Archive for the ‘Country’ Category

October

23

by Kaj Kandler

While OpenOffice.org Release 2.3 is just out the door, Developers like Carsten Driesner, Liang Weike and the OpenOffice team from RedFlag 2000, prepare new features for Open Office Release 2.4

One feature is the ability to create and store your permanant image list, which can be used to change the icons of the appliction w/o going through the build process. In combination with the OOo extensions I expect this to become the facility for different skins for Open Office.

The other feature mentioned is an enhanced help tip text for the print button in the standard toolbar. The new feature shows the name of the printer in the help tip text, just to remind you where your document will be printed. Sounds rather useful in an office environment, where multiple printers are available.

Liang Weike works for RedFlag 2000 the project that adapts OpenOffice for the Chineese market and helps develop new features as well.

October

12

by Kaj Kandler

According to Vietnam Net, OpenOffice.org gains popularity in Vietnam. One of the leading organizations to switch is the Vietnamees Communist Party, with its 20,000 office PCs around the country. However government agencies and businesses follow suite. The movement is driven, by the international integration of Vietnam with the world economy. Vietnam wants to trade with the world and therefore must respect intellectual property rights.

as the pressure from international integration forces Vietnamese state agencies and businesses to respect software copyrights, the future for open source software seems to be brighter. Some providers of open source software products and support services have appeared

The government pushes its corporations and citizens to use legal copies of software, with full licenses. However, Vietnamese can’t afford the $200 – $500 for a fully equipped MS windows + MS Office business PC. So they switch to increasingly to open source alternatives like Open Office, Firefox, and Thunderbird. The availability of a localized vietnameese version of OpenOffice helps this effort and the nature of open source allows the country to improve on this aspect at will.

September

10

by Kaj Kandler

Most users know that Sun Microsystems is the main force behind OpenOffice.org and its development community. Historically they did buy StarDivision and release Open Office as open source. Today, IBM announced to commit to the OpenOffice.org development community with a team of 35 developers in China working full time on the project. IBM also contributed today a chunk of code making the open source office suite more accessible for users with disabilities.

While IBM has developed the accessibility interface called iAccessible2 for a while and also supported ODF (ISO 26300) in its Lotus Notes products, this announcement is a long term commitment to develop OpenOffice.org as a competitive suite.

July

19

by Kaj Kandler

I currently happen to be with my Laptop in Barcelona, Spain. However, my PC is set up en_US with US time zone, etc. Now for Google I seem to have become a Spaniard now. When I type in www.google.com I get redirected to www.google.es, when I search something in the Firefox searchbar I get results from www.google.es. When I go to websites that serve Google AdSense, I get served Spanish advertisements.

This is nuts, because I do not speak Spanish and I can’t read it and my browser is set to the languages en, en_US, ge and pt. So no Spanish. And the site I visit, the business network LinkedIn is only available in English. So why is Google serving me like I’m a native, just because my IP address is currently in Spain?

Can anybody tell me how this is useful for me (do NO evil) or for the advertisers (do NO evil)?

In my book this is evil. It breaks the HTTP protocol, because that says the browser does determine what languages it prefers to accept and not Google or its misguided idea of localization. If they want to show me advertisement that are local to my location, fine. But please in a language that I do understand. Otherwise Google is waisting its ad space.

March

06

by Kaj Kandler

Californian Democrat Mark Leno introduced a bill that requires the Californian government be equipped to store and exchange documents in an open, XML-based format. This legislation would stipulate this requirement starting 2008.

Massachusetts was the first state that recognized how important it is to store and archive office documents in a format that can be guaranteed to be readable in 30 or 50 years from now. Software that reads proprietary document types can vanish with the company that produces it and the support from rivals to support this format will vanish shortly thereafter. This can leave you with a heap of bits, perfectly preserved on tape or other storage media which is not reproducible for the human eye. And after all that is the purpose of all document archiving. There response was to include a similar mandate in the id term IT plan, requiring storage and archiving of documents in ODF or PDF.

We will see how this proposed bill will work out and what it’s effects are. Currently only ODF, also known as ISO 26300, does fulfill the requirements as storage format. And OpenOffice.org is the most widely distributed program with comprehensive support for ODF. While there exist import filters MS Office they are currently limited to text documents (MS Word) and do not include spreadsheets or presentations.

August

04

by Kaj Kandler

According to a survey by OSS watch, the use of OpenOffice.org in UK’s higher education declined from 2003 to 2006. While an increasing number of institutions has an Open Source Software (OSS) policy, the deployment of OpenOffice.org declined from 38% to 23% and in further education from 24% to 23% (Table 26 following).

Not the best result OOo and also kind of surprising. However, one should keep in mind that “The survey was completed by more people: in 2003, … only 6% of UK HE and FE institutions; in 2006, a reply from 18% of institutions was obtained. Whenever possible, comparisons have been made with the results of the 2003 survey. However caution has to be adopted in doing this since the roles and responsibilities of those who answered the 2003 survey are not equivalent.”

The overall use of Open Source Software has increased and most ICT managers name total cost of ownership as a main reason. For 73% is the aspect of vendor lock in an important decision criteria.

August

02

by Kaj Kandler

Techworld writes “The Spanish region of Extremadura has gone open source, deciding to move its entire administration to Linux and open source software within a year.”

The region of Extramandura decided in 2002 not to upgrade its school computers with the latest Microsoft version. Instead they moved to a Spanish Linux distribution based on Debian. This saved the poorest region of Spain a chunk of money (70,000 desktops with Linux and OpenOffice.org as productivity suite).

Now the administration has decided to do the same for their IT needs. They stress that the freedom represented by OpenOffice and OpenDocument Format (ODF) are vital to their decision. “Vázquez de Miguel said the move was expected to make Extremadura’s government less exposed to forced upgrades, and would make public documents easier to preserve and more easily accessible by the public.”

One can only conclude they were satisfied with the functionality and the total cost of ownership.

July

26

by Kaj Kandler

The European commission reports on its eGovernment website that the central administration of France charges ahead in migrating 400,000 users to OpenOffice.org.

The administration created various tools, such as an installation CD, SCORM compliant training and migration guides as well as online support services.

This is the largest migration I have seen so far announced. The plan calls for finishing the migration in 2007.

May

30

by Kaj Kandler

In an article of today, TMCNet reports, that “Banco do Brasil has completed the migration of all its Windows XP computers to the OpenOffice.org open source suite”

They report that 35,000 PC have been converted from Windows XP to Linux with OpenOffice.org. This is a lot of PC’s that now run the open source office suite. Banco do Brazil is federally owned and the Brazilian government has supported open source for quite a while. They are not only using it but actively making sure that translations are available in Portuguese as well as supporting open source development.