Apache OpenOffice

Tuesday Apr 01, 2014

Apache OpenOffice 4.2 to Bring OpenCash Support

As we on the Apache OpenOffice project put the final touches on our 4.1 release, we've started planning for our next major release, version 4.2, hopefully out sometime mid-year. One of the exciting new features we're looking forward to is support for the OpenCash Protocol, the new open standard for on-demand funding and delivery of both traditional currencies as well as the new cryptocurrencies.

For several years it has been possible, with expensive proprietary systems, to do convenient on-demand funding and printing of postage stamps.  The OpenCash protocol advances this to the next level, extended to currencies, and in an way that makes it accessible to users on all platforms.

We're still early in the design phase for this feature, but the gist of it can be seen in the following UI prototype:

The basic flow would be:

  1. User selects desired currency, denomination and number of copies.
  2. User specifies a funding source.
  3. User confirms the desired settings, via the integrated print-preview, and prints the currency. 
No special hardware is required for traditional currencies, beyond a typical color inkjet or laser printer.  Additionally, if the user has a 3D printer then they can "print" Bitcoins, just like you see in the news.

By embedding OpenCash into Apache OpenOffice, the leading open source office productivity suite, we do more than just increase convenience by reducing trips to the ATM.  Since OpenCash permits pluggable funding sources, the integration into OpenOffice enables new models in areas like micro-finance and even fiscal stimulus.  The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

Monday Mar 10, 2014

Seeking Beta Testers for Apache OpenOffice 4.1


We're looking for users interested in test driving our new Apache OpenOffice 4.1 Beta Release.   The beta can be downloaded from our website (use the yellow box).

We release Beta versions of OpenOffice to get early feedback from users.  Beta versions may have more bugs than our final GA releases and may not be suitable for tasks which require the highest level of stability. Beta versions are recommended for experienced users who are willing to share their feedback with the OpenOffice project.

The 4.1.0 Beta features:

  • Mac OS X version is now 64-bit and requires OS X version 10.7 or above.
  • Integrated iAccessible2 support, offering better integration with screen readers.
  • Annotations of text ranges in Writer.
  • In-place editing of text fields in Writer.
  • Interactive image crop feature for Impress and Draw.
  • Enhanced support for 3D charts.
  • New language translations:  Bulgarian, Danish, Hindi, Norwegian Bokmål and Thai.
  • Many bug fixes and smaller improvements as detailed in the Release Notes.

Bug reports can be entered in our Bugzilla database at: https://issues.apache.org/ooo/.  Questions and other feedback, good or bad, can be sent to our users mailing list at users@openoffice.apache.org.

After you have tried the Beta for a while we welcome your feed back via our 4.1 Beta Survey.


Thanks in advance to our Beta Testers!

Thursday Feb 20, 2014

International Mother Language Day 2014

On International Mother Language Day the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UN agencies participate in events that promote linguistic and cultural diversity. They also encourage people to maintain their knowledge of their mother language while learning and using more than one language. Governments and non-governmental organizations may use the day to announce policies to encourage language learning and support. You can visit http://www.internationalmotherlanguageday.com/ to know about worldwide #IMLD events.

The Apache OpenOffice project is proud to help commemorate International Mother Language Day on February 21.  Read more about why this day is important, how OpenOffice supports linguistic diversity, and how you can help.

Why February 21 was chosen?  February 21st was declared as International Mother Language Day (IMLD) by UNESCO.   IMLD originated as the international recognition of Language Movement Day, which has been commemorated in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) since 1952, when a number of Dhaka university students were killed by the Pakistani police and army in Dhaka during the Bengali Language Movement. This is the only event where people gave their lives to preserve the independence of using their mother language. To remember them there is a monument named Language Martyr's Monument (Shahid Minar) in Dhaka University, Bangladesh. Every year more than a million people give flowers there. This is a big event in Bangladesh. Many foreigners visit Bangladesh just to experience the way the Bangladeshi people give respect to those brave hearts. Every town of Bangladesh has a Language Martyr's Monument, where local people give flowers.  A Language Martyr's Monument is also built in Ikebukoro park of Tokyo, Japan. There are also Language Martyr's Monument in USA, UK, Italy and many other countries. Please think about your Mother Language not only on February 21 but also on other days.

The Apache OpenOffice project strongly supports International Mother Language Day and the cause of language diversity.  Our Public Service Mission includes this section on "Support for Linguistic and Cultural Diversity":

There are over 6,000 languages in the world, but unless the language is associated with a G20 economic superpower, commercial vendors tend to ignore it. The OpenOffice community has a long standing tradition of supporting a large number of languages, including languages used by smaller populations, minority languages, endangered languages, etc.   By supporting languages that would not otherwise be supported we help reduce "digital exclusion" and promote development, local education and administration.

Our most recent release of Apache OpenOffice, version 4.0.1, supported 32 languages, including Basque,  Khmer, Lithuanian, Polish, Serbian Cyrillic, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Turkish, Vietnamese, Asturian, Czech, Dutch, British English, American English, Scottish Gaelic, Hungarian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Tamil.

Our 4.1 release, expected to be available in beta form soon, will include several new translations, including Hindi, Bulgarian, Kazakh, Danish, Norwegian and Thai.

Although these translations are all done by community volunteers we aim for professional quality and only release support for a language when the UI is 100% translated.  We have many translations-in-progress which might also make it into 4.1, depending on their progress towards completion.  For example: Uyghur (97% complete), Hebrew (96% complete), Indonesian (95% complete,) Icelandic (95% complete), Catalan (95% complete), Arabic (94% complete), Ukrainian (84% complete) and so on.  Altogether we have support (complete or in-progress) for 111 languages.

If you would like to learn more about our localization process or to volunteer to help translate Apache OpenOffice into your mother tongue, you can read more on our "Introduction to Localization" web page.

Tuesday Dec 31, 2013

Apache OpenOffice in 2013: a year in review

 2013 has been an exciting year for the OpenOffice project and community.

 Click on the picture below to start a slideshow with highlights from 2013. A text-only version is under the picture.

  • January: Apache OpenOffice 3.4.1 is released in 8 additional languages (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Korean, Polish, Basque, Asturian and Scottish Gaelic) thanks to the work of new translation volunteers.
    OpenOffice supports 120+ languages, but only those that are 100% translated and maintained are officially released.
  • February: OpenOffice comes back to FOSDEM, one of the most popular Free and Open Source Conferences in Europe, with a dedicated devroom and a stand.
  • March: Apache OpenOffice starts integrating improvements from IBM Lotus Symphony, a previous fork that is now closed and donated to the Apache Software Foundation.
    The integrated improvements bring better compatibility with Microsoft Office documents.
  • April: It's time for a radical improvement of the OpenOffice user interface.
    The first major change in years, the Sidebar, is done by the Apache OpenOffice "dream team" in Hamburg in close cooperation with hundreds of other community members.
    The code, distributed under the Apache License 2.0, is promptly reused by other projects.
  • May: After a long selection process that saw over 5000 votes cast, a new logo is selected for OpenOffice 4. The winning proposal is submitted by community member Chris Rottensteiner, from South Tyrol.
  • June: The social media presence of Apache OpenOffice grows.
    The Facebook fan page at https://facebook.com/ApacheOO has about 40 new fans per day and reached the 10,000 fans milestone in 2013.
    The official Twitter account at https://twitter.com/apacheoo has more than 2,000 followers.
  • July: Apache OpenOffice 4.0 is released.
    OpenOffice 4.0 features an innovative new Sidebar user interface, additional language support for 22 languages (including 3 new languages), 500 bug fixes, improvements in Microsoft Office interoperability, enhancements to drawing/graphics, performance improvements, etc.
    The full list of improvements is available on the project's community wiki.
    Apache OpenOffice 4.0 is downloaded at an impressive rate, about 1 million downloads per week.
  • August: The official repositories for Apache OpenOffice Extensions and Templates are refreshed.
    The updates bring to the two community sites get a nicer search functionality, social media sharing features, better spam control and many other improvements.
    The sites offer more than 750 extensions at http://extensions.openoffice.org and more than 2,800 templates at http://templates.openoffice.org
  • September: The Apache OpenOffice Forum reaches 60,000 registered users.
    The official forum at https://forum.openoffice.org is the most used channel for user support, averaging over 100 posts per day and accumulating over 270,000 posts about Apache OpenOffice and all derivatives.
    The Forum and Wiki benefited from a number of infrastructure improvements in 2013, thanks to the Apache Infra team.
  • October: Apache OpenOffice 4.0.1 is released. It is a maintenance release which fixes critical issues and improves the overall quality of the application.
    General areas of improvement include: additional native language translations, bug fixes, performance improvements and Windows 8 compatibility enhancements.
    The full release notes are available on the project's community wiki.
  • November: Apache OpenOffice successfully integrates support for the Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) and IAccessible2 interfaces.
    Support for these interfaces enables screen readers and other assistive technologies to work with Apache OpenOffice, which in turn enables greater productivity by OpenOffice users who are blind or who have low-vision.
    With the new accessibility support OpenOffice becomes even more attractive for use by governments and public institutions, like the administrative region of Emilia-Romagna, in Italy, that recently announced a migration to OpenOffice.
  • December: Apache OpenOffice reaches 85,000,000 downloads.
    According to the statistics provided by SourceForge, that hosts the official downloads, the English version is the most downloaded one, followed by French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Russian.
    The Apache OpenOffice porting page at http://openoffice.org/porting lists other versions, such as a portable version for Windows, the PrOOo-box software collection in German, and AndrOpen Office, an Android port of Apache OpenOffice available since June 2013.
Have a nice 2014!

Wednesday Dec 18, 2013

Join Apache OpenOffice at FOSDEM 2014 - Submit a talk proposal

Apache OpenOffice and the other Open Document Editors will have a dedicated track at FOSDEM 2014, 1 February 2014, Brussels. The devroom is organized by Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice and will give every project in this area a chance to present ODF related developments and innovations.

We invite submission of talks for the Open Document Editors devroom, to be held on Saturday, February 1st, from 10AM to 6PM. Submission deadline is Sunday, 22 December 2013.

Length of talks should be limited to 20 minutes, as we would like to have questions after each presentation, and to fit as many presenters as possible in the schedule. Exceptions must be explicitly requested and justified.

Technical talks (code, extensions, localization, QA, tools and significant adoption related cases) about Apache OpenOffice, other open document editors or the ODF format are welcome.

Submissions must be done using the Pentabarf system:

https://penta.fosdem.org/submission/FOSDEM14

While filing your proposal, please add a few lines about yourself (although your profile might already be stored at Pentabarf) and specify what product or topic (Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice, both, other editor, ODF in general...) your talk is about.

The deadline is Sunday, December 22, 2013. Accepted speakers will be notified by January 5, 2014.

You can send any questions to the OpenOffice dev list or to the devroom mailing list

Thursday Dec 05, 2013

Call for Comments: Apache OpenOffice Distributor Best Practices

Apache OpenOffice (formerly OpenOffice.org) is the leading free and open office productivity suite.  We have many millions of users.  In the past two years we've seen over 80 million downloads from our website, and millions more from 3rd party websites. 

Although most users are able to download OpenOffice successfully, we do get occasional requests for a CD.   This is something that we (the Apache Software Foundation) do not currently do.  We make the OpenOffice source code, and installable versions of OpenOffice, available for free download.  But we're not involved in distributing CDs.  However, the Apache License 2.0, like most open source licenses, allows 3rd parties to copy and distribute copies of the software and even to charge for the copies.

So the open question is this:   Would it be beneficial for the Apache OpenOffice project to maintain, as a public service, a list of 3rd party CD distributors, on our website?

Also, it is probably reasonable to ask CD distributors, in return for giving them a listing on our website, to adhere to defined best practices.  An example draft Distributor Best Practices page is on our website.  Is there anything that should be added or removed from that list?

We invite public comments on this topic, as comments to this blog post, or in an email to our public marketing mailing list.  Comments are welcome from anyone, especially users, potential distributors and the wider Apache community.  Please submit comments by January 15th for our consideration.


Friday Nov 15, 2013

Apache OpenOffice 4.1 to Bring Enhanced Accessibility Support

The Apache OpenOffice project is pleased to announce that it has successfully integrated support for the Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) and IAccessible2 interfaces.  Support for these interfaces enables screen readers and other assistive technologies to work with Apache OpenOffice, which in turn enables greater productivity by OpenOffice users who are blind or who have low-vision. 

The new accessibility code, based on the donation of IBM's Lotus Symphony, will now undergo extensive testing.  The plan is to ship the new accessibility support in Apache OpenOffice 4.1, early in 2014.  With this support added Apache OpenOffice, the leading open source productivity suite, also becomes the most accessible one.

The IAccessible2 interface was developed as a superset of MSAA interfaces, to enable enhanced support for document editors,  including support for rich text, tables, spreadsheets, etc., while allowing assistive technology developers to preserve their existing investment in MSAA support.  IAccessible2 is supported by assistive technologies such as JAWS, MAGic, Window-Eyes, NVDA and ZoomText.

As we did with the award-winning Side Panel UI in Apache OpenOffice 4.0, and all other features we develop, we will publish the IAccessible2 code under the Apache License 2.0.  This allows anyone to use, copy and redistribute OpenOffice freely.  The license also allows others to take our source code, integrate it into their products and develop it further.  That is what open source is all about.  In a healthy open source ecosystem code flows in both directions.  A new feature is developed in OpenOffice, and the code is taken by downstream consumers.  As that code is tested further ("Every new class of users finds a new class of bugs") and fixes are made, these fixes should be contributed upstream.  This reduces future merge costs for the downstream consumer.  It is also the right thing to do, to help improve the code that your project benefits from and which your users depend upon.  We invite all downstream consumers to engage with the Apache OpenOffice project, especially those that have so far neglected to do so, in order to improve the accessibility code that is of mutual benefit and that is so critical for the open source community.  Help your neighbor.  Be a hacker, not a hoarder.  Our website has further information on how to contribute patches.

If you want to receive notification of when Apache OpenOffice 4.1 is available you can sign up for our announcements mailing list by sending an email to announce-subscribe@openoffice.apache.org.   You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  If you want to help test the new accessibility support, before it is released, you can send a note to our QA mailing list to learn more:  qa@openoffice.apache.org.

Wednesday Oct 30, 2013

75 Million Downloads of Apache OpenOffice

We are pleased to report that yesterday, October 29th, someone downloaded the 75,000,000th copy of  Apache OpenOffice™.   The 75 million downloads have occurred in the less than 18th months since the first release of Apache OpenOffice on May 8th, 2012. 

Apache OpenOffice (formerly called OpenOffice.org) is the leading free and open source office application suite for Windows, Mac and Linux. 

Although we're all very busy now with working on our next major release, Apache OpenOffice 4.1, it is worth taking a few minutes to explore some of the trends that can be discerned from our download data.  The information we have gathered, relative to desktop OS versions, 64-bit Linux use, etc.,  may be of special interest to other open source projects to consider in their planning.

First a scatter plot of daily download numbers, with a 7-day moving average overlay.  Each of our releases is marked by a vertical line.  You can clearly see the increase in interest since the release of Apache OpenOffice 4.0.



daily-downloads.png


We are able to break down these trends along several other dimensions.  One is by country, looking at where the download request came from.  This information is gleaned from the IP address of the machine making the request.  Since each IP address is part of an assigned block of addresses, and blocks are assigned geographically, we can create a table of downloads by country, territory, etc.  We show the full table on our website, of all 238 countries, territories, etc., but here are the top 10:

#1 United States 14,148,707
#2 France 9,622,464
#3 Germany 7,363,242
#4 Italy 6,239,913
#5 Japan 3,944,256
#6 United Kingdom 3,316,827
#7 Spain 2,756,638
#8 Russia 2,693,113
#9 Canada 2,177,430
#10 Poland
1,569,020

Another approach is to look at which localized versions of Apache OpenOffice were downloaded.  We can see these trends in the following dot chart:

languages.png

We can also look at the trend over time of downloads by operating system.   (Note the log-scale on the Y-axis.)  OpenOffice is a mainstream open source desktop application, so the OS distribution reflects overall desktop operating system market shares:

os-downloads.png

Since we have Linux versions of OpenOffice packed as RPMs (e.g., for RedHat) as well as DEBs (e.g., for Ubuntu), we can look for trends in the ratio of requests for these two packaging formats over time:

packaging.png

Also, we have 32-bit and 64-bit Linux downloads, and we see a gradual increase in demand over time for the 64-bit version, now reaching 50%.  (The drop in July-September is not fully explained, but may have been an error in our download page that was not recommending 64-bit downloads appropriately.)

64-bit.png

Although we don't have detailed download data for different Windows versions (we have a single download for all Windows users) we do have information from website visitors (nearly 7 million visitors per month) that tells a similar story.  Windows 7 remains the most popular Windows version for our users, accounting for over half of Windows visitors.  Windows XP ties with Windows 8 for second place, though Windows XP usage is declining quickly.

windows-version.png

Looking at the similar data for web browsers, we see the rise in Chrome users among our website visitors:

browsers.png


The above charts were made in R, using data from SourceForge's REST API and from Google Analytics.   The processing of the SourceForge data was automated via a custom Python script.



Tuesday Oct 01, 2013

Announcing Apache OpenOffice 4.0.1

[Bob Burman, race car driver]  (LOC)

The Apache OpenOffice project (formerly OpenOffice.org) is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Apache 4.0.1.  Building upon the success of our award-winning Apache OpenOffice 4.0 release, which was well-received by both users and reviewers, the 4.0.1 maintenance update brings new translations, performance enhancements and bug fixes. 

You can download OpenOffice 4.0.1 from our download page

New translations introduced in this release are:  Basque,  Khmer, Lithuanian, Polish, Serbian Cyrillic, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish and Vietnamese.   It is an important part of our Public Service Mission to support, with help from our translation volunteers, minority and regional languages that are typically ignored by commercial vendors.   We now ship OpenOffice in 32 languages.  With your help we could support many more. 

This update also includes many bug fixes, including performance fixes.  For example, one common scenario saving Microsoft Excel files was sped up 230%.   A repaint issue reported by several 4.0.0 users was fixed.  In general the most common issues reported by 4.0.0 users are fixed in this update.  A full list of changes can be found in the Release Notes.   

In parallel with work on 4.0.1 the project has also been working on 4.1.0 items.  Although no date has been set for this release, areas of focus include:  improved interoperability with Microsoft Office, integration of IAccesible2 accessibility support, and (of course) new translations and bug fixes.

Monday Aug 26, 2013

Back to School with Apache OpenOffice

Chesterfield County school bus and students

As August comes to a close it is time for millions of children and young adults to return to school.   In preparation, parents empty their wallets for a variety of necessities: clothes, shoes, backpacks, notebooks, pencils, calculators, etc.   But with one common back-to-school item parents and students often overpay by $100, $200 or more.  In many cases parents can save money by using open source equivalents of commercial application software.  For example, Apache OpenOffice is a desktop productivity suite -- absolutely free -- that can be used instead of Microsoft Office.

Open source software is software that is made available to the public at no charge, free to use and copy.  Those who know how to program can even freely modify the software if they want.  The Apache Software Foundation is a non-profit organization whose charitable mission is to publish open source software for the public to use.  That's what we do.   One program that we publish that is especially useful to students is Apache OpenOffice,  the free and open productivity suite, for Windows, Mac OS and Linux, including the tools that every student needs:  a word processor, a spreadsheet and a presentation editor.

Ten Reasons Use Apache OpenOffice for School

  1. OpenOffice is free.  Commercial alternatives cost $100 or more.
  2. Because it is free you can install OpenOffice on all of your computers without any additional charge.  Commercial products make you pay extra for the ability to install on multiple computers.
  3. You can install and use OpenOffice, with no subscription fees -- ever.  Updates are free as well.
  4. School districts, by using OpenOffice in the classroom, can save money in their budget, but also allow their students (and their parents) to run the same software at home for free.   This is the open source advantage.
  5. OpenOffice works the same on Windows, Mac OS and Linux.  You are not trapped in a single operating system.
  6. OpenOffice speaks your language.  It is available in over 20 languages, with many more translations in progress.
  7. You can run OpenOffice from a USB-stick and so work everywhere using your personal settings, even if OpenOffice is not yet installed on your friend's PC. 
  8. There are over 1000 document templates for OpenOffice, free to download, including many templates designed for education.
  9. OpenOffice is extensible with 100's of free extensions that you can download.
  10. As an all-volunteer open source project we welcome students, teachers and parents interested in helping us develop the next great version of OpenOffice. Learn new skills and gain valuable experience working on an open source project, while helping to improve the tools that you use yourself.

You can download our latest release, Apache OpenOffice 4.0, here.

Monday Jul 29, 2013

Interview with the developers of PrOOo-Box

Most of the posts on this blog are about the Apache OpenOffice product and the community of volunteers that develops it.  But occasionally we write about interesting things in the broader Apache OpenOffice project, the ecosystem of extension developers, consultants, trainers, etc., that help users get value from OpenOffice.  Today I'm pleased to feature another part of the ecosystem in this interview with the developers of PrOOo-Box.

What is PrOOo-Box?  How does it differ from what a user downloads fromthe Apache OpenOffice website?

With the PrOOo-Box, a user not only gets Apache OpenOffice, but also other interesting programs from the open source area, such as Lightning, Sunbird, Inkscape and FreeMind. Also included are a part of the documentation and useful OpenOffice-specific templates, extensions and macros. In addition, a user gets the programs for different operating systems.

What does the name "PrOOo-Box" mean?

The name PrOOo-Box is a pun, that "OOo" comes from OpenOffice.org.

Pro = It is good. OOo = OpenOffice.org.  In a Box = In the past, the CD was delivered in a Box. For the future, we will use the name PrOOo-Box although OpenOffice.org is now called Apache OpenOffice, but the name "PrOOo-Box" has a long history, we don't want to change it rashly.

What is the history of PrOOo-Box?

The PrOOo box is a creation of the OpenOffice.org German community that was started in the early 2000s. The box was active up until to the secession of the LibreOffice fork. The development of the box was not continued after 2010.   Then we, the new team of PrOOo-Box (currently Jörg Schmidt, Jan-Christian Wienandt and Detlef Nannen), have taken care of the PrOOo-box and its development since 2012.

Is PrOOo-Box free?

Yes, the PrOOo-Box is free, in the sense of free software. The contents of the box are available under various free licenses. Downloading the ISO images is free and will remain free. In the future, as well as earlier, the physical box is also sold in order to cover our costs (e.g., servers) and to support the local community.

What feedback have you received from users of PrOOo-Box?

The PrOOo-box has a long history, and in course of time received a lot of positive feedback, e.g., from computer magazines or private persons. For example we received the following comment from a German user:

"I think it's great, that you continue the project. Believing in OOo was the right decision."

Have you thought of extending PrOOo-Box to support other languages?

In principle it would be possible, but we don't have enough capacity yet. At the moment we are a team of 3 persons, who created the PrOOo-Box only by volunteer work.

What next?  Do you have any other things you would like to bring to PrOOo-Box?

At the moment we have, in addition to the web-site, only a DVD version of the PrOOo box. In the future we want to provide CD versions, which will contain only the content for a specific OS such as Linux. We also plan to publish a version specifically for business users, and we are working on a "live" version which only will contain specific content for users in the church.

If someone wants to help further develop PrOOo-Box, what should they do?  Where can they go to learn more?

Interested parties can contact us either via our web site www.prooo-box.org or directly via email info@prooo-box.org.


Interview mit den Entwicklern der PrOOo-Box

Die meisten Beiträge in diesem Blog handeln von Apache OpenOffice und der Community, die es entwickeln. Aber manchmal schreiben wir über interessante Dinge im weiteren Apache OpenOffice-Projekt, dem Ökosystem Entwickler von Erweiterungen, Berater, Trainer, etc., die Benutzern helfen, die Vorteile von OpenOffice nutzen zu können. Heute bin ich froh, in einem Interview einen anderen Teil des Ökosystems vorzustellen, die PrOOo-Box uns deren Entwickler.

Was ist PrOOo-Box? Wie sieht es aus, was unterscheidet die PrOOo-Box vom Download von der Apache OpenOffice Webseite?


Mit der PrOOo-Box, erhält ein Benutzer nicht nur Apache OpenOffice, sondern dazu weitere interessante Programme aus dem Open-Source-Bereich, wie Thunderbird, Sunbird, Inkscape und FreeMind. Ebenfalls enthalten sind ein Teil der Dokumentation und nützliche OpenOffice-Templates, Erweiterungen und Makros. Darüber hinaus werden den Benutzern diese Programme für verschiedene Betriebssysteme zur Verfügung gestellt.

Was bedeutet der Name "PrOOo-Box"?


Der Name PrOOo-Box ist ein Wortspiel, dass "OOo" kommt von OpenOffice.org.
Pro = Es ist gut. OOo = OpenOffice.org. In einer Box = In der Vergangenheit wurde die CD in einer Box geliefert.

Für die Zukunft werden wir den Namen PrOOo-Box vorerst weiterverwenden, obwohl OpenOffice.org jetzt Apache OpenOffice heißt. Der Name "PrOOo-Box" hat eine lange Geschichte, wir wollen den Namen nicht vorschnell ändern.

Was ist die Geschichte der PrOOo-Box?


Die PrOOo-Box ist eine Entwicklung der deutschen OpenOffice.org-Gemeinde, und begann in den frühen 2000er Jahren. Die Box war aktiv bis zur Abtrennung des LibreOffice-Fork. Die Entwicklung der Box wurde nach 2010 nicht fortgesetzt. Ab 2012 hat das neue Team von PrOOo-Box (derzeit Jörg Schmidt, Jan-Christian Wienandt und Detlef Nannen), die Pflege der PrOOo-Box und die Weiterentwicklung übernommen.

Ist PrOOo-Box frei?


Ja, die PrOOo-Box frei, im Sinne von freier Software. Die Inhalte der Box sind unter verschiedenen freien Lizenzen verfügbar. Der Download des ISO-Images ist kostenlos und wird frei bleiben. In der Zukünftig soll es auch wieder eine die physische Boxgeben, die verkauft wird, um unsere Kosten zu decken (z. B. Server) und die lokale Gemeinschaft zu unterstützen.

Welches Feedback haben Sie von den Nutzern PrOOo-Box empfangen?


Die PrOOo-Box hat eine lange Geschichte, und im Laufe der Zeit erhielten viel positives Feedback, z.B. von Computer-Zeitschriften oder Privatpersonen. Zum Beispiel erhielten wir den folgenden Kommentar von einem deutschen Benutzer:

"Ich finde es toll, dass Sie das Projekt fortsetzen. Mein Glauben in OOo war die richtige Entscheidung."

Haben Sie daran gedacht sich PrOOo-Box in andere Sprachen zu unterstützen?


Im Prinzip wäre es möglich, aber wir haben nicht genug Kapazität. Im Moment sind wir ein Team von 3 Personen, die die PrOOo-Box nur durch ehrenamtliche Arbeit pflegen.

Was kommt als nächstes? Haben Sie andere Dinge, die Sie gerne mit PrOOo-Box bringen würde?


Im Moment haben wir  neben der Website nur eine DVD-Version der PrOOo-Box.  In der Zukunft wollen wir eine CD-Versionen bereitstellen, die nur den Inhalt für ein bestimmtes OS wie z. B. Linux enthält. Wir planen auch eine Version speziell für Business-Anwender zu veröffentlichen, und planen eine "Live"-Version, die nur bestimmte Inhalte für Benutzer in der Kirche zur Verfügung stellt..

Wenn jemand helfen will, die PrOOo-Box weiter zu entwickeln, was sollte sie oder er tun? Wohin können sie sich wenden, um mehr zu erfahren?


Interessenten können uns entweder über unsere Website www.prooo-box.org erreichen oder direkt per E-Mail an  info@prooo-box.org.

Tuesday Jul 23, 2013

A short celebration, and then back to work

Society of Artists' Selection Committee, Sydney, 1907 / photographer Henry King

Cheers to the community on the successful release of Apache OpenOffice 4.0.  Full details of release can be found in our Release Notes.  You can download Apache OpenOffice 4.0 here.

This was a major release and a major effort for the many volunteers who worked on coding, testing, translation, support, marketing, documentation and other aspects of the project.  And thanks are due to ongoing support from other parts of the Apache Software Foundation, especially the Apache Infrastructure Team for their outsized effort to support our outsized project. 

It is summertime, at least for volunteers in the northern hemisphere,  and August is vacation time.  Many of us will be taking a break and enjoying time with friends and family.  But then we'll be back and working at full force, with a focus on:

  • Bringing additional language translations to AOO 4.0.  There are quite a few languages that are "almost done", but did not make it into this release.  But rather than wait until 4.1 we'll release these languages, in batches, as they become available.   Tentatively we're aiming for mid-September for the first batch.  If you want to help with a particular translation, we'd love to hear from you.
  • Apache OpenOffice 4.1.  We've jotted down some proposed ideas on our wiki.  We now need to turn that into a plan, ideally for a 4.1 release at the end of 2013.

Finally, as we transition from one major release to another, this is a great time for new volunteers in all areas to join the project.   If you are interested helping us make the next great version of OpenOffice, then we want to hear from you.  We're not only programmers, but are a community of testers, UI designers, web designers, technical writers, accessibility experts, translators, social media experts, etc.    Volunteers in all areas are welcome.   More information can be found on our Get Involved page.

Tuesday Jul 16, 2013

Rejected

rejected stamp

Apache OpenOffice 4.0 Release Candidate 1 (Build 9702) has been rejected.  It was not good enough. Detlef, in our German-language community, first noted the crash two days ago, which was passed on to the developers by Regina.  We immediately started further testing to narrow down the problem.

Samer, in Canada, independently reported the crash a few hours later.  We then determined that the crash only occurred on Windows 8 64-bit systems.  Rob, in the United States, then worked with Herbert, in Germany, to find out where in the code the problem was.  After a few more emails and chats, we had a proposed fix to test. 

As community members in Germany and North America slept, Yuzhen was testing the fix in Beijing. And now, this morning, the fix is confirmed and we've agreed to produce a new Release Candidate.  If the new Release Candidate is free of serious issues it will be released next week.

This is how a global community of volunteers produce quality open source software.  There are skills required -- technical and social -- to coordinate a fix like this.  But it also requires something much more important:  a dedication to quality.  We know that OpenOffice is more than just another software tool for our users.  It is how you do work, how you write and communicate.  If OpenOffice crashes then your productivity crashes. 

For Apache OpenOffice 4.0, over 20 QA volunteers executed 1,221 regression test cases on 5 operating systems.  495 reported issues are resolved in this release, including many bugs reported in earlier releases.

We hope that you join us in encouraging these priorities.  We look forward to presenting you a high-quality OpenOffice 4.0 really soon.  Apache OpenOffice 4.0 is quality worth waiting for.

If you also have a passion for quality and attention to detail, then you might be interested in volunteering on our QA team.  You can read more about volunteering with the Apache OpenOffice project on our Get Involved page. 

Monday Jul 01, 2013

Not interested

After midnight selling extras. There were many young boys selling very late these nights. Washington, D.C, April 1912

We get many emails, several per week, of individuals and companies wanting to "do business" with us.    Some of it is obviously spam, but some of it is quite serious.   The proposals do not have bad intentions, though they are often incompatible with our status as a non-profit organization.  We try to respond to these notes and in a respectful manner.

In general, if you are offering us money in return for a favor, we're not interested. The Apache OpenOffice project operates as part of the non-profit Apache Software Foundation.  We're publishing open source code for the public benefit.  We must operate fairly, without giving special advantage (or disadvantage) to any 3rd party. 

Some specific things we're not interested in:

  • We're not interested in bundling your application with our install in return for money.  But the Apache License permits you to make and distribute your own bundle.
  • We're not interested in endorsing your product.
  • We're not interested in adding a link to your website in return for you adding a link to ours.
  • We're not interested in taking your money in return for a special "advisory" role in the project.  We're a meritocracy.  Membership is not for sale.

But make no mistake -- we're not antagonistic to businesses or commercial use of OpenOffice.  In fact our license, the permissive Apache License, is one of the most business-friendly licenses around.  We want you to use our code.   But we cannot have "partners" in the same way that a for-profit corporation can.

Our lack of commercial entanglements with 3rd parties means that you can operate commercially without fear that your competitor has a "special relationship" with the project, giving them an unfair advantage.

On the other hand, we do encourage things like:

  • Contributions to the Apache Software Foundation, which benefit the ASF as a whole.  Dozens of companies that sponsor the ASF are acknowledged on the Thanks Page.
  • Contributions of code to the OpenOffice project, that helps us extend its capabilities.
  • Send us links to articles, news stories, tutorials, extensions, or other materials, related to OpenOffice.  If it is good, relevant and non-spammy, then we might link to it.  But we're never going to link to something purely for the sake of a link exchange.
  • If you offer services related to OpenOffice, then we welcome your profile submission for our consultants listings.
  • If you are doing something really interesting related to OpenOffice, maybe we'll interview you for an article on this blog.  Stories related to what the broader ecosystem is doing are interesting to our readers.

Monday Jun 17, 2013

With Apache OpenOffice you get what you don't pay for

Juichende jongens bij VSV-DFC / Boys cheering when their  favorite team scores

Apache OpenOffice is and always will be free to download from our website.  The license allows you to use it yourself and share copies with friends and families or even total strangers.  You may use it on home machines, in the office, with your small business, school, church, gardening club, etc.  And if you know how to program software, you can take the source code for OpenOffice and modify it and share it with others as well.  This is what open source means.

So it is sad when we receive emails from users, reporting that they have paid real money, as much as € 30 ($40 US), to websites in return for a link to our website.  These websites promise the user immediate access to "open source office software with support for the lowest price", claim that "supplies are limited" and that prices are "50% off, if you order within the next 2 minutes".  But after entering your credit card, or authorizing payment via SMS, you are merely redirected to the www.openoffice.org  website, where you can download the same Apache OpenOffice software that everyone else downloads for free!

Of course, the fact that you are reading this blog is evidence that you are familiar with OpenOffice and know that it is free.  The people who will be tricked into paying are those who do not read our blog, those who are not already familiar with OpenOffice. 

But with your help we can reach those in need of a free office suite, and make them aware of Apache OpenOffice and let them know that they can download it for free.   The more people who know about OpenOffice, the fewer people who will be fooled.   To help, go to our download page and the "Help Spread the Word" section.  Use any (or all) of those links to share the word about OpenOffice to your friends and family.   Let's try to make as many people as possible aware of OpenOffice!

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