agored – free bilingual office software

OK I admit it – putting the Tagzania story under "in the news" was really unhelpful – poor information architecture, I confess, sorry.

So the official launch of agored can start off this new category. (I must admit that I thought it had been out for a while – but this I guess in the official launch). In brief it is a bilingual Welsh/English version of the OpenOffice suite. It sounds like it includes some nifty features specifically aimed at a bilingual context. The package is available free.

It is interesting that the ITWales story lists funding sources including the Welsh Assembly Government, S4C and the Welsh Language Board. It also includes quotations from Andrew Davies (Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks) and Alun Pugh (Minister for Culture, Welsh Language and Sport). Presumably all part of the agenda to put IT at the heart of future Wales?

It’s perhaps slighly curious to have both a Microsoft and OpenSource offering essentially from the WLB, maybe they don’t want to appear partizan, or want to offer people the choice.  Or maybe it is part of an insurance policy in case Microsoft change their mind? The more the merrier I guess 🙂

Please feel free to add comments or reviews of agored to this thread and to suggest other software that should be included. As part of another project I will be attempting to create an index of Welsh language software – more on that later.

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7 Responses to agored – free bilingual office software

  1. Peter Cox says:

    Agored isn’t quite what it seems. The links to the downloads for the Welsh OpenOffice offer a Microsoft executable … no sign of a Linux, Apple OS X version … so Bill gates gets his money anyway …

  2. Daniel Cunliffe says:

    According to the Agored booklet published in 2005, it will “…run on Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP, and also on Linux and Solaris platforms. Further work will have to be done before the Mac version is acceptable.” I guess the other versions are still rolling out.

  3. Ned Thomas says:

    Agored is available as a download for Windows which, whether we approve of this or not, is what the great majority of our potential users have on their PCs. Also, of course, there is a Microsoft Windows interface available in Welsh.

    However the translation work we have done is freely available to the open source community, as is our manual under a free documentation licence, so Agored/Open Office can be adapted for other platforms and operating systems, but we couldn’t within the time and resources available, make ourselves responsible for dependable versions working on these other systems.

  4. Peter D Cox says:

    Ned Thomas is – perhaps rightly – a bit defensive. Is he suggesting that it’s great that the Windows version is funded by Wage etc (“Agored represents a major investment by the Welsh Assembly Government, S4C and the Welsh Language Board in the provision of a comprehensive office suite functional in both English and Welsh.”) but those who use non Microsoft versions should do it themselves?
    Interestingly, I was at the launch of a new public arts project in South Dublin this week and of all the presentations made, the only user of a Windows machine was – you guessed? – the local authority representative.
    Given that Wales (and the Welsh) are about encouraging innovation etc, numbers of users aren’t everything. And shouldn’t public funding of IT projects be focussed on those who cannot afford the investment budgets of Microsoft, rather than the other way round?

  5. Chris says:

    Leaving aside the hoary old Windows vs Linux debate, surely it’s a good thing that Welsh language users now have access to a free office suite? Yes, it would be good if it was available on all OS (especially free ones), but given the fact that the project was supported by public money, it seems they’ve taken a reasonable decision to prioritise support for the version the (tax-paying) public is most likely to be able to use initially. And the open-source movement is all about doing it yourself, so if people want a Linux “agored”, what’s stopping them?

    As for which OS is used by public bodies, this tends to be driven by hard marketing by Microsoft to people who often do not have the skills to see behind the hype. And once you’re locked into a commercial licence package, it can be hard to break out or even convince managers that this is the right thing to do. But at least open source is now on the agenda in the public sector, which I guess is progress of a kind, eh?

  6. matt davies says:

    Can anyone confirm whether or not Ned is going to roll out the software for other operating systems?

    Reading his post it seems that they aren’t going to

    However the translation work we have done is freely available to the open source community, as is our manual under a free documentation licence, so Agored/Open Office can be adapted for other platforms and operating systems, but we couldn??????t within the time and resources available, make ourselves responsible for dependable versions working on these other systems.

    It sounds like they’ve stopped developing it and are going to rely on the magical someone else to rewrite it for other platforms.

    Ned, can you confirm ? Your booklet stated you would release versions for Linux and Solaris and Mac would come later.

    Are you now telling us that you’ve stopped developing it after you made it work for Windows only?

  7. Moth says:

    Matt has not had a reply.

    I wonder what is happening with agored.

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