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Government open standards - the curious case of Microsoft and the minister

Filed under
LibO
Microsoft
OOo

Microsoft consistently opposed the policy, which the software giant saw as its last chance to overturn the UK government’s broader plans for open standards. As emails seen by Computer Weekly reveal, the decision became an issue in the supplier’s Seattle boardroom, and brought the lobbying powers of the software giant into full force in Whitehall.

There has been speculation about the role played by senior government minister David Willetts, then minister of state for universities and science in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), but who later left the post in David Cameron’s 2014 summer reshuffle.

An investigation by Computer Weekly has revealed that – according to well-placed sources – Microsoft turned to Willetts to help win its case, with the supplier’s global chief operating officer (COO) Kevin Turner getting involved. But neither BIS nor David Willetts himself is willing to discuss the role the minister played in Microsoft's attempts to influence this obscure but vitally important part of government IT policy.

Willetts was the government’s liaison point for Microsoft, as a major employer and investor in the UK economy. He also served as co-chair of the Information Economy Council, a body set up to enable dialogue between Whitehall and the IT industry over future policy.

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Also: Departments lack common targets for implementing open-document standards

The Power of Brand and the Power of Product Redux

Filed under
LibO
OOo

Those who know me know that I am partial to OpenOffice, an open source project that I contribute to. So I am extremely pleased to see it continue to advance in all fronts. Since coming to Apache, OpenOffice’s name recognition has grown from 24% to 39% and the user share has grown from 11% to 18%, while keeping user satisfaction constant. This is a testament to the hard work of the many talented volunteers at Apache.

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Reuniting LibreOffice and AOO – a personal take

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LibO
OOo

As we are approaching the 4th anniversary of the LibreOffice project in just a few days, an old theme has been reappearing on the Internet: Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice should reunite. I would like to share my perceptions on this topic although I think it is not a really important one, at least as long as the LibreOffice or Apache OpenOffice do not officially call for such a reunion. Before I start, let me remind everyone that what follows is my own opinion and neither the one of the Document Foundation, nor the one of the Democratic Party, the one of my Government, nor, at last, the one of Bob’s Shipping and Handling Company.

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Also: LibreOffice Celebrates - and Does Something Unusual

ISO/IEC JTC1 Approves ODF 1.2 PAS Ballot

Filed under
LibO
OOo

OASIS ODF 1.2, the current version of the Open Document Format standard, was approved by ISO/IEC JTC1 National Bodies after a 3-month Publicly Available Specification (PAS) ballot. The final vote for DIS 26300 was: 17-0 for Parts 1 and 2, and 18-0 for Part 3.

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EC Commissioner Kroes supports ODF campaign

Filed under
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'

Filed under
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

Filed under
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

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More in Tux Machines

Zapcc Liberated, HMM and GPL

  • Zapcc high-speed C++ compiler now open source
    Zapcc, a caching C++ compiler built for speed, has gone open source. Ceemple Software, Zapcc’s builder, claims the compiler offers dramatic improvements in both incremental and full builds compared to building with Clang 4.0 and Clang 5.0. Based on heavily modified code from the Clang compiler project, Zapcc uses an in-memory compilation cache in a client-server architecture. All compilation information is remembered between runs.
  • Heterogeneous memory management meets EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL()
    One of the many longstanding — though unwritten — rules of kernel development is that infrastructure is not merged until at least one user for that infrastructure exists. That helps developers evaluate potential interfaces and be sure that the proposed addition is truly needed. A big exception to this rule was made when the heterogeneous memory management (HMM) code was merged, though. One of the reasons for the lack of users in this case turns out to be that many of the use cases are proprietary; that has led to some disagreements over the GPL-only status of an exported kernel symbol. The HMM subsystem exists to support peripherals that have direct access to system memory through their own memory-management units. It allows the ownership of ranges of memory to be passed back and forth and notifies peripherals of changes in memory mappings to keep everything working well together. HMM is not a small or simple subsystem, and bringing it into the kernel has forced a number of low-level memory-management changes. After a multi-year development process, the core HMM code was merged for the 4.14 kernel, despite the lack of any users.

Software: elementary OS Software, Unified Modeling Language (UML), PulseAudio 12.0 and Zstd

  • An Awesome List of Apps & Resources for elementary OS
    It is barely up to a day since I put up a positive review of elementary OS which is well deserved because it has come a long way from what it was 2 years ago when FossMint checked it out. The good news I’ve got for you today is that the developers have published a page on GitHub that contains “curated list of awesome applications, tools and shiny things for elementary OS”. They are grouped into categories for easy selection, are all open source, and clicking on the green tick icons will direct you to the app on elementary OS’s AppCenter.
  • Best Free Unified Modeling Language Tools
    Unified Modeling Language (UML) is a general-purpose, modeling language designed to provide a standard way for visualizing, specifying, constructing, and documenting the artifacts of distributed object systems. It’s the industry standard modeling language for software engineering. The aim of UML is to give software engineers, agile and small development teams, and system architects useful tools for analysis, design, and implementation of software-based systems. It also provides modeling business and similar processes. The language helps to visualize your object-oriented design and communicate with others. It offers limited use for other programming paradigms.
  • PulseAudio 12.0 release notes
    When playing videos, it's important that the audio latency is known so that the video can be synchronized accurately. PulseAudio doesn't get good latency information from the kernel with A2DP playback, which has caused A/V sync problems for many people when watching videos. Now PulseAudio makes the audio buffer in the kernel much smaller, which reduces the problem a lot.
  • PulseAudio 12.0 Released With Many Improvements
    PulseAudio 12.0 was quietly released yesterday as the newest version of this open-source, cross-platform sound server.
  • Zstandard – A Super Faster Data Compression Tool For Linux
    This is known topic and we were using in our day to day activity to compress and decompress files & folders. You might already know zip,tar,7-zip, etc and you would have used all these application for your requirement. Even today also we are going to discuss about similar kind of topic, the tool name is Zstandard. It is super fast data compression tool and compression ratio is very very low. Zstd is lossless data compression algorithm developed by Yann Collet at Facebook. Due to high data compression ratio many of the popular companies and databases are using this tool.

KDE: CMake 3.12 With FreeBSD, Krita 4.1 Beta, C++/Qt

  • CMake 3.12 Update on FreeBSD
    CMake 3.12 has reached rc1. That means we’re testing the update on FreeBSD, and building lots and lots of packages. And, as I’ve written previously, every CMake update triggers a bunch of interesting software findings. As a motto, I’ve got “use it, aggressively improve it” on my website (you can hire me for odd CMake and C++ jobs, too). So hitting compile issues makes me turn to fixing software outside of KDE.
  • Krita 4.1 Digital Painting Program Enters Beta With Multi-Monitor Workspace Layouts
    The KDE/Qt-aligned Krita digital painting program has published the first beta of their next feature release, Krita 4.1.
  • The day Kate Gregory enjoyed Qt
    At my company we use C++ for everything, from creating microservices to website backends and as a generator for website frontends, I mean, we do a lot of c++. And because of that we always need more c++ people, but sometimes it’s hard to find developers, but it’s easy to find php / python / javascript ones. Because of that we hired Kate Gregory’s famous c++ course – “Teaching the Teacher” to train current C++ developers to teach C++. (now, that’s a lot of ‘C++’ in a simple sentence, I know. bear with me.) For those that doens’t know, Kate Gregory is somebody that uses, advocates our beloved language even before I was born, and talks all over the world about C++ and also do trainings for companies, And so I enlisted to be her student. It was a really pleasant course going thru how to proplery explain C++ for people that know how to program but don’t know how to C++, and for that I’m grateful. But then when I commented out about Qt in the middle of the class she rolled her eyes, that made me feel a bit uneasy so I talked to her on why the eye-roll. “Qt is not c++”, and I tougth this was already settled down for years, so I asked her if she would be open to see some simple c++ code written in Qt and tell me what she thinks of it. “Well, Yes. but people already tried and it was not good”.

Red Hat: Kubernetes, 'Cloud', and GlusterFS 4.1.0 Release

  • Kubernetes StatefulSet In Action
    Recently, I stumbled upon a StackOverflow question around StatefulSets which made me wonder how well understood they are at large. So I decided to put together a simple stateful app that can be used to experiment with a StatefulSet. In this blog post we will have a closer look at this app and see it in action. If you’re not familiar with StatefulSets, now is a good time for a refresher, consulting the official docs concerning their usage and guarantees they provide.
  • The road to cloud-native applications
    As many organizations do not have the luxury of completely rebuilding their technology foundation or immediately adopting new practices and mindsets, they can embrace gradual yet fundamental shifts in culture, processes, and technology to help support greater velocity and agility. With software increasingly key to how users engage with businesses and how businesses can innovate to stay competitive, organizations should adapt to the new demands of the Digital Economy, such as speeding up application development and delivery. The cloud-native approach describes a way of modernizing existing applications and building new applications based on cloud principles, using services and adopting processes optimized for the agility and automation of cloud computing.
  • GlusterFS 4.1 Released With Performance Monitoring Improvements
    GlusterFS. the network-attached storage file-system focused on cloud computing and more that is developed by Red Hat, is up to version 4.1 as its newest release.
  • Announcing GlusterFS release 4.1.0 (Long Term Maintenance)
    The Gluster community is pleased to announce the release of 4.1, our latest long term supported release.
  • Release notes for Gluster 4.1.0
    This is a major release that includes a range of features enhancing management, performance, monitoring, and providing newer functionality like thin arbiters, cloud archival, time consistency. It also contains several bug fixes.