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EC Commissioner Kroes supports ODF campaign

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LibO
OOo

European Commissioner and Vice President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes supports the FixMyDocuments campaign that is urging Europe's public administrations to make better use of open document formats. The campaigners aim to get public administrations to publish their documents in open formats that can be read and manipulated by anyone, without imposing the use of software from any particular vendor. The campaigners are pushing the authorities to use the Open Document Format (ODF).

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OpenForum Europe Challenges Governments to Walk the Open Format Walk

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LibO
OOo

OpenForum Europe, an advocacy group focusing on IT openness in government, issued a press release earlier today announcing its launch of a new public Internet portal. At that site, anyone can report a government page that offers a document intended for collaborative use for downloading if that document is not available in an OpenDocument Format (ODF) compliant version. The portal is called FixMyDocuments.eu, and you can show your support for the initiative (as I have) by adding your name here (the first supporter listed is the EU's indominatable digital champion, Neelie Kroes).

The announcement coincides with the beginning of another initiative, Global Legislative Openness Week, which will involve global activities annd "events hosted by the Legislative Openness Working Group of the Open Government Partnership and members of the parliamentary openness community." A full calendar of events is here.

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'Open and Libre Office projects should reunite'

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LibO
OSS
OOo

The software developers working on Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice - two closely related suites of open source office productivity tools - should overcome their schism and unite to compete with the ubiquitous proprietary alternative, urges Daniel Brunner, head of the IT department of Switzerland's Federal Supreme Court. Merging the two projects will convince more public administrations to use the open source office suite, he believes.

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Sharing work is easier with an Open Document Format

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LibO
OOo

Many individuals have been using ODF for years, but the open format is also being adopted by organisations, including companies and governments.

We often wish to share electronic documents with friends, colleagues, business or government, and the software application we use to prepare these documents will save them in a particular format.

Any application that later loads the document will also need to be able to understand this format. If an organisation can control the format, and convince people to use it, then they can use this as a very powerful tool to create a monopoly in the market.

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Microsoft is part of the problem, not the solution for Munich

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LibO
Microsoft
OOo

The new mayor of Munich is a self-proclaimed Microsoft fan and he wants to waste all the money that was invested in moving away from Microsoft’s vendor lock and incompatible technologies. His deputy is also a Microsoft fans so it’s not surprising that the new office of the mayor wants to bring back Microsoft technologies.

But that will be a very dangerous move for Munich.

Josef Schmid, teh deputy, points out two issues with LiMux – one is incompatibility with Microsoft technologies and other was increased support calls.

Incompatibility with Microsoft products is a huge problem and it’s a problem for everyone who is using Microsoft technologies. Linux or Open Source are not the cause of the problem as Schmid says, they are victims.

Then what is the cause?

In a recent interview one of the directors of The Document Foundation disclosed how Microsoft users various tricks to break compatibility and that leads to people like Schmid to blame open source technologies without fully understanding where the problem lies.

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Sharing work is easier with an Open Document Format

Filed under
LibO
OOo

We often wish to share electronic documents with friends, colleagues, business or government, and the software application we use to prepare these documents will save them in a particular format.

Any application that later loads the document will also need to be able to understand this format. If an organisation can control the format, and convince people to use it, then they can use this as a very powerful tool to create a monopoly in the market.

Read more

10 tips for easier collaboration between office suites

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LibO
OOo

Yes, you are likely using the Microsoft formats for your documents. However, they don't always follow OpenDocument Format (ODF) standards. Instead of opting for the proprietary Microsoft formats, switch over to one that's welcomed by nearly all office suites: ODF. You'll find a much more seamless collaboration process and fewer gotchas when moving between office suites. The only platform that can have a bit of trouble with this format is Android. The one Android office suite that works well with ODF is OfficeSuite 7 Pro.

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Patent trolls and open document formats with open source thought leaders

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LibO
Interviews
OSS
OOo
Legal

Over on Gordon Haff's blog, Connections, the senior cloud evangelist for Red Hat talked with Simon Phipps, the president of the Open Source Initiative about U.S. software patent cases and the United Kingdom's decision to make ODF its official document format.

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ODF FOI Update: Lost, Found and Lost Again

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LibO
Microsoft
OOo

This is really one of the most ridiculous get-out clauses, because it is so wide. The whole point of the FOI system is so that we can see precisely what is being said in these discussions, and to find out what companies are saying behind closed doors - and what ministers are replying. Although it's laudable that the Department for Business Innovation and Skills got in touch to correct its response to me, it's rather rich to do so and then simply refuse point-blank to release any of the information it has just found.

The only consolation is that whatever Microsoft whispered in the corridors of power to de-rail the move to ODF - since I hardly imagine it was a fervent supporter of the idea - it didn't work. However, there are doubtless many other occasions when it did, but we will never know. That's just unacceptable in a modern democracy.

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FSF congratulates UK Government on choosing Open Document Format

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GNU
LibO
OOo

If you live in the UK, you'll soon be able to fill out government paperwork with your freedoms intact. The British government announced last week that Open Document Format (ODF), HTML, and PDF will be the official file formats used by all government agencies.

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More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

today's leftovers

  • Want Social Justice? The Free Software Movement Fights For Everyone!

    Everyone wants freedom but most people have no idea just how enslaved they have become to their computing devices and the proprietary software that controls those devices. The Free Software Movement aims to spread awareness of this issue and to advocate for the use of freedom-respecting software ("free software").

  • Participate in Hacktoberfest, Help Develop Contributions

    The month-long, virtual-festival event that celebrates open source contributions, Hacktoberfest, is coming soon and members of the openSUSE community can make a difference. The event that is in its seventh year and run by Digital Ocean and DEV encourages people to make their first contributions to open source projects. The event is for developers, designers who contribute artwork, people who can contribute to documentation,and more. As the event brings more awareness to open-source projects and encourages contributions that benefit communities, having developers and community members available to help people who want to contribute can be beneficial to the project.

  • Are universities spending enough on cybersecurity? [iophk: Windows TCO]

    Such attacks “will absolutely continue”, said Mark Ford, who leads higher education risk and financial advisory services for the audit firm Deloitte. As higher education becomes known as an “easy target”, this increasingly “attracts the bad guys”, he explained.

    The threat comes not just from criminals seeking money. Universities now house arguably the most valuable secrets on earth – plans for a coronavirus vaccine – putting them in the sights of state-backed [cr]ackers. In July, UK, US and Canadian intelligence services warned that Russian groups were attempting to target Covid-19 vaccine research and development.

    This raises the question: are universities doing enough to defend themselves against [cr]acking?

  • vScaler Integrates SLURM with GigaIO FabreX for Elastic HPC Cloud Device Scaling
  • vScaler Announces SLURM integration with GigaIO FabreX

    The additional integration of the SLURM workload manager, an open-source job scheduler for Linux and Unix-like kernels, means that vScaler Cloud users can request traditional resources like memory and compute cores to be available for jobs.

  • Profiling slow-running queries in Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility)

    Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) is a fast, scalable, highly available, and fully managed document database service that supports MongoDB workloads. You can use the same MongoDB 3.6 application code, drivers, and tools to run, manage, and scale workloads on Amazon DocumentDB without having to worry about managing the underlying infrastructure. As a document database, Amazon DocumentDB makes it easy to store, query, and index JSON data. AWS built Amazon DocumentDB to uniquely solve your challenges around availability, performance, reliability, durability, scalability, backup, and more. In doing so, we built several tools, like the profiler, to help you run analyze your workload on Amazon DocumentDB. The profiler gives you the ability to log the time and details of slow-running operations on your cluster. In this post, we show you how to use the profiler in Amazon DocumentDB to analyze slow-running queries to identify bottlenecks and improve individual query performance and overall cluster performance.

Programming Leftovers

  • Self-publishing and the 2nd edition of Ansible for DevOps

    Five years, 834 commits, and 24 major revisions later, I've just published the 2nd edition of Ansible for DevOps, a book which has now sold over 60,000 copies and spawned a popular free Ansible 101 video series on YouTube.

  • Open Standards Are Simple

    If you want to create a truly open standard, you _need_ to make it simple.

    There are no exceptions to this rule. When a standard becomes harder to fully implement than what your average motivated programmer can do in two months (max!), it _shouldn't_ be considered "open" anymore.

    Why?

  • In Which COVID-19 Misinformation Leads To A Bunch of Graphs Made With Rust

    A funny — and by funny, I mean sad — thing has happened. Recently the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has been analyzing data from the patchwork implementation of mask requirements in Kansas. They came to a conclusion that shouldn’t be surprising to anyone: masks help. They published a chart showing this. A right-wing propaganda publication got ahold of this, and claimed the numbers were “doctored” because there were two-different Y-axes. I set about to analyze the data myself from public sources, and produced graphs of various kinds using a single Y-axis and supporting the idea that the graphs were not, in fact, doctored. Here’s one graph that’s showing that: In order to do that, I had imported COVID-19 data from various public sources. Many states in the US are large enough to have significant variation in COVID-19 conditions, and many of the source people look at don’t show county-level data over time. I wanted to do that.

  • Basics of Working with the SQLite Database in Python

    A database is one of the most useful and popular files for storing data; they can be used to store any kind of data, including text, numbers, images, binary data, files, etc. SQLite is a relational database management system based on the SQL language. It is a C library, and it provides an API to work with other programming languages, including Python. It does not require a separate server process to be run as needed in large database engines like MySQL and Postgresql. It is swift and lightweight, and the entire database is stored in a single disk file, which makes it portable like CSV or other data storage files. Many applications use SQLite for internal data storage, mainly in environments like mobile devices or small applications.

  • Perl 7 By Default

    Perl 7 has been announced as the next direction of Perl development. My previous blog post explored at a high level the risks and benefits of the announced direction, as well as those of a more incremental proposal. The primary and critical difference between these two approaches is the decision to change interpreter defaults in an incompatible manner. I would like to explore each of the arguments presented for this design choice.

  • CY's Recent Submission for PWC(068-073)

    Skipped blogging on Perl Weekly Challenge(PWC) for a few weeks!

  • SSH vs. kubectl exec

    There’s a lot of similarities between SSH and kubectl, and both have their strengths and weaknesses. While SSH is architecturally set in stone, higher-level software can learn a thing or two from Kubernetes about centralized configuration when managing a fleet of machines. See Teleport for an example of how this can be done. SSH could also borrow the credential management approach from kubeconfigs (i.e. “put all my client creds and server info into one file that I can copy around”).

    kubectl could improve on its non-shell features like port forwarding and file transfer. It’s raw data throughput is also lacking, which precludes it from becoming a transport-layer protocol like SSH. In practice, these tools are complementary and get used for different tasks, it’s not “one or the other”. I hope this post helped you learn something new about both!

  • Can we do better than our C compiler?

    Today, I wanted to become a C compiler. I added a hand-compiled assembly version of echo from our previous coding exercise and added a new make target, make asm, that will assemble it. Let's look at our hand-compiled assembly and compare it to our C compiler and ask whether or not it was worth it.

  • Benign Data Races Considered Harmful

    The series of posts about so called benign data races stirred a lot of controversy and led to numerous discussions at the startup I was working at called Corensic. Two bastions formed, one claiming that no data race was benign, and the other claiming that data races were essential for performance. Then it turned out that we couldn’t even agree on the definition of a data race. In particular, the C++11 definition seemed to deviate from the established notions.

  • Micronaut 2.0 Full-Stack Java Framework Released

    The Micronaut framework uses Java's annotation processors, which work with any JVM language that supports them, as well as an HTTP server and client built on the Netty non-blocking I/O client server framework. To provide a programming model similar to Spring and Grails, these annotation processors pre-compile the required metadata to perform DI, define AOP proxies, and configure applications to run in a low-memory environment, the company says. Many of the APIs in Micronaut were "heavily inspired" by Spring and Grails," which was by design and aids in bringing developers up to speed quickly," the company says.

  • Understanding computer vision and AI, part 1

    An active area in the field of computer vision is object detection, where the goal is to not only localize objects of interest within an image but also assign a label to each of these objects of interest. Considerable recent successes in the area of object detection stem from modern advances in deep learning, particularly leveraging deep convolutional neural networks. Much of the initial focus was on improving accuracy, leading to increasingly more complex object detection networks such as SSD, R-CNN, Mask R-CNN, and other extended variants of these networks. While such networks demonstrated state-of-the-art object detection performance, they were very challenging, if not impossible, to deploy on edge and mobile devices due to computational and memory constraints. This greatly limits the widespread adoption for a wide range of applications such as robotics, video surveillance, autonomous driving where local embedded processing is required. [...] Model Evaluation is an integral part of the model development process. It helps to find the best model that represents our data and how well the chosen model performs on unseen data. To improve the model we tune the hyper-parameters; parameter that determines the network structure (number of neurons in the network, network activation functions) or training parameter (gradient descent learning rate, adding parameters like momentum in the weight update rule). Tuning those parameters is an inevitable and important step to obtain better performance. Methods like GridSearch and RandomizedSearch can be used to navigate through the different parameters.

  • Qt Design Studio 1.6 Beta released

    We are happy to announce the beta release of Qt Design Studio 1.6 Qt Design Studio is a UI design and development tool that enables designers and developers to rapidly prototype and develop complex UIs. Both designers and developers use Qt Design Studio and this makes collaboration between the two a lot simpler and more streamlined. To get an impression, you should watch this video.

Raspberry Pi Projects and News