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Libre Office in GTK3 and Wayland!

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Distros and Wayland

While it isn’t 100% sure if Ubuntu 13.04, Fedora 19 and Mageia 3 will use Wayland by default, it is the most likely scenario. And even if that doesn’t happen, you will still get the option to switch on it.  For Arch, Gentoo, Debian derivatives from indie distributors, things will be totally up to them, as the parent distros already support Wayland.

Not all Tool-Kits run under Wayland. Some of them they will never be ported to Wayland (i.e GTK2 and others). So there will be a fallback/compatibility mode to XServer that will run on the top of Wayland.

I won’t expand to Wayland here. I set up a Wayland/Weston environment and I tested some GTK Apps on it, so I will write in detail about it on another post.

I talked with Lucas Baudin which he is a Libre Office developer that also works on LO GTK3 port. Lucas revealed some cool news that I was ignoring.

Libre Office will run on Wayland!

Libre Office in GTK3

The current state of GTK3 plugin in Libre Office is quite unstable. This is not critical at the moment as LO doesn’t depend on GTK anyway, and we don’t have a “working/usable” Wayland. I am optimistic that this situation will be much different in 6 months (on next Gnome release).

Libre Office Writer with GTK3 dark Theme

Libre Office SpreadSheet with GTK3 dark Theme

Libre Office Writer with GTK3 Light/Default Theme

As you can see from the above figures Libre Office with GTK3 is pretty much unusable at the time. However if you want to try it you need to install “libre-office-gtk3” package and set “SAL_USE_VCLPLUGIN” variable to “gtk3”.

Libre Office in GTK3 and Wayland

Lucas Baudin told us a few things about GTK and Libre Office:

LibreOffice doesn’t use GTK2, nor Qt directly. It uses a custom one called VCL. LibreOffice has some code to render the widgets using several toolkit (GTK2, Qt, Aqua). One of the major changes in GTK3 was the new rendering mechanism with the port to Cairo instead of GdkDrawable. So, for LibreOffice, this port changed everything, and most of the code to render VCL widgets had to be re-written.

This rewrite was the opportunity to do a lot of cleanup in the code, in order to be able to use more GTK3 functions than before, i.e. no X functions to do the windowing. This may bring a better integration to our desktops. But another feature is interesting: GTK3 has also a new backend [1] to render to HTML5 and WebSockets. This port will also bring a LibreOffice on line [2][3]. This new GTK3 front end will also provide more cleanliness, GTK3 drawing mechanism is cleaner than the GTK2 ones.



And later I asked him about Wayland support.

HTML5 (broadway) backend is at the same level than Wayland. So, if LibreOffice can use broadway with GTK3 without any code change, it can also use the Wayland GTK backend (which is not finalized if I recall correctly).

However I didn’t find any RoadMap (LO GTK3 Git) about Libre Office and GTK3.  By the way Broadway is that cool backend of GTK3 that we can run Apps directly from our Web-Browser. However you need to have a GTK3 build with Broadway enabled.

Libre Office is one of the most important Applications of Open Source.  It runs everywhere, Windows, Mac, Linux and uses Standard Open Formats. It is also quite popular among Windows platform. It is great that LO will get- sooner or later- a full Gnome 3 support!

*Gimp GTK3 port is in a better state. We will try it later!

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  • patrick quinn

    Just a quick suggestion, you should get someone to proof read your articles before posting, preferably a native english speaker.

    • alex285

      We can’t do that. I should double check my posts. But I haven’t much time :(

      • fagdora

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        than writting a good article.

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        • alex285

          ads everywhere? it’s only 2 ads. Plus for your personal info, I pay 300$ a month for server. Placing ads takes 10 mins. Once..

          • fagdora

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          • alex285

            You don’t have a clue about web hosting cost. Anyway..

          • scribe63

            Please explain how and and where your web hosting cost is $300 a month. I am utterly curious.

          • alex285

            80$ 2Gb Ram on Rackspace and about 150$ bandwidth traffic a month – – (and is increasing). And this is only for blog. Some new services we think to release will double this cost. I know that you can find cheaper solutions (i.e hetzner) -and we might switch on them- but Rackspace gives a super support.

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  • simfox

    looks like nasty people inhabit this piece of cyberspace. I’m off……..

    • alex285

      Nasty people inhabit everywhere. Should we put a registration for comments?

      • ben

        I wouldn ‘t post if I had to register and I’m lovely.

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  • Craig

    “While it isn’t 100% sure if Ubuntu 13.04, Fedora 19 and Mageia 3 will use Wayland by default, it is the most likely scenario. And even if that doesn’t happen, you will still get the option to switch on it”