LibreOffice team say they are working on a WebAssembly port

(Image credit: / Syda Productions)

Developers are reportedly getting close to bringing LibreOffice, the popular open source alternative to Microsoft Office, to the web browser using WebAssembly (WASM)

The project already offers LibreOffice Online as a collaborative, web-based version of LibreOffice. However, you can only really use it through its Collabora Online commercial variant.

Even as the Documentation Foundation (TDF), which helps develop and maintain LibreOffice, claims that it “is not planning to develop and fund a cloud solution similar to existing products from Google and Microsoft,” the developers of the WASM port hope to deliver a working demo by summer 2021.

Fruitful experimentation

The LibreOffice WASM port first got underway in 2015, and LibreOffice developers Thorsten Behrens and Jan-Marek Glogowski shared the progress at last weekend's FOSDEM Online 2021 conference. 

Behrens observed that back in 2015, the technology to get the office suite into the browser was too young. "Now it seems the stars are much more aligned. Nothing is really missing any more, even threading support is kind-of there," he added.

Comparing the existing LibreOffice Online with the current port, Behrens noted that the WASM port will delegate more work to the client and scaling is another issue the developers hope to solve with the new port. 

While the developers are making good progress and are all set to present a working demo later this year, the TDF is still being cautious. 

A board deputy at TDF speaking to The Register emphasized the experimental nature of the project, saying that “a port to WebAssembly is at present being independently developed by an organisation that is a member of the ecosystem but it hasn't been yet evaluated to be included in the road map or as being a joint project with TDF.”

Via: The Register

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.