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Simon Phipps and the Document Foundation Against DRM

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  • DRM Is Toxic To Culture

    Travelling frequently in Europe, I’ve had the chance to use two approaches to the underground/metro/subway, the Paris Metro and the U-bahn in various German cities. There is a very visible difference between the two, at least in my experience. Here are some sample encounters.

    In Paris, I bought my Metro ticket and then used it in an automated barrier to reach the platform. I noticed lowlife furtively scanning the station and then vaulting the barriers, and I saw armed police at the station to catch the thieves doing this (they didn’t catch any that I saw, and there were several of each at each station).

    By contrast, the U-Bahn in Nürnberg had no barriers. I bought my ticket, boarded the train without fuss, there was no risk of being shot by a policeman targeting a barrier-vaulting cheat, and the system was still clean, efficient and well-used.

  • Day against DRM

    Sunday, July 9, is the Day against DRM. The Document Foundation supports the global campaign led by FSF, to raise the awareness of issues related to the so called Digital Rights Management software. As any other proprietary technology, DRM is killing user freedom of choice, and should always be avoided.

LibreOffice 5.3.4 immediately available for download

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The Document Foundation (TDF) announces the availability of LibreOffice 5.3.4, the fourth minor release of the LibreOffice 5.3 family, targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users. LibreOffice 5.3.4 integrates over 100 patches, with a significant number of fixes for interoperability with Microsoft Office RTF and OOXML documents.

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Professional Typography in LibreOffice and Italian Migration

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  • LibreOffice: Professional Typography Fully Arrives

    Three decades ago, StarDivision, the ancestor of LibreOffice and OpenOffice, was designed as an intermediate desktop publisher. However, many LibreOffice improvements are designed for users who insist on using it like a typewriter and entering manual formatting. Unofficially, I have been told that LibreOffice developers feel that, since manual formatting is the way most people use it, development for people who want advanced typography is a low priority. Finally, however, in the 5.3 release, LibreOffice has given advanced users a major feature: the ability to add advanced features automatically — a feature that, after almost a century and a half, gives home typists the ability to do advanced typesetting.

    That sounds like an exaggeration, so let me explain. Typewriters were a major advance over handwriting, but still fell short of producing copy that was as polished as what a printing shop could do. To add bold on most typewriters, a typist had to backspace and type over the same letters again, often blurring the letters. Adding italics was even worse, because they could only be indicated by the old copy editing notation of underlining.

    Word processors were a significant improvement over typewriters, but still generally fall short of complete professionalism. For instance, Bold and italic were available with a few clicks. However, far too many word processors continue to manufacture their own small capitals, the letters used to improve the look of several upper case letters in a row — and, often, the result was hideous.

  • Locked in by choice: Why the Italian Defence Department is switching to open source office

    Italy’s Defence Department began migrating to open source software in September 2015. It aims to replace Microsoft Office on 100,000 desktops with LibreOffice by 2020.

    Geneal Camillo Sileo was the man behind the decision to switch to open source. LibreDifesa - the name of his digital migration project - is a success, he says.

    “We have conducted a study and we have concluded that Microsoft Office and Libre Office were just as good for our needs.”

    The advantage of open source is that the code can be tailored to the needs of each organisation. “There should be a willingness to move towards that.”

  • Locked in by choice: How European governments are handling their Microsoft addiction

    In 2012, the then European Union (EU) commissioner for digital agenda, Neelie Kroes, said that not only EU institutions, but all government bodies throughout Europe should implement open standards. Her policy was designed to free public bodies from dependence on proprietary software suppliers.

    The UK has made the biggest strides in encouraging large government departments to increase their use of open source software, through initiatives by the Government Digital Service (GDS). Although local authorities and the NHS are still heavily reliant on proprietary software, the message is gradually spreading to smaller government departments in Britain.

    But five years on, EU civil servants rely on Microsoft Office and Windows. As a result, the public sector is hooked on a digital dependence on Microsoft that costs billions of any currency. Experts say this inhibits innovation and raises technical, political and security risks.

LibreOffice 6.0 to Automatically Update Itself on GNU/Linux, but There's a Catch

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LibreOffice developer Markus Mohrhard recently announced that his work on the new automatic updater for the upcoming LibreOffice 6.0 office suite for Linux is finally ready to see the light of day.

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LibreOffice Features Survey

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  • Have You Taken the LibreOffice Features Survey?

    A new survey aims to help LibreOffice learn which features of the popular open-source office suite users use the most.

  • Survey on LibreOffice features

    Due to its long history, LibreOffice has accumulated a staggering amount of features. Maintaining these features is not free, and having a massive amount of features may blur the focus of the software. In order to steer the development and to focus on the more important aspects we prepared a survey that investigates how often some features are used.

Public sector benefits from LibreOffice bug hunting

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The software development community working on LibreOffice have greatly scaled up their bug-hunting efforts, using automated software test tools made available by Google. Beneficiaries include the many European public administrations that use up-to-date versions of this suite of office productivity tools.

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3 alternatives to LibreOffice Writer

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Even though I write for a living, I rarely use a word processor these days; I do most of my work in a text editor. When I do need to use a word processor, I turn to LibreOffice Writer. It's familiar, it's powerful, and it does everything that I need a word processor to do.

It's hard to dispute LibreOffice Writer's position at the top of the free and open source word processor food chain—both in popularity and in the number of features it has. That said, Writer isn't everyone's favorite word processor or their go-to application for writing.

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LibreOffice News

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  • LibreOffice leverages Google’s OSS-Fuzz to improve quality of office suite
  • LibreOffice leverages Google’s OSS-Fuzz to improve quality of office suite

    For the last five months, The Document Foundation has made use of OSS-Fuzz, Google’s effort to make open source software more secure and stable, to further improve the quality and reliability of LibreOffice’s source code. Developers have used the continuous and automated fuzzing process, which often catches issues just hours after they appear in the upstream code repository, to solve bugs – and potential security issues – before the next binary release.LibreOffice is the first free office suite in the marketplace to leverage Google’s OSS-Fuzz. The service, which is associated with other source code scanning tools such as Coverity, has been integrated into LibreOffice’s security processes – under Red Hat’s leadership – to significantly improve the quality of the source code.

  • Please participate in a survey about page margins

    Margins specify the amount of space to leave between the edges of the page and the document text. You can define it for the left/inner, right/outer, top and bottom side individually. Page margins are defined by default at 0.79″ respectively 2cm on each side in LibreOffice Writer (located under Format > Page). These default values are under close scrutiny now.

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.3.3

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The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.3.3, focused on bleeding edge features, and as such targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters, and power users. LibreOffice 5.3.3 integrates over 70 patches, with an update of the Sifr monochrome icon set and several fixes for interoperability with Microsoft Office documents.

For all other users and enterprise deployments, TDF suggests LibreOffice 5.2.7, with the backing of professional support by certified professionals

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LibreOffice 5.2.7 Is the Last in the Series, End of Life Set for June 4, 2017

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The Document Foundation announced a few moments ago the release of the seventh and last scheduled point release for the LibreOffice 5.2 open-source and cross-platform office suite.

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More in Tux Machines

Red Hat News

  • An Open Source Load Balancer for OpenShift
    A highly-available deployment of OpenShift needs at least two load balancers: One to load balance the control plane (the master API endpoints) and one for the data plane (the application routers). In most on-premise deployments, we use appliance-based load balancers (such as F5 or Netscaler).
  • Red Hat Beefs Up Platform as a Service Suite
    Red Hat has begun shipping Red Hat Fuse 7, the next major release of its distributed, cloud-native integration solution, and introduced a new fully hosted low-code integration platform as a service (iPaaS) offering, Fuse Online. With Fuse 7, the vendor says expanding its integration capabilities natively to Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, an enterprise Kubernetes platform. Fuse gives customers a unified solution for creating, extending and deploying containerized integration services across hybrid cloud environments.
  • Red Hat ‘Fuses’ Low Code Development and Data Integration
    Red Hat, a provider of open source solutions, has announced Red Hat Fuse 7, the next major release of its distributed, cloud-native integration solution, and introduced a new fully hosted low-code integration platform as a service offering, Fuse Online. With Fuse 7, Red Hat is expanding its integration capabilities natively to Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, a comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform. Fuse gives customers a unified solution for creating, extending and deploying containerized integration services across hybrid cloud environments.
  • The GPL cooperation commitment and Red Hat projects
    As of today, all new Red Hat-initiated open source projects that opt to use GPLv2 or LGPLv2.1 will be expected to supplement the license with the cure commitment language of GPLv3. The cure language will live in a file in the project source tree and will function as an additional permission extended to users from the start. This is the latest development in an ongoing initiative within the open source community to promote predictability and stability in enforcement of GPL-family licenses. The “automatic termination” provision in GPLv2 and LGPLv2.x is often interpreted as terminating the license upon noncompliance without a grace period or other opportunity to correct the error in compliance. When the Free Software Foundation released GPLv2 in 1991, it held nearly all GPL-licensed copyrights, in part a consequence of the copyright assignment policy then in place for GNU project contributions. Long after the Linux kernel and many other non-GNU projects began to adopt the GPL and LGPL, the FSF was still the only copyright holder regularly engaged in license enforcement. Under those conditions, the automatic termination feature of GPLv2 section 4 may have seemed an appropriate means of encouraging license compliance.
  • Monness Believes Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) Still Has Room to Grow
  • Comparing Red Hat (RHT) & Autoweb (AUTO)
  • As Red Hat (RHT) Share Value Rose, Calamos Advisors Upped Its Position by $300,831; Chilton Capital Management Increases Stake in Equinix (EQIX)
  • Blair William & Co. IL Buys 23,279 Shares of Red Hat Inc (RHT)

Total War: WARHAMMER

Red Hat changes its open-source licensing rules

From outside programming circles, software licensing may not seem important. In open-source, though, licensing is all important. So, when leading Linux company Red Hat announces that -- from here on out -- all new Red Hat-initiated open-source projects that use the GNU General Public License(GPLv2) or GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)v2.1 licenses will be expected to supplement the license with GPL version 3 (GPLv3)'s cure commitment language, it's a big deal. Read more

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