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 Work With The LibreOffice Extensions Website Workflow

I got some information about issues with the workflow of the LibreOffice extensions and templates website. Thus I had a closer look into it and made some changes to the workflow scripts of the site, commited them to the Github repository and updated the website via the Plone buildout process.

I made some tests with the website after running buildout for several times but there were some remaining issues that need further investigation. I fixed an issue with the permissions manually in the Zope Management Interface for the moment (interim solution). I will look into this topic again, once I got a free cycle during my spare time.

Volunteer Time After Ten Office Hours

I worked further on the Plone addons for the LibreOffice extensions website after a long office day today, reviewed and published a template project on the website and examined an issue about the creation of gallery extensions that a user forwarded to me. I had to state that the way you could create a new gallery theme and include it in a LibreOffice gallery extension doesn’t exist anymore. I forwarded this issue to the qa-team.

Fix Website Styles For Tables On Template Projects

I started to rework the presentation of the tables on template projects on the LibreOffice extensions and templates website. The table on such project pages should fit much better now. I removed inline styles and updated the stylesheet. I’ll work on this for the extension projects too.

The changes will be visible on the site with the next run of buildout.

New AddOn Release For Templates Part

I made some improvements on the Plone addon that is used for the templates part of the website https://extensions.libreoffice.org. This improvements made it possible to remove older versions of LibreOffice from the compatibility list. The template will show their compatibility with older versions furthermore, if the contributor choose that compatibility in the past. With the new Plone addon release the site will get the compatibility information of a template from the index of the Plone portal_catalog. The new release is available at the ‘CheeseShop’: https://pypi.org/project/tdf.templateuploadcenter/

User Interface Play Ground

I’m currently using LibreOffice with the menu, tool bar and site bar. That’s the usual interface within the stable mode. I played around a bit with the experimental mode and the new user interface. The functions are organized in menu band yet, but you could also use the current interface in different flavor. I started my play with the tool bar standard and changed over to the compact version of it. Then I activated the site bar. This were the first three views.

Then I changed over to context dependent grouped tool bar and the same in compact mode.  This were the user interface style four and five.  The next mode shows the tool bar in regster. This view is also available in a compact mode. I got tool bar style six and seven.  And then I activated the grouped mode for the tool bar, which is available in compact mode too. Thus I had played around with at least nine different user interface styles. I could top up this with the option to show or hide the menu bar.

I imagine the question of  user to the user support about a feature of the office suite, when they first have to sort out which of the different views / UI is activated at the users desk.

It’s great to improve the user interface and match it to the current technical expertise, but it’s not appropriate to delight the users with up to nine different versions of the user interface. Maybe one option would be to deliver one new UI and create one or more LibreOffice extensions with the other UI options.

But maybe the UI of the future has to be developed in diffent way, using Java Script, Angular or something similar and make it more easy to run the office suite on different platforms, different desktop environments, operating systems, mobile devices, in the cloud / browser.

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.

New Plone AddOn Release

I released my improvements on the Plone addon that is used for the extensions part of the website https://extensions.libreoffice.org. I made it possible with this release to remove older versions of LibreOffice from the compatibility list. The extension releases will show their compatibility with older versions, if the contributor choose that compatibility ever. The site will get the compatibility information of an extension from the index inside the Plone portal_catalog. The new release is available at the ‘CheeseShop’: https://pypi.org/project/tdf.extensionuploadcenter/