Useful Links:

IT issues on 666 ABC Canberra Drive with Keri Phillips each Wednesday at 5:50pm

Tom Worthington With Tom Worthington FACS, Visiting Fellow, Department of Computer Science, Australian National University

Working online, 10 April 2002

In last week's talk I discussed free software. Some of this free software is created by for-profit companies as sample versions to promote their full products. But some are developed by groups of volunteers working via the Internet. is an Open Source, community-developed, multi-platform office productivity suite. It includes the key desktop applications, such as a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, and drawing program, with a user interface and feature set similar to other office suites’. Sophisticated and flexible, also works transparently with a variety of file formats, including Microsoft Office.

From office suite (freeware).

How to submit code to

We ask that all code submitted to be submitted via IssueZilla. In your submission please list "Issue Type" as PATCH. Your code will be sent to the committer for the appropriate project.

From Contributing,, 2002 April 08

There are now special tools, some available free on-line, for groups of people to work together on-line. While mainly used for software, these could be used to run other sorts of projects.

An example of a technical tool is, which is used by 390,000 people on 37,000 software projects. The web based system provides tools for setting and running a software project, including forums for discussing the work, tracking bugs and changes. One example Project Armidale, for simplified web software, created by Shayne Flint at the Australian National University:

Armidale is a set of Java programs and libraries used to radically simplify the development, deployment and use of web applications which have rich graphical user interfaces.


By creating the project web site Shayne can invite people from around the world to try out the software and help improve it.

For less technical projects, services such as Yahoo! Groups can be used to organize on-line.

Computer systems can also be used in a more traditional environment. Last week the National Council of the Australian Computer Society met in Brisbane. Instead of a telephone book size set of agenda papers, we have a closed web site (accessible only to the organisation) with electronic copies of the papers. The two dozen attendees use their own laptop computers to look at the documents.

The ACS has been trying out a wireless LAN at the last two meetings. A wireless hub is connected to the Internet and Wireless Ethernet cards are inserted in each laptop to provide easy access to the agenda and external documents on the Internet.

Further Information:

Comments and corrections to:

Copyright © Tom Worthington 2001-2002.