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Meet LibreOffice Volunteer Robinson Tryon (Video)

Roblimo posted about 2 months ago | from the sometimes-you-meet-nice-people-without-looking-for-them dept.

Open Source 26

When Slashdot's Tim Lord went to Texas Linux Fest, one of the people he met there was Robinson Tryon. He's a volunteer with LibreOffice, and in this conversation he gave us a nice look at what's going on these days with LibreOffice and its parent organization, The Document Foundation. (Alternate Video Link)

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If you can't figure out your web site's font issue (2)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 2 months ago | (#47477873)

If you can't figure out your web site's font issue, how do you expect us to believe you can code a full-blown word processor?

(This: "For everyone experiencing weird font issues on our website please know we are investigating the issue since several weeks")

Re:If you can't figure out your web site's font is (3, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | about 2 months ago | (#47477903)

Does your webmaster do all your coding, as well?

Re:If you can't figure out your web site's font is (1)

NotInHere (3654617) | about 2 months ago | (#47477911)

Beta has them too. Instead of symols for the buttons I get hex codes, the default replacement in firefox when the font has no symbol for that char.

Re:If you can't figure out your web site's font is (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 months ago | (#47478049)

If you can't figure out your web site's font issue, how do you expect us to believe you can code a full-blown word processor?

If you ask me, this problem is a political problem, not just a technical one. At some point, you just have to be willing to let go of some of your Firefox users with weird fonts installed [mozilla.org] . It's not like LibreOffice can afford to rewrite Firefox from scratch.

Re:If you can't figure out your web site's font is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47478193)

LibreOffice is a huge project. What makes you think he handles the fonts on LibreOffice? And even if he does, coding an application and writing a webpage are two very different problems.

Re:If you can't figure out your web site's font is (1)

udoschuermann (158146) | about 2 months ago | (#47478923)

The site is almost unreadable in some cases (Win7/FF which is what I have to use at work): letters missing, big gaps, and a complete mess. It's obviously some horrid incompatibility with something, but the lack of QA is simply embarrassing. This has been going on for months, but as much as I've been wanting to report it, all I found is file a bug report against LO, which doesn't seem right.

Re:If you can't figure out your web site's font is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47479699)

What in the hell do you expect when you use that Microsoft garbage? It looks fine under Firefox with both Linux and OSX. Blame yourself for using a buggy OS then expecting the applications to work-around all of the Microsoft-created problems.

Re:If you can't figure out your web site's font is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47487223)

It looks ok on FF+Linux here. /. Beta has problems, I often see those domino hex characters and wonder what they are (I suppose they're the logos for Facebook, Twitter etc.).

M$ has a long history of not respecting standards. Maybe that's why fonts look ugly.

Actually, I've read it elsewhere, M$ Windows relies on corrections on font data to get a good font display, whereas Linux (and supposedly OSX) has a better software to render the characters and does not need "cooked up" data. Those new M$ fonts (Candara, Cambria etc.) are very well crafted and look the best on Windows exactly for that reason (they are best with Cleartype). OTOH, deactivating anti-aliasing makes them very ugly (unusable IMHO).

Nowadays and out-of-the-box, Linux looks a lot better than Windows. I don't know what would be necessary to reach the OS X level, if we aren't there already.

It's interesting to notice that, as pixel density increases, most of these problems will vanish. If Windows is still sold when we have cheap 400 dpi on desktops, we might get good Windows character rendering, because there will be much less need for hints.

Re:If you can't figure out your web site's font is (1)

ComputersKai (3499237) | about 2 months ago | (#47479913)

The website looks decently fine. Plus, other open-source projects are also amazing but have shitty crappy looking websites.
Even Microsoft's operating system Metro interface doesn't look all that good, yet the proprietary MSOffice is still pretty decent.

Troubled by "volunteer" status (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47478083)

Someone volunteering his time on a software project this big is denied a livable wage and health insurance, and by giving his labor away, he's devaluing the work of other engineers. It's one thing if a developer is scratching a personal itch by working on a small Unix tool like the original GNU crowd, but LibreOffice is a major project whose charges are picked up and used by big business. Just look at how Oracle supports OpenOffice to see the value of the codebase. If it's so in-demand, why not get paid for it?

Re:Troubled by "volunteer" status (2)

allquixotic (1659805) | about 2 months ago | (#47478315)

A lot of people who do this kind of thing on a volunteer basis, are either already making a decent living wage writing software and do this in their spare time; or, they are hoping that their contributions will attract attention from corporations that can then hire them to work on the software (thus funding the development of FOSS and also furthering the company's goals by improving the software they use).

Re:Troubled by "volunteer" status (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47478381)

Doing stuff pro bono can be one of the few ways to actually get past entry level work in the industry. I do know that the people that do volunteer work on a title like this and get known, usually end up with a decent career down the line.

Of course, it makes more money instantly to make yet another app for iOS or Android... but long term, getting one's name on the list of coders on a top tier project is better for the career long term.

Re:Troubled by "volunteer" status (1)

Qubit (100461) | about 2 months ago | (#47479571)

Someone volunteering his time on a software project this big is denied a livable wage and health insurance...LibreOffice is a major project whose charges are picked up and used by big business... If it's so in-demand, why not get paid for it?

Hi!

Good questions! You'll be happy to hear that I've just been hired by TDF as a QA Engineer for LibreOffice. I really enjoy working on the project, and now I get to do what I love...for money! :-)

--Robinson

Re:Troubled by "volunteer" status (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481801)

It's not always about money. Not everything revolves around money. Capitalism is not the be all and end all mechanism.

Video is in wrong format (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47478317)

Is there a place where I can view this without installing spyware?

Re:Video is in wrong format (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 months ago | (#47480545)

If you mean Adobe Flash, I have not noticed it having any kind of spyware characteristics.

I might well be alone here. (1)

zacherynuk (2782105) | about 2 months ago | (#47478815)

But in addition to word-processing, spreadsheets and presentations, my office also requires email.

It's long overdue somebody steps up to this challenge.

Re:I might well be alone here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47480219)

What's wrong with Thunderbird? Works fine as a cross platform email client. Add Lightning and you get calendaring as well.

LibreOffice for Android in limbo (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 months ago | (#47479157)

Given the lack of a single dominant mobile office suite, there are potentially more users out there for a LibreOffice version for Android than for users of the Windows, Mac and Linux versions combined. So why's the Android version forever stuck in demoware limbo?

Re:LibreOffice for Android in limbo (1)

rewarp (1736742) | about 2 months ago | (#47479635)

I have AndrOpen Office installed instead.
https://play.google.com/store/... [google.com]

They can take their sweet time to get there, because I am pretty okay with the Open Office port to Android.

Re:LibreOffice for Android in limbo (2)

Qubit (100461) | about 2 months ago | (#47479645)

There are potentially more users out there for a LibreOffice version for Android than for users of the Windows, Mac and Linux versions combined. So why's the Android version forever stuck in demoware limbo?

Tomaz shares the following on his blog... [blogspot.com]

Thanks to Smoose [smoose.nl] , we are now able to do some real progress with the Android version of LibreOffice. The idea is to first build a LibreOffice document viewer, which is able to display any type of document that is supported by LibreOffice. Afterwards build on that and provide more features and eventually editing. ...
I am really excited with what we have achieved and really looking forward to see where we go from here. By the time of LibreOffice 4.4 we should have a working and polished document viewer application ready. Thanks again to Smoose for funding for the work on this important step!

Per the release plan [documentfoundation.org] , LibreOffice 4.4 will arrive early in 2015.

Cheers,
--Robinson

Robinson here... (4, Informative)

Qubit (100461) | about 2 months ago | (#47479605)

Woo hoo! I finally made it to the front page of Slashdot! I am feeling a bit petrified :-)

A couple of quick announcements:

  • LibreOffice has a booth at OSCON (Portland, OR) next week, so if you're around, please stop by and say hi!
  • If you'll be in Boston, MA next week, we're having a Summer Hackfest [documentfoundation.org] during the July 26-27 weekend. We'd love to have you join us for two days of coding, triaging, and FREE food and T-shirts. (Here's the T-shirt design [documentfoundation.org] )

Cheers,

Robinson Tryon
LibreOffice Community Outreach Herald
Senior QA Bug Wrangler
The Document Foundation

Re:Robinson here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47479797)

It would be *really, really nice* if someone would be able to finally add the "Insert Cut Cells" option of Excel into LibreOffice Calc.

Thanks and have a happy hackfest!

Re:Robinson here... (1)

Qubit (100461) | about 2 months ago | (#47479861)

It would be *really, really nice* if someone would be able to finally add the "Insert Cut Cells" option of Excel into LibreOffice Calc.

Hmm... I don't immediately see a bug filed about 'cut cells' in our bugtracker [freedesktop.org] . Could you please file one and mark the Severity as 'enhancement' ? Thanks for the suggestion!

Thanks and have a happy hackfest!

Will do! We're always interested in having hackfests in new places, so if you think that your city would be a good place for our next event, please get in touch. You can email me at [slashdot username]@libreoffice.org

Cheers,
--R

Re:Robinson here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481189)

How do you make a living and support yourself as a full-time volunteer? Please write an article or do a video about this. A lot of us would like to do what you're doing, but we have to make money to buy food and stuff. How do you afford the computers and equipment you use to develop software without an income? I'd like to know the secret of making a living by being an open-source volunteer.

focus on spreadsheet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47480103)

@qubit - I hope you are able to carry this message.

The success of LibreOffice hinges on one thing and one thing alone - the Spreadsheet.

When you look at the Doc and Presentation apps, you are seeing something that has a huge number of viable alternatives - both online and offline.

But Excel has no alternative - I'm talking about Excel in all its glory and macro horror. The absence of Excel compatibility is the SINGLE reason why every business in India is not on Linux already.

LibreOffice Spreadsheet is ultimately the key to open source growth around the world. Remember Windows and Mac have native MS Office versions available, but Linux has none. So its basically "LibreOffice or Windows" for Linux users.

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