15 years ago the original OpenOffice.org source code was published by Sun Microsystems, on Friday, October 13, 2000, a Full Moon day. The source code that changed the Free Software office suite world and laid the basis for LibreOffice.
Some may recall it as Ohloh, then it was taken over by Black Duck Software and now runs under the name of Open HUB, the open source network to Discover, Track and Compare Open Source. What a laugh. Since Black Duck took over things continuously have gotten worse, spinning repository updates became infrequent, and now OpenHUB simply can't catch up with all projects, their engine for months was months behind with updating source code, and now completely fails on big repositories.
For example, take a look at the statistics for my commit accounts (which today, 2015-08-17, are said to be Analyzed 9 days ago). Most recent commit 6 months ago — yeah, sure Has made 178 commits — seriously? used to be in the thousands
and ... all commits of the entireLibreOffice project are missing.
So let's dig into the LibreOffice project statistics. In the Activity section there's a 30 Day Summary Jul 9 2015 — Aug 8 2015 which lists — tadaaa ... — 2 Commits of 2 Contributors, and for the 12 Month Summary it says 124 Commits by 12 Contributors. Of course that's nonsense. Compare with the LibreOffice repository clone pulse at GitHub, which is updated with every commit.
But, there may be people who think OpenHUB delivers accurate numbers, and for smaller projects the numbers may look "not so wrong in a non-obvious way". Or they were used to (half) accurate numbers from Ohloh, and may trust those numbers and quote them in publications or even make decisions based on those numbers. That's why I think OpenHUB is more than dead, a zombie delivering false data is worse than no data at all.
Today we can celebrate an anniversary, on Friday 13 October 2000 Sun Microsystems published the OpenOffice.org source code. I won't say "Happy Birthday, OpenOffice.org" because OpenOffice.org as a project died in April 2011 when the company who bought Sun Microsystems gave it the final stab, and there is a well alive successor now. But the birth of OpenOffice.org marked a milestone in the history of office productivity software. It provided the freedom of choice to a wider audience of users, being available on several platforms it freed users from being dictated what productivity software to use. For many people, developers, quality engineers, translators, authors and users it also meant the choice of freedom, the choice to contribute to Free Software, the choice to change the software world even if just a little, line by line. And it triggered another birth, the birth of the OpenDocument Format for office applications, starting the standardization of office productivity file formats.
For me it also provided the freedom to be able to work like I work today, being employed by a great company that pays my bills while I work on this freedom is a privilege I much appreciate.
23 (!) years ago Linus Torvalds wrote a message to the comp.os.minix newsgroup (does anyone remember newsgroups?) in which he announced that he was doing a free operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu)LOL and he liked to know what features most people would want.
He failed in predicting the future though:
It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(
Well done, Linus, and Happy Birthday, Linux! Live long and prosper, both!
This week I accomplished an important milestone of the major rewrite that – apart from the daily work such as fixing bugs, coding small enhancements and reviewing patches – I'm working on since 9 months or so. In current master LibreOffice finally is able to transparently handle arbitrary (if valid) BCP47 language tags and fully support the fo:script and *:rfc-language-tag attributes defined in ODF 1.2.
So what does this mean? It means that you'll be able to get your language in.
It means that already supported languages or writing scripts that so far used a kludge to squeeze them into ISO639 language codes and ISO 3166 country codes only, are finally supported using the proper language tags registered with IANA. For example:
ca-ES-valencia Catalan Valencian
The Valencian variant of Catalan previously used the ca-XV kludge where XV is a reserved for private use ISO 3166 code, which meant it could be used for UI translation purposes but not for document content. This is now stored in ODF as style:rfc-language-tag='ca-ES-valencia' attributes.
sr-Latn Serbian Latin
Previously the deprecated sh kludge was used to differentiate between Serbian Latin and sr Serbian Cyrillic. Serbian Latin in Serbia sr-Latn-RS is now stored in ODF as fo:language='sr' fo:script='Latn' fo:country='RS' attributes.
It also means that a tag en-GB-oed can be and now is already supported, including the corresponding language list entry already being added to the list. This is English, Oxford English Dictionary spelling, which is mandatory for UN documents and as it seems also used for EU documents. LibreOffice will be the first free office suite to support spell-checkers with Oxford English Dictionary spelling along with en-GB and en-US spelling at the same time.
Transparently handle arbitrary tags means that when a document is read that contains language attribution not specifically known to LibreOffice (i.e. does not have an entry in the language list), when positioning the cursor on or selecting such text the language tag is shown in the status bar and in the language list of the character attribution so you will not see Unknown or, even worse, nothing or the system locale's language. If a dictionary was installed that handled such tag then it could be used for spell-checking. Transparently of course also means that the tag will be stored again to ODF when saving the document so the attribution is not lost.