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Netherlands – open source Geozet combines GIS & zoning information

Once more the public sector overseas is showing the way on how to use open source software in its areas of competence.

Last week, software combining geographic information systems (GIS) with zoning regulations and other country-wide sources of land use information and offered online as an interactive map, was made available as open source software by the Dutch Interior Ministry. The tool, titled Geozet, has been hosted on the OSOR Forge since 1 November, OSOR reports.

Screenshot of Geozet in action over Utrecht
Screenshot of Geozet in action over Utrecht

Geozet’s aim is to give citizens easy access to government information; it can be used as a web service on local authority websites. For example, a map can display all building permits and the exemptions of regulations in a local authority, with the map being searchable by postcode.

“Geozet can be used by every possible party to display specific information on a map”, according to a short introduction on the OSOR Forge.

The software is made available using the GPLv3 free software licence. One of the Interior Ministry’s policy advisers stated: “Initially we thought of publishing the code using the EU’s public licence EUPL. But for the development we used Ext JS javascript and that is GPLv3. To keep it simple, we settled on using the same licence. A second reason is that the GPLv3 is a copyleft licence, in line with the Dutch government’s policy on open source.”

The tool was made public last week in a ceremony in the city of Utrecht. According to a report on the site of Geonovum (in Dutch), a non-departmental public body on geographic information standards, the tool is intended to ease the access to information on zoning regulations and land use. “I wanted a map that tells me what I can do where”, it quotes Kees Keuzekamp from the Interior Ministry. “Suppose I want to start a sawmill, where is that allowed and where is it possible? Geozet combines the zoning information with a map.”

In functionality, the tool is similar to software built by the Flemish government in Belgium, the Magda Geo platform – a suite of tools allowing users to combine several kinds of maps with information taken from databases managed by public administrations, whose development started in 2007.

There’s a temporary site available giving a demonstration of Geozet, if you know enough Dutch.

W3C hosts W3Conf

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the organisation whose mission is to lead the Web to its full potential, is holding its first ever developer conference.

Entitled W3Conf: Practical Standards for Web Professionals, it takes place next week on 15-16 November in Redmond, Washington, USA. For anyone interested in attending, registration is still open.

For those who cannot attend in person, W3C will provide a live video stream of more than 25 presentations on mobile development, layout, script libraries, graphics, security, and Web gaming, as well as a panel with representatives from most of the major browsers. No registration is required for the video stream.

Hat tip: Dan Brickley

German court rejects AVM´s claims opposing third party modifications of GPL software

GPL V3 logoOn 8th November the Berlin Regional Court issued its decision in the case AVM Computersysteme Vertriebs GmbH (AVM) v. Cybits AG (Cybits) (news passim). In this case, AVM was essentially trying to stop Cybits from modifying GNU GPL licensed free software inside of their AVM Fritz!Box products. Yesterday, the court dismissed this principal claim. Thus, it also confirmed that users of embedded devices with pre-installed free software have the legal freedom to make, install, run and distribute modifications to free software. The decision has been welcomed by both the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and

Although the written decision is not available yet, it is clear that the court rejected AVM’s claims according to which no third party shall be permitted to alter their products’ firmware, even if the GNU GPL components are concerned. Thus, Cybits or anyone else may perform such modifications. Furthermore, under the judgement, Cybits is not prohibited from distributing its software that assists users in making and installing modifications to GNU GPL licensed software (the Linux kernel used in the Fritz!Box device).

“I am extremely pleased that the court turned down any request by AVM to control any modification to the GNU GPL licensed components of the Fritz!Box firmware. Enabling and encouraging everyone to innovate based on existing software and products is a key aspect of the Free Software movement”, says Harald Welte, founder of

Moreover, the court upheld an auxiliary claim raised by AVM. In its ruling, it enjoins Cybits from distributing the software only in case it causes the web interface to display a wrong status of the internet connection and web filtering software. “But this is a side issue, the important part is: Free Software gives everybody the right to use, study, share and improve it. Nobody should be allowed to prevent others from executing those rights”, says Matthias Kirschner, FSFE’s German co-ordinator.

Both parties in the case have one month in which to appeal against the court’s decision.

Get IT Together in Bristol

Connecting Bristol reports that a new three-year initiative has been launched in Bristol to help local people, particularly the elderly and disabled, access the internet, learn new skills and find out more about computers and technology. The project’s called Get IT Together and will feature sessions tailored towards the learners’ own personal interests and delivered by friendly, approachable tutors.

The Project Coordinator, Marius Jennings, is working with charities, libraries, schools, community groups and agencies to see that basic IT courses are available throughout the city, with the aim of breaking down barriers to learning, strengthening community relations and helping the digitally excluded to become more included.

Marius is based at Bristol City Council’s digital agency, Connecting Bristol. Anyone interested in attending a course or becoming a volunteer tutor can write to Get IT Together, Room 404, The Council House, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR. Alternatively, you can contact Marius on 07785 462568 or email marius.jennings (at)

Charitable status for the world’s favourite encyclopaedia – and a milestone for charity law

Wikimedia UK logoYesterday the Charity Commission approved Wikimedia UK, the UK membership organisation supporting Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects, as a registered charity.

The news comes shortly before the launch of this year’s global Wikimedia fundraiser. Starting on 14th November, Wikimedia UK aims to raise £1 million to support Wikipedia and its sister projects. The Charity Commission’s decision, regarded as a milestone in charity law, means that for the first time British donors to Wikimedia will be able to make their donations go further with Gift Aid.

For Wikimedia UK being recognised as a charity is a springboard for ambitious plans to work with a growing range of major organisations (including the British Museum and British Library). Wikimedia UK recently appointed its first Chief Executive and will open new offices in central London on November 14th.

Roger Bamkin, Chair of Wikimedia UK, welcomed the gaining of charitable status, saying, “Achieving charitable status is the culmination of hard work by the Board and by Wikipedian John Byrne and board member Steve Virgin. John, in particular, has worked tirelessly with the volunteer community to create the most persuasive case and to recruit the best legal team to present it. Wikimedia UK is anticipating another successful year of outreach and believes we will build further upon the time, dedication and effort of a wonderful group of volunteers in the Wikimedia community. We would like to thank the charity team of Stone King LLP for their outstanding work and understanding of our unique activities.”

Leading charity law specialists Stone King LLP, who advised Wikimedia UK on the successful application for charitable status, describe Wikimedia UK’s registration as “a milestone in the development of charity law in England and Wales” and go on to say in their own statement:

“Wikimedia UK’s registration as a charity is a significant step toward the updating of charity law to reflect developments in modern communications and the evolution of user-generated content. The promotion of open access to content and user-generated and -enriched content has not, until now, been recognised as a charitable purpose. Stone King and Wikimedia UK are therefore delighted that the Charity Commission has made the bold and wholly justified step that acknowledges the profound contribution that properly managed and regulated open content makes to society.”

Wikimedia UK would like to acknowledge the staff of the Charity Commission for England and Wales and Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs Charities team for their effort and patience throughout the application process, which was complex and involved lengthy submissions of evidence.

Raising funds for 2012

Wikimedia UK will be joining the global Wikimedia fundraiser, starting on 14th November, to raise £1 million as part of a global fundraising drive to keep Wikipedia and its sister projects running. Wikimedia UK supports work to engage more people and institutions, in the UK and worldwide, with the Wikimedia movement. Fundraising banners will display on all nine Wikimedia projects, inviting donors to make a donation to Wikimedia UK. For the first time, UK donors will have the option to make a Gift Aid declaration online, adding up to 25% to the value of their donation. Also for the first time, UK donors will be able to give by direct debit. Wikimedia UK is hoping that, with the help of Gift Aid and Direct Debits, the UK will provide greater support to the Wikimedia projects than last year’s fundraiser, which raised around £600,000 from over 30,000 individual donors in the UK.

Wikimedia UK uses the donations for our outreach projects and initiatives in the UK including projects teaming with volunteers outside the UK, and provide a grant to the Wikimedia Foundation, the US non-profit that co-ordinates the national chapters’ work globally, to operate the servers and develop the software on which the projects depend.

An ambitious programme of activities in the UK

Over the last year, Wikimedia UK has begun an innovative program of outreach activities that have included partnerships with cultural sector organisations including the British Library, the British Museum, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, the National Archives, Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and the National Maritime Museum. There have been a number of Wikipedia training academies with organisations such as Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council and a workshop at the Institute of Physics. The University of Bristol partnered Wikimedia UK with a UK Outreach summer internship and there was also a Wikipedian in Residence working with ARKive, the leading global biodiversity organisation.

Wikimedia UK’s 2012 activities will build on these partnerships and expand to include sessions to build a network of volunteers across the UK, including Wikipedians in Residence at a wide range of cultural and educational organisations. These will significantly enhance the information that the Wikimedia projects provide on the two World Wars in advance of the centenary of the start of World War 1. Wikimedia UK’s plans for activities in 2012 are summarised at

Another occasional lab report

Your correspondent arrived at the lab last Friday to find there was – initially at least – nowhere to sit down. We had a full complement of volunteers present – both old and new – and a couple of customers too.

Looking at our volunteers, I’d like to draw your attention to 2 of them. Firstly, there’s Michael. Michael has been volunteering for us off and on (as his employment and financial commitments permit. Ed.) since the days when the lab was in Bannerman Road in Easton. It’s grand to see you back Michael. 🙂

The other volunteer I’d mention is Chris, who’s currently studying Cisco networking. Chris is a first for us as he’s Bristol Wireless’ first ever visually impaired volunteer. Although he has to date used only Windows systems, we quickly set him up with a Debian box with the Orca screen reader, which Chris will now be testing to the point of destruction (and hopefully give the chief scribe something else to write about! Ed.)

Elsewhere in the lab, Ian has been repairing some redundant laptops we’ve had lying around, so we now have a couple of laptops to augment our usual supply of refurbished computers for sale, which all run on the secure, reliable, open source Ubuntu Linux platform.

UK government publishes open source toolkit

Cabinet Office logoIn the past we have been somewhat critical (with the aim of encouraging a bit more action, we hope. Ed.) of the UK government’s attitude to and adoption of open source (news passim). However, today we’d like to draw attention to (and applaud) some work done recently by the Cabinet Office.

Tools to help the UK public sector procure and deploy open source were published by the Cabinet Office two days ago. The toolkit is part of the Cabinet Office’s ICT strategy to “create a level playing field for the use of innovative ICT solutions”.

The toolkit comprises the following documents:

  • All About Open Source – including FAQs
  • ICT Advice Note – Procurement of Open Source
  • Procurement Policy Note on Open Source
  • OSS Options
  • CESG Guidance on Open Source (this site will only open if for those who have previously registered with a email address)
  • Total Cost of Ownership

The toolkit also aims to dispel “myths associated with open source” and is intended for people who need to consider, evaluate or procure open source solutions, as well as anyone just wanting to know more about open source.

We’re also pleased to note that some of the documents are also published in Open Document Format (is this another government first? Ed.). In addition, we note with satisfaction that the Open Source Options document, which gives advice on open source alternatives to proprietary software features sections in which there are no proprietary equivalents; one example of this is Moodle, the virtual learning environment.

We shall continue to watch open source developments in the public sector with interest. After all, we’ve been telling them for the last 10 years that it’s the way to go! 🙂

20 years of Vim

Today reminds us that there’s another anniversary to celebrate this year. In addition to the 20th birthday of Linux (news passim), the venerable Vim text editor has also reached the same age.

Vim is, of course, a contraction of Vi Improved. In other words, Vim is actually a take on the even-older vi, the text editor originally written for Unix by Bill Joy.

vim text editor
Vim being used in anger

Vim development was (and still is) led by Bram Moolenaar. It took its origins from an editor for the Atari ST called “Stevie”, with which Moolenaar tinkered privately for a long time before finally releasing it on November 2, 1991. Moolenaar’s development was initially on the Amiga.

Vim was, of course, eventually ported to Unix, with version 2.0 being the first to bear the name Vi Improved.

Later versions added further functionality. Support for multiple buffers arrived in 1994, followed in 1996 by a colour interface. Syntax colouring and highlighting were added in 1998, whilst 2001 saw the addition of folding, plug-ins and the vertical split feature.

Vim’s come a long way in 20 years and is now the default text editor on many Linux distributions, as well as being available for Mac and Windows.

Hello Freecode, goodbye Freshmeat

Last weekend an historic change (for free and open source aficionados anyway. Ed.) occurred when Freshmeat, one of the oldest free software directories on the internet, changed its name to Freecode. The change is accounted for in part by the unusual name causing problems for many years when trying to sell advertising space for the free, ad-financed software directory. To some advertising customers in the US, “Freshmeat” had a number of dubious connotations; moreover, people did not associate the name with free software or a software directory.

We at Bristol Wireless wish them every success with their change of name and if anyone wants more background on the rebranding, see this blog post.

Linux Lounge now on Twitter

Last week, the lab was pleased to receive a visit from BW member John Palfrey. For those who don’t know him, John is the owner of the Linux Lounge (news passim), an old double-decker bus which he’s refurbished and kitted out as a mobile IT centre, using all open source software, of course!

Linux Lounge bus
Linux Lounge: Mr Palfrey's magic bus

Anyway, to help further progress on the bus and to try and increase interest, as well as seek sponsors, John has now signed up for the Twitter micro-blogging service, where you can follow him as @GrnOpnSrcTech. The account name embraces all John’s wishes for the bus – using open source and promoting green technologies.

As they say in Bristol: “Cheers drive!” 🙂

Wikipedia connects half a billion people to UK regional museum via QR codes

So far in 2011 Wikipedians have written and translated 1,200 new articles to allow the Derby Museum & Art Gallery’s collection to be read in over a dozen languages using QRpedia codes.

Derby Museum using multilingual QR codes on Vimeo.

This has resulted in high search rankings for the museum and greater public engagement. Well done folks!

Hat tip: Steve Virgin

Belgium: public sector locked into MS Office

The desktop IT systems of many public sector organisation in Belgium are ‘completely locked-in by one proprietary office suite’, public IT administrators said at an open source conference, which took place recently in Schoten (sounds familiar doesn’t it? Ed.), according to OSOR.

Belgian local authorities depend on a handful of IT suppliers that have all tied their products to a proprietary vendor’s office suite, explained Claudine van Beylen, IT manager at the city of Hasselt, one of the conference speakers. “We hope to break this dependency by requiring in our procurement that these IT vendors will also support open source office suites.”

According to Van Beylen, the situation is very different in the rest of the IT systems in use by the public sector. “We are using open source applications wherever we can, including Apache for our web servers, MySQL for database management, Zarafa for email and Liferay for enterprise groupware.”

“All of the local authorities have this problem: on the desktop, we’re afraid to make changes because these affect the users directly. But in the back office, where our decisions do not influence users, we are eager to use open source.”

According to Van Beylen, the city’s IT department will these days always compare proprietary and open source solutions. “We will choose open source wherever it is just as good or better than a proprietary application.”

Get online with Knowle West Media Centre

Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) is launching a new programme of digital skills workshops to coincide with the national Get Online week (30th October – 6th November 2011). The varied programme includes a Work Club, which will support those looking for employment, weekly classes and a drop-in club for people interested in learning more about computers, as well as the Community Hub, where organisations and groups can find out how to use websites and social networking sites to promote their activities

The programme will launch on Monday 31st October. There will an introductory session to the Work Club at KWMC, on Leinster Avenue in Knowle West (map) on the 31st from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm. If you’re interested, please contact Makala, Martin or Sue on 0117 903 0444 for more information.

Hungarian city of Miskolc migrates to Ubuntu

Once again the UK’s public sector looks like being left behind as news arrives from OSOR that the administration of Miskolc, Hungary’s fourth largest city, is moving to Ubuntu to become less dependent on a single proprietary vendor and to reduce costs. Sixty per cent of the city’s staff already use the open source OpenOffice and LibreOffice productivity suites.

Over the next few years most departments and staff will be moved to LibreOffice running on Ubuntu Linux. After that, the city plans to migrate other public institutions to open source.

Ubuntu logo

Last year, the city decided to move all of its staff to LibreOffice. The administration in Miskolc is currently using both OpenOffice and a proprietary office suite, resulting in a confusing mix of documents created in open and proprietary formats. The council is set to convert about 600,000 electronic documents to the ODF open document standard. This way the city will avoid further compatibility problems and hopefully encourage other institutions to move to using open formats.

According to IT consultant Peter Szakal, users took two weeks to become familiar with the open source office applications. “Users hesitated at first, primarily because the programs look a little different. However, they soon got accustomed to the tools and with that their reservations vanished.”

Portuguese government consults citizens on open standards

Portugal’s Agency for Administrative Modernisation (AMA) is currently asking citizens to comment on several open standards, including document formats PDF, ODF, interoperability standards, plus standards for geographic information systems and electronic invoicing. Comments will be accepted until the end of October.

The consultation is part of the country’s open standards law adopted in April. This law requires the compilation of a list and some rules on open standards and AMA is using the consultation to get citizen’s comments. It will result in a regulation on national digital interoperability.

Portugal’s association of open source service providers (Associação de Empresas de Software Open Source, ESOP) is concerned that ‘secret lobbying (that will) override technical expertise’. ESOP is calling on the government to be transparent about the process and to ensure all remarks and observations are made public when taken into account.

Paul Meller, a spokesperson for Open Forum Europe, called it “one of the most enlightened laws of its kind in Europe”, in a recent article at Public Service Europe.

Meller stated: “Without the Open Standards Law, Portugal runs the risk of remaining locked into the proprietary computer systems of a few large contractors. During these times of austerity – it is therefore urgent that the country’s Council of Ministers approve the regulation and the list of open standards without delay – once the public consultation closes.”

Pervasive Media Lunchtime Talk: Latest in Smart Clothes and Wearable Technology

Our friends at Bristol’s Pervasive Media Studio are holding a free lunchtime talk on Friday 11th November 2011 from 1.00 pm to 2.00 pm on the ‘Latest in Smart Clothes and Wearable Technology’

Electronic textiles (e-textiles) and wearable computers offer a unique platform for pervasive media. Attributes of future ‘smart’ clothing will enhance communication, wellness, independence and comfort as well as improving links to the wider environment and smarter homes.

wearable technology
Picture courtesy of under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Slovenia License.

The Smart Clothes Wearable Technology Research Centre (SCWTRC) is a collaboration between the University of Wales, Newport and the National Centre for Product Design and Development Research (PDR) at UWIC, working across multiple disciplines to enhance the design and functionality of clothing in terms of smart textiles and wearable electronics to create ‘smart’ clothes of the future.

The talk will be presented by Molly Price, research assistant at the SCWTRC, who will be introducing the “soft” and “hard’ technologies shaping garment systems that will change the way we think about and use everyday clothing and textiles.

Smart clothing design should be driven by end-user needs, leading to products that work, look attractive and are highly usable. Successful outcomes rely on open, creative collaboration and knowledge exchange between multiple fields of design and engineering, including technical textiles, micro-technologies and advanced manufacturing techniques. Some of the latest collaborations will be showcased at this talk.

Potential attendees are advised that this will be one of Pervasive Media Studio’s first talks in their new space in the Watershed building and you should ask for directions at the Watershed box office.

See the Pervasive Media Studio website for more information.

The Linux Foundation announces consumer electronics long term stable kernel initiative

Linux Foundation logoThe Linux Foundation, the non-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, announced today (26th October) it is hosting a new project created by its Consumer Electronics (CE) workgroup.

The new project, the Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI), provides for both an annual release of a Linux kernel suitable for supporting the lifespan of consumer electronics products and regular updates of those releases for two years.

LTSI is an industry-wide project created and supported by Hitachi, LG Electronics, NEC, Panasonic, Qualcomm Atheros, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Toshiba. It is hosted at The Linux Foundation to maintain a common Linux base for use in a variety of consumer electronics products. The project creates and maintains a long-term industry tree, which is expected to be stable in quality for the typical 2-3 years lifetime of a consumer electronics product.

Visit The Linux Foundation Announcements page to see comments from the supporting companies.

Green ICT and Bristol Wireless

A couple of days ago, Bristol24/7 reported that Bristol is entering the race to be Europe’s top green city in 2014, so it’s perhaps appropriate to have a look at what Bristol Wireless can do as regards green IT (although, of course, we’re not the only people doing stuff like this in Bristol. Ed.).

The first consideration in protecting the environment is naturally to cut down on consumption; is something really essential (like that new, shiny desktop machine, for instance)? For instance, the machine this post is being penned on is over 6 years old (i.e. 2x the usual business commercial hardware replacement cycle, yet it is more than capable of running one of the latest open source operating systems, in this case version 11 (the newest) of the Debian-based Mepis distribution.

After that comes reuse – and this is where Bristol Wireless can start to help. It’s been worked out that reusing a computer is 20 times more energy efficient than sending it for recycling and – as hinted at above – Linux systems have lower hardware requirements than some more popular operating systems. Putting Linux on an old piece of hardware can extend its life considerably (some of Bristol Wireless’ infrastructure is still running on Pentium III machines! Ed.).

This brings us nicely to the refurbished machines we sell. These are all donated to us. We check them over, then install Ubuntu Linux on them, complete with a bundle of software that should meet the needs of the vast majority of users (e.g. web browsing, email, social media, graphics production, photo management, office suite, etc.). However, we’re not the only organisation in Bristol selling refurbished hardware; fellow refurbishers range from Bristol City Council (if you’re in receipt of benefits) to small computer shops.

If you’re running an organisation of any kind just have a think about this: do all your staff/volunteers really need a full-blown desktop machine each? This is not just expensive in terms of resources, it will also cost you a lot in electricity charges – a not inconsiderable factor given the recent rises in energy prices, particularly as more price increases have been predicted. Perhaps you should look at using a thin client system running under LTSP. We’ve been running LTSP in the Bristol Wireless lab for nearly 10 years now, if you need a testimonial as to its reliability. For more information, please consult our non-technical leaflet (PDF).

Only after reducing use of resources and reuse/refurbishment do we come to the third of the green Rs – and the one that most people think of when thinking of the environment. That’s recycling, of course. Here we collaborate with local recyclers Byteback. However, this is a two-way arrangement; besides taking away redundant, broken hardware that has no future, Byteback also supply us with spares (e.g. memory) for our refurbished machines project.

Whitehall and Ile de France – a tale of 2 public administrations

At Bristol Wireless, we’re keen on comparing and contrasting the hesitant steps (prevarication surely? Ed.) of the British public sector towards open source software with the full-blooded embrace to which the public sector abroad subjects it.

This has once again clearly illustrated this week.

Courtesy of Guardian Government Computing, we learn that Whitehall’s plans for open standards and open source are still far too timid, as follows:

  • The creation of an Open Standards Board to manage activities in the field;
  • A core set of open standards to be identified by March 2012, and made available for use by departments by June 2012;
  • All central government software procurement should include an option analysis for open source by March 2013.

Hardly likely to set the world on fire is it? 😉

Meanwhile over in France, The Gendarmerie Nationale have already been running their desktops on Ubuntu for a couple of years now (news passim) and this week OSOR reports that the government of the Ile-de-France region has teamed up with The Document Foundation to provide a ‘Software as a service’ (SaaS) version of LibreOffice – the Foundation’s free office suite – to a wide range of users.

According to the regional government, it is foreseen that from the beginning of school year 2012 approximately 1 million users (over 600,000 upper secondary school pupils, their parents, teachers and administrative staff) will have the opportunity to use this SaaS version named ‘LooL’ (Libre Office On Line). This derived version of OpenOffice is currently under testing. It combines all the functions of the free software suite with an HTML 5 interface that is compatible with almost all modern terminals.

The region will host LooL within its dedicated cloud environment (named Marguerite) with a specific plug-in developed by a free software provider, and users will be able to store their documents in their own spaces within this cloud. Access to LooL will be through ‘Lilie’, the open source Digital Work Environment (Environnement Numérique de Travail – ENT, in French) of the region’s secondary schools.

Unlike a typical SaaS office suite, the functionality of LooL is that of the regular OpenOffice suite – the base code is the same. All improvements brought to the desktop can therefore be transposed gradually to the SaaS version.

From the technical point of view, the LibreOffice suite is written mainly in C++ with a few Java modules. It can thus be installed on any computer for which it has been compiled: Windows, Linux, etc. The user interface of LibreOffice is based on GTK which allows remote display management with an optimisation of network traffic in HTML 5. LooL uses this recent GTK functionality that allows remote code execution from thin clients through any HTML 5-compatible browser.

Moreover, LibreOffice will henceforth also be available with other free software such as Firefox, on the USB keys provided to the students by the Regional council for upper secondary school pupils.

The government of Ile-de-France is one of the main public sector supporters of The Document Foundation – the home of LibreOffice, along with the Government of Brazil.

Gnome outreach programme for women

Gnome logoIn an effort to get more women involved in Free Software, the GNOME project is sponsoring several internships for women from 12th December 2011 to 12th March 2012. These dates are aimed at women students from the Southern Hemisphere who will have a summer break during this time, but any woman available for a full time internship is welcome to apply by the application deadline of 31st October.

The applicants need to get in touch with individual GNOME projects participating in this programme ahead of time to decide which project they are interested in working on and make a small contribution to the project.

Participants will be working remotely from home, while getting guidance from an assigned mentor and collaborating with their project’s team and the rest of the GNOME community. The projects include developing software for the core desktop, file management, messaging, popular applications, educational activities and the platform libraries. There are also non-coding projects, such as graphic design, documentation and marketing. The stipend for the programme is US$5,000.

Visit the Gnome website to learn more and apply. Mentorship opportunities are also available throughout the year for anyone interested in getting started contributing to GNOME outside of the internship programme.

Hat tip: Geek Girl Australia