Open source Office rival Collabora releases web-based CODE 22.05

Collabora has released CODE 22.05, the new Developer Edition of its web-based corporate version of LibreOffice.

CODE is the Collabora Online Development Edition of Collabora Office, which we took a quick look at recently. The new version 22.05 offers a number of fresh features and performance improvements.

The suite now supports external grammar checkers, which you can check out using LanguageTool. This not only detects spelling errors but grammatically incorrect sentences as well as everything from errant apostrophes to duplicated words and faulty punctuation.

Spreadsheet handling got a major uplift with capability to support 16,384 columns, and the app can now generate sparklines - tiny, scaleless line graphs, inline with written text, which are an easy-to-understand way to visualize trends in data.

The suite also now supports WebP format images, and to improve forms creation, the Writer module can now handle content controls such as checkboxes and drop-down lists.

Collabora offers various demo versions, either as directly-installable packages, Docker containers (for both x86-64 and Arm Linux, plus Microsoft Windows), as both free and paid online demos. Beware, though, CODE isn't a standalone product: if you install it on its own, it won't do anything. This is a purely web-based app suite which only runs inside a web browser. In order for it to have something to edit, it needs some kind of file-sharing or other web-based collaboration tool underneath - for example, something analagos to Dropbox or Google Drive.

Collabora supports many of these. The main two FOSS alternatives are ownCloud, and the rival service started by ownCloud founder Frank Karlitschek after he left, nextCloud. The company also supports a whole shopping list of other private-cloud type products, including Pydio, Seafile, EGroupware, Microfocus' Filr, Ionos' HiDrive and Alfresco. It can also plug into other online services such as Moodle and Mattermost.

There's more information about the changes in this version in the company's press release, which also mentions some of the sources of funding and sponsorship.

These include the EU Horizon 2020 program, and blockchain outfit CasperLabs' DEVxDAO. Given the recent and ongoing cryptocurrency collapse, we doubt much more funding will come from that source, but we're pleasantly surprised to see something useful come out of web3 for a change. ®

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