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Huge Demand for 3.0

October 15th, 2008 Benjamin Horst 3.0 was released on Monday, October 13, and download demand has been enormous since then. In fact, it’s been so strong the website is down and a temporary download-only site has been put in its place until the spike recedes.

Frank Mau announces over 350,000 downloads were initiated in the first 24 hours since OOo 3.0’s release:

“It could be more but the huge traffic on bear down the web-infrastructure on the site host. Hope the next days will bring up the service back on a stable base.”

Eike Rathke points out the release of OpenOffice 3.0 is also the project’s 8th birthday. He also provides a list of known mirrors to download 3.0 from if you cannot reach the main site.

Kazunaro Hirano writes: 3.0.0 Released! Website down but Mirrors are OK! He too provides links to mirror sites for alternate download access.

There are lots of reasons for this huge interest in 3.0, and I like to think pent-up demand from Mac users is one of them.

Open Source Schools Site Launches

October 9th, 2008 Benjamin Horst

Ian Lynch pointed out a new UK-based resource site for schools using open source software, called Open Source Schools.

“The Schools Open Source Project is an initiative to help schools with awareness, adoption, deployment, use and ongoing development of Open Source Software (OSS)…

“The project will provide an authoritative, informative and impartial website that will raise awareness of how OSS can be used to enhance teaching and school infrastructures. The project will then develop and support a community of practice that engages those who are currently using OSS and welcomes and supports new members.”

The site is very attractive, built in Drupal, and provides many community features, so I expect it to become a very useful resource as it continues to grow.

Boot Linux in 5 Seconds

October 7th, 2008 Benjamin Horst

One of the joys of open source is its mutability. If someone has a great idea and the right experience, they can make fundamental changes for the better. With this mindset, two Linux developers from Intel modified Fedora and Moblin to boot from a solid state drive (on the Eee PC) in only five seconds. announces: “At the Linux Plumbers Conference Thursday, Arjan van de Ven, Linux developer at Intel and author of PowerTOP, and Auke Kok, another Linux developer at Intel’s Open Source Technology Center, demonstrated a Linux system booting in five seconds.”

Lots of further tech details in the article, but in short, it’s great to see how fast Linux can boot when developers take it upon themselves to make it happen.

Brazil Now Implementing ODF

October 6th, 2008 Benjamin Horst

Some time ago, Brazil announced it would adopt ODF as a national document storage standard. Now, our friends at North-by-South announce, it has begun implementing ODF within the government:

“The Brasília Protocol (now translated to English) started the process of implementation of the Open Document Format (ODF) within the Brazilian Government. The Protocol was signed during the opening of CONSEGI 2008 by Bank of Brazil, Serpro, Dataprev, Post Office and Telegraph State Company (ECT), INPE (Institute of Spacial Researches), INPI (Institute of Intellectual Property), Ministry of Exterior Relations and others. All the institutions who signed the protocol are assuming the commitment to use the ODF standard, make it available to society-at-large, exchange documents between themselves in this format and to share solutions in open format.”

The original story is posted on the ODF Alliance website, which notes: “This is no small ODF migration, as the Brazilian entities involved have a combined 500,000 desktops.”

Considering the rapid growth of Brazil’s economy (and more importantly, the ongoing rise of many of its poorer citizens into the middle class), and its growing importance on the world stage, Brazil’s implementation of ODF will create waves that travel far and help many other governments around the world to make the same choice in favor of open standards.

Free Software vs Economic Distress

October 3rd, 2008 Benjamin Horst

Thanks to the weekly ZaReason newsletter, I found two articles pointing out how free software can help in times of economic distress.

For Linux Journal, Glyn Moody writes “Openness is the Solution to the (Double) Subprime Crisis.” He draws parallels between subprime mortgages and subprime software, and their effects on the market.

“Patents are the last refuge of proprietary software companies, which are increasingly unable to compete on a level playing field with free software. Only by introducing artificial barriers in the form of nominal patents on mathematical algorithms – software – can they hope to hobble the otherwise superior open source offerings.

“They are superior because they create real value – they have to, otherwise people will not use the code. Proprietary software, by virtue of the lock-in it imposes on users, can exact a kind of software rent through mandatory upgrades, whether or not there is any value in it for the customer (just think of the Vista fiasco).”

For DaniWeb, Ron Miller writes “What Does the Economic Crisis Mean for the Tech Sector?

“You would think that current economic climate would bode well for open source products. When your budget is lean, free begins to look pretty good. Cloud vendors and the growing virtualization market should do well too. With less money available, it makes a lot of sense to let the vendor deal with infrastructure and to reduce investments in your own data center.”

Nevertheless, there has not yet been evidence of companies moving more quickly in this direction due to economic circumstances. For individuals, students and small businesses, however, it may be a different story.

Sweden Approves ODF as National Standard

October 2nd, 2008 Benjamin Horst

The Metamorphosis foundation announces Sweden’s approval of ODF as a national standard. (Originally mentioned by the ODF Alliance in their newsletter, which is archived as PDFs online.)

“Sweden now joins Brazil, Croatia, Italy, South Korea, and South Africa as countries whose national standards bodies have formal approved this standard”, the ODF advocacy organisation writes in this week’s newsletter.”

Numerous other countries also support ODF in various ways, and organization members of the ODF Alliance come from every part of the world.

ODF Interoperability Committee

October 1st, 2008 Benjamin Horst

Rob Weir discusses the new ODF Interoperability and Conformance Technical Committee he played a part in creating:

“For the past 6 months I’ve been talking to my peers at a number of ODF vendor companies, to fellow standards professionals in OASIS, to ODF adopters, as well as to people who have gone through interoperability efforts like this before. I’ve given a few presentations on ODF interoperability conferences and led a workshop on the topic. I led a 90-day mailing list discussion on the ODF interoperability. Generally, I’ve been trying to find the best place and set of activities needed to bring the interested parties together and achieve the high level of interoperability we all want to see with ODF.”

Participants include individuals and company representatives, including those from IBM, Google, Sun, and Novell, and government agencies from the USA and South Africa. Others are welcomed and encouraged to join.

Clearly, the OIC TC is an important step that will help ODF grow in real-world importance and longterm utility as it becomes the dominant global document format.