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[tdf-discuss] Impress & ODF ecosystem ideas (was: some ideas for public agenda for TDF board meeting on Friday, May 8th at 1300 Berlin time)


Hi Edmund,

as discussed on the members list, let's continue in public - some
feedback below:

Edmund Laugasson wrote:
Hereby are my proposals to consider:

      o *topic:  zooming feature in presentation* - e.g. famous
        proprietary Prezi <https://prezi.com/> and its FLOSS counterpart
        Sozi <https://sozi.baierouge.fr/> (together with Inkscape
        <https://inkscape.org/>) but today also MS PowerPoint have
        <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-E2o0H6_pg> these zooming
        presentation features. *Would kindly ask TDF Board help to
        engage developers to implement these zooming features seen in
        Sozi, Prezi, MS PowerPoint also into LibreOffice Impress and
        improve also ODF accordingly.* *

Would love to see that! That said, TDF as a charity cannot easily
develop software, so it's more the 'try and motivate volunteers to
help improving Impress' angle that might be successful here.

Two suggestions to push this further:
 - cut this down into more bite-sized pieces (which is more manageable
   and rewarding for volunteers)
 - engage with the UX & design project to come up with ideas how to
   best integrate that with the existing GUI (their list ist
   design@global.libreoffice.org)

After that, e.g. adding a more fully fleshed-out proposal to the GSoC
ideas list might find a motivated student next year
(https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Development/GSoC/Ideas).

      o *topic: zooming feature (and much more) in spreadsheet* -
        referring to TreeSheets <http://strlen.com/treesheets/> and its
        tutorial <http://strlen.com/treesheets/docs/tutorial.html> and
        intro video <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB-saQZfrsw>.
        *Would kindly ask TDF Board help to engage developers to
        implement these features seen in TreeSheets also into
        LibreOffice Calc and improve also ODF **accordingly*.

Same answer probably as above - just in this case, it feels a bit like
a fringe feature, where perhaps people who _want_ to use it, could use
the original (which is Free Software just as well)?

      o **much better SVG
        <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalable_Vector_Graphics> support
        (edit, save, open) in LibreOffice** - if not yet then would
        propose to replace all graphics in LibreOffice with SVG
        <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalable_Vector_Graphics> images
        (menus, clipart, etc). Also allow edit SVG
        <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalable_Vector_Graphics> and
        save/open into/from that file format in LibreOffice. E.g. allow
        save (initially also e.g. export) Writer, Draw, Impress
        (possibly also others) documents into SVG and later also open,
        edit seamlessly. As SVG
        <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalable_Vector_Graphics> is also
        XML-based and FLOSS format then hopefully it is easy to add.
        Especially in the lights of upcoming SVG2 standard
        <https://svgwg.org/svg2-draft/>.

SVG support could certainly be even better in LibreOffice, I
agree. But there's a great FLOSS program for svg editing, Inkscape -
so I wonder, how much of that would make sense to duplicate?

There's also some subtle differences in ODF vs. SVG, that make it hard
to convert one into the other without data loss.

As such, beyond bugfixing & generally improving our filters (which is
kind of ongoing anyway), I also personally think this is less
important - since the FLOSS universe already has Inkscape for that
(and they're alive and kicking, just recently published their v1.0).

  * *ODP export script for Sozi* - here is the recent developer post
    <https://github.com/senshu/Sozi-export/issues/25#issuecomment-624238494>
    where is asked easy-to-use node.js module for Sozi to allow easily
    export SVG presentation into OpenDocument Presentation. There
    already is similar node.js module for proprietary PPTX export.
    *Would kindly ask TDF Board help to engage developers to create such
    ODP-module**for Sozi*.

Read the github issue, interesting conversation - my take from that
is, that perhaps better, overall ODF library support would be great to
have!

Historically, ODF had excellent library support for Java (that work
was funded by Sun, then later by IBM), and also for Perl and Python
(LPoD projecy, funded by the French government).

For newer languages like nodejs, ODF support is indeed somewhat patchy
- but there's projects like https://www.npmjs.com/package/simple-odf
or https://www.npmjs.com/package/odt where at least ODT support seems
present (simple presentations shouldn't be too hard to add I guess).

Extending language support there would clearly help with ODF adoption;
but again the same comment applies as for the first proposal - hard
for TDF to fund pure software development, initial step should be we
try & motivate volunteers (or find a student and a mentor for a GSoC
project).

For this nodejs thingit - engaging with the mentioned github projects,
perhaps checking their issue tracker and/or suggesting that feature
might be another avenue. For additional next steps: technical details
could perhaps be discussed on the odf toolkit mailing list
(https://odftoolkit.org/mailing-lists.html#development-mailing-list),
there's also maybe the odd volunteer lurking there who could be
interested. GSoC project ideas need to be in the wiki, and
pruning/selecting/mentor finding usually happens around
January/February each year, and gets discussed in the ESC. Interested
to take over a few of those next bits?

Cheers,

-- Thorsten

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