The second NZ Open Source Awards took place on Wednesday evening. Once again a great time was had by all and the mix of attendees was wonderful.
The NIWA Image Capture Analysis & Management System is funded by NIWA (National Institute for Water & Atmospheric Research) and is being developed by Catalyst IT. It builds on two existing FOSS applications, Imagej & Postgresql. NICAMS allows users to identify & record the (qualitative & quantitative) contents of photographs, supporting taxonomic & substrate content comprising point, line and region areas of interest.
Both The Inquirer and The Register are carrying this story. I must admit I was wondering what all the fuss was about because as I understand it schools are just as eligible to use Open Source software as anyone else. We know of many schools in New Zealand that are and I had assumed that it would be similar in the UK. It turns out that what has actually happened is that one of the 'Apathy Excuses' has been removed... namely 'It's not on the approved list'.
We see this sort of excuse used time and time again by various organisations as a reason for not doing anything so while it may seem to us to be a tedious exercise to get on these approve or purchase lists they do have their uses.
Docvert - some kiwi software to convert word documents to webpages
Website admins are often given the tedious task of converting Word documents into webpages.
Docvert takes word processor files (typically Microsoft's .DOC) and converts them to OpenDocument and webpages. It's easy to use, and developers can build formatting rulesets with XSLT or PHP. The software is free and runs on Windows, Linux and Apple OSX. It follows Web Standards, and adheres the E-Government Web Standards.
TheOpenDisc Project collects a wide selection of high quality Free and Open Source Software (for the Windows Platform) and makes them available in a single CD image. A project derived from the original OpenCD project, the software provided covers most of the major/common tasks undertaken, such as word processing, presentations, e-mail, web browsing, web design, and image manipulation. A branch of the project is known as the OpenEducationDisc and provides tools of particular value to the education sector.
The Kiaora Project provides a large number of Open Source programs for Windows that you might wish to have handy when fixing friend's computers and although many of these programs are on TheOpenCD, almost as many are not.
The softwarefreedomday.org website seems to be lacking in some detail on SFD events around New Zealand so I have decided to put together a list of I know about. Please to contact us to correct details or add your event.
First the Hibiscus Coast gLUG are hoping to have stands at Orewa Library and Whangaparaoa Mall from 10am to 4pm.
During Richard Stallman's recent tour of New Zealand he talked about how the principles of Free Software could be extended to music, books and movies. Stuff today published an article discussing Open Source Software and the Creative Commons Licenses. Stallman suggests reducing copyright protections back to a length more in keeping with the original intent of copyright, of ten years.
Today the New Zealand Herald published a brief guide to free software. This included a number of FOSS applications such as The Gimp, OpenOffice and Thunderbird. The list is not only open source, and its focus is on Windows applications, but it will give an excellent place to start for many people not familiar with Open Source.