openoffice.org

Have Oracle just made it worse for everyone?

I guess everybody has heard that a majority of the key developers in the OpenOffice.org community decided to set up the Document Foundation: an independent foundation to continue and manage work on the Openoffice.org codebase. If you've not, then I can recommend Terry Hancock's piece as a starting point (and a good summary of why forking is vital). To recap: Oracle are not behind the move so the foundation temporarily named their product LibreOffice. It was not, we were told, a fork. Oracle were invited to the party and asked if they would consider donating the OpenOffice.org brand to the foundation. After the mess with MySQL, here was an opportunity for Oracle to vastly improve relations with the free software community and their own reputation. In short Oracle missed their chance like an English footballer taking a penalty.

OpenOffice.org is Dead, Long Live LibreOffice -- or, The Freedom to Fork

One of the most controversial freedoms of free software is the right to simply take the code and go make your own competing project -- what is popularly called a "fork". It's controversial because it seems like a betrayal of the original developer; because it distributes resources into competing groups, which may waste effort; and because it may create confusion in the marketplace of ideas that is free software distribution. But it is a critical freedom to have, and the recent fork of LibreOffice from OpenOffice.org, like the fork of X.org from Xfree86 years ago, shows why it's so important.

New-line search & replace in OpenOffice.org Writer -- the lazy way

I've been editing the Philippine Star Trek fans' section of the New Worlds Alliance site for a few months now, and the contributors have been submitting their articles embedded in the email message. I actually prefer that to an attached file, because I can read the article right away, without having to open another application. When I'm ready to edit, I ask GMail to create a Google document out of it. Trouble is, the resulting file has hard new-line characters after every line, and a double new-line between paragraphs. I could cursor to the end of each line, delete it, and type in a space, but my inner sloth told me there had to be a better way.

Microsoft's half-hearted support for old office formats

Are you still using Microsoft Office 2003? If so, get ready to have problems opening older file formats with it once SP3 is applied: Microsoft has decided to disable file parsers for the older file types (Word 95 and older, Wordperfect, Lotus etc.) by default. Why? Security reasons.

Creating a book template with Writer

While Writer allows you to create an advanced book template that consists of a master document and a number of subdocuments, there are situations where using a simpler, one-file template makes more sense. The main advantage of a one-file book template is that it helps you to work around two major problems in Writer.

Creating a free CD or DVD database and labels in OpenOffice.org Base

If you’re serious about music or DVDs, at some point you cross the threshold of having more than you can keep track of easily. The box full of index cards has served its purpose; it’s time to move on to storing information about your CDs and DVDs in a database.

Book review: Writer for Writers by Dmitri Popov

OpenOffice.org is a fantastic office suite, finally undermining Microsoft’s monopoly on Office-like software (word processing, presentations, etc.). Out of all of the OpenOffice.org programs, Writer is by far the most used: writing a document, a letter, or anything else is definitely more common than writing a presentation. This book is all about OpenOffice.org’s Writer.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

OpenOffice.org and mail merge: how to suppress the Address2 line

Mail merges are a great way to save time, since they pull information from the same fields, over and over again with each new record in your database. There’s only one problem—all records aren’t created equal; they don’t all have, or all need, the same fields. This article solves that perpetual problem with labels. If you’re already familiar with the problem, you can go straight to the solution entitled: Suppressing blank lines with sections step by step.

The problem of blank [Address2] lines

Pick your own OOo, there must be one for you!

OpenOffice.org is probably the biggest free software project in existence today. It certainly is the biggest single piece of software one can download and compile in one go, with the core package hitting over the 100MB mark (while bzip’d) and the total sources going over 200MB.

It directly competes with Microsoft Office, is a bit more easy to install than KOffice, and is very complete.

But what will you get?

The simplest way to make databases in OpenOffice.org

Do you need to make a database, but fear it’s too much of a pain or you don’t have the right tools? Don’t worry: it’s easy, free, and useful, too. Use the free OpenOffice.org office suite to get your data in shape for mail merges, queries, or useful analysis of your business data.

What’s the point of making a database?

Have we raised a generation of technology drones?

I received an interesting note today from the school my children attend. In order to save precious dollars, last school year, I suggested that they begin using OpenOffice and only install Microsoft Office where there are licenses. The note I received today listed computer needs, and one of the needs listed as "Because Open Office is a lesser program compared to the Microsoft office programs, it wouldbe helpful to have either tutorials or at least manuals for these programs." Now, I agree that I should have provided books or pointed them to online manuals.

Free Open Document label templates

If you’ve ever spent hours at work doing mailings, cursed your printer for printing outside the lines on your labels, or moaned “There has got to be a better way to do this,” here’s the solution you’ve been looking for. Working smarter, not harder! Worldlabel.com, a manufacture of labels offers Open Office / Libre Office labels templates for downloading in ODF format which will save you time, effort, and (if you want) make really cool-looking labels

Lazy good ODF again

Okay I admit it I am lazy. Well, I work four days a week as a developer and another two days writing. I am also good at pretending to be a father and a family man. However, in principle, in another life, in a parallel Universe, where elegance wins over brawn, I simply totally and utterly want to be lazy. When a lazy person, my hero, invented the wheel, the invention was not for the purpose of carrying heavy objects. The purpose was rather to avoid carrying heavy objects.

A view of ODF from the other side (UPDATED)

I have, in a past incarnation, worked with Microsoft’s Office products closely in a professional scenario. To this end, I was subscribed to an electronic newsletter then called “Woody’s Office Watch”, and now simply “Office Watch”. This is run as a newsletter for users of Microsoft’s Office Suite, but it is independant and not affiliated with Microsoft in any way. In fact, they have no problems laying into Microsoft hard when the boys in Seattle mess up and inconvenience their users.

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