Monday, October 31, 2005

Telugu Software Tools Release

RKVS Raman has announced the release of the Telugu Software Tools CD at a function in Hyderabad on Friday, attended by the Hon. Chief Minister of state of Andhra Pradesh as well as Hon. Minister of Communications and IT Mr. Dayanidhi Maran. This follows the Tamil and Hindi CD releases.

The CD includes the release of 1.9 trunk of in Telugu with the other OSS software included being Firefox, Thunderbird and Gaim.

The localization work was done in collaboration with the Andhra Pradesh chapter of the Free Software Foundation of India.

The Punjabi and Urdu CD release will be on November 9th by Hon. Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh.

The downloads are available from

Free Software Foundation of India:

Google lends hand to microsoft office

"Google lends a hand to Microsoft Office rival"

The Times (UK) posts a story about Google's plans to help
"Google is opening up yet another front in its battle with Microsoft by backing a competitor to Bill Gates’ dominant Office software package.

The internet search and advertising company is set to hire programmers to improve OpenOffice, a freely distributed "open source" alternative to products including Word, Microsoft’s massively popular word processor, it was revealed today. ",,9075-1851613,00.html

Further reporting at ZDNet:

OPINION CommonWealth Senate Meets On

[Opinion] "Commonwealth Senate Meets on Holloween"

Sam Hiser has written an opinion piece about today's meeting of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight which aims to discuss the state's move to the OpenDocument Format. As previously blogged Microsoft has been attempting to get this move reversed:

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Recommendation of by Sydney Morning Herald

The Sydney Morning Herald has an article that recommends that readers download 2.0:

Friday, October 28, 2005 - localisation tools for FOSS has released tools for the localisation of software. Included in this are tools to translate between different translation formats including and Mozilla Firefox. From their own site:
" is a project to aid in the localization of software. Primarily the focus is Free and Open Source software. But more importantly the focus is on Language as the project, by this we mean that localisation should be a project in its own right not just an extension of another FOSS project." - localisation tools for FOSS has released tools for the localisation of software. Included in this are tools to translate between different translation formats including and Mozilla Firefox. From their own site:
" is a project to aid in the localization of software. Primarily the focus is Free and Open Source software. But more importantly the focus is on Language as the project, by this we mean that localisation should be a project in its own right not just an extension of another FOSS project."

Review glimpse of OpenOffice 2.0 now

"Once an open-source project really gets rolling, as has, it is tough for closed-source developers to beat it -- even the Microsoft Goliath. As you have noticed at this OpenOffice 2 level we still are viewing Microsoft Office as the standard and looking to see how OpenOffice 2 matches up against the standard. It would not be surprising at all if by the time OpenOffice 3 is released that OpenOffice is the standard and people will be looking to see if Microsoft Office comes up to the OpenOffice standard for office suite software."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Hidden OpenDocument Agenda Uncovered

"Between the fact that Microsoft made these allegations, the fact that Microsoft publicly stated it had been in contact with the state's Senators (who do not play a role in administrative decisions such as statewide IT standard setting, but who could be powerful enough to scuttle the decision), and the fact that there is now a hearing to investigate the process that's being led by a state Senator (Sen. Marc Pacheco) who has already voiced his opposition to ODF makes it pretty clear that Microsoft has had some role in the drama's latest developments."

"Corel, Novell Stump for OpenDocument Format"

eWeek reports the news of Corel and Novell reiterating their backing for the OpenDocument format:
"In an attempt to both clarify the company's position and put more emphasis on its commitment to ODF, Corel's communication manager for WordPerfect said, "Corel is pleased to support the continued development and adoption of the OASIS OpenDocument Format, and Corel strongly endorses ODF, much as we strongly support the adoption of open standards industry-wide.""
"Novell Inc. has also given more prominence to its role in the ODF movement. Although the company has been active in promoting the format in the past, this is the first day that Novell has been officially listed on the membership roster of the technical committee at OASIS.",1895,1877815,00.asp

Further reporting:

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Speculation on Sun Google and

ZDNet has a blog piece of speculating on an "AJAX-based version of":
"Much the same way that more Web sites make browsers more useful, and the way more Bittorrent servers make Bittorent clients more useful, AJAX will make OO.o more useful because, by virtue of solutions that we haven't seen or heard of yet (some of which will undoubtedly come out of the Sun-Google relationship), the number of people (aka: the size of the community) who can interact with OO.o-generated documents at any time, from any place, using any browser will probably be greater than the sum total of all users who have both OO.o and Microsoft Office."

eWeek also has an article on the speculation:
"Sources close to the joint efforts between Google Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. say rampant speculation about hosted desktop productivity offerings and common operating systems is way off base.",1759,1876336,00.asp

Further commentary on the eWeek article is also available:

Further Contests On Massachusetts

ZDNet has an opinion piece about news that Microsoft has been trying other methods to get the Massachusetts decision to use OpenDocument reversed:
"Based on what I've learned in the course of my reporting, Massachusetts' Enterprise Technical Reference Model (ETRM) of which the ODF/PDF decision is part, is an administrative matter that's not subject legislative proceedings. The only connection I can recall between the ETRM deliberations and mention of legislators was an indication from Microsoft's Brian Burke during the last semi-public meeting on the matter (Sept 16) that he had been discussing the matter with the state's senators on Beacon Hill (Boston's equivalent of Capitol Hill)."

InformationWeek has further information on the move:

Further reporting:

Monday, October 24, 2005

Firm deploys OpenOffice where it makes

Firm Deploys OpenOffice--Where It Makes Sense

"The potential savings were compelling enough for Benincasa to get buy-in from management to begin deployment of 1.1.1 in areas of FN Manufacturing where potential incompatibilities would not be an issue. In December, Benincasa and his IT managers deployed 1.1.1 on warehouse operations desktops and upgraded shop machines from 1.0 to Version 1.1.1. Using these machines, users view construction and operation control sheets but do not create or make changes to documents.",1895,1872805,00.asp

Friday, October 21, 2005

FOSS luminaries call to worldwide vote


Richard Stallman, Tim O'Reilly, Alan Cox, Rasmus Lerdorf and Monty Widenius endorse Florian Mueller's candidacy "because he runs on a NoSoftwarePatents ticket, and that is the message we want to reinforce"

Brussels (20 October 2005) -- A group of Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) celebrities has weighed in on the election of the "European of the Year 2005" by calling on "software developers and users around the globe" to vote for Florian Mueller, the founder of the campaign, in a public online poll. The illustrious consortium consists of--in alphabetical order of last name--Alan Cox, Red Hat Fellow and Linux kernel maintainer; Rasmus Lerdorf, creator of the PHP programming language; Tim O'Reilly, book publisher and conference organizer; Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation (who in 1984 began the work
that produced today's popular GNU/Linux operating system); and Monty Widenius, creator of the MySQL database.

In a NoSoftwarePatents press release, the community leaders today expressed their support for the voting recommendations that has published in more than a dozen languages:

Participants in the poll are required to make a choice in each of ten categories, and the voting list provided by explains the role that various candidates played in the software patent debate so that voters can reward the opponents of software patents and penalize pro-patent politicians.

On 22 September, Florian Mueller was nominated for the most prestigious award in EU politics, the "EV50 Europeans of the Year". The jury thereby recognized his political efforts against a legislative proposal that in his opinion would have legalized software patents in Europe. The European Parliament rejected the bill on 6 July by a landslide of 648-32 votes. Mueller, who stressed that he owes this nomination "to our entire community and especially to the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII)", is credited with founding a multilingual campaign website,
speaking out in the media and at public events, and lobbying MEPs (Members of
the European Parliament) as well as governments and parliaments in select EU
member states.

The European Voice, a major EU-focused weekly, is now conducting an Internet
poll in which Mueller runs against such famous contenders as U2 frontman Bono, Bob Geldof, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, and political leaders including British prime minister Tony Blair, the outgoing German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, and Schroeder's successor designate Angela Merkel. The poll is open to the worldwide public until 11 November.

Mueller's endorsers pointed out that the FOSS community has played a particularly active role in the fight against software patents, but that software patents "threaten us all because they don't discriminate based on programming language, operating system, or licensing model". The group is "disconcerted by early reports" that the EU is now looking at alternative ways of giving software patents a stronger legal basis in Europe, such as an EU community patent regulation.

The press release underscored the fact that "this is a campaign for a cause, not for a person": People are asked to vote for Mueller "because he runs on a NoSoftwarePatents ticket, and that is the message we want to reinforce". The label is right next to Mueller's name on the ballot (

The endorsement furthermore stated: "Some other nominees also stand for valid concerns and noble causes. However, those issues and individuals have already received a lot of coverage in the mass media, while the implications of software patents to the whole world, including developing countries, still require much more public awareness. In the sense that software patents monopolize mental steps, they are also a human rights issue."

Mueller is confident that he can win the title of the "European of the Year" against his famous competitors in the light of the "indisputable e-campaigning power of the anti-software patent movement". In addition to a campaign statement and voting recommendations, the website provides an email form that allows supporters to spread the information (, and banners ( The two main slogans of the electoral campaign are "Vote against software patents" and "Vote for your right to program".

Should he win the popular vote, Mueller said that "everyone is a winner". He promised "to donate the Microsoft-sponsored prize money to the FFII", without which he says he "probably wouldn't have become involved, let alone succeeded, in this political battle".

The EV50 winners will be announced on 29 November. A gala evening at the Palais d'Egmont in Brussels will be hosted by former European Parliament President Pat Cox, who was hired by US corporations to lobby for software patents in the build-up to the 6 July vote. The EV50 awards are supported by Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt. Sponsors include PR and lobbying firm Burson-Marsteller, software maker Microsoft Corporation (a major owner and backer of software patents), and pharmaceutical giant Novartis. The European Voice is a publication of the Economist group.

NOTE: Florian Mueller founded the campaign in 2004 with the support of three corporate sponsors (1&1, Red Hat, MySQL AB), and managed it until March of 2005. He then gave his website to the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), the leading European pressure group that opposes the patentability of computer programs.

Florian Mueller

More OpenDocument Filter News

Following on from the story "OpenDoc plug-in for MS Office users" CNet posts more details on the filter:
"Phase N intends to do exactly that, a task which it expects to take a few hundred hours of development time. It calls its project OpenOpenOffice.

Rather than client-side software to do the conversion, OpenOpenOffice relies on a server running a Perl application, according to the technical description.

The company hopes to have an open-source project started on SourceForge shortly."

Phase N has their description of the server side solution:

Previous story:

SVG Import Filter for OpenOffice 2.0

Now that 2.0 has been release we can point to tools and tips which can make it even more useful. One such tools is an importer for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) into It can be found here:

Thursday, October 20, 2005 2.0 relase news roundup

The release of 2.0 has triggered a wave of news reports. Here is just a few of them:,aid,123110,00.asp,39020384,39232452,00.htm;1549201339;fp;16;fpid;0 2.0 is here 2.0 is the productivity suite that individuals, governments, and corporations around the world have been expecting for the last two years. Easy to use and fluidly interoperable with every major office suite, 2.0 realises the potential of open source.

With new features, advanced XML capabilities and native support for the OASIS Standard OpenDocument format, 2.0 gives users around the globe the tools to be engaged and productive members of their society.

Download it now. If it is not ready today in your language, it will be shortly. 2.0 is yours.



Press Kit:


[Opinion] "Mozillarization of"

"While sat here watching Ben Goodger doing a talk about Firefox at EuroOSCON, it got me thinking about this concept of taking a huge and bloated project (such as Netscape) and cutting it down to the core and releasing a spin-off project such as Firefox. With all of the recent discussion and email I have been receiving triggered from Opening the potential of, it makes sense if this process was drilled into"

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

News OpenOffice nears download

ZDNet UK reports from the OASIS Adoption Forum in London that downloads of from the main site (that is not counting mirror sites, Linux packages or other distribution methods) is nearing 50 million over the 5 years of the project.,39020384,39231617,00.htm

Microsoft slashes shared licenses

... And pretends to use BSD and MPL-style licenses:,1895,1872835,00.asp

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Open formats make history and maintain

The Mozilla Foundation's Gervase Markham writes in the online edition of The Times about open document formats:
"Governments such as Massachusetts are concerned about long-term data preservation. We need to care about it too - there would be no point in having the 30-year-rule, which lets us read the inside story on all the Government scandals of the 1970s, if all the data was stored electronically in a format no-one understood any more.

All these problems are left behind by open formats. Anyone can implement them. The people behind, and have all done so - and there is no vendor lock-in. The documented and free nature of the format means that obsolescence is not possible. As long as the format has users, there will be software to read and write it."

Monday, October 17, 2005

OPINION Microsoft says maybe someday

"Pryke-Smith said Microsoft would not be adopting OpenDocument, citing backwards compatibility concerns, but did say the company will watch to see how adoption of the standard develops. "We'll respond to customer demand on that," he said. "Our main focus is serving our existing customer base.""

Sunday, October 16, 2005 2.0 release candidate 3

The lead up to the full release of 2.0 is underway. Release Candidate 3 has been released for testing. It can be downloaded at

eWeek has more news on this release here:,1895,1871750,00.asp

Saturday, October 15, 2005

LCA 2006 Miniconf Call

This is a call for participation in the second Miniconf which will be part of the LCA 2006 conference in Dunedin, New Zealand. The Miniconf will be run over two days on the 23rd and 24th January 2006 preceding the LCA 2006 main conference.

Presentations, case studies and tutorials will follow two major themes - User and Community, and Development. We expect this second Miniconf to be an interesting two days as speakers showcase the latest version of and the implementation of the OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument).

Any topic is allowed based around the office productivity software. Some of the suggested areas of interest for presentations are:

* Particular features within and how to use them.
* Case studies showing implementation or integration.
* Integrating into other software packages.
* Marketing and promotion of
* Community participation and planning
* API and languages
* macro development
* Localisation and Internationalisation of
* Asian and complex language interfaces
* and Accessibility
* Porting to other platforms and architectures
* Quality Assurance of
* Demonstration of applicable standards such as OpenDocument

For information about submitting your abstract or proposal, please see

Your proposal must be sent before the 4 November 2005 in order to be considered for inclusion in the conference.

Please note that the Miniconf forms part of the LCA 2006 main conference held by Linux Australia. This means that you must register for LCA 2006 attendance to participate in the conference. For further details regarding registration and accommodation for LCA 2006, please visit the LCA 2006 web site (

Speakers will be notified by 11 November so that they make take advantage of the early-bird registration.

All the best
Jacqueline McNally
Lead, Marketing Project - New Zealand miniconf page:

LCA 2006:

Japanese Native-Language Project: Kansai Open Source 2005 in Japan

Takashi Nakamoto, of the Japanese Native-Language Project, has an announcement regarding the Kansai Open Source 2005 conference in Japan during the end of October:
"Kansai Open Source 2005 will be held in Osaka, Japan on Oct 28th and 29th. These conferences had been held every year to support communication between developer and users of Open Source Software in Japan especially for those who live in Kansai region (including Kyoto and Osaka as you know).

We, Japanese Native-Language project, are going to set up a booth and hold BOF at this event.

In the booth, we distribute 500 CDs including OOo 2.0 rc2 and other materials and flyers to advertize OOo 2.0. We also demonstrate OOo 2.0 rc2 with some laptop computers. BOF accept various people (from us to strangers) and we will discuss about various subjects about OOo and our activity.

In addition, Louis are going to come to this event and have speech about OOo. Mr. Akiyama takes care of a translation into Japanese.

We defined that this conference is the most importatnt to spread OOo 2.0 in Japan because 2.0 release is close. We will work hard and try to encourage attendees to use OOo actively. So don't hesitate to give us advices based on experience at OOo Conference 2005 if you have. Any comment is welcomed.

There is no English information yet anybody can attend this event for free and you are welcomed! If you can, please make a brife stop at our booth."

Original posting:

Kansai Open Source 2005 (in Japanese only):

Japanese Native-Language Project:

OPINION Microsofts claims of foul play

[Opinion] "Microsoft's claims of foul play in Massachusetts don't hold up"

ZDNet carried another opinion article on debunking Microsoft's tactics of swaying public opinion claiming that the Massachusetts decision to adopt the OpenDocument format was weighed against them:
"But the deeper I probed, the more I found that when it comes to Massachusetts' final decision, the only organization that Yates should be pointing the finger at is his own. "

Friday, October 14, 2005

Fox readers slam pro microsoft column

"Fox readers slam pro-Microsoft column"

A follow up from the previous story, ""Open Debate About OpenDocument" - Fox News readers comment on OpenDocument criticism", is other media picking up the story. Techworld comments on how the original article was written by a Microsoft sponsored organisation:
"Several of the letters accuse Microsoft of trying to promote its own interests by presenting Prendergast, writing for a Microsoft-linked organisation, as an unbiased observer. This practice is known as "astroturfing," defined as a formal public relations campaign that tries to mask itself as a spontaneous, grassroots reaction to an event or opinion."

Previous story:

Thursday, October 13, 2005 5 years old today

On 13 October 2000 Sun Microsystems donated the source of StarOffice to the open-source community. Sun remains the project's chief sponsor and contributor, though the project can now boast contributions from Novell, Red Hat, Debian, Intel, and many other large and small companies, plus the very important and numberless contributions from independent developers, NGOs, and government agencies. All these have made not just a free alternative productivity suite but the best and most advanced productivity suite. And also a great community.

Opinion could ODF be nets new

[Opinion] "Could ODF be the Net's new, frictionless document DNA?"

"ODF isn't just for front office productivity applications (word processors, spreadsheets, etc) as has been often implied by the way it is so often tied to (sidebar: it will be supported by other MS-Office substitutes as well; for example solutions from IBM and Corel). There's no reason, for example, that, regardless of what proprietary markup languages the different wiki solution providers use to put a pretty face on Web authoring, that they cannot natively store those documents in the XML-based ODF. Come to think of it, what documents can't be stored in ODF?"

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

INTERVIEW Interview with sun employees

Mad Penguin has two interviews with Sun employees Florian Reuter and Gary Edwards about the use of XML in 2.0 and StarOffice 8.

Interview with Florian Reuter:

Interview with Gary Edwards:

Review economical alternative to

"The savings from choosing OpenOffice can add up fast for small businesses that are buying several new computers. Many home users might be delighted to avoid spending even a few dollars on basic office software."

Report on native language

The discussions from the Native-Language Confederation meeting at the 2005 conference have now been posted to the mailing lists.

"OpenDocument Gathers Worldwide Support"

The Open Document Fellowship has been created by a group of OpenDocument supporters to promote the standard as used by as well as StarOffice and KDEOffice:
"The Open Document Fellowship promotes the new internationally agreed standard for digital documents, Open Document Format (OpenDocument). The Fellowship, formed in September, has attracted support and interest from around the globe.

The Fellowship's aims include providing factual information about the Open Document Format, such as the degree to which companies and their products are committed to supporting the format, and making sure that OpenDocument can be always supported by any software application or company. The organisation also supports the development of software tools to complement the format."

Official announcement:

The Open Document Fellowship:

More on OpenDocument:

The news is also reported by eWeek:
"The budding OpenDocument Fellowship will add momentum to a growing trend among schools and public agencies to support open standards for the creation, storage and delivery of business documents, the group said."

OPINION Dark times ahead for microsoft

"The fact that the state of Massachusetts and the Japanese government are planning to switch to open source solutions has shaken the Redmond cruiser, and the launching of the latest versions of OpenOffice and StarOffice has succeeded to sink some more ships of the Microsoft fleet."

Open Source Attracts Public Sector

Top Tech News has an article on the advantages of open-source software for the public sector. is mentioned as one of the stand-out FOSS solutions:
"In fact, public-sector I.T. managers say free licensing isn't necessarily the most attractive characteristic of the best open-source products today. Many stand out for their stable programming code and array of useful features or, conversely, their stripped-down feature sets that eliminate unnecessary bells and whistles."

Competitive news koffice 142 with

[Competitive News] KOffice 1.4.2 with Improved OpenDocument Support

The KOffice suite, a competitor to, has now added improved OpenDocument support to their newest release. "OpenDocument" is the new standard for office documents used by the upcoming 2.0 and StarOffice 8.

Sunday, October 9, 2005 newspaper endorsements

The recent Sun-Google partnership has led to more newspapers 'discovering', and giving it their endorsements:
"The savings from choosing OpenOffice can add up fast for small businesses that are buying several new computers. Many home users might be delighted to avoid spending even a few dollars on basic office software."

Further mentions are in the New Zealand Herald and the Miami Herald:

Friday, October 7, 2005

OASIS OpenDocument format submitted to

The OASIS OpenDocument Format has been submitted to the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission's Joint Technical Committee as a standard for XML office documents.

More reporting:,10801,105314,00.html

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Microsoft Must Support OpenDocument

ZDNet UK writes:
"Industry analysts and open source advocates believe that Microsoft will have no choice but to offer support for OpenDocument when more organisations start following the state of Massachusetts' lead.",39020384,39226547,00.htm

An older article "Why OpenDocument Won (and Microsoft Office Open XML Didn’t)" is also available:

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Tips tricks follow expert making

[Tips & Tricks] Follow the expert: Making an 2.0 presentation

"In this tip, follow instructor and author Solveig Haugland as she describes the step-by-step process for creating a presentation in the new 2.0 release of OpenOffice. Haugland's forthcoming book on 2.0 will be available from Prentice Hall."

Good practices in

UNDP FOSS project ( has been started in Bulgaria, under auspcies of Internet Society Bulgaria ( with an objective to strengthen people’s participation in local governance and generate savings in local budgets. Another aim within the project is establish a Regional FOSS Resource Centre.

The pilot municipality in the project was Kardjali ( and Kardjali is one of the 28 regional cities in Bulgaria. Located in the south of the country, and close to the border with Turkey and Greece, it has around 69,000 citizens, a mixture of Bulgarian and ethnic Turks. In the first two stages of the migration, the local government authority’s computers switched from Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer to and Mozilla Firefox.

Now the project has been extended to Turkish municipalities.

Some brief statistics:
Total number of computers with working instead of MS Office: 200
Total number of employees trained on, Mozilla and Linux : 200
Percentage of staff satisfied with the trainings: 75
Percentage of staff saying that there is significant difference between MSO and OOo: 5

[With thanks to Görkem Çetin for the news]

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Sun and Google Team Up

"The agreement between Sun and Google also kicks off further collaboration between the companies on projects like, the open source productivity suite that is the world's leading suite on the Solaris Operating System (Solaris OS) and Linux--and the leading alternative suite on Microsoft Windows."

Additional reporting:

[With thanks to Kazunari Hirano for help with reporting]

Monday, October 3, 2005

Microsofts PDF support conceals hidden

The Inquirer writes about how Microsoft "spins the corporate line through PR" in its recently announced move to include PDF export in the new version of Office, a move against the OpenDocument format supported by the upcoming 2.0:
"So, supporting PDF is the other open format bandied around by MA, but it gets none of the press that Open Document does. The point of PDF support is to comply with the MA requirement, pure and simple. The 'it is what our fans wanted' spin is pure BS. Microsoft has never listened to its user base unless it was going to cost it money. This time is no different."

eWeek also reports on the move again recognising that it is following in's footsteps:,1895,1866220,00.asp

More on OpenDocument: