A free software developer adventure

Friday, March 30, 2007

Working towards a unified text layout engine for the free desktop software stack

I just read about another interresting initiative that aims at " providing a single place in the free desktop software stack to add support for new complex languages and provide consistent behavior across applications when it comes to text shaping." If it work, it could help to avoid a lot of duplicate development, but I don't know if it could be easily integrated to OOo. Any thought?


Thursday, March 15, 2007

[UX] OpenICC: Color management for OpenSource

I just read about an interresting intiative from freedesktop called OpenICC:


Here is what this project is aimed at:

OpenICC has two main goals. The first goal is to work out a common set of settings for color savvy applications to share profiles and settings. The second goal is to bring together those developers in areas like printing, display and desktop applications to work together to make color management end to end work for open source applications.

As the OOo User Experience (UX) Team has been working on colors lately (new chart colors...), this might be an interresting thing to have a look at.

Monday, March 12, 2007

How do features get into OOo? Ideas for improvements

A few days ago, I posted an entry regarding the priorities for features implementation or in other words "why is a this feature implemented and that one is not". At that time, there were no answers for such a question.

Since that blog entry, Mathias Bauer wrote in GullFOSS an article called "Why all issues are equal but some are more equal than others". I suppose that his blog entry could even be pasted on some page on the wiki in order to keep it somewhere.

Thanks to Mathias, we now have more visibility on the "variables" used to choose which features to implement next. That's a good point.

In order to improve the visibility of the choice, a few more things may be achieved. The aim would be to have a page representing a scoring system, were the issues on the top would be the next ones to be implemented. Currently this is not the case as the scoring system only shows votes. And as Mathias explained it, votes are only one variable between others, thus the issues with the highest number of votes are not necessarily the next ones to be implemented.

The aim of the improvement would be that the "score" would be the reference for the next features to be implemented. So this score should be a sum including variables like:

  • complexity of implementation,
  • gain for users,
  • a developper wants to work on it,
  • customers are paying for it,
  • ...

Those variables would then need to be added to IssueZilla and the scoring would be a result of a computation including the variables. What do you think?

Note: Those variables would also be useful for other purpose like selecting which issues could be assigned to new developpers (the one with low complexity).


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Cairo 1.4.0 is out

Cairo 1.4.0 was just released. That's again a good news, as this version comes with huge improvements, especialy regarding performances which were the major complain about Cairo and improvements in PDF support. Here is the link: http://cairographics.org/news/cairo-1.4.0

As Cairo is used in Firefox and is making its way into OOo with Cairo Canvas, this is an interresting news also for the OpenOffice.org community. Especially regarding Impress, Draw, and calc charts. If I understood well, cairo canvas are the one which should bring anti-aliasing for OOo. I am really eager to see those included!

PS: Maybe Thorsten has some news about those things.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Firefox 3.0 new extension feature

I just read the requirements for firefox 3.0: http://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox3/Firefox_Requirements

And what stroke me are the "P1" issues about Firefox. Many of them are about improving Add-ons. I just copied a fiew of them in this blog entry:

  • Improve Add-On install experience
    • FR: Add-On can be installed in fewer than 3 mouse clicks
    • NFR: simplify XPI Install dialogs and user interactions
    • NFR: simplify user interaction with whitelist
  • Improve Add-On configuration experience
    • FR: allow Add-On configuration UI to be accessed from main application configuration UI
    • NFR: improve discoverability of Add-On configuration UI
  • Improve Add-On management experience
    • FR: add visual indication when Add-On Updates are present to browser UI
    • FR: add permanent button for restarting firefox
    • FR: expose all hidden functionality such as "Find Update"
    • NFR: improve usability of Add-On Manager
    • NFR: simplify language and unify terminology
Which one do you think could also be implemented in OOo?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

How do features get into OpenOffice.org?

I just read an interresting article about how Zimbra manages new features to be added: http://www.zimbra.com/blog/archives/2007/02/open_source_pro.html

Does someone knows if there is a document explaining how things are managed for OOo? I am sure that many issue reporters complaining that there issue is critical would love to know more about it ;-)