Working On A New Python-Script For Extension Evaluation

I started my work on a new Python script to evalute LibreOffice extensions. It’s currently in a very early state and I’m going to use only very limited spare time to update it. I’m going to concentrate on more healthy activities than sitting in front of PC. Thus don’t be surprised if this and other task will not be finished immediately. I’ll adapt my workflow / workload to the favored range of the open source project, particularly it’s only pure volunteer work.

Some Hints On Publishing Extensions

It is possible to extend the office suite LibreOffice with add-ons, named Extensions. If such an Extension will be licensed as Free Software using an Open Source license, it could be published on the website https://extensions.libreoffice.org.  I have a look into such extensions, regularly, that are submitted for publication on that website. Thus made me aware, that contributors (extension developers in this case) didn’t know about the need to include the license information into the Extension in the form of a text file and link to that license information from the ‘description.xml’ file inside the Extension. But without a proper license the Extension it is not appropriate to publish the Extension on the LibreOffice Extensions website.

But it is not a very difficult task to add such a license information to the Extension. Just add a text file with the license to the Extension (zipped) container (preferably in a subfolder) and update the description.xml with the following xml-tag:

<registration>
<simple-license accept-by=”admin” suppress-on-update=”true” >
<license-text xlink:href=”<relative link to the license file>”
lang=”en” />
</simple-license>
</registration>

It’s also possible to add another license file to the Extension, that is localized in another language, e.g. German or French. In this case add a further xml-tag ‘license-text’ with the link to the license file in that language:, e.g.

<license-text xlink:href=”registration/license_de” lang=”de” />

If the license information is available in the users language setting, the LibreOffice extension manager will display the license in that language.

And another tripping hazard on the way to a published LibreOffice Extension project is the state of an Extension release. It’s necessary to change the initial state ‘pre-release’ to a release state from ‘alpha’ to ‘final’ correspondent to the development state of the Extension. This change could be done on the menu bar (left side of the website).  It’s not appropriate to publish an Extension project without a ‘released’ Extension file.

Cool Down Period?

I was a (deputy) member of the board of directors (BoD) for about six years and decided not to run again for this body at the end of last year. I followed a lot of discussions and decisions of the board during this period.

At the time I decided to not run again for the board I reflected on the topic, if I should run for the MC (Membership Commitee) this summer and came to the conclusion that this is not appropriate. The MC is not only responsible for the decision on new TDF members and renewing membership. This is the role that the most people inside TDF already know. But the MC has also another important role. it is in some kind in the position of a supervisory board. It receives complaints against the BoD the Board of Trustees and initiates a possible impeachment process against the board of directors. The MC also represents the foundation in court and out of court against the BoD (see Par. 12 I of the statutes). The latter one  were the main reason for me to request a cool down period for myself [as an ex-(deputy-)member of the BoD] before I could run for another leading body of TDF.  I thought that such a cooling down period should be at least one year. But maybe two years are more appropriate.

In addition I think its role as  a kind of supervisory board should lead to a reflection, if it would be appropriate when members of the BoD and the MC would be personally or economical closely connected. It’s also a topic of rethinking, wether a member of the MC should be able to switch without a break into the BoD.

 

LibreOffice-Non-Code-Extensions erstellen

Im Zusammenhang mit der Betreuung der LibreOffice webseite für Extensions (Erweiterungen) und Templates (Vorlagen) habe ich vor einiger Zeit angefangen, eine kleine Dokumentation für den Bau von LibreOffice Extensions zu schreiben, die keine Zusatzprogramme enthalten, sondern weitere Inhalte für das Office-Programm ausliefern. Dies können beispielsweise weitere Grafiken, Autokorrekturen oder Farbpaletten sein. Die Dokumentation ist ein Projekt “im Fluss”. D.h., ich werde weiter an ihr arbeiten und sie ergänzen. Hier nun die aktuelle Fassung der Dokumentation. Sie enthält auch Links zu Beispielen für die Struktur entsprechender Extensions.

Plone On Python 3 – First Try Out

The Plone team is working on a migration of the CMS to Python 3. I read about this migration and that there are good progress. Thus I decided to try the ported version out. There is a repository with a working on Github. I checked it out from https://github.com/collective/demo.plone.de. I followed the instructions in the file https://github.com/collective/demo.plone.de/blob/master/local_demo_latest_py3.cfg and it worked out. I could create a new site with Plone 5.2a1 and Python 3.6.5 (see screenshot below).

New Add-On Release For The LibreOffice Extensions Website

I worked during the last days on some issues within the Plone add-on which drives the LibreOffice extensions website. I made a new release of this add-on today and published it on the ‘Cheeseshop’ (https://pypi.org). You can get the source code of this add-on from the TDF repository on Github (https://github.com/tdf/tdf.extensionuploadcenter). I’m working on an update of the Plone add-on that drives the template part of the website and I’m going to publish a new release during the next days too.

In addition to this work  I reviewed some new LibreOffice extensions and templates projects that has been contributed during my vacation break and during the last days and published them, if they are ready for publication.

I added the current LibreOffice version 6.1 to the compatibility list for extensions and templates and sent out an information about this new version to all members of the website, thus they could update the compatibility of their extensions or templates.

Volunteers – Spare Time / Vacation?

I read a tweet during the last days that a community didn’t stop during the weekend and that make me thinking, if such a tweet would evoke the impression that a volunteer in an open source project works all day and around the clock (24/7). I got this impression because there are some people during the last days that are posting impatient messages on the work done by others.

I myself decided to limit my volunteer work to a proper amount. I’ll not extend a long working day in the office with some volunteer work in front of computer. I think an open source project should avoid to set the impression that volunteers never have to relax, sleep etc., because this helps to keep active people healthy and keep the barriers for new volunteers lower.

Vacation And Rest From The Project

I’m on vacation and take a brake from my volunteer work since the beginning of July. This brake will last at least for this month. I enjoy the current weather and the temperature in the office, when I got back to my payed day job ;-(. It’s about thirty or more degree in the rooms (and it seems that the conditions will last for about a week or more ;-(. No need to do some extra hours during the evening in front of a PC.
But it’s also not pleasant, if you read complaints like this on Twitter about TDF volunteer work and nobody stepped in: ‘(…)yet the official website for extensions is so buggy… I added an release and it wouldn’t turn up in hours.(…)’. Make me thinking about my further volunteer work, in particular if you see in addition, that there is no line about your contributions (with investment of a lot of my spare time) in the annual report.

First Step To Improve ODFAuthors

If the website ODFAuthors should be improved for the future use the first step would be the change of the localization framework from the old LinguaPlone to the current
plone.app.multilingual and migrate and reindex all content objects. It’s not possible to update the site to the latest Plone without that step.
I already created a Plone buildout for an upgraded ODFAuthors website that is based on version 5.1.x. This buildout is available from the Github repository of The Document Foundation: https://github.com/tdf/odfauthors.org