Lodahl's blog: 2008

30 December 2008

Sanders expert report is ready

Helge Sander, Danish Minister of Science and Technology earlier this year asked an expert committee to look into the technical and legal implications of the introduction of two standards for documents in the government. The report is now ready.

The committee consists of

  • Professor dr. jur. Mads Bryde Andersen, University of Copenhagen (Chairman)
  • Associate Professor Jens Hørlück, Aarhus University
  • IT centerchef Jorgen Kristensen, Association of Local IT managers
  • Professor Kim V. Andersen, CBS
  • Professor Mogens Kühn Pedersen, CBS
The report is mainly a review and summation of said words in the matter and the committee does not take their own opinion. It seems a little disappointing, because the committee members probably could find something more meaningfull to do than to quote what others have said and written.

The only new topic the report brings to light is a recommendation of the PDF format for final documents. One detail that has previously been completely overlooked in the political debate. The few conclusions in the report is so vague that it is almost comical. Among other things, the conclusion is ...
In summary, the Committee believes that interoperability between ODF and OOXML continues to represent a challenge.
It is another way of saying ...
It is not possible to achieve full interoperability between OOXML and ODF. The two formats is simply not interoperabile.
It is, I believe so uncritical that it becoms self-contradictory in some areas. Among others the report includes Ramboll Management TCO reports quite indiscriminate, despite the fact that these reports are made on a critisized base and criticized by many. The reports from Ramboll are by many regarded as worthless. One of the TCO report's assumptions were that every document needed ten minutes to convert. A prerequisite as Ramboll Management itself points out is a very sensitive parameter: Changing this parameter just a little bit, will change the conclusion in the report.

Expert Committee's report emphasizes that the imposition of the PDF format for final documents will end up with only a small part of the existing documents should be converted. It disappoints me very much that the report does not identify that this observation makes TCO report by Ramboll Management inappropriate in context.

In addition, the ISO approval of OOXML is concidered as the final conclusion that the OOXML is an open and appropriate standard. This despite the fact that even Dansih Standards recognizes that the approval process was perhaps not completely clean and OOXML might not be quite as qualified as it seems.

The experts completely ignores the world around us. I believe that we in Denmark can't take such decisions without first looking around us. The countries which we usually compare ourselves with, may have been through similar problems. But the report is also completely ignoring this.

Repport from IT-og Teleagency : http://budurl.com/ekspert
Computerworld.dk: http://www.computerworld.dk/art/49464

Unfortunately there isn't an English translation, but you can try with Google Translate here: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fbudurl.com%2Fekspert&sl=da&tl=en&history_state0=

20 December 2008

The market opportunity for OpenOffice.org integrations

My friend Roberto Galoppini speaks about business opportunities in the market for migrating customers from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice.org. Roberto think that many of the technical difficulties that we are facing should be taken care of by Sun Microsystems. Robertos blogpost was even refered to by infoworld.com here: http://weblog.infoworld.com/openresource/archives/2008/12/the_market_oppo.html

When I speak to customers about taking Openoffice.org into consideration the talk often comes to mission critical business software and integration. Not long ago, I had a good talk with a company (large public energy provider). There is no doubt that they have a good business case: more than 2.000 thousand users. They would like to look into OpenOffice.org (and other F/OSS software applications), but when we began counting, we found more than 100 individual pieces of integration.

The same thing with many other companies:

  • Edit your website with your favorite text editor and save directly to your website (CMS integration).
  • From you customer register (CRM), do mail merge directly.
  • Ask the bookkeeper to give you an overview of next month cash flow. You will get the result as a spreadsheet. The report from ERP will be created directly.
Roberto writes on his blog ( http://robertogaloppini.net/tag/openoffice-migration/ )that Sun Microsystems should help contributing to this problem. I disagree. Not that we don't need Sun, but Sun is already doing what they can and we shouldn't point our fingers at sun all the time.

Sun is already contributing (with IBM and others) to a project to ODF-Toolkit ( http://odftoolkit.openoffice.org/ ) and a few extensions e.g. Sun Wiki Publisher ( http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/wikipublisher ) and Weblog Publisher ( http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/swp ).

Sun Microsystems are already deeply involved with this and what we need is that other IT companies will join the case and create extensions. Whats more important is, that local (domestic) companies will begin to listen to their customers and provide a real choice. Today many companies doesn't actually have a choice. The provider of ERP is making the choice for them.

The market places are different. I Denmark Sun is not an active participant. Sun StarOffice ( http://www.sun.com/software/staroffice/ ) doesn't come in Danish and there is no Danish certified business partners. Not a single provider that can use the various migration tools Sun provides. This open for a new business opportunities. Small companies and freelance consultants has a good chance to find a business in this segment. In other market places the situation is different and the businesses is to be found individually in each country.

16 December 2008

[Update]Tønder Municipality behind Free IT Software for all Schoolchildren

12 December 2008

PRESS RELEASE

Tønder Municipality behind Free IT Software for all Schoolchildren

In cooperation with the National Software Knowledge Centre under the National IT and Telecom Agency, USB sticks with free Open Source programs will be distributed to all schoolchildren on Wednesday.

...

Tønder Taking the Lead

Morten Kristoffer Hansen, Head of Section in the Knowledge Centre, is very pleased with the initiative taken by Tønder Municipality, and he hopes that this may be an eye-opener for other municipalities in Denmark in relation to the use of Open Source.

- We were contacted by the people in Tønder, and did not doubt for a moment that this project was a good one. We entered into it as a pilot project - not least because Tønder Municipality cherishes the principle that Open Source is to be used - "if it is good enough", and it is definitely "good enough" in this case. So the strategy in this southern part of Jutland is clear: Tønder will be a municipality that takes the lead and shows the way to others. The strategy of Tønder is also quite in line with "Open Source Software in the Public Sector", a recent publication from the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, which calls for Open Source to be used "where value is generated".

In addition, the project of distributing USB sticks can only be realised in view of one of the basic rights of Open Source, namely that programs are allowed to be redistributed to others. In this way, we do our share in focusing on the potential of Open Source software, emphasising that it works and is free.

It is quite exciting - and the fact that we can also help in giving all schoolchildren in Tønder Municipality a Christmas present is even more satisfactory, says Morten Kristoffer Hansen.

http://www.softwareborsen.dk/blog/nyhedsblog/archive/2008/12/16/tonder-municipality-behind-free-it-software-for-all-schoolchildren
Danish article on Business.dk (translated into English): http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.business.dk%2Farticle%2F20081218%2Ftechmobil%2F81218092%2F&sl=da&tl=en
(Please note that 'Barrel' is the English word for the city name 'Tønder'.)

08 December 2008

Extension: Sun Weblog Publisher

Extension: Sun Weblog publisher

This post is a actually writen in OpenOffice.org Writer and published directly on the blog. I'm using the Sun Weblog publisher.

After installing the extension you must first register your blog account information. You can do that from the extension manager or you can find do it from Tools – Settings – Internet – Weblog.

When you have writen our blogpost in writer, just select Files – Send – To Weblog.

As you can see on the screen dump above, the extension has some problems with localized strings. In this screen its mostly Swedish, but mixed with English. In other screens its a mix of Danish, English and Spanish.

When I post the entry to www.blogger.com I get an error 8in Swedish again) telling me, that the browser couldn't be found.Actually I had to edit the post manually, because the image didn't upload correctly and I couldn't add tags to the post.

It should be possible to load a list of recent posts (and edit them?). I can't make that work. The list is always empty.

Sun Weblog Publisher

http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/swp


06 December 2008

Extension: Lorem ipsum

This free extension generates Lorem ipsum dummy text from www.lipsum.com. I made this one my self by the way.

When you install this extension you will se another icon in the icon bar. Click the icon and you will see a dialog, where you can select how much Lorem Ipsum text you want. Select a number and select paragraph, words, bytes or list.

You can also choose if your tex should begin with 'Lorem ipsum dolor ...'


This screen shot is in Danish, but if you are using another language, you will see the English version.

Using this extension requires access to the Internet because the text is provided by a service from http://www.lipsum.com. The extension itself doesn't contain any Lorem Ipsum text.

The result will be some text that has no meaning, but can be used e.g. to test a template or to show a brochure without any content.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut adipiscing mauris. Etiam aliquam eros sed nisl. Praesent sapien. Quisque fermentum varius nulla. Praesent erat pede, facilisis sed, euismod eget, euismod at, dui. Duis elementum rhoncus risus. Pellentesque blandit, mi et volutpat aliquam, est justo vehicula lectus, vitae porttitor arcu mi et erat. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; In adipiscing sem eu ipsum. In pretium risus eu magna. Donec porttitor eleifend magna. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Pellentesque sagittis cursus lorem. Aenean vel risus. Etiam pretium. Morbi nibh. Cras magna dui, volutpat et, elementum sit amet, vulputate sed, sapien. Vestibulum volutpat gravida eros. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Donec tristique ligula at nisl

I created this extension when I was investigating the phenomenon a couple of years ago. I used this as a showcase. Later on, I found that this extra little action button in OpenOffice.org Writer is rather valuable to me.

05 December 2008

SVG Import

This is an absolute must have extension. SVG is a free format for scalable vector graphics. Vector graphics can be resized and rotation can be changed without loose of quality as you will experience with normal bitmaps. In the future, SVG is expected to be integrated in OpenOffice.org but until then this extension is what you need.

SVG-Import: http://www.ipd.uka.de/~hauma/svg-import
OpenClipart: http://www.openclipart.org/

04 December 2008

Extension: Template changer

With this extension you wll see to new menu items in Files - Templates that makes it possible for you to change template for one document or for all documents in a specific folder. All styles in the document(s) will be replaced by styles from the newly loaded template.

This extension is translated into several languages.

Template Changer: http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/templatechanger
More extensions: http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/

03 December 2008

clker.com openoffice.org addon

This extension is an example of how an extension to OpenOffice.org can make internet services available directly in OpenOffice.org. Clker.com is a website with free clip art. The site is funded by advertising. The service operates in the way that you register on the site and adding various clip art to your cart (you can also download them).

Through this extension to OpenOffice.org, you can retrieve your clip art directly into the document, without having to open your Web browser and download the images.

It irritates me a little, that the extension doesn't remember my account info from time to time.

clker.com openoffice.org addon

http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/clker_com

clker.com

http://www.clker.com/

More extensions

http://extensions.services.openoffice.org

02 December 2008

Extension: mOOo

It sounds like a cow and the logo is a cow. The name stands for Mobile OpenOffice.org and the project target is to create several individual applications for OpenOffice.org and mobile phones. The project is a school project.

The first application from this project makes it possible for you to control your Impress presentation from your mobile phone using Bluetooth technology. So now you can walk around and navigate your slides without having to return to your computer every time.

The solution consist of two parts: An extension for OpenOffice.org Impress and a Java application for your mobile phone. Before you begin the presentation, you will connect the two devices.

I have used this on a few occations and I feel its very nice to be independant fom my computer. It's quite easy to hold the mobile descrete in your hand and the navigation is ok. Only I would like the OK-button to navigate forward. The application even keeps track of time on the mobile display. Unfortunately it is not the time from the presentation started, bu from when the application was launched. Ok, I can live with that.

Be carefull: The application is still beta and I have found that it can make OpenOffice.org crash ! Lucky for me it didn't happen during the presentation.

Please remember to put the mobile on silent first.

The extension for Impress: http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/moooic
The Java application for your mobile: https://mooo.dev.java.net/

Extensions for OpenOffice.org

One of the nice features in OpenOffice.org is the ability to develop and publish extensions. The extension philosophy has been very well implemented in other f/oss projects and who doesn't have a bunch of Firefox extensions installed already.

The OpenOffice.org extension repository now consist of several hundred (perhaps thousand?) more or less nifty little things. In the monthly newsletter that I deistribute from the Danish community I have introduced extension of the month. I have done this for several reasons. First of all to put focus on the extension way of doing things, but also to focus on what is actually possible to do with OpenOffice.org. It is my hope that more Danish developers and OpenOffice.org users will work with and use extensions more in the future.

I will try to put some of the extensions to your attention in the future here on my blog.

30 November 2008

Newsletter

The monthly newsletter from the Danish community is out: http://doc.oooforum.dk/Nyhed/2008December.pdf

28 November 2008

The Internet - not all success

Over the last 10-15 years the Internet has become every ones daily tool.
We use Facebook, twitter, we blog and search for news and knowledge. We can find a satellite overview of almost any place on earth, and even the star heaven can be browsed.

Most of it is progress, compared two the times before Internet

I've been involved with computers and IT for about two decades now. I remember when we first head about electronic mail (later it became e-mail). First as a new way to communicate internally, but soon also with external contacts. It took a few years before we could rely on this new kind of communication media because not all contacts ad access to an e-mail account and even if they had, we couldn't be sure that the account was actually used. Computers was not a common thing.

I can find very few things that are not so good. I'll try to explain one of the major mistakes when the Internet was (commonly) implemented in the early nineteens: The personal e-mail account. Well as a private person it's ok, but in professional life, it was a big big mistake.

The problem today in a large company is, that correspondence, whether it is outgoing, incoming or internal, is stored in individual databases or tables. E-mails belong to the owner of the mail account and not to the employer. Of cause, legally, it might belong to the company, but technically, it's individual stored in different places.

One of the consequences is additional expenses is, that companies are investing huge amounts of money in additional software. For two major reasons:

  • The law dictates that the company is responsible for storing and keeping any evidence intact
  • Our daily work dictates a need for transparency in communication

Doing that, is fighting symptoms.

Why don't we solve the original problem and redirect all in- and outgoing mail to one common or a few departmental mailboxes and suspend all personal mail account in the company ?

I don't know about you, but I think I'll need a few weeks to get used to it. But perhaps it could help?

15 November 2008

Why not Lotus Symphony right away ?

As I often advocate for OpenOffice.org in both private and business societies, I get questions about Lotus Symphony and Lotus Notes 8 from time to time. My advise to companies that are already using Lotus Notes is, to take Lotus Symphony serious as a future possibility. Right now I say: "Use Openoffice.org 3.0".

The reason for not advocating Lotus Symphony at the present time is, that the application is basically build on old code. If you look at it from a functions- and features perspective, the Lotus Symphony is not as rich as OpenOffice.org. At the same tim IBM has been very closed when it comes to information about the actual plans. Last autumn I asked IBM if there where plans to move from OOo 1.x code base to 3.x code base. I also asked if IBM had plans to implement support for extensions. No reply. During this years OpenOffice.org Conference IBM announced that there are plans to elevate the application to OOo 3 code base but still no time frame for the plans (did I miss something?). That is the reason why I put Lotus Symphony 'on hold' as the best alternative for the moment. I hope IBM will show me that they can do better, but at the time that happens, a lot of customers will be using OpenOffice.org. With a clear and accurate time plan for the development of Lotus Symphony, lots of customers might be able to make another decision.

I see a lot of good perspective in Lotus Notes in the future. It give meaning to build productivity tools on the same (eclipse) platform and the screencasts I have seen so far from Notes 8.5 looks nice. Imaging composite applications with Lotus Notes, Websites and a spreadsheet or text document ? It gives very good meaning.

02 November 2008

3.0 and all

The third generation of OpenOffice.org was released last month. The release generated a lot of downloads from all over the world, and for the first time we could see that the servers gave up. Statistics for the first day was rather inaccurate but on the second day, we could see the Dansih version downloaded more than 13.000 times.

Last week I participated in a TV program on Danish National Television DR1. 24 minutes about open s ource software on prime time. The Ubuntu community could measure a 5-double of website acivity and the OpenOffice.org community could see a +30% activity on downloads. Great. And I can now call me the first and only official IT-Hippie in Denmark. Well, I can live with that.

The TV program was very nice. A family of four accepted to give up all Microsoft Software for two weeks. All computers was replaced with open source software (surpise: the family survived).

I was very happy to di a live presentation of OpenOfffice.org 3.0 at the Ubuntu release party in Copenhagen on saturday. Unfortunately Ubuntu has decided not to include 3.0 in Ubuntu 8.10. Unfortunately my Linux box was 'at the hospital' that day and had to do the presentation on Windows. Ok, I think the Ubuntu community can accept that. Thanks to the guys that fixed my computer at the event.

19 October 2008

Sorry ......I'we been busy

Sorry, it's been some time since I'we blogged. The reason is that I'we been busy QA'ing, releasing and talking about OpenOffice.org 3.0.

Four (okay three and a half) release candidates through QA and the finally coordinate the final release. From distance this time. I was on vacation in Berlin, Germany at the time of release. So I might have sounded a little confused when a journalist called me and asked, what I had to say about the website was unreachable. Okay, thats what happens!

The worst is, that the download is still s...l...o...w. I think we need to think about mirroring in the future and how to ballance the trafic. To me it seems that the balancing (bouncer) is the problem. If you try to reach one of the servers directly, you will actually get the software. Problem no two is, that the statistics runs on the bouncer network, not on the mirror. So direct downloads are not messured. On the other hand; attempts through bouncer that fails, are actually counted as downloads.

If you ask me, the statistics are useless at this moment.

28 September 2008

25 September 2008

Congratulation Charles-H (and OpenOffice.org)

Charles-H Schulz writes on his private blog:

Yesterday I was honored to receive the “Lutèce d’Or” trophy on behalf of the OpenOffice.org Project from the hands of Mr Besson, Minister of the Prospective and Digital Technologies of the French Republic. There was a standing ovation, but this one was not so much dedicated to my humble person than it was to the OpenOffice.org project and its members.

Congratulations to Charles-H and OpenOffice.org.

22 September 2008

Danish readers: Join group on Facebook

Join the group Jeg bruger også OpenOffice.org on Facebook and let us count how many users we actually are

http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=40447480420

21 September 2008

Everyday should be freedom day

Yesterday I spoke at the Software Freedom Day at Copenhagen Business School. I spoke about my view of the expression Software Freedom. I also gave a brief demonstration of the new features in OpenOffice.org 3.0. The concentration was about the ability to open pdf files for editing in Draw and to save (or export) pdf files as hybrid.

But also the new commenting feature (create a note) found some intereset among people. I explainen that comments could be shared with friends and kollegeas that are using MS Office too. A guy from the audience asked me if the function that registers changes in OpenOffice.org was compatibel with the simular function in MS Office. I had to admit that I couldn't answer that question at the scene.

When I got home from the arrangement I tried to create a document in OpenOffice.org and register som changes. The I saved the document as .doc. I opened the document with MS Office 2003 and I could clearly see and work with the changes. I made some further changes in MS Office 2003 and saved the document again. I then openned the document in OpenOffice.org again and the changes made with MS Office 2003 was tracked as changes and I could approve or dismess the changes as they where made with OpenOffice.org.

Conclusion
The funcion Track changes in OpenOffice.org is fully competibal with Micrsoft Office 2003. Because OpenOffice.org does not write MS Office 2007 format, the track-trace function is obviously not compatible with that format. But I would expect OpenOffice.org 3.0 to show track-trace information when reading files in .docx format but this is not something I have been testing.

18 September 2008

Busy upcomming weeks ...

This weekend I'l be speaking at Software Freedom Day in Copenhagen. It takes place on Saturday at Copenhagen Business School. I think I'll talk about my own pesonal view of the expression Software Freedom first.

I'm sure I'll be able to find a few minutes talking about OpenOffice.org 3.0 from a users point of view.

If you have the time and if you live in Copenhagen or sourounding areas, I'll recommend this event.

http://softwarefreedomday.org/teams/europe/denmark/copenhagen

Then of cause we are waiting for OpenOffice.org 3.0 to be released. I hope that September 30th. 2008 is the final release date.

October 3th. and 4th. the annual conference OpenSource Days will take place at IT-University in Copenhagen. Friday I'll be there representing the company and on Saturday I'll be there on behalf of the OpenOffice.org Community. Well that was the plan from the beginning. ...But I have promissed the conference to work as Chairman for one of the tracks. I hope to find some time to talk with people between the tracks

16 September 2008

I made a small update to my first (and so far only) openoffice.org Extension Lorem Ipsum Generator extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/Lorem_ipsum_generator.

This small nifty extension shows as an extra icon in Writer. With a click, you can fetch a piece of true Lorem Ipsum text from www.lipsum.com.

This time I added some error handling to prevent the macro to stop (and show the Basic IDE) if the user don't have access to the internet or if he website www.lipsum.com is down.

14 September 2008

Who are 'they' ?

I recently found a discussion on our Danish forum (http://www.oooforum.dk) about language tools. One of the participants wrote:

It will be nice when they get automatic grammar checking implemented in OpenOffice.org.

Yeah that's right. But who are 'they' ? Do we expect the OpenOffice.org development team to create a Danish language tool ? I hope not. Danish language tools must be developed by Danes.

Get up on the horse and participate. We have space for many more !

12 September 2008

Advise: before you switch to Linux

I'm pretty sure that I will stick with Linux from now on. I have had some problems on the way, but now I feel quite comfortable with my 'new' computer.

I'll give you a few advises before you decide to switch:
Find out witch programs you actually use on your computer. Do it very accurate, for example by making notes about it every day for about two weeks. Then, put priority on the applications. How often you use the programs and how important they are for you.

Also have in mind that some services on the Internet like homebanking and online shopping might be a problem. Not all banks and webshops actually accepts any other browser than Internet Explorer. Sad, but true.

Now find out if your most important applications exists for Linux. Many free software are actually available on many platforms. The applications that doesn't work on Linux must be replaced by alternatives. Do some research on the Internet about alternatives. If you for instance use MSN you can easily transfer your account to another application called Pidgin. It's just a question of finding the alternatives.

If you need help to find the best alternatives, don't mind asking questions. There are many people willing to help you. Search the internet and ask questions on forums and in communities.

A good database with 'alternative' applications:
http://www.osalt.com/

Another article about switching to Linux:
http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/switching-windows-linux-3-easy-steps

Good luck.

11 September 2008

Lotus Notes integration

I've been working with system integration with Lotus Notes and Office for several years now and I have been looking forward to see how IBM Lotus would take advantage of Lotus Symphony and Lotus Notes. Both applications are build on the same Eclipse platform and I have talked to lots of customers about how IBM could take advantage of this.

Here it is. And I hope that this is only the beginning.

Bob Balfe writes on his blog how Lotus Symphony can be 'composite' in the future: http://blog.balfes.net/index.php?entry=entry080910-110959

Watch the demo video here: http://blog.balfes.net/files/ntosin6/Notes2SymphonyIn6Minutes.html and see how selecting documents in a view can update a spreadsheet chart. Woow.

05 September 2008

Networking sucks

Can anyone explain this to me ?
Every time I start using the internet from my Ubuntu Linux thing, my wife starts making funny noises.

It's true. I checked the manual (spoke to my father-in-law !) She's alright.

The Wireless network gets totally overloaded when I start my browser.

Half the time my netcard is Idle, but the router is still working so hard that it makes my wife say §@$¤£~!

When I decided to install Linux I knew I would face some serious trouble. You know, all the things they are writing articles about on the internet. But I seriously never expected to hear funny noises from mrs. caused by this.

It's a Jensen of Scandinavia Air Ling WBR 6954 with firmware v1.4.3.C

01 September 2008

Episode 5: Finally success

Finally I got the developer version of openOffice.org 3.0 installed. I used

dpkg -i -–force-overwrite [path to install packages]/openoffice.org*.deb

The desktop integration thing doesn't work (multiple errors) so I'll just add the applications to the menu manually.

Thanks to all.

31 August 2008

Linux: Episode 4

I ust admit that most of this episode actually took place in the garden. It was 23 degrees Celsius and the sun was shining. Sorry, but I just had to do something in the garden.

Nevertheless I tried some of the fine advice from you - the readers. Alexander Colorado suggested sudo dpkg -i folder/to/openoffice3.0/* but that didn't work. Result: -bash: ooobasis3.0-base_3.0.0-3_i386.deb: No such file or directory. And what do I know about that ? Nothing.

An Anonymous Danish reader suggested me to add a few lines to /etc/apt/sources.list from https://launchpad.net/~openoffice-pkgs/+archive
but that didn't work either.

Is it really that difficult to add new software ?

Never mind. I'll figure it out somehow - some day!

Thanks for all the comments. I really feel that I'm not alone.

My Linux: Episode 3

Am I tired ?

Guess.

I have spent all day trying to get my old e-mail store (inbox, folders, accounts, mail rules etc.) moved from my old Windows XP machine to Ubuntu Linux.

  • I think I'we got all the extensions installed now
  • I created the POP3 account manually
  • I managed to move the inbox and all local folders. The file structure is not exactly the same, so I spent about two hours figuring that out
  • I think I'll create new mail rules over the next couple of weeks
I also wanted to upgrade OpenOffice.org 2.4 to 3.0 (developer snapshot). I didn't succeed that one :-( I still can't figure out how to install packages manually. I think that root thing in a terminal window is rather tricky. Is it surposed to be that difficult ?

Oh, and I also got my Pidgin configured with some of my chat accounts.

Think I'll turn in now. It's been a long day. For Tux and me ;-)

30 August 2008

My life with Linux: Episode 2

  • The wireless internet connection is very slow. I had some problems that the encryption code for my network was lost during restart. Somehow it seems to work now.
  • Sound card works fine now. I just needed to turn it up. -I can even hear radio over the radio (despite the slow connection)
  • My documents is transfered using an USB-stick with no problems
  • Firefox bookmarks transfered using the backup/restore function in Firefox - nice
  • Homebanking works now after I installed a JRE-plugin for Firefox (wonder why this wasn't done by default?)
  • I tried to transfer my complete mail store from the XP-machine by copying the Firefox folder to /etc/firfox. It didn't work. I'll need to find another way.

29 August 2008

My new life with Linux.Episode 1

Intallation went fine. It took no more than about 20 minutes to install the CD on my new (old) laptop.

Wireless internet connection is up running
Danish keyboard is working fine
Sound card is not working (yet)

Right now running update manager (107 updates).

Finally I got the guts: Linux

I have been thinking about this for a long time. As an open source evangalist I should try to use something else than MS XP. Today I decided to try.

I'm what you could call an advanced PC user today. I fele happy about Windows XP and I feel comfortable with it. My son has a laptop running Vista and I have made a decission: I will never allow Vista to install on my computer. It's just to much.... to much.

I got a new (old) laptop and I decided to find out if I can make it work with Linux.

I downloaded the ISO from www.ubuntu.org and it's installing right now. I'm very exited to learn how everything will do in the next few hours.

Will I get access to the Internet ?
Will I get all the drivers right ?
What about all the applications I need ?
Will I be able to exchange files with my friends ?

Stay tuned. I'll tell you all about my experiences.

24 August 2008

Generate Lorem Ipsum dummy text in OpenOffice.org

Some time ago I made a new version of my Lorem Ipsum Generator extension for OpenOffice.org. You can find it here: http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/Lorem_ipsum_generator.

It's actually not rocket science. The extension calls a website that returns a piece of dummy text and puts it in you document. Lorem Ipsum text is a nice thing, if you are making a template or a document but doesn't yet have the actual text content. You will then use the dummy text to fill out your template or document to see how it looks.
News in this version:

  • Paragraphs are actual paragraphs and nit just a linebreak
  • The dialog is ajusted and looks nicer
  • Localized English and Danish. Please contact me if you would like to translate it int
Here is a few screenshots:







The extension was even refered to by SoftPedia Here: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Office-tools/Other-Office-Tools/Lorem-ipsum-generator.shtml

07 August 2008

If you try to keep up with average, you will never get ahead

Bob Sutor spoke on LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco yesterday.You can find the presentation on Bobs blog here: http://www.sutor.com/newsite/blog-open/?p=2446 .

One of the issues Bob spoke about, was the problem that open source development has been trying to 'keep up' with Microsoft for about a decade. 'The open source community cannot continue to copy a ten year old operating system' he said.

Of cause this is true and many people has joined the discussion and most agree with Bob on this issue (See discussion below this article: http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.version2.dk%2Fartikel%2F8082&hl=da&ie=UTF8&sl=da&tl=en ). As long as we try to keep up with someone else, we will never get ahead.

But I also must add that this is not the whole truth. If it was that easy it would be a matter of months before we could beat Microsoft and kick Windows out.

Why ?

People in open source communities are not average people. Most people in these communities are working in IT related positions and so we have technical skills and we are willing to do experiments. How dangerous can it be ? We are able to fix any problems our selves.

Because Mr. and Mrs. Average don't like changes.

One of the most difficult issues when a company changes to OpenOffice.org is the people and feelings. When average people see a new computersystem they will feel unsecure and threatened.

Therefore we need to get ahead without scaring the users.

How can we do that ?

We must admit that Micrososft did something well. They must have done. Microsoft created a computersystem that Mr. and Mrs Average actually learned how to use. We must identify what is good about Windows and MS Office.

Linux also has many advantages. On specific details Microsoft is actually years behind. Just think about perfomance, security and so on and so forth.

My issue is: Nothing is black and white. Nor is this discussion. We must find a balance between the known and the future. And we must do better than Microsoft. We have one very big advantage: The communities are the customers. Microsoft obviously has some problems knowing what their customers are asking for. Just think about the fact that Microsoft for several years claimed that customers didn't ask for ODF-support and how Microsoft has to push and push to get Vista over the counter.

28 July 2008

Danish Open Office newsletter just around the corner ...

You can read the pdf-version here: http://doc.oooforum.dk/Nyhed/2008August.pdf

Most of the newsletter is about the upcomming 3.0 release.

22 June 2008

Squirrels

For the last couple of months we have had two frequent visiters in the garden. We usually feed the birds during winther but this year we continued to feed them even during spring and summer. The squirrels heard about it and now they are sitting on the ground below the birds food supply every morning.

This squirrel is a grey one. The other one is completly red.


18 June 2008

Danish industry is looking for an alternative

Most Danish companies are actually trying to find an alternative to MS Office at the moment. The reason is, that most companies are about to upgrade to MS Office 2007 and ask themselves:

Why should I choose the moost expensive alternative?
It's a very good question. FTZ Autoparts did it and they are telling the story in this article:
http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.version2.dk%2Fartikel%2F7615&hl=da&ie=UTF8&sl=da&tl=en

15 June 2008

Experiments doing screencasts

Over the last couple of weeks, I'we been experimenting with different ways of creating screencasts. It all began with a journalist that wanted me to something about the upcomming OpenOffice.org 3.0. The result can be seen here: http://www.version2.dk/artikel/7482 . It became very popular but personally I think it was pure quality. We made it with a program called BB Flashback Express from Blueberry Software. I have also tried Adobe Captivate, but thats too expensive (and proprietary) for me. Camstudio is an open source application, but it's not possible to edit the source after the take.

I ended up with an application called Wink from debugmode.

You can see a few examples
Makro recorder: http://doc.oooforum.dk/Flash/Makro.htm
Editing PDF-files (OpenOffice.org 3.0): http://doc.oooforum.dk/Flash/PDF-editor.htm

11 June 2008

Better late than ...

On April 4th I wrote a letter to members of Parliament in Denmark (Folketinget): "Standards and free competition" (English translation: http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A//ft.dk/samling/20072/almdel/UVT/Bilag/129/545869.HTM&hl=da&langpair=auto|en&tbb=1&ie=UTF-8). This was at the time where the Paliament was discussing with the Minister of Science whether The Danish Competition Authority should be participating in the follow-up on Parliament decision B 103. Fortunately the Parliament agreed to tell the Minister to ask the competition Authority to participate.

Today I read in the media ( http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A//www.version2.dk/artikel/7571&hl=da&langpair=auto|en&tbb=1&ie=ISO-8859-1) that Microsoft has answered. I don't know when they did, but I find it nice that Microsoft has taken their time to answer. One of the answers are, that Microsoft OOXML is an open standard because it's ...

1) Well documented and the complete specification is public awailable
2) Free implementable without any restrictions
3) Maintained in an open forum via an open process
Sorry Microsoft. two out of three (at least) missed this time.

10 June 2008

OpenOffice.org 2.4 1 in Danish is released.

This version is a so-called bug fix version which does not contain real news, but correct errors and shortcomings in version 2.4. The programme can be downloaded from the website http://da.openoffice.org.

Release notes: http://development.openoffice.org/releases/2.4.1rc2.html (English).

This release contains a security update and we recommend all users to upgrade to this version.

Version 2.4.1 is the last version that supports Windows 98 and Windows ME.
The next version is 3.0, which is scheduled for september 2008.
Read more about version 3.0 here: http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Da.Release3 (Danish)

Still no specification of OOXML

Four national standards bodies appeal against approval of ISO/IEC DIS 29500http://www.iso.org/iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref1136

This means that the specification will be further delayed until the appeals has been considered.

05 June 2008

Cross reference in OpenOffice.org 3.0

The upcoming version of OpenOffice.org contains various improvements. One of the long missing features is, to create cross references directly to headings without creating a bookmark first. All headings in the document are automatically created as targets.

04 June 2008

OpenOffice.org in enterpise

Symfoni Software held at the beginning of June its annual BRUKERFORUM. This year the event was held in Tallinn in Estonia, where around 65 of Symfoni Software's customers from Norway, Denmark and Sweden was together.

I am working as project manager at Symfoni Software Copenhagen office , but I am also leader of the OpenOffice.org community in Denmark. I spoke at the conference about how and why OpenOffice.org can be a good business for any IT department.

I discussed the possibility of implementing OpenOffice.org as an alternative to MS Office. I pointed out that before the implementation, you must take into account four factors:

1) users should be informed and trained. First, to achieve skills in order to continue to work effectively in the organization. But also to gain acceptance and understanding for the transition to open source. The reason is that one of the biggest challenges, is actually staff resistance and not technical or practical problems.

2) it must be examined tp what extent templates, macros and advanced spreadsheet are used in the organization. Prioritize what actions are required before implementation, and which can wait until later.

3) it must be examined to what extent there are business applications (e.g. ERP systems and enterprise data) with direct integration to MS Office. In many cases, such integration does not exist.

4) it must be considered if conversion of documents should be taken into account. For example. existing documents and future documents exchanged with customers, partners.

During the presentation, I told that if the company or organization has many users and few customizations, could achieve a very rapid benefit, while few users and many adjustments will make it less rapid to achieve benefit. However, it is also appropriate to consider partial transition to OpenOffice.org in the case that few people in the company need MS Office. This possibility has for many been a bad solution so far because we have seen difficulties exchanging different document formats. But after Microsoft has promised full support for ODF format from the beginning of 2008, this solution will become very relevant and viable option for many. In most cases, it will be possible to achieve economic benefits after only a few years.

The companies and organisations using Lotus Notes as a platform for mail, calendar and applications, should consider the use of Lotus Symphony from IBM. Lotus Symphony is actually a converted version of OpenOffice.org. Whether it is better than OpenOffice I will not be able to decide, but Symphony has one unique advantage in the future: It is part of Lotus Notes platform. I look forward to see what IBM will do in the future. By creating composite applications which open for building direct integration of data from Notes to the Office applications.

Mads Andersen from FTZ Autoparts followed my speak, by telling us how FTZ has chosen to switch from MS Office to the free alternative OpenOffice.org. Mads Andersen is working as IT consultant at FTZ Autoparts in Odense, Denmark. FTZ has chosen to use OpenOffice.org as the office application in the company. FTZ is in the situation that of the 550 users is only a few who use the Office application for other than to write a letter once and in a while. Many users and not advanced needs. Some users have initially been allowed to keep their MS Office, but Mads sayd that the plan is to eliminate the last MS Office installations in the future.

Roll out occurred almost without any problems. MSI installation is easy to handle. FTZ is úsing Citrix. Mads believe that FTZ has saved a lot of money by choosing OpenOffice.org rather than Microsoft Office. There is still a recurring problem when FTZ receive attachments from the Microsoft Office 2007, but in the FTZ, they have chosen a key solution, where the IT department takes care of conversion of documents.

Roll out has been going on relatively quietly. "The first two weeks gave a little extra work in support" sayd Mads and continues "but there was no need to do proper education." The support at FTZ has taken advantage of the voluntary support forum OOoForum in cases where users have had problems such as if the IT-supporters didn't resolve a problem themselves. Most problems have been when users couldn't find a specific function or feature in the program. "If there is something we should have done differently, it should be to examine exactly what features people use, and then we should produce information about this".

30 May 2008

Official Danish complaint to ISO

The organazation OSL (www.osl.dk) (Danish organazation of OpenSource vendors) has officially posted a complaint to ISO (and Danish Standards). The complaint is regarding the process in the Danish National Body.

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A//www.computerworld.dk/art/46122%3Fa%3Drss%26i%3D0&hl=da&langpair=auto|en&tbb=1&ie=ISO-8859-1

21 May 2008

First, I didn't believe this: ODF support in MS Office

First my heart took two extra jumps. Then I had to get my breath back. Computerworld in Denmark claims that Microsoft will announce support for ODF in 2009. This should be a part of Office service pack 2. The announcement should be public tomorrow morning.

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.computerworld.dk%2Fart%2F45934&hl=da&ie=UTF8&sl=da&tl=en

http://www.sdtimes.com/content/article.aspx?ArticleID=32228

16 May 2008

Reaction from Parliament ...

Members of the parliament are angry that they didn't know about the total split in the Technical Committee under Danish Standards.

Several Danish IT policy rapporteurs are surprised that the OOXML Committee with Danish Standard has been totally divided. It will have consequences, "said Morten Helveg Pedersen (R).
http://www.computerworld.dk/art/45845

English: http://translate.google.dk/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.computerworld.dk%2Fart%2F45845&hl=da&ie=UTF8&sl=da&tl=en

15 May 2008

Municipal of Aarhus post a complaint to DS

The city of Aarhus has posted an official complaint to Danish Standards regarding the result of the Danish YES-vote.

The complaint is regarding the fact that *all* non-profit votes in Denmark asked for a NO. Only commercial pro-Microsoft participants voted YES.

http://www.computerworld.dk/art/45835 English: http://translate.google.dk/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.computerworld.dk%2Fart%2F45835&hl=da&ie=UTF8&sl=da&tl=en
http://www.version2.dk/artikel/7287

I doubt that this complaint can change anything, but it's nice to see some response from the TC-members. They all excuse them selves with: "We all agreed not to discuss the process in public".

09 May 2008

OpenOffice.org 3.0 - videos

OpenOffice.org 3.0 was released for beta this week. Here is a few videos from the Danish version:

New front page:


New zoom function


New comment function

06 May 2008

Behind or ahead

Clarifying versions:




OpenOffice.org 2.0 - 2.3.1ODF 1.0Approved by ISO
OpenOffice.org 2.4ODF 1.1Has not submitted to ISO for approval
OpenOffice.org 3.0 (upcomming) - ?ODF 1.2Under development

The problem with Alex Browns validation test (http://www.griffinbrown.co.uk/blog/PermaLink.aspx?guid=f0384bed-808b-49a8-8887-ea7cde5caace) is, that he is using a document from OpenOffice.org 2.4 and validates it against the ISO-approved standard. Jesper Lund Stocholm claims (http://idippedut.dk/post/2008/04/Conformance-of-ODF-documents.aspx) that he has created some documents with various versions of OpenOffice.org that doens't validates correctly. From my knowledge, Jesper hasn't put any documentation to support witch validation method he used nor put forward the bespoken documents. He has not even told us the seriousness (number of errors) of the 'variations'.

ODF file format is maintained by a technical committee under OASIS (http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=office). Members of the committee are developers and managers from Sun Microsystems, IBM and many other companies (http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/membership.php?wg_abbrev=office) and it is in fact OpenOffice.org and StarOffice, that is 'pulling' the development, because OpenOffice.org happens to be the project ahead in development. OpenOffice.org comes with about four releases each year. A standard specification is not work from an office desk, but experience from real world development. Therefore the technical development will be a little bit ahead of the specification work and approval. Thats how standard specifications are developed.

When the specification is ready from OASIS, it can be submitted to ISO for approval. One important condition for ISO approval is "multiple implementations". It's a question about the hen and the egg. The specification can't be approved if it hasn't been implemented and now we are been criticized for implementing it before it's approved. That doesn't make sense.

Both the standard and the programs are simultaneously developed over time. The question is, if we should make a choice in the program, that makes it possible to 'Save as...' ODF 1.0. This is of cause possible but not that simple. But should we develop OpenOffice.org according to what the users need or what the politicians need ? Probably both. But an extra 'Save as' option could do more harm than good, because it would confuse users. Nevertheless, this problem will be taken care of in OpenOffice.org 3.0. Another problem is, that higher ODF versions contains much more information and is of better quality. There is no need to use any ODF versions lower than the latest, except of cause, the ISO stamp.

So what's the difference between Microsoft/OOXML and OpenOffice.org/ODF ?
The difference is, that Microsoft Office is behind OOXML. OpenOffice.org is ahead of ODF. According to the ISO rules, a specification can only be approved as an ISO-standard, unless it has been implemented.

04 May 2008

Java update adverts OpenOffice.org

For some time there has been an advert for OpenOffice.org showing on the screen as the regular Java Update downloads and installs. I'm very happy about Sun advertizing for OpenOffice.org like this and its a good way to spread the message to millions and millions of computers and users all over the world.

A few days ago I got a call from a journalist (http://www.computerworld.dk/art/45636) asking me about this. He also asked me about the small icon that appears on my desktop: Get OpenOffice.org. A click on it leads me to a Sun Jave page with link to downloading.

The icon is not a shortcut to the URL but a sjortcut to a small exe-file on my computer: ..\Sun\OpenOffice.org Installer 1.0\ooostub.exe. My first reaction was, that this will lead a lot of new users to the download site. I think its important that we (and Sun) uses this opportunity to spread the word, but I'm actually not happy that Sun is installing executables on my computer without my knowledge.

On the other hand... We know that our competitors are using much more tricky and much less honest marketing methods. One of the most frequent asked questions is this:

I bought a new computer with Microsoft Office 2007 preinstalled. Now 30 (or 60) days later, it doesn't work anymore. Hos can I edit my documents?
If we want to keep up with this, we must learn to be more agressive in marketing. But I don't think its a good thing to install executable code on computers without the users permission.

29 April 2008

Consensus in the Parliament

http://www.version2.dk/artikel/7121

It is expected that the Danish Parliament will reach consensus http://www.ft.dk/doc.aspx?/Samling/20072/forespoergsel/F24/index.htm about opening two new investigations about open standards:

  1. First one is a technical investigation about the suppliers ability to provide full interoperability between the formats ODF and OOXML. This investigation will be carried out by a neutral part. Who that will be is not decided yet.
  2. Second investigation will be about free competition. This investigation will be done by the Danish Consumer Agency http://www.forbrug.dk/english/ (Danish Competition Authority), an independent governmental organization.
This result must be considered acceptable. Even the Minister of Science and Technology agrees on theis one: http://videnskabsministeriet.dk/site/forside/nyheder/pressemeddelelser/2008/enigt-folketing-bag-koereplan-for-aabne-standarder

26 April 2008

Was it Donald Duck or ?

Tonight I suddenly found three ducks in my garden.


On the roof was another duck:


We soon found out the reason. Among the tulips was a she duck:

Danish Newsletter from OpenOffice.org

The May issue of the Danish Newsletter is on the street now:
http://doc.oooforum.dk/Nyhed/2008Maj

25 April 2008

More details...

The Parliament decided today that implementation of open standards in Denmark will be watched by the The Danish Competition Authority and another neutral 3rd part. The theird part could be Professor Mogens Kühn Pedersen from Copenhagen business School (also chairman of the Danish National committee for document standards). Another person who has been menthioned is Judge Bo Vesterdorf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bo_Vesterdorf), who is known for his time in European Court of Justice where he has convicted one of the major decisions against Microsoft in a law case.

Danish Parliament agrees

It seems that the Danish Parliament has agreed to ask a 'neutral' person or organization to make sure that the Danish public handles open standards according to the previous agreements about interoperability and free competition.

I expect that such person or organization will be announced on Tuesday next week.

20 April 2008

What really happened in Norway..

The former chairman in Norway speaks about what actually happened:

http://topicmaps.wordpress.com/2008/04/18/the-norway-vote-what-really-happened/

18 April 2008

24.335 downloads

The Danish version of OpenOffice.org 2.4 has been downloaded 24.335 times from http://da.openoffice.org. This is the first time we have some kind of statistics, so it has been very exciting to follow the numbers.

This is the day-by-day numbers.

16 April 2008

Will OpenOffice.org support OOXML ?

The answer is no !

From version 3.0 OpenOffice.org will be able to read MS Office 2007 documents.

The purpose is not to support an academic developed file format, but to help the pour users who by accident get hands on a document from Microsoft Office 2007.

I'm not sure if all document types (text, spreadsheet, presentations etc.) will be supported, but I know that first step is to support simple files. Advanced functionality (macros, main- and sub documents, embedded objects etc.) will not be supported from day one.

http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS/entry/ooxml_import_in_writer_a
and
http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS/entry/office_open_xml_ooxml_filters

15 April 2008

Thunderbird & Lightning - just discovered a new feature

I'm very happy to use my Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client for mail. I also use the calendar plug-in called Lightning. Lightning is connected directly to my Google Calendar account, so I can view my calendar live. I use several calendars on Google for different purposes. I just need a Todo thing on Google, but I solved that by creating a local account for that purpose.

Allright then. What is the new ?

I just discovered that it's possible to drag-and-drop an e-mail from my inbox to one of the panes on the right hand side. If I drag it to the calendar part of the pane, the mail is copied into a new calendar event. If I drag it into the task pane, the e-mail becomes a task.


I love open source !

14 April 2008

Disgusting is what it is

Microsoft wanted that approval at any cost.

We didn't cheat. It wasn't fraud. It was clean and honest.

All' right then. Then we dont use the same definition of those words. We don't share the same moral.

Take a look at these 37 letters that was received at Standard Norway just before the vote:
http://people.opera.com/howcome/2007/ooxml/37-brev.pdf . 37 letters with exactly the same words. Some of the senders didn't even care to remove the 'Type company name here' text.

Simular letters has been circulating in Denmark as an e-mail from the Danish MD Jørgen Bardenfleth to customers and business partners.

I call it fraud, cheating and disgusting. If I wasn't anti-Microsoft before, I am now. Disgusting !

http://www.version2.dk/artikel/6965

Wild translating

The translation has gone wild. The Danish project now only needs to translate another 300 strings before we are done with the job.

Thanks to all the translaters. You have done a great job.

09 April 2008

Talents in Herlev, Denmark

My son Christian performed well tonight when he participated in a music competition.

Demonstration against OOXML in Oslo, Norway




http://www.computerworld.dk/art/45252
http://www.digi.no/php/art.php?id=519531

08 April 2008

Demonstration in Oslo, Norway on April 9th.

==============================================================
Demonstration against Microsoft OOXML
Wednesday 9 April @ 12:00
Oslo, Norway
==============================================================
Steve Pepper, the former Chairman of the Norwegian committee responsible for deciding the Norwegian vote on OOXML, is calling for a demonstration to take place outside the building where SC34, the ISO committee that has been landed with OOXML, is holding its spring plenary.

The demonstration will take place outside Håndverkeren, Rosenkrantzgate 7, Oslo, Norway, on Wednesday April 9 at 12.00.

Among the slogans are:

* No to ISO approval of OOXML!
* Defend the integrity of ISO!
* Microsoft: Support ODF!
* Ecma: Withdraw OOXML
* Norway must say no to OOXML!

Steve Pepper is supported by the majority of the Norwegian technical committee who were against approving OOXML, but who were overruled by the bureaucracy at Standard Norway.

"I call on all those opposed to ISO's approval of OOXML to join this demonstration", says Steve Pepper. "Standard Norway defends its scandalous act by pointing to 37 identical letters that were formulated by Microsoft and sent to Standard Norway by Microsoft's partners and customers during the open hearing."

"If they want numbers, we can give them numbers. Join me on the street and show your disapproval. Please pass this message on around the globe.

Let's use *our* technology for everything it is worth."

More (Norwegian): http://www.digi.no/php/art.php?id=519231

07 April 2008

Norway changes its vote to NO

The Norwegian mirror committee to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 has send a letter to ISO to confirm that the committee agrees with chairman Steve Pepper. Norway votes NO.

http://www.digi.no/php/art.php?id=519159

06 April 2008

04 April 2008

MS answers to Master Thesis

Microsoft is commenting on the master thesis I wrote about a few days ago (http://lodahl.blogspot.com/2008/04/master-thesis-openofficeorg-vs.html) on the website Comon (http://www.comon.dk/index.php/news/show/id=35500) .
Among other things, Jasper Bojsen from Microsoft in Denmark says that...

It is not possible to say, that the same calculations are valid for all public institutions, because there are big differences between the medical systems etc. used and in the way they are integrated.

I say: True enough. There are big differences between the public institutions and the medical systems etc. That is already taken into consideration by the author. Further more has Microsoft promised us full interoperability in Office 2007 and OOXML, so the integration shouldn't be any problem, or should it ?

Microsoft also claims that there should be taken into consideration, the productivity-advantages in Microsoft Office. This is precisely what shouldn't be, because that subject is covered in another chapter in the master thesis, and the conslusion is, that there is very limitted advantage in Microsoft Office compared to OpenOffice.org.

02 April 2008

Guess what, there will be another round !

ISO confirms approval of OOXML, gives two months to appeal

Microsoft must wait for appeal process to run its course



http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9074358&intsrc=hm_list

01 April 2008

Master thesis: 'OpenOffice.org vs. Microsoft Office'

OpenOffice.org vs. Microsoft Office is the title of the master thesis from Birgir Ingolf Sigurðsson, Cand.merc(dat) at Copenhagen Business School. The master thesis is in Danish but there is a short summary in English:

This master thesis focuses on whether OpenOffice.org has the necessary attributes to be labeled a reel alternative to Microsoft Office and whether the Faroese public sector can lower cost by switching platform from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice.org. In addition to that, the thesis examines the Faroese public sector’s dependency on Microsoft Office and the IT vendors’ competences on the two office suites.
and the result ?
The total TCO for implementing OpenOffice.org at Klaksvík hospital is DKK. 306.554. TCO pr. workstation is DKK. 4.379. Compared to implementing Microsoft Office 2007 Pro Plus, the cost is DKK. 378.715 and pr. workstation DKK. 5.410. OpenOffice.org results in a cost reduction of 24 %.
The total TCO for implementing OpenOffice.org at Landssjúkrahúsið is DKK. 1.007.340. TCO pr. workstation is DKK. 2.518. Compared to implementing Microsoft Office 2007 Pro Plus, the cost is DKK. 1.682.400 and pr. workstation DKK. 4.206. OpenOffice.org results in a cost reduction of 67 %.
The total TCO for implementing OpenOffice.org at LandsNet (the entire public sector) is DKK. 13.181.750. TCO pr. workstation is DKK. 3.766. Compared to implementing Microsoft Office 2007 Pro Plus, the cost is DKK. 25.164.250 and pr. workstation DKK. 7.190. OpenOffice.org results in a cost reduction of 91 %
The complete thesis can be found on John Gøtze's blog .

UPDATE: The Master thesis is mentioned on the Danish magazines Version2: http://www.version2.dk/artikel/6809 and Comon: http://www.comon.dk/index.php/news/show/id=35438

Sorry guys, defective but still approved

Andy Updegrove reports on his blog that OOXML (the defective standard, you know) has been approved to be an international ISO standard for office documents.

31 March 2008

Norway: The chairman posts a formal protest

The chairman of the Norwegian committee ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 Steve Pepper has formally posted a complaint about the procedure. http://www.digi.no/php/art.php?id=517414

30 March 2008

Don't vote - you can only agree

The order was clear: Don't make a vote in the committee. The order came probably directly from the government that didn't want the committee to make a democratic decision.

So if no vote is made, how can the committee find a solution ? In theory only one way: To agree. But that was only a theoretically possibility. The committee couldn't agree. Of cause not.

This was a very elegant way to hands over the decision directly to Danish Standards (DS) that could do what they wanted. The voted yes as you might be aware.

The rumor says that the committee was 4 (pro) against 8 (con). But because there where never a vote, this was never taken into consideration. The committee couldn't agree and DS took over and made a decision without taking any notice of the committee.

The committee actually said no but DS said yes.

28 March 2008

Update on the Danish YES-vote

Danish Standards admits that not all Danish complaints and comments has been fulfilled in the process. But the remaining outstanding comments are not important enough to continue the NO-vote.

The basic problem is, that the committee didn't recommend anything at all to DS.

http://www.version2.dk/artikel/6742

Denmark approves OOXML as a standard ?

The committee asked DS to notice, that the committee did not find consensus on the question.

Dansih Standards then changed the vote to YES !

OpenOffice.org Newsletter in Danish

The monthly Danish newsletter is released and can be downloaded here: http://doc.oooforum.dk/Nyhed/2008April.pdf

Here is my own translation of one of the articles...
Standards and free competition

by Leif Lodahl, spokesman for OpenOffice.org in Denmark

The international organization for standardization ISO is about to decide if the document format from Microsoft can be accepted as an international standard.

The problem with standards is, that there shouldn't be more than one standard covering a single subject. Microsoft has being pointing out that OOXML as the format is called, covers another subject than covered by the already approved standard ODF. And furthermore Microsoft points that more standards will increase free competition.

Think about this example: If we had two (or more) standards covering the subject power outlets. This is a very good example how free competition should take action on the product and not the standard. With the standard in common, anybody can get access to the marketplace, if only you can fulfill the standard covering that subject.

Interoperability

Standards secures that we can change one product with another without worries. This is called interoperability: No matter what lamp you buy, you can be sure that the plug fits in the power outlet in your home. Interoperability was one of the most important arguments when the Danish parliament decided to implement open standards for office documents in the public sector.

Interoperability creates free competition. The situation today is, that Microsoft covers about 90% of the market for office applications in Denmark. Microsoft Office is the dominating product at that means that the document format used by this product becomes a de facto standard. If we can reach full interoperability, this will cause the end user to be able to decide what program to use. So Microsoft will loose the dominant position and more and more users will select other (less expensive) programs. Microsoft will then be forced to decrease the prize for the office suite. Microsoft is not motivated to reach interoperability.

Can't we just use one of those converter plug-ins ? Yes, but that will not be interoperability but compatibility. This will be the case when we have two different standards for power outlets. If you buy a lamp that doesn't fit in your power outlet, you must also buy a converter to but in between the outlet and the lamp. A converter can translate the power to another standard but you must expect to loose some quality.

Microsoft is trying to convince us, that interoperability between ODF and OOXML can be achieved using converters and plug-ins. What they really is trying, is to make us satisfied with compatibility. Microsoft is doing that by hinder true interoperability by not use or support ODF and by pushing compatibility by using and supporting the development of plug-ins.

Consequences

If we can reach true interoperability, we as consumers can make a free choise. Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org or what ever you find most appropriate. If we don't reach interoperability, but instead accepts compatibility, we will continuously be tight up with Microsoft document format OOXML– no matter if we like it or not. Simply because 90% of us will be using it before we know it.

But can't OpenOffice.org just use OOXML as well ? Yes, but Microsoft will always be ahead. Because the core purpose of the format is to be a Microsoft format (thats how it is in the spec). We will not reach free competition.

27 March 2008

Denmark will vote NO! [UPDATED]

The committee S-142/U-34 under Danish Standards could not agree to change their vote from No to Yes, so the committee has asked Danish Standards to vote
NO !

This is still unconfirmed !
Danish Standards has told the chairman (
professor at Copenhagen Business School Mogens Kühn Pedersen) to keep his mouth shut: http://www.version2.dk/artikel/6718


[Added 22:00]Clarification
The meeting in the committee was yesterday afternoon. The chairman has been ordered to keep his mouth shot and Danish Standards will say nothing until tomorrow friday.

The committee did not reach a consensus decision yesterday and has asked Danish Standards (DS) to make a conclusion. So much is clear. The question is, what exactly didn't they agree on ?

Was the question: "Should we approve the standard ?" or was it "Should we change the Danish vote ?"

A press release from Danish Standards from just after the BRM said: "All the Danish complaints has been fulfilled". This is exactly what the members couldn't agree on yesterday. A complaint has been posted to DS that a conclusion was published long before the meeting. See my earlier
blogpost http://lodahl.blogspot.com/2008/03/here-are-minutes-of-tomorrows-meeting.html

Today in the press and on discussions:
Jesper Lund Stockholm said: "Read the press release from Danish Standards: All Danish complaints has been fulfilled. Thats the prove."
Morten Kjærsgaard from The Danish Open Source Business Association (OSL) said: "Rubbish. Several items from the Danish complaints hasn't been solved. Some has just been answered to and other items has been rejected".

So it's all up to Danish Standards to decide. Just as it was on the first vote. I can guarantee you, that at least one minister has been involved in the decision.

We will just have to wait until tomorrow. I don't think DS will vote YES. This would be too dangerous for the government. If the question was: "should we change the vote", then DS will vote NO. There couldn't be consensus to change the vote. But if that wasn't the question, DS might ABSTAIN from voting.

OpenOffice.org 2.4 is released

The Danish version will be released in just a few days.

The OpenOffice.org Community is pleased to announce the release of OpenOffice.org 2.4, the latest version of the leading open source office productivity suite. OpenOffice.org 2.4 includes new features, enhancements, and bug fixes to all its core components. OpenOffice.org 2.4 is available for immediate download from http://download.openoffice.org.

New features:

Users will appreciate changes such as usability improvements in printing, and further enhancements to PDF handling (OpenOffice.org creates PDF files 'out of the box' to ISO standard). The default font is now DejaVu, which supports more languages/localisations than the previous BitStream Vera -part of a raft of localisation improvements covering languages from Hiligaynon to Quechua. Mac OS X users will appreciate the use of the native Quicktime player and spell-checker.

Writer, OpenOffice.org's word processor, now has easier selection of the language for spellchecking; users can set options for printing hidden and place holder text and for following hyperlinks; text selection and 'find and replace' have been improved; and 'power users' will appreciate new extra keyboard shortcuts for paragraph styles.

Regular users of Calc, OpenOffice.org's spreadsheet, will appreciate the streamlining of data and formulae entry. Other new features include a 'smart move and copy' for blocks of cells; the ability to transform data into columns; and improvements to printing, data filtering, and the Data Pilot.

Usability improvements have been made to Draw, the drawing and diagramming module, and Impress, OpenOffice.org's application for creating presentations. Both applications have enhanced PDF export capabilities. In addition, Impress now has a new range of thrilling 3D transition effects supported through an extension.

The Chart module, used throughout OpenOffice.org, continues to evolve rapidly. Novice users benefit from more intelligent default choices from the graphics engine; advanced users have more options allowing them to fine tune a chart exactly the way they want it.

OpenOffice.org's database application, Base, now supports MS-Access 2007 (accdb files on MS-Windows), and has enhanced capabilities for MySQL, Oracle/jdbc, and native (HSQL) databases. The Query Designer is also improved.

OpenOffice.org 2.4 is the eleventh release in the 2.x series (launched in October 2005) and demonstrates the Community's commitment to continuous and regular improvement of its software. The next major release - 3.0 - is planned for the autumn/fall this year. If you would like to help us, please visit http://contributing.openoffice.org.

The OpenOffice.org Community

http://www.openoffice.org/news/index.html
http://www.linuxin.dk/trackback/10247

26 March 2008

If you can't beat them, talk badly about them

You can see this in the kinder garden and in the school yard.

When small children are fighting over something, they often tend to speak in a bad language and talk about each other behind the back.

Now Microsoft is showing us a very adult and much more mature version of this behavior.

In New Zealand Matthew Holloway has been working as an adviser for the National Standard Body in the matter of voting for or against the approval of OOXML at the ISO BRM last month. As far as we know, he has done a great job.

But Microsoft apparently doesn't share this feeling and so much that they had to write an e-mails to members of another national body in another country, about how badly Matthew did his job in New Zealand.

How low can you go ?

The Standard National Body in New Zealand found this so serious that they found it necessary to send out a message trying to rescue the honor and integrity of an employee.

This is another example of how Microsoft employees are willing to use any method to reach their goal.

http://nzoss.org.nz/news/2008/old-dog-same-old-tricks