CODE, a specialized distro to quickly implement LibreOffice Online

Recently the team of Collabora announced the launch of the CODE 22.5 platform (Collabora Online Development Edition), which offers a specialized distribution to quickly implement LibreOffice Online and orchestrate remote collaboration with the office suite over the Web for functionality similar to Google Docs and Office 365.

The distribution is designed as a preconfigured container for the Docker system and is also available as packages for popular Linux distributions.

CODE includes all the necessary components to run LibreOffice Online Server and provides a quick start and overview of the current state of development of the LibreOffice Web edition. Work with documents, spreadsheets, and presentations is supported through a web browser, including the ability to collaborate with multiple users who can make changes, leave comments, and answer questions simultaneously.

Contributions, current edits, and cursor positions for each user are highlighted in different colors. Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile and Pydio systems can be used to organize document storage in the cloud.

The editing interface displayed in the browser it is built using the standard LibreOffice engine and allows you to achieve a completely identical display of the document structure with the version for desktop systems.

the interface is rendered using the HTML5 backend of the GTK library, which is designed to render the output of GTK applications in a web browser window. LibreOfficeKit is used for calculations, tiling, and layered document layout. A special web service daemon is used to organize server interaction with the browser, transfer images with interface parts, organize caching of image parts, and work with the document repository.

Main novelties of CODE 22.5

In this new version that is presented, it is highlighted that the ability to use external plugins was added to check grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style. Added support for the LanguageTool plugin.

It is also highlighted that added ability to embed sparklines (Sparkline) in spreadsheets: sparklines that show the dynamics of changes in a series of values. An individual chart can only be linked to one cell, but different charts can be grouped together.

The spreadsheet of Calc now supports spreadsheets with up to 16 columns (previously, documents could not have more than 1024 columns), in addition to the fact that the number of lines in a document can be up to one million, compatibility with files prepared in Excel has been improved, as well as improved performance for processing large spreadsheets.

In addition to that, we can also find that added support for the Webp image format, which can be used to insert images into documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and Draw drawings; and a widget with a formula input interface has been implemented, which works on the client side and is written in pure HTML.

Writer adds the ability to embed DOCX-compliant form fillers In the documents. Processing of elements such as drop-down lists to select values, check boxes, date pickers, buttons to insert images is supported.

An update system has been implemented delta for interface elements, which got better performance significantly and reduced traffic (up to 75%). The interface in LibreOffice Online is formed on the server and displayed using the HTML5 backend of the GTK library, which essentially translates the finished images to the browser (a tiled layout is used, where the document is divided into cells and when the part of the document associated with the cell changes, a new cell image is formed on the server and sent to the client).

The implemented optimization allows to transfer only information about the change in the content of the cell, compared to its previous state, which is more efficient for situations where only a small part of the content associated with the cell changes.

Of the other changes that stand out:

  • Improved multi-user editing capabilities.
  • Implemented support for dynamic configuration of multiple hosts providing additional components integrated with the main Collabora Online server.
  • Faster rotation of raster graphics.

Finally, if you are interested in knowing more about it, you can consult the details In the following link.

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