Lodahl's blog: 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009

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


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.

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


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




More extensions


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.