Wednesday, April 11, 2018

New LibreOffice Help is also an UNO Extension Package

Today I finished a patch for LibreOffice 6.1 that displays the new Help when it is installed as a UNO extension package.

The patch consider the extension valid when the extension is installed (from  XPackageInformationProvider service) and the extension version matches the product version. When both situations are true, LibreOffice opens the HTML help pages from the extension in your default browser.

The fall-back logic implemented for LibreOffice help activation is now:
  1. The extension help (this one). If not,
  2. The new help in distribution package format (when it becomes available). If not,
  3. The old, ancient local help. If not,
  4. The new online Help.

The extension identifier is a critical parameter and is formed with the <locale> of the user interface. No big deal, the identifier will take the shape of <locale>.help.libreoffice.org.

The extension can be assembled from the offline build of the new help. Pass the param --with-help=html to your autogen.input and build the help. Then zip the files needed for your locale.

Preliminary tests  indicates that the extension will be of size above 12MB per language. It contains all necessary files for autonomous navigation, that means, all internal links are reachable within the pages of the extension. Media files were added too.

For the next LibreOffice 6.1, you can test master build only and download a temporary Help package from
https://helponline.libreoffice.org/Help_en-US_6.1.oxt

Enjoy!