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OOo Extensions Project Hot Topics

After the OOo 2.0.4 annoucement that provides new extensions improvement
such as licencing and new extension .oxt, the extensions team is hard
working setting up an ecosystem for developping extensions

The main points actually worked on are

  • Translation toolkit : A long discussion has occured focusing mainly on the backend storage
    format (xml xcu OOo file format, po files, java properties format). While
    this is important the main focus regarding Extensions usability is to give
    developpers a cool and simple API to use and translators of every skill
    level a versatile tool to provide and test translations
    It seems something is beeing studied at Basic IDE level but this rather a
    new sun internal project and will be limited to dialogs translation on
    first release. This may be available in OOo 2.2+ and probably not downward
    compatible.
    As a short term solution, our great Paolo proposed a solution based on
    pyUNO and xcu file. it is a cool way to go as it will allow extension
    developpers to have their work being used in OOo 2.x versions and this
    toolkit can even be enhanced to support other file format.
  • About deploying extensions, the actual command line based utility is
    rather secure but restrictive. It does not allow to use an existing library
    repository. The problem is that it sometimes behave too silently when
    de-activating some extensions. Some ideas (use of xlc files) and context
    restrictions are being discussed to see if something can be improved for
    user experience
  • A new tool demonstrated at OooCon is now available –
    This NetBeans plugin is really cool and i think that an
    Eclipse one
    will also be available :)
  • A small team is setup for the web site – A great Art design work is
    being started by Ben while Jean-Pierre setups a first prototype. This will
    be available really soon as an alpha proposal release when server will have
    required tools

if you wish to join the Extensions team, please do. Everybody is welcomed,
just tell us, we will find something for you ;)

Speaking about extensions, one as to note the new
Sun Java OOo Blogger. This reminds me Caolan’s work
from last year
. The same goal, done and freely available in pyUNO. It is
freely available as a study case and use. I bet originality will be for the
next extension. But if you want to fund
SUN for supporting OOo, it is a way …

At OOo level, a new team is built for a Creative Commons licence inclusion
in OOo documents. If you whish to help visit them on their dedicated mailing
list

And for volunteers, I give here some rough ideas for extensions. But,
everything else is possible :)

  • an impress autostart : OOo does not have a pps-like file format. The
    idea is to define a DocumentInfo.Info1 parameter, check it though a
    resident extension on impress file opening and auto start the presentation
    (level required : easy/medium)
  • on-the-fly translation : on the model of OOoWikipedia, retreive the
    translation of an hilighted word and display it in OOo (level required :
    easy)
  • S5 is a web based light format – create an assistant/filter allowing to
    export impress files to this format. mainly XSLT stuff but a wizard can
    also be setup (level required : skilled)
  • logo is a cool language for children to start with. OOoDraw API could
    be used to embedd such a tool. Note that an engine already exists in
    python, so using pyUNO could be a good idea

These tools creation and how they can be packaged as Extensions can be
discussed on users@extensions.openoffice.org.
The core part, the api use and help remains on dev@api.openoffce.org mailing
list

I propose you to visit our enriched
Wiki
(some part are even being
translated
but any mediawiki tool pointer for multilingual support would
be great) and join us on dev@extensions.openoffice.org
to build the ecosystem, users@extensions.openoffice.org
to start building extensions and #ooo-ext freenode IRC channel for a live
chat

(Post originally written by Laurent Godard on the old Nuxeo blogs.)

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