The Document Foundation Blog

June 25, 2013

The Document Foundation welcomes a new member of the Advisory Board: King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) of Saudi Arabia

KACSTBerlin, June 25, 2013 – The Document Foundation announces that King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) of Saudi Arabia is now an effective member of its Advisory Board. KACST sponsors the National Program for Free and Open Source Software Technologies (Motah: http://www.motah.org.sa/), which has been contributing to LibreOffice for almost one year, to enhance the Arabic language and the RTL (right-to-left) support, and to develop new features.

Motah LibreOffice Project (http://motah.org.sa/en/?q=node/94) is only one of the activities of Motah at KACST, where several software products are studied to explore the extent of Arabic support and their suitability for Arab users. LibreOffice was selected to be the first localization project because most Arab users need a full feature office suite.

liberoffice_image.png“Motah software engineers have been regularly contributing to LibreOffice since 2012, and are now one of the largest groups of full time developers hacking LibreOffice code, together with SUSE and Red Hat”, states Michael Meeks of SUSE, a Member of TDF Board of Directors. “Thanks to the injection of these new groups of hackers, during the last months we have been able to increase the number of contributors, which is now around 100 on a monthly basis and over 330 on a yearly basis”.

“It is fascinating to see The Document Foundation combining people from different cultures, languages and geographical locations around the development of LibreOffice, the best free office suite ever”, says Dr.Turki Alsaud, KACST VP for research institutes. “Having KACST inside TDF Advisory Board reflects our support to the development of LibreOffice, extending our reach from the improvement of the Arabic language version to the development of new features and the improvement of the user interface”.

With the addition of KACST, the Advisory Board of The Document Foundation has now ten members: FSF, Google, Intel, KACST, MIMO, Red Hat, SPI, Lanedo, Freies Office Deutschland e.V. and SUSE (https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/TDF/Advisory_Board).

About KACST

King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) is an independent scientific organization administratively reporting to the Prime Minister’s Office. KACST is both the Saudi Arabian national science agency and its national laboratories. The science agency function involves science and technology policy making, building national scientific database, funding of external research, and conducting applied scientific research in varius disciplines through its own research institutes and providing services such as the patent office, scientific information, and scientific consultations to public and private sector etc. KACST has currently over 2500 employees.

Media Contact KACST

Mohamed Alkanhal – Director of Computer Research Institute
Phone: + 966 11 4813765 – Email: cri@kacst.edu.sa (website: http://www.kacst.edu.sa)

7 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on LibreOffice Marketing Team Blog.

    Comment by italovignoli — June 25, 2013 @ 11:31

  2. Saudi Arabia is not really known for human rights, yet you welcome them… too bad…

    Comment by Markus S. — June 25, 2013 @ 13:07

    • I feel LO is one of the most democratic office suites. It listens to people from all over the world, has so many languages, contributions from diverse people etc. This love should grow.

      Besides why should the common people be denied “enhance[ment of] the Arabic language and the RTL (right-to-left) support” and so on.

      Comment by paul2012 — June 25, 2013 @ 13:33

    • How was the situation of human rights in Europe 50~80 years ago?

      At least Arabians “finally” are helping to improve something liberal like LibreOffice!

      There is nothing constant, they will eventually change and they really are!!

      Comment by Ahmad — June 25, 2013 @ 17:46

    • Markus, this black-or-white view is way too simple for our complicated world.

      Comment by Jens Mildner — June 25, 2013 @ 19:38

    • Even if a part of your comment has some factual truth, you seem to use some pervert logic:

      “If _some government_ violates its people’s rights, we naturally should limit _this people’s_ ability to be involved in a free and open source project…”

      Don’t you feel that somewhere there could be a flaw?

      Comment by mikekaganski — June 25, 2013 @ 21:13

    • To see a single company as a monolithic entity is a really unhelpful view; to see an entire country of 28 million as a single entity is (in my view) incredibly unrealistic. Personally I’m keen to focus on the great work KACST is doing: long may it continue – their presence and contribution is most welcome in TDF, and they’re fun guys to work with: come to our conference in Milan to meet them and make your mind up there.

      Comment by Michael Meeks — June 26, 2013 @ 09:54


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