Nov 26, 2006


Two recent developments give me hope for the future of open source software adoption in my native Wales. The first is the release of a Welsh language edition of Open Office called Agored. It is currently only available for the Windows platform but hopefully a Linux version will follow. I have included a few screenshots below so that readers can behold this marvel with their own eyes. There has never been a shortage of literature in the Welsh tongue but until now there were few if any major software packages available. This package should prove an invaluable tool to proficient Welsh speakers and learners alike. LINK

Another interesting development is the recent decision by French m.p's to dump Windows for Linux. Obviously this also involves a transition to Open Office and Firefox, a move which the French police and Ministry of culture have already made. The French m.p's however, are going the whole hog and running open source software on the Linux OS. This move will apparently affect 1154 parliamentary workstations. LINK

One cannot help but applaud this move and it is to be hoped that with the arrival of Agored the Welsh parliament will begin a similar transition to open source. The software is a perfectly adequate replacement for previous editions of Microsoft Office . Given that MS is completely revamping the interface in the forthcoming Office 2007 , retraining on Open Office might well prove easier and less costly.

For me the killer feature is the Welsh language spellchecker. The only thing worse than my spoken Welsh is my written Welsh ( indeed both are rudimentary ) and its great to have an application that saves all that valuable dictionary lookup time.

Above is a screenshot of Agored correcting my lousy spelling. "Dwin dysgu cymrarg nawr ...ond yn araf....maen gwaith caled", means ( I hope )...I'm learning Welsh now...but's hard work.

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