LibreOffice QA: So much accomplished so far this year!

Many of you are familiar with LibreOffice or one of its predecessors (StarOffice,, etc..), but you may not be aware of the immense amount of work that goes into the production of the software and the careful testing of each release. Although there are many different teams within the LibreOffice community who each perform essential roles in the collaborative development process, I don’t have enough space to cover them all today, so I’ll focus on the LibreOffice QA Team, a group of volunteers and employees of various companies around the world who work tirelessly to identify issues with LibreOffice on all platforms, including issues of interoperability, process, accessibility, and ease of use.

The QA Team has accomplished much in the first quarter of this year, including significant reduction of UNCONFIRMED bug count, broad testing of our support for media on all major platforms, migration of our Bugzilla bug tracker to our own infrastructure, information and advice for our Annual Report, exhaustive work testing our LibreOffice Android port, and major improvements with our bibisect repositories. I’m sure I’ve omitted something from that list, but the sentence was getting long enough that I figured I should stop before I ran out of breath ;-)

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Who doesn’t love Free Software?

walrus-valentines-day_i-heart-free-softwareI Love Free Software Day 2015 is landing upon us like a giant walrus in just 2 days, so I hope my vast and extensive blog readership is ready to celebrate.

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has organized this holiday to encourage people to send some love back to all of the people who develop, test, design, translate, and document the Free Software that makes our digital lives possible. There are many ways to celebrate the day, including sending e-mail or snail-mail to the people or projects that you can’t live without, taking photos of yourself with the Free Software that you use (be creative!), or just giving a donation to one or more projects.

As all 4 of you readers undoubtedly know, I spend much of my time working on the marvelous Free Software office suite, LibreOffice, as well as promoting the use of LibreOffice, other Free Software, and free/open file formats in the US and abroad. If you feel so inclined to toss gold, bitcoin, valuable cats, or other forms of currency at LibreOffice, you may do so on this page. If you wish to contribute directly to the project (which takes more time, but is often more satisfying!), just point your navigator of the high seas Internet to our ‘Get Involved’ page.

Of course, there are many other Free Software projects that need your kind care and love (monetary or otherwise). The picture at the top of the page I made in Inkscape using several images from Open Clip Art. (Credits: bow and arrow, wings, heart, and Free Software developer)

So get out there this Saturday and let people know that you’re grateful for the work that they do that makes our whole community possible. Getting positive feedback will make their day!

P.S. All you Free Software hackers/contributors out there, listen up! I know that we tend to get laser-focused on our work and forget about vaguely important things such as our {girl|boy}friends, spouses, etc.., so this is the perfect opportunity for you to send a postcard to those important people to let them know that there are things more important than computers, even if it doesn’t seem that way 364 days out of the year ;-)

Up up and away to FOSDEM

It’s quite amazing to be 6 miles up in the sky, hurtling through the air at hundreds of miles per hour, and have the opportunity to work on rebasing Bugzilla customizations as easily as if I were at my desk at home.

When I was in the air, the outside temperature was south of -60°F, a fair bit further down the scale from what we get in Vermont, but a blanket over the knees is the proper remedy in both places, so I felt right at home as I poked and prodded away at reviewing and testing bits of code. What an amazing time it is that we can bring our work with us to the furthest reaches of the world!

Speaking of the reaches of the world, I’ve now just arrived in Belgium for FOSDEM. the largest Free/Open Source Conference held in Europe, and an excellent opportunity to learn about a number of very tasty beers! Held every year at Université Libre de Bruxelles, FOSDEM attracts a large number of students in addition to the professionals and volunteers who descend upon Brussels from Europe, the USA, and elsewhere.

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Winter in Vermont

Living in Vermont is a certain kind of special. It’s often hard to put my finger on exactly what makes it such a joy to live here, but as a picture is worth a good thousand words or so, may I please present Exhibit A:


Exhibit A

That’s a dog, lying in the middle of the road. He likes to hang out there in the warmer months, usually on the inside of the curve, usually somewhere near that house off in the distance.

As far as I know, nobody’s ever hit the dog, and nobody’s ever complained that a dog shouldn’t be using the warm pavement of the road to warm himself. Interesting.

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Mark your calendars: LibreOffice Bugzilla Migration is 1 month away!

tdf-walrus_experiment-iconWhat did you hope to get this Christmas? A new sled? A new laptop? Free Software that can fill out PDF forms?[1]

The LibreOffice QA Team has been hoping to migrate our bugtracker to our own infrastructure for the past year, and after a bunch of testing and experimenting, this January our wish is coming true!

On January 24th, 2015, The Document Foundation will commence migration of our bugtracker from infrastructure to TDF-hosted machines. Migration will give us increased flexibility to extend and modify the underlying Bugzilla code to match our needs, integrate other TDF services with the bug tracker, and provide more granular services for projects such as the Impress Remote and the Document Liberation Project.

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Happy New Year, LibreOffice!

happy-holidays-libreofficeAs 2014 draws to a close, I’m reminded of all of the amazing things that have happened in the LibreOffice project over the last 12 months. We’ve talked to hundreds of users and supporters at FOSDEM, SCALE, OSCON, FOSSETCON, and other conferences around the world, we’ve hosted Hackfests, LibreFests, and other community events, and we’ve worked on the nitty-gritty of the project, triaging over 8700 bugs and making more than 25000 commits[1].

LibreOffice wouldn’t be possible without the contributions of people working in many different countries and in many different roles. Since I’ve joined The Document Foundation as a QA Engineer this past summer, I’ve had an opportunity to work with new developers, users, technical support staff, teachers, administrators, and volunteers. Each day brings new puzzles and new opportunities to learn, as well as new volunteers and curious users who decide to stick around and help the community after we’ve worked to answer their questions or reproduce and fix their bugs.

The QA Team has been especially busy in the last few months, bibisecting regressions and chopping our UNCONFIRMED bug count in half, dropping under 400 in the last week.  We’re getting ready to migrate to our own instance of Bugzilla at the end of January, which will give us increased flexibility and easier customization of our bug tracker. In honor of Bugzilla, the stegosaurus at the top of the page is doing his best impression of the Mozilla Dinosaur. I’ll make a separate post with all kinds of details about the migration very soon Read all about the Bugzilla Migration right here!

Thanks for the amazing 2014, LibreOffice! I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together in the coming 365 days!


Join LibreOffice in Seattle for a Bug Triaging Bee & Hackfest!

Who makes the best office suite? You do!

SeattleLibreFest_2014At the tail end of October, LibreOffice is headed to Seattle, WA for SeaGL, “a grassroots technical conference dedicated to spreading awareness and knowledge about the GNU/Linux community and free/libre/open-source software/hardware.” While we’re hanging out in Washington, we’re planning to have a LibreFest — a community event to bring users, developers, and contributors from the Seattle area together to help LibreOffice by squashing bugs, writing code, and increasing public awareness of this amazing Free Software office suite. The LibreFest will take place on Sunday, October 26th at the University of Washington in Seattle.

At the LibreFest, we’re planning to have two tracks available:

  • A Bug Triaging BeeA fun, community exercise for people of all experience levels, from newcomers to experienced QA Engineers
  • A HackfestFor developers and programmers interested in eliminating bugs and implementing new features

Testing bugs and writing code takes a lot of concentration, so we’ll have plenty of free food and drink available to keep you fueled up and working at peak efficiency. We’ll also be giving out LibreOffice Contributor T-shirts to all participants, as a thank-you for your hard work!

To Sign Up, send an email to qubit [at] with your Name and T-Shirt size. Let us know if you’re interested in the Bug Triaging Bee, the Hackfest, or both!

For more information, please see the Seattle LibreFest event page.

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