Stuff Michael Meeks is doing

This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit Collabora Productivity a subsidiary of Collabora focusing on LibreOffice support and services for whom I work. Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if you are feeling objectionable perhaps here. Failing that, there are all manner of interesting things to read on the LibreOffice Planet news feed.

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LibreOffice - our first release

Today we released our first stable release of LibreOffice. That is really rather exciting ! and a major milestone. Of course, if you have a GNU/Linux or Unix distribution, most likely your packagers already knew our release timetable, and have distribution packages ready for you to use. If you can use those, do - they are likely to be better integrated with the system, and somewhat faster.

If you are a Windows or Mac user though, it is a great time to try out LibreOffice, directly from our download site.

Why LibreOffice ?

Apart from all the obvious reasons - of loving Freedom, Free Software, and fun, open, community development. LibreOffice is just better, much better, check out our (still expanding) New Features page - showing off what people can expect to enjoy in LibreOffice. As I get time, I'll add some highlights of my own appended here.

What next ?

As we work in a much more conventional Free Software project mold, we are releasing a point-zero release. This will not be perfect, but is any software ? what we will be doing is rapidly iterating it, via many minor point releases, towards perfection. We've published our timeline for that. Something you don't like ? some hideous translation or crasher bug ? we can include that fix soon, so do get stuck in and help out.

Perhaps the more interesting piece is the commitment to move to a six month release cycle, that is well aligned with existing Free Software community and distribution release cycles. We hope this will help get the latest, and best LibreOffice into users' hands as quickly as possible.

How do I get involved ?

LibreOffice is a project, almost uniquely suited to scaling to hundreds of people working on it - there are problems, missing features and bugs everywhere. There are millions of malnourished lines-of-code, awaiting your loving ownership, and remedial care - can you help them ? If so, please head to our developer instructions grab the code from freedesktop's git repository, and get stuck in, we'd love to work with you. We have many Easy Hacks designed for beginners to get involved - ranging from zero programming skill required, to some heavier lifting for the elite. As you do that, please do say hello on IRC: #libreoffice on irc.freenode.net, where much of the team hangs out.

Of course, if you want to mirror our binaries - and we are only 11Gb small (compared to 70Gb+ for OO.o), then drop a mail to mirrors@documentfoundation.org, we use Peter's excellent mirrorbrain - we have good coverage, but it can always improve. If you just like web banners that point to us there is just such a image.

Who did this thing ?

Well, in fact many people, far more than I can write down in one place - there are extensive credits here for all of the many individuals that have struck their blow for freedom with us; I am incredibly grateful for their support and friendship.

However, of course, some people have put more than the usual effort into this release - and here is where I forget people and offend at least someone. For various reasons: new packaging, and split help - the Windows build sucked a lot of mental energy this cycle, with Fridrich and Tor bearing the brunt of the pain. Similarly, Kendy battled the split help indomitably at great length, while managing the Novell team too. Then of course, the Steering Committee have put in lots of time with my personal favorite of Italo - creating and massaging press text and briefing many. The poor translation team, worked incredibly well under very tight deadline pressure to make up for the late strings that routinely needed shoving in, with Andras doing fantastic work getting their changes merged. Then finally, the website, its infrastructure, mirroring, scripting, design, artwork, and volume of text, polish, translation and beauty, as always - done on the very cusp of release swallowed much sweat and tears particularly from David, Christian, Florian, Thorsten and Sophie. My profound thanks to all of these, and more who worked so hard to get the release out - oh, and especially to the many un-sung hackers who got really stuck into triple reviewing, and fixing nasty blocker bugs before final code freeze.


My content in this blog and associated images / data under images/ and data/ directories are (usually) created by me and (unless obviously labelled otherwise) are licensed under the public domain, and/or if that doesn't float your boat a CC0 license. I encourage linking back (of course) to help people decide for themselves, in context, in the battle for ideas, and I love fixes / improvements / corrections by private mail.

In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Collabora, SUSE, Novell, The Document Foundation, Spaghetti Hurlers (International), or anyone else. It's also important to realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy. Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences or fun.

Michael Meeks (michael.meeks@collabora.com)

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