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OpenOffice.org allows 3rd party independent extensions around it. It is not blogged about or written about enough – but it does exist. It is fairly trivial to begin writing extensions anyway and an easy extension could be to create localized versions of templates like resumes, business letter etc which the users of an office-suite-which-cannot-be-named are pretty much used to. There’s a load of documentation here and on the wiki. My favorite wicked cool extension of the week is eVoice which is an easy-to-use extension to embed voice comments in your slides. It provides the capabilities of recording and adding audio commentaries to your slide shows. Every comment will be associated with a single slide and embedded inside the Impress document in Speex format to keep file size small. Comments will also be automatically reproduced during presentation.
Gabriel Gurley released a textbook “A Conceptual Guide to OpenOffice.org 2 for Windows and Linux” under the Creative Commons Share-Alike 3.0 and the GNU Free Documentation License. It is available for download or purchase off this link. The book is pretty well written covering the basic tasks from an user perspective. Should come in handy for those who are trying mass deployments of the office suite and come up against user queries and training issues. The book could be well served by translations as well, do get in touch with the author.
From this link, you would be able to obtain a list of kickstart files related to creating an Indic LiveCD. Pretty good work by him to come up with the small sweetness. Do try them out for your language and use the #fedora-india channel or the fedora-india mailing list to provide feedback. With the falling prices of USB Keys, it makes sense to lug around a localized live image.
Good to see that the GNOME Membership Committee queue is being worked upon, now if only the Accounts queue got some love. It is a bit of a downer to be in touch with so many folks who are waiting to get their accounts in place so that they can contribute.
The OLPC effort in India does require some massive doses of mashup love. Besides the usual activity of localisation of the User Interface, I do not see anyone coming around to start thinking about activities that can be created around OLPC that will make it truly useful and more importantly, get a community going. In India at least the project requires a community leader who can lead “from within” and gets it enough to talk with educators and developers at the same time to develop an activity library. There are large number of ideas being discussed daily on the olpc-library list and it is somewhat distressing that when it comes to India the only thing being iterated on mailing lists is “If they don’t have bread, let them have a laptop”. That sucks. Sayamindu has been pretty much involved in ensuring that L10n and i18n bits work on the XO, it is time to move the interest from the XO to the project that is OLPC.
Shaun Connolly touches upon “The Future of Open Source” in a Cloud-Computing world. Question – whether it is a cloud or a real hardware for the user – does the method/process for collaborative contribution really change ?