OpenOffice.org (Ooo) is a non-commercial open source office suite under LGPL (Lesser Gnu
Public Licence) and SISSL (Sun Industry Standards Source
License) licenses an it is a viable alternative to commercial office programs. The public license allows anybody to obtain, copy, distribute OpenOffice.org software package over Internet (or through another medium). With OpenOffice.org, one can open and change the documents created by such Microsoft Office programs as Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc. And also, documents can be saved in doc, xls, ppt, sdw file extension formats (as well as html, xml formats) of the Microsoft Office, Star Writer etc. programs. One of the most key features of the programs in Openoffice.org package is that the documents can be saved straightfoward in PDF format. This feature renders the documents created by OpenOffice.org portable.
OpenOffice.org's origins can be traced back to StarOffice software. StarOffice was written in 1980s by a German Company named StarDivision. Sun Microsystems acquired StarDivision in 1999 and beganto own StarOffice Future versions of StarOffice software, beginning with 6.0, have been built using the OpenOffice.org source, APIs, file formats, and reference implementation. Briefly, Ooo is a project that Sun Microsystems created and supported to be able to publicize StarOffice software. Despite the support of the company, the substantial core development and bugfixing efforts are carried out by volunteers, which is a key characteristic of the public license software.
OpenOffice.org suit can be used in Windows, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD and Macintosh operating systems. By the year 2004, it is known that 16 million people have downloaded OpenOffice.org to their computers. Since Ooo can be distributed freely, it is estimated that the number of users are even more than this number. OOo is translated into more than 30 languages and the Turkish version is aslo available. The programs in OpenOffice.org office suite are as follows:
Text Document: This program is for creating text documents. Its fuctions are similar to Microsoft Word program.
Spreadsheet: It is a calculation table program which has similar functions to Microsoft Excel. Calculation with the existent data, analysis and visualisation are among the fuctions of the program.
Presentation: This program is for creating presentations. Its operation and use is similar to Microsoft Powerpoint program.
Draw: This program is for drawing simple pictures or dynamic 3-D drawings. Special effects and many other features enable one to draw pictures.
Html: This program is for creating documents in Html format.
For further information about OpenOffice.org ofiice suite please visit http://www.openoffice.org. For further information about Turkish OpenOffice.org ofis package please visit http://tr.openoffice.org. The installation files of the software is available at ftp://ftp.metu.edu.tr/pub/mirrors/openoffice. File size is about 64 MB. The installation files of OpenOffice.org version which is operatable on Windows operating system is accessible as Ooo_1.1.0_Win32Intel_install.zip. OpenOffice.org office suite is available in all CC PC rooms.
The next article will cover information about the sofware available in OpenOffice.org office packages.