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This entry is one in a series that tackles issues of proper word use and grammar in English.
When speaking of three dimensions, we often use words like “width,” “breadth,” and “depth.” The fourth word commonly used in “height,” which is odd because it is missing the final “h.” Nevertheless, that is correct.
There is no word “heighth.” Always use “height.”
I recently had a chance to try out the beta for a new virtual world called Twinity. Like Second Life, Twinity aims to be a virtual world where you can wander around, meet and talk with people, shop, and augment your avatar and your living space, if you have one. This is a beta, and so there are some issues, but I think it’s a pretty cool approach.
After the great success of last year’s video contest, the Linux Foundation has announced this year’s competition:
SAN FRANCISCO, February 5, 2010 – The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the 2010 “We’re Linux” video contest. The contest seeks to find the best user-generated videos that demonstrate what Linux means to those who use it and inspire others to try it.
The contest is calling all community members and amateur filmmakers to share with the public what a 30-60 second Linux-focused spot for the Super Bowl might look like. This theme is not a requirement for entry; however, videos that can demonstrate the benefits of Linux to the general public are likely to receive more community votes. The submissions should aim to inspire people to use Linux, create conversations among the public, and convey the power and ideals of Linux.
The judges are:
- Andrew Morton, lead Linux kernel maintainer;
- Stephen O’Grady, co-founder, Red Monk;
- Stormy Peters, executive director, GNOME Foundation;
- Brandon Phillips, Linux kernel developer, Novell;
- Bob Sutor, VP, Open Source and Linux, IBM Software Group; and
- Steven Vaughan-Nichols, journalist, ComputerWorld.
It’s my understanding that the judges will be sequestered in some tropical paradise to thoughtfully decide this year’s winner, though I may be horribly mistaken.
(I’m joking, unfortunately.)
IBM just released Lotus Symphony 3 Beta 2:
Lotus Symphony 3 Beta 2 represents a major new advancement for our Lotus Symphony users. Based on current OpenOffice.org 3 code stream. Lotus Symphony 3 Beta 2 offers loads of new features and capabilities and improved file fidelity. The Lotus Symphony team is excited to get it out to you and get your feedback.
This is a very big upgrade as is indicated by the jump from version 1.3 to version 3. The beta is available for Linux desktops, Mac OS X, and even Windows.
Also see the ZDNet blog entry “IBM launches Lotus Symphony 3 beta; Office alternatives pile up” by Larry Dignan for some screen shots.
I was having a conversation today with a friend and somehow we got onto the topic of support for ODF, the Open Document Format, in WordPress. Drupal has some import support for ODF word processing files and that effort appears to be quite active (in the sense that there was an update to the module yesterday).
Import is hard because you need to be able to do something with anything that’s in any document. If you can’t handle something, you had better tell the user what you decided to discard. A minimal import for word processing files, as I mentioned above, might respect all words in the text, paragraph structure, bold, italic, colors, headings, and a few other simple things. In this case I would think of the import as “take this file and do something sensible, if not perfect, with it.”
Export is easier to imagine. Given the range of things that can be done in WordPress posts and pages, I would think that only a relatively small subset of ODF would be needed beyond the packaging and some straightforward text markup. Here I would take as my model “what would this WordPress page look like if I printed it, and what ODF file would I have to create to generate equivalent output?”
Given this, I would tackle the export to ODF feature first, but there is a core question that needs to be answered. Why? That is, given a web page generated by WordPress, why do you need to generate ODF form? I must admit I’m somewhat strapped to come up with good reasons, though I could probably make up a couple.
It is more interesting to consider how to take documents created in ODF by something like Lotus Symphony and then import them into WordPress for publishing. That’s the key word: publishing. So though the problem is harder, having various ways of importing documents into WordPress from ODF would likely be much more useful.
Assuming this as the preferred direction of work and looking at how WordPress can be extended, it’s worthwhile to ask what you might do with plugins or themes to make the import even better. While I like the idea of the result being theme independent, having one or two plugins that added some cool support for imported spreadsheets or presentations could potentially be quite nice.