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The Free and Open Productivity Suite
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.6 released

Abstracts of Conference Papers - Developer Streams

Locks and Threads and Monads - OOo My

Stephan Bergmann - Sun Microsystems Inc.

Future advances in hardware performance will come from parallel execution rather than faster execution. However, in order to benefit from these advances, application code will need to change. Then, in what ways will OOo have to change so that it will count as a productive 21st century office suite? What languages will we be writing code in tomorrow, and what paradigms will we use? Will UNO turn out a strategic advantage in moving forward, or will it become a burden? Is the UNO threading framework a step in the right direction? Where shall we start? And what has the Wizard of Oz got to do with it?

Stephan Bergmann, by now regular presenter at OOoCon, from the StarOffice/OpenOffice.org development team at Sun Hamburg

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Run trhough the jungle

Mathias Bauer

OpenOffice.org is not as monolithic as it might appear sometimes. Its internal architecture allows to work in one module without the necessity to change others. Some modules that build the framework and architecture of OpenOffice.org have an influence on the other modules and working on any higher level module as e.g. the Writer module is not possibly without understanding the basic modules and how they interact with the others.

This presentation will outline the general software architecture of OpenOffice.org to enable interested developers to find their way into the code. It will also give hints to further documentation.

Mathias Bauer, working on OpenOffice.org and its predecessor StarOffice for 11 years now, before this working as a software developer for a graphical and font software at URW University courses in chemistry, finished with a doctor's degree.

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Lightning Fast Startup

Michael Meeks & Jan Holesovsky

Startup time of OOo is not insignificant – everyone knows that. But there are other large applications that look like starting instantly; what do they do differently? Are they cheating? Or not?

This talk will describe the cheating techniques used by others, and also the ones that we do already (early feedback – startup notification, splash, etc.; re-using a running instance; preloading an instance; ...)

Where the cheating ends, we will talk about improvements and optimizations made by Novell, including some that did not find their way to the up-stream OOo yet.

Michael Meeks is a Christian and enthusiastic believer in Free software. He very much enjoys working for Novell where as a member of the Desktop research team he has worked on desktop infrastructure and applications, particularly the CORBA, Bonobo, Nautilus and accessibility, amongst other interesting things. He now works full time developing OpenOffice.org. Prior to this he worked for Quantel gaining expertise in real time AV editing and playback achieved with high performance focused hardware / software solutions.

Jan Holesovsky, 29 years old, married, programmer. Jan is with OpenOffice.org since 2003, employed by SUSE/Novell. Previously he graduated from the Charles University (2003), worked as a YaST2 developer (1999-2002, also SUSE), and programmed the drawing part of KTTV, a Linux word processor and a vector drawing program for lecture notes (1998-9). In OpenOffice.org, he focuses on KDE integration (http://kde.openoffice.org/index.html), x86-64 porting, etc.

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OpenOffice.org Performance Improvements

Xiaoyang Yu & Michael Leibowitz

We looked at several factors that could help improve OpenOffice.org startup performance, especially on Linux. We focused on disk sub-system-level solutions to mitigate performance impact of several application-specific factors. At launch, especially on cold-start, the application makes significant scattered disk accesses, due to a combination of page-faults arising out of execution flow and dynamic library loads interspersed with configuration reads and writes. We will therefore focus on speedup techniques based on reducing the disk access penalty at startup.

A systemic approach of minimizing seek penalties is to arrange data blocks used during application start-up in an appropriate sequence on the disk. We will briefly describe our trace gathering and simulation environment for costing and optimizing block order for a collection of application disk access traces. We will also discuss results and experiences for a prototype reordering scheme for the ext2 filesystem. We will outline the design and progress on a post-install reordering utility for OpenOffice.org, and conclude by presenting some initial ideas on extending and generalizing this approach into an adaptive monitoring and optimizing mechanism with kernel and file-system support.

The second approach is a deep refactoring of configmgr using berkeleydb to, in effect, coalesce configuration data into a contiguous disk block. A new backend, dbbe, accesses xml blobs stored in the database, avoiding multiple file reads. We will discuss our experiences creating a new backend as well as further opportunities for optimizing configmgr.

Xiaoyang Yu was born in Oct, 1974, and got the master degree in Computer Science from Institute of Computing Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2000. Since joining Intel in 2005, he is focused on disk access factors in OpenOffice.org startup. Prior to Intel, he was a project manager and lead developer at Turbolinux, designing TurboHA - a high availability cluster software, working on embedded systems for government projects, in addition to overseeing internationalization and GUI development for the Turbolinux Distribution 10.

Michael Leibowitz is a software engineer at Intel Corporation where he works on OpenOffice.org performance improvements and community infrastructure. Previously he has worked in the embedded Linux system space in various capacities.

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Cleaning Up OOo Multi Trheading

Kay Ramme

More or less frequently people complain about OOo in respect to multi threading. Either because it is complicated to implement a service, or that there is only few documentation, or that the UNO API is not thread safe, or that it does not scale etc.

The “Cleaning Up OOo Multi Threading” effort1 aims to put OOos usage of multiple threads on a solid base, while simplifying the implementation of thread related OOo respectively UNO code, eliminating anachronistic constructs such as the Solar Mutex or the Main Thread Executor.

This sessions gives a brief overview over OOos current usage of threads and how synchronization primitives are used to protect office code and data. It develops a solution of how to simplify thread related code development and where OOo should head wrt its threading architecture2. It gives a brief overview of the UNO based implementation of the suggested solution, how it works and how it has been applied to OOo.

Kay Ramme,

  • Started programming 1980 on CBM PET
  • Masters degree computer science, Hamburg University
  • Works on StarOffice since 1997
  • Works for Sun since 1999

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Introduction to OpenOffice.org scripting features

Laurent Godard

Openoffice.org offers a lot of scripting capabilities. A complete framework and API is available to adapt and drive the office elements to your wokflow and daily activities. The available languages to access this API are numerous and one can start easily to develop extensions and macros with OOoBasic and Python languages.

The session will present the different tools like the IDE, SDK and other available helpers. Then some starting elements covering the first steps of extensions(macros) creation in OOoBasic will be presented. Addon and Extensions creation using Python will also be covered, showing the power and simplicity of the pyUNO approach.

Laurent Godard is technical director of Indesko, Nuxeo division, building solutions for workflows and free ECM integration (like CPS) with OpenOffice.org for large companies. Involved in the OOo community for many years and author of various well known tools such as DicOOo, FontOOo, OOoWikipedia ..., the speaker is dedicated to macros writing in various language and known as a reference regarding OOo API use. He is also the co-author of the only french book dealing with OOo macros and API. He is now the leader of the Extensions project and Community Contributor Representative at the Community Council.

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Modular Building, splitting the build

Caolán McNamara

OpenOffice.org is a large monolithic build, and has a large output install image size. One problem of this is for distributions which want to ship bugfix updates to their users and customers. For most distributions the smallest addressable update unit is effectively that of src.rpm. All output rpms which are generated from a given src.rpm are included in the update set.

Other similiarly large monolithic build trees have been split into separately buildable modules e.g. x.org. This enables separate src.rpms to be created, and independant update builds of the afflicted src.rpms with consequently faster builds for updates, and smaller update sizes. Here I outline a sample modular-build split of OpenOffice.org into OpenOffice.org-URE and the rest of OpenOffice.org.

The target of the BOF is that by discussing the problem and a prototype sample solution an understanding might be reached as to the viability to a universally acceptable modular build process.

Caolán McNamara works for Red Hat, Inc. for a number of years as a Desktop Engineer with overall responsibility for OpenOffice.org. He has been working on OpenOffice.org for approx 6 years.

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Building OO.o (faster?) with Jam

Kai Backman

A How-to presentation on the prototype Jam build system and how it can reduce those convenient “go fetch coffee and take a break” moments of compilation. After this session you should know how to use the prototype, why to use it, and a bit about what's inside. Also inluded by popular demand: “Top Ten common usage patterns that will cause the prototype to promptly explode and disintegrate your planet”

Kai Backman works on Google OO.o team and has been interested in improving build times. He is a vi friendly emacs user and moonlights occasonally as a game developer.

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OpenOffice.org Buildbot Infrastructure

Michael Leibowitz

We will detail a new system being developed for openoffice.org, that will allow automated testing of  code changes and make life easier for QA. This system, using build-bot, allows developers to submit their CWS or SVN branch for building, testing, and install-set creation on different architectures and configurations. By including performance, code-quality, and correctness tests in the battery, we allow developers to track regressions across many platforms, without requiring those platforms in their possession. By making install sets available from the build, we enable developers to submit their changes easily, even when they don't have the same platforms/build systems as QA.

In addition, the automated nature of the system makes running these tests easy and painless. The “head” branch can also be automatically tested, giving a running regression for the project as a whole. With this system, we hope to make the process of making changes and getting them integrated considerably less difficult for developers and QA engineers alike.

Michael Leibowitz is a software engineer at Intel Corporation where he works on OpenOffice.org performance improvements and community infrastructure. Previously he has worked in the embedded Linux system space in various capacities.

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OpenOffice.org Extensions Infrastructure: What it is - What it can - What is planned

Jürgen Schmidt

The session will give an overview of the OpenOffice.org extension infrastructure.

The OpenOffice.org office suite gets more and more popular and the demand to customize or extend the existing functionality by own extensions is growing as well to integrate it in existing business workflows. Customized extensions can provide new functionality or can be the interface to other applications, e.g. integration in document management systems.

But what are the requirements for the extensions infrastructure to provide a reliable framework for deploying and maintaining extensions for several versions of OpenOffice.org? Even that is important for ISV's to protect their intellectual property and to make it possible to run a business based on extensions and an open source product.

This session will try to cover this question. Requirements like licensing, versioning, dependencies and others are discussed and the session will give an overview of the current status and what is planned for the near future. Besides the common requirements a special focus will be taken on   commercial extensions.

Jürgen Schmidt has worked for StarOffice for 9 years. He was deeply involved in the development of the UNO component model which is the foundation for the StarOffice API. Currently he is technical lead for the StarOffice Software Development Kit (SDK) which is used in StarOffice and OpenOffice.org. He is also the project lead of the OpenOffice.org API project.

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Getting introduced to URE

Cédric Bosdonnat

Getting introduced to UNO programming and URE use is not an easy task. This session is about to explain how to create a new URE application without to much pain. An occasion to show the state of the Eclipse integration project, this session will demonstrate the features of the plugin and expose its possible future.

Cédric Bosdonnat, 22, graduated in INSA Lyon, has been introduced to OpenOffice.org development during the Google Summer of Code 2005. He works on an Eclipse plugin to help UNO component development. He has started a UNO Component to use Gstreamer free multimedia framework from OpenOffice.org

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C++ development within OOo: Tricks of the trade

Thorsten Behrens

Large-scale C++ development is tough business, and so is grokking and improving OOo's  approximately 6 million lines of code. The author will share the accumulated knowledge of Sun's OOo development team, touching areas such as:

  • dependency management: how to architect for encapsulation
  • tools for working on the code: IDE/editor review, (semi)-automatic code transformations and refactorings, debuggers
  • patterns: the most frequent design patterns and their incarnations
  • helpers: the what and the where of helper functionality
  • recommended readings: literature, links to OOo resources (API documentation, coding guidelines), mailing lists and news groups

This session should be suitable for all levels of C++ programmers, that want to become familiar with OOo's way of doing things in C++.

Thorsten Behrens, being a programmer since ages, he finished a degree in computer science, and joined Sun's StarOffice/OpenOffice team shortly thereafter. Since winter 2003, he's been busy redesigning and implementing OOo's new rendering and slideshow components.

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