Lodahl's blog: 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007

28 November 2007

Whats up duck ?

I haven't been blogging that much lately. Sorry, but I feel rather busy at the moment.

And then of cause
  • I promised my family to be present once in a while. On Saturday I think we will all go to the movie theater together. Perhaps I should ask my wife out for dinner too. Yes, this is a high priority task on the list :-)

26 November 2007

The history of open standards

or

the first 21st
Century Format War
How did it all begin, this thing about open standards and wow did it suddenly become very much like a war against one company ?

Can anyone remember ?

Andy Updegrove has decided to write the story about open document standards and the war between Microsoft and the rest of the World. And he is asking for your help to get all the details. The attention is to release it as an eBook when done.

You can read the first chapter here: http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20071125145159900

23 November 2007

Answer from IBM

Douglas Heintzman, Director of Strategy has answered my questions here

We do plan to incorporate the most recent code form open office as soon as we can into Symphony. The question of which features, such as otx files, get in and get in first is a mater of prioritization. Much of this prioritization is being driven by user feedback.
Hmm... And what does that mean ?
I guess that IBM actually don't know where and when. I'm sure that IBM will do a great contribution to the community and from this answer I can read that IBM plans to keep up with the code line in OpenOffice.org. But when this will happen is unfortunately still unclear. It could be great if we could tell existing Lotus Notes users, that they don't have to go to open standards because open standards will come to them.

22 November 2007

3522 comments on ECMA OOXML

...thats a lot.

662 proposed dispositions of comments posted ( http://www.ecma-international.org/news/TC45_current_work/First%20group%20of%20662%20proposed%20dispositions%20of%20comments%20posted.htm ) on the ECMA portal. Unfortunately we are not able to see neither comments or how ECMA is acting on them. According to Brian Jones ( http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/archive/2007/11/19/update-on-open-xml-s-iso-progress.aspx ) from Microsoft and member of the TC45, the ISO regulations forbids the members to reveille anything from the process. It would be nice if we could follow the work in an open forum.

Charles-H. Schulz comments on this lack of transparency on his blog here: http://standardsandfreedom.net/index.php/2007/11/22/where-did-you-go-publicity-what-have-you-become-transparency/

The answer might be a complete new and more modern way of handling development of standards. Please take a few minutes to read the feature article from the newsletter Standards Today distribuated by ConsordiumInfo.org (Gesmer & Updegrove):
http://www.consortiuminfo.org/bulletins/#feature

19 November 2007

Gartner: Long term trends

In my previous post It's not enough that the IT solutions works
http://lodahl.blogspot.com/2007/11/its-not-enough-that-it-solutions-works.html I discussed the fact that open source software is challenging the traditional software marked.

In my blog post, I recommend that the declining cost is used as investments in new and valuable software like collaboration software or other software that adds value and supports the business processes.

Gartner Group has just revealed a report about Long-Term Trends That Will Radically Alter Licensing in the Software Market
http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?id=533714.

This report is discussed in the computer magazine C|net

We would advise IT organizations to use BPO (business process outsourcing) and open-source alternatives to improve their negotiating power with software suppliers, as well as employing the emergence of third-party vendors as a means to reduce higher maintenance fees on older versions of software,

http://www.news.com/Software-licensing-costs-predicted-to-fall/2100-1011_3-6219263.html

According to Gartner, the software prices will decrease in the upcoming decade. The reduction is caused by several things in the marked:
  1. Increased Use of BPO (business process outsourcing)
  2. Increased Use of SaaS (software as a service)
  3. Low-Cost Development Locations Combined With Modular Architectures
  4. The Emergence of Third-Party Support Offerings
  5. Growing Interest in Open-Source Software
  6. Emerging Chinese Software Companies
  7. Rapid Expansion of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian Markets Drives Demand for Lower Costs

18 November 2007

It's not enough that the IT solutions works

-Solutions needs to add value !

Traditionally we think of laptops, servers, network, Windows operating system and pc programs when the talk comes to IT in business matters. But if you want to get the best of your IT investments, it's important that you don't make your discissions based on the amount of features and functions. Much more important things must be taken into consideration.

It's no big deal to buy a new server or to install an update to the database system. The challenge comes when we want to exchange the new technology into actual valuable working processes in the organization. One of the conditions for creating value is that the staff, customers, subcontractors and so on can and will learn how to use what comes from the investments. This can only happen if the investments has been

  1. based on business needs
    not from what others do or what you think would be a nice geek. The organizational needs must be covered up front, so that the solution can help improve the collaborative processes in the right direction.
  2. introduced during a successful implementation
    not only from a technical perspective, but also from an organizational perspective. Users must be involved, so the solution is set up to match the individual needs.
  3. adopted in a way that suits the business needs
    This is unfortunately not always the case in real life. Education and full introduction is necessary to get a successful implementation.

Today, words like Web2.0, mobile access and on demand as well as the technology behind it, is setting the agenda. Everything must be accessible from the web and from mobile devices. For instance, users can read mail and see customer information from CRM systems. Mobile access has limited functionality, but covers most of the needs.

We are going away from the traditional computer installed program. The trend is going towards focusing less on individual features and we accept that the applications work a little bit different from what we are used to.

This is a healthy development, because it's more important that a function is adding value to the people using it, for instance by enhancing collaboration, than adding a bunch of new buttons. Many has already discovered this by changing from Microsoft Office to the free and open OpenOffice.org. With a simular investment you can both install the software (free) and develop templates and macros as well as train the users in how it works. This is because the expenses moved from licenses to organizational implementation.

By doing this, you spend money on adding value, not only on making it work

15 November 2007

OpenDocument Foundation closes up shop after slamming OpenDocument Format

By Ryan Paul | Published: November 13, 2007 - 11:46PM CT

The OpenDocument Foundation, a little-known industry group that was originally created to promote the OpenDocument Format (ODF), has closed its doors after controversially dropping support for ODF in favor of an obscure W3C format.
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071113-opendocument-foundation-closes-up-shop-after-slamming-opendocument-format.html

14 November 2007

My mobile reached the next level: ODF files

As a regular user of OpenOffice.org, I have a lot of text and spreadsheet files on my computer. Some of these documents is stored as attachments in my mail box and in a file repository called Symfoni eOffice. I can access both mail and repository from my mobile phone (Nokia 6120 Classic), but until recently, I couldn't open my OpenDocument files.

Now my mobile has reached the next level !

This ODF file reader (Mobile Office) is easily to download and install and both text files, spreadsheets and presentations opens nicely. Okay, the screen is small, but I can actually read the documents.


http://www.sept-solutions.de/English/office_download.php

12 November 2007

Questions for IBM

In the late summer IBM announced their support to the OpenOffice.org community and about a week later, they announced a new free (of charge) product, IBM Lotus Symphony. The new product is basically a stand-alone version of the productivity tools in Lotus Notes 8.

If you ask me, I think it's great that IBM is now standing up behind OpenOffice.org together with other large companies and I think it looks great that IBM will contribute with better acceptability and usability, I'm sure that OpenOffice.org can take advantage of that. Just have a look at the work IBM did to make Symphony look that nice.

I'm using Lotus Notes 8 from IBM and I think it shows that IBM Lotus is going in the right direction. But I still need answers for two questions:

  1. Will IBM Lotus productivity tools (in whatever product package you get them) follow the OpenOffice.org code line in the future ?
    The version we use now is a very old OpenOffice.org
  2. Will IBM Lotus productivity tools support OpenOffice.org extensions (oxt-files) ?
I would very much like to tell customers that the IBM Lotus product line is on the right track, but I can't do this as long as the code is more than two years old and doesn't support one of the most important and most significant improvements in OpenOffice.org.

I have tried to ask around at IBM in Denmark without luck. If anyone here can find out who can answer these question, please let me know.

08 November 2007

Election for Parliament

Sorry about my absence on the blog recently.

On Tuesday there is election for the Danish Parliament and I have been working on some political issues lately. I'm preparing a letter to the new Parliament regarding the implementation of open standards in the public administration in Denmark. Further more I've had the opportunity to meet some of the MP's (and some new candidates) and talked about OpenOffice.org and open source software.

This election can be important. The opposition parties are primarily positive to open source and open standards and the parties in the existing government is mostly against interception of 'free enterprise' (Microsoft). If we get a new government, we can expect to see a change in opinion in the Ministries. But, don't expect to see things change over night.

You know politicians.

01 November 2007

Lotus Symphony Linux Beta Review

This review of IBM Lotus Symphony on Linux http://polishlinux.org/apps/openofficeorg/lotus-symphony-linux-beta-review/ by Borys Musielak is actually quite positive:

Lotus Symphony is a really interesting initiative. There’s a great need of competition on the office suites (especially those that support the ODF format) market.
The positive outcome of the document support issue surprised me:
Testing results were quite positive for Lotus (it was a little surprise for me). Lotus viewed most of the tested documents (text documents and presentations) correctly. Documents had a little visual differences, but — and this is crucial for me — files created using Writer and then saved in Lotus, were identical after reopening them on OpenOffice Writer.
There is, on the other hand also some negative things:
In comparison to KOffice or Abiword (both can compete with OO.org on the efficiency and better graphical environments like GNOME and KDE cooperation fields) Lotus Symphony has nothing to impress us (except of few little functions).