My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Tag: office

LibreOffice 7.3.0 for Slackware 15.0 (and -current)

LibreOffice Community Edition 7.3.0 was released last week… on the day we were preparing the Slackware 15.0 release. You’ll forgive me that my focus was elsewhere and that it took until today to upload a new set of packages for Slackware 15.0 and -current.

The main selling point of the 7.3 release cycle is better interoperability with Microsoft’s Office file formats. Note that the Microsoft proprietary file formats are still based on a deprecated standard (since 2008 actually), whereas LibreOffice uses the ISO standard OpenDocument Format.
These improvements center on three areas (text copied partly from the release notes):

  • New ways to handle change tracking in tables and when text is moved, which have a positive impact on interoperability with Microsoft Office documents.
  • Performance improvements when opening large DOCX and XLSX/XLSM files. Improved rendering speed in general, but particularly of some complex documents.
  • Improvements to the import/export filters for the Microsoft Office document formats.

Furthermore, a lot of effort has gone into improving the first experiences of people who are migrating away from the Microsoft Office suite. The LibreOffice Help being the prime target since that is where new users look to understand the different ways of working with the LibreOffice applications.

The new libreoffice packages can be found in my repository ( or any mirror if you wait a day, for instance . Rsync access is also available for these servers.

Enjoy the new release – Eric

A reminder for people running slackware-current and using my packages but not reading my blog… you slacker! I hope some else points you to this page.
Sometimes Slackware updates its boost, icu4c and poppler packages and a lot of non-Slackware packages break as a result of required shared libraries gone missing.
For that reason, my repository also contains the packages ‘boost-compat‘, icu4c-compat‘ and ‘poppler-compat‘.
Note that this ‘compat‘ has nothing to do with my multilib ‘compat32‘ packages! The three ‘compat‘ packages contain older versions of the Slackware packages in -current for compatibility with binary packages that are broken until their maintainer recompiles them.
You can install ‘boost-compat’, icu4c-compat’ and ‘poppler-compat’ alongside their brethren, they do not conflict with or replace them.

LibreOffice 5.2.4 packages

libreoffce_logoMerry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you out there. Christmas came and went here in the Netherlands,  while the US still has some hours to go. Enjoy your turkey diners. I made a fresh batch of worstenbroodjes and they were yummy.
The computers worked frantically while I relaxed with my family. Slackware 14.2 and -current packages are ready for LibreOffice 5.2.4. Enjoy the newest version of this highly popular office suite.
According to the announcement on the Document Foundation blog , this 5.2.4 release marks a new stable LibreOffice (the developers call this “still” rather than “stable”), replacing the stable 5.1.x releases:
LibreOffice 5.2.4 “still” <…> all users can start to update to LibreOffice 5.2.4 from LibreOffice 5.1.6 or previous versions“.

Get the LibreOffice packages preferably from one of the mirrors because of the package size, and take into account that only the master site and ‘bear’ will have the packages during the first 24 hours:

Note: the LibreOffice browser plugin (NPAPI based) has been removed in LibreOffice 4.4.0:

Have fun! Eric

Forgot to tell you about the new LibreOffice 4.4.0 packages

I won’t bother you with the week in hell we are experiencing at the IT Helpdesk. It’s not over yet, and it leaves me exhausted every evening when I get home after long hours. I need to recharge my battered but faithful old Nokia work phone twice a day to be able to do all the emergency calls during office hours. Oh, but now I did bother you 😉

Rather than writing blog articles and helping people, I decided to wind down during the evenings by baking bread. The kneading process relaxes the mind while it exercises the muscles (and relieves back pains). My son does not mind… he eats all I bake anyway. Sourdough in the weekend and regular yeasted breads during the working week. The aromas coming from the oven right now are making me feel hungry again at 10:30 PM.

And so I forgot to write about the LibreOffice packages that I released a couple of days ago. I started working on 4.4.0 when it was released on 29 January, and I really had high hopes for fixing the harbbuzz issue which has plagued me and my LibreOffice package since the packages were released for my first KDE preview. The Plasma 5 needs a newer harfbuzz library than the version in Slackware. but LibreOffice chokes on the new package with a symbol error. Downgrading harfbuzz to the Slackware original fixes LibreOffice… and to be honest, I have not yet encountered issues in KDE Plasma 5 due to the downgrade, so that is a a fairly safe workaround when you are running Slackware with Plasma 5 and need LibreOFfice.

What I have been trying – but without success – was to compile the harbuzz library statically into the LibreOffice programs. That is a supported option, there is a configure switch for it, but regardless of what I tried, some of the other libraries would eventually pick up the Slackware harfbuzz as a dependency again… resulting in ICU related symbol errors. I talked to Pat about upgrading both harfbuzz and icu4c in slackware-current but he considers that a non-trivial upgrade with potential breakage of lots of programs. So, this upgrade will happen at a point where other programs in slackware-current need an upgrade or rebuild anyway. I put my money on a new KDE 4 😉

After a week of trying long and hard, and letting the virtual machine compile new packages during the day, I finally gave up and released LibreOffice 4.4.0 packages that work on Slackware 14.1 and -current, for as long as you do not upgrade your hardfbuzz package.

No, I can not just forget about a newer harfbuzz because it is required during compilation of Plasma 5.

Some news for LibreOffice 4.4.0 so that you know it is a good idea to upgrade (all the details are in the release notes of course): enhancements in the visual department should be mentioned (aka a User Interface redesign), as well as an improved Track Changes functionality, and better interoperability with the OOXML file formats of the big competitor.

My LibreOffice 4.4.0 packages for Slackware 14.1 and -current are ready for download from the usual mirror locations:

Have fun! Eric

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