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IBM Joins Community

September 11th, 2007 Benjamin Horst

IBM has long been involved with the ODF file format, and has even embedded a customized version of into Lotus Notes 8, but now they’ve taken their commitment one step further and formally joined the Community.

The press release announces, “IBM will be making initial code contributions that it has been developing as part of its Lotus Notes product, including accessibility enhancements, and will be making ongoing contributions to the feature richness and code quality of Besides working with the community on the free productivity suite’s software, IBM will also leverage technology in its products.”

IBM will assign 35 developers to work fulltime on itself, and will leverage OOo technologies in other products (as they’ve already done with Lotus Notes). Sounds like a very healthy and sustainable relationship with the community will come out of this!

Slashdot discusses the announcement here.

Chandler Preview Busts Loose

September 10th, 2007 Benjamin Horst

After years of searching for software to help organize me, and watching Chandler grow and evolve, the Open Source Applications Foundation has released Chandler Preview (version 0.7). (Download page is here.) I haven’t seen a formal release announcement for it yet, but this version was posted on Friday and today is the previously-declared release date.

I’ve got high hopes for this application as a new paradigm in organization that will replace my Inbox with something more effective… and in some ways its design concepts seem to have already influenced other applications, with even Apple’s website mentioning Chandler in several places!

Zoho Business Arrives

September 7th, 2007 Benjamin Horst

I’ve been impressed with the Zoho online apps. They keep introducing new apps, new features, and upgrades at such a quick pace it’s hard to keep up. Now they’ve put forth a major addition to the company’s business strategy, which is a hosted suites of applications for small business customers.

“Zoho Business (ZB) is the new category we are launching and it is aimed at small & mid-sized businesses. ZB will be available in two versions – Free & Pro. Below are some of the highlights of Zoho Business.

  • Company level Admin Console
  • Domain Management (for pointing your domains to Zoho Apps)
  • Centralized User and Group Management
  • Single Sign-on across several Zoho Apps
  • Zoho Apps include Writer, Sheet, Show, Wiki, Notebook, Email, Cal, Tasks, Planner, Viewer, Chat etc.
  • Customization Options
  • Multiple levels of Security including SSL
  • Remote Backup
  • Telephone Support and more.
  • ZB will be available in Private Beta now and it’ll step into Public Beta next month. We are aiming for the GA release during the first quarter for next year. The pricing for ZB (while not finalized) will be around $40/user/year.”

See the announcement notebook for more info and screenshots.

Bob Sutor: ODF is the Future

September 6th, 2007 Benjamin Horst

IBM employee and blogger Bob Sutor has been a strong champion of ODF and he weighs in this week on the victory at ISO with OOXML, the past. ODF, the future.

“Congratulations to all who worked to secure this result in the goal of high quality, non-vendor dictated open standards. The story is not over, of course, as the Ballot Resolution Meeting in February will attempt to get agreement on fixes to OOXML to make it acceptable. A lot will happen between now and then. Nevertheless, this was a truly historic vote and result.

But that was so yesterday.

What about tomorrow? Well, for starters, I predict we’ll see even more adoption of ODF by governments, large and small; by users, young and old; and organizations, both commercial and non-profit. We’ll see more active development and evolution of ODF within OASIS and all are welcome to participate in that. We especially invite Microsoft and others to lend their expertise to this important standardization effort.”

The ODF camp has always offered this olive branch to Microsoft, and even now offers them the chance to work together. What kind of corporate arrogance can have a company follow the path that Microsoft has with its recent MSOOXML efforts? Trying to hijack the international standards setting process to control it, when a perfectly usable, technically elegant, and completely apolitical format, ODF, is already available? It just does not make sense!

Cheers to Sutor and the entire world of ODF supporters for heading off this challenge and for the honest and fair way they have behaved through every step of it.

Install Drupal with MAMP

September 5th, 2007 Benjamin Horst

As I get deeper into researching Drupal for some upcoming projects, I was seeking a way to install it on my MacBook for home testing purposes.

Along comes MAMP, a pre-packaged installer for Apache, MySQL and PHP on your Mac OS X system. And Rob Cottingham provides a tutorial for installing MAMP and Drupal on your Mac. Very handy!

Five quick steps, and you’re up and running. I was able to install and configure everything while also watching Law and Order.

Groklaw: ISO Rejects MSOOXML

September 4th, 2007 Benjamin Horst

Groklaw announces that Office Open XML is Disapproved.

“So what does it mean? If you try to fast track an unbaked format, tech folks will notice it’s not done yet.”

The official press release from the ISO confirmed it late on the morning of September 4:

“A ballot on whether to publish the draft standard ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology – Office Open XML file formats, as an International Standard by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) has not achieved the required number of votes for approval.”

PJ also links to some of the press coverage, including this Wall Street Journal piece. (I could only read the intro, since I’m not a member…) Extensions Site

September 4th, 2007 Benjamin Horst

The new OOo Extensions site has launched.

Among its catalog of extensions is the cool new OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs by Przemyslaw Rumik.

Rumik introduces his new extension to the mailing list: “The extension lets you export Writer (and in theory also Calc) documents to Google Docs. You simply need to choose the Google Docs menu and Export to Google Docs item, enter your Google Account credentials and voila! your document lands on your Google Docs list :-)”

“The extension works with 2.2 (should also work with 2.04+) and StarOffice 8, and requires Java 6 SE :-(, and was
tested under Windows.”