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Comment Re:Robinson here... (Score 1) 26

It would be *really, really nice* if someone would be able to finally add the "Insert Cut Cells" option of Excel into LibreOffice Calc.

Hmm... I don't immediately see a bug filed about 'cut cells' in our bugtracker. Could you please file one and mark the Severity as 'enhancement' ? Thanks for the suggestion!

Thanks and have a happy hackfest!

Will do! We're always interested in having hackfests in new places, so if you think that your city would be a good place for our next event, please get in touch. You can email me at [slashdot username]@libreoffice.org


Comment Re:LibreOffice for Android in limbo (Score 2) 26

There are potentially more users out there for a LibreOffice version for Android than for users of the Windows, Mac and Linux versions combined. So why's the Android version forever stuck in demoware limbo?

Tomaz shares the following on his blog...

Thanks to Smoose, we are now able to do some real progress with the Android version of LibreOffice. The idea is to first build a LibreOffice document viewer, which is able to display any type of document that is supported by LibreOffice. Afterwards build on that and provide more features and eventually editing. ...
I am really excited with what we have achieved and really looking forward to see where we go from here. By the time of LibreOffice 4.4 we should have a working and polished document viewer application ready. Thanks again to Smoose for funding for the work on this important step!

Per the release plan, LibreOffice 4.4 will arrive early in 2015.


Comment Robinson here... (Score 4, Informative) 26

Woo hoo! I finally made it to the front page of Slashdot! I am feeling a bit petrified :-)

A couple of quick announcements:

  • LibreOffice has a booth at OSCON (Portland, OR) next week, so if you're around, please stop by and say hi!
  • If you'll be in Boston, MA next week, we're having a Summer Hackfest during the July 26-27 weekend. We'd love to have you join us for two days of coding, triaging, and FREE food and T-shirts. (Here's the T-shirt design)


Robinson Tryon
LibreOffice Community Outreach Herald
Senior QA Bug Wrangler
The Document Foundation

Comment Re:Troubled by "volunteer" status (Score 1) 26

Someone volunteering his time on a software project this big is denied a livable wage and health insurance...LibreOffice is a major project whose charges are picked up and used by big business... If it's so in-demand, why not get paid for it?


Good questions! You'll be happy to hear that I've just been hired by TDF as a QA Engineer for LibreOffice. I really enjoy working on the project, and now I get to do what I love...for money! :-)


Comment Send them a hybrid PDF (Score 1) 275

More ODF files should be put into circulation in the business world.

I fullhartedly agree! When I have to send a company a file (most of the time my CV, alas :-( ), I always ask if I can send it as an .odt file. Many times I am asked what that is, and then I explain, but offer to send the file as .pdf. I do this, just to make clear that there ARE other things around than MS-Office. However, I find that, slowly, .odt files get accepted more, and companies that do accept them have a plus for me.

One option is to send them a hybrid PDF -- a format that allows you to embed the source LibreOffice document inside the PDF. Here's how to do it.

Many people don't know it, but MS-Office has pretty good ODF support in recent versions, so people should feel more comfortable sending ODF documents to people who are using it.

Props on promoting ODF to your potential employers. Surely but slowly we will win this format war :-)

Comment Re:tl;dr - Still Proprietary Software (Score 1) 99

I hope the Foundation folks say "Thank you, much appreciated", and let the kids decide.

That was pretty much what I spent the day saying.

Educators the world over have often decided to insulate and protect children from the gamut of choices available to them in the Real World(tm). I don't always agree with the extent to which we "protect" children, especially as they grow older and feel very limited by society's restrictions, but I believe some amount of guidance can be helpful.

Letting the children decide between Mathematica and alternatives sounds amazing to me, and I'm very appreciative that you proposed the idea.

Atmosphere among the educators in the room when Conrad announced it this morning was pretty electric.

What do these educators think about Sage and other alternatives to Mathematica? Do you think these educators are famiilar enough with the Pi system, Mathematica, and mathematics software alternatives such that they can explain the differences and pros/cons to their young charges?

If people don't like the fact that it's only free as in beer, there's always Sage.

Yes, there is Sage, but while Mathematica's efforts got a big boost with front page billing, I see nary an article about Sage Math on the RaspberryPi blog. Whereas you just "announced a partnership with Wolfram Research to bundle a free copy of Mathematica and the Wolfram Language into future Raspbian images" (the officially-built/recommended OS), I believe that Sage has never been included in these images.

If you do want to give schoolchildren a choice between the two of them, why not start by writing an article about Sage and putting it in the default install as well? Unlike Mathematica, children will be able to download and run Sage easily and for no fee on any Win/Mac/Linux computer accessible to them, which will allow them to start projects on the Pi and move to beefier hardware later, or start a project on a school computer and bring it home to their Pi.

If children are able to make an informed choice between Mathematica and Sage (or other alternatives), then I support their opportunity to do so. Computers and the software that lives upon them should be given to children to explore, investigate, break, and repair. To truly give our future generations an opportunity to see the beauty of hardware and code I believe we should allow them to tweak and fiddle with the frobs inside these complex systems. A closed-source package like Mathematica curtails the possibility of investigation and dampens the fires of curiosity and innovation that can be seen in children everywhere.

Give children a choice? Certainly. But make sure that our educators can provide our students with exploration limited only by one's own imagination.

Comment tl;dr - Still Proprietary Software (Score 5, Insightful) 99

Just in case you thought things might have changed:

As with Wolfram|Alpha on the web, the Wolfram Language (and Mathematica) on the Raspberry Pi are going to be free for anyone to use for personal purposes. (There’s also going to be a licensing mechanism for commercial uses, other Linux ARM systems, and so on.)

I give the RaspberryPi folks credit for making amazing and fun toy for children (that turns out to actually be a quite powerful and useful system for all ages, but shhhh, don't tell the kids! :-). I dearly wish that more of the RaspberryPI system could be Open Hardware, and love the fact that schoolchildren are getting their hands on their own computer that runs FOSS that they can program and tinker with and invent and dream.

But I dearly hope that the Foundation folks say "Thanks but no thanks" to this offer of crippleware. The platform should remain open to all, and putting something like this in a default install will perpetuate a system of haves and have-nots. If Wolfram wants to market this independently, then that is their perogative, but educational tools given to kids should be reuse- and remix-friendly.

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