LibreOffice Merges Initial Support For Compiling To WebAssembly

Written by Michael Larabel in LibreOffice on 6 May 2021 at 01:52 PM EDT. 34 Comments
Merged into LibreOffice yesterday is initial support for an EmScripten-based cross-build and compiling to WebAssembly (WASM) for in-browser execution or potentially running on the desktop in a portable manner with the likes of Wasmer.

Merged to LibreOffice were a number of WASM commits yesterday. This documentation outlines the WASM build steps involved.

There is also a simple demo application that was added which ends up being a Mandelbrot with the Qt5 tool-kit.

This port of LibreOffice to WebAssembly using the EmScripten toolchain has been ongoing for a while. There is this Wiki page that outlines some of their work. The developers involved hope it will open up LibreOffice to more browser-based deployments with prior LibreOffice web efforts not exactly being fruitful and also bearing a large maintenance burden.

The merging of the WASM code this week comes ahead of the planned LibreOffice 7.2 Alpha 1 release next week. The feature freeze and branching of LibreOffice 7.2 is set to happen in early June followed by the start of the beta releases. LibreOffice 7.2 stable should be out by the end of August.

LibreOffice 7.2 is also bringing a number of improvements to its Writer word processor, faster text rendering thanks to improved font caching, LibreOffice Calc spreadsheet performance improvements, and continued import/export filter improvements.
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