SKIA on Windows Roadmap (ESC agenda item)

Telesto telesto at
Fri Apr 24 18:10:43 UTC 2020

Hi Miklos,

I'm rather 'out of the loop'. The DEV/ESC department is bit of black-box 
for me.
The minutes don't contain much background/ 'in depth' information about 
content of the discussion.
And the minutes are open for interpretation. Something like:
+ Enable skia by default on master and Windows, replacing GL (Lubos)
Could also mean temporarily, only on master. Depending on the intention

Anyhow this was more or less a follow up of bug 132323.
* Julien had some concerns about setting SKIA  default; maybe misread it..
* And I suggested to move OpenGL and GDI rendering to Expert configuration
Also follow by 'enthusiasm' and objections

*My central question: *Is there a time-table for moving GDI/OpenGL to 
Expert configuration?
Actively testing and supporting multiple backends is quite some work DEV 
as QA level.
Is this a Skia bug. Raster or Vulkan, or both. Also in OpenGL? Also in 
GDI? With or without Hardware acceleration..

Bug 132323 comment 6 suggested that those settings Options -> View where 
an UI issue.
However, being able to configure the backend at a common place is 
suggests these are actively supported, IMHO


Message: 15
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2020 09:12:39 +0200
From: Miklos Vajna <vmiklos at>
To: libreoffice at
Subject: Re: SKIA on Windows Roadmap (ESC agenda item)
Message-ID: <20200424071238.GO6400 at>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Hi Telesto,

On Thu, Apr 23, 2020 at 09:16:53PM +0200, Telesto <telesto at> wrote:
> Skia should be topic/ agenda item  for ESC team. There needs be some kind of
> roadmap/ timeline/ vision:

Did you see the recent agendas / minutes, sent out to this very list
each week? Skia is on the table each week.

> ?* Skia the default for 7.0  release on Windows?

This was already discussed at great length, Skia is currently on by
default on Windows on master (towards 7.0).

Is there some kind of conflict that the ESC has to resolve here? I'm not
sure I understand the problem you try to solve.



Op 23-4-2020 om 21:16 schreef Telesto:
> Hi all,
> Skia should be topic/ agenda item for ESC team. There needs be some 
> kind of roadmap/ timeline/ vision:
>  * Skia the default for 7.0 release on Windows?
> * What about the future GDI (incl. Hardware Acceleration)/OpenGL 
> Windows backend? Should those be phased out? If so, what's the 
> intended time-table at this point in time:
> - Active support of the other backend (bug fixing)
> - Passively supporting the other backends; so being available?
>    ** When do we move the setting to Expert configuration
>    ** When should the old code be removed
>  * What is future of Skia for Linux/Mac? What does this mean for other 
> backends? Cairo/ X11...
>    - A number of the base QA members use Linux. Is there backend 
> comparable to Skia available; using 'the same' code path?
> * QA concerns (based on: bug 132323)
> - Firebird experience: flood of bugs after removing from experimental
> - Harfbuzz experience: quite a number number of performances issues at 
> the beginning
> - One developer for Skia/ Single point of failure?
> Personal vision:
> * Active support for multiple backends are hard to maintain at QA and 
> DEV level, so less is more. Backend options should be 'invisible' as 
> fast as reasonable possible. Only objection: different backends have 
> different code paths; can be an alternative. Example: Skia XOR issue 
> (affecting Raster & Vulkan); without GDI no way out.
> * Skia looks promising; not seeing major problems. They should be 
> rather obvious to see. Everybody uses the UI.  So no Firebird experience
> * Passive support should not be GUI advertised for to long. Bugs tend 
> to sneak in, while everybody else is using the default. So settings 
> for backends should move Expert configuration pretty fast. It should 
> be decided at ESC level; it's not UI-only issue. It's also affecting 
> QA & DEV
> * Removing code. Should be hold off for a while. Second next major 
> release. The old layout engine was removed a little to soon for my 
> taste. Can be useful as fall-back.
> * Prevent a dependence on a single developer; there needs to be a 
> 'backup' developer who wants to step in, if needed. What about 
> documentation?
> * Developer available to squash the initial bunch of Skia related bugs 
> after release (to assure the QA department) . So everything is 'back 
> to normal' at 7.0.2 . If Skia contains bugs at 7.0 so be it. 
> LibreOffice fresh can contain bugs. Firebird lacked a 'testerbase' 
> while under development and support afterwards didn't win awards either.
> * OpenGL. Drop active support with 7.0. Moving to expert configuration 
> with LibreOffice 7.1. Code removal at 7.3. Deprecation should be 
> mentioned in the Release Notes
> * GDI: Active support dropped at 7.2. Passive support until 7.4. 
> Moving to expert configuration at 8.0. Mention this roadmap in the 
> Release Notes
> Regards,
> Telesto
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