Yesterday I was honored to receive the “Lutèce d’Or” trophy on behalf of the OpenOffice.org Project from the hands of Mr Besson, Minister of the Prospective and Digital Technologies of the French Republic. There was a standing ovation, but this one was not so much dedicated to my humble person than it was to the OpenOffice.org project and its members.
OpenOffice.org won this award because of the success of its international scope and action; it is a bit unusual for us to win this kind of awards, but I am extremely happy we got this award. It outlines the hard work of the native-language projects worldwide, their successes on a global scale and -need I mention it?- the more than growing interest for OpenOffice.org.
OpenOffice.org download numbers are growing. The numbers I have are astounding. Let me just pick this one, for instance: OpenOffice.org 2.4.1, in French, on the servers monitored by the Francophone Project, has been downloaded two million (1, 998 000 to be more accurate) times in just three months. This only takes into account a handful of servers, one specific micro-version in one specific language over the course of the last three months. This does not cover the central servers, nor the mass of servers spread worldwide. This also does not cover CD and USB keys distribution, nor does it cover our peer-to-peer distribution. In short, the numbers show a tremendous momentum for OpenOffice.org, and one that sometimes gets unnoticed by the press.
All this would not be possible without the work of thousands of volunteers working on the code, quality assurance, documentation, translation, localization, user support and marketing, worldwide, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This trophy is dedicated to all of them.
In the same train of thought, we are about to release OpenOffice.org 3.0. We have released the RC 2, and there will be a third one. And in order to celebrate the release the greatest OpenOffice.org version so far, we’ll be having a great party on the 13 th of October 2008. The Region Ile de France and we hope you can join us. (More information very, very soon).
Yesterday was also the day against software patents. I hope you signed the petition as well.
Last but not least, I would like to mention a great victory for Democracy that took place in Brussels yesterday. A set of directives has been discussed and voted on yesterday on the future of networks and spectrum at the European Parliament. As usual, what could have initially been a great opportunity for growth, innovation, and leadership in IT driven by the European Union was attacked by special interests groups of all kinds, all of them gunning against Net Neutrality and pushing for the most reactionary policies such as network filtering and censorship.
When I was a child my family and th school told me that what set us (France) aside of dictatorial regimes was that we were a democracy. Democracy means individual and collective freedom, freedom of speech, conscience, vote, etc. Some people in 2008 seem to have decide those criteria should be revisited. It is a shame, and not later than yesterday some of these lobbies pushed again a few friendly MEPs to attack the directives again. I am curious to know if the people who elected these politicians are even aware of what they are doing. So once again, democracy in Europe is in danger, and I would like to congratulate and express my deepest respect to our freedom fighters, french and others.
To all of them, to OpenOffice.org, to my readers,