A blog by Jonas Finnemann Jensen

August 24, 2010
Turning OpenOffice Math into a visual formula editor
Filed under: English,LibreOffice,Linux by jonasfj at 2:40 am

I’ve spend most my summer working on my GSoC project, which was to create a visual formula editor for OpenOffice Math. Currently, formulas are entered in OpenOffice Math using a plaintext command language, this can be efficent and easy for power users, however, it’s an absolute show stopper for most casual users. So I’ve spend my summer writing a visual formula editor for OpenOffice Math, you can see demonstration here:

I participated in GSoC for Go OpenOffice, which is a project that maintains a set of patches on top of OpenOffice. Go OpenOffice is the OpenOffice version distributed with OpenSuSE, Ubuntu and other distros, it is allegedly a lot better than the official OpenOffice release. And also available for Windows.

Hacking OpenOffice have been a very exciting experience. I haven’t worked on a project so large and complex before. It easily takes 2 hours to build OpenOffice and the sources and binaries fills about 13 GiB. Luckily I didn’t have to rebuild everytime I had to test something.

The visual formula editor, see video above, is not production ready yet. That is it needs extensive testing and a few extra features… However, I plan to keep working on it. You can read more about it’s features and current status here.

I don’t think I’ll keep updating that wiki page, but rather post some updates here once in a while. If you are eager to help test this feature when it comes that far, feel free to leave a comment with your email…