woensdag 25 maart 2015

your most beautiful work with LibreOffice Writer

What brings more joy then publishing a guide on Document Freedom Day to help scholars making beautiful work with a free open document standard? Therefore today the Dutch Language LibreOffice-community made available the publication "Maak je mooiste werkstuk met LibreOffice Writer" ("Create your most beautiful work with LibreOffice Writer"). The guide is for scholars in the age of 11 and older.
Currently the publication is Dutch only, but will be available in other languages soon thanks to the ODF Authors-community.
There will also be a version for scholars in the age of 9-11 year.
Download here.
And read the full announcement here.

woensdag 31 december 2014

New years wish - lessons from "AutoCorrect"

During trainings in LibreOffice Writer, that we give at customers offices or in the LibreOffice-Trainingcenter, a standard part is how to handle AutoCorrect. As long as people don't know what happens, AutoCorrect is a source of annoyance and errors. Once they've learned how it works, this changes drastically.

Recently during a training for a regional office if the Dutch Refugee Council there was attention for the example "aanrijken" that is replaced by "aanreiken" through the AutoCorrect function.
(Since we know AutoCorrect is language dependent, it's time for a little help in this English version of the original Dutch blogpost.
The correct word "aanreiken" means: hand over, give something to someone else. The wrong word "aanrijken" has the part "rijk" what means rich. So, now back to the plot of the story ;) )

During the training I gave the next, free, explanation for the example: we see enough of the 'aanrijken': people, places where there already is a lot, the opportunities to grow that 'prosperity' are, be it knowingly or not, seldom left untouched.. Now how wonderful would it be if that behavior, that habit so often, is replaced more and more by 'aanreiken': giving, sharing. Beautiful though so short after Christmas, don't you think?

Thinking of the new year, I have added the following AutoCorrect: "2014" replaced by "2014-closed" and "2015" replaced by "2015-open". You see...
In the new year we at Nou&Off will be again acting in the front line of open source, at the route to more freedom in choice for also your IT applications.
I wish you all a blessed, successful and happy "2015-open"!

donderdag 2 oktober 2014

Hamburg gets inspired by the Munich success

Let me start with the second part of the head line of this article. Munich is a success. And not a little one too.
  • Already during the 9 year long migration to LiMux (looking for a reason why Microsoft can't count 9 ;) ) the saved money counts to 11 Mln Euro.
  • From the money spent to consultancy, nearly 50% has benefited (regional) SMB.
  • The user satisfaction has clearly increased - though there are still items in which improving is possible.
  • More then 14.000 of the 15.000 systems have been migrated. A larger number then was set as target.
  • De savings on licenses will count, year after year, millions.
  • (Also see Symposium LibrOffice in de Praktijk)

    Now is this news? Not really. But it is something we cannot repeat enough - brief and clear.
    There only needs to be one Microsoft-partner driven 'investigation' (see.. and this..) or one new major who recently has been doing business with Microsoft (see..) and there are new headlines seeding wrong impressions. FUD. Let's just mention all it is.

    Then now the news :) One would of course say: such a huge success, where are all the others? Well, those are here (see..) but less visible. Munich simply is a real huge project that goes beyond just implementing LibreOffice.
    But this October there will be an IT-top gathering from the German government in Hamburg and one open IT-Top gathering from Open Source Business Alliance and the party the Greens. "The use of open source in science and administration isn't just handy, but also offers an ocean of opportunities for innovation and security." "Hamburg and Germany must gain independence from the IT giants".
    So it is. And it can be done!

    woensdag 24 september 2014

    a picture says a thousand words

    Now and then people ask me about LibreOffice or OpenOffice. Usually I point to the statistics about number of developers and such. And to the large difference in new functions. And of course the fixed old bugs. After explaining that to an artist, he came up with a nice drawing that I don't want to hide for you.

    A nice and funny drawing. On the other hand it's of course possible that such a split in a - originally single - project has negative impact on peoples joy in work and ambitions. And might that be the case - it's something that I always regret - I do hope that time will have a healing influence. As it usually does.

    vrijdag 13 juni 2014

    Are Germans so smart or we Dutch that dumb

    No, this has nothing to do with a possible match during the soccer worldcup. It is about open source.
    Look at the German city Munich, where they started in 2005 to migrate to open source. In 2013 the project was finished successful. A migration that resulted in 14.000 of the 15.000 seats running among others Linux at the desktop and LibreOffice.
    Significant investments have been made, but already now there are savings of 11 million Euro. The money that has been spent, of course will benefit the regional economy to a large extend. Smart!
    There is by the way also a report that says that Munich loses money on the project, but that reports makes wrong assumptions and is - what a coincidence - written on request of Microsoft by its partner HP, that gives no underlying info. So all municipalities: do take good notice of this, for in case someone uses that manipulated report to give a negative advise on open source!

    So fine, a significant use of open source does make sense. Do the people in Germany act so much smarter then in The Netherlands? Or is Munich an exception, that did not accept the special offerings?

    For those municipalities that want to learn more: the Munich story will be explained on the LibreOffice-symposium (June 26 at Ede) by the project lead Peter Hofmann. With of course the focus on LibreOffice, to which the city switched in 2013.
    The symposium also brings contributions from among others the municipalities of Ede and Neerijnen (the new Dutch Munich ;) ?)

    Can in The Netherlands be done on a larger scale what already happens in Germany?

    The LibreOffice-symposium is organised by the municipality of Ede and my company Nou&Off. It is organised especially for staff of the administrations that want a better look on starting with LibreOffice.

    zondag 11 mei 2014

    A stream of new and improved functions passes - LibreOffice at the Ubuntu release party

    Yesterday there was a great Ubuntu release party in Apeldoorn where at least four members of the Dutch language LibreOffice community joined. And since our friend Luc had to leave early, I was asked to present about LibreOffice.
    My audience appreciates a little explanation about the history of LibreOffice. So via an explanation on making LibreOffice an attractive and active open source project, easy to build, fast delivering contributions and with a great amount of developers and hackers - which all is achieved - and modernising and improving the huge code base - which is well on it's way - I ask if people know the release schedule with two main releases every year. Many do not. So I explain that, the relation with the schedule of other main free software projects, and end up counting releases for our 4.2 series, of which only last week the 4.2.4.2 was released. And from the very first alpha of this series, around 16 versions have been released in six months time. Indeed an impressing machinery of builds, commits, checks, automated tests etc. All to deliver more functions on an ever improving code base. And a machinery that is there for and because of all people helping out with code, translations, testing, user support and so forth!

    Then when people ask what has been improved in LibreOffice compared to OpenOffice, I find it a bit difficult mostly due to the huge amount off different things, to give a brief, simple answer.
    Of course there is this page (two releases behind in the mean time... and that soon should be found at the wiki here ..) summarising only (what some people consider) the most important LibreOffice improvement over OpenOffice.
    But when people ask.. Of course, better interoperability, more, important, file types that can be opened, nicer clearer interface. But a simple answer..
    Well really funny this turns, when I start answering questions about functions, and when during that a stream of changed and improved functions show on the screen: color of non-printing characters, preview of formatting in list Select Style, Template manager, Format > Title page, more Excell like functions, integration of CMIS and other 'server'-protocols, easier handling of headers and footers, and so forth :)
    All in all an interesting afternoon in Apeldoorn and I'm really glad that we were invited to share our enthusiasm and inspiration for this great free software project with the visitors of the event. Thanks :)

    donderdag 17 april 2014

    10 years business support for the alternative for 'that one of Microsoft' - for free office-software

    19.999 days young, and still celebrate the second lustrum .. how can that be possible?
    It's possible when you are me and started your company on April 16 2004 :)
    It's a very busy time the last months at Nou&Off, but wishing not to let pass this joyous moment unnoticed, it was decided at the last moment to do a little party in a smaller circle. To pay attention to it in wider circles, later this year a symposium will be organized around the use of open source office-software in Dutch administrations, institutions and companies.
    At the same time as the 10 years anniversary of Nou&Off, there was the official opening of the LibreOffice-Trainingcenter. That was expected earlier, but due to the high workload on projects, it slipped. Luckily, sooner or later, all will be fine ;)