Lodahl's blog: 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007

30 September 2007

You are either with us or ...

President George Bush said something like "You are either with us or against us". when he started the invasion of Iraq. In the the battle for one and only one standard for document formats, it has been just like that too. You are either with us or you are against us. Most bloggers and other participants has been either pro or con. Even the journalists has been force to take side in the battle. One standard versus Microsoft. Nothing in between.

I have seen only one participant in Denmark taking an odd approach (odd should not be understood as weird). One person only has taking the position: Two standards is OK if they can reach the expectations. Other participants has had either "Microsoft sucks" or "Microsoft rules" as their basic opinion. And I count my self in here as well. I'm not neutral, because i think they sucks.

This guy deserves some respect, because he has been able to stay relatively neutral in the debate. He has my respect. He has been angry with us on the ODF side, because he thought we became too much anti Microsoft. But he stayed calm and picked up the challenge to make a technical comparison on his blog. Unfortunately it's in Danish.

He did what we all talked about: He implemented it. Both standards ! He has been critical in his description of both ODF and EOOXML and he finds none of them perfect.

He started the debate on the website http://version2.dk but later he opened his own blog on http://idippedut.dk/

To Jesper Lund Stocholm i would like to say:

Your posts deserves either your own or a professional translation into English. I think they could be a very important input int the debate internationally.

26 September 2007

Working plan for the new releases

Have you ever wondered how the development process is ?
Here you can see the plan for the next couple of releases. Note that the work actually overlaps the versions. Working on a specific version starts long before the version before is finished. But remember: plans can be changed.


  • Code_freeze: October 25th, 2007
  • Last cws integration for fixes: Nov 8th, 2007
  • release candidate for all languages: Nov 22th, 2007
  • Product release: December 4th, 2007
  • November 15th 2007: UI and Feature_freeze
  • November 22nd 2007: Translation update 2.4 start
  • December 13th 2007: Translation update 2.4 delivery
  • December 20th 2007: TCM l10n testing
  • January 17th 2008: code_freeze
  • February 7th 2008: Last cws integration for fixes
  • February 21th 2008: release candidate for all languages
  • March 4th 2008: OpenOffice.org 2.4 release
  • Not planed
  • First translation handover: January 18th, 2008
  • UI and Feature_freeze: March 6th, 2008
  • Translation update 3.0 start: March 13th, 2008
  • Translation update 3.0 delivery: April 3rd, 2008, code freeze for Beta
  • Begin TCM testing: April 10th, 2008
  • "last cws integration" for Beta: April 17th, 2008
  • OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta: April 30th, 2008
  • Code_freeze, last regular translation delivery: July 4th, 2008
  • Last cws integration for fixes: July 18th, 2008
  • release candidate for all languages: July 25th, 2008, begin of TCM testing
  • Product release: September 2nd, 2008 or OOoCon 2008 mid September ?

25 September 2007

Summary from OOoCon2007 in Barcelona (III)

The quality of any software product can always be discussed. OpenOffice.org has from time to time met criticism. One thing is for sure: "It will never be bug free".
The quality program that we in the Danish community is a part of is one way of controlling the quality of each version. On the conference was demonstrated another approach to the problem. And even developers among the spectators had to acknowledge the results.
University of Szeged in Hungary has, with financial support from EU, developed a tool that can analyze the source code. With this tool it will be possible foresee where a bug will appear later on. I saw the tool demonstrated and it's very impressive, how it is possible, on a very detailed level, to analyze the code for possible future bugs. It is furthermore possible to analyze the progress from version to version and see if quality is getting better or worse. The University is planning to pass the information to the development project, but this must be done with care, because the test results can be used to create vulnerable code like virus. http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/friday_162.pdf

IBM Symphony
Friday morning I was specificly invited to join a presentation of IBM Lotus Symphony arranged by IBM. Michael Karasick presented the product and talked about the background for the decision behind the product. The product is a stand-alone version of the productivity tools that comes with lotus Notes 8 and I actually didn't see anything new. Except of cause, that IBM now is talking about it as "It's OpenOffice.org version 1.1.4 inside".
By the way, I got permission to correct a little misunderstanding in the Danish press: The reason for choosing version 1.1.4 is not that later versions are less stable. The reason is that until a fw weeks ago, IBM had no right to use the code in version 2.x because of the licenses.
After the presentation I had the opportunity to have a little talk with Rob Weir from IBM about other topics. http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/friday_abstracts.html#ibm

A few presentations was about marketing. This presentation of one person, who decided to do a full page advert in New York Metro shows that, it's possible to get adverts with limited funds and that one persons work can do the difference. http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/wednesday_54.pdf.

Some of the presentations was about the problem: "How can we attract more individual contributors". I don't think we found a solution, but a small sub committee that will take care of a strategy on this issue. The waves goes the same way as the "Google Summer of Code" initiative in conjunction with earlier positive experiences from the Sun teaching RedOffice in China. What the result will be, we don't know, but I think I got my self involved in the committee.

24 September 2007

Summary from OOoCon2007 in Barcelona (II)

OpenOffice.org in the future
Louis Suárez-Potts opened the conference with a speak about the future development tasks. In overall terms:

  1. Support of web2.0 technologies as Wiki, blogs, collaboration tools etc. http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/thursday_80.pdf
  2. Closer integration with products from Mozilla, the so called PIM tools like contacts and calendar http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/thursday_70.pdf
  3. Interoperability with other office suites http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/thursday_94.pdf
  4. Tools for developing extensions as well as continue to enhance extension possibilities http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/thursday_48.pdf and
  5. PDF support by making it possible to open and edit pdf files and create hybrid documents (both ODF and PDF at the same time) http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS/entry/completing_pdf_support_in_ooo1
  6. Support pivot tables from Excel and a new solver function http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/friday_114.pdf
  7. Notes- and comments http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Notes2
  8. New porting: MacOS http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/wednesday_769.pdf and
These and many other features can be expected in version 3, planned to be released spring or summer 2008. But of cause: plans can always be changed.

Chinese influence
Some time ago, Sun Microsystems made an agreement with Beijing Redflag Chinese 2000 Software Co. http://www.ch2000.com.cn/english/index.htm. This company is contributing with development of OpenOffice.org and is at the same time developing a special Chinese version that respects the special Cinese culture. As it was explained to us at the conference: "Microsoft will always try to learn us to use computers the way its done in the west. Only by developing our own office suite, we can have a suite that satisfies us and respects our culture and identity".
Just a few days before the conference opened, IBM published the news, that they will contribute to OpenOffice.org development in the future. This contribution will be from China too, because all office development, e.g. Lotus Symphony is done in China. http://www.openoffice.org/press/ibm_press_release.html

Summary from OOoCon2007 in Barcelona (I)

The conference in general
I participated in the conference on behalf of the Danish OpenOffice.org community http://da.openffice.org and my journey was sponsored by

Symfoni Software Denmark

I was invited to the conference to speak about the political process in Denmark regarding the Parliament resolution B103 and the implementation of the resolution.

The conference was held at the Barcelona University right in the middle of Barcelona. It couldn't be more central and the University gave us a perfect frame for both formal and unformal meetings. The conference was arranged by the Catalonian language project and SoftCatala http://www.softcatala.org .

The conference program was very tight and it was impossible to find the time for everything. Four tracks of presentations all day long. The most important thing for me was actually to meet all the people that I only knew from emails and blogposts. To meet these people face to face was very important and I got an impression of how huge and complex the organization behind an open source project like OpenOffice.org is.

Overview of available information
All presentations are available under each day: http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme.html

I will emphasize the Keynote speak of Louis Suárez-Potts, the community manager for OpenOffice.org: http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/wednesday_186.pdf

Here is film recording of some of the sessions: http://ooocon.kiberpipa.org/ with photos.

Here is a subset of the pictures taken:: http://flickr.com/photos/tags/ooocon2007/show/

Here is my own presentation from the conference: http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/wednesday_79.pdf

I also participated in a debate on the subject
ODF Impact on Industry and Governments: http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/friday_179.pdf arranged by Donald Harbison (Program Director, ODF Initiative / IBM ).

23 September 2007

sophie wrote:

Hi all,
Thank you very much for this conference, thanks to all the organization team, you have make it a really great event.
The university was... impressive ! but very comfortable and a lot of places to talk to each other, central in the city and easy to find (for those who had followed that it was the one in the center ;-)
Jesus, even if you don't think so, I've seen every body appreciating the catering and especially the chocolates :).
One more time, it was very nice to meet you all, and as always, to short.

Thanks again
Kind regards
And I can ony agree with Sophie. Thanks to everyone who participated in this great arrangement.

22 September 2007

Home sweet home (but Barcelona is also ok...)

I Just got back from OOoConf2007 in Barcelona.

Here is an overview of information from the conference:

All presentations are available under each day: http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme.html

I will emphesize the Keynote speak of Louis Suárez-Potts, the community manager for OpenOffice.org: http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/wednesday_186.pdf

Here is filmrecording of some of the sessions: http://ooocon.kiberpipa.org/ with photos.

Here is a subset of the pictures taken:: http://flickr.com/photos/tags/ooocon2007/show/

Here is my own presentation from the conference: http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/wednesday_79.pdf

I also participated in a debate on the subject
ODF Impact on Industry and Governments: http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/friday_179.pdf arranged by Donald Harbison (Program Director, ODF Initiative / IBM ).

21 September 2007

IBM Symphony - is it out of date ?

John McCreesh writes about IBM Symphony on his blog today here in Barcelona. He discovered that IBM Lotus Symphony, which is a very new product, is actually a modified version af OpenOffice.org 1.1.4. See http://www.mealldubh.org/index.php/2007/09/20/legal-but/.

IBM Lotus Symphony is exactly the same implementation as in Lotus Notes 8.

20 September 2007

Lunch break

As far as I'm concerned, the breaks are actually more important than the actual presentations.

Yesterday I made my presentation regarding the democratic process in Denmark and I have talked to many people yesterday and today about this and other issues. Having a smalltalk with people from Mexico, Hungary, Norway etc. gives much more deep insight of what is going on in the countries around the world than any presentation can give.

I have found out, that the Danish community is in many ways privileged by the rich society and all, but in other ways we are way behind and underprivileged. In most countries (not all) there is a much better understanding and adoption of the whole idea behind open source software and of the benefits for society. Many open source projects (open source in general and OpenOffice.org in particular) are actually sponsored or partly sponsored by governments and local governments.

Why is it, that the Danish government can't see, that open source is a strong accelerator for innovation and development ?

Image is from http://ooocon.kiberpipa.org where you can find more pictures and movies.

Mozilla and OpenOffice.org

Just a few days ago Mozilla Foundation published news about the Mozilla Calendar products (Lightning and Sunbird) will be extracted from the other Mozilla products. The Calendar project is now on their own. If this is a positive new approach or if this will leave the team on their own to die is not to say.

Today Sun Microsystems explained how Sun is contributing to the Mozilla project. Surely e-mail and calendar is the missing components in OpenOffice.org when comparing to another office suite, so it was very interesting to hear.

The project is at the moment preparing new versions with focus on supporting additional technologies e.g. small devices in the front end and more free7busy suppliers in the back end.

Better and more intuitive user interface with a new pane in the e-mail views that shows 'today at a glance'. I'm looking forward to try this and compare with e.g. Lotus Notes 8.

19 September 2007

Chinese movement (From Barcelona)

Mr. Hu Cai Yong was talking about the background for the Chinese interest in open source software and OpenOffice.org. The company RedFlag 2000 has made their own distribution of OpenOffice.org called ReadOffice. This distribution is in no way competitive to OpenOffice.org
but is more as a distribution with a Chinese spirit inside. As Mr. Hu explained:

"Other providers of office suites is trying to implement western software and a western way of thinking."
and he continued:
"Translating an application like an office suite into Chinese is far more than just translating the words in the menu".

In Chine, as an example, all letters in the alphabet is the same size. And Chinese documents should not be suppressed by western standards, just because a it's common use in North America and Europe. With open source software as OpenOffice.org, the Chinese developers can make their own version that supports the specific needs that comes from Chinese traditions and culture.

I think it was important for all participants to hear that from a Chinese point of view, open source is solving a problem that proprietary western software can never do. We from North America and Europe will never be able to solve problems that actually has its beginning in culture.

OOoCon2007 is open !

The OpenOffice.org Annual Conference opens today. If you cannot attend in person, please note that today's conference presentations are available on-line at
http://marketing.openoffice.org/ooocon2007/programme/wednesday.html and the conference sessions will be broadcast and archived at http://ooocon.kiberpipa.org

Enjoy the Conference, even if you cannot be there in person!

18 September 2007

From Barcelona

I just arrived at Barcelona a few hours ago. Despite that I got lost in the Metro, everything is fine. It's about 26 degrees centigrade, but here in the old university it's ok.

I got connected and got news that IBM will release Lotus Symphony in New York later today. It's another clone or distribution of OpenOffice.org. Information from Reuters. I hope to get some further information about it today or tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

16 September 2007

Preparing ...

Release of 2.3
Today has been the day of preparations. I'm preparing release of OpenOffice.org 2.3. Expected released tomorrow September 14th. But unfortunately all with webmaster role is out of town. So the Danish release will be delayed for about a week.

Barcelona travel
Preparing my travel to Barcelona. OOoConf2007 (http://marketing.openoffice.org/conference/index.html) is starting on Wednesday and I will go there early Tuesday morning. My flight leaves at 8:30 from Copenhagen Airport. I have been looking into the programme to see where I should participate.

I just received an email from one of the guys there, Jesús Corrius. He is warning us about the weather forecast (http://www.barcelona.com/weather_in_barcelona). His words:

Please note that between Tuesday and Wednesday the temperatures will go down significantly (3 o 4 Celsius degrees less )

I think I can live with that. Here in Copenhagen it's 15 - 18 degrees celcius during daytime (http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/danmark/regionaludsigten/kbhnsj.htm).

Barcelona presentation
Well, I made the presentation about a month ago and I don't feel I need to make any changes. Just ran through the slides to re-discover the spirit.

I'll see you in Barcelona :-)

14 September 2007

Nice article on print

It's not every day we or I get articles in the printed papers but this week I had the luck. Normally, when I speak to journalists, it's about IT matters and the articles is only on the internet sites.

I was contributing to an article, or more like a thema in a business paper this week. The paper is target small business (http://www.erhvervsbladet.dk/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070913/NEWS03/70912011/0/NEWS04).

A double page in the paper was about open source in general and OpenOffice.org in particular. Quite a nice thing and a very good target audience, I think.


  • How can I get more of this kind of artiles ?
  • How can I get out of the internet- and IT magazines and into the printed business papers ?

12 September 2007

Will B 103 end up with the opposite result ?

The Danish Parliament agreed on a pragmatic solution when the implementation plan was arranged just before the summer holidays this year. The only way to close the case at that time, was by choosing a solution with dual standards. Probably because the MP's couldn't reach consensus on a more categoric solution.

Even after the rejection of OOXML from ISO, the Danish Government still wants Microsoft at the table. Even after we have seen ridiculous attempts of couping National Boards in Sweden, Norway, Malaysia and even Denmark. Still, the Danish government wants to kiss with Microsoft.

Now it shows, that the reaction from the local IT-managers might be in contradiction with the 'soul' of the resolution. According to this article https://www.sam-data.dk/artikler/artikel.asp?id=82 (in Danish, sorry) from one of the largest and most respected trade unions HK, the result is, that IT managers is beginning to hoard solutions based on OOXML.

The reason is, that the Parliament agreed on a one year trial period, where Microsoft should prove the openness of OOXML. But now that ISO has rejected OOXML as an international standard for office documents, people are beginning to get scarred. Will OOXML eventually be accepted ? Projects that might not even be mature, is started, just to get a Microsoft solution.

Dear Folketing (that the Danish Parliament):
Stop this now. Close the case and send Microsoft home until they can come up with a good explanation. ...And a useful and reasonable document format for our files.

11 September 2007

ISO seems to be listening

On several occasions I have been writing about the huge problems ISO is facing after the fast track process with MSOOML. E.g. http://lodahl.blogspot.com/2007/08/money-talks-bullshit-walks.html and http://lodahl.blogspot.com/2007/08/microsoft-coup.html.

Charles-H. Schulz is writing about the same subject

Now it seems that ISO is waking up. Please see this article: ISO reforms proposed in response to OOXML shenanigans By Ryan Paul Published: September 07, 2007.

10 September 2007

IBM joins OpenOfficeorg community

I'm very pleased to find IBM taking part of the community behind OpenOffice.org.


Things I should do (if I had the time)...

  • Research and investigate OpenOffice.org Extensions. I am interested in the technical path, but also the marketing issue. I think extensions deserve more focus. So far I have managed to create extensions with templates, but how do I create an extension with gallery items ?
  • Prepare my speak at OOoConf2007 in Barcelona next week.
  • Harvest and upload some more words from articles on the Internet. The new Danish spell checker needs help, and this is one way I can help. I don't have language skills to help with the linguistic work.
  • Investigate Gimp (www.gimp.org) and Inkscape (www.inkscapre.org) works. I must find out how to use these wonderful graphical applications

09 September 2007

Open source for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs often don't require comprehensive compatibility from their computer systems. They need a few applications that can solve the every day needs. In most cases a cheep computer and open source software in conjunction with free Internet services can solve the tasks. As a consequense of that, more capital can be invested in developing the company.

A couple of days ago, I gave an interview to a journalist who asked me why open source software is god for entrepreneurs. When an entrepreneur is starting a new company, like a constructions worker or so, the person needs to spend as much time working as possible. Day-to-day administration like time registration, invoicing and budgets should be as simple and easy as possible. The most important IT task is often accounting and that should be handed to a professional. The same solution should be used when the talk comes to marketing and website. Ask the professionals for help and pay the bill. The final result will be much better, and the entrepreneur can spend his or her time developing the company. Outsourcing is the solution, unless the entrepreneur has the required accounting skills. When the company is established, these tasks might be insourced.

At the same time, as much capital as possible should be invested in developing the production and find customers. So every penny you can avoid spending on expensive software, can instead be invested in the key activities in the company. Business development. If you buy computers and software for all possible tasks, you will need thousands of dollars. If you try to look at the requirements with pragmatic eyes, you will find that most tasks can be solved with open source software or Internet services free of charge (e.g. Google Docs and Google Calendar). Even complicated tasks like time planning and financial calculations can be solved quite easily if ou find the right solutions and combinations.

When the company matures and grow, the entrepreneur has the choise between buying commercial software or stay with free, open and independant software.

So, when you start a new company your success is not depending on buying computers and expensive software. On the contrary, you should spend as little time and money on the computer as possible.

07 September 2007

More scandals revealed

Some time ago (just a few days later than the Swedish scandal was revealed), one of the members of the Danish TC said, that the process in Denmark had been very serious and fair. Quote from my blog:

A representative from The municipal of Århus, Jens Kjellerup, says that the meetings in Denmark was alright and fair (http://www.computerworld.dk/art/41082).

And the result was: Consensus NO !

I am proud to be Danish on such good day.

But now, after the result has been published, more and more details is coming out of the dark. It seems as if Microsoft in Denmark has playing dirty tricks during the process too. Of cause Microsoft in Denmark denies that they have tried to put any pressure on their business partners. But they have send this letter (Letter to business partners) and this e-mail (e-mail to some business partners). From an anonymous source (Microsoft business partner), we hear that he felt a huge pressure (http://www.version2.dk/artikel/3759).

How come ?

You must know about how it works, that Microsoft business partner thing - If Microsoft likes you, you will get leads. And leads is cash. Microsoft never sell software directly. Everything goes through the partner channel, and if Microsoft recieves an order from a customer directly, they will post this as a lead to one of their partners. The partner will then post an order with Microsoft and get commission like 30% of the turnover. Leads is cash.

In one of the letters, Microsoft asked if the partner would be willing to answer questions from a journalist called Thomas Breinstrup from the newspaper Berlingske Tidende.

Translation of the words:

Would you take a position and contact the National IT- and Tele agency ?
Can Berlingske Tidende, Thomas Breinstrup call you and ask some questions about your opinion ?
Finally, could you contact Danish Standards about the subject ?

The problem was, that Thomas Breinstrup didn't know anything about this letter before yesterday.

Ask if it's clever to misuse one of the most respected and well spoken Danish journalists ? No. It's wise to stay friends with the press. One of the headlines today was: "Microsoft lobbying must have consequenses" and another "Corrupt countires love Microsoft standards".

05 September 2007

Future adoption of ODF ?

Bob Sutor talks about the future here and he expects to see more adoptions of OASIS ODF in the public sector. Well I hope Bob is right. But I also fear that Microsoft will continue the FUD and lobbying as usual.

According to the Danish minister of Science and IT, the ISO rejection of OOXML will not have any impact on the process in Denmark. The Danish decision to use two standards was not depending on you-know-who to be approved by ISO.

The Danish decision is requiring that OOXML can prove its openness. And the Parliament is watching the situation closely. What we hope is, that the extreme aggressive lobbying and the in many ways dirty tricks used, will be the drop.

For instance you can take a look at this analyzing of the votes in conjunction with the official corruption index. Guess what: The most corrupted countries voted yes.

04 September 2007


A ballot on whether to publish the draft standard ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology – Office Open XML file formats, as an International Standard by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) has not achieved the required number of votes for approval.

Can it be said any more clearly ?

Case closed !......for now.

Andy Updegrove predicts ...

Very few people dares to predict the result of the voting in ISO. Andy Updegrove takes the leaf of his mouth and says: "Microsoft will fail !"


03 September 2007

News in OpenOffice.org 2.3

It won't be long now. In a few weeks you can expect to see OpenOffice.org 2.3 on the street. But witch new features can you expect to find when you get your hands on it ?

This version is what's called a major release. Several new features is revealed here. Lets see now...

First of all, you will find a brand new way of creating charts. You can create very comprehensive charts from a various of data types.

You can find more information about the new charts here: http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Chart2/Features2.3

The next thing you will find, is the report builder in Base. From now on, it's very easy to create nice reports from your data tables in Base. Read more about the report builder here: http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/SUN_Report_Builder

A very small, but useful new feature is the ability to export a text document as MediaWiki text. If you are writing Wiki text from time to time, I think you will find this little feature very useful.

Extensions are now capable of creating additional settings in OpenOffice.org.

When ?
Well, the release is planned for medio September. Lets hope that the plans hold.

01 September 2007

Denmark will vote NO !

It's official now. Denmark will vote no with (64 pages of) comments. Here is the press release in Danish.

We have won this battle, but the war is not over yet.

I just got an email from Dansk Standard that Denmark will vote no with comments. The 64 pages of comments was obviously too heavy and too important.

Dansk Standard has been under heavy pressure over the last week, because of the Swedish case.

Translater here.


How do you say 'No OOXML, thank you' in your language ?
-please leave a comment.

In Dansh, it's 'OOXML, nej tak'

39644 people has signed the petition so far.