February 27th, 2011 Benjamin Horst
The iPad and forthcoming tablets from Android (and perhaps WebOS) are likely to displace PCs, at least in the developing world where the installed base of either is currently very low. The first country to watch is China, while India and much of Southeast Asia won’t be far behind. Since Android is open source, it will probably become the largest platform, but iOS devices are likely to take the prestige/luxury niche.
James Allworth discusses much the same idea on his blog post “The Fall of Wintel and the Rise of Armdroid.” Reporting on the Consumer Electronics Show, he writes,
The iPad and its many clones were not really the main story of the show. The main story — which almost nobody covered — was that this year’s CES marks the beginning of the end for Microsoft and Intel.
This transition has been a long time coming in the PC industry. Ironically enough, both of these two big players have seen the writing on the wall for almost a decade. But as is so often the case, incumbents find it immensely hard to disrupt themselves.
Allworth predicts tablets will undermine the sale of PCs to the point of extinction, and points out major milestones that have already occurred on that path:
At CES, for the first time, almost all of Microsoft’s OEM partners abandoned Microsoft exclusivity; and Microsoft’s next-generation operating system has abandoned Intel exclusively for the first time. There’s no reason to believe that either of the two companies are going to be able to turn this around. On one hand, ARM processors are perfect for powering these handheld devices. Manufacturers can customize to their heart’s content. And Android is on track to dominate the operating system space (though maybe not profitably). Both ARM and Android — Armdroid — are providing everything that tablet manufacturers need, and doing it more effectively and at a lower cost than Microsoft and Intel are able to.
We will be able to look back and say that this was the CES that saw Wintel fall and Armdroid rise up.
This outcome seems likely, though I don’t imagine PCs and laptops will disappear from offices and homes in developed countries for quite some time. However, in the developing world, this will become another case of technological leapfrogging–just as China jumped over landline phones directly to mobile phones, I think they’ll jump over PCs to arrive at tablets. The same for India and other countries in their rapid-growth phases.
As a participant in the LibreOffice project, then, I cannot sufficiently emphasize the importance of developing ODF editors for these upcoming platforms!
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.)
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.
- Fold the page toward yourself along its long axis, shown as line 1. Flatten the paper again, to leave a crease.
- Fold the top corners to the center line crease you just created. (Lines 2a and 2b.)
- Fold the now-triangular top section of the page toward yourself along line 3.
- 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.)
- Again fold the far side into triangles along lines 5a and 5b. Undo these two folds to leave a crease for each.
- Fold toward yourself along lines 6a and 6b.
- Fold again along lines 5a and 5b. Tuck the flaps created by lines 6a and 6b under the triangular nose formed by line 4.
- Fold away from yourself along lines 7a and 7b.
- Fold toward yourself along lines 8a and 8b to form triangular stabilizers.
- 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
- Add a second page with final instructions and pictures to clarify the folding process.
- Update the logo and text to satisfy marketing requirements based on community feedback.
- Upload to the LibreOffice wiki to share widely.
November 12th, 2010 Benjamin Horst
Earlier this week, The Document Foundation released an email titled “The Document Foundation Offers a Preview of Future Product and Technology Developments.”
Here are its full contents:
The Document Foundation offers a preview of future product and technology developments
The document at the centre of a developers’ friendly environment
The Internet, November 9, 2010 – “The Document Foundation is about documents and the associated software is pivotal to create, exchange, modify, share and print documents”, says Thorsten Behrens, a software developer and a member of TDF Steering Committee. “LibreOffice 3.3 is the first flavour of this long term strategy, but the journey has just begun, and the enormous advantages of our developer-embracing environment are not yet fully reflected in the upcoming software release”.
LibreOffice 3.3 is based on OOo 3.3, with code optimisations and many new features, which are going to offer a first preview of the new development directions for 2011 and beyond. TDF founders foresee a completely different future for the office suite paradigm, which – in the actual format – is over 20 years old, to be based on the document (where the software is a layer for the creation or the presentation of the contents).
TDF developers are working full steam at improving the overall quality of OOo code, which is a good starting point, and making easy testability of the code and quality assurance a priority. This is an area where new developers and code hackers, whose number has grown to over 90 in just a month, are instrumental for the bulk of the activity.
In addition, each single module of LibreOffice will be undergoing an extensive rewrite, with Calc being the first one to be redeveloped around a brand new engine – code named Ixion – that will increase performance, allow true versatility and add long awaited database and VBA macro handling features. Writer is going to be improved in the area of layout fidelity and Impress in the area of slideshow fidelity. Most of the new features are either meant to maintain compatibility with the market leading office suite or will introduce radical innovations. They will also improve conversion fidelity between formats, liberate content, and reduce Java dependency.
“The Document Foundation is going to be at the heart of the Free Software universe, where users want to build a different future for office suites, working together with developers”, says Italo Vignoli, a digital immigrant, and the oldest member of TDF Steering Committee. “Users read, write, modify and share documents, and are focused on contents rather than software features. After 20 years of feature oriented software, it is now the right time to bring back content at the centre of user focus”.
The house of The Document Foundation is at http://documentfoundation.org.
The Document Foundation has the mission to facilitate the evolution of the OOo Community into a new open, independent, and meritocratic organization within the next few months. An independent Foundation is a better match to the values of contributors, users and supporters, and will enable a more effective, efficient, transparent, and inclusive Community. TDF will protect past investments by building on the achievements of the first decade, encourage wide participation in the Community, and co-ordinate activity across the Community.
Florian Effenberger (Germany)
Mobile: +49 151 14424108 – E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Olivier Hallot (Brazil)
Mobile: +55 21 88228812 – E-mail: email@example.com
Charles H. Schulz (France)
Mobile: +33 6 98655424 – E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Italo Vignoli (Italy)
Mobile: +39 348 5653829 – E-mail: email@example.com
October 11th, 2010 Benjamin Horst
LibreOffice was announced a few short weeks ago, and time has flown by since then, as community members work feverishly to build out the project infrastructure for the future.
Late last week, Florian Effenberger sent the following email summarizing some of the successes of the first week:
Strong support for the first week of The Document Foundation
The Internet, October 6, 2010 – One full week has gone by since the
announcement of The Document Foundation, and we would like to share some
numbers with the people who have decided to follow us since the first
The beta of LibreOffice has been downloaded over 80,000 times. The
infrastructure has expanded dramatically from 25 to 45 working mirrors
in 25 countries (in every continent), including islands in the Pacific
Ocean. This number is close to half the mirrors achieved by
OpenOffice.org during ten years of history of the project.
People have started to contribute to the code, suggesting features,
committing patches and filing bugs. In just one week, around 80 code
contributions (patches, and direct commits) have been accepted in
LibreOffice from a total of 27 volunteers, several of them newly-won,
with around 100 developers hanging out on the #libreoffice irc channel
which is buzzing with activity (around 14,000 messages sent).
Turning to the wider community, 2.000 people have subscribed to the list
announce@ to keep up with the latest TDF news, and 300 people to the
discussion list discuss@, where there has been an average of 100
messages per day.
To round up the numbers, there are nearly 600 people following TDF
tweets, over 150 following the identi.ca TDF account, and over 1,000
fans on Facebook. The traffic on the server has been in the region of
In its only official response to the creation of the Foundation, Oracle
has stated: “Oracle is investing substantial resources in
OpenOffice.org. With more than one hundred million users, we believe
OpenOffice.org is the most advanced, most feature rich open source
implementation and will strongly encourage the Open Office community to
continue to contribute through www.openoffice.org.”
The Foundation understands from this that Oracle has no immediate plans
to support the Foundation, or to transfer community assets such as the
OpenOffice.org trademark. However, the Foundation hopes this position
will change as the company sees the volunteer community – an essential
component of OpenOffice’s past success – swing its support behind the
new Foundation. In the meantime, the Foundation will continue software
development under the LibreOffice brand.