The autonomous region of Galicia will this year migrate at least one-thousand government workstations to exclusively use the LibreOffice open source suite of office solutions, it announced on 30 April. The government also said it would start raising awareness among the region's public administrations about the advantages of sharing, and promoting the reuse of ICT solutions. The government has reserved a 147,000 euro budget for this year's free software actions.
Today I would like to discuss a boring subject: Spreadsheets. Actually it’s not that boring when you come to think of it. At least I’m going to try not to make it boring. Let me set something straight first: Spreadsheets are not just about numbers; they are about data. You may have already read Michael Meeks’ article on LibreOffice’s major rewrite of its spreadsheet engine (the much famed Ixion engine that was alluded to first in 2010) and indeed this is a major development for LibreOffice and ultimately for office suites in general – I’ll come back to that later- but this post is not an appreciation article for Michael and Kohei, it’s about how we think of spreadsheets, why we tend to think of them in a very limited way, and how we could redefine the uses of LibreOffice Calc. 256px-LibreOffice_4.0_Calc_Icon.svg
The Document Foundation has announced that the final version for LibreOffice 4.2.4 is now available for all platforms, including Linux.
This is just a maintenance release for the 4.2.x branch and features a moderate number of fixes and changes, but users who have this office suite installed should upgrade as soon as possible...
The improved accessibility features included in today's new version of Apache OpenOffice, an open source suite of office productivity tools, is good news for public administrations, expects Rob Weir, Project Management Committee Member at the Apache Software Foundation. Public administrations favour software solutions with strong accessibility support, he says. "By including Iaccesible2 support, we've removed a potential objection against the adoption of OpenOffice."
All the supported platforms have received this new update, but this is a maintenance build that’s mostly about bug fixes, which means that it fits perfectly in what has been made available so far, with no major surprises.
“LibreOffice 4.1.6 is the last release of the LibreOffice 4.1 family, targeted to large deployments in enterprises and public administrations, which should always be supported by TDF certified developers. Today, we users can choose between LibreOffice 4.2.3 Fresh, targeted to early adopters and technology enthusiasts, and LibreOffice 4.1.6 Stable targeted to enterprise deployments and conservative users,” said Florian Effenberger, TDF executive director.
Today in Linux news is a lot of suggestions on what to do to avoid the pitfalls of Heartbleed and InfoWorld.com runs down some in simple terms. In other news, Phoronix.com is reporting that NVIDIA overclocking is back with latest drivers. And finally, a fresh LibreOffice 4.2.3 was released yesterday.
Plug.and.socket 142One of the two articles of faith that Eric Kriss and Peter Quinn embraced in drafting their evolving Enterprise Technical Reference Model (ETRM) was this: products built to “open standards” are more desirable than those that aren’t. Superficially, the concept made perfect sense – only buy products that you can mix and match. That way, you can take advantage of both price competition as well as a wide selection of alternative products from multiple vendors, each with its own value-adding features. And if things don’t work out, well, you’re not locked in, and can swap out the loser and shop for a winner.
By the end of December 2005, I had been blogging on ODF developments in Massachusetts for about four months, providing interviews, legal analysis and news as it happened. In those early days, not many bloggers were covering the ODF story, and email began to come my way from people that I had never met before, from as far away as Australia, and as near as the State House in Boston. Some began with, “This seems really important – what can I do to help?” Others contained important information that someone wanted to share, and that I was happy to receive.
Last Wednesday, March 26th, on Document Freedom Day, OASIS submitted Open Document Format 1.2 standard to the ISO/IEC JTC1 Secretariat for transposition to an International Standard under the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) procedure.
Last week Monday, five European public administrations published a new call for tender, to further improve interoperability between free and open source office suites and the ubiquitous proprietary alternative. This is the second time that the German cities of Munich, Leipzig and Jena, the Swiss Federal Court and the Swiss Federal IT Steering Unit have issued such a call. ICT specialists have until 30 April to submit proposals.
The office suites' interoperability project is again managed by the OSB Alliance, a trade group representing open source service providers from Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
According the alliance's press release, one of the main features to be developed concerns change tracking between open source and proprietary office suites. The public administrations issuing the call want to improve the specification of change tracking, and make this part of the Open Document Format ISO standard.