Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Improved OS X look of the upcoming LibreOffice 4.3

The last week, just after FOSDEM, I was one of the lucky ones who participated in the LibreOffice UX Hackfest that was generously hosted by +Betacowork.

We achieved a lot (incomplete list - many haven't added their achievements yet), but I want to particularly highlight the result of me teaming up with +Joren dc and +Tor Lillqvist. It is the new look of LibreOffice on OS X:

Improved OS X look of LibreOffice

Have a look at the toolbar - it is using CoreUI to render the gradient in a native way. It is based on similar work that has been done for Firefox - thank you, Markus Stange, for your observations & code, we have reused pieces under the MPL license.

It is visible that the work is not finished yet; we need to extend the gradient to cover even the title bar (or how is it called exactly?), but there is enough time for the LibreOffice 4.3 feature freeze in May - I am sure it will be perfect by then.

Other Improvements

Other than that, I have extended the new Start Center to be able to show previews of other file formats than just ODF. As a sideeffect, it should improve the startup speed with many previews.

The last thing I've done was that I have converted the Template Manager to use dynamic widget layout. This led to removing many hacks there that made the Template Manager resizable even before - but using the .ui is much more elegant, and potentially may allow integration of the Template Manager directly into the Start Center.

Overall, the UX hackfest was awesome - I am really looking forward to the next one :-) Thank you, Mirek, for organizing it!