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News lets the community share announcements, press releases, and recommended news articles relevant to OpenDocument. (Educational materials that are not time-sensitive are listed at Articles and white papers.)

First Look: IBM Lotus Symphony Beta 4

IBM Lotus Symphony is one of the newer free office productivity suites out there, although the Lotus name itself has a long pedigree. Like -- a free productivity suite fostered by Sun Microsystems -- Lotus Symphony uses the OpenDocument Format (ODF), with reverse-engineered support for Microsoft Office formats, such as doc and xls.

I decided to try the latest Lotus Symphony Beta 4 to see how it compares with typical office suite products, particularly my currently standard, 2.4.

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World’s first Document Freedom Day

Roughly 200 teams from more than 60 countries worldwide organised local activities to raise awareness for document freedom and open standards. To support the initiatives surrounding the first day to celebrate document liberation, DFD starter packs containing a DFD flag, t-shirts and leaflets have been sent to the first 100 registered teams over the past weeks.

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South African minister slams software patents

The South African minister of public service and administration addressed the opening of the Idlelo 3 free software conference in Dakar Senegal, saying software patents posed a considerable threat to the growth of the African software sector. Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, also alluded to Microsoft saying it was “unfortunate” that the dominant office software provider chose not to incorporate the the Open Document Format but rather to pursue an attempt to have its own document format ratified by the ISO.

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German eGov standards plan (SAGA) recommends ODF

The German Federal Government Co-ordination and Advisory Agency (KBSt) has released a new version of its Standards and Architecture for e-Government Applications, SAGA 4.0. The document describes standards, technologies and methods for the use of information technology in federal agencies and makes recommendations, in particular, for the development and maintenance of e-government services in public administration. SAGA is valid for five years.

Read more 3.0's new features, an early look 3.0 is 167 days away, but who's counting? Maybe the software developers are counting because they have a whopping 2,278 issues targeted for this release. Even though 2.4 is not yet out the door, let's see how far they've come with 3.0. Please keep in mind this article is based off an alpha release, so many things will change before the final release.

Read the complete article at OpenOffice Ninja. 

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