There was a recent update in my repository of LibreOffice packages, but that libreoffice-6.3.2 was just for slackware-current.
There’s a recent release in the LibreOffice 6.2 stable series as well (ok… five weeks ago, not that recent…), and so I decided to use my build box’s free weekend to come up with packages for LibreOffice 6.2.7.
This release has a security improvement over previous versions, in that it will popup a warning to the user if a document tries to run an embedded script (similar to existing warning mechanism for embedded macros).
As you may know, the Document Foundation advises the 6.2.x series for use in production environments while the 6.3.x series is targeted at technology enthousiasts. Precisely why I have 6.3.x in the repository for -current and 6.2.x will be available for users of our stable Slackware 14.2.
Note: I am no longer including support for KDE4. The “libreoffice-kde-integration” package is no longer available for the 6.2.x releases in my repository and you should “removepkg” the older version if you have that installed. The KDE4 support in LibreOffice 6 has been broken for a while and your Office applications will run great on KDE4 without that “KDE integration”. The LibreOffice UI will be based on GTK3 widgets instead and KDE4’s theming engine will make that its User Interface blends in properly.
For the libreoffice-6.3 series and onwards, I will again build ‘libreoffice-kde-integration’ sub-packages but then targeting Qt5 and KDE5. That works really well.
The recent update in slackware-current of the icu4c and boost packages caused some 3rd-party package breakage. The new versions of icu4c and boost come with incompatible library ABI changes.
Let me first elaborate a bit on the strategies that are available to a Slackware user on how to deal with incompatible library updates in -current.
One of the reasons people are wary of installing and running Slackware-current is the fact that at any given moment, distro updates can break 3rd-party packages (i.e. packages you have installed that are not part of the Slackware distribution itself). Slackware-current is in constant flux, it is our development environment, and software versions can make sudden jumps with unexpected consequences.
Big tip: before running any update on a slackware-current system, first check the ChangeLog.txt and scan the updates since your previous upgrade for the text “Shared library .so-version bump.” which is another way of saying “incompatible ABI change”.
If this text accompanies a package update you can be pretty certain that some 3rd-party packages that depend on it will stop working. And if that particular package is boost, icu4c or poppler, expect massive breakage. The safest approach in a case like this, is: wait with upgrading your Slackware-current; check for packages that have a dependency on the package with the ABI breakage: and track the 3rd-party repositories for updates that address the ABI breakage.
There is another strategy- one which allows you to upgrade to the latest -current while avoiding broken packages. That is to keep the older libraries on your system – the libraries your 3rd-party packages are depending on. You can simply extract these older libraries from the previous version(s) of the upgraded Slackware package. Darren Austen and I worked together to create a package repository containing historical Slackware-current packages (32bit, 64bit official packages and my own multilib archive). See https://slackware.uk/cumulative/ if you are in need of older package versions.
And in the special case of incompatible icu4c, boost and poppler updates, the easiest (short-term) workaround is to install my icu4c-compat, boost-compat and poppler-compat packages. Essentially, these convenience packages wrap the libraries of several older (original Slackware) icu4c, boost and poppler packages.
Applications that depend on these older libraries will keep on running and in the meantime you can wait for the 3rd-party packager to recompile the affected packages (or recompile yourself at your leisure). I update these packages immediately after updates to their Slackware originals. The process takes almost no time, compared with recompiling all the broken stuff. NOTE: These ‘compat’ packages do not replace Slackware’s own icu4c, boost and poppler packages! They should be installed in parallel.
The most obvious package breakage in my own repository is of course LibreOffice. It is a big package and many people do not want to recompile this themselves. A good decision, because the LibreOffice package would not compile against the new icu4c 65.1 and I needed to find the cause and create a patch first.
Since I had to compile new packages anyway, I went for the latest 6.3.2 release of LibreOffice which was announced two weeks ago.
Note that the new packages for LibreOffice 6.3.2 in my repository, do contain “libreoffice-kde-integration”, containing Qt5 and KDE5 (aka Plasma5) support.
If you do not have KDE5 packages installed at all, don’t worry. LibreOffice will work great – the KDE integration package just will not add anything useful for you. On the other hand, if you have Plasma5 installed you will benefit from native file selection dialog windows and other integration features. And even if you do not have Plasma5 but you do have Qt5 installed, then you will be able to run LibreOffice with Qt5 User Interface elements instead of defaulting to GTK3.
If you want to compile Libreoffice 6.3.2 packages yourself using my SlackBuild, then be aware that by default the KDE5 support is disabled. You will have to set the value of the script parameter “ADD_KDE5” to “YES”. Additionally you will have to install the packages that this functionality depends on otherwise the compilation will fail.
Read the ‘README.kde5‘ file in the source directory for the list of packages you’ll need. All of them can be found in my ‘ktown’ repository: https://slackware.nl/alien-kde/current/latest/
Earlier this week, the Document Foundation released version 6.2.5 of their office suite LibreOffice. I have built and uploaded sets of packages for Slackware 14.2 and also for -current, 32bits and 64bits.
The Document Foundation themselves finally think that 6.2.x is production ready: “… Users in production environments can start evaluating LibreOffice 6.2.5…“. I was already happy with 6.2.4 and I find the capability to open and work with MS Office documents improving all the time.
Note if you are a KDE Plasma5 user:
The toolbars and menus look ugly in the default UI configuration. There’s a setting in LibreOffice that you need to change so that the Breeze theming for GTK+3 applications does not mess it up anymore. Go to “Tools > Options > Libreoffice > View > Icon Style” and change the “Automatic (Breeze)” to eg. “Elementary”. That will give you back a working toolbar with visible icons.
I built and uploaded new packages for LibreOffice 6.2.3. A rebuild for Slackware-current was needed anyway because of the recent boost upgrade in -current, but I assume everyone knows that my boost-compat package will help you with the need for older library versions.
The 6.2.3 release was just over a week ago, but I have not feeling well for a while and things move a lot slower these days. Updates will no longer have the same frequency I am afraid.
Anyway, building on Slackware-current kept failing with gpgme related errors, until I remembered that I had issues with gpgme in the past. The kdepimlibs package in Slackware contains several gpgme++ header files that are also part of the gpgme package, but they are not compatible. Even with the ChangeLog.txt entry Pat wrote on 29 March “kde/kdepimlibs-4.14.10-x86_64-7.txz: Rebuilt. Recompiled to pull in new gpgme++ header files.“, the headers in kdepimlibs are still wrong. A re-install of the gpgme package fixed the compilation of LibreOffice.
Packages are available for Slackware 14.2 and -current from the usual locations. I chose not to upgrade the Slackware 14.2 package to 6.1.5 this time; hopefully the newer code in 6.2.3 is mature enough after three iterations.
The Chromium 72 code was released a few days ago by Google. I built new Slackware packages for Chromium 72.0.3626.81 during the weekend and they are ready for download now on slackware.com or slackware.nl, or any other mirror of course.
There’s a sizable number of CVE’s mentioned in the ChangeLog that were fixed in this release. Therefore it’s a good idea to upgrade today.
I verified that the Widevine CDM is still working, so your Netflix movie streaming is not affected by the upgrade.
Patrick updated the glibc package in slackware-current to the 2.29 release, so I could not stay behind. A new multilib version of the glibc package (also 2.29) is now available in the ‘multilib‘ package repository. I also updated all the ‘compat32’ packages to their latest Slackware versions. Update and enjoy a hassle-free Slackware environment where everything ‘just works’.
The Document Foundation released version 6.1.4 of their office suite Libre Office back on 18 December 2018. I fell ill on the 18th so I missed all the fun. I am working my way back through important software releases and now is the time to start building this version of LibreOffice for Slackware.
I need to compile four sets of packages: for Slackware 14.2 and -current, 32bits and 64bits. That means lots of compile time, so don’t expect new packages in the next few days. They will arrive in the repository eventually. Subscribe to the RSS feed of my ChangeLog if you want to know when.
Have fun! Eric
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