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OpenOffice.org Design Contest 124

Posted by kdawson
lisah writes, "OpenOffice.org, along with co-sponsor WorldLabel.com, will give away more then $5,000 in cash and prizes to the winners of a template and clip-art design contest scheduled to run until October 13, 2006. Organizers are looking for original designs that are useful to multiple users but, in terms of creativity, they say the sky's the limit. Submissions can range from budgeting spreadsheets and personal finance templates to funky graphics and presentation templates, but must run on one of the suite's four main applications: Writer, Calc, Draw, or Impress."
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OpenOffice.org Design Contest

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  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TechnoBunny (991156) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @02:28AM (#16144280)
    How will they stop people just ripping off some of the templates from MS Office, obfuscating them slightly, and then submitting them?
    There's an MS office template for most things, so the submissions will most likely either be:
    a) a copy of something MS already has, or
    b) obscure enough to be only of use to a very small group of people....
    • "How will they stop people just ripping off some of the templates from MS Office, obfuscating them slightly, and then submitting them?"

      Nothing will stop people submitting them but peer review should weed them out once they have.

      • But how many variations on 'this is a template budget spreadsheet' or 'this is a template CV' can there be?
        • by cashman73 (855518)
          Contrary to popular belief, the Microsoft Way isn't necessarily the only way to do things, and often not really the correct way, either,...
          • by RockDoctor (15477)

            Contrary to popular belief, the Microsoft Way isn't necessarily the only way to do things, and often not really the correct way, either,...

            ... in particular because MS have always been so America-centred that their templates are absolutely riddled with parochial assumptions. Since I don't use a foreign language version of their stuff, I can't comment on how they handle doing a complete translation of a program, but I've heard enough rumours that it's atrocious. Certainly their developer tools suck so

    • by sessamoid (165542)
      How will they stop people just ripping off some of the templates from MS Office, obfuscating them slightly, and then submitting them?
      Because the designers at Microsoft Office are horrid, and their presentation templates look like ass. Even if submitted and accepted, they shouldn't win anything.
    • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by LarsWestergren (9033) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @03:58AM (#16144476) Homepage Journal
      How will they stop people just ripping off some of the templates from MS Office, obfuscating them slightly, and then submitting them?

      Nothing, but these submissions are unlikely to be accepted, much less win the competition.
      • by kabz (770151)
        Have a look at some typical Excel graphs with their gaudy data series, clutter and heavy lines.

        Now take a look at a Tufte book.

        There is a difference.
    • by datafr0g (831498) *

      How will they stop people just ripping off some of the templates from MS Office, obfuscating them slightly, and then submitting them?

      As they'll be judging on orginality, I doubt anything remotly "MS Office" would be selected. Office templates stand out like a sore thumb.... a bit like a MS Powerpoint Presentation :)

      There's an MS office template for most things, so the submissions will most likely either be:
      a) a copy of something MS already has, or
      b) obscure enough to be only of use to a very small gr

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      kind of sad when an open source group/product has to resort to essentially bribing people to help out.
      So much for the "open source" thing lol.
      • by miro f (944325)
        kind of sad when an open source group/product has to resort to essentially bribing people to help out.
        So much for the "open source" thing lol.

        you mean, they offer incentives for the community around the project to actually make something?

        How is this not open source?
    • by Tim Browse (9263)

      Could be tricky. I used to work on a product that was licensed by Corel - we had clipart, and Corel replaced most of it with their (superior) collection. With respect to our original cliaprt set, we had received legal threats about one of the drawings that won our clipart competition, because the submitter had apparently copied the image from a poster/photograph. It was nicely done, but still a copy.

      When we mentioned this to Corel, they told us that they got legal threats/lawsuits like that too, about

  • Link (Score:3, Informative)

    by arun_s (877518) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @02:36AM (#16144301) Homepage Journal
    The actual announcement is here [openoffice.org]. Its got all the details on licensing (LGPL), prizes, criteria (originality, usability, artisitc merit etc)
  • Ascii Art? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @02:39AM (#16144304) Journal
    Does Ascii art count?

    If so, here is my submission:


        O P E N
        F
        F
        I
        C
        E


    Catchy, aint it.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @02:56AM (#16144336) Homepage Journal
    The goatse man with a spreadsheet emerging from...well....not a cell I would go into...
  • Not just MSOffice... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wizard052 (1003511)
    ...but what about the countless other sources of graphics and pictures which may be proprietory/copyrighted? What's preventing anyone from taking one and submitting it. I'd imagine the potential nightmare of lawsuits and litigation to follow if even one picture is caught. And who takes THAT liability?
    • ...but what about the countless other sources of graphics and pictures which may be proprietory/copyrighted? What's preventing anyone from taking one and submitting it.

      Copyright law prevents that. What gave you the idea that creative people who contribute with free (as in LGPL) content will need to copy anyone else's work? This is the same mentality behind the SCO lawsuit: "Your Honor, they can't possibly have done it themselves, so they must copied it from us".

      Give the free culture movement some credit

      • Granted...many creative people out there are extremely talented and would readily share their work with the world, and are innovative and creative on their own right. But there exists a substantial cash prize in this case so I can bet we'd be seeing a lot of people from both sides of the fence.

        Perhaps many people would less likely toil at creating some artwork that may/may not win the prize while there exists a higher likelihood of winning, by submitting a superior graphic especially since time is also a fa
  • OOo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by should_be_linear (779431) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @03:03AM (#16144348)
    I would much prefer *faster startup* of bloody thing then millions of templates and clipart inside.
    • by aerthling (796790)

      The startup times I can handle.

      What they need to do is redesign the formatting tools, especially in setting colours. It seriously sucks. I shouldn't have to delve deep into the program options to apply a specific colour to a style (a colour selector or the like wouldn't go astray there either).

    • ...Perhaps some halfway decent toolbar icons. I know Ximian have made an attempt in that direction, and there are other measures available (e.g. at kde-look.org) but it shouldn't need so much effort to make these less ugly.
  • more THAN (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ados (513748) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @03:27AM (#16144400)
    Grrrrr, its "more THAN" not "more then". Encourage others to get it right by using the right phrase yourself.
    • it's "it's" - not "its" (it is)
      • by john83 (923470)
        Good spot. Another fine example of Hartman's Law of Prescriptivist Retaliation - "any statement about correct grammar, punctuation, or spelling is bound to contain at least one eror".
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by egr (932620)
        it's ""it's" (it is) - not "its"" - not "it's "it's" - not "its" (it is)"
    • by gmag3 (121600)
      Grrrrr, it's "it's" not "its" (in this case.) Encourage others to get it right by using the right word yourself.
      • by Jugalator (259273)
        "In this case" indeed. I can't believe how common "its" -> "it's" is, even among journalists. It has to be the grammar mistake online.
  • by DavidD_CA (750156) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @03:30AM (#16144410) Homepage
    This is one of those things that people take for granted, but they come in very handy when you need them.

    As a licensed Office user, you can pull down literally thousands (probably closer to 100,000) various types of clip art, stock photography, and templates. There's probably 20 different Invoice templates alone, all very good.

    And with Office 2003, opening a template from the web or adding clip art is all integrated into the application.

    Little things like this will help OO become more mainstream, but I think it still has a long way to go.
    • What I don't get is... why? Why make it part of OO.o? I'm sure a free and open collection of clipart/stock images/etc. would be welcome to lots of people on the internet. The templates I get, but the rest of it is useful to people other than OO.o users, and would be better as it's own website and project than as another chunk of bloat to download.
      • by gral (697468)
        The templates are going to be on the OOo Documentation site, so others can download if they want. The clipart is still being decided upon, and may be posted on openclipart.org in a joint effort.

        We are only going to add the top one or two items to the download. I don't want to have a 200Mb download, that has 1000 templates that are useless to me. Going to a site and downloading the ones I want makes more sense, or having a bulk template download as well.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DavidD_CA (750156)
        I think you've got something there. A massive "open" library of all sorts of document templates, images, clip art, photos, etc, would be fantastic.

        Ideally it could be linked into applications like OO through various HTTP APIs or something, much like Office is. (When you install office, you only install about 300 MB of clip art, the rest of it is accessed from the web.)
  • by robzon (981455)
    They should pay more attention to the interface first and get a good usability specialist. Basic thing are much harder to do than they should be, like there is no keyboard shortcut for automatic sum in Calc! After googling I found out that you actually need to create a macro to do that. Maybe this one was fixed in the most recent releases (haven't checked), but there MANY things like that they should focus on.
    • by Bert64 (520050)
      So submit a bug, and watch it's progress.
      Many of the people who write code, have no real need for a spreadsheet, so they have very little idea what features real users actually need unless those users tell them!
  • There are many artistic style, and clipart on many subjects and ideas in varying modern design styles (this this shitty hype web two.null style) as well as 60's comic style, smooth style, business style.

    Too many nay sayers, who seem to think that everything has already been done. Still, at least the top post wasn't 'OMFG you asshats you fkking didn't proof-read the post OMFGFDFFFFJFKJFKJFJ!!!!!!1111111'

    Wednesday! (for most)

    please type the word in this image: stands verification text - if you are visually im
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @04:07AM (#16144496)
    as long as they don't support natively SVG.
    SVG is the best standard for vectorial cliparts, and not supporting svg is really a shame. Bring real svg support to openoffice instead of the lame sun-java-only plugin, and then people will bring cliparts to openoffice.
    • I agree wholeheartedly. I find it infuriating that OOo doesn't support SVG. As a chemist I often prepare drawings of molecules and reaction pathways from specialist programs whose best output is in SVG. At least Abiword with a plugin inserts SVG graphics with a plugin that internally converts them to PNG. Not an optimal solution since they don't scale as they internally as bitmaps, but still its better than nothing.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        For me, import of vector graphics into OO.org 2.0x works best with .wmf, .emf and .eps (as long as you don't try to edit these graphics inside OO.org).
    • "as long as they don't support natively SVG"

      Google on OO and feetures. Select random feeture. Post I like OO except it doesn't have 'X feeture' on Slashdot.

      SVG-ready [ipd.uka.de] OpenOffice 2.0

      was re Re:Openoffice doesn't deserve cliparts
  • For students (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    How about MLA, APA, Tirabian and Chicago Templates.
    • Absolutely! I've been waiting for this myself. They say that it's coming in version three, I suppose we'll see....

      -=Steve=-
  • clip art... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by joe 155 (937621) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @04:48AM (#16144575) Journal
    ...I wish that they had got people to design a better UI for the main app though, it just looks so much like it was designed on the cheap in 1997 ( see http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/17/Nt3_ 51-word97.png [wikimedia.org] ). I know that people will say functionality should take precedence but I will not be able to convince anyone who is a casual user to switch when they will be presented with a mass of grey and cheap looking icons.

    I hope that they have some money saved back to do that soon.
    • by xtracto (837672)
      I know that people will say functionality should take precedence but I

      Hey, look at the picture you linked again.

      From my point of view, a set of 9 menues, each one with (an average of) 7 subitems of which (approximatly) 2 of them are submenues with (on average) more than 10 options (which some of them are submenues =oS) is not what I call something "functional".

      Thats the primary reason why the *ribbon* exists.

      The menu-bar paradigm is OLD older than me and older than lots of you. This has to be changed NOW.
      • by TobascoKid (82629)
        Thats the primary reason why the *ribbon* exists.

        I thought that the ribbon is having a hard time getting accepted.

        The menu-bar paradigm is OLD older than me and older than lots of you.

        ouch.

        Just because it's old doesn't mean that there's anything overly wrong with it (if you think about it, most things in computing are "old" by your standards). A few apps might be pushing the paradigm to it's limits, but then you have to wonder if maybe it's the apps that need to be simplified and not the menubar.

        why not rem
    • "I wish that they had got people to design a better UI for the main app though, it just looks so much like it was designed on the cheap in 1997"

      You know something, when I read the opening comment I said to myself, standby for a mass of OO doesn't have 'feeture' comments that strangely get modded up. And straight off at number four is the above ..

      was Re:clip art...
  • Dear OpenOffice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pembo13 (770295) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @05:24AM (#16144658) Homepage

    You have a long way to go. Clipart is the least of your problems: there is always images.google.com. I never really used MS Office much. I used Novel, and then Corel Office. When I moved to Linux I picked you up OO.org. You meet most of my tasks, and I have never had to open MS Word due to a a lack of yours. However, you are lacking a lot of useful features. Please copy features from Wordperfect. I would love a grammar checker as useful as the one in Wordperfect.

    And I hear you don't have native SVG support? What's up with that?

    Thank you.

    • by Petrushka (815171)

      Forget about svg support, I'd be happy to see correct formatting of text using font substitution and correct handling of combining diacritics. Yes, I've posted bugs. Yes, I'm bitter and twisted.

      But also yes, I use OpenOffice daily. It's just better.

    • by Ash-Fox (726320)
      Here is my OpenOffice.org dear to letter:

      Dear OpenOffice.org people,

      ash-fox@Tapestry:~$ sudo apt-get install openclipart
      Password:
      Reading package lists... Done
      Building dependency tree... Done
      The following extra packages will be installed:
      openclipart-openoffice.org openclipart-png openclipart-svg
      Suggested packages:
      gimp-svg inkscape sketch
      Recommended packages:
      librsvg2-bin
      The following NEW packages will be installed:
      openclipart
      openclipart-openoffice.

  • Wait until Gates hears about this. He will then offer $5,000,000 for whoever brings him the best plan of getting rid of Open Source fanatics :-D
  • ....forgotten in the contest rules .... talking paper clips are not allowed!
  • Shark Art (Score:4, Funny)

    by farker haiku (883529) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @07:22AM (#16145020) Journal
    Great, now there's going to be 5k clip art images of sharks with laser beams on their heads and snakes on a plane. Here's to you, Mr. Open Office submitter dude.
  • I like OO except for the lack of a good User Interface, the grey and cheep icons, no native SVG support, no keyboard shortcut for automatic sum in Calc, no propagate deleting of paragraphs, no visible page breaks, slow startup ...
  • Paid content (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by smallguy78 (775828)
    It's open source and free and all that sugar that makes some people erect. However they are paying you $5000 to do it. Why not make the product semi-commercial and actually come up with a competitor for MS Office, instead of relying on hobbyists.
    • Duh, let me count the reasons why!

      1) There is a commercial version of Open Office: It's called Star Office
      2) The best a commercial product can hope to do against MS is go out of business.
      2a) Or be bought by google
      3) Did I mention that Open Office was the Free Version of Star Office ($70 ish) from Sun?
      3b) Did you know that you could purchase Open Office for $70 ish, and get features like: Real Fonts, a commercial spell checker, the ability to import MS Scripts, and more...

      Seriously, how many commercial offic
  • Finally! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by varghan (834564)
    I would really like to have a _much_ better alternative to the pink 'n' purple graphs that are standard in MS office (and gnumeric). Who ever thought that putting purple and pink on a grey background get nice looking figures. Please, please, please, I am begging someone with a better understanding of layout to get a better set of standard colors.
  • The biggest complaint I've had from people I get using OpenOffice.Org is the lack of Impress templates. I hope "they" come up with some good ones because everybody knows that the 'bad' MS Power Point templates are causing brain damage.
  • Or, as Msoft Word calls it, "Normal View." I've been pleading w/ the OO.o design team (via there bug/feature trackers) to implement this with no luck whatsoever.
    It's an incredible waste of screen space (not to mention scrolling time) to display each and every page with its headers&footers, not to mention the blank background between pages. When you're writing and editing the content of a document, all you want or need to see is the text itself. Page formatting comes later.
    • by PCM2 (4486)
      It's an incredible waste of screen space (not to mention scrolling time) to display each and every page with its headers&footers, not to mention the blank background between pages.

      Office 2003 has an additional feature in "Print Mode" where you can opt to just eliminate the extra space. So you see all the formatting and the bubble-style comments, but you don't see headers and footers where there are none. I'd settle for something similar.

  • Wow, if the entries are even half as good as the God-aweful GIMP splash contest ones, they'll be toppling MS in no time.

    http://www.gimp.org/contest/

  • What they should do is not only offer free clipart on a site like openclipart.org, but also offer it in a format that would be easily downloadable and usable not only by their own users, but also users of Micro$oft Orifice. Let the M$ zombies come to their site and see what they've got, then take a look at a free office application on the site, and maybe some of these people will then be converted over,... Plus, once they get a critical mass of software clipart, and if it's good enough, they could easily pu
  • Many posters note that fixing the poor UI as more important then clipart.

    But what is a good UI ? Perfect for slashpol
    Category
    Graphs - genera
    Graphs - axis ....

    The math is a lot like the ask an audience feature in do u want 2b a millioniare.
    if there is a consensus you will get a set of votes x + y, where x is the preferred soluiton and Y is the sum of the unpreferred, and all of the components of y are small (the math is really clear with 4 choices)

    the only problem is if the better solutions are not well know

Waste not, get your budget cut next year.

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