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LibreOffice Documentation and Guides

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  • Exporting LibreOffice Guides to HTML - Part I

    LibreOffice is an open source office suite full of tricky secrets. One of my favorites is the possibility to export a text document to XHTML or HTML5, both are W3C standards supported by most modern web browsers.

    But you, the reader, will certainly ask: If I have the Guides in ODT and PDF file format why do I need another format? Why spend energy adding another medium for the LibreOffice Guides?

  • LibreOffice 7.0 Getting Started and Impress Guides – Taming LibreOffice

    Two more volumes of LO 7.0 user guides were published in January: Getting Started Guide and Impress Guide. They are available in free PDF downloads and in low-cost print editions. See this page for links.

  • LibreOffice 7.1 Community released – Taming LibreOffice

    On 3 February, The Document Foundation announced the release of LibreOffice 7.1 Community, the volunteer-supported version of the office suite. The Community label emphasises the fact that the software is not targeted at enterprises, and not optimised for their support needs. Blog post with more information.

    For enterprise-class deployments, TDF has strongly recommended the LibreOffice Enterprise family of applications from ecosystem partners—for desktop, mobile and cloud—with long-term support options, professional assistance, custom features and other benefits. See LibreOffice in business.

Let's Try LibreOffice Online

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You want to try LibreOffice Online for free, right? For your information, it is Writer, Calc, and Impress made accessible on the web browser developed by the infamous Collabora. For a long time, there was barely free service to try but now you and I can try. This article invites you to try it by showing how it looks like. Enjoy!

LibreOffice Online (also called Collabora Office) is the computer office suite program LibreOffice made web based i.e. you access it using web browser without installing anything to your computer. Speaking about the technology, it is integrated with Nextcloud on the server.

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LibreOffice 7.1 review - The Uncertainty Principle

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Reviews

I feel that LibreOffice has lost its momentum, just like the Linux desktop. The domain has been idle for a while, the world is changing, and there simply isn't enough energy - or money - to sustain the project in a good, vibrant way. After all, many open-source projects kick off with gusto, but then a decade later, they are pretty much in the same position they've always been, and that's not very inspiring - or whatever word you want to use for where people source their drive and creativity.

LibreOffice 7.1 feels worse than its predecessors. It doesn't introduce anything super cool or useful, but it does bring in more bugs. The speed is also an issue, and the Microsoft compatibility remains tricky. Then, the interface doesn't need a billion choices, just one or two but polished to perfection. And I'm not even going to talk about the whole Community Edition thing. I will gladly pay for LibreOffice, but I expect pro results in return. In fact, the healthiest thing that can happen to this fine suite is to become costware, because otherwise, I can't see where the needed investment and resources will come to ramp up on the much needed features and tools. Free is good, free is fun, but tools that don't tool aren't very useful. And thus, another layer of hope is chipped away from me soul.

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Getting Started with LibreOffice 7.0 Guide Just Arrived!

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The Documentation Team is happy to announce the immediate availability of the LibreOffice 7.0 Getting Started Guide, updated to include all LibreOffice 7.0 features.

The guide is written for anyone who wants to get up to speed quickly with LibreOffice. Readers may be new to office software, or may be familiar with another office suite. This guide is a valuable asset for all users.

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LibreOffice Community Member Monday: Steve Fanning

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Interviews

LibreOffice has extensive documentation in many languages, thanks to the great work of our worldwide docs community. Today we’re talking to Steve Fanning, who has been working on the updated LibreOffice Calc Guide…

Hi Steve! Tell us a bit about yourself…

I live near Bolton in the North West of England with my wife and, sometimes, our adult son (he has recently been working in Australia for a year). I studied applied mathematics and theoretical physics at university and subsequently enjoyed a career mostly spent implementing and designing complex real-time software systems.

Passionate about improving the documentation for the company’s systems, I moved into specialist technical writer roles during the last few years of my employment. I retired around two years ago and now enjoy indulging in my main hobbies, which are bridge, computing, reading and coarse fishing. I guess that some readers might wonder about coarse fishing – it is angling for freshwater fish for pleasure and relaxation rather than food (all fish caught are returned to the water alive).

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LibreOffice Development Report and FSFE's "Love" Theme

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  • [LibreOffice] QA/Dev Report: January 2021

    Ilmari Lauhakangas (TDF) reimplemented the MediaWiki Bugzilla integration as a widget, so the unmaintained extension could be removed. He also made the Help content regarding keyboard shortcuts more accurate for macOS users

  • Show your love for free software using LibreOffice Draw

    Free Software Foundation Europe has developed an “I Love Free Software” template for the upcoming Valentine Day, to allow free open source software advocates to express the reason why they love FOSS, and they support it as volunteer contributors, or as simple users. FSFE template was developed using Inkscape, which is an outstanding FOSS application to create and manage vector images, but is also rather difficult to use if your graphics skills are limited. So, I imported the Inkscape SVG template into LibreOffice Draw, and tweaked it a bit by using Liberation Sans and Liberation Sans Narrow fonts – which are installed by LibreOffice and as such are always available to LibreOffice users, and by replacing the lines of text with a text box, to make it easier to write the personal notes and the name. I have also added a text box with instructions on how to fit the user portrait inside the heart shape, which is a rather easy operation with LibreOffice Draw.

  • SFP#9: I Love Free Software Day

    For this episode of the Software Freedom Podcast we talk about the background of the "I Love Free Software Day" and how it all began 11 years ago. Discover together with Bonnie why Free Software developers, advocates, activists and contributors think this special day is so important for Free Software.

Developers Continue New Push With LibreOffice In The Web Browser Via WebAssembly

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Web

While there has been LibreOffice Online as a collaborative, web-based version of LibreOffice making use of the HTML5 Canvas for its UI, there hasn't been much activity there recently outside of the Collabora Online commercial variant. But developers are working on a current port of LibreOffice to the web browser using WebAssembly.

Developers Thorsten Behrens and Jan-Marek Glogowski presented at last weekend's FOSDEM Online 2021 on the work being done to port LibreOffice to work gracefully with WebAssembly for running the open-source office suite within the web browser.

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LibreOffice Docs and 2021 Season of Docs

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Google
  • Make better presentations with the Impress Guide 7.0

    This 330-page book explores the basics of Impress, before moving on to master slides, styles, templates, graphic objects, effects, exporting in various formats, and much more.

  • The 2021 Season of Docs application for organizations is open!

    Google Open Source is delighted to announce Season of Docs 2021!

    The 2019 Season of Docs brought together open source organizations and technical writers to create 44 successful documentation projects. In 2020, we had 64 successful standard-length technical writing projects and are still awaiting long-running project results.

    In 2021, the Season of Docs program will continue to support better documentation in open source and provide opportunities for skilled technical writers to gain open source experience. In addition, building on what we’ve learned from the successful 2019 and 2020 projects, we’re expanding our focus to include learning about effective metrics for evaluating open source documentation.

  • The 2021 Season of Docs application for organizations is open

    Google Open Source has announced the 2021 edition of Season of Docs.

The 5 Best MS Office Alternatives for Linux

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LibO
Linux
OOo

You did a fresh Linux installation. It’s fast, snappy, and secure. However, when you decided to use Linux, you decided to use open-source alternatives for most solutions. This means you are no longer interested in MS Office and are looking for MS Office alternatives for Linux.

You are not alone! Also, you are bound by the fact that MS Office is not natively supported by Linux operating system. To install it, you need to use virtualization solutions including CrossOver, Wine, and Virtual Machine.

Even though that’s a possible way to install MS Office, there is much to desire for native support. For instance, you will not get native support, which means that there will be a slow response or action. Moreover, you can also find yourself getting errors, which is not a great thing when working on your important project.

The good thing with Linux is that it offers alternatives that have equal or better feature-set. In the case of MS Office, you will easily get a dozen of options. And, that’s where we come in. To help you find the best MS alternative, we will list five of them for your reference.

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LibreOffice Technology, the only software platform for personal productivity on the desktop, mobile and cloud

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LibreOffice Technology is the result of ten years of intensive activity on the software’s open source code, coordinated by the Engineering Steering Committee and carried out by developers, software engineers, security experts, and interface and user experience specialists of many affiliations.

The goal of this evolutionary process was to create a single software platform for individual productivity on desktop, mobile and the cloud: the only approach able to offer users the interoperability features that enable transparent sharing of all content, and independence from single commercial vendors and vendor lock-in strategies.

This is the opposite approach to all other proprietary and open core office suites, which have developed different versions for each platform trying to replicate the functionality, but only succeeding in part, so that – for example – the internal structure of documents (which is not visible to users) is different for each application.

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Python: Security and NumPy 1.20 Release

  • Python Package Index nukes 3,653 malicious libraries uploaded soon after security shortcoming highlighted

    The Python Package Index, also known as PyPI, has removed 3,653 malicious packages uploaded days after a security weakness in the use of private and public registries was highlighted. Python developers use PyPI to add software libraries written by other developers in their own projects. Other programming languages implement similar package management systems, all of which demand some level of trust. Developers are often advised to review any code they import from an external library though that advice isn't always followed. Package management systems like npm, PyPI, and RubyGems have all had to remove subverted packages in recent years. Malware authors have found that if they can get their code included in popular libraries or applications, they get free distribution and trust they haven't earned. Last month, security researcher Alex Birsan demonstrated how easy it is to take advantage of these systems through a form of typosquatting that exploited the interplay between public and private package registries.

  • A pair of Python vulnerabilities [LWN.net]

    Two separate vulnerabilities led to the fast-tracked release of Python 3.9.2 and 3.8.8 on February 19, though source-only releases of 3.7.10 and 3.6.13 came a few days earlier. The vulnerabilities may be problematic for some Python users and workloads; one could potentially lead to remote code execution. The other is, arguably, not exactly a flaw in the Python standard library—it simply also follows an older standard—but it can lead to web cache poisoning attacks. [...] [Update: As pointed out in an email from Moritz Muehlenhoff, Python 2.7 actually is affected by this bug. He notes that python2 on Debian 10 ("Buster") is affected and has been updated. Also, Fedora has a fix in progress for its python2.7 package.]

  • NumPy 1.20 has been released

    NumPy is a Python library that adds an array data type to the language, along with providing operators appropriate to working on arrays and matrices. By wrapping fast Fortran and C numerical routines, NumPy allows Python programmers to write performant code in what is normally a relatively slow language. NumPy 1.20.0 was announced on January 30, in what its developers describe as the largest release in the history of the project. That makes for a good opportunity to show a little bit about what NumPy is, how to use it, and to describe what's new in the release. [...] NumPy adds a new data type to Python: the multidimensional ndarray. This a container, like a Python list, but with some crucial differences. A NumPy array is usually homogeneous; while the elements of a list can be of various types, an ndarray will, typically, only contain a single, simple type, such as integers, strings, or floats. However, these arrays can instead contain arbitrary Python objects (i.e. descendants of object). This means that the elements will, for simple data types, all occupy the same amount of space in memory. The elements of an ndarray are laid out contiguously in memory, whereas there is no such guarantee for a list. In this way, they are similar to Fortran arrays. These properties of NumPy arrays are essential for efficiency because the location of each element can be directly calculated. Beyond just adding efficient arrays, NumPy also overloads arithmetic operators to act element-wise on the arrays. This allows the Python programmer to express computations concisely, operating on arrays as units, in many cases avoiding the need to use loops. This does not turn Python into a full-blown array language such as APL, but adds to it a syntax similar to that incorporated into Fortran 90 for array operations.

4 Best Free and Open Source Graphical MPD Clients

MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis. MPD runs in the background playing music from its playlist. Client programs communicate with MPD to manipulate playback, the playlist, and the database. The client–server model provides advantages over all-inclusive music players. Clients can communicate with the server remotely over an intranet or over the Internet. The server can be a headless computer located anywhere on a network. There’s graphical clients, console clients and web-based clients. To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 4 best graphical MPD clients. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to listen to their music collection via MPD. Here’s our recommendations. They are all free and open source goodness. Read more

LWN on Kernel: 5.12 Merge, Lockless Algorithms, and opy_file_range()

  • 5.12 Merge window, part 1 [LWN.net]

    The beginning of the 5.12 merge window was delayed as the result of severe weather in the US Pacific Northwest. Once Linus Torvalds got going, though, he wasted little time; as of this writing, just over 8,600 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 5.12 release — over a period of about two days. As one might imagine, that work contains a long list of significant changes.

  • An introduction to lockless algorithms [LWN.net]

    Low-level knowledge of the memory model is universally recognized as advanced material that can scare even the most seasoned kernel hackers; our editor wrote (in the July article) that "it takes a special kind of mind to really understand the memory model". It's been said that the Linux kernel memory model (and in particular Documentation/memory-barriers.txt) can be used to frighten small children, and the same is probably true of just the words "acquire" and "release". At the same time, mechanisms like RCU and seqlocks are in such widespread use in the kernel that almost every developer will sooner or later encounter fundamentally lockless programming interfaces. For this reason, it is a good idea to equip yourself with at least a basic understanding of lockless primitives. Throughout this series I will describe what acquire and release semantics are really about, and present five relatively simple patterns that alone can cover most uses of the primitives.

  • How useful should copy_file_range() be? [LWN.net]

    Its job is to copy len bytes of data from the file represented by fd_in to fd_out, observing the requested offsets at both ends. The flags argument must be zero. This call first appeared in the 4.5 release. Over time it turned out to have a number of unpleasant bugs, leading to a long series of fixes and some significant grumbling along the way. In 2019 Amir Goldstein fixed more issues and, in the process, removed a significant limitation: until then, copy_file_range() refused to copy between files that were not located on the same filesystem. After this patch was merged (for 5.3), it could copy between any two files, falling back on splice() for the cross-filesystem case. It appeared that copy_file_range() was finally settling into a solid and useful system call. Indeed, it seemed useful enough that the Go developers decided to use it for the io.Copy() function in their standard library. Then they ran into a problem: copy_file_range() will, when given a kernel-generated file as input, copy zero bytes of data and claim success. These files, which include files in /proc, tracefs, and a large range of other virtual filesystems, generally indicate a length of zero when queried with a system call like stat(). copy_file_range(), seeing that zero length, concludes that there is no data to copy and the job is already done; it then returns success. But there is actually data to be read from this kind of file, it just doesn't show in the advertised length of the file; the real length often cannot be known before the file is actually read. Before 5.3, the prohibition on cross-filesystem copies would have caused most such attempts to return an error code; afterward, they fail but appear to work. The kernel is happy, but some users can be surprisingly stubborn about actually wanting to copy the data they asked to be copied; they were rather less happy.

Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro is a compact Amlogic S905X3 SBC

Banana Pi has already designed an Amlogic S905X3 SBC with Banana Pi BPI-M5 that closely follows Raspberry Pi 3 Model B form factor, but they’ve now unveiled a more compact model with Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro that follow the design of the company’ earlier BPI-MP2+ SBC powered by the good old Allwinner H3 processor. BPI-M2 Pro comes with 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC storage, HDMI video output, Gigabit Ethernet, Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity, as well as two USB 3.0 ports. Read more