dinsdag 21 december 2010

'It-gang' discussing LibreOffice

Last Friday (December 17th) I was invited for a podcast done by the "IT-Bende" ('Bende' can be translated as 'gang' but also as 'a mess', as in a badly cleaned house.) This ITBende is a group of IT-professionals, that discusses the latest news/developments each week.
Latest news ... so that must be LibreOffice.
Of course the talk was about the start of LibreOffice coming from OpenOffice.org.
It was fun to notice the visions, that spoke from the questions that the people had. One bit out-dated idea, IMO, was the call to finally include an e-mail client in LibreOffice. More of these days, were the questions about Google Docs and working via the web. One long standing issue is about the conflict between a simple user interface and the vast amount of available functions. Maybe it is time after all, to offer 'skins' to serve the various audiences?
The Podcast can be listened via http://www.itbende.nl/blog/2010/12/itbende-podcast-nr-81-libreoffice/ (all Dutch of course).

donderdag 16 december 2010

Presenting LibreOffice for the Dutch Linux User-group

The Dutch Linux User-group (NLLGG) invited me to their meeting on December 11 to give a presentation about LibreOffice. Of course I was glad to accept the invitation, and held my talk with the bit provoking title: "LibreOffice, the successor of OpenOffice.org ??"

Some 30 people joined and I explained them about the start of LibreOffice, what we are working on and what is the goal: an open community, where contributing is fun and attractive. And of course creating an excellent piece of open source software.
The audience was enthusiastic about the developments. Which is not surprising, speaking to people that are catched by the idea of open source. Most of them could well understand why the group of volunteers from OpenOffice.org, that started with LibreOffice, wanted to work freer and easier, and do not want to be dependent on the one big sponsor, nowadays Oracle.

During the preparations of the presentation I was digging through nearly all that had happened in the past months, within The Document Foundation, the organization that is responsible for LibreOffice. And that is really a lot. So I my talk I paid short attention to many topics, such as the reason for the split-up, the large number of enthusiastics that started to contribute to the code (currently often with small tasks. But also to all that has not been done or even has to be started...

So I did not give a black-white talk. I realize well enough that there is many good stuff on the OpenOffice.org side, and that with LibreOffice of course not everything is perfect in shape. Ahum ;-) There is a long road ahead and quite some to learn.
However, the first two months of LibreOffice do show that it does work: grow towards an open, enthusiastic group and large community. And that the most important for now – not the extra functions that will be delivered with LibreOffice.

But OK, of course LibreOffice comes from OpenOffice.org. And in the foreseeable future it will integrate the changes that will be made in OOo. If the other way round changes from LibreOffice will also be published in OpenOffice.org, depends on the individual developer, that for doing so has to share the copyright with Oracle.

After my presentation, we had discussion on for example the co-existence of OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice. I think many people would not be surprised of they exist side by side, because they are attactive to a different part of the market place.
That fits in the idea that I got, when I was looking back at all that happened with code development for LibreOffice in the past months: the structure around OpenOffice.org and that around LibreOffice differ so fundamentally and therefore the daily work is so different, that they will attract in principle a very different group of people. Well, of course there is some competition for 'thé community'. But let that be an impulse for both projects to be a good house for the community-members.

Still, I do long for the moment that both products will spring from one common source and contribute to that.

Talking about cooperation between the two projects, there is the special position of the people that work on documentation, in OooAuthors/the Documentation-project. One of the people attending teh presentation was Leo Moons, active for years in OOoAuthors with the Dutch documentation. He was so friendly to give explanation about the work for OOo en LibO. And then it always comes out, that some extra help for making the best possible documentation, will be very much appreciated... (hint: the list discuss@nl.libreoffice.org (see the Wiki).

I have the impression that at the end of the meeting, people left with an enthusiasm and full expectations for a bright future.

LinkThe presentation (Dutch) can be seen here.

dinsdag 14 december 2010

'ts been a long time

Have been busy days last years. Yeah, running a business and working in open source..
However more and more interesting stuff happening, so decided to dig up my blog for a new start ...
Keep on watching this!