Thoughts on LibreOffice Math

Khaled Hosny khaledhosny at
Mon Jul 8 03:37:24 PDT 2013

On Fri, Jul 05, 2013 at 12:07:57PM +0100, Michael Meeks wrote:
> On Fri, 2013-07-05 at 02:25 +0200, Khaled Hosny wrote:
> > GtkMathView developer have always been open to relicensing, he
> > relicensed it under LGPL when WebKit was considering it, so license
> > issues are the least of my worries.
> 	Sounds interesting :-) so I had a quick look at the code, and it's
> reasonably de-coupled from gtk+, glib, GObject etc. such that we should
> be able to get it working without them (AFAICS).

The core library has no hard dependencies, the GTK dependencies are
needed for the GTK backend, we can have a LibreOfice backend without any
of them (the GTK part of the name is misleading).

> > What I liked about GtkMathView is that it has a fairly complete as a
> > MathML 2.0 support, and have a modular architecture to allow plugging it
> > into other applications with some support for interactive editing.
> 	Sure - of course, sharing development with other projects and
> participants is (to me) the most attractive piece.
> 	Having said that - GtkMathView (for all it's apparent non-Gtk-ness ;-)
> has had almost no commits recently AFAICS - assuming it's hosted in
> GNOME git; four commits back we're in 2011 ;-) I guess in order to
> justify another git repository and all the grief of getting commit
> rights at GNOME, creating tar-balls for releases, manually maintaining
> patches to the code etc. etc. it'd be nice to think there was ongoing
> work there :-)

That is a valid concern of course, but I like to think that the
development is stagnant because the library is largely done. However, my
interest in GtkMathView is not limited to LibreOffice and I was
preparing myself for either maintaining it or a fork of it.
> >  The main problem is the complex font setup as it predates OpenType math
> > support and had to revert to using TeX fonts. I have been working on
> > cleaning up the font support and adding an OpenType backed (that
> > eventually should be the only backed), if I ever succeed I'd like to
> > look into integrating it in LibreOffice.
> 	Ok - well avoiding the torture of TeX/Metafont licensing and so on is
> clearly important :-) sounds like some nice work; are you doing that on
> a branch ?

A branch on a forked repository:

The work has been intermittent so I didn't bother the original developer
with it yet, besides until few days ago I was mainly just removing what
I'm considering obsolete features in an attempt to familiarize myself
with the code. Motivated by this discussion, I worked a bit on OpenType
support and it is semi-functional now, but it will need some work to be


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