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Why the UK government must adopt Open Document Format

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LibO
OOo

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
OOo
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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LibO
OOo

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
OOo

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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LibO
OOo

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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OOo

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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Google and ODF

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LibO
Google
OOo
  • Fuzz about Google supporting odf

    First of all because the support comes way too late. Secondly because its not even close to be good.

    Back several years ago Google was politically supporting the process of getting odf approved as an open standard but they never really bothered. The business was clearly to keep both odf and ooxml/docx out of their products and keep their own proprietary document format.

    Implementing good and solid interoperability is actually not difficult but it is a huge task. Google could have done this three or four years ago if they wanted to. But they didn't. Both proprietary software vendors has been busy making interoperability difficult while the providers of true open standards has been improving interoperability month by month.

  • Google Promises Better Compatibility with Open Source Documents

    Google (GOOG) may soon be taking open OpenDocumentFormat (ODF), the native file format in virtually all modern open source word processors, like LibreOffice and OpenOffice, more seriously. That's according to a statement from Google's open source chief speaking about the future of the company's cloud-based app suite.

Google's surprise: ODF support launches ahead of schedule

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Google
OOo

Months earlier than predicted by Google's head of open source, Google today announced support for the international OpenDocument Format in its Google Drive suite of apps

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME News

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  • GNOME/GTK Support For Drawing Tablets On Wayland Is Feature Complete
    In time for next month's GNOME 3.22 release, the drawing tablet support for GNOME on Wayland is getting into shape. GNOME developer Carlos Garnacho wrote today how it's "finally happening" that good support for drawing tablets when running GNOME on Wayland is becoming a reality. Carlos declares that the GTK+ tablet support on Wayland is considered feature complete.
  • Mutter Window Manager Updated for GNOME 3.22 with Virtual Input Device Support
    GNOME Project's Florian Müllner announced the release of the Beta build of the upcoming Mutter window and compositing manager for the GNOME 3.22 desktop environment. As reported by us earlier today, the GNOME 3.22 desktop environment entered Beta stages of development, which means that most of its core components and applications have been updated to this Beta release, including Mutter, which is in charge of displaying and managing your GNOME desktop via OpenGL (accelerated 3D graphics).

KDE Leftovers

  • KDE Plasma 5.7.4 Released
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  • QtCon Keynote: Software as a Public Service
    QtCon is happy to welcome Julia Reda, the closing keynote speaker. Member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party and Vice-Chair of the Greens/European Free Alliance. Reda's legislative focus is on copyright and internet policy issues. As a member of the European Parliament and together with Max Andersson, Julia Reda initiated the pilot project “Governance and quality of software code – Auditing of free and open source software” in 2014 as a reaction to the so-called “heartbleed” bug in OpenSSL. The idea turned into the pilot-project "Free and Open Source Software Auditing“ (FOSSA) that is aiming at improving the security of those Free Software programs that are in use by the European Commission and the Parliament.
  • KScreen-Doctor Will Help KDE Developers Improve Multi-Screen Plasma
    Also helping KDE developers in their multi-screen efforts is a centralized activity log in KScreen with Plasma 5.8 and the ability to easily create virtual screens in Wayland for reproducing issues without real hardware.
  • Multisceen in Plasma: Improved tools and debugging
    Plasma 5.8 will be our first long-term supported release in the Plasma 5 series. We want to make this a release as polished and stable as possible. One area we weren’t quite happy with was our multi-screen user experience. While it works quite well for most of our users, there were a number of problems which made our multi-screen support sub-par. Let’s take a step back to define what we’re talking about.

Linux Graphics

EXT4, Btrfs, XFS & NILFS2 HDD File-System Tests On Linux 4.8 (and More Linux Kernel News)

Up until running the tests for today's article, I can't remember the last time I touched a hard drive... It's been many months ago at least. Nearly all of our tests at Phoronix are from solid state storage, but I decided to pick up a new HDD for running some Linux file-system tests on a conventional hard drive for those not having an SSD. Via NewEgg.com I saw a good deal on a refurbished Hitachi Ultrastar HUA72302 "Enterprise" Hard Drive with 2TB of storage, 7200 RPM, 64MB cache, Serial ATA 3.0, and backed by HGST with a five-year warranty. For just over $30 USD it was a deal and decided to order it for running some modern Linux HDD file-system tests for curiosity sake. Read more Also: What's Been Going On With CPUFreq & The Scheduler Polychromatic Provides A Nice UI To Razer Keyboards/Mice On Linux