A free software developer adventure

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Xnote : adding notes to messages in thunderbird

Some weeks ago, we (StarXpert) released a new Add-on for Mozilla Thunderbird called Xnote. This Add-on allows adding notes to a message. For example, if you have specific infos about a mail but would like to answer to it later, you can just store the infos directy with the mail by adding a note. Features :

  • Add notes to messages

  • highlight messages with notes
  • Resizable notes
  • Translated into French
  • Xnote is licenced under LGPL

You can download XNote on : http://www.starxpert.fr/staroffice/ressources.htm#xnote

or directly : http://www.starxpert.fr/outils/XNote

And if you have some time, we would appreciate feedbacks. PS : if many of you ask for it (let's say more than 10), we could take some time to translate XNote to English or other languages.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Chart Module : new preview released...

We know that a few of you miss features in the current chart. In order to the improve OOo experience, a new chart module is under development. Even better, you can test a preview of this new module. A new preview version is released approximately once a month on the following website : http://graphics.openoffice.org/chart/chart.html It is aimed at testers so please do not hesitate to give feedbacks, we are really taking them into account. So if you have ideas about features you would like to see in it, just do it : submit issues ;-) PS : the last release of the preview was published some weeks ago but as one would say : "Better Late (Than Never)".

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OOoCon 2006 : the schedule is out

Just saw on the main OpenOffice website that the schedule for the OpenOffice.org conferences is out. I am eager to be there as many interresting talks will be held by many great speakers. Good news, the presentation on the new chart module Björn Milcke and I submitted has been accepted. PS : I am impressed to see that Thorsten will deal with two topics ;-)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

cmake : a new alternative to autotools (and dmake) ?

I read a nice entry on the planetkde.org :

How KDE switched to a new buildsystem tool

The blog entry is a link to an article explaining how and why kde moved from autotools to a new alternative called cmake : http://lwn.net/Articles/188693/ I tried cmake this week and from what I saw, it is really nicer to use that any other tool I tested. Maybe some day OOo could rely on it and avoid having to maintain dmake ?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

OOo Solver, what's that ???

Last week, I wanted to work on the OOo development on a fresh new PC. Hence, I started building from scratch the whole OpenOffice.org one more time... That took me around 10 hours (if I do not count the time I spend on correcting errors*). That's quite too much for someone that has some time to work on OOo but not entire weeks. Developpers could wish to start developping on OOo without having that compiling step. This is where the "Solver" comes. The solver is exactly an already compiled OpenOffice.org that allows a developper to start working on the code and avoid the building step**. That could seem like a perfect solution, but it has some drawbacks and limitations :
  • a solver is huge (around 2G not zipped)
  • each Linux distribution needs its own solver because of incompatibilities between the tools versions (gcc, java...)
Let's ignore the space problem of the solver and concentrate on the second issue. On Windows, there are no problems related to libraries, so why should we have on Linux ? Couldn't we provide an entire environment with everything that is needed so that a developper only needs to unpack a tarball in a directory, launch a script that changes the environment variables and start to develop ? I think that helping new developpers to work on OOo is a key to its success, and the compiling step is quite discouraging. Maybe the ease of setting the environment could help and attract the developpers of tomorrow. What do you think ? * : all the errors where related to not having installed the right libraries at the right place, but it took me some time to understand it. ** : how developpers work on StarOffice