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OOoRegiCon Abstracts

OOoRegiCon Abstracts

Last Updated: 10 February 2005

Waves and Rivers: Massively Connected Society & Open Source  Phipps_waves_and_rivers.pdf
Simon Phipps
Open source development, collaborative standards creation, the Java community, web services - each of these have been motivated by the desire for software freedom, and all have been consequences of the world becoming 'massively connected'. But each phenomenon has stood alone as its respective community has striven to achieve its goal of freedom through community. This session considers the origins of the 'massively connected' phenomenon, compares the approaches to promoting software freedom described above and proposes a new model exemplified by OpenOffice.org.
Biography: Simon Phipps speaks frequently at industry events on technology trends and futures. At various times he has programmed mainframes, Windows and on the Web. Currently the Chief Technology Evangelist at Sun Microsystems, Inc., he was previously involved in OSI standards in the 80s, in the earliest commercial collaborative conferencing software in the early 90s, in introducing Java and XML to IBM and most recently with Sun's open source strategy. He lives in the UK, is based at Sun's Menlo Park campus in California and can be contacted via http://www.webmink.net.

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Learning through Participation  Lynch_ingots.pdf
Ian Lynch
INGOTS provide progressive certificates that recognise skills in office technology including the development of resources for the OpenOffice.org community. A Gold Certificate holder will be self-sufficient in the use of office software, confident to diagnose computer problems in an office setting and will know how to gain free resources from the community as well as contribute back to it. This session will describe the strategy for making INGOTs a worldwide standard in schools thus introducing millions of people to the OpenOffice.org community and educating them about open standards and the power of giving a brick to get a house. INGOTs have the potential to generate income that can be used to fund development too.
Biography: Ian Lynch is the education lead for the openoffice.org community. He started work as a science teacher and was head of a large faculty at the age of 29. He went on to set up the Government's flagship City Technology College in 1988 and was subsequently appointed as curriculum director for maths and science for the CTC programme nationally. He subsequently set up his own consultancy leading school inspections, helping schools apply for grants and devising development plans for them. In 1998 with the help of his wife, he set up IRL Computer Systems Ltd winning the Midlands Region Small Business of the Year Award in 2000. Developing the INGOTs is now his main priority having gained some support from the British Chambers of Commerce for worldwide development.

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INREACH, building an active community  Carrera_inreach.pdf
Daniel Carrera

We've all heard about outreach, but what about inreach? Just as outreach is reaching out to the outside world, inreach means reaching out to those already part of the community. Community building depends as much on inreach as it does on outreach. There are four steps to inreach:

  • INFORM members of what's going on around the community.
  • REACH out to people. Don't just wait for them to come to you.
  • ENTHUSE people about your project (inspire)
  • NURTURE a sense of community.

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Technical Writing Using OpenOffice.org Writer  Weber_techwriting.pdf
Jean Hollis Weber

OpenOffice.org Writer is a strong competitor to Microsoft Word for both drafts and final layout (desktop publishing) of many technical documents, because it combines some of the best features of Word and FrameMaker. Indeed, Writer does several things better or easier than each of them. This session will cover some of the author�s experiences using OOo Writer�s many features of particular interest to technical writers, including:

  • Customizable interface
  • Document templates
  • Styles
  • Advanced page layout capabilities
  • Change tracking
  • Master documents
  • Fields
  • Conditional content
  • Bibliographic database
  • Equation editor
  • Macro language
  • PDF export
  • Microsoft Office compatibility
Biography: Jean Hollis Weber has over 25 years of experience planning, writing, editing, indexing, and testing user manuals and online help for computer software and hardware. Two years ago she switched from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice.org for all her work. Jean has written several books, including �OpenOffice.org Writer: The Free Alternative to Microsoft Word,� which was created using OpenOffice.org and published by O�Reilly Community Press in July 2004. Jean is active in the OpenOffice.org community, particularly the OOoAuthors project. She also maintains several Web sites, including one for technical editors (http://www.jeanweber.com/) and one about OpenOffice.org (http://www.taming-openoffice-org.com/).

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Beginners Guide to Building Database Applications with OpenOffice.org  Blake_database.pdf
Landon Blake
This presentation will explain the basics of the OpenOffice.org Database features. It will include a printed tutorial on how to connect to a MySQL database with the latest version of MySQL, and discuss how a basic knowledge of OpenOffice.org programming can begin to build database applications with interactive forms for data entry and presentation.
Biography: Landon Blake is a open source developer active in the GIS/Mapping software community. He is the co-founder of the JUMP Pilot Project, a organization to support the volunteer development of open source GIS Workbench JUMP, and the founder of SurveyOS, an organization dedicated to the development of open source software solutions for the Land Surveying and Cartography professions. He uses OpenOffice.org for all of his office software needs, and plans to contribute to improvements to OpenOffice.org database support. He is also involved in efforts to introduce the benefits of open source software, including OpenOffice.org, to the Land Surveying profession, which is dominated by commercial software solutions. Landon's primary programming Language is Java, and he is currently involved in an effort to make the OpenOffice.org API more easily understood for fellow Java developers.

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The Shot Heard 'Round the World - How the OASIS Open Document changes everything  Edwards_OASIS.pdf
Gary Edwards
Now two years in the making, the OASIS Open Document XML file format specification is making its mark. This session will discuss how the OASIS TC made dramatic enhancements to the file format specification to meet the next generation information system requirements of the European Union. Enhancements such as XForms, SVG, and SMiL were needed to meet the "custom-defined schema" requirement. Submission of the specification to ISO (the International Standards Organization) was another challenge met by the TC. This discussion will also cover the dynamics of Microsoft's arguments to the EU that MSXML file formats and licenses are "open enough", and how the recent capitulation of Microsoft to meet the EU's insistent requirements for "Open XML and Open Standards" came about.

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