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September 18th, 2015

FSF turns 30, Italian Military Goes LO and ODF & More…

FOSS Week in Review

First things first: If you noticed the abscence of the clockwork-like timing of each of FOSS Force’s articles this week, it’s because our editor-in-chief Christine Hall lost a battle with gravity involving a staircase and spent some time recovering from a good banging-up. When you get a chance, wish her a speedy recovery.

FSF30-lettermark-effectsSpeaking of things as certain as gravity…

FSF Turns 30: Mark your calendars for Oct. 3. The Free Software Foundation — you know, the guys and gals who continue to tirelessly advocate for “free-as-in-freedom-and-beer” technology — is gearing up for its 30th birthday party. The party will feature an address by FSF founder and president Richard Stallman. You can learn more about the event on the celebration page and the RSVP form is open. If you so desire to use a hashtag on social media (though the FSF has this caveat about social media), knock yourself out with #FSF30.

Prior to the party during the day, the FSF is also planning a mini-conference, where the free software community will share lessons from its first 30 years as well as to plan for the future.

LibreOffice logo

OK, so if there were ever a time that LibreOffice fans should fly “Il Tricolore,” this would be it.

Viva Italia: The LibreItalia Association NGO, a nonprofit promoting LibreOffice in Italy, announced this week that the Italian Ministry of Defense Information Systems is adopting LibreOffice and switching 150,000 desktops from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice. The migration will start next month and training on LO is expected to run to the end of 2016, according to a ZDNet article by Steven J. Vaughan Nichols.

In addition, “the ministry will adopt the ISO standard Open Document Format (ODF) for official government documents,” the article states. The Ministry of Defense also will develop educational content for a series of LibreOffice online training courses, released under the Creative Commons CC0 — no rights reserved — license.

The article also says that the Italian Ministry of Defense is the first central public administration in that country “to migrate to open-source software for office productivity. Regional and local government organizations such as Regione Emilia Romagna; the Provinces of Perugia, Cremona, Macerata, Bolzano, and Trento; and the cities of Bologna, Piacenza, and Reggio have already moved to LibreOffice.”

Three Best for Small-Business Publishing: Susan Linton over at SmallBusinessComputing.com writes that there are three must-have FOSS publishing programs for those small-business owners who want their software open and free. Linton mentions gLabels for business cards and labels, and LibreOffice and Scribus for fliers, handouts, and other promotional materials.

Quick takes: Yeah, well, as if it takes a lot to tick off Linus Torvalds, Phil Johnson at PC World has made a list in the form of a slideshow of the things that annoy the guy. Not spoiling the surprise here…Meanwhile, it has finally arrived: The Year of the Linux Desktop is here, if by “here” you mean this year and you also mean China, according to PC World’s Mark Hachman. Dell and HP are bringing their Linux hardware to that country, according to the article…Looking for LinuxMint 17.3 Rosa? You may have to wait until December, according to an article in Softpedia this week. Clem Lefebvre weighs in on the name in his blog: “Rosa is a classic vintage Italian, Spanish and Portuguese name. The meaning of the name Rosa is: Rose. Used as a sign of love and compassion, the rose is also the symbol of England.” By any other name…

See you Wednesday.

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Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

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