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LibO

LibreOffice 7.2.1 Community available for download

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LibreOffice 7.2.1 Community, the first minor release of the LibreOffice 7.2 family targeted at technology enthusiasts and power users, is available for download from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/. This version includes 87 bug fixes and improvements to document compatibility.

For enterprise-class deployments, TDF strongly recommends the LibreOffice Enterprise family of applications from ecosystem partners, with long-term support options, professional assistance, custom features and Service Level Agreements: https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-in-business/.

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LibreOffice 7.2 Gets First Point Release, More Than 85 Bugs Were Fixed

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Released less than a month ago, the LibreOffice 7.2 office suite has been already adopted by hundreds of thousands of computer users as it’s another great release of the popular, cross-platform and free office suite that continues to improve the interoperability with the MS Office document formats.

Now, LibreOffice 7.2.1 is here as the first maintenance update to the LibreOffice 7.2 series, fixing as many as 87 bugs across all core components. Detailed about these bug fixes are provided in the changelogs from the RC1 and RC2 development milestones.

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The transition of LibreOffice to ODF 1.3 is finished

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Earlier this year, allotropia software GmbH was awarded the Tender to finish transition of LibreOffice to ODF 1.3 (ODF 1.3 delta) (#202010-01) by The Document Foundation (TDF).

The implementation is now finished, has received quite a bit of polishing and testing, and is available for production use in the LibreOffice 7.2 release.

While ODF 1.3 support is widely available across the LibreOffice ecosystem since the beginning of this year, there was a number of improvements now possible, after the ODF TC cleaned up and improved the standard.

[...]

We would like to thank The Document Foundation, and their countless donors, for funding these improvements to LibreOffice!

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Announcement of LibreOffice 7.1.6 Community

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LibreOffice 7.1.6 Community, the sixth minor release of the LibreOffice 7.1 family, targeted to desktop productivity, is available for download from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/.

End user support is provided by volunteers via email and online resources: https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/community-support/. On the website and the wiki there are guides, manuals, tutorials and HowTos. Donations help us to make all of these resources available.

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LibreOffice 7.1.6 Community Office Suite Released with 44 Bug Fixes, Download Now

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Coming almost two months after LibreOffice 7.1.5, the LibreOffice 7.1.6 update is here to fix more bugs across all core components of the open-source software suite used by millions of users worldwide on GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms. A total of 44 bugs were squashed, according to the changelogs from RC1 and RC2.

LibreOffice 7.2 is already here as the next major release of the popular and free office suite, but you are probably still using the LibreOffice 7.1 series on your GNU/Linux distribution, so I suggest you keep an eye on the stable software repositories for the 7.1.6 release and update as soon as it’s available.

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LibreOffice: OutputDevice, Accessibility, and More

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  • Random technical stuff: Separating metafile processing from rendering in OutputDevice

    Obviously migrating rendering functionality into its own class is not something to take lightly, so I have been writing smaller patches that test out the code. When I say "small", I really mean this. Currently I am testing out a bunch of code that sets state in OutputDevice, which can be found in the outdevstate topic branch in gerrit.

    Along with test the state functions of OutputDevice, I am also adding some tests to the bitmap functionality of OutputDevice. I recently landed a patch to move GetDownsampledBitmap() out of OutputDevice and into BitmapTools.cxx because it really didn't need to completely rely on OutputDevice. This bit of code will hopefully one day migrate it's way into the VCL backend modules. You can monitor the progress I'm making via the bitmap topic branch in gerrit.

    I have to say that writing tests is not always easy. Often there is no easy way of accessing the functions, especially if they are private, but luckily most of the functions are protected so I can at least write a mock class to expose these functions without having to modify the code.

  • Interviewing Hypra’s Jean-Philippe Mengual about software accessibility

    Accessibility is a key factor for the inclusiveness of digital transformation, but only a few people are really competent in the topic. To learn more about accessibility, we interviewed Hypra’s co-founder, Jean-Philippe Mengual.

  • The chips are down for a while

    - I for one am interested in alternatives to Microsoft Office. Microsoft's product has become so bloated that basic functionality has suffered to some extent. I've covered Open Office recently and with a new release from the Document Foundation of LibreOffice, the Libre meaning free, it is time to look at this and some other offerings.

    - LibreOffice has a new Windows update and a tentative new build for those using Apple silicon products. The latter is in the early stages so it's a case of use at your own risk for now. The other major change is a try at matching more closely to Microsoft document formats. Libre uses the Open Document Format (ODF) which like Microsoft's is XML based. Microsoft departed from this standard with OOXML, the Office Open XML, where "open" here means with some proprietary bits included. Microsoft always seems to have a problem with the definition of the word "standard."

LibreOffice 7.2 review - A turning point?

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Reviews

What can I say? LibreOffice 7.2 feels better than its predecessor, but then, it feels like an entirely self-made situation. You have a sub-par release, with lots of bugs and problems, so when these get fixed in a new version, one can perceive these as progress or improvement. Which is true, but it also doesn't take away from the fact none of these issues should have existed in the first place.

The new suite does bring some goodies to the table - better Microsoft format support, more visual consistency. However, it's also significantly more sluggish, and the support for the non-native formats is average at best. You may be lucky and get a file to display correctly, after a while, or it may look totally messed up. These aren't strong selling points, I must say. Do they give me the functionality I need, and thus independence from Microsoft Office? Nope. Quite the opposite. Overall, LibreOffice 7.2 is okay, and I'd like to hope it will be an upward trajectory from here on. But the road to where it needs to be - providing an ubiquitous solution to everyday office requirements - is long and twisty. And thus we conclude this article.

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LibreOffice: The LibreOffice 7.2 Media Coverage, Writer Guide, and More

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  • LibreOffice 7.2 Media Coverage

    The announcement of LibreOffice 7.2 has got a large media coverage in many geographies. This is a list of some of the most significant articles in English.

  • Writer Guide 7.2 published – Taming LibreOffice

    The latest user guide from the LibreOffice documentation team is Writer Guide 7.2, available in free PDF, ODT, or to read in a browser. Low-cost printed copies coming soon. Visit the Documentation page on the LibreOffice website for links.

  • Unshare shape properties for the same type before insertion in Impress

    Shape properties were shared by shape type (e.g. shared between group shapes) before insertion into a document model in Impress. This is now fixed: the property names and types are still shared to help performance, but their values are no longer shared. This helps matching the user expectation that separate opened documents don’t share information with each other.

    First, thanks to our partner SUSE for working with Collabora to make this possible.

Parabolas as custom shapes in LibreOffice

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Teachers of mathematics often need a parabola in their instructions or exercises. Creating a parabola by using a chart is cumbersome. Therefore I have generated some parabolas as custom shape for anyone to use. You can get them in this LibreOffice Writer document.

The parabola-shapes are contained in a document. You can cop and paste a shape from there to your document or you can drag the shapes into your Gallery. The document contains in addition some explanations how the shapes were generated. You can download the document from the wiki.

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The Writer Guide 7.2 just arrived

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Jean H. Weber and Kees Kriek from the LibreOffice Documentation Team are happy to announce the immediate availability of the Writer Guide 7.2, one week after the release of LibreOffice Community 7.2

LibreOffice 7.2 Community includes many changes not visible in the user interface. These changes include improved interoperability with Microsoft’s proprietary file formats and performance improvements in handling large files, opening certain .docx and .xlsx files, managing font caching, and opening presentations and drawings that contain large images.

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Programming Leftovers

  • Announcement : An AArch64 (Arm64) Darwin port is planned for GCC12

    As many of you know, Apple has now released an AArch64-based version of macOS and desktop/laptop platforms using the ‘M1’ chip to support it. This is in addition to the existing iOS mobile platforms (but shares some of their constraints). There is considerable interest in the user-base for a GCC port (starting with https://gcc.gnu.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=96168) - and, of great kudos to the gfortran team, one of the main drivers is folks using Fortran. Fortunately, I was able to obtain access to one of the DTKs, courtesy of the OSS folks, and using that managed to draft an initial attempt at the port last year (however, nowhere near ready for presentation in GCC11). Nevertheless (as an aside) despite being a prototype, the port is in use with many via hombrew, macports or self-builds - which has shaken out some of the fixable bugs. The work done in the prototype identified three issues that could not be coded around without work on generic parts of the compiler. I am very happy to say that two of our colleagues, Andrew Burgess and Maxim Blinov (both from embecosm) have joined me in drafting a postable version of the port and we are seeking sponsorship to finish this in the GCC12 timeframe. Maxim has a lightning talk on the GNU tools track at LPC (right after the steering committee session) that will focus on the two generic issues that we’re tackling (1 and 2 below). Here is a short summary of the issues and proposed solutions (detailed discussion of any of the parts below would better be in new threads).

  • Apple Silicon / M1 Port Planned For GCC 12 - Phoronix

    Developers are hoping for next year's GCC 12 release they will have Apple AArch64 support on Darwin in place for being able to support Apple Silicon -- initially the M1 SoC -- on macOS with GCC. LLVM/Clang has long been supporting AArch64 on macOS given that Apple leverages LLVM/Clang as part of their official Xcode toolchain as the basis for their compiler across macOS to iOS and other products. While the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) supports AArch64 and macOS/Darwin, it hasn't supported the two of them together but there is a port in progress to change it.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: tidyCpp 0.0.5 on CRAN: More Protect’ion

    Another small release of the tidyCpp package arrived on CRAN overnight. The packages offers a clean C++ layer (as well as one small C++ helper class) on top of the C API for R which aims to make use of this robust (if awkward) C API a little easier and more consistent. See the vignette for motivating examples. The Protect class now uses the default methods for copy and move constructors and assignment allowing for wide use of the class. The small NumVec class now uses it for its data member.

  • QML Modules in Qt 6.2

    With Qt 6.2 there is, for the first time, a comprehensive build system API that allows you to specify a QML module as a complete, encapsulated unit. This is a significant improvement, but as the concept of QML modules was rather under-developed in Qt 5, even seasoned QML developers might now ask "What exactly is a QML module". In our previous post we have scratched the surface by introducing the CMake API used to define them. We'll take a closer look in this post.

  • Santiago Zarate: So you want to recover and old git branch because it has been overwritten?
  • Start using YAML now | Opensource.com

    YAML (YAML Ain't Markup Language) is a human-readable data serialization language. Its syntax is simple and human-readable. It does not contain quotation marks, opening and closing tags, or braces. It does not contain anything which might make it harder for humans to parse nesting rules. You can scan your YAML document and immediately know what's going on. [...] At this point, you know enough YAML to get started. You can play around with the online YAML parser to test yourself. If you work with YAML daily, then this handy cheatsheet will be helpful.

  • 40 C programming examples

    C programming language is one of the popular programming languages for novice programmers. It is a structured programming language that was mainly developed for UNIX operating system. It supports different types of operating systems, and it is very easy to learn. 40 useful C programming examples have been shown in this tutorial for the users who want to learn C programming from the beginning.

Devices/Embedded: Asus Tinker Board 2 and More

  • Asus Tinker Board 2 single-board computer now available for $94 and up - Liliputing

    The Asus Tinker Board 2 is a Raspberry Pi-shaped single-board computer powered by a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor and featuring 2GB to 4GB of RAM. First announced almost a year ago, the Tinker Board 2 is finally available for $99 and up. Asus also offers a Tinker Board 2S model that’s pretty similar except that it has 16GB of eMMC storage. Prices for that model start at about $120.

  • Raspberry Pi Weekly Issue #371 - Sir Clive Sinclair, 1940 – 2021

    This week ended with the incredibly sad news of the passing of Sir Clive Sinclair. He was one of the founding fathers of home computing and got many of us at Raspberry Pi hooked on programming as kids. Join us in sharing your Sinclair computing memories with us on Twitter and our blog, and we’ll see you next week.

  • cuplTag battery-powered NFC tag logs temperature and humidity (Crowdfunding) - CNX Software

    Temperature and humidity sensors would normally connect to a gateway sending data to the cloud, the coin-cell battery-powered cuplTag NFC tag instead sends data to your smartphone after a tap. CulpTag is controlled by an MSP430 16-bit microcontroller from Texas Instruments which reads and stores sensor data regularly into an EEPROM, and the data can then be read over NFC with the tag returning an URL with the data from the sensor and battery, then display everything on the phone’s web browser (no app needed).

  • A first look at Microchip PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle RISC-V development board - CNX Software

    Formally launched on Crowd Supply a little over a year ago, Microchip PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle (codenamed MPFS-ICICLE-KIT-ES) was one of the first Linux & FreeBSD capable RISC-V development boards. The system is equipped with PolarFire SoC FPGA comprised a RISC-V CPU subsystem with four 64-bit RISC-V (RV64GC) application cores, one 64-bit RISC-V real-time core (RV64IMAC), as well as FPGA fabric. Backers of the board have been able to play with it for several months ago, but Microchip is now sending the board to more people for evaluation/review, and I got one of my own to experiment with. That’s good to have a higher-end development board instead of the usual hobbyist-grade board. Today, I’ll just have a look at the kit content and main components on the board before playing with Linux and FPGA development tools in an upcoming or two posts.

  • What is IoT device management?

    Smart devices are everywhere around us. We carry one in our pocket, watch movies on another while a third cooks us dinner. Every day there are thousands of new devices connecting to the Internet. Research shows that by 2025, more than 150,000 IoT devices will come online every minute. With such vast numbers it is impossible to keep everything in working order just on your own. This brings the need for IoT device management. But what is IoT device management? To answer this question we first need to understand what the Internet of Things (IoT) is.

  • Beelink U59 mini PC with Intel Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake coming soon - Liliputing

    Beelink says the system ships with Windows 10, but it should also supports Linux.

  • Beelink U59 Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake mini PC to ship with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD - CNX Software

    Beelink U59 is an upcoming Jasper Lake mini PC based on the Intel Celeron N5095 15W quad-core processor that will ship with up to 16GB RAM, and 512 GB M.2 SSD storage. The mini PC will also offer two 4K HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, WiFi 5, as well as four USB 3.0 ports, and support for 2.5-inch SATA drives up to 7mm thick.

Graphics: Mesa, KWinFT, and RADV

  • Experimenting Is Underway For Rust Code Within Mesa - Phoronix

    Longtime Mesa developer Karol Herbst who has worked extensively on the open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver as well as the OpenCL/compute stack while being employed by Red Hat is now toying with the idea of Rust code inside Mesa.  Karol Herbst has begun investigating how Rust code, which is known for its memory safety and concurrency benefits, could be used within Mesa. Ultimately he's evaluating how Rust could be used inside Mesa as an API implementation as well as for leveraging existing Mesa code by Rust. 

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  • KWinFT Continues Working On WLROOTS Render, Library Split

    KWinFT as a fork of KDE's KWin X11/Wayland compositor code continues making progress on driving fundamental display improvements and ironing out the Wayland support.  KWinFT has been transitioning to use WLROOTS for its Wayland heavy-lifting and that process remains ongoing. KWinFT has also been working on splitting up its library code to make it more manageable and robust.  Among the features still desired by KWinFT and to be worked on include input methods, graphical tablet support, and PipeWire video stream integration. Currently there are two full-time developers working on the project but they hope to scale up to four to five full-time developers. 

  • Raytracing Starting to Come Together – Bas Nieuwenhuizen – Open Source GPU Drivers

    I am back with another status update on raytracing in RADV. And the good news is that things are finally starting to come together. After ~9 months of on and off work we’re now having games working with raytracing.

  • Multiple Games Are Now Working With RADV's Ray-Tracing Code - Phoronix

    Not only is Intel progressing with its open-source ray-tracing driver support but the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver "RADV" has been rounding out its RT code too and now has multiple games correctly rendering. Bas Nieuwenhuizen has been spearheading the RADV work on Vulkan ray-tracing support and after more than a half-year tackling it things are starting to fall into place nicely.Games such as Quake II RTX with native Vulkan ray-tracing are working along with the game control via VKD3D-Proton for going from Direct3D 12 DXR to Vulkan RT. Metro Exodus is also working while Ghostrunner and Doom Eternal are two games tested that are not yet working.

Audiocasts/Shows: Full Circle Weekly News, Juno Computers, Kali Linux 2021.3