for OpenOffice.org. The labels, which represent most of WorldLabel.com's standard prepress stock, are available in both OpenOffice.org 1.0 (.stw) and Open Document (.ott) format, and are released under the GNU General Public License and the Joint Copyright Agreement required for OpenOffice.org contributions. According to Russell Ossendryver, the company's managing director, USA, the release of the labels is in direct response to the growing popularity
WorldLabel.com has a history of competitive pricing and aggressive online marketing calculated to help it compete in in a field that has long been dominated by traditional storefronts such as Avery Office Supplies. Although the templates are the WorldLabel.com's first venture in free and open source software, the move seems a natural one for the company.
Describing himself as "an avid OpenOffice.org Writer user," Ossendryver explains that free software support makes increasing sense for WorldLabel.com. "I am convinced that this community is getting larger and larger," he says, "And at some point it will explode, especially as folk become more computer savvy. We want to be a part of it. Hopefully, we can benefit from this and at the same time help bring out higher quality open source labeling software solutions for the community."
Speaking of the growing demand for OpenOffice.org support, Ossendryver says, "The requests seem to have picked up as of late. "Mostly from universities. We noticed a lack of label software resources for OpenOffice.org and other free licensing software users. So we expedited the release."
Ossendryver expects that the templates will be refined as the company receives feedback from customers. He adds that WorldLabel.com will also design custom OpenOffice.org templates for customers who request them, particularly in the A5 paper size -- a size currently represented in OpenOffice.org's Label tool only by a few dozen templates from the German company Herma.
The usefulness of the labels is lessened by the fact that they are not available directly from OpenOffice.org's Label tool. Instead, users must select Tools -> Mail Merge Wizard to use them. However, Ossendryver expects that a link to the labels will soon be added to the OpenOffice.org site, and hopes that the templates will be added to the next release.
Taking its inspiration from Microsoft's gallery of label templates, WorldLabel.com is also developing a collection of label templates for OpenOffice.org Draw and KOffice, as well as additional CD and DVD labels for OpenOffice.org Writer. Ossendryver expects to release these additional templates by early February.
Bruce Byfield is a course designer and instructor, and a computer journalist who writes regularly for NewsForge, Linux.com and IT Manager's Journal.