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This collection of patches, artwork and build infrastructure exists solely as a reflection of the many problems encouraging reasonably responsive change up-stream. The process of change is painful for any organisation, the larger the more painful. However - the size of the problem is no excuse to not try; hence the evenutal aim is to remove the need for ooo-build by incrementally fixing the various problems.

Documentation note.png This page has a long history. Information about more recent improvements (done / in progress) should be found at Community Council / Project Improvements.

About ooo-build

ooo-build arose from acute frustration with the bad-old days of OOo process before the Child Workspace concept was introduced, it was also fueled by a non-performant CVS server. Things have been further improved in the mean time, see the Build guide.

Checking out

To check out trunk ooo-build from the fd.o git repository, run one of the following in the command line:

# anonymous access
git clone git://
# if you have a account
git clone ssh://[username@]

If you need to work on a branch:

git checkout -b ooo-build-3-0-1 origin/ooo-build-3-0-1

(see fd.o wiki for authoritative info)

Making a patch on a set of files

ooo-build itself is in git - but as a set of patches, not the patched OOo sources themselves. Working with patches is unfortunately not too straightforward and needs some training; but you can use git to make some of the operations easier by creating a local git tracking of the patched OOo sources, like:

make patch.apply
cd build/oooABC-mXY
git init
# if you want to track just the 'sc' project
git add sc
# or instead track everything
git add .
git commit -m "initial"

Now you can create a new patch like this:

cd build/oooABC-mXY
# create a branch for the development
git checkout -b tempbranch
# modify the file, eg sc/blah/bleh.cxx
# and commit it
git add sc/blah/bleh.cxx
git commit
# edit something else, commit, etc.
# create the patch
git diff --no-prefix master tempbranch > ../../patches/dev300/blah.diff
# now switch back to master
git checkout master
# and add the patch to ../../patches/dev300/apply (as described below)

To update an existing patch, you'll probably want to do something like this:

# create a temporary branch
cd build/oooABC-mXY
git checkout -b tempbranch
# unapply the patch
patch -p0 -R < ../../patches/dev300/blah.diff
# commit the revert
git commit -am revert
# apply the patch again to be able to edit it
patch -p0 < ../../patches/dev300/blah.diff
# edit it, commit the changes
# when you are happy, find the commit id of the 'revert' commit
git log
# generate the patch
git diff --no-prefix id-of-the-revert-commit > ../../patches/dev300/blah.diff
# switch back to master
git checkout master

To remove the git tracking :

rm -rf .git

You can also think of more fancy use of git, like having a master branch for applying the patches, and other branches to track history of development you are doing, or use it to actually edit existing patches, to merge patches, etc.

Some people prefer stacked git (stg) over plain git when juggling with patches, after the initial "git init; git add .; git commit -a" do a "stg init" - and read the nice manual page.

Adding Patch

One of the main ooo-build features is the ability to apply patches against the upstream sources. A patch can be added the following way:

  • propose a patch file name:
    • the file suffix .diff is required
    • the file name <theme>-short-fix-description.diff is suggested when there are more thematic patches, e.g. warnigns, unittesting, speed that are not put in any thematic directory
    • the file name <module>-short-fix-description.diff is suggested when the patch modifies only one source module, e'g' vcl, svx, sd
    • the file name cws-<name> should be used for CWS backports
    • the file name short-fix-description.diff is enough otherwise
  • create the patch in the format to be applied in the top source directory with -P0, see the sample content:
    --- jvmfwk/plugins/sunmajor/pluginlib/gnujre.cxx.old 2007-08-10 17:32:26.0000
    +++ jvmfwk/plugins/sunmajor/pluginlib/gnujre.cxx 2007-08-16 22:40:42.0000
    @@ -78,6 +78,7 @@ char const* const* GnuInfo::getJavaExePa
  • put the patch below ooo-build/patches/<group>; most patches are located in the MWS specific directory. Some bigger groups of patches have their own thematic directory. For example:
  • mention the patch in the apply file:
    • ooo-build allows to sort the patches into groups and apply them conditionaly by distributions. Therefore, each patch has to be mentioned in the right section in the apply file. This file is usually located in the MWS-specific directory, e.g. patches/src680/apply.
    • the patch entry might look like:
      [ CalcFixes ]
      # Support Hungarian localized keywords for CELL and INFO functions.
      sc-celltrans-hungarian-keywords.diff, i#80299, kohei
      # Fix saving split-view information on 64-bit platforms.
      sc-save-split-view.diff, n#235131, i#81936, jonp
    • please do not forget to mention the issue numbers and the responsible developer name
    • note that the patches are applied in the order in which they are listed in the apply file. If there are some conflicts between the patches, it might be necessary to split a section, for example:
      [ Fixes ]
      # make unzip command not ask when overwriting files
      unzip-command.diff, i#81087, fridrich
      [ CalcFixes ]
      #fix import filter for userforms with calc specific data ( rowsource )
      svx-filter-userform-rowsource.diff, i#73753
      [ Fixes ]
      # edit fields text displaying
      svx-sdrobjeditview-update-edit-area.diff, n#305205, rodo

Committing a Change

Please see the wiki for the authoritative info.

In git, the commits happen locally. To make them available on the server, you have to either push them (if you have the account), or mail them (if not).

# it is our first session, we have to clone the repository
git clone ssh://[username@]
# develop something, now commit it
git commit -a
# continue developing, and commit it
git commit -a
# it is finished, patches apply, everything builds, let's check that we did not
# forget uncommitted changes
git status
# looks fine, let's double check the diff
git log -p
# everything is perfect, let's push to the remote repository
git push
# oh, it failed! - somebody committed some changes in the meantime, let's update
git pull -r
# double check
git log -p
# everything is fine
git push

The form of the commit message should be like the following:

First line roughly describing the change.

Leave one empty line, and then follow with more detailed description
what and why you changed.  This is really important, because some
of the git tools (like gitk, git log --pretty=oneline, git rebase
--interactive, etc.) show just the first line.  Also we don't have
a ChangeLog any more, so git log is now your source of the information
about the changes.

Please do not forget to mention the bugzilla numbers, like i#12345 or

* file1: Did this and that.
* file2: And something else here.


When there's a particularly good reason for a release, such as a distro needs a stable base or we want to do something potentially disruptive, one of the core ooo-build hackers will follow something like this process:

  • git pull -r - get the latest everything
  • do a test build and a smoke test to make sure that the last commits are fine; you could commit any fix if needed; you need not push it, though
  • read back through the git log and update the NEWS file for the release, summarizing and attributing the changes. See also below for "Tag vs. Push"
  • edit, bump the version in the AC_INIT line, incrementing the minor version eg. AC_INIT(ooo-build, X.Y.Z)
  • git commit -a - commit the changes with a handy comment, so we can roughly see where this happened in the flow:
Released ooo-build-X.Y.Z  (X.Y.Z-betaM)

* version X.Y.Z (X.Y.Z-betaM)
  • git tag -s OOO_BUILD_X_Y_Z - create a signed tag for the given release; it is IMPORTANT so that anyone could check out exactly these sources anytime later; note that we might need to push another version later, see below for "Tag vs. Push"
  • ./ - this re-builds configure with the version in place; a distro must be specified eg. ./ --with-distro=GoOoLinux
  • make dist - this builds the archive containing everything.
  • md5sum ooo-build-X.Y.Z.tar.gz > ooo-build-X.Y.Z.tar.gz.md5 - so that users can do at least the basic consistency check
  • scp ooo-build-X.Y.Z.tar.gz*<MWS_DIR>/ - uploads the tarball and the .md5 file for the right Master Work Space, eg. OOO310
  • It's then customary to announce the release, see the template in doc/announce.txt - update all the ***s to the right versions, insert the contents of NEWS, fire and forget.
  • git pull -r - get the last changes from the remote repository to be able to push the changes; this might cause reordering of the git log, see below "Tag vs. Push"
  • git push --tags - push the changes, including the tag, to the remote repository

Tag vs. Push

IMPORTANT: You should always check out the tag or check the released tarball to make sure what changes are included.

We do the tag in the local git copy. We need to do git pull -r before git push --tags. It means that the recent changes in the remote repository will be moved before the last local changes. It means that there might be added some entries in the "git log" before the "Released ooo-build-X.Y.Z" entry. It means that the global "git log" does not mention correctly what changes are included in what release.

Note that the mess is not too big. There might appear only few extra changes close before the "Released ooo-build" entry. For example, a tag might include the changes ABCDEFGH. The branch might include ABXYCDEFGH ,where A is the release commit, B is hotfix of a potential build breakage, CDEFGH are normal changes committed by anyone to the remote repository before the deadline, XY are changes committed into the remote repository after the deadline but before the end of the release process.


Please see the wiki for the authoritative info.

When there's a particularly good reason for a branch, such as a MWS is moved to the maintenance mode and we want open master for further development, one of the core ooo-build hackers will follow something like this process:

  • create the branch and anchor:
    • git checkout -b ooo-build-X-Y-Z master - do the branch for OOo-X.Y.Z from master
    • git tag -s OOO-BUILD-X-Y-Z-ANCHOR - this tags the current state so we can diff against it and see the branch specific changes
    • modify the message printed at the end of It might be something like:
      This is ooo-build-2-0-4 - the stable branch for the 2.0.4 release.
      If you want to build something cool, unstable, and risky, use master.
    • git commit -a - commit the changes, please make sure you mention the branch creation in the commit log
    • git push origin ooo-build-X-Y-Z:ooo-build-X-Y-Z - push the branch
    • git push --tags - push the tag
  • make changes specific for the original tree (master):
    • git checkout master - get sources from the original tree
    • if it is an important branch, such as for a minor OOo version, add a line to the message printed at the end of It might be something like:
      ooo-build-X-Y-Z branch for X.Y.Z
    • git commit -a - commit the changes, please make sure you mention the branch creation in the commit log
    • git push - push the changes

Sample commit log:

Branched for X.Y.Z.

OOO-BUILD-X-Y-Z-ANCHOR - the anchor tag,
ooo-build-2-0-4 - the branch.

Support for new MWS

When the upstream branches new MWS and we want to support it in ooo-build, one of the core ooo-build hackers will follow something like this process:

  • first, it is better to clean ooo-build and remove support for all old and obsolete milestones; FIXME: it will be described somewhere else
  • git pull -r - get the latest everything
  • edit, mention the new tarball file name and URL in the array %SRC_URLS, something like:
    'oox680-m.*' => '@MIRROR@/OOX680',
  • edit patches/src680/apply
    • fix the OLDEST_SUPPORTED option; note that more MWSs can be supported, it might be something like:
    • fix the conditions for the various sections; note that you must add condition for the new MWS everywhere where a condition for another MWS already exists; it might look like:
      [ Fixes >= src680-m182 >= ooe680-m2 ]
  • might want to use the new milestone by default, then update DEFAULT_TAG in configure in, it looks like:
  • git commit -a - describe all changes in the commit message; it is usually enough to mention something like:
    Support for oox300.
    •, patches/src680/apply: Support for oox680
    • Default to oox680-mY
  • git push
  • it's then customary to announce this kind of change

Support for final OOo version

When the upstream releases final version of a MWS, one of the core ooo-build hackers will follow something like this process:

  • must check whether the final sources differ from the latest milestone; if the sources are the same, only symlink is made at; new sources are created otherwise; the new tarball name is something like OOO_X_Y_Z
  • do all the steps as in case of support for new MWS with the following modifications:
    • use the tarball name OOO_X_Y_Z instead of the MWS- and milestone-based name oox680-mY
    • if the sources are only symlinks to the lates milestone, hack bin/unpack, so it creates the symlink to the unpacked sources; it might look like:
      if test -d oox680-mY -a ! -d OOO_X_Y_Z ; then
      echo "Linking rcZ to X.Y.Z"
      ln -sf oox680-mY OOO_X_Y_Z

Remaining unsolved issue summary

Information placed below here previously, was rather outdated. Pls. find up to date info on this page of the project: Project_Improvements, or linked from there. Of course, what was here before, may be read in the history of this very page.


If you read all that don't get depressed - these issues can all be fixed - many of them almost painlessly. We hope to shrink this page quickly.

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