Lodahl's blog: 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006

26 September 2006

The Ramboell report in English

The conclusion in this report from Ramboell Management is clear: There is no reason to wait. Worst case is, that id doesn't cost anything to implement open standards in the public administration. More realistic is that the society will reduce costs with several millions.


17 September 2006

Lots of reasons for using OpenOffice.org

  • The price
OpenOffice.org is free. You can use itf free of charge no matter if you are a private person, a student or a commercial company.
  • Its legal

Making a copy for a friend is completly legal. You don't have to control who have access to your CD anymore.

  • Its open

If you need to make changes to the application you can find the source code and you can make any changes that you want.

  • Its good

OpenOffice.org has allmost the same functionalities as competitive applications. Most people think that OpenOffice.org has less features and this is in a way true. But the features that is not in OpenOffice.org is typical features that nobody uses anyway.

  • OpenOffice.org is well documented

You can find several manuals and how-tos on www.oooathors.org in several languages. The translation is an on-going process.

  • Its supported

Lots of companies around the World is supporting OpenOffice.org. Sometimes the product is called another name as StarOffice, but you CAN get support for OpenOffice.org.

  • OpenOffice.org is social and solidarity

Its free of charge. Not only for you but also for any other child or adult in the World. This means that people in the third world can get access to a comprehensive office application. Because it's open anyone can make a local translation. This is NOT the case with commercial office applications.

  • Democratic

Any one can participate in development. There is not a company taking all decisions about the content. YOU can vote for new features. Or you can create features for the application.

  • OpenOffice.org uses OPEN document formats

If you use a 'closed' format you are actual taken hostage. What happens if the provider makes a new version or closes? You will be asked to pay ransom to get your documents back. When you use OpenOffice.org your documents are GARANTIED in the future. The format is open and can be used by ither applications. If OpenOffice.org is no longer available you can use any other application that uses the format (StarOffice, Workplace, NeoOffice, ...).

  • OpenOffice.org runs on allmost any platform

Other applications are often tied to one single operation platform. OpenOffice.org runs on several platforms and is continuously ported to new platforms. If you are using several platforms like Linux, Windows and Mac you will find OpenOffice.org on all these platforms.

OpenOffice.org can use YOUR contribution
Not only developers can participate. A lot of translation work is going on. Graphical work is needed too.

14 September 2006

Whats new in OpenOffice.org 2.04 ?

One of the reasons for me to join the OpenOffice.org community some years ago was the PDF export. And there is more to expect. Look at this 4th. tab on the PDF Options dialog in 2.04:

Security !

Ì just love OpenOffice.org

Where do the users live ?

Ever thought about where users live ?
I am working on a map that shows all danish references.


Just for fun :-)

11 September 2006

StarOffice in your own language ?

OpenOffice.org comes in more than 68 languages. StarOffice 8 from Sun Microsystems only comes in 11 languages. I wonder why.

But don't worry, because it's so easy to create a new language your self. I assume that you have a valid license for StarOffice 8.

Before you begin: Make sure that you don't have an existing OpenOffice.org installation on the computer. OpenOffice.org and StarOffice is basicly the same program and if you install both on the same computer, you will see unpredicted results. Belive me: I tried it.

Step 1: Install StarOffice 8.
You can use any language, e.g. the english one.

Step 2: Install OpenOffice.org language pack for you locale. Make sure that the version matches the StarOffice version (SO Update 3 matches OOo 2.03).
During installation you will see en errormessage, because OpenOffice.org is not installed. Select the StarOffice path instead.

Step 3: Open StarOffice Writer and select Tools -> Options -> Language Settings -> Languages
Select User interface = Your locale
Close StarOffice again.

Step 4: To install additional languages for spellcheck you must optain the appropriate files from the OpenOffice.org website. Copy the files into the path share\dict\ooo and open the file dictionary.lst to show only the languages you manually installed. This example below shows the danish spellcheck and hyphenation dictionary.

Step 5: The Hyphenation needs to be installed. You must find the file hyphen680mi.dll from another OpenOffice.org installation. Remember that the version must be the same as your StarOffice installation. From StarOffice you can install the file using Tools -> Package Manager -> Add.

Now you are ready to use your StarOffice in your own language. Congratulations.

# List of All Dictionaries to be Loaded by OpenOffice
# ---------------------------------------------------
# Each Entry in the list have the following space delimited fields
# Field 1: Entry Type "DICT" - spellchecking dictionary
# "HYPH" - hyphenation dictionary
# "THES" - thesaurus files
# Field 2: Language code from Locale "en" or "de" or "pt" ...
# Field 3: Country Code from Locale "US" or "GB" or "PT"
# Field 4: Root name of file(s) "en_US" or "hyph_de" or "th_en_US
# (do not add extensions to the name)

HYPH da DK hyph_da_DK
DICT da DK da_DK

# 10-09-2006 23:36:12
Thanks to Henrik Just from Hjørring Highschool for technical details. Henrik has been using this method on the high school for some time now.

07 September 2006

The Bergen thing ...

Just a few days ago I read that the community if Bergen, Norway has given up the project of implementing Linux in the local government.
First of all; They didn't give up Linux. They agreed to postpone the implementation of Linux on the desktop. Linux is absolutely a serious part of the server park in Bergen.

Anyway, this is just another example that shows that this kind of pioneer project can't be done without some kind of financial support. A local government and a school has a one year budget. The IT-budget is not big. Hardly big enough to keep the users happy. An implementation project takes about a year and the investment will not return before years later. Thats why we don't see more pioneer projects.

One or two major projects (like the Bergen project) would give the politicians some practical and real life examples.

I don't understand why it's so difficult to find the money to run a few pioneer projects in scandinavia. I just don't get it.

04 September 2006

Give the children a choice ...

Last year my oldest son came home from school one day: His homework that week was to write an essay. It should be delivered as a Word document. IT is an important part of school. I asked him if I could see the assignment and I was surprised to see that it was true.

The teacher used "Word document" as it was a synonym with "text document". I called the teacher. She didn't understand my point: Computerized text documents are called "Word documents". Then I asked if a spreadsheet is called an Excel sheet. Yes she said.

I think that it is very dangerous if we allow specific product names become common used words. My children must learn to make their own choices. I think that the school teachers should be guarding the language against this kind of development. What comes next ? Will the police ask to see your Toyota license next time ?

I know that the language are developing over generations. I speak another language than my parents as my parents speak another language than their parents.