The software development community working on LibreOffice have greatly scaled up their bug-hunting efforts, using automated software test tools made available by Google. Beneficiaries include the many European public administrations that use up-to-date versions of this suite of office productivity tools.
The Internet search engine giant is sharing some of its computing capacity to help open source projects find bugs. This markedly increases the number of tests, and so turns up software problems much faster.
Over the past six months, the LibreOffice developers have been using OSS Fuzz, with good results. “OSS Fuzz has substantially increased the amount of hardware that we have available for testing”, says Caolán McNamara, a senior developer working for RedHat, and the leader of the security team at LibreOffice.
In a blog post, the OSS Fuzz project reports how the automated tests have found 33 bugs in LibreOffice. All of these bugs have been fixed, many of them before the list was made public.
These tests are helping to improve the upcoming next version of LibreOffice, says Michael Meeks. All users of LibreOffice, including the many European public sector organisations, can reap the benefits. “If they stay up-to-date”, he adds. “Public administrations should make sure they have support and long-term maintenance for LibreOffice.”