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Abstracts of Conference Papers - Friday

The Roadmap: Thoughts on "Release Early and Often" vs. "It's Done When It's Done"
Matthias Huetsch StarOffice Architect, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

This session intends to start a (high-level) discussion on the roadmap for future OOo releases.

To that end, we start with a short history of OOo from it's beginnings in Oct 2000 to the OOo 2.0 release, currently planned for Spring 2005, and observe a release cycle of approximately 18 months.

Though this release cycle diverts from the classical open source "Release Early and Often" principle, we still see overlapping development and release cycles, and "continuous" feature increments.

Based on a development model of "Child Workspaces" and "Master Workspaces", we currently deliver quarterly (bug fix) Updates of "Current Release" (1.1.x) and bi-weekly (feature) Milestones of "Next Release" (2.0).

As this development model could also support shorter (feature) release cycles, provided obvious challenges (planning and organizing the many workspaces) can be addressed, we already seem to have an answer to the question of "How could we (technically) release early and often?".

But, apparent limitations of short release cycles (user expectations on minimum feature increments, the "it's done when it's done" principle), lead to the more fundamental question of "How can we best account for the needs of all stakeholders in OOo?".


Simplifying the User Interface Layout Process
Dan Williams Desktop Software Engineer, Red Hat, Inc.

The time has come to adopt a new method of designing and displaying the user interface. Imagine using tools like Qt Designer or Glade and never touching a .src file again. The current text-file based process is quite cumbersome, inelegant, confusing, and not conducive to internationalization efforts either.

To attract new developers and make current developer's jobs easier, should gradually transition to graphical user-interface layout tools, and a layout-based window/widget display system. While this might sound boring, these changes have the potential to make much more exciting for developers and lower the bar for newcomers. The paper will touch on the current resource-based system, the reasons for proposing a new UI layout system, and possible implementation strategies. Part of the session should be reserved for discussions of a more technical nature.

Biography: Dan has been involved with development since 2001, beginning with the Mac OS X port and helping it limp and crawl through several releases. He now works for the Red Hat, Inc., Desktop Team primarily on, continuing with the Mac OS X port as well. Areas of interest include low-level graphics, OOo user interface/toolkit, porting, and generally making life better for OOo users even though they might not know it. Other interests include archeology and Eastern European history.


Native Installer for 2.0
Ingo Schmidt Software Engineer, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

In 2.0 the old installation method used in 1.x versions is no longer supported. Instead the operating system specific native installers will be used for installation. This allows a more operating system conforming installation process and a better product integration into the specific operating system.

This session will give an overview about the new packaging process for 2.0. It contains the platform independent installationset description language, the setup script that contains a platform specific product description and the new tooling that creates the native installation sets based on the information in the setup scripts. The new process also includes the free software ESP Package Manager (ESP = Easy Software Products) that supports the creation of many different native installers and uses its own platform independent installationset description format. The results of the complete new process are for example Windows Installer installation sets for the Windows platforms, Solaris packages for the Solaris platform or RPMs for Linux.

This talk will also give an overlook about the current support of the different operating systems and the possibilities for operating systems that are not yet supported.

Biography: Ingo has been working on StarOffice at Star Division / Sun Microsystems for more than 6 years in program management and software development. Last year he started the process to introduce native installer as substitute for the old specific setup application.


Here Come UNO, All Shiny and New
Stephan Bergmann Sun Microsystems, Inc.

The Universal Network Objects (UNO) technology - that underlies the programming interface - has recently been enhanced with a set of capital new features. The unifying theme of the various improvements is to increase the ease with which all kinds of developers can use UNO. This session demonstrates how the API and its accompanying Software Development Kit (SDK) can benefit from these features, both for developers that use the API and SDK to build their own solutions on top of, in whatever programming language, and for developers who extend the API itself.

Biography: Stephan works for Sun Microsystems for quite some time now, on various aspects of and StarOffice. His recent activities are directed at pushing the usability of UNO.


Learn from the South African 11 language localisation experience
Dwayne Bailey Director

The project localises various pieces of Free Software into the 11 official languages of South Africa. The founder of the project will explore lessons learnt in terms of fund raising, creating a volunteer community, frustrations with tools and processes and raising market awareness.

The talk will touch on why is currently the most important localisation target for Free Software by using and explaining Translate's software selection criteria. But will also talk about some of the frustrations found in the localisation method and systems and how these have been overcome or subverted.

The talk will also cover the difficulties of manging multiple languages and multiple target projects and ideas on how to minimise these problems. The talk will briefly look at the tools that the project has created to minimise the incompatibilities of various localisation projects and the tools used to provide simple QA of translations.

Biography: Dwayne Bailey is the founder of the project an ambitious project that is translating Free Software into the 11 official languages of South Africa. The Translate project falls under the Zuza Software Foundation whose mandate is the development of Free software for upliftment and empowerment. Dwayne is also a director of the Foundation. He is now focusing efforts to increase the number of similar projects throughout Africa and other developing countries and sees the emerging role of being that of skilling and equipping other translation teams.

He has a keen interest in policy and the adoption of FOSS in education. Dwayne was one of the drafters of the initial South African Government Opensource advisory document that initiated much policy development on OSS in the South African government.

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Please Note: Program content subject to change.

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