Rhys is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Rhys Jones
Member since: 2000-12-22 10:06:38
Last Login: 2015-11-11 10:50:34

FOAF RDF Share This

Homepage: http://www.sucs.org/~rhys/


Siarad Cymraeg, ôl ddy wê. I'm a member of the GNOME localisation mob for Welsh, and managed not to make SUCS go bust for two-and-a-bit years. I write my own entries in Big Brother's book here.


Articles Posted by Rhys

Recent blog entries by Rhys

Syndication: RSS 2.0
16 Nov 2006 (updated 16 Nov 2006 at 20:53 UTC) »

I was at the official launch of Welsh OpenOffice this morning. Nothing directly to do with me, though I currently work for the organisation that provided the spell-checker for it, which is why I was there.

Welsh OpenOffice has been around for a while, of course. Agored, though, is one of those rare examples of an open-source project not only having twin targets of development and dissemination, but also gathering governmental and public-sector support to do so.

Agored is also trying to put a tangible worth on 'free' software, on the basis that if you pay a small amount of money for something, you're more likely to appreciate it. On my desk now I have a copy of an original 400-page Welsh-language OpenOffice manual which includes the Agored CD. The text is all under the GNU Free Documentation License, as you'd expect, but the physical book can be bought for about £20, and it looks good. I hope it sells well.

Anyway, the press release below meant that OpenOffice gathered about two minutes' attention on the main Welsh-language news bulletin tonight, and a write-up on BBC News Online (also in Welsh). I'm putting it here in case anyone needs to Google it in future.


Prifysgol Cymru Aberystwyth: University of Wales Aberystwyth
Datganiad i'r wasg - Press release
Embargo: Not for publication before 16 November 2006

Free Office Software launched in Cardiff Bay

Agored, a new free office software suite is being launched today (16 November 2006) by Alun Pugh, Minister for Culture, Welsh Language and Sport. The suite, a Welsh and English dual-language version of the OpenOffice suite used worldwide, has been developed over the past two years at the Mercator Centre, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

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. Most significantly, Agored is free of charge! Whatever your purpose - domestic, educational, govermental, or commercial - you can download a complete and legal copy of Agored today from www.agored.com. Take Agored for a 'test drive': if you like it, keep the keys!

"Agored is going to be an extremely useful tool to many businesses right across Wales who operate bilingually," said Andrew Davies, Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks of the Welsh Assembly Government. Alun Pugh, the Minister for Culture, Welsh Language and Sport added: "The launch of this office software is a major advance within the IT strategy developed by the Welsh Language Board as part of the Assembly Government's strategy of the language, Iaith Pawb."

"This is the largest Welsh software project to date", says Ned Thomas, Academic Director of the Mercator Centre at UWA, "and has involved a team of five at Mercator, with further translators throughout Wales working on the project. Over half a million words of help screens and interface have been translated, and a comprehensive, original handbook has been written from scratch."

Meri Huws, Chair of the Welsh Language Board said "Agored is the latest in a series of important developments in Welsh language technology. It's surprising how much is already available in Welsh in this field. This is a most welcome additional contribution."

Agored is a complete office suite, with a word-processing program (Writer), a spreadsheet program (Calc), a slideshow program (Impress), a drawing and design program (Draw), and a database program (Base). It will happily use all your existing office files in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint format. It has been specially designed with the bilingual office in mind: you can swap from English to Welsh and back again very simply without having to restart your computer or re-install different versions of the software. All the commands and help messages are available in both languages, and the Welsh-language content of the program is authoritative and standard. You can also use Welsh and English spell-check options within the same document, should you wish to do so.

Agored costs nothing to use for as long as you like, wherever you like. It is everything you need in an office software suite. So what are you waiting for? Download your copy from www.agored.com.


21 Mar 2004 (updated 5 Feb 2005 at 09:30 UTC) »
24 Jan 2004 (updated 21 Mar 2004 at 16:28 UTC) »

The big news in the Welsh-language IT world this week was Microsoft's announcement of a Welsh-language pack for Windows XP and Office.

Or was it? According to this morning's edition of the most widely-read Welsh national newspaper, the Western Mail, the big news isn't so much that Microsoft are now supporting Welsh, but that they're playing catch-up by supporting Welsh.

Linux, of course, is ahead of the game.

Those of you who read Telsa's diary and a few other sources are probably quite familiar with the shenanigans of various Welsh open-source translation teams. There are now countless pieces of Welsh-language open-source software. Getting one up on Microsoft was less a reason for these efforts than was promoting Welsh in the first place, but somehow our various translation teams have managed to turn what should have been a glorious PR day for Microsoft into something of an own goal.

The announcement from Redmond of an LIP for Welsh, swiftly followed by some deft press release action, resulted in probably the biggest press coverage Linux has ever received in the country. Microsoft's PR agents are probably choking over their croissants this morning.

But the Western Mail piece does imply that it would be futile to try and play down the significance of a Windows XP in Welsh. And they're right: this is unquestionably a great leap forwards for Welsh-language IT, and gives further credibility to Welsh as a language of commerce and business. It's not all good news, though: the current understanding is that a Welsh Windows will always be a Welsh Windows [EDIT: unless you laboriously uninstall the LIP each time you want to switch back to US English], a great marketing move in a bilingual nation. <STRIKE>which means I will probably never buy Welsh Windows - I can't afford two licenses.</STRIKE>

Quite apart from licensing constraints, I don't need to tell Advogators about the dangers of relying on one company to provide you with Welsh-language support in perpetuity, rather than an open system within which literally dozens of people are working on Welsh translations. It's not even clear whether Welsh will make it into Longhorn - though I'd be surprised if Windows' internal language support changes sufficiently by then for it not to.

It remains unlikely, though, that anything would have happened about this had Microsoft not been at least aware of the existence of Welsh Linux. At the first LREC in 1998, I listened to a Microsoft spokesman outline a vague roadmap to make Windows available in more languages. Nowhere, not once, was Welsh mentioned by him. Other European minority languages made an appearance (notably Catalan - well, the conference was in Granada), but Welsh might as well not even have existed.

Then, prodded and buoyed no doubt by EBLUL and the WLB, the rest of the software world started to take notice. Translations started first on a relatively small scale, with a Welsh Opera being a good Christmas present in 2000. Then, things snowballed, until significantly, August 2003's National Eisteddfod saw a demonstration of a Welsh-language OpenOffice running on a Welsh-language KDE/GNOME desktop. Microsoft appear to have been planning a Welsh Windows since... September 2003. Draw your own conclusions.

It's not as if yesterday's announcment has made translators rest on their laurels though. In the very immediate future lies a Welsh Evolution, thanks to yesterday's GNOME announcements. [EDIT: later removed from GNOME 2.6 essentials, but there will be a Welsh Evolution soon.] And as the Welsh open-source community now seems to have a stable structure to accept and create translations for most major packages, who knows what might be in store further ahead?

But for today, though, good morning. And it is a very good morning in Wales.

Thought some here might like to know that University of Wales Bangor are holding an e-Welsh day on Saturday November 30th. This is to celebrate the formation of their new 'e-Welsh: Terminology and Language Engineering' unit. I mention it here only because the day 'will be concentrating especially on what open source software has to offer small languages such as Welsh, with the intention of creating an e-Welsh network of contacts to promote and give direction to this work.'

1030-1400 in Bangor, simultaneous English translation provided. Further details are available.

(No connection with the day other than that I was sent its details).

Had my birthday recently. Many gifts, for which I was very grateful.

One, though, had to be mentioned here; a ty penguin beanie. Unfortunately for the present-givers, and hilariously for me, the nametag of the penguin wasn't checked before it was handed over. Which really should have been done...

...are ty trying to tell us something?

6 older entries...


Rhys certified others as follows:

  • Rhys certified advogato as Master
  • Rhys certified alan as Master
  • Rhys certified Telsa as Master
  • Rhys certified Ausmosis as Journeyer
  • Rhys certified dick as Master
  • Rhys certified ask as Master
  • Rhys certified lgerbarg as Journeyer
  • Rhys certified CarloK as Journeyer
  • Rhys certified miguel as Master
  • Rhys certified nymia as Journeyer
  • Rhys certified sits as Apprentice
  • Rhys certified helcio as Journeyer
  • Rhys certified mascot as Apprentice
  • Rhys certified riggwelter as Journeyer
  • Rhys certified dgh as Journeyer
  • Rhys certified menthos as Journeyer
  • Rhys certified ken as Apprentice
  • Rhys certified marnanel as Journeyer

Others have certified Rhys as follows:

  • Ausmosis certified Rhys as Apprentice
  • Telsa certified Rhys as Apprentice
  • CarloK certified Rhys as Journeyer
  • sits certified Rhys as Apprentice
  • helcio certified Rhys as Apprentice
  • mascot certified Rhys as Apprentice
  • dgh certified Rhys as Journeyer
  • badvogato certified Rhys as Journeyer
  • nixnut certified Rhys as Journeyer

[ Certification disabled because you're not logged in. ]

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!

Share this page