OpenOffice.org Community announces The Document Foundation

The community of volunteers developing and promoting OpenOffice.org sets up an independent Foundation to drive the further growth of the project
The Internet, September 28, 2010 – The community of volunteers who develop and promote OpenOffice.org, the leading free office software, announce a major change in the project’s structure. After ten years’ successful growth with Sun Microsystems as founding and principal sponsor, the project launches an independent foundation called “The Document Foundation”, to fulfil the promise of independence written in the original charter.
The Foundation will be the cornerstone of a new ecosystem where individuals and organisations can contribute to and benefit from the availability of a truly free office suite. It will generate increased competition and choice for the benefit of  customers and drive innovation in the office suite market. From now on, the OpenOffice.org community will be known as “The Document Foundation”.
Oracle, who acquired OpenOffice.org assets as a result of its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, has been invited to become a member of the new Foundation, and donate the brand the community has grown during the past ten years. Pending this decision, the brand “LibreOffice” has been chosen for the software going forward.
The Document Foundation is the result of a collective effort by leading independent members of the former OpenOffice.org community, including several project leads and key members of the Community Council. It will be led initially by a Steering Committee of developers and national language projects managers. The Foundation aims to lower the barrier of adoption for both users and developers, to make LibreOffice the most accessible office suite ever.
The Foundation will coordinate and oversee the development of LibreOffice, which is available in beta version at the placeholder site: http://www.libreoffice.org. Developers are invited to join the project and contribute to the code in the new friendly and open environment, to shape the future of office productivity suites alongside contributors who translate, test, document, support, and promote the software.
Speaking for the group of volunteers, Sophie Gautier – a veteran of the community and the former maintainer of the French speaking language project – has declared: “We believe that the Foundation is a key step for the evolution of the free office suite, as it liberates the development of the code and the evolution of the project from the constraints represented by the commercial interests of a single company. Free software advocates around the world have the extraordinary opportunity of joining the group of founding members today, to write a completely new chapter in the history of FLOSS”.
FSF President Richard Stallman welcomed LibreOffice release and its stated policy of only recommending free software. “I’m very pleased that the Document Foundation will not recommend nonfree add-ons, since they are the main freedom problem of the current OpenOffice.org. I hope that the LibreOffice developers and the Oracle-employed developers of OpenOffice will be able to cooperate on development of the body of the code”.
“The Document Foundation supports the Open Document Format, and is keen to work at OASIS to the next evolution of the ISO standard”, says Charles Schulz, member of the Community Council and lead of the Native Language Confederation. “The Document Foundation brings to the table the point of view of developers, supporters and users, and this might accelerate the adoption process of ODF at government and enterprise level”.
Chris DiBona, Open Source Programs Manager at Google, Inc., has commented: “The creation of The Document Foundation is a great step forward in encouraging further development of open source office suites. Having a level playing field for all contributors is fundamental in creating a broad and active community around an open source software project. Google is proud to be a supporter of The Document Foundation and participate in the project”.
“Viva la LibreOffice”, said Guy Lunardi, product management Director at Novell. “We look forward to working with the Document Foundation to help develop a solid open source document software offering. Ultimately, we envision LibreOffice do for the office productivity market what Mozilla Firefox has done for browsers”.
Jan Wildeboer, EMEA Open Source Affairs at Red Hat, has commented: “All over the world, users, companies and governments are moving to innovative technology solutions based on Open Standards.  Red Hat is proud to join this effort”.
Mark Shuttleworth, founder and major shareholder of Canonical, the makers of Ubuntu, has declared: “Office productivity software is a critical component of the free software desktop, and the Ubuntu Project will be pleased to ship LibreOffice from The Document Foundation in future releases of Ubuntu. The Document Foundation’s stewardship of LibreOffice provides Ubuntu developers an effective forum for collaboration around the code that makes Ubuntu an effective solution for the desktop in office environments”.
“The Open Source Initiative has observed a trend back towards open collaborative communities for open source software”, said Simon Phipps, a Director of the Open Source Initiative. “We welcome The Document Foundation initiative and look forward to the innovation it is able to drive with a truly open community gathered around a free software commons, in the spirit of the best of open source software”.
“We welcome the LibreOffice project to the free software community as we believe there is a great opportunity for them to enrich the free desktop experience.” says Stormy Peters, Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation.  “Over the years the GNOME community has been supportive of OpenOffice together with applications in the GNOME Office suite, such as Gnumeric, GnuCash and Abiword. As LibreOffice joins the free software community, we believe that free desktop users will benefit from a rich set of choices.”
Patrick Luby, Chief Engineer of NeoOffice says “I am happy to see a new, independent LibreOffice foundation to continue creating an office suite with enhanced features, pushing OpenOffice.org in new, exciting directions”. Ed Peterlin, Chief Visionary at NeoOffice says “I am excited we will be able to continue bringing excellent features from LibreOffice to the Mac platform. In the future I also hope to extend our web based collaboration tools to support LibreOffice users on all platforms”.
Chris Halls, UK Managing Director of Credativ, an independent consulting and services company specialising in the development, implementation and support of open source solutions: “Welcomes the foundation as an opportunity to provide a new focus for the community contributors and allow them to move the project forward together. In our business, we support thousands of office desktops in many different environments. It is  vital that the feedback and code that we can contribute as part of our day to day work can flow easily into the project”.
“The creation of The Document Foundation is in line with the vision BrOffice.org – Projeto Brasil has for the Brazilian OpenOffice.org community. Our country already has a large investment in the Open Document Format and the software tools fully suporting it. BrOffice.org and The Document Foundation share the same values and objectives and we are more than happy to be part of it.”, says Claudio Filho, Chairman of the BrOffice.org NGO of Brazil.
The Norwegian foundation “Åpne kontorprogram på norsk” (“Open Office Suites In Norwegian”) is responsible for the Norwegian translation of OpenOffice.org, and for promoting OpenOffice.org in Norway. So far the Norwegian project has been administered and financed mainly by counties and municipalities, but recently the foundation has started a process for getting commercial companies more actively involved. We realise the need for a more substantial commercial participation to establish a long-term sustainable project.
Our foundation notes that the other Nordic countries, a majority of the European countries, as well as a range of worldwide big companies like Google, Novell, Canonical and Red Hat are now cooperating with The Document Foundation. We believe this is the right way forward also for Norway. A cooperation with The Document Foundation will make it easier to create more innovative and user-friendly solutions integrated with the LibreOffice suite. Eliminating license barriers and obtaining easy access to source code and standards will facilitate further development of related and integrated surrounding products.
Additional information, including the mission, are available on the web site of The Document Foundation: http://www.documentfoundation.org
Biographies and pictures of the founding members of The Document Foundation are available here: http://www.documentfoundation.org/foundation/
There is a specific page for people interested in contributing to the development of the code: http://www.documentfoundation.org/contribution/
The Document Foundation has a Twitter account and an Identi.ca account at http://identi.ca/docufoundation
The announcements mailing list is at announce+subscribe@documentfoundation.org
The discussion mailing list is at discuss+subscribe@documentfoundation.org
The IRC channel is #documentfoundation at irc.freenode.net

Denmark to switch to Open Document Format.

Following hotly in the heels of the German and French governments, Denmark is the latest country to punch another hole into the balloon of Microsoft. Their parliament has voted to switch to the use of Open Document Format from April next year.
“After four years of work, the parties have agreed that the State from April next year [should] use the open format, ODF when exchanging documents state as text documents or spreadsheets.”
This is a welcome news to proponents of open formats like myself because I think the use of Microsoft’s formats only help to cement their stranglehold on the market. It should also serve to boost the campaign for the use of open formats and applications among other European member states.
The OpenDocument Format (ODF) is an XML-based file format for representing electronic documents such as spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents. It is independent of any one application and thus can be viewed and edited using any of the numerous word processing suites out there.

280 Slides – A sleek and free online presenstation tool.

280 Slides is a very sleek and easy online presentation program that runs wholly in your browser. Unlike Microsoft Powerpoint or Openoffice Impress, there is nothing to install on your system.
With 280 Slides, you can make full featured presentations with text, videos and graphics. As a registered user, you get to save your work online together with any videos and pictures you uploaded.
Using 280 Slides, I could hardly tell the difference between it and the traditional desktop applications. You can
  • Import and export in an number of formats such as Powerpoint, Impress and PDF.
  • Import videos from Youtube
  • Ajax search
  • Tools for creating and importing text, vector shapes and images from both an online source and locally.
  • Themes to add a professional touch to your presentation
  • Share your presentation through email, publishing to Slideshare, get a permanent link and a embed code to use anyway you like.
280 Slides really makes working on your presentations easy and smooth. With its sleek interface, fast responsiveness, browser base and cool features, I highly recommend this application to you if you want to do some presentation work without wanting to get stuck with any traditional desktop app.

6 must have addons to enhance your Openoffice.org experience

Almost everybody does a certain amount of word processing on their systems. One of the most popular word processing apps around is OpenOffice, the 3rd version of which as at yesterday (October 28) has been downloaded a hundred million times.
What makes this great office suite wonderful to use is the extent to which  you can customize it with the thousands of freely available addons. These addons add extra features to make working with Openoffice very interesting. Below are 6 of such addons you definitely need to install to take your Openoffice.org to the max.
This is a cool OpenOffice.org wrapper for Google Translate. It allows you to translate a document to any language using Google Translate library as the backend. This is particularly useful when you want to quickly translate your document or part of it from one language to another without having to copy paste it in online interface. OOTranslator provides a nice and simple interface which allows you to customize its behaviour using various options. Definitely a must have.
How many times have you wanted to insert page numbers on those documents you typed and wished to heaven there was an easy way to do it? Well your prayers have been answered. Pagination is simply a little macro that adds an ‘Insert / Page number…’ dialog to writer. It eases the way you can add page numbers to a document. Definitely must add.
This addon makes inserting special characters into your document a breeze. Compose Special Characters lets you type two or three characters and use a keyboard shortcut to convert them into a single accented or special character. It works on Writer and Calc. You can also use a dialog to insert any supported character. The dialog lists all supported characters and the character combinations you use to compose them. The characters are categorised in the dialog for easier reference. Once you know the character combination you need for any particular character you don’t need to use the dialog if you assign a shortcut key to the Compose function. You can then type the character combination and press your shortcut to get your composed character as you type.
This is a very good addon for Impress which makes learning very fun and aids easy memorization. OpenCards  uses slide-titles as flashcard fronts and the slide contents as their backs. Based on state-of-the-art memorization and scheduling algorithms OpenCards will help you to learn any set of flashcards.  The two great reasons why I like this addon is that it allows you to learn any Impress/Powerpoint-files as flashcard-set without conversion and it also reduces your memorization efforts by implementing state-of-the-art methods for spaced repetition.  Definitely a must have especially if you are a student.
This addon gives you splendid professional looking templates for your word processing, number crunching and presentations. It has over 120 templates for Writer, Calc and Impress. It has among others, templates for
  •      Business correspondence templates in six different layouts
  •      Budget and project plan templates
  •      Event posters in six different layouts
  •      Invoices, notes, minutes, press release templates in six different layouts
  •      Presentation templates
  •      A dozen formal and personal letter templates
  •      Business card templates
This is a  must have template for every OpenOffice.org user. It adds the professional touch to your documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
This simple addon works on Calc, Writer, Draw and Impress by analyzing how frequently you use the same words and use these words as tags for templates. It will display you a dialog where you can see in the descending order how often what word was used in your document. The purpose of this is to simplify the process of filling in template properties for OpenOffice.org Templates. One less work and filling for you to do.  
These are 6 simple addons that will add some spark to your Openoffice.org suite and hopefully increase your productivity. There are thousands of others that you can choose from and if you know some coding, could even create your own. I hope you like them as much as I do and look forward to hearing your view of them and which ones you prefer using.

BTW did you know you can watch thousands of satellite channels on your computer without a satellite dish or monthly subscription?

Open Source Software — A Way Forward

What is Open Source Software, and how can it benefit you? Open Source Software is free software that allows you to use it, modify it, or as “Nixie Pixie” says, “can do almost anything” that the more expensive software options offer. In today’s economy, Open Source software can allow a family to save money and still have the latest computer software for their computer.

The concept is not entirely new. According to Wikipedia, “The concept of open source and the free sharing of technological information existed long before computers existed. In the early years of automobile development, a group of capital monopolists owned the rights to a 2 cycle gasoline engine patent originally filed by George B. Selden. By controlling this patent, they were able to monopolize the industry and force car manufacturers to adhere to their demands, or risk a lawsuit. In 1911, independent automaker Henry Ford won a challenge to the Selden patent.
The result was that the Selden patent became virtually worthless and a new association (which would eventually become the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association) was formed. The new association instituted a cross-licensing agreement among all US auto manufacturers: although each company would develop technology and file patents, these patents were shared openly and without the exchange of money between all the manufacturers.”
For computer software, the move toward Open Source Software offers computer users alternatives to some of the more expensive products on the consumer market. Some of the alternatives are arguably better and more secure than their commercial counterparts.
For example if you wished, you could replace your entire Windows® operating system with Linux. Linux is an Open Source and free operating system. Linux is a good replacement if your slightly older computer hard-drive were to crash. Having had a computer hard-drive fail, and attempting to replace it with Microsoft XP® recently, I went through a two and a half hour waiting game with the company’s friendly telephone support team.
After starting each call asking for personal information, and having been cut off three after being put on hold for ten minutes, I was finally told that the company no longer offers help for what is still a very common and widely used operating system. All that was needed was a way to successfully enter the security code for what the support staff stated was a valid licensed version of their software. It no longer can be done.
So even though you may have a valid copy of their operating system, you can’t successfully load it into a new computer. In an ever environmentally friendly world, the alternative to tossing a computer in the trash, or loading an alternative operating system seemed a more friendly to the environment approach than Microsoft® offered.
One example of what I believe is a superior product is the Mozilla Firefox browser. While many computer users are content to continue along using the Internet browser supplied with their computer, legions of serious computer users have gone to the free Firefox browser seeking a more secure and safer browser experience.

In a statement Mozilla states, “Firefox 3.5 was built through Mozilla’s global, open source development process. The Mozilla community comprises thousands of passionate contributors, including experienced developers, security experts, localization and support communities in more than 60 countries, and tens of thousands of active testers. With more than 300 million active users, Firefox is the only popular Web browser created by a non-profit organization”.

Another is Open Office which is an alternative to the more popular commercial program Microsoft Office®. This program offers all of the components of its competitors, and files created on it can also be opened in the alternative program.

If you are looking for a program that will let you manipulate your photographs, look no further than Gimp. The developers state, “GIMP is our answer to the current lack of free (or at least reasonably priced) image manipulation software for GNU/Linux and UNIX in general.”

There are always alternatives and for computer users, Open Source Software offer the savvy computer user some very solid alternatives.
Source: Newsledger

IBM to employees- Throw MS office out the window!

According to the German newspaper Handelsblatt, IBM has now officially prohibited its employees from using MS Office after a grace period of ten days (newspaper article dated 11 September 09). They are now to use the in house Lotus Symphony which is itself a derivative of the legendary Open Office. Any future use of MS Office will be subject to management’s approval. This I believe is in line with a world wide switch from MS Office to Open Office and its derivatives.
This move comes in the wake of more than 330000 IBM employees who already use Symphony. I believe this move by IBM is a strategic is meant to entrench Open Source use among its employees and help the growth of its own office suite.
If you are still stuck using MS Office, read this post on five things MS Office users do not know about Open Office and   make up your mind now, follow in the footsteps of global giants like IBM; start using Open Office today. If  an open source office productivity app is  good for IBM and over 300000  of its employees, then it surely will be better for you. Head here and download a fully fledged office productivity suite for free!

Openoffice.org – Five things MS Office users do not know.

Open Office is one of the most powerful products that the Free Software community has produced to date and is the default office suite on most Linux distros. It is a free, open source, powerful, cross platform and full fledged office productivity suite. If you are still dragging your feet about using this great saviour from the resource hog MS Office, then read on to see what you are missing.
Free
One of the greatest things about OO.org is that is absolutely free. It is released under the LGPL license and thus is free from any licensing hassles whatsoever. You do  not have to pay out your hard earned income to use this software. You can install it on as many computers as you want and make as many copies of it as you like, it is up to you. All you have to do is just dowload it and install. Thats it. It runs on all popular platforms out there too. What more can you possibly want?
Extensions
OO.org  can be customized extensively with the vast array of extensions available to you also for free. From simple calender extensions to very complex spreadsheet extensions, there is always an add on for your needs and it is always a few clicks away.
High Quality Office Suite.
OO.org is developed by a worldwide community of people like you and I. You can contribute to the development of this great application in so many ways the easiest of which is to donate some few dollars to help cover the cost of development. Having thousands of people develop the application has resulted in a very high quality product due to the fact that lots of people get to see the code,  make corrections and give valuable inputs, with more people testing it and giving feedback resulting in a very stable, reliable, high quality world class product. There is no secret in the development of OO.org
Frequent updates and releases
OO.org has a track record of making updates available as quickly as possible to correct any discovered bugs. This ensures that you always have a bug free office suite to work with. You should not waste your valuable time trying to cope with a bug instead of working. Also, there is a frequent release cycle of OO.org ensuring that you always have the latest office producutivity suite.
Support
There is always some form of suport available to you, whether you are thinking of using OO.org in your home, school or deploy it in your enterprise setting. There is free community support and commercial support availble. There is also professional training available should you need it. There is also a vast array of books available one of the very best being  Getting Started With Open Office .Org 3.0: Openoffice.Org V3.0, a very good book for those who are thinking of starting out with OO.og.
There are more reasons why you must switch to this great application, but I will  restrict today’s post to these 5 basic ones and leave the rest to those of you who are already using OO.org to add to in the comments. You no longer have a reason not to try Open Office again. Go ahead and be free. Use Open Office. Talkback!

Getting Started With Open Office .Org 3.0: Openoffice.Org V3.0

Openoffice.org- The rise and rise of Open Source.

There is a storm that is taking the software industry by storm. The name of this storm is Free and Open Source and one of its flagship products is called Open Office. Yes its an open office. A full featured open source free software. It is in my view better than MS Office.

Its development started about 20 years ago and has seen remarkable progress since then. It has a consistency of development that other products cannot match. A completely open development process means that anyone can report bugs, request new features, or enhance the software. The result: OpenOffice.org 3 does everything you want your office software to do, the way you want it to.It is free to download and install, modify and pass on to your friends and colleagues.

OpenOffice.org 3 contains all the office software you need, in one single package. You don’t have to worry which version to install: one installation program provides everything. The installation also includes features which some expensive rivals do not – for example, the ability to create .pdf files when you want to guarantee what the recipient sees on their computer. There is also a growing range of extensions: additional features that any developer can provide. OpenOffice.org releases release software several times a year so you can take advantage of new features as quickly as possible.

Developed over twenty years, OpenOffice.org is a mature, reliable, product. OpenOffice.org was designed from the start as a single piece of software – not bolted together from separate software packages. This makes it very consistent and easy to use – what you learn in one application is immediately usable in another. The context-sensitive help works across all applications, unobtrusively providing the precise help you need. You can even open any type of document from any application – OpenOffice.org 3 is really one piece of software. It also runs on all major computing platforms – Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, Sun Solaris, Apple Mac – isn’t that great!

It can be installed on an unlimited number of PCs. It has all the software you need to make your office complete. One installation and you have a word processor, spreadsheet application, database management, presentation and drawing. You only need a single installation file to get all these great softwares for free.

OpenOffice.org 3 is developed using an open-software, “no secrets” approach. Anyone can look at the programs and suggest improvements, or fix bugs. Anyone can report problems or request enhancements, and anyone can see the response from other users or developers. The status of current and future releases is displayed on a public wiki, so you can decide if and when you want to upgrade to take advantage of new features. Anyone used to commercial software and its hyping and marketing speak will find OpenOffice.org 3 refreshingly different. Enjoy the benefits of open-source!

 Go ahead and save money while enjoying  one of the best products of the Free Software Movement. Go on and have an OpenOffice.
 Credit Openoffice.org