So after a 9 hours nap on the City Night Line I woke up on my way home, after a few days in Nuremberg where I attended openSUSE Conference 2010. Where I, apart from attending some interesting talks, met some of the cool LibreOffice hackers…
As GSoC student with Go-OO (now LibreOffice) I was invited to say a few words about my GSoC project. I started by defining what visual formula editing is. Then I scratched some of the rather unpleasant problems I encountered when adding this capability to LibreOffice Math.
I also demonstrated the hack, and used a small crash-bug to show that it wasn’t ready for being shipped yet. However, despite the crash-bug, Michael Meeks suggested that we tried to put it in as an experimental feature, that could be enabled at runtime. Whether or not it’s going to make the 3.3 release, time will tell. In any event there’s still a rather long list of things to do before this hack can be considered stable.
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…