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LibreOffice Paper Plane Update

January 8th, 2011 Benjamin Horst

I’ve made a major update to the LibreOffice Paper Plane design, which you can download here: LibreOffice Paper Plane 2 (ODG) or PDF.

The folding instructions are now included within the ODG file on a second page, and I’ve included photos of each step in the folding process. This should help clarify some of the more tricky steps, and show what the final result is intended to look like!

This file is sized for US Letter, but stretching it to print on A4 should work equally well. Further, the lines run right to the edge of the paper, which many printers cannot accommodate; however, on all test printers only a small amount of non-essential information has been lost, which does not harm the plane creation.

Feedback and custom variations are welcome! (This file is licensed CC-BY-SA. Please link to this blog post if you share derivations online.)

LibreOffice Paper Plane

December 21st, 2010 Benjamin Horst

Based on recent LibreOffice discussions regarding a new logo and associated marketing/promotional opportunities, I’ve created the following paper airplane template. This is a draft, so please download it and let me know how well it works for you.


  1. Fold the page toward yourself along its long axis, shown as line 1. Flatten the paper again, to leave a crease.
  2. Fold the top corners to the center line crease you just created. (Lines 2a and 2b.)
  3. Fold the now-triangular top section of the page toward yourself along line 3.
  4. Fold its triangular nose back toward the far side of the paper along line 4. (Line 4 is on the paper behind the piece you will fold–use its edges to determine where you’ll fold the triangular nose.)
  5. Again fold the far side into triangles along lines 5a and 5b. Undo these two folds to leave a crease for each.
  6. Fold toward yourself along lines 6a and 6b.
  7. Fold again along lines 5a and 5b. Tuck the flaps created by lines 6a and 6b under the triangular nose formed by line 4.
  8. Fold away from yourself along lines 7a and 7b.
  9. Fold toward yourself along lines 8a and 8b to form triangular stabilizers.
  10. To launch your new plane, hold it from the back and push gently forward while pointed very slightly down.

Download this ODG file: LibreOffice_PaperPlane


  1. Add a second page with final instructions and pictures to clarify the folding process.
  2. Update the logo and text to satisfy marketing requirements based on community feedback.
  3. Upload to the LibreOffice wiki to share widely.

Document Freedom Day Today

March 31st, 2010 Benjamin Horst

Today is Document Freedom Day, a global day to promote awareness of the importance of open document formats and open standards like ODF (OpenDocument Format) and HTML.

To catch up on what’s happening around the world today, see the Document Freedom Blog.

For an perspective on Document Freedom Day, see Louis Suarez-Potts’ post titled Document Freedom Day.

Denmark to Adopt ODF

January 30th, 2010 Benjamin Horst

Danish project members pointed out the Danish Parliament’s decision this week to require government data be stored in open formats. They developed a list which explicitly included ODF and excluded MSOOXML.

The original article can be found at: ODF Wins the Document Format War (via Google Translate).

It’s also covered in English at The Register (Danes Ditch Microsoft, Take ODF Road – At Last) and OSOR.EU (DK: Danish state administrations to use ODF).

The Register: “Parliamentary parties decided – after four years of deliberation – to use the Open Document Format in all Danish state office documents.”

OSOR.EU points out:

“The open standard ODF is recognised by many European member states. Next to Denmark it is also a national standard for public administrations in Belgium, Germany, France, Lithuania, Sweden and the Netherlands. ODF is recommended by Norway and it is one of the document standards at NATO.

“ODF is a document standard supported by many office applications, including most open source office software packages. The list of software companies supporting ODF include Sun Microsystems with its StarOffice, Google with Google Docs, IBM with Lotus Domino and Workplace. Microsoft supports ODF in the second edition of its 2007 version of its Office suite. Earlier versions require a plugin made by Sun Microsystems. ODF support is also included in the office suite Hangul, used by many of Korea’s public administrations and the office suite Itchitaro, which is popular in Japan. Open source applications that can handle ODF include OpenOffice, K-Office, Abiword, Gnumeric, Scribus and TextEdit.”


November 22nd, 2009 Benjamin Horst

My team recently created a demonstration site to promote Six Apart’s new Motion platform and provide a space for community members and fans to share with each other at Share

The site is ideal to quickly post questions, links, and images and to embed videos and spark conversations within the community.

Still to come is custom design work and an ongoing promotional campaign to introduce the site to the broader community of and open source fans.

Linux Beacon on Writer

September 28th, 2009 Benjamin Horst

Linux Beacon publishes Getting the Most Out of Writer, providing a number of tips for users of OpenOffice Writer.

Linux Beacon (formerly known as No Thick Manuals) is a wiki that offers a growing collection of quality hands-on articles and tips to the best open source applications for Linux.

With great detail, the article covers a wide range of tasks in Writer. Very advanced topics, such as “Creating conditional content using sections” and “Inserting data from a data source into a Writer document,” are discussed alongside simpler tasks that will benefit newer users.

Another interesting article on Linux Beacon focuses on creating ODFs, titled “Create ODF documents without”

While you can create and save documents in the OpenDocument format using, KWord, or AbiWord, there are other ways to generate ODF files. odtwriter, for example, can help you to quickly convert plain text files formatted using reStructured Text markup into odt ( Writer-compatible ODF) documents.

Firefox Surpasses One Billion Downloads

August 4th, 2009 Benjamin Horst

Firefox’s rampant success continues to increase. Lately, it has passed the threshold of one billion downloads, launching a special website to commemorate the milestone:

We’re awed and amazed…

…to be celebrating one billion Firefox downloads. That’s one billion times in the last five years that you and the rest of the Mozilla community have made the choice to make the Web better.

But it’s not just about Firefox. We are the world. We are the billions. We are the ones who make the Web a better place to be. As we all start towards the second billion, let’s take a moment to reflect on the wonders of the Web that you’ve helped nurture and grow.

The impact of Firefox on keeping the web open and competitive has been enormous, and would be difficult to overstate. It is the dominant factor in that success, and its continued health and growth is a pillar of the free and open culture that has given the world such a unique and amazing tool in the web itself.

SourceForge Community Choice Awards

June 24th, 2009 Benjamin Horst

Louis passes along the message that has been chosen as a finalist for the 2009 Community Choice Awards in the category of Best Project for Government.

Click the image below to visit the site and vote for! And be sure to check out all the other great projects while you’re there.

Project Renaissance Designs

June 10th, 2009 Benjamin Horst’s Project Renaissance continues to progress, with the announcement last week in Elizabeth Matthis’ post UI Design Proposals Wrap Up and a Look Forward that “17 proposals were submitted and reviewed by our brilliant and creative community members. They contain a total of 145 user interface design mockups. (Wow!) There were 80 comments or questions added by OOo-community reviewers.”

She highlights some of the proposals and includes several design mockups in the post to illustrate the participation levels already achieved.

What’s Next? The Renaissance team is determining which ideas (note: mixing and matching will happen here!) appear to implement the design directives* most successfully. Those that do will be used to create a handful of (wire frame) prototypes. Later, the concepts the Renaissance team is working on will be the basis for mid-fidelity prototypes that will be validated in tests: We need to confirm that the UI changes will be real improvements and will be well-accepted before we roll them out to our whole user base.

The team will publish further information as they go, so stay tuned! The excitement isn’t over yet.

Brazil’s Telecentro Program Expands

June 1st, 2009 Benjamin Horst

In a recent post, the North-by-South blog announces Brazil is aggressively expanding their Telecentro program, community free software workshops and technology education.

The Brazilian National Support Project for Telecentros (public computer labs with free, public Internet access) intends to support the deployment of 2 – 3,000 new Telecentros and towards achieving the goal of 10,000 active Telecentros by the year 2010. Almost all of the Telecentros are built using entirely free and open source software. Adding to the social benefit of the project, the rapid timetable will be met by training Brazilian youths on how to install Linux, configure the workstations and servers, and get the Telecentros online, up and running.

What an excellent national project that will pay future dividends as generations of Brazilians learn computer skills on open platforms, and then become the very developers to advance those platforms in turn.