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OOo

Open Standards, Move Over

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Back in 2003, over 800 blog posts ago, I decided to launch something I called the Standards Blog. Not surprisingly, it focused mostly on the development, implementation and importance of open standards. But I also wrote about other areas of open collaboration, such as open data, open research, and of course, open source software. Over time, there were more and more stories about open source worth writing, as well as pieces on the sometimes tricky intersection of open standards and open source.

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Document Freedom Day, World Standards Day 2016

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  • Happy Document Freedom Day

    Today is Document Freedom Day. As in the past 8 years we celebrate DFD on the last Wednesday of March all around the world. While the date is recommended this year DFD is being celebrated from March 16th to April 5th so far (we’ re still getting new registration as of this writing) .

  • Celebrate Document Freedom Day on March 30

    The FSFE has handed over Document Freedom Day to us earlier this year and while it took us a bit of time to get familiar with the way the current DFD website handles the events registration we have been steadily gathering more and more locations all over the world. So Document Freedom Day is happening on the last Wednesday of March, which is March 30th this year and Latin America seems very active in promoting Open Standards. We are very happy to meet new people thanks to the effort and will also celebrate our local DFD in Phnom Penh but slightly later on April 5th. If you are in the area please drop by, and if not please check the Document Freedom Day website for an event in your area. Happy DFD!

  • Paper Competition Announced for U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day 2016

    World Standards Day is celebrated annually around the world to increase awareness of the role that standards play in the global economy. To help celebrate the importance of standards, SES - The Society for Standards Professionals and the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day Planning Committee co-sponsor an annual paper competition for individuals in the U.S. standards community. The 2016 paper competition winners will be announced and given their awards at the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day, which will be held this year on October 27, 2016, at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Does the Open Document Format still matter?

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One of the core topics of this blog -at least one of the main reasons it came to existence- was open standards: their benefits, their advantages, and their value as a fundamental component for digital innovation and ultimately software freedom. This is still the case of course, but today I will try to show how one open standard in particular, ODF, has failed in its approach until now and could very well make a remarkable comeback.

This is not to say that ODF is a bad idea or that it is not a good standard; it is all this and much more. However I have realized with the hindsight of several years since it became an official ISO standard that the expectations about its adoption and its development have been defined the wrong way. Hence the title of this post.

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ODF - the state of play - The future of ODF under OASIS, now that the standards war is won.

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ODF - open document format - is an open, XML-based rich document format that has been adopted as the standard for exchanging information in documents (spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents), by many governments and other organisations (see, for example, here), including the UK Government. This is despite strong opposition by Microsoft; but I have seen Microsoft's proposed "open XML" standard and, frankly, it is huge and horrid (in the word of standards, these go together). If I remember correctly, the early draft I saw even incorporated recognition of early Excel leap-year bugs into the standard.

ODF is now a pukka ISO standard, maintained by OASIS, under the proud banner: "The future is interoperability".

My personal thoughts, below, are prompted by an ODF session at ApacheCon Core titled "Beyond OpenOffice: The State of the ODF Ecosystem" held by Louis Suárez-Potts (community strategist for Age of Peers, his own consultancy, and the Community Manager for OpenOffice.org, from 2000 to 2011), and attended by very few delegates - perhaps a sign of current level of interest in ODF within the Apache community. Nevertheless, and I am talking about the ODF standard here, not Apache Open Office (which is currently my office software of choice) or its Libre Office fork (which seems to be where the excitement, such as it is, is, for now), the standards battle, or one battle, has been won; we have a useful Open Document Format, standardised by a recognised and mature standards organisation, and even Microsoft Office supports it. That's good.

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Editable version UK’s ODF guidance

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A free software advocate has created an editable version of the UK government’s Open Document Format manuals, the “ODF Guidance”. Making the texts available on the Github software development repository facilitates others to edit, update and translate the texts, explains Paolo Dongilli, uploaded the documents to Github on 28 October.

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Announcing Apache OpenOffice 4.1.2

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28 October 2015 - The Apache OpenOffice project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of OpenOffice 4.1.2. You can download it from the official website http://www.openoffice.org/download

Apache OpenOffice 4.1.2 brings stability fixes, bug fixes and enhancements. All users of Apache OpenOffice 4.1.1 or earlier are advised to upgrade.

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Sharing Work Is Easier With An Open Document Format

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The Open Document Format (ODF) is one such format. ODF was specified by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), an industry consortium which aims to produce standards for e-business.

Key players in OASIS include the tech giants Sun Microsystems (now part of the Oracle) and IBM. Sun has been one of the main drivers of the format as it grew out of the format used by its free OpenOffice application. In 2006 the Open Document Format was approved jointly by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as an international standard for office software.

Sun promised not to enforce any of its patents against implementations using the OpenDocument standard, although there can be much uncertainty associated with patents.

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Happy Birthday, OpenOffice.org!

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15 years ago the original OpenOffice.org source code was published by Sun Microsystems, on Friday, October 13, 2000, a Full Moon day. The source code that changed the Free Software office suite world and laid the basis for LibreOffice.

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Apache OpenOffice Coming

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  • Next Version of Apache OpenOffice Coming Soon

    There is a new version of OpenOffice on the way. The suite of productivity tools has a long and stories history, and the Apache Software Foundation is now the steward of it. According to an announcement, development of Apache OpenOffice 4.1.2 is almost complete and the release is coming shortly.

    The new version is slated to bring better Microsoft Office interoperability (including Sharepoint compatibility), as well as multiple improvements to all individual applications, including Writer, Impress, Draw, Calc, and Base.

  • Apache Is Going To Release A New Version Of OpenOffice

    Five years ago today marked the fork of OpenOffice.org into LibreOffice and coincidentally the Apache Software Foundation put out news this weekend that a new version of OpenOffice is coming.

Coming soon... Apache OpenOffice 4.1.2

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A new OpenOffice update, version 4.1.2, has been in preparation for a while. Born as a simple bugfix release, it became an occasion for some deep restructuring in the project: several processes have now been streamlined (and some are still in the works), new people are on board and infrastructure has been improved.

Now the wait is almost over, and we are approaching the final phases before the 4.1.2 release. But we still need help with some non-development tasks, like QA and final preparations (press release, release notes and their translation).

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Ubuntu and Derivatives

Android Leftovers

Leftovers: OSS

  • Rise of Open Cloud Architecture and Over-the-Top (OTT) Network Services
  • Amazon’s Giving Away the AI Behind Its Product Recommendations
    Amazon has become the latest tech giant that’s giving away some of its most sophisticated technology. Today the company unveiled DSSTNE (pronounced “destiny”), an open source artificial intelligence framework that the company developed to power its product recommendation system. Now any company, researcher, or curious tinkerer can use it for their own AI applications.
  • Genode OS Framework release 16.05
    The current release marks the most profound API revision in the project's history. The new API is designed to reinforce the best practices for implementing Genode components. It is the result of countless experiments and the practical experiences made while developing over hundred genuine components during the past ten years.
  • Old projects and the free-software community
    The Community Leadership Summit (CLS) is an annual event for community managers, developer evangelists, people who work on public-facing forums, and those with a general interest in engagement or community development for free-software projects. The 2016 edition was held in Austin, Texas the weekend before OSCON. Several sessions at CLS 2016 dealt with the differences exhibited between old and new free-software projects where community management is concerned. One of those tackled the problem of how to foster community around an older software project, which poses a distinct set of challenges.
  • Thunderbird powered by SoftMaker
    Thunderbird, powered by SoftMaker, is a custom version of the popular email client featuring enhancements that come all in the form of extensions. [...] SoftMaker, a company best known for its SoftMaker Office suite, announced recently that it plans to include the Thunderbird email client into the 2016 version of the office suite.
  • The Document Liberation Project: What we do
    The Document Liberation Project: empowering creators to free their data from proprietary formats.
  • EMC Releases UniK Software for Cloud and IoT App Deployments
  • Microsoft Research Awards Demonstrate Commitment to Open Source [Ed: Microsoft openwashing and claims to be about research rather than cheating, bribery, witch-hunting etc.]
  • The open-source generation gap
    OSI General Manager Patrick Masson was one of the session's attendees, and he pushed back on that last point. There is too much "open-washing" these days, he said, but it does not come from the OSI. There is still only one Open Source Definition; the dilution of the term comes from others who use "open" to describe organizations, workflows, processes, and other things unrelated to software licensing. "We have open hardware and open data, but also 'open cola' and 'open beer.' That blurs over an important distinction. Not everything fits." [...] Among the other points raised during the session, attendees noted that it was important that the community distinguish between minting new project contributors and minting new free-software activists, and that it was important for projects to put a check on flamewar-style debates—particularly those that focus on dismissing certain technologies. It is easy for experienced developers to become attached to a language or framework, but there will always be new languages and projects popping up that are the entry points for new coders. Project members deriding language Y because it is not language X may only serve to tell newcomers that they are not welcome.
  • A discussion on combining CDDL and GPL code
    Within the context of an event dedicated to discussing free and open-source software (FOSS) legalities, such as the Free Software Legal & Licensing Workshop (LLW), the topic of conflicting licenses was bound to come up. The decision by Canonical to start shipping the ZFS filesystem with its Ubuntu server distribution back in February led to a discussion at LLW about distributing the kernel combined with ZFS. Discussions at LLW are held under the Chatham House Rule, which means that names and affiliations of participants are only available for those who have agreed to be identified. This year's LLW was held in Barcelona, April 13-15.
  • Mobile Age: using mobility and open data to include senior citizens in open government
    Helping older European people to be part of the open government process and encouraging their access to civic participation through mobility are the main goals of the Mobile Age project, launched last February.
  • All European scientific articles to be freely accessible by 2020
    And, according to the new Innovation Principle, new European legislation must take account of its impact on innovation. These are the main outcomes of the meeting of the Competitiveness Council in Brussels on 27 May.
  • Council of the European Union calls for full open access to scientific research by 2020
    A few weeks ago we wrote about how the European Union is pushing ahead its support for open access to EU-funded scientific research and data. Today at the meeting of the Council of the European Union, the Council reinforced the commitment to making all scientific articles and data openly accessible and reusable by 2020.
  • Hackaday Prize Entry: An Interface For The Headless Linux System
    Connecting a headless Raspberry Pi to a wireless network can be quite a paradoxical situation. To connect it to the network, you need to open an SSH connection to configure the wireless port. But to do so, you need a network connection in the first place. Of course, you can still get command-line access using a USB-to-UART adapter or the Pi’s ethernet port – if present – but [Arsenijs] worked out a much more convenient solution for his Hackaday Prize entry: The pyLCI Linux Control Interface.
  • RepRap, Open Source and 3DPrinting
    The RepRap project started in 2005 by Adrian Bowyer – “Mister RepRap”, when the patent about this technology expired. 3DPrintings isn’t a new technology, history dates that the first model of stereolithography printing emerged in 1984. The main idea around RepRap projects is to produce 3DPrinters that can auto-replicate most of the parts itself. And in 2006, the RepRap 0.2 successfully printed the first part of itself and in 2008, the first 3d model was printed by an end-user. Currently, the printer more replicated and customized of the 67 printers that are listed on RepRap website, is the Prusa Mendel, the model created by Josef Průša, that was disponibility to the public in 2011 and had a lot of development since.
  • Here is a web interface for switching on your light
    Like I mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to try out a more hackable wifi plug. I got a Kankun “smart” plug. Like the other one I have the software is horrible. The good news is that they left SSH enabled on it.
  • LeMaker Guitar review
    Anyone who has worked with the Compute Module will find the LeMaker Guitar immediately familiar. The system-on-chip processor, an Actions S500, sits alongside 1GB of memory, a combined audio and power management unit, and 8GB of NAND flash storage on an over-sized small-outline DIMM (SODIMM) form factor circuit board. This board then connects to a baseboard, supplied with the Guitar, which provides more accessible connectivity than the SODIMM’s 204 electrical contacts.
  • Open Source Vs Personal Life — Should GitHub Remove Contribution Graph?
    Should GitHub remove contribution graph from the personal profile of the contributors or the developers? This step might be taken for the personal well-being of the developers. Open source is good but personal life cannot be ignored either.

Leftovers: BSD