• A few days ago I summarized the most questionable or uncertain points of the software odissey of the City of Pesaro, saying that I’d also post questions and consequences, both for the City and Open Source advocates, not mentioned yet in this story. For Pesaro, the road forward has little or nothing to do with the initial topic, that is Open Source Software in Public Administration. The advocates, instead, should rethink some of their strategies.
  • Today, while cleaning up old backups, I found a text file named as this post, which I saved on November 17th, 2000, but never used. Cannot remember what I was planning to do with it, but here it goes. A bit naive, surely dated (just look at which Free Software **companies **I was suggesting to go for help…) but still interesting, considering how things stand today. Here it goes, unchanged:Linux on the desktop won’t be even considered by most corporations _ and newbies until it comes by default with one single icon that says:_
  • Twelve (TWELVE!!!) years ago I asked OpenOffice users “Are you advocating OO correctly”. Six years ago I said the same things in a different format. A couple of weeks ago, I came across a perfect proof that that kind of advocay IS right, but so far has been never practiced enough.Twelve years ago I wrote (the whole thread is still in the archives) that: most of [OpenOffice] advocacy, while always in good faith, is often incomplete, misleading, and much less effective than what it could be.
  • (this is something I wrote in 2007. Everywhere you read “OO.o” you can (and should) replace it with “Apache OpenOffice or Libre Office”. See the bottom of the page for the origin and history of the text) Many people, schools and small businesses use OO.o only becauseit can be obtained and installed for free, maybe from a Cd-Rom attached to some magazine, without legal problems or exorbitant license fees. Some users love it because it is so similar to Microsoft Office.
  • (this is only the final part of something I wrote in 2007. Please do read the first part to understand where the text below comes from!) A highly structured, metadata rich, application independent XML file format like OpenDocument can finally offer two huge advantagesto all computer users and to Society as a whole. The first is complete interoperability among many software applications, regardless of their user interface, license or development model.
  • OpenOffice (OOo) is the free, currently most popular alternative to Microsoft Office, the office suite that (with active help from some schools and Public Administrations) creates cocain-like addiction problems. The OpenDocument Format (ODF) is an international standard for office documents like texts, presentations and spreadsheets. ODF is already widely adopted worldwide. Using ODF for all your office documents is by far the easiest, safest and most realistic way today to really free yourself from the cocain-like nature of Microsoft Office file formats.
  • has failed to provide effective user support via email. LibreOffice can and should avoid the same mistake. (important: this is just one of the Three things to not forget to make LibreOffice (and ODF) succeed!) An office suite is (besides games, Web browsing and email) the only reason for many ordinary people to use a computer. Users of such programs often know little or nothing about how computers or the Internet work.
  • On October 6th, 2010 Microsoft published a short video on Youtube titled “A Few Perspectives on”. The video is about “Some thoughts from users and why they switched back to Microsoft Office” ( and its offspring LibreOffice are “free-as-in-freedom” alternatives to Microsoft’s Office productivity suite. They have no license costs and natively support OpenDocument, an international standard format for office documents). When it first appeared, I simply ignored the video.
  • ![ OOo4Kids is a special version of (the popular, free and easy to use alternative to Microsoft Office) which is very interesting and useful not only for schools, but also for many adult users. Besides, interaction with developers seems much simpler and friendlier than in many other Free Software projects. Keep reading to know, straight from OOo4Kids developer Eric Bachard, what is that makes OOo4kids unique. Stop: Eric, what are the main features of OOo4Kids?