Open Source Initiative in Jordan

I thought many times before writing this article because I feel that it will open lots of mouths on me. Before 7 years I was very excited about Open Source initiative and how to help spreading the word and educate people about Open Source. Now I guess the picture is little different than before and people at least know what’s open source and there is something exist called open free source software, but I don’t want to be pessimistic, I see all these initiatives are just a shy trial to promote open source and educate people about it. I guess people should be educated about the Open source but with different way, not by using Linux or Open office but by the concept itself. I am a IT person who love Linux and I guess Ubuntu is a step forward to make Linux a user friendly and much easier, but I still think it is still not ready for the end user and not ready also for all IT people. I am now blogging from my Asus netbook that has Windows 7 pre-installed, if I want to install let us say Ubuntu remix to replace Windows 7, I will spend 1 hour to configure my Wifi, I will lose the mutlitouch mouse pad (I guess it is very important for the netbook) also I will lose the mic and the cam. For regular people, what does that mean? Waste of time and they lost some of the functionalities that came with the netbook. If the user tried it once and had a bad experience with it, it will lose interest with open source and will have bad impression about the open source.  Students at schools start their 1st steps in Computer world by using windows and MS office changing this culture needs time and efforts. Changing this culture does not mean, to start making fun of others and pretend that company like MS is evil, all commercial companies are evils and they care about money, we have to educate people about open source philosophy and why should I care before start teaching people how to use Linux or open office. People must start their 1st steps in open source world with simpler approach, like browsers. Imagine if Mozilla Firefox has a market share with 60%, this mean all developer will start use open standard and not commercial closed standard. Developer will use or try to use open source technology or force the commercial company to use open standard or support open source standard.

I guess this kind of start will help to promote the open source more than telling people to use Linux or open office. May be the open source browser will influence people to use other open source products like Linux or open office or php, etc.. and make people think for alternatives other than closed or commercial software.

How to make a dynamic PDF File (Flowed Layout)

I’m a big fan of Adobe Acrobat Forms, I faced different cases in my work, other departments asked me to design a PDF form but a dynamic, the content in the boxes can be expended or shrink depends on the data. In Adobe Acrobat these kind of forms called Flowed layout. I thought it will be a tough task to do such thing, but after playing around with Adobe LiveCycle, it was easy and almost straight forward.

The most important part to decide which pages are flowed layout and which are positioned, and then everything will be in few clicks. All you have to do is to make the Page layout Flowed and wrap all your fields within a subform with a flowed layout, and for each field in the layout tab, select expand to fit property so the field are expandable.

Find this test PDF, it will explain everything also I added how to add more Table rows dynamically into a PDF form.

Note: You have to save your PDF file as Dynamic PDF in order to make it expandable.

Amazon Kindle 2 in Jordan – My Impression

The internet is full of Amazon Kindle 2 review, tips and tricks and hacks. I will not talk here about these things because Kindle 2 is almost one year out and it is too late to talk about these things. What I am gonna talk about is my first impression and my experience of Kindle in Jordan.

I got a chance to bought the international kindle during my visit to Canada after reducing its price, what’s amazing that the package was delivered before the schedule time to my hotel room, and Amazon calculate all import and tax services for me, I didn’t have to pay anything for the customs and delivery company.

The 3G service work great on the Kindle, I tried to purchase different books from Amazon website and on less than 1 min it was downloaded on my Kindle.

On Heathrow airport, I have to pay for the internet connection, but what I did is using my Kindle browser to check emails and do some tweets all free using the free 3G connection. Don’t expect too much from the kindle browser it remind me with the earliest version of the browsers but it will do the job if you don’t have internet connection.

The problem of the Amazon Kindle in Jordan, the whisper service is working in Jordan as GPRS/EDGE I tried to purchase sample book and also less than 60 sec it was on my Kindle.

I tried to use different PDF files to see how it is practical to read on kindle; of course I used PDF with Arabic font. You can see how Kindle handle the Quran and how amazing and clear view you can have.

I am very satisfied with my kindle, Kindle definitely will change your reading experience and you will enjoy reading without eye strains.