zondag 15 april 2012

8 years OpenOffice LibreOffice Professional support

(read this blog in Dutch) Today 8 years ago I launched my company Nou&Off: dedicated to support for OpenOffice and the last years of course increasingly LibreOffice.
Before that, I worked in a company providing consultancy for larger projects in Ms Word. But my ideas about fair policy did not really match with that from the guys in Redmond. So after a while, I ended up in the open source market. Relatively new too me, so I learned a lot.

8 years also means quite some projects in larger and smaller organisations, which adds some experience too. I've seen successes and failures in migrations. Of course the complexity of the automation always is a factor that has large influence on all that has to be done. And the focus of the involved employees in the project, is a key for success or failure. Sometimes the idea settles that it's not important to look early and consistent at certain possible issues. Or unexpectedly other (more important?) projects take the focus from the office-migration project which then is at a side track. And in general that is not the recipe for success..

So the energy and enthusiasm to continue in this tough market (The Netherlands is way back in market acceptance compared with surrounding countries) has to come from something else. Yes, from the successful projects obviously. Small and larger. Where managers and users are glad or just fine with the change, profit the advantages of their open source software: features, price, freedom.

8 years is a long time, when you look forward from the moment that you start. Looking back, there's been a whole lot of things that happened. With Nou&Off as a constant factor in this market for OpenOffice and LibreOffice, and a dedicated contribution to the open source project behind these. Ah yes, the start of LibreOffice September 2010 is an important mile stone, which delivers more quality, better compatibility and easier accessible 3rd level support with direct results in features and improvements in the product.

Not directly related to this anniversary, but still interesting, are the news that Nou&Off will publish the next month, on a product, business cooperation and finished projects. Keep in touch!

woensdag 4 april 2012

report Dutch community Hacking & Writing event

On Saturday, March 31, six members of the Dutch Language community gathered for a next Hackers event. Alas, due to family circumstances I was unable to join, but Luc kindly send me this report of the event:
" The session was hosted by Hans de Vries, in his office near Utrecht, Netherlands, quickly after arrival we fired up our laptop's got the Wifi going and departed on our journey.

Two streams of activities quickly developed, one on hacking the code itself, another one around documentation. We worked on both during the whole day, spend a significant amount of time on getting to know each other: "who are you", "what is your background", etc.
Code work was done on some patches for code improvement and curing build errors in debug mode.
Working from home via the Internet this personal contact is valuable and helps to speed up the interaction and hence our output!

We left late afternoon with our personal batteries charged and thanked Hans for his hospitality.
A next event is planned for the autumn, tentatively located near Antwerp, Belgium. In mean time there are different events to attend and present our selves on smaller scale.

A poll by the members, who have many LibreOffice users in our environment, revealed a fast and firm conclusion to the question "what should LibreOffice focus on": product quality! For the short term do not focus on new features, but focus on a robust product. We will help ! "

So stay tuned, and don't miss them: there will be new meetings during this year! But of course first try to join the Hamburg Hackfest, April 14 & 15!