In the years since the birth of the LibreOffice project in 2010, several of our community members have taken it upon themselves to improve format interoperability with proprietary applications. Emboldened by the new freedom provided by forking, LibreOffice developers joined forces with a group of engineers who specialized in understanding the structures and contents of closed, proprietary file formats. The first fruit of this collaboration was libvisio, a library to parse files written in the binary Visio file format, developed as a Google Summer of Code 2011 project.
From early on, those involved in the reverse-engineering of proprietary file formats for LibreOffice believed that their work was relevant beyond its immediate application as a piece of the free office suite. This feeling was confirmed when members of the larger FOSS community showed interest in the work being done within the LibreOffice project, and when the file format work started to be reused in other projects. Reusing code from LibreOffice was easy due to the simultaneous development of document parsers and pluggable converters, with the latter providing output in existing free and open file-formats.
Encouraged by community interest, the developers continued their mission by providing read support for more and more file formats including CorelDraw, MS Publisher, Apple Keynote, and a handful of different old Macintosh formats. When the family of libraries using the same APIs grew to include more than ten members, it became clear that this project was growing too large for its current home, and would need to become an independent project within the framework of The Document Foundation. In April of 2014, the Document Liberation Project was born.
The Document Liberation Project aims to attract developers from all corners of the FOSS world to join with the LibreOffice developers, strengthening existing relationships and forging new ones with all who have shared goals in the domain of file formats.
The Document Liberation Project exists to provide a home for the growing community of developers united to free users from vendor lock-in of content. It aims to contribute to the flourishing Open Document eco-system by providing powerful tools for the conversion of proprietary file formats to the corresponding ODF format.
All participating libraries are released inter alia under the Mozilla Public License Version 2.0. The Document Liberation Project has selected this license to ensure that any new knowledge about a file format will be of benefit to all users.
Our import libraries are already used by several projects: