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Professional Typography in LibreOffice and Italian Migration

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  • LibreOffice: Professional Typography Fully Arrives

    Three decades ago, StarDivision, the ancestor of LibreOffice and OpenOffice, was designed as an intermediate desktop publisher. However, many LibreOffice improvements are designed for users who insist on using it like a typewriter and entering manual formatting. Unofficially, I have been told that LibreOffice developers feel that, since manual formatting is the way most people use it, development for people who want advanced typography is a low priority. Finally, however, in the 5.3 release, LibreOffice has given advanced users a major feature: the ability to add advanced features automatically — a feature that, after almost a century and a half, gives home typists the ability to do advanced typesetting.

    That sounds like an exaggeration, so let me explain. Typewriters were a major advance over handwriting, but still fell short of producing copy that was as polished as what a printing shop could do. To add bold on most typewriters, a typist had to backspace and type over the same letters again, often blurring the letters. Adding italics was even worse, because they could only be indicated by the old copy editing notation of underlining.

    Word processors were a significant improvement over typewriters, but still generally fall short of complete professionalism. For instance, Bold and italic were available with a few clicks. However, far too many word processors continue to manufacture their own small capitals, the letters used to improve the look of several upper case letters in a row — and, often, the result was hideous.

  • Locked in by choice: Why the Italian Defence Department is switching to open source office

    Italy’s Defence Department began migrating to open source software in September 2015. It aims to replace Microsoft Office on 100,000 desktops with LibreOffice by 2020.

    Geneal Camillo Sileo was the man behind the decision to switch to open source. LibreDifesa - the name of his digital migration project - is a success, he says.

    “We have conducted a study and we have concluded that Microsoft Office and Libre Office were just as good for our needs.”

    The advantage of open source is that the code can be tailored to the needs of each organisation. “There should be a willingness to move towards that.”

  • Locked in by choice: How European governments are handling their Microsoft addiction

    In 2012, the then European Union (EU) commissioner for digital agenda, Neelie Kroes, said that not only EU institutions, but all government bodies throughout Europe should implement open standards. Her policy was designed to free public bodies from dependence on proprietary software suppliers.

    The UK has made the biggest strides in encouraging large government departments to increase their use of open source software, through initiatives by the Government Digital Service (GDS). Although local authorities and the NHS are still heavily reliant on proprietary software, the message is gradually spreading to smaller government departments in Britain.

    But five years on, EU civil servants rely on Microsoft Office and Windows. As a result, the public sector is hooked on a digital dependence on Microsoft that costs billions of any currency. Experts say this inhibits innovation and raises technical, political and security risks.

LibreOffice 6.0 to Automatically Update Itself on GNU/Linux, but There's a Catch

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LibreOffice developer Markus Mohrhard recently announced that his work on the new automatic updater for the upcoming LibreOffice 6.0 office suite for Linux is finally ready to see the light of day.

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LibreOffice Features Survey

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  • Have You Taken the LibreOffice Features Survey?

    A new survey aims to help LibreOffice learn which features of the popular open-source office suite users use the most.

  • Survey on LibreOffice features

    Due to its long history, LibreOffice has accumulated a staggering amount of features. Maintaining these features is not free, and having a massive amount of features may blur the focus of the software. In order to steer the development and to focus on the more important aspects we prepared a survey that investigates how often some features are used.

Public sector benefits from LibreOffice bug hunting

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The software development community working on LibreOffice have greatly scaled up their bug-hunting efforts, using automated software test tools made available by Google. Beneficiaries include the many European public administrations that use up-to-date versions of this suite of office productivity tools.

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3 alternatives to LibreOffice Writer

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Even though I write for a living, I rarely use a word processor these days; I do most of my work in a text editor. When I do need to use a word processor, I turn to LibreOffice Writer. It's familiar, it's powerful, and it does everything that I need a word processor to do.

It's hard to dispute LibreOffice Writer's position at the top of the free and open source word processor food chain—both in popularity and in the number of features it has. That said, Writer isn't everyone's favorite word processor or their go-to application for writing.

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LibreOffice News

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  • LibreOffice leverages Google’s OSS-Fuzz to improve quality of office suite
  • LibreOffice leverages Google’s OSS-Fuzz to improve quality of office suite

    For the last five months, The Document Foundation has made use of OSS-Fuzz, Google’s effort to make open source software more secure and stable, to further improve the quality and reliability of LibreOffice’s source code. Developers have used the continuous and automated fuzzing process, which often catches issues just hours after they appear in the upstream code repository, to solve bugs – and potential security issues – before the next binary release.LibreOffice is the first free office suite in the marketplace to leverage Google’s OSS-Fuzz. The service, which is associated with other source code scanning tools such as Coverity, has been integrated into LibreOffice’s security processes – under Red Hat’s leadership – to significantly improve the quality of the source code.

  • Please participate in a survey about page margins

    Margins specify the amount of space to leave between the edges of the page and the document text. You can define it for the left/inner, right/outer, top and bottom side individually. Page margins are defined by default at 0.79″ respectively 2cm on each side in LibreOffice Writer (located under Format > Page). These default values are under close scrutiny now.

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.3.3

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The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.3.3, focused on bleeding edge features, and as such targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters, and power users. LibreOffice 5.3.3 integrates over 70 patches, with an update of the Sifr monochrome icon set and several fixes for interoperability with Microsoft Office documents.

For all other users and enterprise deployments, TDF suggests LibreOffice 5.2.7, with the backing of professional support by certified professionals

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LibreOffice 5.2.7 Is the Last in the Series, End of Life Set for June 4, 2017

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The Document Foundation announced a few moments ago the release of the seventh and last scheduled point release for the LibreOffice 5.2 open-source and cross-platform office suite.

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Announcement of LibreOffice 5.2.7

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The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.2.7, the seventh minor release of the LibreOffice 5.2 family, targeted to enterprises and individual users in production environments.

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Locked in by choice: why the city of Rome is championing open source software

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Five years after the European Union adopted a policy designed to free public bodies in Europe from proprietary software, government authorities across Europe are deeply dependent on Microsoft software and services.

However, some government agencies have managed to migrate to open source alternatives. Their projects are often difficult, temporary, and, carried out under the radar, in an attempt to escape lobbying both from Microsoft and other parts of government.

Rome is one of Europe’s cities advocating open source as a better alternative to Microsoft. City councilor, Flavia Marzano, argues that open source should start on the desktop with open source alternatives to Microsoft Office.

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More in Tux Machines

Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers

OSS, Openwashing and More

  • Speak at Open Source Summit Europe – Submit by July 1
    Open Source Summit Europe is the leading technical conference for professional open source. Join developers, sysadmins, DevOps professionals, architects and community members, to collaborate and learn about the latest open source technologies, and to gain a competitive advantage by using innovative open solutions.
  • MariaDB launches Oracle compatible enterprise open source database
    Enterprise computing has often been reliant on proprietary database architecture, but this can be both complex and costly, putting up a barrier to innovation. Now open source database specialist MariaDB is launching its latest enterprise offering with Oracle compatibility. This allows existing Oracle Database users to reuse existing code and established skill sets when migrating applications or deploying new ones. MariaDB TX 3.0 introduces built-in, system-versioned tables, enabling developers to easily build temporal features into applications. This eliminates the need to manually create columns, tables and triggers in order to maintain row history, freeing DBAs to simply create new tables with system versioning or alter existing tables to add it, streamlining the process significantly. Developers can query a table with standard SQL to see what data looked like at a previous point in time, such as looking at a customer's profile history to see how preferences have changed over time.
  • MariaDB TX 3.0 Delivers First Enterprise Open Source Database to Beat Oracle, Microsoft and IBM
    MariaDB® Corporation today announced the release of MariaDB TX 3.0, the first enterprise open source database solution to deliver advanced features that, until now, required expensive, proprietary and complex databases.
  • 5 Open-Source SQL IDEs for You to Learn and Explore
    If you’ve done a lot with SQL, you’ve probably used some form of SQL IDE to help you complete that work. Yes, it’s possible to do everything in SQL from the command line; but creating or even maintaining databases and tables that way is an exercise in masochism. There are some nice commercial IDEs such as dbArtisan and SQL Server’s Management Studio, but IDEs is one area where open-source can do just as well (or in some cases, even better).
  • LibreOffice 6.1 Branches & Now Under Feature Freeze, LibreOffice 6.2 On Master
    LibreOffice has reached its hard feature freeze and branching period with the first beta release being imminent. As of yesterday is now the libreoffice-6-1 branch for continued with on this next open-source office suite while the Git master code is tracking what will later become LibreOffice 6.2.
  • Securing Third-Party and Open Source Code Components: A Primer [Ed: Citing, as usual, firms that try to sell their proprietary software by badmouthing FOSS]
    The increasing popularity of open source code continues to be a boon for developers across the industry, allowing them to increase efficiency and streamline delivery. But there are security risks to be considered when leveraging open source and commercial code components, as each carries with it a significant risk of becoming the enemy within, creating a vulnerability in the program it helps build.
  • FOSSID Awarded Grant for Artificial Intelligence in Open Source Auditing by Sweden's Government Agency for Innovation
  • Intel AI Lab open-sources library for deep learning-driven NLP
    The Intel AI Lab has open-sourced a library for natural language processing to help researchers and developers give conversational agents like chatbots and virtual assistants the smarts necessary to function, such as name entity recognition, intent extraction, and semantic parsing to identify the action a person wants to take from their words. Just a few months old, the Intel AI Lab plans to open-source more libraries to help developers train and deploy artificial intelligence, publish research, and reproduce the latest innovative techniques from members of the AI research community in order to “push AI and deep learning into domains it’s not a part of yet.”
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  • FSFE Newsletter - May 2018
    Following a more than a decade long tradition, the FSFE once again led its annual Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) in Barcelona, Spain, as a meeting point for world-leading legal exper...
  • 24 best free security tools

Firefox 63 Plans and Mozilla's Error Code Plans

  • Firefox 63 to Get Improved Tracking Protection That Blocks In-Browser Miners
    Mozilla developers are working on an improved Tracking Protection system for the Firefox browser that will land in version 63, scheduled for release in mid-October. Tracking Protection is a feature that blocks Firefox from loading scripts from abusive trackers. It was first launched with Firefox's Private Browsing mode a few years back, but since Firefox 57, released in November 2017, users can enable it for normal browsing sessions at any time.
  • Firefox 63 To Block Cryptojackers With Advanced Tracking Protection
    It has been reported by Bleeping Computer, a security blog, that Firefox 63 will be launched with an improved tracking protection system to ward off the threats and security concerns posed by in-browser miners. With the surge in incidents involving mining malware trying to use your CPU power to perform some CPU-intensive calculations for their own benefit, many browsers have raised their guards by providing additional security features. (You can read more about blocking cryptocurrency mining in your browser in our earlier published article.)
  • What’s the 411 on 404 messages: Internet error messages explained
    Nothing’s worse than a broken website. Well, maybe an asteroid strike. Or a plague. So maybe a broken website isn’t the end of the world, but it’s still annoying. And it’s even more annoying not knowing what those weird error messages mean. That’s why we’ve decoded the most common HTTP error messages.

OpenStack News/Leftovers

  • Canonical founder calls out OpenStack suppliers for ‘lack of focus’ on datacentre cost savings
    The OpenStack supplier community’s reluctance to prioritise the delivery of datacentre cost savings to their users could prove “fatal”, says Canonical co-founder Mark Shuttleworth.
  • OpenStack in transition
    OpenStack is one of the most important and complex open-source projects you’ve never heard of. It’s a set of tools that allows large enterprises ranging from Comcast and PayPal to stock exchanges and telecom providers to run their own AWS-like cloud services inside their data centers. Only a few years ago, there was a lot of hype around OpenStack as the project went through the usual hype cycle. Now, we’re talking about a stable project that many of the most valuable companies on earth rely on. But this also means the ecosystem around it — and the foundation that shepherds it — is now trying to transition to this next phase.
  • Free OpenStack Training Resources
  • How the OpenStack Foundation Is Evolving Beyond Its Roots
    The OpenStack Foundation is in a period of transition as it seeks to enable a broader set of open infrastructure efforts than just the OpenStack cloud project itself. In a video interview at the OpenStack Summit here, OpenStack Foundation Executive Director Jonathan Bryce and Chief Operating Officer Mark Collier discussed how the open-source organization is still thriving, even as corporate sponsorship changes and attendance at events declines. At the event, Collier said there were approximately 2,600 registered attendees, which is nearly half the number that came to the OpenStack Boston 2017 event. OpenStack's corporate sponsorship has also changed, with both IBM and Canonical dropping from the Platinum tier of membership.