On 2007-01-20, at 18:53 , Jonathon Coombes wrote:
Here is a report of what happened with the OpenOffice.org miniconf.
Thanks to the efforts of Jim Watson, a great day was organised and
we had a registered attendance of 90 people. Some of the talks
attracted more people that others, but overall was a great day with
some interesting feedback given as to how people are accepting
The OpenOffice.org miniconf is run in conjunction with the main
Linux conference LCA2007 which was from 15-19th January 2007. The
miniconf was a great success based not only on the number of
speakers, but also the number of people attending. For one whole
day, people of like minds gathered to discuss what OpenOffice.org
is capable of doing, and what they would like to see happen in the
future for the project.
I opened up the miniconference being the new Australian Marcon,
which Jim Watson had organised. The first speaker was Michael
Cardon from the Australian National Archives talking about the Xena
project which does document conversions for long term standard
format conversion. Michael was even able to demonstrate some of the
clever features such as working out document formats even when
trying to trick it.
The next session was a Q&A session with some demonstrations of
OpenOffice.org. Unlike in the past where many of the questions were
related to "howto" style questions, they were much more project
related and how things would evolve in the future.
Yes, I've noticed this the trend in questions, too.
Some of the demonstrations were excellent with Bill Robertson from
De Bortoli Wine's demonstrated the new ODF viewer running on his
Symbian mobile phone.
Nice! is there a flash version of this demo we can post to the site
or point to?
This showed that OpenOffice.org is reaching much further than just
the user desktop at work. Stuart Guthrie from Polonius then
demonstrated his project that integrates JavaReports into
OpenOffice.org to generate templated reporting.
Also good. In fact, it would be super to have such demonstrations
available for others to see....
In the afternoon, Michael Still and Stewart Smith gave there
experiences in trying to write a book using OpenOffice.org. Some of
the usual hurdles people have were not considered as they were done
with layout at the editors, but other problems could have easily
been solved by using the master document feature of OpenOffice.org.
Michael came back later in the afternoon demonstrations to have a
look at master documents and how they worked in summary. This talk
was finished off by a summary talk from Leslie Hawthorn from Google
Summer of Code project giving details of what that was and how it
would help with the OpenOffice.org project.
Jim Watson got a good gathering of people interested in how the SDK
worked and some of the details of what UNO was and how it can be
used to program OpenOffice.org.
Excellent. Do you know if they expressed interest then in
participating in the UNO (or other projects)? Eg, is follow up
indicated to keep them engaged?
The afternoon was finished off with me giving a talk on Base and
how it works involving a live demonstration. This was well received
with a followup session immediately after with some live workings
with forms, xforms and some simple macro programming ideas.
Nice. Feel free to post your talk, license permitting, to the site,
in the Docs & Files section. We used to have a library there of all
OOo-related talks. I don't think it's been maintained, but why not re-
As a side mention, the open day at LCA involved a desk with
demonstration of the OpenOffice.org software which was kindly run
by Graham Lauder and Jim Watson. It was good to see people coming
up and trying out features. Thanks guys!
Over the coming year, organisers are discussing possible changes in
how the miniconferences are done at LCA. This means possible
changes such as over multiple days instead of one day or other
changes. It may even mean the option of having a separate fee for
those who want to come only to the miniconference. So these options
will be futher investigated over the next year. All up quite a good
miniconference and hopefully we will see much more like it in the
I think such changes are needed. Afaik, LCA is one of the more
advertised FOSS conferences in OZ and it receives relatively little
attention, as it is. Yet Australia is a leader in FOSS, in ODF
adoption, and a powerhouse in the region.
Thanks Jonathon, for this excellent summary. Would you mind if I copy
it into a web page and point people to it? it would be found at
http://www...../editorial/lca_report_2007.html or so.