Proposals for removing features

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Rationale for removing features

Due to its long history, LibreOffice has accumulated a staggering amount of features. Maintaining these features is not free. Having a massive amount of features may blur the focus of the software. We should be conscious of which features have become obsolete, which are a better fit for extensions and which were simply out of place from the start.

Proposals

Writer/Web

Proposal created by Buovjaga (30 March, 2017).

This feature is activated by File ▸ New ▸ HTML document. It includes the web view, HTML source view and Preview in Web Browser.

This proposal is not about dropping HTML import or export.

WYSIWYG editing of web pages has become very rare. A combination of your favourite text editor and browser dev tools is the preferred method these days. There are web-focused text editors like Brackets. Open source WYSIWYG web editors include BlueGriffon and SeaMonkey Compose. The current implementation of the LibreOffice web editor is no match for these and it does not make sense to start competing in this largely obsolete area.

France's Socle interministériel des logiciels libres 2017 has BlueGriffon as the HTML editor, not LibreOffice.

The Web Wizard was already dropped in 2017.

Removing the web module has been proposed before.

The help pages of this feature:

https://help.libreoffice.org/Common/Web_Pages

https://help.libreoffice.org/Common/HTML_Source

https://help.libreoffice.org/Common/Preview_in_Web_Browser

Note: Web view might be relevant for the help authoring tool.

Whatever it is that uses the sfx2/emojiconfig/emoji.json thing

Proposal created by Tor Lillqvist 2017-04-04.

It is insane to have in LibreOffice a list of emojis, in a format that is used for nothing else, and with English keywords in it that we have no translation mechanism for. Selecting emojis (and other Unicode characters the user doesn't know how to input) should be a feature of the desktop environment.

Yes, this was added as part of a GSoC project, and GSoC is in general a good thing and has brought us many nice features, but still this particular detail is crazy.

Impress export filter: Flash

Proposal created by Gabor Kelemen 2017-04-05

We have an Impress export filter for the Macromedia Flash format: https://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/tree/filter/source/flash

Now as we all know, the Flash format is dead: http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/

In Bugzilla we have 3 bug reports with "swf" in their description, all saying they cannot play the LO-exported swf files: https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/buglist.cgi?list_id=689055&query_format=advanced&resolution=---&short_desc=swf&short_desc_type=allwordssubstr

Image maps

Proposal created by Gabor Kelemen 2017-04-05

Help pages of the feature: https://help.libreoffice.org/Common/Adding_Clickable_Hotspots_to_Images https://help.libreoffice.org/Common/ImageMap_Editor https://help.libreoffice.org/Common/Glossary_of_Internet_Terms#Server_Side_ImageMaps

I have no idea why is this still a thing. Did anyone seen an image map "in the MAP-CERN, MAP-NCSA or SIP StarView ImageMap file format" on the web in the last 10 years or so?

PostScript printing on Linux

Proposal created by Buovjaga (10 April, 2017)

Originally proposed by Chris Sherlock and Khaled Hosny on the developer mailing list. This affects printing on Linux and similar unices, Windows and macOS use different code paths.

Quote from Khaled:

My understanding (and I may pretty much be wrong, the code is convoluted to death) is that most of psprint deals with printing using PostScript and when printing with PDF most of it is skipped. PDF printing is the default and not even easy to change in recent versions, but that looks like a bug. I believe we can kill PostScript printing and most of psprint with it and nothing of value will be lost.

The so-called QuickStarter

Universally considered a misfeature. Note: On Linux "soffice --quickstart" just hangs without any feedback (fresh and master).

hwpfilter

Michael Stahl said on IRC: hwpfilter contains a checked-in bison generated parser but not the grammar source for it... mst_ regrets not removing this trainwreck years ago.

Completed removals

Impress export filter: PlaceWare

Proposal created by Gabor Kelemen 2017-04-05

Bug report: https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=105809 (quoting that:)

We apparently have an Impress export filter called Placeware: https://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/tree/filter/source/placeware

According to Wikipedia this format belongs to a web conferencing product of the same name: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlaceWare

This was acquired in 2003 by Microsoft, renamed to Microsoft Office Live Meeting, then discontinued: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Office_Live_Meeting

Code change in gerrit: https://gerrit.libreoffice.org/#/c/36169/

Telepathy Tubes interface

The idea was to provide 1-1 collaboration between contacts and many-many collaboration via MUCs, using Telepathy DBus Tubes over Jabber/XMPP.

Removed by moggi.

Windows XP and Vista support

Proposal created by Buovjaga (10 April, 2017)

Deprecation for Win XP was already announced with 5.3. We should now announce that we intend to actively remove support for Win XP AND Windows Vista.

Was done in master in May 2017.

3D model import (gltf and collada stuff)

Was removed in October 2017 to universal acclaim.

Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) support

The pre-existing KDE3 desktop integration was turned into TDE desktop integration after KDE3 was no longer supported and no longer available in newer distros. TDE (which is a fork of the obsolete KDE3, based on the obsolete Qt3) isn't even available in many mainstream distros like Fedora, so the TDE code is often broken with VCL refactorings.

Was removed for release 6.0. Dennis Roczek (talk) 2017-10-31T12:18:00 (UTC)

Ancient StarDivision SGF/SGV filters

There were still pre-millenium filters for reading ancient StarDraw 2.0 and StarWriter vector images in the source; with the removal of the StarOffice binary filters many years ago, this was of dubious value. Removed.