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Software: Office Suites, BleachBit and gti

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  • List of Best Linux Office Suites

    Despite all the features, the freedom and the flexibility that Linux may offer you, it is not perfect. New Linux users face a lot of issues when they switch to Linux; such as not being able to use Microsoft Office, which is a popular productivity software!
    Now don’t panic just yet; there are two solutions to this problem. You can use a software called Wine that can enable you to install MS Office on your Linux. This solution is not preferred as not all version of MS Office are supported, leaving you with a very little choice.

    The second option is that you can use alternative MS Office suites that are available for Linux, which will be the topic of this article. Following is a list of the best Linux office suites.

  • FreeOffice on openSUSE

    I am not really much of an “Office Snob” but in recent weeks, I have heard people hammer and clammer about this FreeOffice for both “in favor of” and “against” it. In full disclosure, I mostly use LibreOffice and I still use Microsoft Office 2007 for certain very specific reasons. That said, I am obviously not an open source purest. Back to the reason for this write up, I use office products a lot for the purposes of creating product for home educating my kids as well as for many administrative things that I do as a part of my employment. For the most part, I don’t do anything terribly complex but I do like a certain uniformity and bits of information on things to keep me organized.

    Bottom Line Up Front, FreeOffice is a fine, well polished, very complete application. I am only using the “Free version” and I am very impressed with it. The user interface is flexible to your liking, looks clean and modern, most things work fantastically well and I am not sure how they get away with the look of the UIs similarity to Microsoft Office. Although this would likely serve all my needs, I will stick with LibreOffice because it is what I am most accustomed and I don’t gain anything by switching to FreeOffice. At a minimum, I would have to keep LibreOffice Draw for a few specific tasks.

  • BleachBit 4.0.0

    When your computer is getting full, BleachBit quickly frees disk space. When your information is only your business, BleachBit guards your privacy. With BleachBit you can free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard junk you didn't know was there.

    Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean thousands of applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and more. Beyond simply deleting files, BleachBit includes advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster. Better than free, BleachBit is open source.

  • Linux Candy: gti – typo-based curio inspired by Steam Locomotive

    Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open-source software in this series.

    gti is intended to catch accidental typos of ‘gti’ instead of ‘git’. It displays an animation of a car driving by, and then launches git. Any parameters or arguments given to gti are passed through to git.

    gti is a tiny C program, written in a mere 329 lines of code. It’s just an inoffensive bit of fun that might raise a smile now and then, particularly important in these trying times.

Why Use LibreOffice in Education and Celebrating Document Freedom Day 2020

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  • LibreOffice: A great choice for schools and education

    Because LibreOffice is free and open source software, students and teachers can download and install it on as many machines as they like, without worrying about license fees, subscriptions or audits. If you’re a teacher, you can be sure that your students won’t suddenly be locked out of their documents for not renewing a subscription. They can keep working, as long as they like!

  • Document Freedom Day 2020

    When you save a document on your computer, it is stored in a computer file. Whether it is a text file, a picture, a video or any other kind of work, it is saved with a specific coded structure, known as the file format.

    To be able to share data, software programs must be able to communicate with each other. It implies that no barrier whatsoever may hinder the exchange of data and the related write or read operations. For such a seamless exchange to be possible, software programs are required to be “interoperable”.

    Interoperability is guaranteed when it relies on open standards, i.e. public technical specifications, freely usable by everyone, without restriction nor compensation, and maintained by an open decision-making process. File formats based on these open standards are “Open Formats”.

    Where software interoperability is set aside, or if a program editor does not give access to the key information for interoperability or if the file design recipe is kept undisclosed, or if the file design recipe is available but is not followed by the program, file formats are considered to be “closed” and do not allow interoperability. For a software user, choosing between an Open File Format or a closed one has a deep impact on the ownership of and the access to his/her own data and their availability over time.

Season of Docs 2020 and Document Freedom Day 2020

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Google
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  • Announcing Season of Docs 2020

    Season of Docs brings technical writers and open source projects together for a few months to work on open source documentation. 2019 was the first year of Season of Docs, bringing together open source organizations and technical writers to create 44 successful documentation projects!

  • Announcing Season of Docs 2020

    Google Open Source has announced the 2020 edition of Season of Docs, a program to connect open source projects with technical writers to improve documentation. Open source organizations may apply from April 14-May 4. Once mentoring organizations and technical writers are connected, there will be a month long community bonding period, beginning August 11. Writers will then work with mentors to complete documentation projects by the December 6 deadline.

  • Paint a Dove for Document Freedom Day

    Help us celebrate the Twelfth Anniversary of Document Freedom Day by making a paper dove!

    Download the dove template and the instructions from this link: https://tdf.io/dfd1, and once you are done with your dove take a picture of it and upload your photo using this link: https://tdf.io/dfd2.

TDF new Board of Directors

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The new Board of Directors of The Document Foundation has just started the two year term on February 18, 2020. Members are: Michael Meeks, Thorsten Behrens, Franklin Weng, Daniel Rodriguez, Cor Nouws, Lothar Becker and Emiliano Vavassori. Deputies are: Nicolas Christener and Paolo Vecchi.

Five people have been elected for the first time to the Board of Directors: Daniel Armando Rodriguez from Posadas in Argentina; Lothar Becker from Karlsruhe in Germany; Emiliano Vavassori from Bergamo in Italy; Nicholas Christener from Bern in Switzerland; and Paolo Vecchi from Luxembourg (in Luxembourg).

During the first meeting of the Board of Directors, the nine members have elected Lothar Becker as Chairman and Franklin Weng as Deputy Chairman. In the meantime, also the responsibilities and areas of oversight have been discussed and decided.

At the same time, six people – who have served as board members and deputies during the previous term(s) – have left the board, but will continue their activity as TDF Members: Marina Latini, Chairwoman; Björn Michaelsen, Deputy Chairman; Eike Rathke, Member; and Jan Holešovský, Simon Phipps and Osvaldo Gervasi, Deputies.

Read more

Also: QA/Dev Report: February 2020

ODF 1.3 approved as OASIS Committee Specification

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OASIS is pleased to announce that Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.3 from the OpenDocument TC has been approved as an OASIS Committee Specification.

The OpenDocument Format is an open XML-based document file format for office applications, to be used for documents containing text, spreadsheets, charts, and graphical elements. OpenDocument Format v1.3 is an update to the international standard Version 1.2, which was approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as ISO/IEC 26300 in 2015. OpenDocument Format v1.3 includes improvements for document security, clarifies underspecifications and makes other timely improvements.

The OpenDocument Format specifies the characteristics of an open XML-based application-independent and platform-independent digital document file format, as well as the characteristics of software applications which read, write and process such documents. It is applicable to document authoring, editing, viewing, exchange and archiving, including text documents, spreadsheets, presentation graphics, drawings, charts and similar documents commonly used by personal productivity software applications.

This Committee Specification is an OASIS deliverable, completed and approved by the TC and fully ready for testing and implementation.

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The Document Foundation welcomes the release to OASIS of the TC Committee Draft of ODF Version 1.3 for ratification

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The Document Foundation welcomes the release to OASIS of TC Committee Draft of ODF Version 1.3 for ratification. At the end of the process, ODF Version 1.3 will be submitted to ISO to become a standard. The final approval is expected in late 2020 or early 2021.

Editing of ODF Version 1.3 Committee Draft has been sponsored by the Community of ODF Specification Maintainers (COSM), a project launched by The Document Foundation in 2017 with the donation of a seed of euro 10,000 to get the COSM project started, plus up to euro 20,000 to match each euro donated by other stakeholders.

So far, the COSM project has been backed by Microsoft, Collabora, the UK Government Digital Services, CIB, the European Commission’s StandICT project and Open-Xchange. The money has been used to pay an editor to finalize the ODF 1.3 specification and manage it through the OASIS review and ratification process.

Major new features of ODF 1.3 are digital signature and OpenPGP-based XML encryption of documents, plus several improvements to features already available in ODF 1.2 like new polynomial and moving average regression types for charts, a new specification for number of decimal digits in number formatting, a special header/footer style for first page of documents, contextual spacing for paragraphs, additional type argument values for the WEEKDAY function, and the new text master template document type. Most of these new features have been contributed by developers at CIB, Collabora, Microsoft and The Document Foundation.

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Also: [LibreOffice] QA Report: October 2019

Document Foundation: ‘ODF 1.3 ready for ratification by OASIS’

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Version 1.3 of the Open Document Format (ODF), an open standard for documents, spreadsheets and presentations, will be ratified by the OASIS standardisation organisation in December, according to the Document Foundation – the organisation supporting the development of LibreOffice. This update of the ODF standard has been made possible by financial contributions from the United Kingdom, the European Commission, and three office productivity software companies: US multinational Microsoft, UK-based Collabora, and German software maker CIB.

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Videos from LibreOffice Conference 2019: OpenDocument Format

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LibreOffice can open documents in many formats, including Microsoft Office files (.docx, .xlxs, .pptx). But it’s native file format is the fully open and standardised OpenDocument Format (ODF). At the recent LibreOffice Conference 2019 in Spain, community members gave presentations about news and updates for ODF. So, here are the first videos from the presentations (use headphones for best audio quality).

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TDF Annual Report 2018

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The Annual Report of The Document Foundation for the year 2018 is now available in PDF format from TDF Nextcloud in two different versions: low resolution (6.4MB) and high resolution (53.2MB). The annual report is based on the German version presented to the authorities in April.

The 52 page document has been entirely created with free open source software: written contents have obviously been developed with LibreOffice Writer (desktop) and collaboratively modified with LibreOffice Writer (online), charts have been created with LibreOffice Calc and prepared for publishing with LibreOffice Draw, drawings and tables have been developed or modified (from legacy PDF originals) with LibreOffice Draw, images have been prepared for publishing with GIMP, and the layout has been created with Scribus based on the existing templates.

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UK Government Digital Service joins The Document Foundation Advisory Board

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The Government Digital Service (GDS) is part of the UK Cabinet Office [1]. It leads the digital transformation of Government in the UK, helping people interact with government more easily and supporting government to operate more effectively and efficiently.

In July 2014, the UK Cabinet Office announced the selection of the Open Document Format (ODF) for sharing and viewing government documents.

The Open Standards Team within GDS support and encourage the use of open standards in government. Their aim is to help identify and contribute to open standards for software interoperability and to promote data formats that will help to meet user needs across the UK government and support the delivery of common components.

“GDS has been a long-term supporter of the adoption of Open Document Format, and their participation in the TDF Advisory Board represents a strong endorsement of the project’s commitment to the advancement of open standards and ODF”, says Simon Phipps, TDF Director.

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More in Tux Machines

SolydXK 10.4 Distro Released, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.4 “Buster”

As its version number suggests, SolydXK 10.4 is based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.4, which was released in early May 2020 with more than 50 security updates and over 100 bug fixes. The SolydXK team has worked hard over the past several months to bring you SolydXK 10.4, which includes the latest Linux 4.19 kernel and up-to-date packages from the Debian Buster repositories. On top of that, the new release comes with some important under-the-hood changes. For example, the /usr directories have been merged and the /bin, /sbin and /lib directories have now become symbolic links to /usr/bin, /usr/sbin and /usr/lib. Read more

Android Leftovers

today's leftovers

  • Upcoming SAVVY-V Open Source RISC-V Cluster Board Supports 10GbE via Microsemi PolarFire 64-bit RISC-V SoC

    RISC-V based PolarFire SoC FPGA by Microsemi may be coming up in the third quarter of this year, but Ali Uzel has been sharing a few details about SAVVY-V advanced open-source RISC-V cluster board made by FOSOH-V (Flexible Open SOurce Hardware for RISC-V) community of developers. It’s powered by Microsemi Polarfire RISC-V SoC MPFS250T with four 64-bit RISC-V cores, a smaller RV64IMAC monitor core, and FPGA fabric that allows 10GbE via SFP+ cages, and exposes six USB Type-C ports. The solution is called a cluster board since up to six SAVVY-V boards can be stacked via a PC/104+ connector and interfaced via the USB-C ports.

  • Some PSAs for NUC owners

    I’ve written before, in Contemplating the Cute Brick, that I’m a big fan of Intel’s NUC line of small-form-factor computers. Over the last week I’ve been having some unpleasant learning experiences around them. I’m still a fan, but I’m shipping this post where the search engines can see it in support of future NUC owners in trouble. Two years ago I bought an NUC for my wife Cathy to replace her last tower-case PC – the NUC8i3BEH1. This model was semi-obsolete even then, but I didn’t want one of the newer i5 or i7 NUCs because I didn’t think it would fit my wife’s needs as well. What my wife does with her computer doesn’t tax it much. Web browsing, office work, a bit of gaming that does not extend to recent AAA titles demanding the latest whizzy graphics card. I thought her needs would be best served by a small, quiet, low-power-consumption machine that was cheap enough to be considered readily disposable at the end of its service life. The exact opposite of my Great Beast… The NUC was an experiment that made Cathy and me happy. She especially likes the fact that it’s small and light enough to be mounted on the back of her monitor, so it effectively takes up no desk space or floor area in her rather crowded office. I like the NUC’s industrial design and engineering – lots of nice little details like the four case screws being captive to the baseplate so you cannot lose them during disassembly. Also. Dammit, NUCs are pretty. I say dammit because I feel like this shouldn’t matter to me and am a bit embarrassed to discover that it does. I like the color and shape and feel of these devices. Someone did an amazing job of making them unobtrusively attractive. [...] When I asked if Simply NUC knew of a source for a fan that would fit my 8i3BEH1 – a reasonable question, I think, to ask a company that loudly claims to be a one-stop shop for all NUC needs – the reply email told me I’d have to do “personal research” on that. It turns out that if the useless drone who was Simply NUC “service” had cared about doing his actual job, he could have the read the fan’s model number off the image I had sent him into a search box and found multiple sources within seconds, because that’s what I then did. Of course this would have required caring that a customer was unhappy, which apparently they don’t do at Simply NUC. Third reason I know this: My request for a refund didn’t even get refused; it wasn’t even answered.

  • GNU Binutils 2.35 Preparing For Release

    Binutils 2.35 was branched this weekend as this important component to the open-source Linux ecosystem. Binutils 2.35 has been branched meaning feature development is over for this next version of this collection of GNU tools. GNU Binutils 2.356 drops x86 Native Client (NaCl) support with Google having deprecated it in favor of WebAssembly, new options added for the readelf tool, many bug fixes, and an assortment of other changes albeit mostly on the minor side.

  • Using CPU Subsets for Building Software

    NetBSD has a somewhat obscure tool named psrset that allows creating “sets” of cores and running tasks on one of those sets. Let’s try it: [...]

  • What a TLS self signed certificate is at a mechanical level

    To simplify a lot, a TLS certificate is a bundle of attributes wrapped around a public key. All TLS certificates are signed by someone; we call this the issuer. The issuer for a certificate is identified by their X.509 Subject Name, and also at least implicitly by the keypair used to sign the certificate (since only an issuer TLS certificate with the right public key can validate the signature).

  • Security Researchers Attacked Google’s Mysterious Fuchsia OS: Here’s What They Found

    A couple of things that Computer Business Review has widely covered are important context for the security probe. (These won’t be much surprise to Fuchsia’s followers of the past two years.)

    i.e. Fuschsia OS is based on a tiny custom kernel from Google called Zircon which has some elements written in C++, some in Rust. Device drivers run in what’s called “user mode” or “user land”, meaning they’re not given fully elevated privileges. This means they can be isolated better.

    In user land, everything that a driver does has to go via the kernel first before hitting the actually computer’s resources. As Quark Labs found, this is a tidy way of reducing attack surface. But with some sustained attention, its researchers managed to get what they wanted: “We are able to gain kernel code execution from a regular userland process.”

  • What have you been playing on Linux? Come and have a chat

    Ah Sunday, that special day that's a calm before the storm of another week and a time for a community chat here on GOL. Today, it's our birthday! If you didn't see the post earlier this week, GamingOnLinux as of today has hit the big 11 years old! Oh how time sure flies by. Onto the subject of gaming on Linux: honestly, the majority of my personal game time has been taken up by Into the Breach. It's so gorgeously streamlined, accessible, fun and it's also ridiculously complex at the same time. Tiny maps that require a huge amount of forward thinking, as you weigh up each movement decision against any possible downsides. It's like playing chess, only with big mecha fighting off aliens trying to take down buildings. [...] I've also been quite disappointed in Crayta on Stadia, as it so far hasn't lived up to even my smallest expectations for the game maker. It just seems so half-baked, with poor/stiff animations and a lack of any meaningful content to start with. I'll be checking back on it in a few months but for now it's just not fun.

Programming Leftovers (LLVM Clang, R, Perl and Python)

  • Arm Cortex-A77 Support Upstreamed Finally To LLVM Clang 11

    While the Arm Cortex-A77 was announced last year and already has been succeeded by the Cortex-A78 announcement, support for the A77 has finally been upstreamed to the LLVM Clang compiler. The Cortex-A77 support was added to the GCC compiler last year while seemingly as an oversight the A77 support wasn't added to LLVM/Clang until this week.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: Rcpp now used by 2000 CRAN packages–and one in eight!

    As of yesterday, Rcpp stands at exactly 2000 reverse-dependencies on CRAN. The graph on the left depicts the growth of Rcpp usage (as measured by Depends, Imports and LinkingTo, but excluding Suggests) over time. Rcpp was first released in November 2008. It probably cleared 50 packages around three years later in December 2011, 100 packages in January 2013, 200 packages in April 2014, and 300 packages in November 2014. It passed 400 packages in June 2015 (when I tweeted about it), 500 packages in late October 2015, 600 packages in March 2016, 700 packages last July 2016, 800 packages last October 2016, 900 packages early January 2017, 1000 packages in April 2017, 1250 packages in November 2017, 1500 packages in November 2018 and then 1750 packages last August. The chart extends to the very beginning via manually compiled data from CRANberries and checked with crandb. The next part uses manually saved entries. The core (and by far largest) part of the data set was generated semi-automatically via a short script appending updates to a small file-based backend. A list of packages using Rcpp is available too.

  • YouTube: The [Perl] Weekly Challenge - 067
  • The [Perl] Weekly Challenge #067

    This week both tasks had one thing in common i.e. pairing two or more list. In the past, I have taken the help from CPAN module Algorithm::Combinatorics for such tasks.

  • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxxxiv) stackoverflow python report
  • Flask project setup: TDD, Docker, Postgres and more - Part 1

    There are tons of tutorials on Internet that tech you how to use a web framework and how to create Web applications, and many of these cover Flask, first of all the impressive Flask Mega-Tutorial by Miguel Grinberg (thanks Miguel!). Why another tutorial, then? Recently I started working on a small personal project and decided that it was a good chance to refresh my knowledge of the framework. For this reason I temporarily dropped the clean architecture I often recommend, and started from scratch following some tutorials. My development environment quickly became very messy, and after a while I realised I was very unsatisfied by the global setup. So, I decided to start from scratch again, this time writing down some requirements I want from my development setup. I also know very well how complicated the deploy of an application in production can be, so I want my setup to be "deploy-friendly" as much as possible. Having seen too many project suffer from legacy setups, and knowing that many times such issues can be avoided with a minimum amount of planning, I thought this might be interesting for other developers as well. I consider this setup by no means better than others, it simply addresses different concerns.