zaterdag 10 september 2011

Not that much hacking - still a successful Eindhoven event

So, this was a busy and inspiring day.
About hacking, sadly that happened only a little.
Someone had his laptop stolen this morning, others were getting the build environment in shape again after different use, experimental OS-installations, another still hacking the Windows build system..
In effect there was only *one* building system: mine ;-) Which Rob gratefully used to work on the Scanner window.
So Joost, who delivered a patch earlier (renaming sheets in Calc while copying) and I looked the code, hunting for ideas / hacks at various places in the code. You know, the things that you hope/expect to be not tooooo complicated. Yes, those ;-)
Was good and I learned some useful things. Sad still, that little work in the code was done this day.

Nevertheless, all 7 that attended were pretty happy with the gathering. There was a lot to talk about things that happened since last year. What is so obvious for the people that are active in the international project week after week, can be completely news to the ones that occasionally read a blog or a national user list.. This meeting brought people closer together, and we agreed to meet more and regular in the future.
Now I only hope that the others will have their own working laptops with them next time ;-)

A big thanks to MadLab for hosting us - we'll meet again! - and don't forget their Hacking the City Event, October 22-30

maandag 5 september 2011

Mini HackFest Eindhoven

Last weekend there was a tremendous event for LibreOffice hackers in M√ľnich. [1]. More than 30 people joining for some days and working on features, bugs, UX (and pasta ..)
It's obvious that there is a great base of LibreOffice users and devs in Germany (and Italy ;-) )
What about The Netherlands and Flanders? We had some small events already last year. With between 5 to 10 people joining and learning about, cooperating on localisation, development, features..

The next Saturday we have a new event planned. In the science city of Eindhoven. We also invite the old friends from OOo to share about all that's going on and cooperation. More on the wiki [2].


zondag 4 september 2011

Developing LibreOffice

It's been a while since I wrote here. And now some bits about LibreOffice development...
I won't start explaining much technical details here - that is beyond my competences. But recently I have been hanging around some day's on the developers IRC channel. That was for some help to get used to building LibreOffice from source because I like to work/test with new features, and to dig a bit in the code here and there.
Well building LibreOffice turns out to be really simple [1]. Not that is is necessary to do for bleeding edge testing: there are nightly builds available regularly [2].
When I say: building LibreOffice is really simple, I have to add that this is on Linux mainly. Which brings me more to the core message of this blog post.
While being on IRC and also lurking on the developer list -as usual- I became very much impressed by all the hard and tough work that the developers do. The ones doing it as full time job, but not less the ones that do it alongside other activities.
Windows for example: there is an enormous effort in improving building LibreOffice, making it faster, easier on Windows. Improvements are visible almost every day. And also issues that are specific for Windows, get a lot of attention of developers - assisted by valuable QA workers. You can see people diving deep and deep in the code, to find and remove the culprits bits that cause the users inconvenience. In these specific situations it is not because of bugs that were introduced recently, but for ones that have been lying below the surface for a long time, maybe even 15 years. And that became only visible because of recent changes. Now it is nothing special that software code has bugs, and also not special that older bugs surface with later changes. It was one of the issues in development: fixing old bugs will reveal others..
Not being stopped by that knowledge, LibreOffice developers take a strong bite deep in the code base for improvements now and even better future LibreOffice development. I'm not only impressed, but also get more and more confident in the future of this project.