Lodahl's blog: 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008

29 June 2008

Crop image in Draw and Impress (Danish)

26 June 2008

OpenOffice.org Newsletter in Danish

The newsletter is on the streets now:
Text edition: http://da.openoffice.org/servlets/ReadMsg?list=nyhedsbrev&msgNo=51
PDF-Edition: http://doc.oooforum.dk/Nyhed/2008Juli.pdf

22 June 2008


For the last couple of months we have had two frequent visiters in the garden. We usually feed the birds during winther but this year we continued to feed them even during spring and summer. The squirrels heard about it and now they are sitting on the ground below the birds food supply every morning.

This squirrel is a grey one. The other one is completly red.

18 June 2008

Danish industry is looking for an alternative

Most Danish companies are actually trying to find an alternative to MS Office at the moment. The reason is, that most companies are about to upgrade to MS Office 2007 and ask themselves:

Why should I choose the moost expensive alternative?
It's a very good question. FTZ Autoparts did it and they are telling the story in this article:

15 June 2008

Experiments doing screencasts

Over the last couple of weeks, I'we been experimenting with different ways of creating screencasts. It all began with a journalist that wanted me to something about the upcomming OpenOffice.org 3.0. The result can be seen here: http://www.version2.dk/artikel/7482 . It became very popular but personally I think it was pure quality. We made it with a program called BB Flashback Express from Blueberry Software. I have also tried Adobe Captivate, but thats too expensive (and proprietary) for me. Camstudio is an open source application, but it's not possible to edit the source after the take.

I ended up with an application called Wink from debugmode.

You can see a few examples
Makro recorder: http://doc.oooforum.dk/Flash/Makro.htm
Editing PDF-files (OpenOffice.org 3.0): http://doc.oooforum.dk/Flash/PDF-editor.htm

11 June 2008

Better late than ...

On April 4th I wrote a letter to members of Parliament in Denmark (Folketinget): "Standards and free competition" (English translation: http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A//ft.dk/samling/20072/almdel/UVT/Bilag/129/545869.HTM&hl=da&langpair=auto|en&tbb=1&ie=UTF-8). This was at the time where the Paliament was discussing with the Minister of Science whether The Danish Competition Authority should be participating in the follow-up on Parliament decision B 103. Fortunately the Parliament agreed to tell the Minister to ask the competition Authority to participate.

Today I read in the media ( http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A//www.version2.dk/artikel/7571&hl=da&langpair=auto|en&tbb=1&ie=ISO-8859-1) that Microsoft has answered. I don't know when they did, but I find it nice that Microsoft has taken their time to answer. One of the answers are, that Microsoft OOXML is an open standard because it's ...

1) Well documented and the complete specification is public awailable
2) Free implementable without any restrictions
3) Maintained in an open forum via an open process
Sorry Microsoft. two out of three (at least) missed this time.

10 June 2008

OpenOffice.org 2.4 1 in Danish is released.

This version is a so-called bug fix version which does not contain real news, but correct errors and shortcomings in version 2.4. The programme can be downloaded from the website http://da.openoffice.org.

Release notes: http://development.openoffice.org/releases/2.4.1rc2.html (English).

This release contains a security update and we recommend all users to upgrade to this version.

Version 2.4.1 is the last version that supports Windows 98 and Windows ME.
The next version is 3.0, which is scheduled for september 2008.
Read more about version 3.0 here: http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Da.Release3 (Danish)

Still no specification of OOXML

Four national standards bodies appeal against approval of ISO/IEC DIS 29500http://www.iso.org/iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref1136

This means that the specification will be further delayed until the appeals has been considered.

05 June 2008

Cross reference in OpenOffice.org 3.0

The upcoming version of OpenOffice.org contains various improvements. One of the long missing features is, to create cross references directly to headings without creating a bookmark first. All headings in the document are automatically created as targets.

04 June 2008

OpenOffice.org in enterpise

Symfoni Software held at the beginning of June its annual BRUKERFORUM. This year the event was held in Tallinn in Estonia, where around 65 of Symfoni Software's customers from Norway, Denmark and Sweden was together.

I am working as project manager at Symfoni Software Copenhagen office , but I am also leader of the OpenOffice.org community in Denmark. I spoke at the conference about how and why OpenOffice.org can be a good business for any IT department.

I discussed the possibility of implementing OpenOffice.org as an alternative to MS Office. I pointed out that before the implementation, you must take into account four factors:

1) users should be informed and trained. First, to achieve skills in order to continue to work effectively in the organization. But also to gain acceptance and understanding for the transition to open source. The reason is that one of the biggest challenges, is actually staff resistance and not technical or practical problems.

2) it must be examined tp what extent templates, macros and advanced spreadsheet are used in the organization. Prioritize what actions are required before implementation, and which can wait until later.

3) it must be examined to what extent there are business applications (e.g. ERP systems and enterprise data) with direct integration to MS Office. In many cases, such integration does not exist.

4) it must be considered if conversion of documents should be taken into account. For example. existing documents and future documents exchanged with customers, partners.

During the presentation, I told that if the company or organization has many users and few customizations, could achieve a very rapid benefit, while few users and many adjustments will make it less rapid to achieve benefit. However, it is also appropriate to consider partial transition to OpenOffice.org in the case that few people in the company need MS Office. This possibility has for many been a bad solution so far because we have seen difficulties exchanging different document formats. But after Microsoft has promised full support for ODF format from the beginning of 2008, this solution will become very relevant and viable option for many. In most cases, it will be possible to achieve economic benefits after only a few years.

The companies and organisations using Lotus Notes as a platform for mail, calendar and applications, should consider the use of Lotus Symphony from IBM. Lotus Symphony is actually a converted version of OpenOffice.org. Whether it is better than OpenOffice I will not be able to decide, but Symphony has one unique advantage in the future: It is part of Lotus Notes platform. I look forward to see what IBM will do in the future. By creating composite applications which open for building direct integration of data from Notes to the Office applications.

Mads Andersen from FTZ Autoparts followed my speak, by telling us how FTZ has chosen to switch from MS Office to the free alternative OpenOffice.org. Mads Andersen is working as IT consultant at FTZ Autoparts in Odense, Denmark. FTZ has chosen to use OpenOffice.org as the office application in the company. FTZ is in the situation that of the 550 users is only a few who use the Office application for other than to write a letter once and in a while. Many users and not advanced needs. Some users have initially been allowed to keep their MS Office, but Mads sayd that the plan is to eliminate the last MS Office installations in the future.

Roll out occurred almost without any problems. MSI installation is easy to handle. FTZ is úsing Citrix. Mads believe that FTZ has saved a lot of money by choosing OpenOffice.org rather than Microsoft Office. There is still a recurring problem when FTZ receive attachments from the Microsoft Office 2007, but in the FTZ, they have chosen a key solution, where the IT department takes care of conversion of documents.

Roll out has been going on relatively quietly. "The first two weeks gave a little extra work in support" sayd Mads and continues "but there was no need to do proper education." The support at FTZ has taken advantage of the voluntary support forum OOoForum in cases where users have had problems such as if the IT-supporters didn't resolve a problem themselves. Most problems have been when users couldn't find a specific function or feature in the program. "If there is something we should have done differently, it should be to examine exactly what features people use, and then we should produce information about this".