Berlin, 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.
“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 seven members: FSF, Google, Intel, KACST, MIMO, Red Hat, SPI, Lanedo, Freies Office Deutschland e.V. and SUSE (https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/TDF/Advisory_Board).
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: firstname.lastname@example.org (website: http://www.kacst.edu.sa)