Deprecation (was Re: Remove ActiveX from LibreOffice)

Bryan Quigley gquigs at
Sun Jan 17 20:59:30 PST 2016

Hi Jim,

I'm not convinced that anyone is actually using the ActiveX
functionality to embed other applications into LibreOffice, AFAICT no
one has mentioned it actually currently working.  Nor has anyone said
they want to work on it.

Having said that I will go ahead with marking it deprecated but *not*
specifying a time to remove it.  This way we give people possibly more
notice but also enable some future developer to remove the support.
In a way, we table the decision on timing until we have more data.

I'm also going to see about modifying the Windows installer to warn in
some way about ActiveX support.

Kind regards,

On Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 1:36 AM, James E Lang <jim+lod at> wrote:
> But Bryan, Rick is pointing out that ActiveX usage is not limited to
> browsers only. If its usage is deprecated then I assume there is a
> functionally equivalent alternative but the *effective* life cycle of
> applications that use ActiveX is almost certain to stretch past the start of
> LO 6.
> I would define effective life cycle of an application as being AT LEAST two
> half lives of the application beyond the first release of the application
> that replaces the final LEGITIMATE release with an 18 month minimum (36
> months if there is no subsequent application update release).
> All support for Windows XP has been discontinued by Microsoft yet many
> computers still use it. Requiring a Windows XP upgrade to support EXISTING
> functionality in LO is quite possibly premature even now.
> Depreciation means to me that products should cease requiring use of
> something in ongoing development cycles but that for its effective life
> cycle its use WRT previously developed programs will not be abridged.
> I'm told that ActiveX has been a security nightmare since it was first
> released. That's probably a better reason to not support it than citing its
> depreciation status.
> I realize that on volunteer projects such as LO such standards are a bit of
> a burden but they warrant at least a nodding recognition.
> --
> Jim
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bryan Quigley <gquigs at>
> To: "Rick C. Hodgin" <rick.c.hodgin at>
> Cc: Chris Sherlock <chris.sherlock79 at>, Ashod Nakashian
> <ashnakash at>, libreoffice <libreoffice at>
> Sent: Tue, 12 Jan 2016 20:27
> Subject: Re: Remove ActiveX from LibreOffice
> Hi Rick,
> ActiveX is deprecated by Microsoft and will be less useful (or not at
> all) on newer MS browsers.  I'm unsure if it ever worked (or was
> supposed to) let you embed ActiveX controls into LibreOffice itself.
> Kind regards,
> Bryan
> On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 10:08 PM, Rick C. Hodgin
> <rick.c.hodgin at> wrote:
>> Why are you removing ActiveX from LibreOffice? Excel supports it, and it
>> is
>> desirable for integration with Windows apps like C#, Visual Basic, Visual
>> FoxPro. It allows those other apps to integrate the app directly into
>> their
>> app.
>> I have tried to use it previously, but could not find documentation for
>> it.
>> If it's an unused feature, I'd suggest that's why than for other reasons.
>> Best regards,
>> Rick C. Hodgin
>> -------- Original Message --------
>> From: Chris Sherlock
>> Sent: Mon, 11/01/2016 08:21 PM
>> To: Ashod Nakashian
>> CC: libreoffice ; Bryan Quigley
>> Subject: Re: Remove ActiveX from LibreOffice
>> That sounds pretty reasonable to me.
>> Out of interest, just how “integrated” is this with the code? If someone
>> wanted to create an external project on GitHub or some place like this,
>> would it be feasible?
>> I guess I’m trying to understand how much of core it touches… to
>> reimplement
>> an ActiveX control outside of the main tree, would a developer need to
>> fork
>> LibreOffice entirely, or could they maintain their codebranch entirely
>> seperately and update the control if necessary after we do our changes to
>> the main codebase?
>> I’m definitely for removing all vestiges of ActiveX from LO, but the more
>> I
>> think about it the more I can see that some corporation somewhere might be
>> affected, far more so than the remove of NPAPI… giving them the option of
>> a
>> control that can be maintained outside of the main project would be nice
>> :-)
>> Chris
>> On 12 Jan 2016, at 9:37 AM, Ashod Nakashian <ashnakash at> wrote:
>> On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 2:32 PM, Bryan Quigley <gquigs at> wrote:
>>> Anywhere else we should post this?
>> Ideally the note would show up unintrusively upon loading/using the
>> ActiveX
>> itself. Unfortunately we can't show a message box or some such UI, in case
>> the ActiveX is used non-interactively (in which case it'd block forever,
>> becoming unusable).
>> So the next best thing to do is include the note in the installation,
>> which
>> should be hard to miss if made prominent (unless automated in silent
>> mode).
>> This would get the attention of possibly the users, if not the developers
>> (who might not even test out new versions as they come out, and expect
>> things to work as before). Users can contact developers, I expect, or at
>> least plan accordingly. Regardless, all we want is to give advance warning
>> before the day someone installs a newer version and be met with the
>> surprise
>> of missing ActiveX altogether.
>> The installation and release notes seem to be the most reasonable places,
>> if
>> not upon using the ActiveX itself. Unless others have better ideas.
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