LibreOffice 6.2 is here

LibreOffice 6.2 is here! It includes a new (optional) user interface called the NotebookBar, along with improved compatibility, performance boosts, a reworked help system and many other updates. Learn more and download it .

Firebird related release notes:

  • Support for Base files using embedded Firebird RDBMS becomes non experimental in this release.
  • Firebird Migration Assistant now creates a backup copy of the existing content.xml file inside the HSQL based ODB file prior to the actual migration process. 
  • Access2Basic basic library, bundled with the 6.2 release, adds full support for Firebird RDBMS.

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.1

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.1, a major release which shows the power of a large and diverse community of contributors with a significant number of new and improved features:

  • Colibre, a new icon theme for Windows based on Microsoft’s icon design guidelines, which makes the office suite visually appealing for users coming from the Microsoft environment;
  • A reworked image handling feature, which is significantly faster and smoother thanks to a new graphic manager and an improved image lifecycle, with some advantages also when loading documents in Microsoft proprietary formats;
  • The reorganization of Draw menus with the addition of a new Page menu, for better UX consistency across the different modules;
  • A major improvement for Base, only available in experimental mode: the old HSQLDB database engine has been deprecated, though still available, and the new Firebird database engine is now the default option (users are encouraged to migrate files using the migration assistant from HSQLDB to Firebird, or by exporting them to an external HSQLDB server);
  • Significant improvements in all modules of LibreOffice Online, with changes to the user interface to make it more appealing and consistent with the desktop version,
  • An improved EPUB export filter, in terms of link, table, image, font embedding and footnote support, with more options for customizing metadata;
  • Online Help pages have been enriched with text and example files to guide the users through features, and are now easier to localize.

DBMS migration in LibreOffice

Repost from TDF blog :

In 2017, The Document Foundation (TDF) launched four tenders aimed at improving LibreOffice in several strategic areas, and documenting the approach and work carried out, to foster sharing of knowledge and inclusion of the wider volunteer community.

One of the tenders was focused on the implementation of a HSQLDB binary format import in LibreOffice (, and after a careful evaluation by the Foundation’s Board of Directors – with the help of competent and independent volunteers – has been assigned to Collabora.

Tenders are funded by donations, and are supposed to improve LibreOffice in specific areas where the tasks are beyond the capabilities of independent volunteer developers, and also share the knowledge amongst the volunteer community to foster active participation in development and related tasks.

Collabora has developed a mechanism to import database files with high fidelity from the HSQLDB binary file format, used by many existing ODB files, by reading the Java serialization code, and writing a filter to import all data into LibreOffice Base. The objective was to remove the legacy Java/HSQLDB database and to simplify the move to Firebird.

Tamás Bunth, the Hungarian software engineer working at Collabora who has worked at the tender, has extensively reported about the progress and the results on his personal blog:

  1. DBMS migration in LibreOffice: Firebird and HSQLDB schema import
  2. DBMS migration in LibreOffice: HSQLDB binary import
  3. Final steps of LibreOffice database migration
  4. Database migration in LibreOffice: bug fixes and more

The feature is going to be released with LibreOffice 6.1, as an experimental one (to allow some further testing before being officially released with LibreOffice 6.2). So, to access it users have to flag the “enable experimental features” option in Tools > Options > LibreOffice > Advanced. If the option is not enabled, the embedded HSQLDB database engine remains the default for new Base files with LibreOffice 6.1, as in any previous version.

If experimental mode is enabled, the embedded Firebird database engine will not only be enabled but will also become the default, while the embedded HSQLDB database engine – although deprecated – will still be available as an alternative.

LibreOffice Base users are encouraged to migrate their database using the embedded HSQLDB to embedded Firebird new migration assistant (released with LibreOffice 6.1 as part of the tender), which is not using the HSQLDB database engine and will be available in LibreOffice releases even after the embedded HSQLDB support will be fully removed.

At the same time, LibreOffice Base users who want to stick with the HSQLDB database engine should start planning the migration of their database to an external HSQLDB server.

Join the final Bug Hunting Session for LibreOffice 6.1!

LibreOffice users around the world help developers to test new features and fix bugs before a new version is released. After the first and second Bug Hunting Sessions of LibreOffice 6.1, which were held on April 27th 2018 and May 28th 2018 respectively, we’re glad to announce the third Bug Hunting Session on July 6th – the last one before the release of LibreOffice 6.1!

LibreOffice 6.1 is due to be released in mid August with many new features described in the release notes and this is our last chance to test and find issues before its release.

In order to find, report and triage bugs, the tests during the Third Bug Hunting Session will be performed on the first Release Candidate version of LibreOffice 6.1, which will be available on the pre-releases server on the day of the event. Builds will be available for Linux (DEB and RPM), macOS and Windows.

Mentors will be available on July 6th 2018, from 7.00 UTC to 19:00 UTC for questions or help in the IRC channel: #libreoffice-qa (connect via webchat) and its Telegram bridge and there will be a dedicated session to test the new offline help system available in LibreOffice 6.1 from 14:00 and 16:00 UTC.

Of course, hunting bugs will be possible also on other days, as the builds of this particular Release Candidate (LibreOffice 6.1.0 RC1) will be available until the end of July, when the second Release Candidate will be available.

With your help, we can make LibreOffice 6.1 the best release yet – thanks!

LibreOffice bug #103074 : Implement Boolean Type for Firebird driver is now fixed

Bunth Tamás committed a patch related to issue #103074 : Implement Boolean Type for FB driver .

It has been pushed to “master”:

It will be available in LibreOffice 5.4.0.

The patch should be included in the daily builds available at in the next 24-48 hours. More
information about daily builds can be found at:

Affected users are encouraged to test the fix and report feedback.

From the list a of Firebird integration blockers there are only a few left

Listed blockers:

70425: EDITING: Embedded Firebird – Copying integer values from Calc to Base impossible  See dependency tree for bug 70425
70506: EDITING: Embedded Firebird – Alias in queries are ignored  See dependency tree for bug 70506
104316: FIREBIRD 3 : attempting to open a Firebird 3 embedded ODB database file fails to draw all UI elements, causes general LibreOffice UI malfunction

GSOC LibreOffice Firebird Integration Weekly Update 13

New GSOC update for the previous week with
current status of the firebird-sdbc driver :
Progress this week:
– Made libatomic-ops buildable meaning that we should now be able to build embedded firebird on non-X86 systems too
– Added rebuilding of indices to deal with the icu collation issues.
– Implemented a simple .odb loading test (in gerrit atm.) that also
tests that the embedded firebird .fdb can be connected to.
– Implemented Index retrieval and dropping
– More fixes to do with the firebird temporary and lock directories
– Some coverity fixes
– Started working on foreign key retrieval

Code commits can be reviewed in the LibreOffice git repository

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