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Released: Apache OpenOffice 4.1.11
Development digest
12th January 2004

by C.P. Hennessy

(Note also available in Spanish)

Welcome to what I hope will become the weekly digest of development.


Following what's happening in code development is not so easy, not because there is no information, but rather because that there is so much information and it is so spread out. Hopefully this digest will help to summarize all of that information into something reasonably readable and useful.

Most of this digest will be concerned with what code has changed in CVS, and presenting that info in a readable format, but I also hope to include news and information from other projects including QA, native language projects, API, and any other interesting projects.

Obviously I could really use help with all of this so if you have something you would like to contribute, or you see ommisions or mistakes please email me your contribution to the digest.

Some of the areas which are not related to development I do not plan on covering, these include the user support lists, marketing, documentation, and the website. However, I will include any interesting news sent to me about these projects.

So how can I help?

There are several teams who could do with your help : Over the next number of weeks and months I hope to add more information here to help you understand how and where you can contribute, how the community works, and how the various components within the product work.

So what are all these branches?

There is alot of development happening as can be seen from the details below.

As with many very large projects with many developers, development is going on independently in parallel. To help manage the code in a reasonable way a feature of CVS called branches is used quite extensively. Basically each major feature is developed on a branch by one developer (or a small team of developers).
This type of branch is called a "child workspaces"(CWS). Usually when a feature has been completed and some fundamental testing has been performed, the branch is then marked as ready for merging to a master branch.
Sometime later the developers branch with the feature is then merged to the "master workspace"(MWS) branch where further testing happens to make sure that features from different branches do not conflict and cause errors.

At some point a master branch is labelled and a public release of code is made.

An overview of which features will be implement on which branches can be found here. There is a more complete (and accurate) description of important branches currently used.

Current organization and contents of the CVS log

The CVS summary linked below is organized into what has changed on a particular branch by a each developer. There is currently a color coding on the left side to make it easier to see what type of change has occured. For each change you should see : There is also two indexes, the first lists all of the development branches and logically groups these branches.
The second index lists all of the components which were worked on and lists those branches which have changes on those components.

In Other Development News

Easier builds for MacOSX Panter

Building OOo for MacOSX 10.3 ( Panther) is now reasonably easy, but volunteers are desparately needed to build and package on 10.2 and 10.1.

Contributions from the Japanese project

Takamichi Akiyama wrote to me about developments contributed by the members of  the Japanese project:

Contributions from the French project

Sophie Gautier wrote to me to tell me of the various contributions from the French project:

Progress on native widgets for GTK/KDE/Win32/Aqua

The progress of the integration of native widgets for GTK, KDE, and Win32 desktops also received alot of attention. This is still moving along quite well and alot of progress seems to happen each day. The collaboration between the GTK and KDE developers is excellent. However the work on the Aqua widgets could really do with some help.

Release of developers snapshot m17

A developers snapshot release (read do not even consider this alpha quality) called 680_m17 is now available and contains many bug fixes (including valgrind indicated problems, cleanup of compiler flags for gcc, and more VCL cleanups). This builds on the earlier developer snapshot releases m15 (with the new VCL plug which will allow native toolkits to be used instead of the one, improvements to the scripting framework, lots of compatability and rtl fixes, improvement in graphics handling and the draw tool, and changes in the installation process), m13 (mostly bug fixes), and m11(with many features). Note the temporary splash screen! ( Maybe you can contribute? )
Note: these are all developers releases so be careful and do not complain if it crashes, burns and/or eats your computer! However if you do test these please report all errors in IssueTracker (to report a bug or request a feature -> "Register", then when you receive a confirmation email, "Login" and "File an issue" ).

As progress to the next major release there should be development snapshots every 2 weeks with more features for you to examine.

Convertor from xfig to OOo draw

Alexander Bürger announced a program to convert files from xfig format to OOo Draw. This program is now in a usable state (for Linux) and available for download.  There are still a few issues but it is generally very usable.

This weeks development summary

Many bugs have been worked on and resolved ( as of Monday Jan 12 2004 ):

 No this week  Change from last week
Issues which have the status UNCONFIRMED 431
Issues which have the status NEW 948
Issues which have the status STARTED 990
Issues which have the status FIXED 7520
(a more detailed set of statistics is available here)

Please note that even though the unconfirmed issues remain a bit high, the QA team is really doing some great work in keeping the bugs triaged ready for developers to disect. If you dedicate some of your energy on this project it would be very worth while.

Some of the interesting developments over the last number of weeks include:

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