Planet ODF

September 17, 2014

An Antic Disposition

ISO/IEC JTC1 Approves ODF 1.2 PAS Ballot

OASIS ODF 1.2, the current version of the Open Document Format standard, was approved by ISO/IEC JTC1 National Bodies after a 3-month Publicly Available Specification (PAS) ballot.  The final vote for DIS 26300 was:  17-0 for Parts 1 and 2, and 18-0 for Part 3.

Of course, this is a very good result and all those involved, whether TC members and staff at OASIS, implementors, adopters and promoters of ODF and open standards in general should be pleased and proud of this accomplishment.

This was a team effort, obviously, and I’d like to give special thanks to Patrick Durusau  and Chris Rae on the ODF TC for their special efforts preparing the PAS submission for ballot, Jamie Clark from OASIS for putting together the submission package and Francis Cave, Alex Brown, Murata Mokoto and Keld Simonsen in JTC1/SC34/WG6 for their continued advice, feedback and support.

Since comments were received by Japan and the UK,  we now start the comment disposition process.  The SC34 Secretariat will determine whether a Ballot Resolution Meeting (BRM) is required, or whether the comments can simply be handed to the Project Editor for application to the specification prior to publication.   One way or another, there will be a little more work before publication of the ODF 1.2 International Standard.

The OASIS ODF TC continues work on ODF 1.3, with renewed vigor.  After nearly a decade of involvement with ODF, and many years leading the committee, I’ve stepped down.   The TC has elected Oliver-Rainer Wittmann, a long-time TC member, ODF implementor and a familiar face at ODF Plugfests, to take over.   I’m currently exploring other areas related to open innovation (open standards, open source, open data, open APIs), data science or performance engineering.  If you know of anything interesting, send me a note.

 

by Rob at September 17, 2014 03:22 PM

Google News

Open document formats campaign backed by EU's digital commissioner - CIO


Open document formats campaign backed by EU's digital commissioner
CIO
The campaign's website invites reports about public administrations that have pledged support for Open Document Format (ODF) files but then don't recognize the files, which typically have a .odt, .ods or .odp extension. If an administration has ...

and more »

September 17, 2014 12:08 PM

Open document formats campaign backed by EU's digital commissioner - PC World Magazine


Open document formats campaign backed by EU's digital commissioner
PC World Magazine
The campaign's website invites reports about public administrations that have pledged support for Open Document Format (ODF) files but then don't recognize the files, which typically have a .odt, .ods or .odp extension. If an administration has ...

and more »

September 17, 2014 12:06 PM

Open document formats campaign backed by EU's digital commissioner - CIO Magazine


Open document formats campaign backed by EU's digital commissioner
CIO Magazine
The campaign's website invites reports about public administrations that have pledged support for Open Document Format (ODF) files but then don't recognize the files, which typically have a .odt, .ods or .odp extension. If an administration has ...

and more »

September 17, 2014 12:03 PM

WebODF news

WebODF 0.5.4 released, undoing two regressions slipped into 0.5.3

Just 24 hours passed since the release of WebODF 0.5.3 and there has to be another, fixing regressions once we learned about them.

So go to the Download page and update your deployment of webodf.js or the Wodo.TextEditor. Or check the demos.

September 17, 2014 12:00 AM

September 16, 2014

WebODF news

WebODF 0.5.3 released, bringing another round of improvements and fixes

The latest version of WebODF brings improvements in the rendering of text styled as subscript or superscript, fixes positioning of the IME composition menu & avatar when entering characters, and more.

So go to the Download page and update your deployment of webodf.js or the Wodo.TextEditor. Or check the demos.

September 16, 2014 12:00 AM

September 15, 2014

Google News

Computer: LibreOffice speichert im Word-Format - Augsburger Allgemeine


Augsburger Allgemeine

Computer: LibreOffice speichert im Word-Format
Augsburger Allgemeine
In der Rubrik «Einstellungen für Standard-Dateiformat und ODF» bei der Option «Immer speichern als» die Einstellung «Microsoft Word 2007/2010/2013 XML» auswählen. Bestätigen, indem unten auf «OK» geklickt wird. Das bedeutet allerdings nicht, dass ...
OpenOffice: Automatisch in Word-Format speichernN24

all 7 news articles »

September 15, 2014 10:56 AM

September 14, 2014

Charles H. Schulz

Marketing Strategy Workshop 2014: More engagement, better conversations

Last week we had a great LiboCon 2014 in Bern, organized by a great team and a great (and often not known well enough) city. We had what has become some sort of tradition, by which I mean the Libreoffice Marketing Strategy Workshop. This year was a bit special however in that the workshop itself came after a series of other workshops dedicated to media training and messaging by Italo Vignoli and another session aimed at helping non-native English speakers promote LibreOffice in their language. All these sessions did prepare the audience to the strategy workshop but were also a very nice addition to it. I was also happy to notice a stronger attendance than previous years to the workshop, as well as a more diverse one that included at the same time active contributors, contributors of native-language projects, and “simple” visitors of the conference. Some of them actively contributed to the session, and I found that to be very useful.

While there was no shakedown of the marketing strategy this year, there was however a strong focus on online campaigning and volunteers’engagement methods. It was also a good opportunity to let everyone share ideas and experiences. Below are the main discussion points of the workshop. You may download the slides supporting the workshop directly here.

Achievements

This year we had several notable successes, despite remaining a project with a small marketing team. First, our new website has been one of our most visible achievements and has been in most cases very well received. LibreOffice needed a more visually appealing website, and there was an interesting discussion as to how we were conveying the idea of what LibreOffice is, both as a software and as a project. We will come back to that in the latter part of the post.

Second, there is a real momentum around LibreOffice on social networks, with the presence on each online service acting like a specific channel for a certain type of activity and conversations. For instance, Facebook is our the network with our biggest outreach, yet it is probably the most passive one, with very few conversations taking place. The volume of the audience however makes it worth maintaining an active presence there. On Twitter we have two accounts, @tdforg and @libreoffice . We started tweeting irregularly through @tdforg and got lots of success for three years; but we had kept @libreoffice under wraps. Starting in 2014, we started to differentiate between @tdforg being more about official announcements, and @libreoffice tweeting several times a day. In both cases we reached several thousands of subscribers and are engaging in (short) conversations with users on a regular basis. Google + is also a big success and a quite interesting one. Here again, we have several thousands of followers but what’s really interesting is that it is a place where people discuss topics and post new ones. Users support is also happening sometimes there.

Reddit was a modest (several dozens of members) channel for us and has now grown to several hundreds so it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.

All this work described above has led to one specific and recurring objective: Increasing LibreOffice’s brand awareness and growing our contributor’s base. We still have lots of work to do, and we had a discussion about the results of the LibreOffice ad in the german special edition of Die Zeit. We realized that should we decide to go for these traditional ads, we would need to have a more comprehensive campaign with an actual story line in order to yield measurable results.

Another set of achievements has been the real improvements in how the communications on the LibreOffice releases are handled  throughout the community. Thanks to a clearer and more inclusive process, the LibreOffice native-language teams have the time to localize the release and announce it by translating the press release in due time. This is no little effort when you consider the work put into the localization, the quality assurance on the various betas and release candidates, and the translation of the PR itself. Last but not least, and before we skip to the other parts of the workshop, this year was also a successful year in terms of articles written about LibreOffice and the Document Foundation. This also helps us increase the brand awareness and help us grow our userbase and our community.

Challenges & Solutions

Despite our achievements, our marketing team remains small (around 4 individuals contributing on a non permanent basis, sometimes daily, sometimes weekly). The discussion this year suggested that we put more effort into contributor’s engagement and while this used to be somewhat of a tricky question, I think we now have enough hindsight to make it work. In order to understand the situation one needs to take a step back and consider the following.

When the LibreOffice project was created it was one of the best opportunities to start afresh in the way the community and how each of us contributes to the project was valued. As a result, it was decided that a strong meritocracy would be instrumental in improving the low rate of contributions of the former OpenOffice.org project in a substantial way. It worked and still works really well for most of the project, but marketing or promotion did not overly benefit from that. Of course, it helped us gain time and stop wasting energy dealing with distractions such as endless (and pointless) discussions on “product marketing mixes” and so on. Yet it did not help us multiply our base of marketing contributors. The principle, which remains the same, that in order to be acknoledged by the community you must first contribute something to it, did not, however, handle too well the kind of contributors who would be happy just with little things, such as badges. While developers tend to not pay any kind of importance to these details, we also had to deal with the fine line between handing someone a badge and some sort of formal role, and giving a title to someone just because he or she would have asked for it. A title in itself is little, and probably nothing. Yet our experience with OpenOffice.org showed that it was very easy to have titles, and even easier to do nothing to earn it. Thus, anything that had to do with badges was viewed with skepticism, if not prejudice.

This year, we are going to start improving the quality of our contributors’ engagement with the project at least in non-technical areas. A badge does not imply any sort of hierarchy, or formal role. It does not replace the membership to the Document Foundation. It is just what it is, a badge.

At the same time, we would like to drive the same experiment than the one our Design and UX team had a few months ago: a full migration to the RedMine platform hosted on the project’s infrastructure. While we may stick to a few of our existing tools (the existing wiki), RedMine essentially turns your team’s activity into a project and tasks’ based workflow, while eliminating much of the noise. The discussion, because of the tools, are directly related to tasks, and tasks behave pretty much like issues opened in a bug tracker.

We had an interesting discussion about the need to engage in communication campaigns that tie in to specific news or moments. We should be able to “join the conversation”, when one of our competitors claim something we can talk about as well. These campaigns would definitely help us raise our brand awareness too. This will also require that the marketing team starts working on its own banners and online material without necessarily hogging the resources of the Design team.

Last but not least, we have experimented with something called LOWN (LibreOffice Weekly Newsletter), thanks to William Gathoye. This newsletter is not really meant for people outside our community. On the contrary it is designed for community members, who want to stay in touch with all corners of the project and learning about what’s going on in other teams. We may want to make it a montly newsletter, but it is encouraging to see this becoming a community based effort.

As a conclusion to this very long post, I would like to thank everyone who joined the workshop this year, it was a great moment of sharing and I think it will help us moving forward for next twelve months, be a better community and a more efficient project.

by Charles at September 14, 2014 09:27 AM

September 12, 2014

Google News

Computer: OpenOffice speichert im Word-Format - FOCUS Online


FOCUS Online

Computer: OpenOffice speichert im Word-Format
FOCUS Online
Zum anderen ist in OpenOffice das Standard-Dateiformat zum Speichern auf ODF eingestellt, das OpenOffice-eigene Format. Das verursacht bei Microsoft-Office-Nutzern manchmal Probleme, wenn die neusten Filter nicht installiert sind. Doch das lässt sich ...

and more »

September 12, 2014 07:29 AM

Computer: OpenOffice speichert im Word-Format - Augsburger Allgemeine


Augsburger Allgemeine

Computer: OpenOffice speichert im Word-Format
Augsburger Allgemeine
In der Rubrik «Einstellungen für Standard-Dateiformat und ODF» bei der Option «Immer speichern als» die Einstellung «Microsoft Word 2007/2010/2013 XML» auswählen. Bestätigen, indem unten auf «OK» geklickt wird. Das bedeutet allerdings nicht, dass ...
OpenOffice speichert im Word-FormatAlzeyer Anzeiger

all 7 news articles »

September 12, 2014 07:24 AM

September 09, 2014

Google News

Worlds' First Olympic Games Cricket scoring system developed in New Zealand - Scoop.co.nz (press release)


Worlds' First Olympic Games Cricket scoring system developed in New Zealand
Scoop.co.nz (press release)
This requires that all 44 Asian Games Federation sports output real time Olympic Data Format (ODF) information to websites, all forms of media, television graphics and results books with an identical “look and feel” format. Signopsys software will ...

and more »

September 09, 2014 03:11 AM

Worlds' First Olympic Cricket scoring system developed in NZ - Scoop.co.nz (press release)


Worlds' First Olympic Cricket scoring system developed in NZ
Scoop.co.nz (press release)
This requires that all 44 Asian Games Federation sports output real time Olympic Data Format (ODF) information to websites, all forms of media, television graphics and results books with an identical “look and feel” format. Signopsys software will ...

and more »

September 09, 2014 02:47 AM

September 08, 2014

Google News

Worlds' First Olympic Games Cricket scoring system developed in New Zealand - Scoop.co.nz (press release)


Worlds' First Olympic Games Cricket scoring system developed in New Zealand
Scoop.co.nz (press release)
This requires that all 44 Asian Games Federation sports output real time Olympic Data Format (ODF) information to websites, all forms of media, television graphics and results books with an identical “look and feel” format. Signopsys software will ...

September 08, 2014 11:19 PM

Worlds First Olympic Cricket scoring system developed in NZ - Scoop.co.nz (press release)


Worlds First Olympic Cricket scoring system developed in NZ
Scoop.co.nz (press release)
This requires that all 44 Asian Games Federation sports output real time Olympic Data Format (ODF) information to websites, all forms of media, television graphics and results books with an identical “look and feel” format. Signopsys software will ...

and more »

September 08, 2014 09:44 PM

Olympic Games cricket scoring system developed in NZ - Voxy


Olympic Games cricket scoring system developed in NZ
Voxy
This requires that all 44 Asian Games Federation sports output real time Olympic Data Format (ODF) information to websites, all forms of media, television graphics and results books with an identical "look and feel" format. Signopsys software will ...

and more »

September 08, 2014 08:13 PM

LibreOffice 4.3, First Take: Still desktop-bound - ZDNet


LibreOffice 4.3, First Take: Still desktop-bound
ZDNet
LibreOffice continues to warn you that documents you save in the Office formats may not retain all their contents, but using its own ODF format doesn't preserve compatibility either — images in a document we saved as ODT darkened to the point of ...

September 08, 2014 11:04 AM

September 05, 2014

Planet KDE

Workspace-wide services on non-file objects

As a user…

Have you ever copied some text from e.g. Okular, KMail or LibreOffice to Plasma KRunner, to invoke some service on it, ideally based on auto-recognition of the data? And wished, you could just have already got in the context menu on the selected text the respective service you were going for?
Or have looked in the context menu of an image in a PDF, a website in Firefox or a database in Kexi and wondered why the context menu does not show at least the “Send to” services from the Kipi plugins?

As a developer…

Have you ever written a parser for plain text which detects certain things like urls or telephone numbers, then tags those text parts, to be able to highlight them and to offer certain actions on them? Only to find out that other programs are better in detection, for more things, and offer more or other services on those, at least that other program in its new release when you just aligned yours with their old?

If so, then we share some frustration. And an itch to scratch :)

Workspace-wide services on non-file objects

So what I would like to propose and do is a workspace-wide service system. Actually two.

The first system would make potentially all services on objects available everywhere, based on the mimetypes the program can support on export (e.g. the ones it would offer for the object to the clipboard on copy). It would also allow 3rd-parties to add new services without touching any existing programs.

The second system would make all object recognition logic available to all programs. And be extendable by 3rd-party as well without touching existing programs.

Because, why only deal with objects in the filesystem (blobs of bytes commonly called “files” ;) ) in a generic way? Why not also with objects in the composed object structures the programs have made up at runtime in the working memory and which the user can clearly address as objects in the UI?

Of course this needs to be properly done, so we do not end up with crowdy and surely improvable menus (e.g. like IMHO the “Send to…” menu in KSnapshot). For that I am happy that in the next days at Akademy the good people from the Visual Design Group are willing to offer their input on what people come to them with… you will find me queueing up for them :)

Because…
I'm going to Akademy

Data recognition system

Often data is not completely enriched with all possible semantics, there is a final enrichment done only by a human looking at the presentation of the data. E.g.

  • items in a picture (like a cat, a flower or a QR code)
  • items in some plain text (like a phone number or the name of a person)
  • items in some partially enriched text (like an email address in a comment in source code)

Or think about items in a sound, while not that typically presented in spatial way on a screen, still there is data recognition going on there as well, like a spoken word, barking or a speaker (or a dog, if you are into dogs :) ).

Some programs have some hardcoded data recognition system, e.g. Digikam for faces of humans, Konsole for urls in console output, KMail for urls and email addresses. Their code is not shared with other programs, everyone would have to reimplement it. Kate and Okteta would have to write their own url detection code, even Rekonq, Okular and Calligra, for text not yet marked-up as url. And Gwenview will have to do its own thing for face detection.

So I imagine a set of globally installed data recognition plugins which can be called on some given data and would report where they detected which objects. They would also mark objects with a state, like just a guess or sure thing, and if there is one or multiple options for the semantic (e.g. for non-unique names of contacts matched in the addressbook).

For text, here a list of things that could be detected in plain text and where you surely can imagine some services on: geocoordinates, date, time, phone number, url, email address, irc/chat nickname, irc channel, name of person, calculation, currency amount, value with physical unit, RGB value, abbreviation, identifying names of objects (like cities, countries, buildings, satellites), program name, you-name-it…

For many of these there are already recognition parsers in Plasma KRunners (even for geocoordinates with the Marble Plasma Runner). Time to share them with the whole system!

Services system

Many of the services I think of are those you can already find offered by the Plasma KRunners: doing some action based on some data provided.
Now the system should be able more than that, I would like to have these four kind of service types:
* action based on data (read-only with regard to the original data)
* manipulating action based on data (data returning a substitute for the original data)
* action based on data combined with other data (e.g. triggered by drag’n’drop)
* manipulating action based on data combined with other data

When querying for services, the possible mimetypes of the data should be passed (like with clipboard). For some of the mentioned things above this will mean newly invented mimetypes (e.g. for irc nickname or value with physical unit), but this seems okay. Some services will want to inspect the actual data to see if they do support something. Also will context & some metadata information (like the container) be helpful as well (e.g. for a translation service). Some services are cheap/okay to be queried for support/run as often as wanted, some are not (e.g. public web services run by private). Some services can be data-risky (do profiling by the seen data or risk lacking private info). All that should be accounted for in some way.

Some semantics of the services will be needed, to assist in presentation in the UI (e.g. “send copy of data somewhere”, “show info about data”, etc.)

Programs would install context files, which could be used to configure when to offer which services (done by whitelist/blacklist of services). The UI should offer typically used services in quickly accessible/discoverable ways (like direct items in the context menu).

Perhaps there is even a fifth kind of service possible, something that feeds the tooltip or some infobox with data about the object (like a business card for person from addressbook or a map for a location).

All this should allow services like “Offer translation”, “Alternative word proposal”, “Correction proposals”, “Look up in Wikipedia/knowledge db and show mini info card”, “do calculation” (on data of type formular-data), “Convert to other unit” (on data of type value with unit), “Start program”, “Open file”, “Show color”, “Look for offers in internet shop”, you-get-the-idea.

This service system might be similar to something done in NeXTSTEP, at least I remember having read about that one day. And Android also possibly features something similar, from what I understood. If have you pointers to details about those, and other similar systems, please post them in the comments, so the concepts could be looked at and learned from as well. I still need to any research on pre-existing concepts, currently still busy with designing this proposal itself some more.

Ideally these systems are done with cross-desktop orientation in mind. At least for the services that should be doable, as service registration and service execution could be done via the abstraction layers of D-Bus, so the actual implementation does not matter. For the data recognition system I am not so sure yet, as multiple plugins all getting full data copies passed to do their special recognition on sounds rather heavy. No idea how shared memory would help here without introducing other problems?

Please give your input in the comments below, interested what you think of this.
I hope to also find a place for a BoF here at Akademy, for some proper feedback on the plan and hopefully implementation helpers :)


by Friedrich Kossebau (frinring) at September 05, 2014 10:28 PM

Google News

Debunking the top open source myths - Network World


Debunking the top open source myths
Network World
It's this very reason that governments, such as the Republic of Peru, are adopting “open source first” policies. The U.K.'s recent decision to mandate its agencies' office suites support Open Document Format (ODF) is another manifestation of this trend ...

September 05, 2014 08:27 PM

September 04, 2014

Planet KDE

Kexi: GSoC, JJ, Porting

KDE Project:

There were quite a few Kexi releases since my last blog entry. I tell you, the focus in this work was on improving stability. As an effect, reportedly, there can be a whole day of work without stability issues. Not bad..

Kexi is in fact a family of 5 or more apps integrated into one environment. Given the scope and ambitions it can be easily stated that we miss 20 to 30 engineers! Encouraging and educating new ones is a neverending activity. Out of the possible approaches these are well known: Google Summer of Code, Junior Jobs, non-coding contributors.

GSoC

Google Summer of Code brought Harshita Mistry to the Kexi project this year. It's now possible to import LibreOffice Base proprietary ODB files. Kexi is currently the only non-Java solution providing exit scenario from the Java Based HyperSQL database engine that LibreOffice Base employs. Currently table schema and data can be imported to Kexi. Much more can be done, if you're interested in joining, let me know.

But there's one more Google Summer of Code that I mentor. Amarvir Singh's application was accepted and I actually co-mentored him with Inge Wallin (thanks for convincing me!). Parley, a program that helps you memorize things, was obvious candidate for adding a database layer. The idea is to use an ordinary, usually file-based, database instead of a custom storage. Parley gets performant data storage solution for free and by the way, the file could be also opened by Kexi for modification.

Junior Jobs

Junior Jobs are sometimes available within the Season of KDE but are also present as a whole year offer.
Wojciech Kosowicz joined just before this summer and already contributed a number of useful improvements! Can a Junior be productive with a 160k-lines-of-code project in a week? Sure he can.

Great non-programming contributors

In addition, many great contributors offer their time and energy for testing and suggesting improvements. Among them, bookstore owner and hacker Ian Balchin joined the team. He moved to Linux for his book database needs and now uses Kexi 2.8 paired with a database server.

Porting to Qt 5, KF 5, and evolution of the UX

Finally, together with Calligra Kexi sails to the new ports of Qt 5 and KF5. This is rather very early stage for Kexi, Krita is much more ahead in this process. At technical level the code and app will be more compact and more accessible for final touches. That would hopefully lead to truly native experience on various platforms. I expect noticeable refresh of the visuals in many ways. For example, layouts, menus, as developed in the VDG's HIGs. Moreover, the great C++ based style will help in the transition.

For me this bit is a sign my personal change from developer who likes design and art to an amateur designer/creator who also program. You might remember this entry posted 18 months ago, probably before the new KDE visual/UX philosophy emerged. Now I see the building blocks fit.

Kexi 2.x already mixes of web user experience (just start Kexi to see its very own assistant, and removal of many K/QDialogs) and advantages of unmatched performance and offline capabilities. This happens without compromises like constriants of the traditional QStyle. Often I am thinking about application's appearance in the terms of its very own signature, program's DNA. I'll try to prepare new mockups.

And of course... find a guy wearing an old Kexi T-shirt, because:

by Jarosław Staniek (jstaniek) at September 04, 2014 09:41 PM

September 03, 2014

Google News

Sharing work is easier with an Open Document Format - BIT


Sharing work is easier with an Open Document Format
BIT
At another level ODF is a very complex format, as there is a lot of markup associated with an office document and the specification must capture all this. The document that specifies the OpenDocument standard (which includes other office formats ...

September 03, 2014 07:22 AM

September 01, 2014

Google News

Sharing work is easier with an Open Document Format - The Conversation AU


Sharing work is easier with an Open Document Format
The Conversation AU
The Open Document Format (ODF) is one such format. ODF was specified by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), an industry consortium which aims to produce standards for e-business. Key players in OASIS ...

September 01, 2014 08:45 PM

5 tips on migrating to open-source software - TechRepublic


5 tips on migrating to open-source software
TechRepublic
The Open Document Format (ODF) is alive and well within LibreOffice. So, when you're using those tools, your best bet is to start saving in their native format, particularly when you're either not sharing documents or sharing them with other users who ...

September 01, 2014 12:18 PM

August 29, 2014

Google News

View Open Document Files With ODF Reader for BlackBerry 10 - N4BB


View Open Document Files With ODF Reader for BlackBerry 10
N4BB
OpenDocument files are XML based files that are mainly used for text documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and graphics. It's intention is to provide a more open file format for office documents. Many nations around the world have adopted ODF as the ...

August 29, 2014 11:46 PM

August 28, 2014

Google News

10 tips for easier collaboration between office suites - TechRepublic (blog)


10 tips for easier collaboration between office suites
TechRepublic (blog)
Yes, you are likely using the Microsoft formats for your documents. However, they don't always follow OpenDocument Format (ODF) standards. Instead of opting for the proprietary Microsoft formats, switch over to one that's welcomed by nearly all office ...

August 28, 2014 06:24 PM

August 26, 2014

Google News

Patent trolls and open document formats with open source thought leaders - opensource.com


Patent trolls and open document formats with open source thought leaders
opensource.com
Gordon: There's often issues the fidelity of the document formats and how they convertible they are. As you talk about presentations and the like, is there anything around how convertible things like the particular ODF implementation needs to be?

August 26, 2014 11:22 AM

Patent trolls and open document formats with open source thought leaders - opensource.com


Patent trolls and open document formats with open source thought leaders
opensource.com
To go in reverse order, the UK announced that it's standardizing an open document format this week, which means that all future UK government work is going to be using an open standard. .... The UK government now requires you use ODF. There is no ...

August 26, 2014 11:22 AM

August 25, 2014

Google News

Rural Sanitation Transformation in Himachal Pradesh - Hill Post


Rural Sanitation Transformation in Himachal Pradesh
Hill Post
More important, surveys show that in the country as a whole, NGP awardees continue to exhibit significant presence of open defecation and only a negligible number are actually Open Defecation Free (ODF)[6]. ..... The workshop format included the usual ...

and more »

August 25, 2014 08:45 AM

August 20, 2014

Planet KDE

The features I have implemented in my Google Summer Of Code project

Sadly, the official coding time for Google Summer of Code has come to an end. :( It was wonderful working with my mentor Jigar. So I have coded three features for Calligra Sheets.

1. View Splitter -
-> I have pushed the code in sheets-vs-mrupanjana.
The feature enables a particular sheet view to be split into two portions vertically. The
cursors are not synchronized. Different input data can be given in the two portions. We often do not need to work with lots of columns, so the sheet view is at times more than optimum. It can easily be split and we can continue our work on both the portions.

2. Highlighting changes in a cell -
-> Code is pushed in sheets-hc-mrupanjana
This is a really interesting one and is absent in other similar applications. The user begins a session, feeds some data in the sheet, makes some changes in the cells where already there has data. The cells which have undergone changes are highlighted with dark blue colour. This enhances readability and the user will be aware of the changes made in the present session.

3. Autocorrection of function name -
-> Code has been pushed in sheets-fName-mrupanjana
Often user forgets the exact function name for calculating cos of an angle, absolute value of a number and guesses the function names. The user makes a guess and inputs a function name which is supposedly wrong. As he or she presses enter, it gets automatically corrected.If the user does not want the change in name, he or she can escape to the next cell using tab.

I have coded the storage and the implementation of all the three features. Hope to see them merged soon. :)


by Rupanjana Mitra (mrupanjana) at August 20, 2014 04:20 AM

August 19, 2014

Google News

Windows 9 technical preview, the first step towards fixing Windows, may appear ... - ExtremeTech


ExtremeTech

Windows 9 technical preview, the first step towards fixing Windows, may appear ...
ExtremeTech
Coincidently, the ODF format that is supposedly superior according to Linux enthusiasts is too loose to be implemented properly, which is why Word fails so badly at that format. Microsoft used the official documentation to code the save functionality ...

and more »

August 19, 2014 02:29 PM

August 18, 2014

Planet KDE

Author Outliner progress

So GSoC 2014 is ending and I were hurrying up to introduce more features to the outliner (read more). My project was to implement an outliner for the Calligra Author. This app is based on Words and should be an ideal tool for writing books. It has support of exporting your creation to different mobile formats, like EPub. But there is no way to write a plan for your work in the app. For example, novelists need to add a descriptions of the story actors and refer them during writing. That is why Author need an outliner.

The biggest problems I tackled on the last stage of work were in the RDF implementation in Calligra and my understanding of RDF.

At first I was struggling with an XML-style writing of objects. Such way of storing RDF easily hides actual RDF-triples it has. For example:

<cau:Section rdf:about="someuri">
    <cau:descr>Some description</cau:descr>
</cau:Section>

This hides 2 triples (one with rdf:type isn't obvious for me):

<someuri> rdf:type cau:Section
<someuri> cau:descr "Some description"

Maybe it doesn't look too complicated, but if you're newbie in RDF I recommend to read all the basic documentation for RDF that is available on the Internet, especially RDF XML Syntax helped me a lot.

And if you want to register a custom file to be saved inside ODT package you can add such triples to manifest.rdf (all this done through KoDocumentRdf class in Calligra and a special manifest context that you can retrieve with this class)

<filenode> rdf:type odf:MetaDataFile
<filenode> pkg:path "filename.rdf"

and then use resource node with url:

KoDocumentRdf::rdfPathContextPrefix() + "filename.rdf"

as a context for the triples you want to put on this file. And don't forget that modification of RDF doesn't make Author or Words to mark your document as changed. So it is possible that changes will be lost. So it is necessary to modify this flag from code (see KWDocument::setModified(bool) method).

Now, I have a full understanding of all technical parts of storing metadata for the outliner. As I said, the plan was to save all the notes, descriptions, created when you are planning, as RDF metadata. It is open format and openDocument supports it. So it will be possible to open any ODT file with Author to work with it, then the saved version could be used outside Author (of course if this another app supports RDF and will not remove Author metadata from package).

By now you can edit Section's data: add descriptions, change its state (draft, edit or finished).



I can't say that the outliner is finished, but I have done much of work improving sections support (which I weren't planning at the beginning of GSoC), that is needed to implement outliner. And while working on outliner, I found that some aspects of sections implementation should be improved (I want to introduce a special section model for easy integration of it to any view). So there is many work to do and definitely I won't stop with GSoC and will continue working on Calligra. And I would be glad to work with the Calligra team at GSoC 2015.

by Denis Kuplyakov (denerkup) at August 18, 2014 07:09 PM

Google News

Munich city official takes heat for thinking about ditching Linux for Windows - FierceEnterpriseCommunications


Munich city official takes heat for thinking about ditching Linux for Windows
FierceEnterpriseCommunications
Specifically, the publication golem.de cites a lack of outrage among federal workers about the use of proprietary formats, who are evidently only using the ODF format when they really need to--an indication that they're bringing Office to work with them.

and more »

August 18, 2014 04:41 PM

Munich city official takes heat for thinking about ditching Linux for Windows - FierceEnterpriseCommunications


Munich city official takes heat for thinking about ditching Linux for Windows
FierceEnterpriseCommunications
Specifically, the publication golem.de cites a lack of outrage among federal workers about the use of proprietary formats, who are evidently only using the ODF format when they really need to--an indication that they're bringing Office to work with them.

and more »

August 18, 2014 04:41 PM

A powerful but dated Office clone - CNET


A powerful but dated Office clone
CNET
Writer (and the rest of the LibreOffice suite) saves its files in the OpenDocument format by default. That file format is supported by most word processors, but it's easy enough to change if the unfamiliar extension (.ODT) scares off your friends and ...

August 18, 2014 12:59 PM

August 14, 2014

Planet KDE

Thanks KDE



It's more than year of my encounter with source code of some real life application.(Thanks to KDE) I had never before seen such huge source code. The guidelines on techbase were so comprehensive that I didn't even realize that I had started fixing imperative bugs. The best part was that KDE had all types of applications, under various categories like multimedia, education, games etc. So I could try my hand on many different applications and recognize my interest. I enjoyed hacking source code of Kstars the most. And I compiled the code with the help of instruction on techbase and KDE's cool developers at IRC, who are always eager to help. I used to get fascinated on running those awesome application on my plasma desktop. I used to wonder how they work. The secret was revealed then. I sent mail in KDE developer's mailing list that I want to contribute and how do I start even though answer was there on techbase. And reply came that I can search though bugs related to application of my interest on bugzilla  and try to fix it. I did it. It was really so easy.

Here, I have advice for students like me, who have very basic knowledge of any programming language and wants to contribute to open source, but are afraid that they have no experience and no experties  in language. LOL, you don't need to have experience to get experience. And when I started hecking into source code of KStars which is mostly written in C++, I had never written single line in C++ before, trust me. So don't worry if you are not expert in any language, all you need is quest to learn and little bit concept of programming. Take help from those cool techies hanging on IRCs. Don't hesitate to ask any question there, thinking that they might be stupid. They invest their time in answering your question rather than in rating it ;-). 

I had really cool year of coding. I have learn a lot in this one year. I have learn to talk to people, to search a solution from google, ways to learn and much more. Apart from all these KDE is full of opportunities like SoK, GSoC, meet-ups, conferences etc. Summer of code where we can learn skill to heck and code under guidance of well experienced mentors. And sprints like Randa, Calligra Sprint etc, where we have opportunity to meet those well experienced and expert of their areas, developers. Thanks KDE, thanks you very much for those superb opportunity, which are like dream for we students. 

BTW, I am going to this year's Randa meeting. I have seen photos and read though blogs of previous attendees. I can't wait for it. I have already made so many plans for discussions, fixing bugs and sharing ideas on Kstars.

Randa Meetup 2014
KDE is already helping us in so many ways, so why don't we give it some token of thanks. Yes we can say thanks to KDE by making little contribution in organizing to one of such sprint i.e. Randa ;-) ofcourse. Please make little donation : http://www.kde.org/fundraisers/randameetings2014/index.php :) Your small drop will help us fill ocean ;-) 

Like Small drops make a mighty ocean

by Vijay Dhameliya (vijay13) at August 14, 2014 06:34 AM

August 13, 2014

Planet KDE

Upstream and Downstream: why packaging takes time

KDE Project:

Here in the KDE office in Barcelona some people spend their time on purely upstream KDE projects and some of us are primarily interested in making distros work which mean our users can get all the stuff we make. I've been asked why we don't just automate the packaging and go and do more productive things. One view of making on a distro like Kubuntu is that its just a way to package up the hard work done by others to take all the credit. I don't deny that, but there's quite a lot to the packaging of all that hard work, for a start there's a lot of it these days.

"KDE" used to be released once every nine months or less frequently. But yesterday I released the first bugfix update to Plasma, to make that happen I spent some time on Thursday with David making the first update to Frameworks 5. But Plasma 5 is still a work in progress for us distros, let's not forget about KDE SC 4.13.3 which Philip has done his usual spectacular job of updating in the 14.04 LTS archive or KDE SC 4.14 betas which Scarlett has been packaging for utopic and backporting to 14.04 LTS. KDE SC used to be 20 tars, now it's 169 and over 50 langauge packs.

Patches

If we were packaging it without any automation as used to be done it would take an age but of course we do automate the repetative tasks, the KDE SC 4.13.97 status page shows all the packages and highlights obvious problems. But with 169 tars even running the automated script takes a while, then you have to fix any patches that no longer apply. We have policies to disuade having patches, any patches should be upstream in KDE or on their way upstream, but sometimes it's unavoidable that we have some to maintain which often need small changes for each upstream release.

Symbols

Much of what we package are libraries and if one small bit changes in the library, any applications which use that library will crash. This is ABI and the rules for binary compatibility in C++ are nuts. Not infrequently someone in KDE will alter a library ABI without realising. So we maintain symbol files to list all the symbols, these can often feel like more trouble than they're worth because they need updated when a new version of GCC produces different symbols or when symbols disappear and on investigation they turn out to be marked private and nobody will be using them anyway, but if you miss a change and apps start crashing as nearly happened in KDE PIM last week then people get grumpy.

Copyright

Debian, and so Ubuntu, documents the copyright licence of every files in every package. This is a very slow and tedious job but it's important that it's done both upstream and downstream because it you don't people won't want to use your software in a commercial setting and at worst you could end up in court. So I maintain the licensing policy and not infrequently have to fix bits which are incorrectly or unclearly licenced and answer questions such as today I was reviewing whether a kcm in frameworks had to be LGPL licenced for Eike. We write a copyright file for every package and again this can feel like more trouble than its worth, there's no easy way to automate it but by some readings of the licence texts it's necessary to comply with them and it's just good practice. It also means that if someone starts making claims like requiring licencing for already distributed binary packages I'm in an informed position to correct such nonsense.

Descriptions

When we were packaging KDE Frameworks from scratch we had to find a descirption of each Framework. Despite policies for metadata some were quite underdescribed so we had to go and search for a sensible descirption for them. Infact not infrequently we'll need to use a new library which doesn't even have a sensible paragraph describing what it does. We need to be able to make a package show something of a human face.

Multiarch

A recent addition to the world of .deb packaging is MultiArch which allows i386 packages to be installed on amd64 computers as well as some even more obscure combinations (powerpc on ppcel64 anyone?). This lets you run Skype on your amd64 computer without messy cludges like the ia32-libs package. However it needs quite a lot of attention from packagers of libraries marking which packages are multiarch, which depend on other multiarch or arch independent packages and even after packaging KDE Frameworks I'm not entirely comfortable with doing it.

Splitting up Packages

We spend lots of time splitting up packages. When say Calligra gets released it's all in one big tar but you don't want all of it on your system because you just want to write a letter in Calligra Words and Krita has lots of image and other data files which take up lots of space you don't care for. So for each new release we have to work out which of the installed files go into which .deb package. It takes time and even worse occationally we can get it wrong but if you don't want heaps of stuff on your computer you don't need then it needs to be done. It's also needed for library upgrades, if there's a new version of libfoo and not all the programs have been ported to it then you can install libfoo1 and libfoo2 on the same system without problems. That's not possible with distros which don't split up packages.

One messy side effect of this is that when a file moves from one .deb to another .deb made by the same sources, maybe Debian chose to split it another way and we want to follow them, then it needs a Breaks/Replaces/Conflicts added. This is a pretty messy part of .deb packaging, you need to specify which version it Breaks/Replaces/Conflicts and depending on the type of move you need to specify some combination of these three fields but even experienced packages seem to be unclear on which. And then if a backport (with files in original places) is released which has a newer version than the version you specify in the Breaks/Replaces/Conflicts it just refuses to install and stops half way through installing until a new upload is made which updates the Breaks/Replaces/Conflicts version in the packaging. I'd be interested in how this is solved in the RPM world.

Debian Merges

Ubuntu is forked from Debian and to piggy back on their work (and add our own bugs while taking the credit) we merge in Debian's packaging at the start of each cycle. This is fiddly work involving going through the diff (and for patches that's often a diff of a diff) and changelog to work out why each alternation was made. Then we merge them together, it takes time and it's error prone but it's what allows Ubuntu to be one of the most up to date distros around even while much of the work gone into maintaining universe packages not part of some flavour has slowed down.

Stable Release Updates

You have Kubuntu 14.04 LTS but you want more? You want bugfixes too? Oh but you want them without the possibility of regressions? Ubuntu has quite strict definition of what's allowed in after an Ubuntu release is made, this is because once upon a time someone uploaded a fix for X which had the side effect of breaking X on half the installs out there. So for any updates to get into the archive they can only be for certain packages with a track record of making bug fix releases without sneaking in new features or breaking bits. They need to be tested, have some time passed to allow for wider testing, be tested again using the versions compiled in Launchpad and then released. KDE makes bugfix releases of KDE SC every month and we update them in the latest stable and LTS releases as 4.13.3 was this week. But it's not a process you can rush and will take a couple of weeks usually. That 4.13.3 update was even later then usual because we were busy with Plasma 5 and whatnot. And it's not perfect, a bug in Baloo did get through with 4.13.2. But it would be even worse if we did rush it.

Backports

Ah but you want new features too? We don't allow in new features into the normal updates because they will have more chance of having regressions. That's why we make backports, either in the kubuntu-ppa/backports archive or in the ubuntu backports archive. This involves running the package through another automation script to change whever needs changed for the backport then compiling it all, testing it and releasing it. Maintaining and running that backport script is quite faffy so sending your thanks is always appreciated.

We have an allowance to upload new bugfix (micro releases) of KDE SC to the ubuntu archive because KDE SC has a good track record of fixing things and not breaking them. When we come to wanting to update Plasma we'll need to argue for another allowance. One controvertial issue in KDE Frameworks is that there's no bugfix releases, only monthly releases with new features. These are unlikely to get into the Ubuntu archive, we can try to argue the case that with automated tests and other processes the quality is high enough, but it'll be a hard sell.

Crack of the Day
Project Neon provides packages of daily builds of parts of KDE from Git. And there's weekly ISOs that are made from this too. These guys rock. The packages are monolithic and install in /opt to be able to live alongside your normal KDE software.

Co-installability

You should be able to run KDELibs 4 software on a Plasma 5 desktop. I spent quite a bit of time ensuring this is possible by having no overlapping files in kdelibs/kde-runtime and kde frameworks and some parts of Plasma. This wasn't done primarily for Kubuntu, many of the files could have been split out into .deb packages that could be shared between KDELibs 4 and Plasma 5, but other disros which just installs packages in a monolithic style benefitted. Some projects like Baloo didn't ensure they were co-installable, fine for Kubuntu as we can separate the libraries that need to be coinstalled from the binaries, but other distros won't be so happy.

Automated Testing
Increasingly KDE software comes with its own test suite. Test suites are something that has been late coming to free software (and maybe software in general) but now it's here we can have higher confidence that the software is bug free. We run these test suites as part of the package compilation process and not infrequently find that the test suite doesn't run, I've been told that it's not expected for packagers to use it in the past. And of course tests fail.

Obscure Architectures
In Ubuntu we have some obscure architectures. 64-bit Arm is likely to be a useful platform in the years to come. I'm not sure why we care about 64-bit powerpc, I can only assume someone has paid Canonical to care about it. Not infrequently we find software compiles fine on normal PCs but breaks on these obscure platforms and we need to debug why they is. This can be a slow process on ARM which takes an age to do anything, or very slow where I don't even have access to a machine to test on, but it's all part of being part of a distro with many use-cases.

Future Changes
At Kubuntu we've never shared infrstructure with Debian despite having 99% the same packaging. This is because Ubuntu to an extent defines itself as being the technical awesomeness of Debian with smoother processes. But for some time Debian has used git while we've used the slower bzr (it was an early plan to make Ubuntu take over the world of distributed revision control with Bzr but then Git came along and turned out to be much faster even if harder to get your head around) and they've also moved to team maintainership so at last we're planning shared repositories. That'll mean many changes in our scripts but should remove much of the headache of merges each cycle.

There's also a proposal to move our packaging to daily builds so we won't have to spend a lot of time updating packaging at every release. I'm skeptical if the hassle of the infrastructure for this plus fixing packaging problems as they occur each day will be less work than doing it for each release but it's worth a try.

ISO Testing
Every 6 months we make an Ubuntu release (which includes all the flavours of which Ubuntu [Unity] is the flagship and Kubuntu is the most handsome) and there's alphas and betas before that which all need to be tested to ensure they actually install and run. Some of the pain of this has reduced since we've done away with the alternative (text debian-installer) images but we're nowhere near where Ubuntu [Unity] or OpenSUSE is with OpenQA where there are automated installs running all the time in various setups and some magic detects problems. I'd love to have this set up.

I'd welcome comments on how any workflow here can be improved or how it compares to other distributions. It takes time but in Kubuntu we have a good track record of contributing fixes upstream and we all are part of KDE as well as Kubuntu. As well as the tasks I list above about checking copyright or co-installability I do Plasma releases currently, I just saw Harald do a Phonon release and Scott's just applied for a KDE account for fixes to PyKDE. And as ever we welcome more people to join us, we're in #kubuntu-devel where free hugs can be found, and we're having a whole day of Kubuntu love at Akademy.

by Jonathan Riddell (riddell) at August 13, 2014 04:18 PM

August 11, 2014

Google News

LibreOffice might be coming to Android - ITworld.com


LibreOffice might be coming to Android
ITworld.com
As the article notes, there is a real need for Open Document Format (ODF) support in Android, and a LibreOffice release would go a long way toward fixing that. Unfortunately, there is no release date set for LibreOffice for Android so a final release ...

and more »

August 11, 2014 07:01 PM

ODF FOI Update: Lost, Found and Lost Again - ComputerworldUK (blog)


ODF FOI Update: Lost, Found and Lost Again
ComputerworldUK (blog)
Last month I provided an update on my Freedom of Information request to the UK Cabinet Office on the subject of ODF formats. I've still not heard anything back, but obviously in the light of the good news about the choice of ODF as the official UK ...

August 11, 2014 07:45 AM

August 09, 2014

ODF Wikipedia Page

Jaffacakemonster53: /* Software */ Added Google Docs Link

Software: Added Google Docs Link

← Previous revision Revision as of 16:40, 9 August 2014
Line 160: Line 160:
 
*[[Evince]]
 
*[[Evince]]
 
*[[Gnumeric]]<ref>{{cite web|url=http://projects.gnome.org/gnumeric/doc/sect-file-formats.shtml|title=File Formats|author=Eric Baudais & others|publisher=GNOME Documentation Project|work=The Gnumeric Manual, version 1.10|date=February 2010|accessdate=10 September 2012}}</ref>
 
*[[Gnumeric]]<ref>{{cite web|url=http://projects.gnome.org/gnumeric/doc/sect-file-formats.shtml|title=File Formats|author=Eric Baudais & others|publisher=GNOME Documentation Project|work=The Gnumeric Manual, version 1.10|date=February 2010|accessdate=10 September 2012}}</ref>
  +
*[[Google Docs]]
 
*[[IBM Lotus Symphony]]<ref name="register" /><ref>{{cite web|url=http://blogs.msdn.com/dmahugh/archive/2009/05/09/1-2-1.aspx |title=1 + 2 = 1?|author=Doug Mahugh|publisher=MSDN Blogs|date=10 May 2009<!-- 2:26 AM-->|accessdate=10 September 2012}}</ref><ref>[http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/help.nsf/ReleaseNotes Symphony.lotus.com]</ref>
 
*[[IBM Lotus Symphony]]<ref name="register" /><ref>{{cite web|url=http://blogs.msdn.com/dmahugh/archive/2009/05/09/1-2-1.aspx |title=1 + 2 = 1?|author=Doug Mahugh|publisher=MSDN Blogs|date=10 May 2009<!-- 2:26 AM-->|accessdate=10 September 2012}}</ref><ref>[http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/help.nsf/ReleaseNotes Symphony.lotus.com]</ref>
 
*[[Inkscape]] exports .odg
 
*[[Inkscape]] exports .odg

by Jaffacakemonster53 at August 09, 2014 04:40 PM

August 08, 2014

Google News

LibreOffice is coming to Android - TechRepublic


LibreOffice is coming to Android
TechRepublic
At the moment, getting odt or ods files open for editing on the Android platform is a nightmare. Honestly, this has confounded me. WPS Office (formerly Kingsoft Office) does not support ODF. Office Suite Pro does support ODF (however, it's not ...

August 08, 2014 04:52 PM

August 06, 2014

Google News

Beyond Open Standards and Open Access - ComputerworldUK (blog)


Beyond Open Standards and Open Access
ComputerworldUK (blog)
A concern about ODF was raised in respect of the likely result of multiple formats and impacts on interoperability. Examples of existing tools were raised that implement ODF 1.2, although the Board suggested that care would need to be taken to avoid ...

August 06, 2014 12:13 PM

August 04, 2014

Google News

How the Cabinet Office wants to transform Government IT - Computer Business Review


How the Cabinet Office wants to transform Government IT
Computer Business Review
Whitehall recently opted for Open Document Format (ODF) as its standard file format, which is more open than Redmond's touted Open XML, which the Government considered as harmful to vendor independence. The spokesman confirmed that contracts ...

and more »

August 04, 2014 11:41 AM

August 01, 2014

Google News

'Guess what: If you use the internet, you're the subject of experiments' - Register


'Guess what: If you use the internet, you're the subject of experiments'
Register
... week when it chose the Open Document Format for the default UK.gov file format. From this week forth, all electronic documents produced and used by Whitehall and other government agencies will have to be ODF, annoying Redmond since it backs its own ...

and more »

August 01, 2014 10:02 AM

Charles H. Schulz

A personal take on LibreOffice 4.3

LibreOffice 4.3 has been released this week and it has already been noticed quite a lot, judging by the number of articles in the press worldwide. The announcement may be found here, and a thorough, technical description has been written by Michael Meeks on his blog (detailed release notes are here).

I would like to discuss a bit what I think stands out in this new release; as such this is a personal collection of items and topics and not an authoritative list you could find in the release notes.

1. Native look and feel on Mac OS X

Had this been a multi-platform announcement, it would probably have been the most touted feature of the release. The reality is that this only affects OS X users and the technical details are a bit more specific: toolbars background are now rendered natively on Mac OS X, essentially leading to a native-look and feel for LibreOffice on Apple computers. This is significant to me and to OS X users and gives a much welcome UI refresh to LibreOffice. I know we receive many demands – or rather complaints to “change our user interface” but most of these requests come from people who probably have no clue what such a change entails in terms of efforts and resources. LibreOffice’s user interface, as such is not outdated because it is based on menus and not ribbons. These two interfaces metaphores are two concepts that date back to roughly the same time (the eighties) and none of them is supposedly better than the other.  LibreOffice however needs a background refresh at least and to look native or more native on each platform. Such changes happen in an incremental way, and the 4.3 illustrates this. If you have a Mac, just download and install Libreoffice 4.3 and see by yourself what I mean. To me it is something major because it is by definition highly visible to anyone.

Osx-native-toolbar.jpg

2. Printable comments

I don’t think I would have hailed it on my top list just a few years ago but working more and more in a “collaborative fashion within a reasonably close physical distance” (read: in an office) I keep on noticing people printing documents all day long, then taking a pen, writing stuff, highlighting lines with markers… Of course you can add comments to documents with LibreOffice and go print-free. But people do print documents. All the time, all day long. I am planning a post dedicated to the never-ending legacy print as some aspects of this issue fascinates me. Anyway, it is now possible to print the comments you added in the margins with Libreoffice, independently of the file format (ODF or OOXML). This is a much awaited feature (other improvements for comments are also shipped with the 4.3), and it will let people continue to print endless drafts of their documents for many, many years to come. Apparently, we answered a deep and essential human need here – it did require a lot of work from the developers as well.

3. Filters, compatibility, interoperability

LibreOffice 4.3 ships with many improvements in document filters: better PDF support, improved OOXML compatibility, new import filters for – get this- Microsoft Works spreadsheets and databases, alongside a whole series of ClarisWorks and AppleWorks filters, igniting in your desillusioned soul the hope that what’s been on this old computer and floppy disks of yours in your inlaws’ basement shall be retrieved at last. For this you must be forever thankful to the Document Liberation project. But, as good as it gets, the juicy bits here won’t come from the nineties, but rather from 2008. Regular readers of this blog will remember these glorious days, just before the big financial crisis, where Microsoft had created the so-called OpenXML standard that was supposed to be totally not competing against the OpenDocument Format, managed to have pretty much the entire standards community swallow it in the most creative ways possible, then fell short of actually implementing it in its own products. A good summary of the whole -technical- story is available here. The irony of life has the uncanny ability to devise ways to enchant us. Well, sort of. The format called “OOXML – Strict”, by comparison to “OOXML-Transitional” was the readable open part of the ISO 29500 standard, known as OOXML. For years, it was obvious that Microsoft Office implemented OOXML-Transitional (the heap of the more or less documented parts of the format alongside undocumented blurbs) and nothing else, creating a situation where one standard, OOXML was existing, and another format, OOXML, was fully implemented and spread all around, yet was an undocumented, proprietary specification. That’s the .docx, pptx, and .xlsx you see everywhere, and the one LibreOffice was busy reverse-engineering for all these years.

This unfortunate situation, we were told, was about to change soon, with the full adoption of OOXML-Strict by Microsoft Office. Helas, if you open a purely OOXML-Strict compliant file with Microsoft Office 2013, the file will be declared corrupt. If you open the same one with LibreOffice 4.3, the file will open and you will be able to edit its contents just like with any other format supported by LibreOffice. In other words, LibreOffice can claim to have a better support of OOXML than Microsoft Office, despite years of unfulfilled promises, pledges, and never met expectations by Redmond. I guess that, just like the old saying goes, promises only commit the ones who actually believe them.

4. Spring Water

Not in the announcement, but we did change somewhat the way we name one of the LibreOffice branches. We started with a naming pattern for our releases that had numbers only and confused the hell out of everyone. We then named the most recent branch “Fresh” and the older branch “Stable”. That turned out to be a very good idea, answered a lot of questions, but somewhat reinforced the impression that the Fresh branch is a development branch or a beta version of LibreOffice, which is by definition not the case (if you want to check our beta, release candidates and development versions, follow this link) .

We thus had to come up with another name for the “Stable” branch, knowing we could not satisfy everyone. “Mature” seemed to be the best term as it was conveying exactly what we meant. Mature, however, at least in English, can have some other unfortunate meanings that are as or even more popular than “LibreOffice Mature” on the Internet. After some try-outs, we came up with “Still”, as in “Still or Sparkling water”. It echoes well with Fresh, and manages to convey the notion of something that is less active, even quiet and “in a more stable state” than something which is fresh and new, yet already a finished product. Of course this concept works well in English and it will have to be twisted, if not radically altered in other languages, starting with French.

Last but not least, this release has been a success and I would like to thank the developers, the growing Quality Assurance team, the localizers, the infrastructure team and of course Italo Vignoli for this tremendous job. Being involved in the actual release (publishing pages, handling social media among other things), I know the kind of excitement releasing a software like LibreOffice induces, but also the skills and the talent it requires: the LibreOffice project is lucky to rely on these teams of various contributors who make it happen, day by day. That is also one of the things that truly stands out in LibreOffice.

by Charles at August 01, 2014 06:00 AM

July 31, 2014

An Antic Disposition

Document as Activity versus Document as Record

I’ve been thinking some more on the past, present and future of documents.   I don’t know exactly where this post will end up, but I think this will help me clarify some of my own thoughts.

First, I think technology has clouded our thinking and we’ve been equivocating with the term “document”, using it for two entirely different concepts.

One concept is of the document as the way we do work, but not an end-in-itself.  This is the document as a “collaboration surface”,  short-lived, ephemeral, fleeting, quickly created and equally quickly forgotten.

For example, when I create a few slides for a project status report, I know that the presentation document will never be seen again, once the meeting for which it was written has ended.  The document serves as a tool for the activity of presenting status, of informing.  Twenty years ago we would have used transparencies (“foils”) or sketched out some key points on a black board.  And 10 years from now, most likely,  we will use something else to accomplish this task.    It is just a coincidence that today the tools we use for this kind of work also act like WYSIWYG editors and can print and save as “documents”.  But that is not necessary, and historically was not often the case.

Similarly, take a spreadsheet.  I often use a spreadsheet for a quick ad-hoc “what-if”  calculation.  Once I have the answer I am done.  I don’t even need to save the file.  In fact I probably load or save a document only 1 in 5 times that I  launch the application.   Some times people use a spreadsheet as a quick and dirty database.  But 20 years ago they would have done these tasks using other tools, not document-oriented, and 10 years from now they may use other tools that are equally not document related.  The spreadsheet primarily supports the activity of modeling and calculating.

Text documents have myriad collaborative uses today, but other tools have emerged  as well . Collaboration is moved to other non-document interfaces, tools like wikis, instant messaging, forums, etc.  Things that would have required routing a typed inter-office memo 50 years ago are now done with blog posts.

That’s one kind of document, the “collaboration surface”, the way we share ideas, work on problems, generally do our work.

And then there is a document as the record of what we did.  This is implied by the verb “to document”.   This use of documents is still critical, since it is ingrained in various regulatory, legal and business processes.  Sometimes you need “a document.”  It won’t do to have your business contract on a wiki.  You can’t prove conformance to a regulation via a Twitter stream.  We may no longer print and file our “hard” documents, but there is a need to have a durable, persistable, portable, signable form of a document.  PDF serves well for some instances, but not in others.  What does PDF do with a spreadsheet, for example?  All the formulas are lost.

This distinction, between these two uses of documents,  seems analogous to the distinction between Systems of Engagement and Systems of Record, and can be considered in that light.    It just happens that each concept happened to use the same technology, the same tools, circa the year 2000,  but in general these two concepts are very different.

The obvious question is:  What will the future being?   How quickly does our tool set diverge?   Do we continue with tools that compromise, hold back collaborative features because they must also serve as tools to author document records?   Or do we unchain collaborative tools and allow them to focus on what they do best?

by Rob at July 31, 2014 08:08 PM

Razvan Sandu

Guvernul britanic a ales formatele de fișier deschise (OpenDocument, PDF)





   Un comunicat recent dat publicității de către guvernul britanic arată că formatele de fișier OpenDocument și Portable Document Format (PDF), formate deschise, au fost selectate ca formate de fișier obligatoriu de folosit în administrația Regatului Unit, pentru comunicarea între guvern și cetățeni.

  În consecință, va exista obligația ca sistemele informatice ce vor fi achiziționate pentru administrația publică să „știe” să deschidă, prelucreze și trimită fișiere în (cel puțin) aceste formate (.pdf, .odt, .ods, .odp).

Așa cum am mai spus, comunicarea cetățean-stat prin intermediul fișierelor în formate deschise este esențială pentru:

  • a nu crea discriminări între contribuabili în funcție de sistemul de operare (GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOS, etc.) pe care alege să îl folosească fiecare, pe calculatorul propriu (de exemplu, programul Microsoft Office nu este produs în versiune pentru GNU/Linux)
  • a nu crea discriminări între contribuabili în funcție de suita de programe de birou folosită (LibreOffice, Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org, ș.a.). De exemplu, fișierele proprietare .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .pps, .ppsx produse de Microsoft Office conțin funcții proprietare, care nu sunt compatibile cu alte programe
  • a nu face sistemele informatice guvernamentale dependente de software-ul produs de un anumit producător (de exemplu, cine nu folosește navigatorul web Microsoft Internet Explorer nu poate utiliza facilitățile existente pe site-ul Ministerului de Finanțe, care trebuie să fie accesibile oricărui contribuabil, fiind obligatorii prin lege)
  • a lăsa cetățenilor libertatea neîngrădită de a folosi ce software doresc pe calculatoarele proprii (liber sau proprietar, gratuit sau plătit), fără a fi limitați în comunicarea cu statul

Aștept cu interes ca și statul român să urmeze bunul exemplu britanic...


by Răzvan Sandu (noreply@blogger.com) at July 31, 2014 01:22 PM

Google News

LibreOffice 4.3: "you can't own a better office suite" - HEXUS


HEXUS

LibreOffice 4.3: "you can't own a better office suite"
HEXUS
Lastly, the update will also provide better comment management as "comments can now be printed in the document margin, formatted in a better way, and imported and exported - including nested comments - in ODF, DOC, OOXML and RTF documents.

July 31, 2014 01:00 PM

July 30, 2014

Google News

LibreOffice makes its case as open source alternative to MS Office - CNET


LibreOffice makes its case as open source alternative to MS Office
CNET
Earlier this week, the United Kingdom finally put in practice a directive that all official office suites must support an open format for documents called ODF. Government officials say the move to standardize around open formats will reduce costs ...

and more »

July 30, 2014 03:08 PM

OrFoxOS combines Firefox OS and Tor on a $25 smartphone - ITworld.com


OrFoxOS combines Firefox OS and Tor on a $25 smartphone
ITworld.com
Comment management: comments can now be printed in the document margin, formatted in a better way, and imported and exported – including nested comments – in ODF, DOC, OOXML and RTF documents, for improved productivity and better ...

July 30, 2014 02:35 PM

LibreOffice 4.3 arrives, promises more intuitive spreadsheet handling, adds 3D ... - BetaNews


BetaNews

LibreOffice 4.3 arrives, promises more intuitive spreadsheet handling, adds 3D ...
BetaNews
The Start Center also gains some improvements, the most notable of which is the fact it now offers previews of all file types, not just OpenOffice's own native ODF format. Users can now also selectively delete recent documents by rolling their mouse ...
LibreOffice makes its case as open source alternative to MS OfficeCNET
LibreOffice 4.3: The best open-source office suite gets betterZDNet

all 10 news articles »

July 30, 2014 10:14 AM

Engelse overheid kiest ODF als standaard voor documentformaten - Docufacts


Engelse overheid kiest ODF als standaard voor documentformaten
Docufacts
Op 17 september 2007 lanceerde staatssecretaris Heemskerk een actieplan rondom open standaarden waarin alle Rijksdiensten vanaf april 2008 het Open Document Format (ODF) moeten ondersteunen. Sinds 1 januari 2009 moeten alle overheden, zoals ...

July 30, 2014 09:10 AM

July 29, 2014

Google News

Express: un CEO pour Mozilla, le gouvernement anglais adopte le format ODF ... - ZDNet


Express: un CEO pour Mozilla, le gouvernement anglais adopte le format ODF ...
ZDNet
Open Source : Bouquet de brèves - Mozilla Corp dirigée par un vétéran; le gouvernement britannique adopte le format ODF; transparence des parlementaires et mobilisation en ligne; Systematic publie trois livres bleus; Framasoft pas convaincu par ...

July 29, 2014 05:00 AM

July 28, 2014

Google News

Top 10 most read: G3 vs Note 3, Microsoft open format complaints, Raspberry Pi ... - V3.co.uk


Top 10 most read: G3 vs Note 3, Microsoft open format complaints, Raspberry Pi ...
V3.co.uk
... viewed by specific applications, such as Microsoft Office, and instead use PDF/A or HTML file formats for documents that only need to be viewed, and the Open Document Format (ODF) for documents that will be shared or created and used collaboratively.

July 28, 2014 01:45 PM

UK government embraces Open Document Format - IDM.net.au


UK government embraces Open Document Format
IDM.net.au
ODF (OpenDocument Format) is the native file format of free open-source applications such as Apache OpenOffice, originally developed by Sun Microsystems, and LibreOffice, a fork of OpenOffice maintained by The Document Foundation. It is also supported ...

and more »

July 28, 2014 05:22 AM

OK government embraces Open Document Format - IDM.net.au


OK government embraces Open Document Format
IDM.net.au
ODF (OpenDocument Format) is the native file format of free open-source applications such as Apache OpenOffice, originally developed by Sun Microsystems, and LibreOffice, a fork of OpenOffice maintained by The Document Foundation. It is also supported ...

and more »

July 28, 2014 04:37 AM

Planet KDE

WebODF easily used, part 1: ViewerJS

WebODFYou possibly have heard of WebODF already, the Open Source JavaScript library for displaying and editing files in the OpenDocument format (ODF) inside HTML pages. For ideas what is possible with WebODF and currently going on, see e.g. Aditya’s great blog posts about the usage of WebODF in OwnCloud Documents and Highlights in the WebODF 0.5 release.

The WebODF library webodf.js comes with a rich API and lots of abstraction layers to allow adaption to different backends and enviroments. There is an increasing number of software using WebODF, some of that listed here.

Those which are interested in the capabilities of WebODF, without needing a custom and highly integrated solution, can additionally go for ready-made simple-to-use components based on WebODF. This blog post is the first of a series to introduce you to those. It starts with the component that gives you embedded display of OpenDocument format files, that is text documents (ODT), presentation slides (ODP) and spreadsheets (ODS), in webpages by just a single (sic!*) line of HTML code:
* no-one would add a line-break there ;)

ViewerJS

ViewerJS is an Open Source document viewer that enables embedded display of ODF or PDF files directly in webpages, without any external server dependencies, just done with HTML, CSS and Javascript. It uses WebODF to display files in the OpenDocument format and PDF.js for files in the PDF format.

Deploying and using ViewerJS with your webpages can be done in a few minutes. Follow this guide and see yourself!

Quickly Added

Start with looking at the current time and noting it.

As example file take an ODP of your choice, otherwise let’s use the slides from a talk at KDE’s Akademy in 2013, akademy2013-ODF-in-KDE-Calligra-WebODF.odp.

If you do not have a webserver handy, create a mini one locally on your system:


# Create a folder structure to serve statically
mkdir htroot

# Put the sample ODP file into htroot, renamed as "example.odp"
cp akademy2013-ODF-in-KDE-Calligra-WebODF.odp htroot/example.odp

# Add a simple html file:
touch htroot/example.html

Open example.html in an editor and have this as content:

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html>
  <head>
    <title>example.odp</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <div>We got an ODP file.</div>
    <div>Would be nice to show it here.</div>
  </body>
</html>

Start a simple webserver program serving that directory, e.g. the one built into Python. For that open a separate console and do:


cd htroot
python -m SimpleHTTPServer

example.odp not embeddedNow browse to http://127.0.0.1:8000/example.html and make sure you see that HTML file.

The ODP file example.odp is not displayed yet, right. Not so nice.

Let’s change that and deploy ViewerJS for it.

In the first console now do:


# Download http://viewerjs.org/releases/viewerjs-0.5.2.zip
# (check if there is a newer version perhaps, then change
# all "0.5.2" below to the new version string)
wget http://viewerjs.org/releases/viewerjs-0.5.2.zip

# Unzip the file
unzip viewerjs-0.5.2.zip

# Move the folder "ViewerJS" to the toplevel dir of
# the folder structure statically served by the webserver
# (could also be a non-toplevel dir)
mv viewerjs-0.5.2/ViewerJS htroot

Now replace the “Would be nice to show it here.” in the example.html with this code (remove the REMOVEME, workaround to strange WordPress behaviour):

<REMOVEMEiframe id="viewer" src="/ViewerJS/#../example.odp" width='400' height='300' allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen></iframe>

(in the sources one line, as promised. But add line-breaks as you like ;) )

example.odp embedded with ViewerJSNow reload http://127.0.0.1:8000/example.html in your browser. And if everything worked out, you see the ODP file now embedded in the webpage, ready to be read or e.g. presented fullscreen.

Look again at the current time. How minutes did you need? :)

ODF or PDF

For publishing done documents that should be only read and not further processed, PDF is the better choice IMHO, because the format specifies the exact positioning of everything.
ODF (same with similar formats like OOXML) leaves the actual fine-layout to the program displaying/printing the document, which can differ between computer systems and setups, usually due to the used font engine. This makes sense, as it allows to create ODF files from code that has no clue about layout calculations, e.g. some Perl script generating a report. But it can result in frustrations if some document with manually optimized layout gets differently layout-ed elsewhere.

Thanks to PDF.js ViewerJS can also nicely display PDFs, so use whatever format suits the needs, be it preview of some document to further process or display of the final result.

Take a PDF file and change the above example to show that instead of the ODP file. Then try also with an ODT or ODS file.

Getting better week by week

The developers of WebODF are constantly enhancing its coverage of the ODF spec. See how the slides template for this year’s GUADEC (of course done in ODP :) ) are almost looking the same in LibreOffice and ViewerJS (v0.5.2):
GUADEC2015SlideDesign in LibreOfficeGUADEC2014SlideDesign in ViewerJS

Currently the Wiki hosting the GUADEC slide templates still has to say:

Current configuration does not allow embedding of the file lightning_talks.odp because of its mimetype application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.presentation

ViewerJS and WebODF hopefully can be a reason to change that soon :)

When giving talks about WebODF of course ODPs and ViewerJS are used. Knowing the pitfalls the slides can be done avoiding those. Still many real-life samples not designed for current WebODF capabilities are increasingly well displayed, also e.g.
050 in LibreOffice050 in ViewerJS
or
MCT in LibreOfficeMCT in ViewerJS

In general are ODF documents with only formatted text and images in SVG, PNG, JPEG or similar no problem for WebODF and thus ViewerJS. But as can be seen next, e.g. native ODF graphic elements are still a TODO (and the result not related to any censoring code ;) ). But, the display is already good enough for a “preview” :) :
DLP in LibreOfficeDLP in ViewerJS

BTW, if you are browsing a website that does not yet use ViewerJS to display ODF files embedded but only provides them as links, there is another WebODF-based option for Firefox users: the ODF viewer Firefox Add-on, that allows viewing ODF documents directly in Firefox on any device, without the need of a (big) office suite.

More on ViewerJS.org

Learn more about ViewerJS on the website ViewerJS.org, e.g. how to support non-embedded custom fonts. Discover the ViewerJS plugin for WordPress. Think about how you and your websites could make use of ViewerJS and how you could help to improve ViewerJS and WebODF, and then contact the ViewerJS and WebODF developers about that! They are looking forward to working together with you as well.


by Friedrich Kossebau (frinring) at July 28, 2014 03:03 AM

July 27, 2014

Google News

Britska vlada sa rozhodla pre open source format ODF namiesto OpenXML - PCrevue.sk


PCrevue.sk

Britska vlada sa rozhodla pre open source format ODF namiesto OpenXML
PCrevue.sk
Rozhodnutie prejst na ODF znamena, ze obcania mozu namiesto komercnych produktov pouzit na pracu s tymto formatom slobodny softver (Libre Office ci OpenOffice). No v sucasnosti aj kancelarsky balik Microsoft Office 2013 podporuje ODF 1.2, hoci podla ...

July 27, 2014 10:56 PM

July 26, 2014

ODF Wikipedia Page

Ceyockey: /* Europe */ added one citation (edited with ProveIt)

Europe: added one citation (edited with ProveIt)

← Previous revision Revision as of 13:59, 26 July 2014
Line 263: Line 263:
 
* [[Sweden]]
 
* [[Sweden]]
 
* [[Switzerland]]
 
* [[Switzerland]]
* [[United Kingdom]]
+
* [[United Kingdom]]<ref>{{cite web | url=https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/open-source-open-standards-and-re-use-government-action-plan | title=Open source, open standards and re-use: government action plan | publisher=[[Government of the United Kingdom]] | date=27 January 2010 | deadurl=no<!-- present in archive,com-->}}</ref>
   
 
{{col-break}}
 
{{col-break}}

by Ceyockey at July 26, 2014 01:59 PM

July 25, 2014

Google News

Major win for open document format in the UK - TechRepublic


ITProPortal

Major win for open document format in the UK
TechRepublic
Not only will other organizations seriously consider the switch to the ODF format, but all other office suites. At the moment, Google Docs does a fairly good job of supporting ODF (it can convert .odt documents into the Google Doc format and then ...
The Vendor Independence may be hurt by Microsoft's open XMLThe Football Examiner

all 43 news articles »

July 25, 2014 07:36 PM

UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know - Register


UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
Register
ODF is the open specification for document markup, as employed by suites like OpenOffice. Microsoft is not happy: in selecting ODF, No.10 Downing Street rejected Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) or supporting a dual standard of OOXML and ODF.

July 25, 2014 11:37 AM

Docker acquires Orchard, SAP supports OpenStack, ODF and more - opensource.com


Docker acquires Orchard, SAP supports OpenStack, ODF and more
opensource.com
In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at Docker acquiring Orchard, SAP who will support Cloud Foundry and OpenStack, the UK government who made ODF its official document standard, and more!

July 25, 2014 09:42 AM

Docker acquires Orchard, SAP supports OpenStack, ODF and more - opensource.com


Docker acquires Orchard, SAP supports OpenStack, ODF and more
opensource.com
In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at Docker acquiring Orchard, SAP who will support Cloud Foundry and OpenStack, the UK government who made ODF its official document standard, and more!

July 25, 2014 09:42 AM

UK chooses ODF format for saving electronic documents - ITWorld Canada


ITProPortal

UK chooses ODF format for saving electronic documents
ITWorld Canada
That's what came to mind when I read this week that the British government has chosen the XML-based open document format (ODF) over Microsoft's OOXML for saving editable electronic documents it receives and sends. PDF/A or HTML are the formats for ...
Major win for open document format in the UKTechRepublic
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'knowRegister
The Vendor Independence may be hurt by Microsoft's open XMLThe Football Examiner

all 43 news articles »

July 25, 2014 03:37 AM

WebODF news

WebODF 0.5.2 released, bringing more fixes

Not even two weeks passed after the first update to WebODF 0.5 and there is the second.

It brings improvements in the rendering of the ODP slides and makes nagivation in ODT documents via home/end keys, or up/down cursor keys more reliable in all browsers.

July 25, 2014 12:00 AM

July 24, 2014

Google News

UK Government Adopts Open Standards - iProgrammer


UK Government Adopts Open Standards
iProgrammer
The UK Government has selected ODF (Open Document Format) as a required standard for sharing and collaborating on documents across all governement bodies. PDF/A and HTML are the selected standards for viewing government documents.

July 24, 2014 04:40 PM

Open source ownCloud innovates unique collaboration scheme - FierceEnterpriseCommunications


Open source ownCloud innovates unique collaboration scheme
FierceEnterpriseCommunications
Since version 6, ownCloud has included the capability for multiple users to collaboratively edit documents in ODF format (first popularized by OpenOffice) from within the portal. The word processor is built directly into the system. While most ...

and more »

July 24, 2014 02:38 PM

Open source ownCloud innovates unique collaboration scheme - FierceEnterpriseCommunications


Open source ownCloud innovates unique collaboration scheme
FierceEnterpriseCommunications
Since version 6, ownCloud has included the capability for multiple users to collaboratively edit documents in ODF format (first popularized by OpenOffice) from within the portal. The word processor is built directly into the system. While most ...

and more »

July 24, 2014 02:38 PM

Charles H. Schulz

What the UK Government’s adoption of ODF really means

On Tuesday the news that the UK Government had decided to use ODF as its official and default file format started to spread. The full announcement with technical details may be found here; the Document Foundation published its press release on Thursday morning there.

This decision is a landmark for several reasons. First, it is not every day that you see an entire ODF-logogovernment migrate to a standardized file format. You may hear about government branches using this or that solution, but nothing that is so “abstract” than a file format.  This time the UK Government has made the conscious decision to define a coherent policy in handling its digital documents, from the stage where they are created, edited and circulated all the way to the archival phase. It also comes year after the decision of the State of Massachusetts. As such the decision covers a variety of standards (HTML, PDF and ODF); yet its scope, as Glyn Moody rightly reminds us, also means that the devil will lie in the details of the execution.

Most of the migrations from one office suite to another tend to happen without any coherent document management policy. Many organizations moving from, say, Microsoft Office to LibreOffice do not necessarily adopt ODF as their default format and will carry on supporting whatever version of the MS Office file format internally. This usually leads to frustrations and compatibility problems. This time, the UK Government decision takes a different approach. By deciding about the formats first, the UK creates the conditions necessary to have real choices for its government and its citizens, thus setting a level playing field for everyone. Many people have understood this decision as being a move against Microsoft. It is not or at least it should not be. Microsoft Office implements ODF files and its latest editions, as I’m being told are actually quite good at it. What this move does, however, is to ensure no other solution will be at a competitive disadvantage because of a technical or legal (aka patents) lock-in. Of course, it remains to be seen what concrete actions the UK Government will take in order to ensure a smooth transition between proprietary formats and open standards; and it remains to be seen how well it will ensure a proper change management across all of its departments so that its agents feel comfortable with ODF documents and whatever new office suites that may be adopted as a result of the decision. Much could be lost at that stage, but much could be gained as well. And of course, just like with the Netherlands, the decision itself might end up being toned down or take a somewhat different meaning.

While reading among the tea leaves is not my favourite past time, it is relevant to assume that this decision may change a few things around the IT industry as well. By way of an example, I have always been amazed at Apple’s clean support of ODF inside Mac OS X but its constant absence across the iWork editions. Perhaps Apple will feel compelled to introduce ODF files in iWork now? Only time will tell. Cloud solutions will also have to improve or implement ODF and in some cases PDF support in a proper way.

The decision might also have consequences for other European countries and perhaps for the European institutions themselves, as the UK will now be an actual example of a country that has migrated to ODF, and not just one of the countries that made the choice of Free and Open Source Software. This is rare enough to catch the attention of several member states CIO offices.

This move to open standards by the UK Government is also telling of a deeper change in IT industry. We may reach the stage where finally, the average user starts to realize that the old Windows + Office paradigm starts to get exhausted. What can you do with Office documents aside opening them imperfectly in alternatives and opening them in a more effective way with Microsoft software? Actually, not much. Unless you get SharePoint. But the whole point is that in 2014, trying to extract revenue by creating lock-in on office files is no longer acceptable. That, I think, is what the UK Government decision really means. And if I’m right, it’s only the beginning.

Last but not least, this post would not be over without thanking many people whom I’ve worked with for several years in my position at my former company, Ars Aperta, in my former role at OpenOffice.org, at the OASIS Consortium and even today when contributing to the LibreOffice project. I’m thinking about people at OpenForum Europe, the FFII, the APRIL, the AFUL, the OASIS, the now defunct ODF Initiative and everyone else I am forgetting right now but who should be remembered. It’s nice sometimes, after such successes, to turn back and look at the road behind us. It can only give more confidence to walk on the one ahead.

by Charles at July 24, 2014 10:27 AM

Google News

UK Government Adopts ODF, but Not Microsoft's OOXML - Redmondmag.com


UK Government Adopts ODF, but Not Microsoft's OOXML
Redmondmag.com
Great Britain's government this week adopted HTML, as well as the PDF and ODF document formats, for sharing electronic files and collaborating with citizens, dealing a partial blow to Microsoft's aspirations. Microsoft had hoped the U.K. government ...

July 24, 2014 01:55 AM

July 23, 2014

www.opendocsociety.org

New co-chair of ODF TC

The ODF Technical Committee at OASIS has elected Oliver-Rainner Wittmann as its new co-Chair, joining Patrick Durusau. Mr. Wittmann is an employee of IBM and as erstwhile employee of SUN Microsystems has been a longstanding member of the ODF TC. Wittman is currently part of the team working on Apache OpenOffice, the well-known open source office suite.

Mr. Wittman is the successor of Rob Weir, who held the position of co-chair since 2007 until now. In his capacity of co-chair he played an important role in the tumultuous period around the ISO/IEC standardisation of IS29500. He also was a prominent figure in the various ODF plugfests, organised by OpenDoc Society together with a number of governments, academic institutions and open source communities.

Due to changes in his role at his employer, Weir is longer directly involved with document formats and editors. He will temporarily stay on as liaison from the ODF TC to ISO/IEC WG6, to provide some continuity. Weir's analytic skills, strong pen, in-depth knowledge of office applications and file formats, as well as his sharp wit will be missed by many in the ODF community.

July 23, 2014 07:10 PM

Google News

UK government adopts ODF for sharing and collaboration - TechRadar UK


UK government adopts ODF for sharing and collaboration
TechRadar UK
The British government has officially adopted PDF/A and HTML for viewing government documents while ODF (Open Document Format) has been selected for collaborating and sharing government documents. The move, which was announced by the ...

July 23, 2014 04:54 PM

UK government adopts ODF for sharing and collaboration - TechRadar UK


UK government adopts ODF for sharing and collaboration
TechRadar UK
The British government has officially adopted PDF/A and HTML for viewing government documents while ODF (Open Document Format) has been selected for collaborating and sharing government documents. The move, which was announced by the ...

July 23, 2014 04:54 PM

Le gouvernement britannique adopte le format ODF Microsoft conteste et ne voit ... - Developpez.com


Le gouvernement britannique adopte le format ODF Microsoft conteste et ne voit ...
Developpez.com
Le Royaume-Uni a finalement adopté le format ODF (Open Document Format for Office Applications) pour le partage des documents au sein du gouvernement et des institutions publiques. L'annonce a été faite hier, 22 juillet 2014, par le « Cabinet Office » ...

July 23, 2014 04:48 PM

Government Adopts Open Document Formats - TechWeekEurope UK


Government Adopts Open Document Formats
TechWeekEurope UK
It pointed out that the government will begin using open formats to ensure both citizens and government workers “can use the applications that best meet their needs.” PDF/A or HTML will now the standard “for viewing government” while ODF is now ...

July 23, 2014 04:37 PM

Il Governo britannico ha scelto ODF - Punto Informatico


Il Governo britannico ha scelto ODF
Punto Informatico
L'annuncio del governo britannico arriva a conclusione di una lungo periodo di flirt con i formati open partito all'inizio dell'anno, stabilendo che gli standard da usare saranno PDF/A o HTML per la fruizione dei documenti governativi e ODF (Open ...

July 23, 2014 04:17 PM

UK government adopts ODF for document exchange with citizens and suppliers - PCWorld.co.nz


UK government adopts ODF for document exchange with citizens and suppliers
PCWorld.co.nz
The U.K. government has adopted ODF as its standard for the exchange of word processor and spreadsheet files between departments and with citizens and suppliers, meaning that companies and citizens will not be required to buy a particular application ...

July 23, 2014 03:50 PM

UK government adopts ODF for document exchange with citizens and suppliers - Techworld.com


UK government adopts ODF for document exchange with citizens and suppliers
Techworld.com
The U.K. government has adopted ODF as its standard for the exchange of word processor and spreadsheet files between departments and with citizens and suppliers, meaning that companies and citizens will not be required to buy a particular application ...

July 23, 2014 03:50 PM

UK government adopts ODF for document exchange with citizens and suppliers - CIO Magazine


UK government adopts ODF for document exchange with citizens and suppliers
CIO Magazine
The U.K. government has adopted ODF as its standard for the exchange of word processor and spreadsheet files between departments and with citizens and suppliers, meaning that companies and citizens will not be required to buy a particular application ...

July 23, 2014 03:38 PM

UK government adopts ODF for document exchange with citizens and suppliers - Australian Techworld


UK government adopts ODF for document exchange with citizens and suppliers
Australian Techworld
The U.K. government has adopted ODF as its standard for the exchange of word processor and spreadsheet files between departments and with citizens and suppliers, meaning that companies and citizens will not be required to buy a particular application ...

July 23, 2014 03:38 PM

UK government adopts ODF for document exchange with citizens and suppliers - ITworld.com


UK government adopts ODF for document exchange with citizens and suppliers
ITworld.com
July 23, 2014, 11:14 AM — The U.K. government has adopted ODF as its standard for the exchange of word processor and spreadsheet files between departments and with citizens and suppliers, meaning that companies and citizens will not be required to ...

July 23, 2014 03:36 PM

UK government makes "big step forward" on open document standards - opensource.com


UK government makes "big step forward" on open document standards
opensource.com
True to their word, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Sir Francis Maude, announced this week that the UK government will henceforth require compliance with Open Document Format (ODF) in software purchases in all public administrations. ODF will be ...

July 23, 2014 02:53 PM

Brytyjski rząd rezygnuje ze standardu OpenXML na rzecz ODF w dokumentach - PCLab.pl


Brytyjski rząd rezygnuje ze standardu OpenXML na rzecz ODF w dokumentach
PCLab.pl
Wielka Brytania zrezygnowała z OpenXML, który jest domyślnie wykorzystywany w pakiecie Office i postanowiła przejść na Open Document Format (ODF). Administracja ma zacząć używać tylko i wyłącznie otwartych standardów, by ułatwić korzystanie z ...

July 23, 2014 02:35 PM

UK adopts ODF as standard format for government documents - Techie News


Techie News

UK adopts ODF as standard format for government documents
Techie News
The UK government has announced that all government documents intended for viewing, sharing or collaborating should be in PDF/A or HTML or ODF formats hereon. The war between Microsoft's OpenXML and open source office suites like LIbreOffice and ...

July 23, 2014 02:28 PM

So long, Microsoft! UK government abandons Office, embraces free-to-use ... - Expert Reviews


Expert Reviews

So long, Microsoft! UK government abandons Office, embraces free-to-use ...
Expert Reviews
Switching document formats might not sound exciting, but news that government departments are shunning Office in favour of the free-to-use open document format (ODF) is brilliant news. Microsoft has whined that the benefits of the switch are "unclear ...

July 23, 2014 12:59 PM

Microsoft slams government's open file adoption - V3.co.uk


Microsoft slams government's open file adoption
V3.co.uk
Specifically the move will see the government use PDF/A or HTML file formats for documents that only need to be viewed, and the Open Document Format (ODF) for documents that will be shared or created and used collaboratively. The government claims ...

July 23, 2014 11:58 AM

Az Egyesült Királyságban kötelező az ODF - HWSW


Az Egyesült Királyságban kötelező az ODF
HWSW
A kormány a dokumentumok publikálására a PDF/A és HTML formátumokat választotta ki, míg dokumentumcserére és közös munkára az ODF-et írta elő. A hivatalos indoklás szerint az egységesen kiválasztott formátumok használata esetén nem merülnek fel ...
Az Egyesült Királyság az ODF-et választotta a kormányzati dokumentumok ...Hungarian Unix Portal

all 2 news articles »

July 23, 2014 11:43 AM

Government picks Open Document Format as standard - Computer Business Review


Government picks Open Document Format as standard
Computer Business Review
The Government has officially adopted ODF as the standard format for working on its documents, provoking the ire of Microsoft. The Coalition announced last night that Open Document Format would be the default for sharing and collaborating on docs ...

July 23, 2014 11:36 AM

Government opts for open standard document format - Government Computing Network


Government opts for open standard document format
Government Computing Network
Microsoft has criticised the government's decision to "restrict its support of the file formats it uses for sharing and collaboration to just open document format (ODF) and HTML," questioning the potential benefits of the policy for UK citizens. The ...

July 23, 2014 11:21 AM

UK government formally adopts ODF, PDF, HTML - bit-tech.net


bit-tech.net

UK government formally adopts ODF, PDF, HTML
bit-tech.net
The UK government has formally announced a shift to open standards for its electronic documentation, adopting the Open Document Format (ODF) for editable files and a mixture of Portable Document Format (PDF) and HTML for display files.

July 23, 2014 10:45 AM

UK government formally adopts ODF, PDF, HTML - bit-tech.net


bit-tech.net

UK government formally adopts ODF, PDF, HTML
bit-tech.net
The UK government has formally announced a shift to open standards for its electronic documentation, adopting the Open Document Format (ODF) for editable files and a mixture of Portable Document Format (PDF) and HTML for display files.

July 23, 2014 10:45 AM

Huge Win for ODF in UK: Let's Not Mess it up - ComputerworldUK (blog)


Huge Win for ODF in UK: Let's Not Mess it up
ComputerworldUK (blog)
The default format for saving government documents must be Open Document Format (ODF). Information should be shared in ODF version 1.2 (or later). ODF version 1.1 may be used for transition to the implementation of ODF 1.2. Where users need to ...

July 23, 2014 10:16 AM

Microsoft questions UK Government's ODF adoption pledge - IT PRO


IT PRO

Microsoft questions UK Government's ODF adoption pledge
IT PRO
The move was announced by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude yesterday, who said the adoption of ODF will boost collaboration between government workers and third parties as they will no longer require specialist software to open or work on official ...

July 23, 2014 09:48 AM

Microsoft questions UK Government's ODF adoption pledge - IT PRO


IT PRO

Microsoft questions UK Government's ODF adoption pledge
IT PRO
The move was announced by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude yesterday, who said the adoption of ODF will boost collaboration between government workers and third parties as they will no longer require specialist software to open or work on official ...

July 23, 2014 09:48 AM

Microsoft questions UK Government's ODF adoption pledge - IT PRO


IT PRO

Microsoft questions UK Government's ODF adoption pledge
IT PRO
Microsoft has shrugged off the UK government's decision to adopt the open document format (ODF) as the file type of choice for sharing and collaborating on official documents. Furthermore, PDF/A and HTML will also be permissible for government ...

July 23, 2014 09:48 AM

UK government adopts ODF as standard document format - ComputerworldUK


UK government adopts ODF as standard document format
ComputerworldUK
The UK government has announced the open standards it has chosen for sharing and viewing official documents. The government has formally adopted the Open Document Format (ODF) as the standard for sharing and collaborating on documents and ...

July 23, 2014 09:45 AM

Offene Formate: ODF und PDF werden Regierungsstandard im UK - Golem.de


Offene Formate: ODF und PDF werden Regierungsstandard im UK
Golem.de
Darüber hinaus werden Dokumente innerhalb der Regierung künftig nur noch in einem Format bearbeitet, was die gemeinsame Erarbeitung vereinfachen soll. Immerhin sollten so Fehler ausgeschlossen werden, die durch einen Wechsel des Formats ...

July 23, 2014 09:33 AM

UK government shuns Microsoft with adoption of the ODF standard - Inquirer


UK government shuns Microsoft with adoption of the ODF standard
Inquirer
THE UK GOVERNMENT has chosen the Open Document Format (ODF) for in-house use, and rejected Microsoft's OOXML. Adoption of open standards was announced by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, who said in his announcement that other ...

July 23, 2014 08:52 AM

Engelse overheid negeert lobby Microsoft, kiest voor ODF - Automatisering Gids


Engelse overheid negeert lobby Microsoft, kiest voor ODF
Automatisering Gids
De dagen van felle strijd tussen Microsoft en de voorstanders van het open bestandsformaat ODF liggen al weer geruime tijd achter ons. Microsoft was, en is, voorstander van gebruik van zijn eigen OpenXML-bestandsindeling. Die voorkeur heeft veel te ...

and more »

July 23, 2014 08:29 AM

Britische Regierung legt flächendeckend ODF als Standard fest - silicon.de


Britische Regierung legt flächendeckend ODF als Standard fest
silicon.de
Es wird erwartet, dass sämtliche Regierungen das Open Document Format (ODF) unterstützten. Damit soll sichergestellt werden, dass Bürger und Regierungsmitarbeiter bei der Auswahl ihrer Software-Lösungen mehr Flexibilität bekommen. Für das ...
Großbritannien macht offenes Dokumentenformat ODF verbindlichPro-Linux
Britische Regierung schreibt ODF 1.2 als Datenformat vorHeise Newsticker
Offene Formate: ODF und PDF werden Regierungsstandard im UKGolem.de

all 4 news articles »

July 23, 2014 08:10 AM

Британското правителство прие ODF като стандарт в администрацията - kaldata.com


Британското правителство прие ODF като стандарт в администрацията
kaldata.com
Вчера британското правителство съобщи преминаването на администрацията на Острова към използването на Open Document Format (ODF) като стандарт за използване от страна учрежденията при обработката и споделянето на документи.

July 23, 2014 07:08 AM

UK government officially adopts Open Document Format - Register


Techie News

UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Register
The United Kingdom government has formally adopted the open document format (ODF) as the standard format for government documents. The announcement says PDF/A or HTML are now the standard “for viewing government” while ODF is now expected ...
UK chooses ODF format for saving electronic documentsITWorld Canada
UK government embraces OpenDocument Format over proprietary file solutionsPCWorld
Microsoft attacks UK government decision to adopt ODFComputerWeekly.com
ComputerworldUK -Redmondmag.com -Techie News
all 43 news articles »

July 23, 2014 06:03 AM