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Software: Office Suites, BleachBit and gti

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  • List of Best Linux Office Suites

    Despite all the features, the freedom and the flexibility that Linux may offer you, it is not perfect. New Linux users face a lot of issues when they switch to Linux; such as not being able to use Microsoft Office, which is a popular productivity software!
    Now don’t panic just yet; there are two solutions to this problem. You can use a software called Wine that can enable you to install MS Office on your Linux. This solution is not preferred as not all version of MS Office are supported, leaving you with a very little choice.

    The second option is that you can use alternative MS Office suites that are available for Linux, which will be the topic of this article. Following is a list of the best Linux office suites.

  • FreeOffice on openSUSE

    I am not really much of an “Office Snob” but in recent weeks, I have heard people hammer and clammer about this FreeOffice for both “in favor of” and “against” it. In full disclosure, I mostly use LibreOffice and I still use Microsoft Office 2007 for certain very specific reasons. That said, I am obviously not an open source purest. Back to the reason for this write up, I use office products a lot for the purposes of creating product for home educating my kids as well as for many administrative things that I do as a part of my employment. For the most part, I don’t do anything terribly complex but I do like a certain uniformity and bits of information on things to keep me organized.

    Bottom Line Up Front, FreeOffice is a fine, well polished, very complete application. I am only using the “Free version” and I am very impressed with it. The user interface is flexible to your liking, looks clean and modern, most things work fantastically well and I am not sure how they get away with the look of the UIs similarity to Microsoft Office. Although this would likely serve all my needs, I will stick with LibreOffice because it is what I am most accustomed and I don’t gain anything by switching to FreeOffice. At a minimum, I would have to keep LibreOffice Draw for a few specific tasks.

  • BleachBit 4.0.0

    When your computer is getting full, BleachBit quickly frees disk space. When your information is only your business, BleachBit guards your privacy. With BleachBit you can free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard junk you didn't know was there.

    Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean thousands of applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and more. Beyond simply deleting files, BleachBit includes advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster. Better than free, BleachBit is open source.

  • Linux Candy: gti – typo-based curio inspired by Steam Locomotive

    Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open-source software in this series.

    gti is intended to catch accidental typos of ‘gti’ instead of ‘git’. It displays an animation of a car driving by, and then launches git. Any parameters or arguments given to gti are passed through to git.

    gti is a tiny C program, written in a mere 329 lines of code. It’s just an inoffensive bit of fun that might raise a smile now and then, particularly important in these trying times.

Why Use LibreOffice in Education and Celebrating Document Freedom Day 2020

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  • LibreOffice: A great choice for schools and education

    Because LibreOffice is free and open source software, students and teachers can download and install it on as many machines as they like, without worrying about license fees, subscriptions or audits. If you’re a teacher, you can be sure that your students won’t suddenly be locked out of their documents for not renewing a subscription. They can keep working, as long as they like!

  • Document Freedom Day 2020

    When you save a document on your computer, it is stored in a computer file. Whether it is a text file, a picture, a video or any other kind of work, it is saved with a specific coded structure, known as the file format.

    To be able to share data, software programs must be able to communicate with each other. It implies that no barrier whatsoever may hinder the exchange of data and the related write or read operations. For such a seamless exchange to be possible, software programs are required to be “interoperable”.

    Interoperability is guaranteed when it relies on open standards, i.e. public technical specifications, freely usable by everyone, without restriction nor compensation, and maintained by an open decision-making process. File formats based on these open standards are “Open Formats”.

    Where software interoperability is set aside, or if a program editor does not give access to the key information for interoperability or if the file design recipe is kept undisclosed, or if the file design recipe is available but is not followed by the program, file formats are considered to be “closed” and do not allow interoperability. For a software user, choosing between an Open File Format or a closed one has a deep impact on the ownership of and the access to his/her own data and their availability over time.

Season of Docs 2020 and Document Freedom Day 2020

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Google
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  • Announcing Season of Docs 2020

    Season of Docs brings technical writers and open source projects together for a few months to work on open source documentation. 2019 was the first year of Season of Docs, bringing together open source organizations and technical writers to create 44 successful documentation projects!

  • Announcing Season of Docs 2020

    Google Open Source has announced the 2020 edition of Season of Docs, a program to connect open source projects with technical writers to improve documentation. Open source organizations may apply from April 14-May 4. Once mentoring organizations and technical writers are connected, there will be a month long community bonding period, beginning August 11. Writers will then work with mentors to complete documentation projects by the December 6 deadline.

  • Paint a Dove for Document Freedom Day

    Help us celebrate the Twelfth Anniversary of Document Freedom Day by making a paper dove!

    Download the dove template and the instructions from this link: https://tdf.io/dfd1, and once you are done with your dove take a picture of it and upload your photo using this link: https://tdf.io/dfd2.

TDF new Board of Directors

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The new Board of Directors of The Document Foundation has just started the two year term on February 18, 2020. Members are: Michael Meeks, Thorsten Behrens, Franklin Weng, Daniel Rodriguez, Cor Nouws, Lothar Becker and Emiliano Vavassori. Deputies are: Nicolas Christener and Paolo Vecchi.

Five people have been elected for the first time to the Board of Directors: Daniel Armando Rodriguez from Posadas in Argentina; Lothar Becker from Karlsruhe in Germany; Emiliano Vavassori from Bergamo in Italy; Nicholas Christener from Bern in Switzerland; and Paolo Vecchi from Luxembourg (in Luxembourg).

During the first meeting of the Board of Directors, the nine members have elected Lothar Becker as Chairman and Franklin Weng as Deputy Chairman. In the meantime, also the responsibilities and areas of oversight have been discussed and decided.

At the same time, six people – who have served as board members and deputies during the previous term(s) – have left the board, but will continue their activity as TDF Members: Marina Latini, Chairwoman; Björn Michaelsen, Deputy Chairman; Eike Rathke, Member; and Jan Holešovský, Simon Phipps and Osvaldo Gervasi, Deputies.

Read more

Also: QA/Dev Report: February 2020

ODF 1.3 approved as OASIS Committee Specification

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OASIS is pleased to announce that Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.3 from the OpenDocument TC has been approved as an OASIS Committee Specification.

The OpenDocument Format is an open XML-based document file format for office applications, to be used for documents containing text, spreadsheets, charts, and graphical elements. OpenDocument Format v1.3 is an update to the international standard Version 1.2, which was approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as ISO/IEC 26300 in 2015. OpenDocument Format v1.3 includes improvements for document security, clarifies underspecifications and makes other timely improvements.

The OpenDocument Format specifies the characteristics of an open XML-based application-independent and platform-independent digital document file format, as well as the characteristics of software applications which read, write and process such documents. It is applicable to document authoring, editing, viewing, exchange and archiving, including text documents, spreadsheets, presentation graphics, drawings, charts and similar documents commonly used by personal productivity software applications.

This Committee Specification is an OASIS deliverable, completed and approved by the TC and fully ready for testing and implementation.

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The Document Foundation welcomes the release to OASIS of the TC Committee Draft of ODF Version 1.3 for ratification

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The Document Foundation welcomes the release to OASIS of TC Committee Draft of ODF Version 1.3 for ratification. At the end of the process, ODF Version 1.3 will be submitted to ISO to become a standard. The final approval is expected in late 2020 or early 2021.

Editing of ODF Version 1.3 Committee Draft has been sponsored by the Community of ODF Specification Maintainers (COSM), a project launched by The Document Foundation in 2017 with the donation of a seed of euro 10,000 to get the COSM project started, plus up to euro 20,000 to match each euro donated by other stakeholders.

So far, the COSM project has been backed by Microsoft, Collabora, the UK Government Digital Services, CIB, the European Commission’s StandICT project and Open-Xchange. The money has been used to pay an editor to finalize the ODF 1.3 specification and manage it through the OASIS review and ratification process.

Major new features of ODF 1.3 are digital signature and OpenPGP-based XML encryption of documents, plus several improvements to features already available in ODF 1.2 like new polynomial and moving average regression types for charts, a new specification for number of decimal digits in number formatting, a special header/footer style for first page of documents, contextual spacing for paragraphs, additional type argument values for the WEEKDAY function, and the new text master template document type. Most of these new features have been contributed by developers at CIB, Collabora, Microsoft and The Document Foundation.

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Also: [LibreOffice] QA Report: October 2019

Document Foundation: ‘ODF 1.3 ready for ratification by OASIS’

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Version 1.3 of the Open Document Format (ODF), an open standard for documents, spreadsheets and presentations, will be ratified by the OASIS standardisation organisation in December, according to the Document Foundation – the organisation supporting the development of LibreOffice. This update of the ODF standard has been made possible by financial contributions from the United Kingdom, the European Commission, and three office productivity software companies: US multinational Microsoft, UK-based Collabora, and German software maker CIB.

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Videos from LibreOffice Conference 2019: OpenDocument Format

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Movies
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LibreOffice can open documents in many formats, including Microsoft Office files (.docx, .xlxs, .pptx). But it’s native file format is the fully open and standardised OpenDocument Format (ODF). At the recent LibreOffice Conference 2019 in Spain, community members gave presentations about news and updates for ODF. So, here are the first videos from the presentations (use headphones for best audio quality).

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TDF Annual Report 2018

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The Annual Report of The Document Foundation for the year 2018 is now available in PDF format from TDF Nextcloud in two different versions: low resolution (6.4MB) and high resolution (53.2MB). The annual report is based on the German version presented to the authorities in April.

The 52 page document has been entirely created with free open source software: written contents have obviously been developed with LibreOffice Writer (desktop) and collaboratively modified with LibreOffice Writer (online), charts have been created with LibreOffice Calc and prepared for publishing with LibreOffice Draw, drawings and tables have been developed or modified (from legacy PDF originals) with LibreOffice Draw, images have been prepared for publishing with GIMP, and the layout has been created with Scribus based on the existing templates.

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UK Government Digital Service joins The Document Foundation Advisory Board

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The Government Digital Service (GDS) is part of the UK Cabinet Office [1]. It leads the digital transformation of Government in the UK, helping people interact with government more easily and supporting government to operate more effectively and efficiently.

In July 2014, the UK Cabinet Office announced the selection of the Open Document Format (ODF) for sharing and viewing government documents.

The Open Standards Team within GDS support and encourage the use of open standards in government. Their aim is to help identify and contribute to open standards for software interoperability and to promote data formats that will help to meet user needs across the UK government and support the delivery of common components.

“GDS has been a long-term supporter of the adoption of Open Document Format, and their participation in the TDF Advisory Board represents a strong endorsement of the project’s commitment to the advancement of open standards and ODF”, says Simon Phipps, TDF Director.

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More in Tux Machines

The archaeology of GNOME accessibility

There are many people in the world who cannot make full use of their computers without some sort of accessibility support. Developers, though, have a tendency not to think about accessibility issues themselves; they don't (usually) need those features and cannot normally even see them. In a talk at the 2020 GUADEC virtual conference, Emmanuele Bassi discussed the need for accessibility features, their history in GNOME, and his effort to rethink about how GNOME supports assistive technology. He began by defining "accessibility" as usability by people with disabilities; this usability is often provided through the use of assistive technology of some sort. When one thinks about who benefits from accessibility, it is natural to picture people like Stephen Hawking, who clearly needed a lot of assistive technology. But that is not what the most common consumers of assistive technology look like; instead, they look like his parents, who are active people in their late 60s. They are computer-literate, but they are getting older and need more affordances than they once did. [...] Much of the accessibility implementation is maintained outside of the GTK source tree, which brings problems of its own. The end result is that GNOME's accessibility support never worked all that well. But it lets managers check the "accessibility" box, which is all many of them need. Unfortunately, accessibility is not a box that can be checked and forgotten about; it is a process that must be constantly kept up with. But the GNOME project ended up mostly forgetting about it. In the intervening years the world has changed. CORBA has been replaced by D-Bus, for example. Patience for out-of-tree modules is mostly gone. The move to Wayland is creating problems for existing assistive technology, as is the sandboxing that is increasingly being used for GNOME applications. AT-SPI has been ported to D-Bus, he said, but the architecture of the accessibility subsystem as a whole is the same. It remains in the X11 world, where every application expects to have access to the entire system. This is a design that dates back to the days when applications were installed by the system administrator and could (hopefully) be trusted; they certainly were not acquired from random places on the Internet. The world has changed, he said, so accessibility support in GNOME needs to change with it. The system is "stuck" and needs a redesign. But this is hard because, unlike the situation with other desktop features, it is not possible to ask users of assistive technology to contribute. To a great extent, they simply cannot perceive what is not available to them, so it's hard to even ask them to report regressions. The first thing that needs to happen is to consolidate the various pieces, many of which have been untouched for years. Some new functionality has been added, mostly to match new features provided by browsers, but as a whole GNOME accessibility support just doesn't really work. The abstraction layer doesn't really abstract anything, so changes typically have to be made in many places. The toolkit needs to be simplified; as things stand now, application developers expect GTK to take care of everything, but that is not the case. There is also a need for funding; this work is not trivial and it's not reasonable to expect it to be done by volunteers. Read more

Android Leftovers

today's howtos

Games: Dying Light - Hellraid, Bridge Constructor, Railway Empire, Making it Home

  • Techland confirm Dying Light Hellraid will see plenty of updates post-release

    Dying Light - Hellraid is the upcoming DLC that swaps Zombies for Skeletons and turns Dying Light into something of a dungeon crawler. It's exciting and it's going to continually get updates after release. Reminder: the DLC is inspired by and using some ideas from Hellraid, which was originally going to be a standalone first-person co-op slasher. Techland appear to have shelved it completely so they're making sure it didn't all go to waste this way. I'm pretty happy about it because if there's one thing I want, it's more Dying Light content.

  • The Bridge Constructor series is now up on GOG with a nice big sale

    A little building for the weekend perhaps? The Bridge Constructor series has appeared on GOG and there's a sweet discount deal going where you could get the first game free. The newly DRM-free released titles on GOG are: Bridge Constructor, Bridge Constructor Medieval and Bridge Constructor Portal. I don't think any of these games really need an introduction do they? The name along pretty much speaks for itself. Each of them has a slightly different take on what you do but the end result is the same. You get to build bridges, and watch as your glorious creations fail repeatedly. [...] I had a huge amount of fun with Bridge Constructor Portal, as the portal system definitely makes it feel different to the previous entries and to other similar such games.

  • Railway Empire gets a Complete Collection out now

    All aboard the DLC train! Kalypso Media and in-house developer Gaming Minds Studios today put the brakes on Railway Empire, with a proper Complete Collection now available. This is because the team has moved onto another game, so Railway Empire should be considered actually finished now, apart from perhaps a few standard patches that may come in future. Since release in early 2018 it's been through 13 free updates, 8 extensive DLCs spanning iconic locations such as the Rocky Mountains, Sweden and Mexico, and brought to life 83 historically authentic locomotives. Kalypso claim this collection which bundles all DLC with the main game offer up "the most comprehensive railway tycoon experience currently available on PC and consoles".

  • Quirky vehicle building game 'Making it Home' is now in Early Access

    Making it Home looks so bizarre that I feel like I just need to give it a go. You're a ladybug building a vehicle to travel from one side of America to the other. Yes, a ladybug. I did say it looks bizarre. Even the developer thinks their idea is weird. They said it's "kinda Oregon Trail meets Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts with a bit of Far Lone Sails - and a smoking crab and bear - with carrots and peas - and honey... and dehumidifiers". Are we any clearer? No but it looks a bit amusing. The point is to build a big Rube Goldberg styled contraption, then platformer all over it to interact with it and collect stuff along the way.

  • Perspective illusion puzzler THE IMPOSSIBLE is out now

    Inspired by designs from MC Escher, THE IMPOSSIBLE is a game about moving a box around crazy shapes. Note: key provided by the developer. Taking the visuals and gameplay, you could compare it directly with hocus from 2015 but Airem have put their own slightly quirky take on it, complete with a GLaDOS-inspired narrator to prod you along. Using simple controls, all you need to do is get the the box across the shape you're given onto the red square. Doing so is not always easy, due to the perspective. It's not impossible of course but it is challenging. This is not your typical shape puzzle game though, this cheeky GLaDOS sounding AI that comments on your progress also messes with you. There's some intentional glitches and errors that flash around on certain levels to interrupt you. Quite funny actually the way it's done and it's not over the top either, you're even told if you "obey the rules, you'll get Steam Achievements" in a glitched-out voice with the audio going from all relaxing to properly mysterious.

  • Len's Island plans to blend together peaceful building with intense dungeon exploration

    Len's Island sounds like quite a peculiar mix. Blending together peaceful building, farming and crafting, mixed with intense combat, dungeon battles and deep questing and exploration. We've got plenty of games that do either side of the coin with building or dungeon crawling but both together? I'm eager to see how that will all work. Even more so because of the setting and the lovely colourful style it provides. "Len's Island brings excitement and progression for many playstyles, all within a vibrant and engaging world. Catering to the hardcore dungeon-crawler fans, home-builders and decorators, explorers and completionists, farming fanatics, collectable hoarders, and people who just want to live the simple life chopping trees as the sun goes down."

  • Google adds Free Weekends to Stadia starting with Borderlands 3

    Google's game streaming service Stadia continues to gradually roll out new features, one of which went up yesterday with Free Weekends now being a thing. Plus, another round-up on recent Stadia info. I'm surprised it actually took this long. Free Weekends are a great way to trial games, and something Steam has been doing for quite a long time now. Partly thanks to demos at some point becoming more of a rarity. The thing is, for a game streaming service like this it makes a whole lot more sense, since there's no lengthy initial downloads. You can jump in practically instantly and see if you like it and play a good few hours. Then perhaps buy it.

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gets fancy new skins, networking improvements

    Valve continue to tweak their classic free to play shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The latest update improves various parts of the game and there's some fancy new weapon skins. Trusted Mode, the newer feature that's just one small part of their fight against cheating now has the "-untrusted" launch argument removed. Trusted Mode on Linux also now appears to be on by default, so you no longer need the quick fix we wrote about recently, so if you missed that you should find your CS:GO games on Linux to be a lot nicer. Valve also fixed several exploits related to VPK tampering. For collectors, a new Fracture Collection weapons case went up so you can gamble away some of your monies on their loot box system. This new case features designs from over 17 different community artists and there's even Shattered Web Knives as rare special items. Looking over the Steam Market, there's already tons on there from it so if you're after something really specific you might just be able to grab it right away there.

  • Core Defense developer 'completely blown away' by first week Steam sales

    After launching on July 31, Core Defense from developer ehmprah appears to have done quite well to the point that they've been 'blown away' by the sales numbers. What is Core Defense? It's a tower defense game, that mixes in a little more randomness than you might expect. You pick towers and upgrades from a set a cards after each wave, and gradually build up a maze to force enemies to travel through. See our previous thoughts here—it's good! This cross-platform release (Linux, macOS, Windows) managed to cut through the noise, with the first week hitting 2,546 units and grossed $20,186 on Steam. Compared with 106 units and grossed $1,144 on itch.io during the Early Access phase it did there. Interestingly, despite Steam Wishlists often being said to be what makes or breaks games, they said only 26% of sales came from wishlist conversions. They also had around 8% refunded, which sounds pretty good so overall the managed to net $17,029 before Steam's own cut.

  • Braid is getting a much upgraded Anniversary Edition releasing in 2021

    Braid, the indie puzzle-platformer from Jonathan Blow is getting a huge overhaul with a new Anniversary Edition that's due out sometime in 2021. It's something of a classic and became quite a big hit, it was also one of the early bigger indie titles to come to Linux. Sounds like it's going to be a massive improvement, which includes David Hellman returning to do the repainting. Extra animations are in, upgraded sound effects and music and so on. They explained the point was to upgrade it and not do a "Star Wars Special Edition" to change how some things were done to the story. There's even going to be a toggle to switch between old and new which is always fun to play with in a game. Developer commentary is also going to be in, with their plan to have it as the "craziest, most-in-depth commentary ever put in a video game".