2013-05-02 11:46

Recent documents in LibreOffice

This is again one of those little improvements that make LibreOffice much more usable, and that I so much love hacking on. I implemented a dropdown for the Open toolbar button that brings an easy access to the Recent Documents, and sent that the UX mailing list for feedback. I got some really useful hints. Even better - I gave Samuel code pointers to play with this a bit, and he came up with a beautiful patch that implements his ideas. And here is the result:

Samuel - thank you for this! :-) For anybody who would like to bring this functionality to the Start Center too (the screen you see when you start LibreOffice), here is an Easy Hack that will result in reusing the code for the Start Center too; and also will delete lots of duplicate code.

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice

2013-01-10 17:58

LibreOffice 4.0: Use Firefox Personas in your favorite office suite

At the very last minute, my patches to support Firefox Personas in LibreOffice were accepted as a late feature for 4.0, hooray! :-) What does it mean?

Personas are easy-to-use themes that let you personalize the look of your Firefox says the Personas page. In fact, it is a great collection of many nice pictures you can apply in your Firefox with one click.

Olivier had the great idea to reuse them in LibreOffice too. I provided him with few code pointers to implement the feature, but then I decided this is actually so fun project that I wanted to do it myself (sorry, Olivier!) - and started that at the Munich HackFest. Long story short, here is the result:

Unfortunately we cannot choose Personas in LibreOffice with just one click as in Firefox, but it is as easy as it can be - just download LibreOffice 4.0 RC1 (or later) when available, choose Tools -> Options... -> Personalization -> Select Persona, and the rest is trivial, the dialog will lead you through the necessary steps. Enjoy!

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice

2012-11-24 21:03

LibreOffice HackFest in Munich: Apply Style Combobox

The first day of the LibreOffice HackFest in Munich is nearly over, and I am happy to say that I've already achieved what I wanted to hack on:

This is how the "Apply Style" combo box looks like from now on - in LibreOffice 4.0, we will show previews of the styles directly in there, helping the users to choose the right style conveniently.

I can imagine some follow-up work, like being able to edit the style directly from the menu entry, instead of having to choose "More...", and editing from there; if you are interested to hack on this, I'll be glad to show you where :-) - just mail me.

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice

2012-05-25 10:54

LibreOffice Tutorial Videos

A user just asked on IRC how to print a serie of descriptions of photos, when he has a list in a spreadsheet. I answered that Mail Merge is what he is searching for - but he did not know what Mail Merge was. I found a very helpful video showing the mail merge in LibreOffice, so I want to share it with you :-)

[There is also a shortcut to Mail Merge when you understand the concept, try Tools -> Mail Merge Wizard..., of course.]

There are more LibreOffice videos out there, backed up by this nicely structured webpage. Might be worth watching the other videos too :-)

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice

2012-05-17 10:58

Improved Rulers

Recently I was able to spend a bit of time on the UI hacking again; and this time it was the "Rulers" in Writer. Thanks to Mirek M. (BTW, have you seen his Call for GSoC projects designs, and Call for Templates blog entries?) who provided me with a helpful mockup, I was able able to implement the new look quickly and effectively, mostly by removing code :-)

I hope I will be able to do more such changes before the 3.6 feature freeze; I'll keep you informed. And if anybody of you is interested in UI-related hacking, just mail me or ping me on the IRC (kendy on irc.freenode.net), and I'll provide you with code pointers to other interesting areas :-)

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice

2011-11-18 17:32

LibreOffice v češtině

Chcete si stáhnout LibreOffice? Doporučím vám tedy stránky LibreOffice v češtině, abyste se k instalátoru nemuseli dostávat přes anglické stránky :-)

LibreOffice 3.4 má uživatelské rozhraní kompletně přeložené do češtiny, nápovědu z 90%. 3.5, příští verze, je na tom trochu hůře - uživatelské rozhraní 97%, nápověda 89%. Pokud chcete tato čísla zlepšit, není nic jednoduššího - zaregistrujte se na LibreOffice Pootle serveru, pošlete mi své uživatelské jméno na kendy @ suse cz a já vám zařídím potřebná oprávnění.

LibreOffice 3.5 toho má hodně co nabídnout, byla by škoda nemít všechno přeloženo!

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice

2011-06-14 10:29

Toolbar improvements

On Friday, I was able to spend a bit of time on UI hacking which I love. Those small and tiny pieces that when combined, do a big difference - do you remember my GSoC task proposal in this area? ;-) Unfortunately, no student has picked that; but let's see if somebody else gets interested.

This time it was the toolbar's menus. So far those menus were too prominently visible on the toolbar, while not that much used. Additionally, you can get the same functionality as a context menu - when you right-click on the toolbar. Together with our UX guys, we agreed that the best will be to remove them, and show the ">>" marks only when there are hidden toolbar items. You can see the changes on a "Before/After" screenshot:

And how does it look like when there are hidden items:

This will be available in LibreOffice 3.5. There is a small follow-up Easy Hack, see EasyHack: Make the toolbar menu easier. I'll be happy to provide you with details if you want to try this one - just drop me a mail.

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice

2011-04-15 17:01

LibreOffice build on Windows with ccache for MSVC

I have just revived my 4 years old hack that adds MSVC support to ccache. The use case is a bit limited - you have to use it from inside cygwin; but that is exactly what LibreOffice needs :-) So I have updated LibreOffice's configure.in to be able to handle it well - so far in the libreoffice-3-4 branch, but it will get to master the next time we merge the branch there.

How to use it? Download the ccache.exe binary, put it to eg. your ~/bin (or somewhere else in your PATH), setup the CC and CXX environment variables, and compile as you are used to (./autogen.sh, make, ...), like:

CC="ccache C:/PROGRA~1/MICROS~1.0/VC/bin/cl.exe"
CXX="ccache C:/PROGRA~1/MICROS~1.0/VC/bin/cl.exe"

And yes, it would be great to do the ccache support as simple as a --enable-ccache configure option - but I did not find time to fine tune it on the other platforms, so I'll go for that only when I find there is a demand for that - drop me a mail ;-)

If you want to have a look at the ccache's statistics, run ccache -s. I've done no measurement how much time it saves overall - if are able to do any, please mail me your results too.

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice

2011-04-01 16:55

LibreOffice: Zapojte se!

[This blog entry is in Czech, a summary of my talk I had at the openSUSE 11.4 Release Party in Prague.]

Toto je asi první zápis, který píšu česky. A pokud není první, tak ten předchozí jsem musel napsat tak dávno, že si to už ani nepamatuji. Chci se s vámi totiž podělit o své (česky psané) slidy z openSUSE 11.4 Release Party, která byla minulý pátek v hackerspace Brmlab. Bylo nás tam hodně, přitom však tak akorát, abychom se neudusili; však si prohlédněte fotky v Pavlově blogu.

Mluvil jsem o tom, jak se zapojit do LibreOffice (pdf) jako přispěvatel. A šance je jak pro programátory, tak pro překladatele, nebo autory dokumentace, či webových stránek. Nejdůležitější je najít si, co vás baví, a začít. Programátorských úkolů je spousta, vybere si každý. A pokud se jedná o překlady, pošlete mi mail, povím více.

Abych nezapomněl, pro studenty je šance vydělat si přes léto pěkných pár peněz v rámci Google Summer of Code pro LibreOffice. Tak neváhejte, máte ještě týden na to, abyste se zaregistrovali! :-)

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice

2011-03-31 11:35

FOSDEM 2011: LibreOffice Online Help (Wikihelp)

I realized I did not post my FOSDEM slides online; this blog post is to fix that ;-) So if you want to learn more about our approach to the on-line help, please have a look here:

LibreOffice Online Help (Wikihelp)

It talks briefly about what we have done to bring the LibreOffice help online, and about the future steps. Talking of the future steps, in 3.4, the .xhp files are still the source of the help (check the presentation if you want to know what are the .xhp files), because we did not manage to do the 2nd step - converting the wiki markup back to the native help files.

Actually - I would like to mentor a GSoC task for that:

Convert LibreOffice Help to Platform Specific Help Files

If you are a student interested in Free Software, with free summer, and Python or Perl knowledge (to bind to existing MediaWiki markup parsers), this might be a nice task for you!

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice

2011-03-29 9:43

LibreOffice GSoC: The UI Cleanup

As you might have heard, LibreOffice has been accepted for this year's Google Summer of Code program. I am a mentor or a co-mentor of several tasks, but one of them is the closest to my heart, and that is the UI Cleanup task.

Please consider applying for it - in the summer time frame, we can do a big change. And it is better than that, this task consists of several smaller sub-tasks, each of them few days to a week long, so you can see the results of your work immediately, and the big change is in fact result of all those smaller fixes 'here and there'.

If you are one of those who looks at the screenshots first, this is a task for you :-)

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice

2011-03-04 10:18

LibreOffice Findbar improvements

Yesterday I played a bit with the Findbar in LibreOffice, and changed it to look and behave more like in the applications like Firefox, or Evolution:

It is now hidden by default, and opens when you press Ctrl-f (for the old Search and Replace dialog I changed the keybinding to Ctrl-Alt-f), or when you choose Find in the menu. It opens at the bottom of the document, and you can close it again (and return back to the document) by pressing Escape. I also made the text entry wider so that more characters fits in there.

Enjoy! :-) - will be available in LibreOffice 3.4.

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice

2011-02-28 17:00

LibreOffice Tinderbox moved

If you have read my previous blog about LibreOffice Tinderbox, this is a small update:

  • We have moved the tinbuild script to a separate repository, so that the tinbuild can potentially switch branches as necessary.
  • Thorsten has also improved the script so that you can send the mails via SSL or TLS thanks to using sendEmail by Brandon Zehm.

If you are still using the old tinbuild, you are encouraged to upgrade :-) The most recent installation instructions are part of the repository now, read them here.

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice

2011-02-18 21:38

LibreOffice Tinderbox

You probably know what is LibreOffice, but might be in doubt, what is a tinderbox. It is easy - it is a script that builds a software project over and over again, and reports success or problems to a central place.

Until recently, we had the first part, a script that builds LibreOffice several times a day, and when a build problem appears, it mails the error to all the committers since the last successful build. We also had the second part, the central place for reporting the problems, Christian Lohmaier's great tinderbox on go-oo. But what we were missing was the connection of those two. I fixed that just recently by extending the nagging script to send the build logs there too.

The interesting outcome is that setting up your own tinderbox is incredibly easy now :-) What to do:

$ git clone git://anongit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/bootstrap tinderbox
$ cd tinderbox
$ ./autogen.sh [params]
[make sure that you fulfill all the configure needs]
$ make
[make sure that you get at least one successful build, for sanity check]
$ screen bin/tinbuild [params]
[and now let that box do the work :-)]

Should you have trouble with the autogen.sh and make part, consult the great documentation here. If you want to learn more about the bin/tinbuild, have a look at tinbuild --help. The setup I am using is:

screen bin/tinbuild -n -i -m kendy@suse.cz -w $((15*60)) -s relayhost -t "SLED11 (x86-64)"

You of course want to change the -m parameter (email address of the tinderbox owner), -s parameter (SMTP host), and -t (description of the host, ideally in the form "Operating system (arch)"). Please also note:

  • The box should run 24/7.
  • It is a good practice to have a separate user account for the tinderbox, that does nothing else than the building.
  • You need --disable-dependency-tracking among the ./autogen.sh parameters so that the build stops immediately after the error.
  • It is also preferable to force --with-num-cpus=1, from the same reason.

I believe with the recent updates, tinbuild is reasonably cross-platform (it uses Bash and Perl's Net::SMTP and MIME::Lite modules to send mails), so you should be able to deploy it on your favorite platform pretty easily. Actually - do so! :-) That way you can be sure that LibreOffice will be buildable on your platform most of the time. Drop a note to our development mailing list if you are interested.

And future plans? Extend tinbuild even more, to be able to upload the resulting binaries to Norbert Thiebaud's daily builds :-)

Posted by kendy | Permalink | Categories: LibreOffice