Archive for January, 2008

January

31

by Kaj Kandler

Solveig Haugland, one of the best known trainers and consultants for OpenOffice.org offers free presentations about migrating to Open Office, to organizations that are interested in such a task.

Solveig is the author of many books, teaching Open Office software. Her latest book is “OpenOffice.org 2.0 Guidebook“, which you can also order from Amazon.

January

31

by Kaj Kandler

Sun Microsystems wants to encourage more participation in the Open Office community. For that purpose Sun sponsors a contest for contributions to OpenOffice.org offering $175,000 in price money and public acknowledgment of achievement.

The contest asks not just for development contributions, such as source code or extensions. The contest also solicits documentation, artwork, marketing materials and methods, tools to improve the community in areas such as distribution, translation, etc. It even accepts improvements to OpenDocument Format (ODF) and other creative ideas.

There are a few conditions for entry: You must create original work free of other people’s rights and be of legal age. You also must be a member of the OpenOffice.org community (registered at OpenOffice.org). For the cash prizes you need to live or be a legal resident of certain countries and territories. You can enter the contest as an individual or a group.

If you are interested, read the rules carefully. Determine if you are eligible for cash prizes. If you live in Austria or the Philippines, you are out of luck in this category. Also make sure that what you produce does comply with the licenses of OpenOffice.org and can be contributed to the OpenOffice.org project under the Contributer Agreement (different from the licenses). You should also be willing to have Sun Microsystems use your work for publicizing the Contest and the OpenOffice.org software.

January

31

by Kaj Kandler

If you are an Apple MAC fan and want to use OpenOffice, you are stuck with a version that needs X Windows, which is reportedly slow and looks and works like an alien in NY. Your alternative is NeoOffice, which has a more integrated look and feel but still is reportedly slow.

However, there is hope. The Open Office community has started a project to port the program to Mac OS X and do the work required to integrate the Aqua UI and other Mac OS X goodies. The bad news is that this work will only be included in Release 3.0, scheduled for the fall of 2008. But I found developer snapshots of native Open Office for Mac OS X and reportedly the version “OOH680_m4” is quite stable and does its work surprisingly fast.

January

22

by Kaj Kandler

I just discovered Tomahawk Gold from Native Winds of Montana. It looks like an attractive software package to print booklets from a variety of formats such as ODF, OOXML, txt, RTF, and XML.

This application does include its own editor to correct potential import glitches and reformatted files ready for printing in various formats, such as 1up, 2up (booklet) and 4up so proof your layout while saving paper. It allows you as well to produce PDF files directly for electronic distribution and printing by the end-user. The product sells for $36, download only.

The same company also produces a document converter from MS-OOXML or ODF to RTF. This is a freeware program, just to download from their website. Freeware Genius thinks the Converter is worth its money

January

04

by Kaj Kandler

My dialog from yesterday, regarding am OpenOffice.org document viewer for presentations, did continue today. The user explained to me "The need [for an OOo Impress viewer] arises when you prepare a presentation using OO and take it on a flash drive to client site where there is no OO already installed. Hence the need!"

I believe this is a case for OpenOffice.org Portable, a build in the Open Office Eco System that allows to run the full application set from a portable drive, such as a USB Stick or USB hard drive.

Incidentally, the PortableApps team has released the latest OpenOffice.org version 2.3.1 a couple of weeks ago.

January

03

by Kaj Kandler

Over the holidays, one of the users of Plan-B for OpenOffice.org asked me “Is there something equivalent to Powerpoint [Viewer]?” so you do not need to own the software to receive and view ODF files.

To the best of my knowledge there is not. Actually I would think there is not need. As anybody can download Open Office for free and install the full package it is about as much work as downloading the free MS Office PowerPoint Viewer.

One could argue that this is not equivalent, because you want to only install the viewer for presentations and not the whole application. However you can install only Impress the Open Office application for presentations and the difference in file size is minimal. You even get as a goody the presenter mode, allowing you to not only view the presentation but also present it on an external monitor. Free open source has its benefits I guess.