[Nottingham] LibreOffice cloud?

Duncan notlug at pendinas.org.uk
Tue Jan 21 11:20:55 UTC 2014

On 20/01/14 23:52, Martin wrote:
> On 20/01/14 23:19, Duncan wrote:
>> On 2014-01-20 18:57, Martin wrote:
>>> On 20/01/14 11:37, Martin wrote:
>>>> Folks,
>>>> Is there a 'cloud' solution for using LibreOffice? (That is, interact
>>>> remotely with LibreOffice itself running on a server.)
>> What are you trying to achieve and what libreoffice features are you after ?
>> Eg:
>> Are you trying to force the files created onto the server  ?
> Yes.
>> Would something like tinymce be enough ?
> I've already got that via WordPress or via the collaborative text editor
> that comes with OwnCloud. However...
> I'm seeing if there is already enough FLOSS to bolt together to allow me
> to work away from home and to share work with people that are more used
> to using Microsoft.
> Looking at OwnCloud, we're most of the way there but the document
> editing is rather too minimal.
> And then there is LibreOffice... 'If only' that can be
> integrated/subsumed or whatever, then we could have a cloud-beater!
> At least what is needed is something that allows editing/annotating
> MS-Word docs. May contain tables and diagrams and jpgs...

Honestly, I've found SVN to be the best solution here (although git would
no doubt also do).  Putting something like tortoise SVN (SVN client) on
a windows machine gives Windows people a few extra menu options and I have
found they quickly learn and get used to a "development cycle"
(checkout, edit, commit).  With a bit of help they can also get used to
doing a branch or tag for specific releases of the documents, if that is a

It also helps if they communicate with each other about which documents
they are editing (reduces conflicts).  Switch on "track changes" in word too!
It makes the cause of conflicts more obvious.

Using SVN is MS Office agnostic and will still work when you/they suddenly
decide to share a different type of file.

See also http://code.google.com/p/msofficesvn/
Not tried it but it looks interesting.

>>>> Or even, what FLOSS alternatives might there be instead of
>>>> "Microsoft Office 365"?
>>>> As part of that quest... I've given a couple of web browser 'VNC's a try
>>>> and they seem rather slow even for a fast internet link. Is a remote
>>>> desktop the only way to go?
>>> For a sneaky bit of connectivity...
>>> Anyone with comments for what to watch out for if using Apache Tomcat?
>> I set up  archiva, jenkins and some other war using tomcat for the servlet
>> side recently.
>>> Good, bad, or use caution? (Web exposed Java!)
>> By far the biggest problem I had, long before I got to security, was the pitiful
>> documentation.   Shout if you have any specific problems.  I've probably
>> banged my head against them too.
>> IMNSHO the java security model now integrated into tomcat 1.7+ is a big pile of
>> steaming doggy doo doo - and a poorly documented pile of doggy doo doo at that.
>> From what I can tell, it is based on you, the admin, knowing what classes the
>> developer used and what they did with them.
> Oooooooer... I was afraid that might be the case. I was looking at
> Guacamole as a sneaky web browser to VNC/RDP/SSH interface so that I
> could stay all-web-browser cloudy.

Don't let me put you off ;-)

I tried to develop a security policy for archiva[1] because I couldn't find
an off the shelf example.  It came down to run it, look in the log files for
why it fell over, change that permission, rinse and repeat.

Unless you delve into the code you, with an admin hat on, have no real
understanding of the security implications surrounding giving an app
the permissions it wants.

An example from the default tomcat7 webapp policy (policy.d/04webapps.policy) is
the following:

grant {
    // java.io.tmpdir should be usable as a temporary file directory
    permission java.util.PropertyPermission "java.io.tmpdir", "read";
    permission java.io.FilePermission "${java.io.tmpdir}/-", "read,write,delete";


Which grants read,write,delete access to tmpdir to webapps.
Great, except my experience as a sysadmin tells me unfettered access to
tmpdir is a recipe for security holes (eg. the classic "ln -s /etc/passwd

To understand if that is a problem I would need to audit all webapps to determine
if having unfettered access to tmpdir (or any other permission) could be abused
by a user to cause damage or open up my system.  And life is just too short
for that.

[1] http://archiva.apache.org/index.cgi
> Hey-ho! Looks like I'll have to fire up a VNC system...
> Shame to have have the neatness of web-browser access to OwnCloud having
> to be sullied by VNC onto the same server just for the sake of MS-Word
> docs checking/editing... :-/
> The LibreOffice would suit that very well, with OwnCloud then cloudily
> sharing the results.
>> Have fun,
>> Duncan
> Thanks, this is turning into quite an adventure of cloudy pieces :-P
Little Fluffy Clouds
> (Hope your baby far above the clouds is doing well! :-) )

Appears to be.  Going through Astrium commissioning atm. Some of my
team received their first data over the weekend to help with that.
ESA have released an interesting but rather odd first light image[2].
Odd because we will never see images like this after commissioning.
At the time the image was taken the mirrors were not in focus and
the instrument temperature was still dropping so it is noisier and
not as sharp as it should be.  It is also a mess because it is a
magnitude 2.9 star that has caused saturation of the CCD (should
be obvious from the image) and highlights the diffraction (PSF) spikes.
The lack of obvious blooming also indicates the CCD anti-blooming drain
(drains excess (saturated) charge to the solar arrays so it doesn't
leak into neighboring pixels) works.  We don't know the orientation
of the image but if it follows the mission-standard the read-out
register should be in the top right-hand corner.  All very good.

[2] http://sci.esa.int/gaia/53616-first-star-shines-for-gaia/

Have fun,

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