What Windows RT Means for LibreOffice

While Mozilla and Google have received a lot of press attention for their Windows RT antitrust worries, nobody’s yet spoken up about the antitrust nature of Microsoft allowing only its own office suite to run as part of Windows RT’s Classic environment.

While it’s difficult to port a browser to Metro, it would take years for LibreOffice to be ported to the Metro environment. Microsoft gets to take the easy way out, as it gets to allow its Office suite to run as part of the Classic environment. Not only that, it gets all the advantages of the Classic environment, both in terms of the higher privileges that Mozilla has been talking about and even in terms of just having a windowed environment that’s especially useful for office suites (or maybe it just seems that way to me, seeing as my mother is a translator and often needs to have two windows side by side).

That basically means that Office will be the unchallenged office suite for Windows RT for years to come — LibreOffice, Calligra, and Apache OpenOffice have no fighting chance.

Am I the only one concerned about this? Why isn’t this receiving the attention it deserves?

We have a Google Plus page!

If you’re a Google+ user, you’ll be happy to know that we finally got around to creating a Google+ page for the LibreOffice Design team: https://plus.google.com/102673546895803839652/posts

If you’d like to follow LibreOffice’s design progress or hear about the things we’re working on and how you can help, go add us to your circle. :)

P. S. Does anyone here know if Diaspora supports page creation? Or is page basically synonymous to user on Diaspora?

Call for Templates

As part of the Google Summer of Code, we’re redesigning the template dialog. And with a new template dialog, we need some new, good looking templates, as the ones we have now are pretty awful.

Don’t be afraid to submit your own template. We need lots of templates and if we find that yours is good, we’ll include it. Be aware, though, that it should be licensed under the CC0 license (public domain, basically), as we need to guarantee that people can use the templates in any way they want to. Be sure to use only your own creations and things that you know are in the public domain (worldwide) in your templates.

Also, if you have a blog or at least use a social network, be sure to share this post with everyone — we need as many templates as we can get.

Thanks. :)

Rare Opportunity at Making a Difference

The LibreOffice Design team is asking for designs for three projects that have been accepted into Google Summer of Code (that means that they’re more than likely to be implemented): An ODF viewer for Android, a revamped Templates dialog, and a smarphone remote for Impress.

See the Design page for more information and to get involved.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is Saturday 5th, 16:00 GMT. Submit what you have — your proposal doesn’t have to be 100% complete.

Anyone is welcome to make a proposal. You don’t have to have any design skills whatsoever — a worded description will suffice, though mockups or paper sketches to go along with it would be much appreciated.

The final design will be based upon an analysis of all the submitted proposals.

Calligra Suite

On April 11, Calligra Suite came out — forgive me for taking so long to write a post about it.

It turns out that I don’t hate the UI as much as I thought I would, though I still prefer that of both Google Docs (and, to a lesser degree, LibreOffice) by a considerable amount. The suite is still in its infancy, you can tell, but it also feels incredibly smooth, fluid — it’s built with new technology, you can tell.

What really excites me about Calligra is its modularity — it’s coded in such a way as to keep the UI as separate from the backend as possible, uses Flake as a library for objects, which means that objects should look and behave the same in every module of the suite, and these things make it much easier to develop new modules for the suite, to port the suite to other devices, and to create custom UIs for these devices.

Boudewijn Rempt describes it in depth in this video:

Too bad Calligra doesn’t have a design team… :)

P. S. I’ll be happy if you use/tweak/share/spread the calligram above — get the source code at this link. CreativeCommons Zero, as always, though be aware that the trademark law for Calligra still applies.