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LibO

LibreOffice Document Viewer 2.0 App Officially Released for Ubuntu Phones

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A few minutes ago, Stefano Verzegnassi had the great pleasure of announcing on his Google+ page that the LibreOffice Document Viewer application landed in the Ubuntu Store for all supported Ubuntu Phone devices.

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LibreOffice 5.1 Up to Beta State, the Hunting Session Squashes Nearly 400 Bugs

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Security

The first Beta build of the upcoming LibreOffice 5.1 open-source and cross-platform office suite was silently released at the end of November 2015 for all supported operating systems, including GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows.

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6 useful LibreOffice extensions

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LibreOffice is the best free office suite around, and as such has been adopted by all major Linux distributions. Although LibreOffice is already packed with features, it can be extended by using specific add-ons, called extensions.

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Does the Open Document Format still matter?

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OOo

One of the core topics of this blog -at least one of the main reasons it came to existence- was open standards: their benefits, their advantages, and their value as a fundamental component for digital innovation and ultimately software freedom. This is still the case of course, but today I will try to show how one open standard in particular, ODF, has failed in its approach until now and could very well make a remarkable comeback.

This is not to say that ODF is a bad idea or that it is not a good standard; it is all this and much more. However I have realized with the hindsight of several years since it became an official ISO standard that the expectations about its adoption and its development have been defined the wrong way. Hence the title of this post.

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LibreOffice Now Has More than 100 Million Active Users

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LibreOffice is hailed as the best open source office suite available right now, and we keep hearing about the amazing adoption rate, but we hardly get any real numbers. That changed today after Collabora released some statistics about LibreOffice usage and it’s more than impressive.

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LibreOffice Has About 1,200 UI-Related Reported Bugs, Come and Help Fix Them

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Security

LibreOffice might be a great office suite, but the community doesn’t like the fact that the UI still looks kind of dated. The good news is that anyone with some coding skills can try to fix that by working on the project.

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LibreOffice Now Has More Than 1000 Developers Working on It

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The LibreOffice project is one of the biggest open source endeavours in the world and The Document Foundation announced that there are now more than 1000 developers working on the office suite.

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ODF - the state of play - The future of ODF under OASIS, now that the standards war is won.

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ODF - open document format - is an open, XML-based rich document format that has been adopted as the standard for exchanging information in documents (spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents), by many governments and other organisations (see, for example, here), including the UK Government. This is despite strong opposition by Microsoft; but I have seen Microsoft's proposed "open XML" standard and, frankly, it is huge and horrid (in the word of standards, these go together). If I remember correctly, the early draft I saw even incorporated recognition of early Excel leap-year bugs into the standard.

ODF is now a pukka ISO standard, maintained by OASIS, under the proud banner: "The future is interoperability".

My personal thoughts, below, are prompted by an ODF session at ApacheCon Core titled "Beyond OpenOffice: The State of the ODF Ecosystem" held by Louis Suárez-Potts (community strategist for Age of Peers, his own consultancy, and the Community Manager for OpenOffice.org, from 2000 to 2011), and attended by very few delegates - perhaps a sign of current level of interest in ODF within the Apache community. Nevertheless, and I am talking about the ODF standard here, not Apache Open Office (which is currently my office software of choice) or its Libre Office fork (which seems to be where the excitement, such as it is, is, for now), the standards battle, or one battle, has been won; we have a useful Open Document Format, standardised by a recognised and mature standards organisation, and even Microsoft Office supports it. That's good.

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Better polygon rendering in LibreOffice's Gtk3 Support

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Above is how LibreOffice's "svp" backend rendered rotated text outlines in chart where the text is represented by polygon paths. Because the gtk3 backend is based on that svp backend that's what you got with the gtk3 support enabled.

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Editable version UK’s ODF guidance

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A free software advocate has created an editable version of the UK government’s Open Document Format manuals, the “ODF Guidance”. Making the texts available on the Github software development repository facilitates others to edit, update and translate the texts, explains Paolo Dongilli, uploaded the documents to Github on 28 October.

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Linux Devices, Tizen, and Android

Leftovers: OSS

  • SAP buys into blockchain, joins Hyperledger Project
  • foss-north speaker line-up
    I am extremely pleased to have confirmed the entire speaker line-up for foss north 2017. This will be a really good year!
  • Chromium/Chrome Browser Adds A glTF Parser
    Google's Chrome / Chromium web-browser has added a native glTF 1.0 parser. The GL Transmission Format, of course, being Khronos' "3D asset delivery format" for dealing with compressed scenes and assets by WebGL, OpenGL ES, and other APIs. There are glTF utility libraries in JavaScript and other web-focused languages, but Google adding a native glTF 1.0 parser appears to be related to their VR push with supporting VR content on the web. Their glTF parser was added to Chromium Git on Friday.
  • Sex and Gor and open source
    A few weeks ago, Dries Buytaert, founder of the popular open-source CMS Drupal, asked Larry Garfield, a prominent Drupal contributor and long-time member of the Drupal community, “to leave the Drupal project.” Why did he do this? He refuses to say. A huge furor has erupted in response — not least because the reason clearly has much to do with Garfield’s unconventional sex life. [...] I’ll unpack the first: open-source communities/projects are crucially important to many people’s careers and professional lives — cf “the cornerstone of my career” — so who they allow and deny membership to, and how their codes of conduct are constructed and followed, is highly consequential.
  • Hazelcast Releases 3.8 – The Fastest Open Source In-Memory Data Grid
  • SecureDrop and Alexandre Oliva are 2016 Free Software Awards winners
  • MRRF 17: Lulzbot and IC3D Release Line Of Open Source Filament
    Today at the Midwest RepRap Festival, Lulzbot and IC3D announced the creation of an Open Source filament. While the RepRap project is the best example we have for what can be done with Open Source hardware, the stuff that makes 3D printers work – filament, motors, and to some extent the electronics – are tied up in trade secrets and proprietary processes. As you would expect from most industrial processes, there is an art and a science to making filament and now these secrets will be revealed.
  • RApiDatetime 0.0.2

Security Leftovers

  • NSA: We Disclose 90% of the Flaws We Find
    In the wake of the release of thousands of documents describing CIA hacking tools and techniques earlier this month, there has been a renewed discussion in the security and government communities about whether government agencies should disclose any vulnerabilities they discover. While raw numbers on vulnerability discovery are hard to come by, the NSA, which does much of the country’s offensive security operations, discloses more than nine of every 10 flaws it finds, the agency’s deputy director said.
  • EFF Launches Community Security Training Series
    EFF is pleased to announce a series of community security trainings in partnership with the San Francisco Public Library. High-profile data breaches and hard-fought battles against unlawful mass surveillance programs underscore that the public needs practical information about online security. We know more about potential threats each day, but we also know that encryption works and can help thwart digital spying. Lack of knowledge about best practices puts individuals at risk, so EFF will bring lessons from its comprehensive Surveillance Self-Defense guide to the SFPL. [...] With the Surveillance Self-Defense project and these local events, EFF strives to help make information about online security accessible to beginners as well as seasoned techno-activists and journalists. We hope you will consider our tips on how to protect your digital privacy, but we also hope you will encourage those around you to learn more and make better choices with technology. After all, privacy is a team sport and everyone wins.
  • NextCloud, a security analysis
    First, I would like to scare everyone a little bit in order to have people appreciate the extent of this statement. As the figure that opens the post indicates, there are thousands of vulnerable Owncloud/NextCloud instances out there. It will surprise many just how easy is to detect those by trying out common URL paths during an IP sweep.
  • FedEx will deliver you $5.00 just to install Flash
    Bribes on offer as courier's custom printing service needs Adobe's security sinkhole

GNOME Extensions Website Has A New Look

Every GNOME Shell user will visit the official GNOME Shell Extensions website at least once. And if those users do so this weekend they’ll notice a small difference as the GNOME Shell Extensions website is sporting a minor redesign. This online repo plays host to a stack of terrific add-ons that add additional features and tweak existing ones. Read more