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Development activity in LibreOffice and OpenOffice

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The LibreOffice project was announced with great fanfare in September 2010. Nearly one year later, the OpenOffice.org project (from which LibreOffice was forked) was cut loose from Oracle and found a new home as an Apache project. It is fair to say that the rivalry between the two projects in the time since then has been strong. Predictions that one project or the other would fail have not been borne out, but that does not mean that the two projects are equally successful. A look at the two projects' development communities reveals some interesting differences.

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What will it take to merge LibreOffice and OpenOffice?

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Ordinarily, I'm all for diversity in free software projects. However, I make an exception in the case of LibreOffice and OpenOffice. The sooner they become a single project, the better.

In other cases, I'm slow to accept arguments against duplication of projects. Combining projects does not automatically make for greater efficiency or quicker development; especially in the beginning, personalities can sabotage or even reverse any gains.

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Why the UK government must adopt Open Document Format

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Today is Document Freedom Day. As of November 2012, all government bodies have had to adhere to Open Standards Principles; an agreed set of standards to make IT more open, cheaper and better connected.

These were developed following the public consultation ‘Open Standards: Open Opportunities – flexibility and efficiency in government IT,’ to help government to deliver more innovative IT services and further drive savings, encouraging more open competition for government contracts.

It was a major initiative and went a long way to making government documents more accessible and available. Today, as the globe celebrates International Document Freedom Day, it’s time to take this initiative even further.

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Emilia-Romagna completes switch to OpenOffice

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OSS
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The administration of the Italian region Emilia-Romagna will complete its switch to Apache OpenOffice next month, says Giovanni Grazia, an IT project manager for the region. Emilia-Romagna is making the Open Document Format ODF the default on all 4200 workstations, across 10 departments and 5 agencies.

Emilia-Romagna is adding several tools to the OpenOffice suite, “improving the user experience”, says Grazia. Three of these are publicly available OpenOffice extensions, but others are being developed especially for the region. The latter will be made available as open source within the next few weeks, Grazia says.

The first of the official OpenOffice extensions used in the region is Alba, which makes it easy to insert in a document one or more pages with a different orientation. The second is Pagination, which improves the insertion of page numbers. Third is PDFImport, which allows the import of PDFs into OpenOffice.

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You can now petition the European Union to 'fix my document'

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LibO
OSS
OOo

Inspired by the pothole identification and alert site and app, fixmystreet.com, OFE, through its fixmydocument.eu, is giving a crowd-sourced voice to public frustration with software interoperability limitations that stand in the way of citizens who are seeking to communicate and interact with government.

It should be noted, however, this is more than a vehicle through which to vent. Many parts of the EU are legitimately working hard to implement ODF, the open document format for office applications. Fixmydocument.eu will help them better identify software and documents that are presenting the most pressing and immediate problems. As an added benefit, it should not go unnoticed that more fully deploying ODF and other open standards will help the EU avoid vendor lock-in.

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Pondering the Fate of Open Source & Software Licenses

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OSS
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Legal

Having used OpenOffice for several years on the Panasonic Toughbooks I use in the field, I've avoided buying into traditional or subscription-based services. While enterprises may have a different view on licensing, cost most always figures into the decision-making process. So if they go the subscription route, they'll have to then ask what strategies they can use to lower those costs. Will they be able to haggle on price?

If the subscription model does become the norm, will OpenOffice and other open-source software thrive, dive, or stay the same in market share? I'd like to hear your thoughts.

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The Long Slog to Level the Document Playing Field

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Expectations are generally low that acceptance of open document standards in the U.S. will improve any time soon. No interest or support for open document standards has been voiced by U.S. officials, noted the Open Source Business Alliance's Holger Dyroff. Still, the OSBA is happy with some movements in the U.S., like the recent decision to open source government-funded software programming.

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ODF Plugfest showcases innovations on document collaboration

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LibO
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The ODF Plugfest that took place in London on 8 and 9 December showcased innovative ways to work with electronic documents. The most striking idea is the borrowing of techniques commonly used in software development, promising many news ways to create and collaborate on documents.

At the two-day workshop in London, the Berlin-based ODF expert Svante Schubert proposed to borrow techniques commonly used in software development, to manage revisions from many different sources. He suggests to exchange only the changes made in a text, instead of the much more cumbersome sending back and forth of an entire document. “Using files for collaborating on documents is a relic from the era of floppy discs”, developer Schubert says. “It forces a recipient to read the entire document and try to understand what has been changed by others.”

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Deputy CTO UK: ODF is a ‘big change’

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The UK government’s 400 IT departments are preparing their organisations for the use of the Open Document Format (ODF) as the default for its editable documents. The process should avoid making civil servants and other end-users bear the brunt of the switch, says Magnus Falk, deputy chief technology officer (CTO) of the UK government. “To unlock our digital documents, we’re leading a digital transformation.”

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5100+ signatures for open formats in the French educational system

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More than 5100 people have signed the call to promote open formats and interoperability in the French educational system, a campaign initiated in November by April, France’s free software advocacy group. Their call for interoperability in the education system (Appel pour l’intéropérabilité dans l’Education Nationale) is supported by 100 teachers, as well as employees and school trade unions.

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More in Tux Machines

Programming/Development: fwupd, LLVM and More

  • CSR devices now supported in fwupd
    The BlueCore CSR chips are used everywhere. If you have a “wireless” speaker or headphones that uses Bluetooth there is a high probability that it’s using a CSR chip inside. This makes the addition of CSR support into fwupd a big deal to access a lot of vendors. It’s a lot easier to say “just upload firmware” rather than “you have to write code” so I think it’s useful to have done this work.
  • Skylake Server Scheduler Model Updated In LLVM 6.0 Along With Other Intel CPU Updates
  • Most Software Code Will Be Written By Machines By 2040, Researchers Predict
    Imagine a scenario where a programmer needs to follow a couple of tried and tested procedures to write code that becomes a part of a bigger program that needs some insightful contribution from another programmer. So, is the first programmer really needed? Can’t we find a robotic replacement for the same? In the past, GitHub CEO had already made a prediction which says that future of coding is no coding at all. A similar speculation has been made by the researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, who have said that machines will write most of their own code by 2040.
  • Hazelcast joins Eclipse, JCache is key focal point
    Open source In-Memory Data Grid (IMDG) company Hazelcast has joined the Eclipse Foundation – and it has done so for a reason. Hazelcast’s primary focus will be on JCache the Eclipse MicroProfile and EE4J. In particular, Hazelcast will be collaborating with members to popularize JCache, a Java Specification Request (JSR-107). So what place does JCache fill in the universe then?

Software: Darktable, VLC, Mesa, Audacity, Toplip, GNUstep

  • Darktable 2.4-RC1 Rolls Out With Windows Support, OpenCL Improvements
    The open-source Darktable RAW photography software that's long been available for Linux and macOS has finally been ported to Microsoft Windows. But fortunately that's not all to be found in Darktable 2.4. While Windows support is their big headline feature of Darktable 2.4, the RC1 release that came out today is also packed with other improvements.
  • Linux Release Roundup: VLC, Mesa, Audacity + More
    Another week has flown by, making it time for another round-up of pertinent Linux app releases that didn’t manage to wangle a full post’s worth of waffle on this site. This week’s crop of curios includes updates to the world’s most popular open-source video player, the world’s most popular open-source audio editor, and the world’s most popular open-source graphics drivers.
  • Toplip – A Very Strong File Encryption And Decryption CLI Utility
    There are numerous file encryption tools available on the market to protect your files. We have already reviewed some encryption tools such as Cryptomater, Cryptkeeper, CryptGo, Cryptr, Tomb, and GnuPG etc. Today, we will be discussing yet another file encryption and decryption command line utility named “Toplip”. It is a free and open source encryption utility that uses a very strong encryption method called AES256, along with an XTS-AES design to safeguard your confidential data. Also, it uses Scrypt, a password-based key derivation function, to protect your passphrases against brute-force attacks.
  • GNUstep Takes Another Step Forward For Implementing Apple's Cocoa Frameworks
    GNUstep is the long-standing free software project working to implement Apple's Cocoa Objective-C frameworks used by macOS. The GNU project has made new releases of their GUI and Back libraries. GNUstep GUI 0.26 is out this morning as the latest update to their graphical user-interface library. GNUstep GUI 0.26 has a number of compatibility improvements, translation updates, mouse tracking logic improvements, bug fixes, and other work.

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