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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. Adoption in Munster and Denmark

October 24th, 2009 Benjamin Horst

Add to the catalog of European governments and agencies adopting two more:

eGov Monitor announces that Germany’s city of Munster has chosen to standardize on OpenOffice for its school IT in German City Münster Launches Pilot Project For its Schools To Adopt Open Source Software:

At the moment, teachers are trying out OpenOffice in two schools. The suite will be made available to all schools in November 2009. “We plan to make OpenOffice the default office application for schools”, said Citeq’s spokesperson Stefan Schoenfelder.

The second note comes from community member Leif Lodahl of the Danish localization project, who writes:

We are experiencing a very important breakthrough in
the municipalities right now.

City of Gribskov has been using OpenOffice for a few years.

City of Tønder has been using OpenOffice in schools for about a year.

City of Lyngby-Taarbæk has decided to use OpenOffice in schools.
According to the local newspaper this is only the first step towards a
compete change from MS to OpenOffice in the administration as well

Even the Mayor is happy 😉

Another city close to Copenhagen is about to implement a new version of a
Case- and Document Handling System, that integrates OpenOffice into it. From
then, more than 90% of new documents will be produced with OpenOffice.
Expected to be implemented beginning of November this year. (I will talk
about this case at OOoCon this year).

Thanks for the update, Leif! Turns 9

October 14th, 2009 Benjamin Horst

Right about now, is celebrating its ninth birthday. (Catch for the birthday cake logo before it’s gone!)

The project and the software have achieved much in nine years. Highlights to date include helping launch the OpenDocument Format, creating a complex application that supports all the main computer platforms, distributing hundreds of millions of copies, building a userbase of possibly one hundred million users, and saving governments, businesses, students and home users hundreds of millions of dollars collectively in software licensing fees.

Here’s to the next nine!

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.

Windows Pulse Finds 12% Use OpenOffice

September 10th, 2009 Benjamin Horst

InfoWorld runs an article titled Windows Pulse: The Real-World State of Windows, in which they report the results from a network of machines that voluntarily downloaded a reporting application. How the machines were chosen was not specified, and the sample size of 20,000 may not provide an accurate picture of global trends, but the data shows OpenOffice installed on 12% of those machines, which looks like great progress!

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.

FSF’s “Support ODF” Project

July 29th, 2009 Benjamin Horst

The Free Software Foundation has started a list called Who’s Supporting OpenDocument, to document the growth of ODF in government agencies around the world.

This is a part of the larger Support OpenDocument campaign:

The OpenDocument format (ODF) is a format for electronic office documents, such as spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word-processing documents. The OpenDocument format is supported by free software applications such as, AbiWord and KOffice.

Interview with Sam Goodman

July 23rd, 2009 Benjamin Horst

Serial entrepreneur Sam Goodman, founder of Beijing Sammies and other Beijing-based businesses, is interviewed by WCW InSight in “Where East Eats West” – Doing Business in China, about his book and his experiences doing business in China.

Sam and I met in 1997 in Beijing and reconnected recently thanks to the internet. With his new book coming out and a promotional tour in the works, Sam will be arriving in New York City this fall to speak at the Harvard Club and other locations about his book and current projects.

KDE’s Social Desktop

July 5th, 2009 Benjamin Horst

Slashdot pointed out the gradual arrival of the social desktop elements long-planned by the KDE project in Social Desktop Starts to Arrive in KDE.

The concept behind the Social Desktop is to bring the power of online communities and group collaboration to desktop applications and the desktop shell itself. One of the strongest assets of the Free Software community is its worldwide group of contributors and users who believe in free software and who work hard to bring the software and solutions to the mainstream. A core idea of the Social Desktop is connecting to your peers in the community, making the sharing and exchanging of knowledge (PDF) easier to integrate into applications and the desktop itself.

This ties in with the Dashboard Concept I’ve been working on as well. Integrating web with desktop applications is one important step, and then moving beyond that to integrate social software makes it yet more valuable to the community of users.

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.