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[Vox-Outreach] Re: Vox-outreach digest, Vol 1 #112 - 10 msgs
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[Vox-Outreach] Re: Vox-outreach digest, Vol 1 #112 - 10 msgs




Paul,

  I think it is wonderful that you are trying to get/make disks and be
present at the show.

  I guess I should say on list.  I would prefer if the disks you request
people burn contain more than a single Open Source program compiled for
a single proprietary platform... especially if you are asking people on
_our_ lists (who may be burning disks for us to switch to making ones
for you).
I agree in general. But..

For this last ditch effort at getting labeled CDs I thought...

1. Our surveys show that 63% of OpenOffice.org installations are on the Windows
platform and government use of Windows is pervasive. Discussions with our county
IT head (A unix guy who appreciates open source) reveal that most of government
users fight change change from their current platform. My thought was to have
some CDs available for Windows users who may be frightened by the thought of
having to change platforms. The gradual transition to an open source product could
eventually lead to adopting an open source platform.

2. A Windows (or any single platform) only OOo distribution can be downloaded
and burned by those of us with limited bandwidth because it is "only" 60M and
should be quicker to burn and testable. I don't have a running Solaris box now
to test with. Testing time will be doubled if I put the Linux distro on the CD.

3. I thought I am one of you in spirit although it is too expensive for me
to participate in person very often because of the 75 mile distance so I am pretty
much just a name on your roster. Sorry I can't participate more.

4. I made commitments to the OpenOffice.org marketing project. I certainly
don't expect others to drop commitments to LUGOD or to compete for resources.
People choose whether or not they wish to contribute. But if you don't ask,
you certainly won't get. It turns out that I should be getting 300 CDs from
Sun delivered to GTC West loading dock as a result of mail traffic
with OOo participants and this list. There is some hope of a good outcome.
This discussion also resulted in 100 CDs from another OpenOffice.org volunteer
delivered priority mail at his expense. Just another everyday heroic action by
an open source guy. In this case: Norman Davison, AlternativeSoftware.org project.

Thanks for the stress relief Norman!

  For example the GNUWin II disk contains OO and a ton of other open
source programs all compiled for Windows...=20

  The Knoppix CDs also contain OpenOffice and a ton of other open source
programs.  Knoppix can mount all windows filesystems read-only (fat32=20
is read-write) to allow people to load and edit their documents inside
openoffice (*).
I love Knoppix.  However, it is not currently targeted at IT departments.

- Could you check out a GNUWin II and comment on if it contains a new=20
  enough version and if the installation process is as smooth as the
  method you recommend?
I will.  Any version past 1.0.1 is acceptable for distribution according to
the OOo project leaders.

  If you burn a openoffice only disks, I think it would be best to put
together binaries for Linux, Windows, Mac OS 9 and 10... if they all
fit onto the same CD.  This way we can pass out a single disk to=20
most people and we don't exclude people who have alternative platforms
(there were a lot of Mac users as WEF which we couldn't give CDs to).
The OpenOffice.org project uses distribution mirrors and releases new
versions fairly often.  Hundreds of Community Distributors use their system.
The normal way to get a current CD is to buy one online from a Community
Distributor http://distribution.openoffice.org/mirrors/index.html#mirrors

Assembling a distribution CD is possible but may not be a good use of time or a
good choice for community distribution unless you have a qualty process.
In hindsight buying one CD and burning from that may have been a better
choice than to bother the list with my last minute plea.  Sorry for the
panic attack.

The community distributions include Linux, Windows & Solaris but not Mac.
I wanted to get a late version 1.0.3 but you have to register with a fixed
IP address to mirror the distribution and you need about 9G of file space
to do it right.

The Mac OS X distribution is still beta.  The Mac version uses X11 and works
identical to the other platforms at this stage.  There is no Mac OS 9 version
and none is planned.

*: I had recommended several people who were asked about MS Office=20
   compatibility to try booting Knoppix and see if they can read
   their documents with it, then if that works try to write files some
   files test from inside their MS Office versions, but I mentioned if
   the are unhappy the option of StarOffice (with slightly better file=20
   support) or if they like Linux in general CrossOver is available to=20
   run real Microsoft Office binaries if they still had problems.
IMHO Knoppix is a great choice for risk free initial testing. However,
discriminating users could have font issues that affect the look of their
documents. I feel a Windows distribution sidesteps this problem when the
document originated on the users computer. Open source fonts will become
available to address this problem soon.

The major benefits of StarOffice I see are Word Perfect compatibility and fonts.
Service is important to larger organizations whose IT staffers crave the
small comfort of a corporate presence to blame for any perceived shortcoming.

StarOffice uses OpenOffice.org as the basis for their product. The Sun
vendor did not offer to share the StarOffice disks with us but we can point
people to govstor.com at booth 1632 for free StarOffice 6 CDs as long as his
250 CDs last.

I may put labels with govstor.com's booth number on the back of some
OpenOffice.org business cards so attendee's can remember where to get
StarOffice 6 free. I think having both SO/OOo will educate people to tell
their friends to use OpenOffice.org, be legal and compatible with StarOffice
or even MS Office and save several hundreds per person. The usage differences
at a superficial level are slight. The reinforcment and association with a world
class commercial vendor is also very important to large organizations IMHO.

See you Thursday at GTC West.

Best,
Paul
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