Recent Mac-specific fixes in LibreOffice

 

Over the past months, we have been able to make some resources available to look into the most urgent Mac-specific bugs in LibreOffice, thanks to people purchasing LibreOffice Vanilla on the Mac App Store.
 

We addressed all the high priority Mac regressions

A few bugs were related to use of various 3rd-party fonts on macOS. The system APIs used by LibreOffice to enumerate installed typefaces and their styles indicate the weight of the font as a floating-point number between -1.0 and 1.0, with zero being “regular” weight. That number needs to be converted to an integer (with just ten separate values) used in LibreOffice. The mapping is heuristic, and it turned out that tweaking the mapping just a little bit made it possible to distinguish between some weights of a typeface that had previously mapped to the same weight in LibreOffice.

Another issue was that for some other 3rd-party fonts, the system API claimed that the weight of the “Regular” style was non-zero and positive (0.23 to be exact), i.e., a bit on the bold side. LibreOffice trusted that, which lead to the bold style always being selected for those typefaces, even when asking for a non-bold, regular (medium) weight. The fix for this was to simply handle these special cases separately. If resources allow and more similar problematic fonts are identified, some more generic fix would be needed.

Another set of bugs were related to notifications for screen parameter changes (like when changing the size of the Dock, or attaching or detaching monitors). On some Macs, the system sent these notifications quite eagerly for no obvious reason. LibreOffice was asking to receive such notifications too early before it was prepared to handle them. This lead to a crash. The fix was to request notifications only once being prepared to receive them.

Also, the handler for this notification did not check whether anything had actually changed that LibreOffice would want to know but just went through all the motions of re-calculating layouts of GUI and sizes of text and whatnot, totally in vain. This took a considerable amount of time when you had a lot of document windows open and several of these notifications were received. The fix here was to add a check if anything actually had changed that would be of interest to LibreOffice, and if not, just don’t proceed to do any re-calculations of layouts etc.

Finally, there was a problem with inserting videos in Impress presentations. When doing that LibreOffice (for some reason) copies the video file first into a temporary copy. That copy was given a name without file name extension. The system APIs used to open and display the video did not like that and displaying even an initial grabbed frame from the video failed. The fix was simply to make sure the copy of the video file had the same file name extension as the original one.

We’ll be addressing more Mac issues as when as we sell more LibreOffice Vanilla. Why not get involved to ensure they’re well triaged and prioritized!

Read more details how Collabora started maintaining LibreOffice Vanilla in the Mac app store.

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Collabora launches enterprise-ready LibreOffice in the Mac App Store

The world’s most popular Open Source Office Suite is now available on OS X via one-step install following Collabora Productivity’s launch today of two new apps in the Mac App Store. End-users can get LibreOffice on OS X with automatic updates, long-term maintenance, and optional professional support, for the first time.

LibreOffice-from-Collabora for Mac splash screen
LibreOffice-from-Collabora for Mac splash screen

For $10 LibreOffice-from-Collabora provides the enterprise-hardened productivity suite for business and public sector, including three years of maintenance updates. LibreOffice Vanilla is the latest code from ‘LibreOffice Fresh‘ by the Document Foundation, packaged and maintained by Collabora free of charge as a service to the community.

Professional training and fast-response support are additionally available from the company, exclusively for LibreOffice-from-Collabora.

“Collabora continues its march into new markets bringing the power and flexibility of Open Source to professional users” said Michael Meeks, Collabora Productivity General Manager. “Simultaneously we’re introducing an easy new way to get LibreOffice Fresh from the Document Foundation, while providing in-app donation links to support their work”.

Editing spreadsheets in LibreOffice-from-Collabora Calc
Editing a spreadsheet in Calc
A slideshow in LibreOffice-from-Collabora Impress
Editing a slideshow in Impress

“The Mac App Store now offers individuals the same new features and business-critical stability enjoyed by Collabora Productivity’s enterprise customers” said Philippe Kalaf, Collabora CEO. “For a fraction of the cost of competing apps, Mac users get the leading office suite in its class with a direct path to the best support available”.

The Mac App Store joins existing Collabora Productivity outlets Google Play and AWS Marketplace for Desktop Apps. LibreOffice-from-Collabora can be purchased directly from LibreOffice-from-Collabora.com for 50 users or more. Desktop and Android editions will be joined by web-based LibreOffice Online later this year. LibreOffice Online is developed by Collabora Productivity and IceWarp.

LibreOffice is an Open Source project by the non-profit Document Foundation, and the work of thousands of talented independent contributors worldwide. Collabora thanks the community for their effort, cooperation, and achievement.

A document in LibreOffice-from-Collabora Writer
Editing a document in Writer
Reviewing recent documents in LibreOffice-from-Collabora
Reviewing recent documents
About Collabora Productivity:
Collabora Productivity delivers LibreOffice products and consulting. With the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers, it is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice code base and community. LibreOffice-from-Collabora provides a business-hardened office suite with long term multi-platform support. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora Ltd., the global software consultancy specializing in providing the benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specialising in automotive, semiconductors, digital TV and consumer electronics industries.

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LibreOffice Vanilla: Fresh from the community to your Mac

Fresh Vanilla

From today Mac users have a new and convenient way to install LibreOffice on OS X. Launched this morning, the LibreOffice Vanilla app is almost identical to the latest copy of LibreOffice Fresh by Document Foundation contributors. It comes fresh from them, to you, after packaging by Collabora, and distribution by Apple.

LibreOffice Vanilla on OSX splash screen
LibreOffice Vanilla on OS X splash screen

Free delivery

App Stores are a brilliantly convenient way to find and manage third party software, offering secure downloads, user reviews and more. When we decided to release a Mac App Store version of our own product, LibreOffice-from-Collabora, we wanted regular LibreOffice users to enjoy the same benefits of App Store delivery. Apple has strict rules for publishers using its stores, including a range of legal, technical, and visual requirements. As a “thank you” to the community we’ve spent the last few months making the necessary improvements to pass the stringent app-store validation, and contributing these back to LibreOffice.

Suite recognition

We say the app is “almost identical” because there’s one small, but important, difference. Until now, most Mac users visit the LibreOffice website to download an installer file, and in doing so are presented with an opportunity to donate to support ongoing development of LibreOffice at the Document Foundation. The Mac App Store lacks a comparable mechanism to solicit much needed financial support, short of using Apple APIs to add in-app purchasing, or requiring payment for every download. For that reason we’ve added a pop-up window when the application starts, containing direct links to the Foundation and its donation form. The screen also explains the relationship of the app to Collabora.

Pop-up window in LibreOffice Vanilla
Pop-up window in LibreOffice Vanilla

LibreOffice Vanilla provides access to the latest innovations from the LibreOffice community to millions of App Store users. With luck this will accelerate LibreOffice adoption, empower users to communicate their gratitude, and endow the Foundation with a fresh revenue stream. Users seeking professional stability, and support options, can purchase LibreOffice-from-Collabora, which funds Collabora’s own ongoing improvement of LibreOffice for Mac.

libreoffice-vanilla-4
Welcome screen in LibreOffice Vanilla
Documents in LibreOffice Vanilla
Documents in LibreOffice Vanilla

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