a set of improvements to better render Word-style borders around pages, tables and paragraphs. Thank you to Docmosis and TUBITAK for making this work by Collabora possible. Find out more about the technical background in Miklos Vajna’s development blog.
Linked paragraph and character styles arrive in Writer
With the release of Collabora Office 22.05 Writer has now the ability to handle linked character styles and paragraph styles from Word documents. This improves interoperability and may improve the style previews and the UI of future releases. Earlier, links were lost on round-trips between Writer and Word which led to unwanted displays inside the style pickers. This work was made possible thanks to Docmosis. Find more details in the developer blog.
Adding links to shapes in Writer
The latest version of Collabora Office introduces the ability to add hyperlinks to shapes in Writer. This option was previously only available in spreadsheets and presentations, but not in text documents. At the same time, links in shapes were previously also lost when importing Word documents, so this feature also improves interoperability. To make use of this feature, simply select a shape and choose the hyperlink symbol from the GUI. Editing of exiting hyperlinks is also possible through the right-click dialog. Many thanks to our ecosystem partner allotropia for implementing this.
Improved shadows for tables in presentations
The way Impress handles shadows in tables saw additional refinements. Now it correctly renders shadows for table shapes, even if the shadow itself or the fill of the table cells have transparency. This is another enhancement of the compatibility with Microsoft’s PowerPoint with regard to the support of transparency in table cell fills and table shadows. We’d like to thank our partner SUSE for making this improvement possible, find more details in Miklos Vajna’s developer blog.
New PowerPoint-compatible screen sizes available in Impress
A few new PowerPoint-compatible screen sizes have been added to the Paper Format options inside the Slide Properties. The “Widescreen” option is currently used in PowerPoint, while the different “On-screen Show” options are used in previous versions of PowerPoint and Google Slides. Any exported file created with these sizes will be treated as a preset size (as opposed to a user size). The same applies on import. Thank you to Jun Nogate for the work on this!
Many performance improvements across all modules
In addition to improving interoperability, one of the main areas of activity for Collabora engineers is the continued improvement of performance. In the new main version of Collabora Office, significant performance improvements can be found in all modules, which were achieved by streamlining the code. For example:
The export speed of complex PDF documents has increased in Writer
The load speed of large RTL documents was improved in Writer
The rendering speed of complex Writer document has increased
Calculation performance improvements for Calc
Improved opening speed of XLSM & XLSX files
Improved inserting speed of large Charts in Calc
Improved speed of lookup functions in Calc
Improved speed for auto-filtering in Calc
Improved use of threads for calculations in Calc
Improvements on shape rendering in Impress & Draw
About Collabora Office
Collabora Office is the LibreOffice Technology-based suite for professional, mobile, and online use. Collabora Office 22.05 provides businesses and professionals with the best features, interoperability, LTS and L3 support. Collabora is privileged to work with so many great contributors to the LibreOffice project and appreciates all the outstanding work done by so many that is included into Collabora Office 22.05. This, our annual release, contains much work that was contributed to LibreOffice 7.3 and then LibreOffice 7.4, for a deep dive on detail and credits, please do peruse these. It’s easy to migrate to Collabora Office 22.05. You can try Collabora Office 22.05 yourself! Just head to the Collabora Office page and request your demo today!
Collabora has invested significantly in bringing many new features and functionality to this latest release, and accounts for a significant volume of contributions. However, we want to acknowledge all of our friends and colleagues who helped to contribute to this and the upstream LibreOffice Technology. Find the details in either the release notes above or the LibreOffice community credits. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work! LibreOffice is a friendly community offering many ways to get involved. Alternately, if you are interested in joining the Collabora Online community, you will find several easy ways to started inside our community hub – we look forward to
We’re continually contributing improvements to the LibreOffice code-base as a member of the community (Collabora Online Forum). Here are a few highlights of the last week’s work on behalf of our customers.
“Collabora is a commercial organisation; of course we serve the needs of our paying customers, but it is a real pleasure to be able to contribute alongside the development community to LibreOffice,” said Michael Meeks, General Manager of Collabora Productivity. “It, not only, helps us offer our customers business values and benefits other companies can’t, but it provides us with an incredibly robust development and support resource.”
There’s a lot going on in the community and here are few current projects that demonstrate what people are hacking.
Enabling Calc support for 16384 columns by default
Over the last couple of weeks Luboš Luňák (Llunak) has been working for Collabora on the 16k columns support in Calc. There’s been a lot of work on this already by Noel Grandin and others, but so far this has been hidden behind the experimental option, and normally documents open only with the “normal” 1024 columns support. The goal of this work is to finish the 16k support stable enough for it to be the default, so that people who need this many columns can finally get them without any complications.
If all goes well, and so far Luboš doesn’t see why it shouldn’t, LibreOffice 7.4 will ship with 16k columns being the default. Calc users will then be able to get a lot more columns to work with.
This work is funded/sponsored by DEVxDAO as part of its mission to support Open Source and transparent research and development of emerging technologies and frameworks. Interestingly finishing this work was also a project that was proposed by to be funded by TDF, and ranked as one of the top requested features, it is great that this budget can now be re-applied to another task.
If you have ever been bitten by the “too many columns” dialog box then, why not find out more about what Luboš is working on.
Word-style border fixes in Writer: pages, tables and paragraphs
Miklos Vajna (vmiklos) has been looking at Writer and how it can better render Word-style borders around pages, tables and paragraphs.
Word users expect to able to import their documents to Writer and experience high-fidelity rendering. This means Writer has to support the way page / table / paragraph borders are painted according to the OOXML model as well. This is all done conditionally, so existing ODF documents are left unchanged.
As a result of this work, Writer now has a set of improvements to better render Word-style borders around pages, tables and paragraphs.
Thanks must go to Docmosis and TUBITAK that have made this work by Collabora possible.
Find out more and take a look at some of the improvements that have been made.
Sparklines in Calc
Sparklines are mini charts available in OOXML (XLSX) documents that up to now were not supported by LibreOffice Calc.
Tomaz Vajngerl explained that to add support in LibreOffice for sparklines, they first needed to be read into the LibreOffice data model, but the data model for sparklines didn’t exist, so it first needed to be created. Once the data model was ready we could render the sparklines in the cell area.
Currently the code for this is in a feature branch (feature/sparklines), but it’s in the process of being up-streamed to master. The feature will be available in LibreOffice 7.4.
Find out more about the work going into the development of sparklines in Calc.
These are just a sample of the good work going on to support and develop LibreOffice for the next release. If you’d like to find out more about what Collabora is doing or, perhaps, you’d like to get involved then please visit the Collabora Online User Forum.
FOSDEM 2022 – The Talks and Slides from the Collabora Team
Whether on-site in Brussels or as an online event like the last two years, FOSDEM is and remains the largest and most important gathering of Open-Source developers in Europe. We’d like to express our gratitude to the community and the organisers. The Collabora team gave numerous talks in the LibreOffice Technology devroom. Missed a presentation? Below you will find links to all videos and to the downloads of the slides.
LibreOffice Technology devroom
OOXML Document Analysis
Collabora developer Gülşah Köse explains how we respond when we receive a problematic OOXML document from a customer and demonstrates the solution to a sample bug. See details
LibreOffice Technology devroom
Document Themes in LibreOffice Impress and Elsewhere
LibreOffice has been capable of handling colour palettes on its UI for a while. Meanwhile, the competition introduced document themes, which are a fixed set of 12 colours, to be attached to various parts of documents. See what we have done to bring themes to LibreOffice and find out what still needs doing and how you can help. See details
LibreOffice Technology devroom
Canvas For Rendering UX
Gökay Şatır shows why we chose to use Canvas for rendering the UI and the document, and explains the structure we created to execute this task. See details
LibreOffice Technology devroom
Performance measurements are really challenging. This presentation by Mert Tümer covers how we can achieve reliable and repeatable performance tests by implementing clever tools that simulate realistic use cases. See details
LibreOffice Technology devroom
LibreOfficeKit Recent Developments
LibreOffice can be used by other applications via its C++ API called LibreOfficeKit. Primary use cases for this are document conversion and editing in Collabora Online. The LibreOfficeKit is currently being expanded. Jan “Kendy” Holesovsky talks about these recent developments See details
Online Performance – Making Collaborative Editing Quicker
Collabora Online has a novel model that re-uses the core LibreOffice Technology to provide rich collaborative editing. Recently, we have been focusing our development on improving the look and feel of document editing. Watch Michael Meeks talk about how Online performance wins are making browser-based collaborative editing quicker. See details
LibreOffice Technology devroom
Building Collabora Online UI Based on the LibreOffice Components
JSDialog is a “framework” for sharing UI components between Collabora Online and LibreOffice. It was used to bring the Sidebar, the NotebookBar, and dialogs to the web. It provides native HTML widgets connected to the original LibreOffice code, giving the user rich editing options even on mobile devices. Watch Szymon Kłos‘ talk for a brief summary of what has already been done and how it works. See details
LibreOffice Technology devroom
Collabora Online on Kubernetes – Setup & Deployment
This talk explores the challenge of saving and uploading documents to the storage server in an asynchronous way, to improve performance, user experience and also ensure higher reliability and resiliency. Ashod Nakashian covers both the design and the challenges of testing a highly critical component of a production product.
Collabora Online 21.11 is our latest enterprise quality release. It’s 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’s 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.