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Document Foundation Annual Report 2018 and LibreOffice Wrestling With Proprietary Microsoft Formats

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  • Annual Report 2018: The Document Foundation

    Every year, The Document Foundation produces an Annual Report, detailing its activities in the projects and community. We’ll be posting parts of it here on the blog, while we prepare a final printed version…

    [...]

    In 2017, TDF launched four tenders aimed at sharing knowledge about improving LibreOffice in several strategic areas, where the tasks are beyond the capabilities of independent volunteer developers. In 2018, companies selected to implement two of the tenders reported back on their work.

    Firstly, Collabora was selected for the tender “improve image handling in LibreOffice (#201705-01)”. A new image life-cycle was developed, with simpler memory management for handling images and new swapping strategy. The results were incorporated into the LibreOffice 6.1 release – and a more detailed technical description of the work is on the blog, in order to share knowledge and experience from this project with the developer community and the general public.

    The second tender, “implement HSQLDB binary format import in LibreOffice (#201705-03)”, was also assigned to Collabora and implemented by Tamás Bunth. He developed a mechanism to import database files with high fidelity from the HSQLDB binary file format, used by many existing ODB files, by reading the Java serialization code, and writing a filter to import all data into LibreOffice Base. The objective was to remove the legacy Java/HSQLDB database and to simplify the move to Firebird. More details are provided here.

  • Importing charts from DOCX drawingML group shapes in Writer

    Years ago I posted about a large rework to where Collabora helped a customer to make Writer read the drawingML markup for DOCX shapes. You can read the various benefits of this switch in that article — but similar to other large reworks, this also broke some previously working corner-cases, where test coverage lacked.

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