The Free and Open Productivity Suite
Released: Apache OpenOffice 4.1.12

Abstracts of Conference Papers - General Streams

VBA Interoperability &

Noel Power

1.The Why: Describe the macro import problem, the need for a solution and the potential wins in terms of Openoffice adoption.

2.The How: Describe the origins of the incubator project, description of architecture of the solution, the type of problems encountered and what we are doing and what we have to do to solve them.

3.The Present: Describe where we are at right now in terms of upstreaming (hooks already integrated into upstream basic etc ), object Model, the approach we are taking, what works right now.

4.The Future: Describe whats next, the main areas that don't work, whats required, why it is necessary to integrate the object model and more basic enhancements upstream.

Demo: Show some cool demos that demonstrate import of Excel macros

Noel Power, Working as part of Novell's Openoffice developement team. Responsible for improving VBA interoperability by enabling Excel macros to run natively within Openoffice. Prior to joining Novell worked as a Software developer with Sun, Lucent Technologies, Iona, Siemens, IBM, Hewlett Packard & Motorola.


Using as a redaction tool for office automation document

Garnett Yeatts & Boyd Fletcher

The United States Joint Forces Command, USJFCOM, has developed an application that leverages the Open Office technologies to assist in the redaction of office automation documents. Redaction is the process of securely cleansing (or preparing) a document for release and sharing. The solution also provides an automated (batch) mechanism to convert MS Office to ODF and redact them. The redacted documents can be stored in MS Office format, ODF, or PDF.

Secure Save allows users to continue to use familiar tools while allowing an organization to protect itself from external compromise due to malicious executable code and from accidental release (leakage) of information due to unseen information in documents. The Secure Save application can operate as either a OOo plugin for individual document processing or as a standalone Java application for batching processing. The secure save redaction options are controlled via site specific policy configuration files.

Garnett Yeatts has thirteen years of experience developing and fielding custom software systems. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from James Madison University and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Regis University.

Boyd Fletcher started his career in IT in the banking industry in 1986 and graduated in 1993 from Old Dominion University with Bachelors in Computer Science. He has spend most of the last 13 years working for the Department of Defense as a software developer and systems engineer. First as a contractor with a variety of companies and now as a civil servant with the Dept of Navys Space and Naval Warfare Command. As deputy chief engineer at the United States Joint Forces Command Joint Experimentation Directorate Joint Prototype Pathways Prototype Engineering branch, Boyd is responsible for software architecture design


Mac OS X porting : the Next Step

Eric Bachard

As starting point, a brief description of last year objectives, will be completed with current status.

Negative points:  visibility, native port speed, Apple changes, API knowledge. Events how caused problems will be analysed in this part.

Positive points: changes, vcl documentation writing. Progress made since last year will be described in this part.

Development: native port ( objectives, what is done, timeline, roadmap) Some more “code oriented ” parts will be described in this part, including (if possible), a running demonstration of changes.

Propositions for improve Mac OS X porting project: a short analysis will present what is needed to make the project do progress in "runtime" in resources management

Eric Bachard, contributor since 2003, is Professor of applied physics in Belfort Montbeliard University of Technology, contributes as co-lead for porting project in porting project, and as mentor of Pierre de Filippis for the Google Summer of Code 2006.


Spreadsheet Compatibility. Forwards, Backwards ans Sideways

Jody Goldberg

Recent research into spreadsheet error rates are not enouraging (see Panko), even experienced users make significant errors (off by over 5%) regularly.  Even slight variances in implementation between different applications and different versions of applications compound the problem.  Spreadsheet formulas are poor documented functional programming languages.  Despite the ongoing work in the OpenDocument Formula subcommittee, and in Microsoft's ECMA TC45 standardization effort the notion of one true standard to rule them all is a long way off.

This discussion will deal with the extensions necessary in spreadsheet UI and file formats to offer users a familiar syntax, and to allow different implementations to at least know about the differences.

Jody Goldberg (Toronto Canada) has been involved with free software for more than a decade.  After spending years in various investment banks developing analytics and talking to MS Excel support personnel, he discovered Gnumeric and the GNOME project.  Novell now employs him to work on's Spreadsheet during business hours, and he continues to work on Gnumeric once the kids go to sleep.


Discovering the New Chart Module

Björn Milcke & Pierre-André Galmes

Charts are used for visualizing data sets, e.g. numbers contained in the cells of a spreadsheet. There are many kinds of charts to choose from (e.g. bar chart, pie chart, scatter chart). As the current chart implementation has become unmaintainable over the years, the chart team has decided to redesign the chart module from scratch and create a usable base for further development and integration of missing features.

The new chart implementation is now gaining in maturity and is proving to be a valuable tool. The purpose of this presentation is therefore to showcase this brand new feature planned for one of the next releases. The presentation will focus on the new chart as seen from two points of view: the user's (new features) and the developer's (code design and API). Demos will be given to illustrate the various features.

Björn Milcke graduated in Computer Science in Würzburg, Germany. Working on StarOffice/ Chart since 1999 (first for StarDivision then for Sun Microsystems, Inc.)

Pierre-André Galmes is working as a free-software consultant at StarXpert in Paris since 2004. His work includes tasks like teaching to users and C++ development. He recently started helping the chart team.


WordForge - localisation infrastructure for everyone

Dwayne Bailey

Localisation is hard. It's made harder because there is a high technical skill requirement to implement and integrate a localisation. A good translator, who is technically skilled enough to localise software, is also difficult to find. Now consider all this in relation to minority languages: no skilled resources and few volunteer translators. Is this a recipe for mediocre localisations or an opportunity for software to help elevate quality and help us produce localisations for very small languages?

There are over 200 languages in Africa with more than 1 million speakers. If we want to see those in we need to dramatically improve the process of localisation so that we can reduce the barriers to entry.

The WordForge project is delivering localisation infrastructure that helps localisation teams effectively manage their localisations by ensuring good process and by imporoving quality through glossary management and translation reuse.

WordForge is focused on using the localisation formats developed by the localisation industry including XLIFF, TMX and TBX. These standardised localisation formats add large amounts of value to FOSS projects and translation teams, through the embeding and managment of the localisation process, terminology and translation memory. WordForge's existing translation management system, Pootle, is being extending to manage XLIFF files. The present PO format does not allow effectively allow for this information to be delivered to localisers.

WordForge builds on the existing Translate Toolkit used by most localisers and enhances the existing Pootle Translation Management Software. These are real tools being expanded and enhanced by real localisers so that we can deliver in many more languages.

Dwayne Bailey started which has translated into the 11 official languages of South Africa. This effort has played no small part in getting Microsoft to localise into 3 South African languages. He is part of the team that built the oo2po convertor used by most localisation teams. Dwayne, together with Javier Sola from the KhmerOS team, founded the WordForge project as a means to help improve the quality of localisations as well as to help more minority languages translate FOSS.

Back / RedOffice in China

Cai Hong Hu

This session is about how Beijing Bedflag Chinese 2000 Co. LTD., worked hard to develop into a product RedOffice that would suit the needs of Chinese business, including debugging, localizing the information, Chinese typesetting, and developing lots of new fonctions for the chinese customer.

RedOffice has been excellent in government purchase from 2002 to now and its bid-winning ratio is more than 30%. Until now, RedOffice products have spread over more than twenty provinces and be widely used in various industries such as Water Resource, Electrical Power, Tobacco, Mining, Iron and Steel Industry, etc.

As an based software, RedOffice has a big market in China. Beijing Redflag Chinese 2000 Co. LTD. helps to get support from China authority to support ODF format in he passed ISO standard vote.


OOo Documentation - Online Help and Beyond

Frank Peters & Uwe Fischer

This session will deal with multiple aspects of the OOo help system, and documentation in general. It will encompass technological aspects, such as an overview of OOo help system, information on how to write, modify, and build help, how to localize or extend help. Common pitfalls when working with the help sources will also be addressed. Further discussion will focus on community collaboration aspects where the relation between the Sun-based help authors and the documentation community will be discussed with the goal of highlighting existing and potential collaboration paths and tools. Finally, we will try to collect ideas about the future of OOo documentation and help, such as consolidation of documentation formats and the feasibility of alternative delivery vehicles.

Uwe Fischer is a technical writer for StarOffice since 1995 and has suffered from many team leads that gave different directions over time, yet survived them all. He is a living fossil that proves that learning by doing can easily lead nowhere.

Frank Peters is working on OOo and StarOffice documentation since 2001 and is one of the many team leads that gave Uwe different directions. He worked on implementing the help xml format and tools around it and helped making the help a proper component in the product release process.


Getting started with Automated GUI Testing - The VCL TestTool Application

Thorsten Bosbach

The VCL TestTool Application is used to test the functionality which is available via the graphical user interface of

Step by step hands on session:

  • Where is the VCL TestTool Application?
  • Where are the test scripts?
  • What steps are needed on using the VCL TestTool Application for the first time?

The test scripts make sure that the general functions of OOo are available and working. Automated testing makes it easy to check if OOo behaves equaly on different platforms and languages with a minimum manual effort.

Thorsten Bosbach is working at Sun Microsystems the last 6 years as Quality Assurance Engineer in the StarOffice group, developing automated GUI test scripts.


Developing and improving dictionaries

Németh László

Overview of new features in spell checker, hyphenator and thesaurus; and a practical guide to developing (much better) dictionaries for these tools:

  • (semi)automated spell checking dictionary development (making, extending and verifying spell checking dictionaries, developing affix files for morphologically complex languages)
  • using Hunspell (alias compression, complex prefixes for right-to-left agglutinative languages, compound word support, pattern recognition for numbers and number+letter combinations, forbidding taboo word suggestions etc.)
  • making Unicode spell checking dictionaries, hyphenation patterns and thesauri (not only for exotic writing systems)
  • developing hyphenation patterns with discretionary and compound word hyphenation support (need for Dutch, German, Hungarian, Norwegian, Swedish etc.)
  • handling morphological data for automatic stemming and affixation in thesaurus
  • moving to the standard writing (case study: supporting ligatures in French)
  • developing state-of-the-art language tools (case study: Hungarian spell checking and hyphenation)

Németh László, member of the Lingucomponent and Hungarian language projects. Developed Unicode, compound word, morphological analysing and agglutinative language support to Myspell spell checker (now Hunspell), and the automatic discretionary and Unicode hyphenation patch to AltLinux Libhnj hyphenator. Author of the Hungarian spell checking dictionary. Lingucomponent co-lead.


GStreamer in

Cédric Bosdonnat & Radek Doulík

This session will introduce the GStreamer media handling library and its use in the The talk will present the integration process and the encountered problems as well as the work already done. It will also mention possible future work in this area.

The GStreamer integration includes these parts:

  • Enhancing media support in on Linux
  • Using the GStreamer framework to play multimedia files and streams
  • Creating macros handling GStreamer

Cédric Bosdonnat, 22, graduated in INSA Lyon, has been introduced to 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

Radek Doulík, 31, Graduated on Charles University in Prague, Worked 6 years for Helixcode/Ximian/Novell in the Evolution project team. Today working in the Open Office team, mainly on cairo canvas and Impress.


Moving OOo to XCanvas, Step 2 - Draw and Impress

Thorsten Behrens

After having sucessfully converted the Impress slideshow to the new UNO XCanvas rendering framework for OOo2.0, the next step in moving the whole office suite to canvas-based rendering is the port of Draw and Impress

This talk will show-case a working prototype of Impress, already rendering the main edit view via XCanvas, displaying nicely anti-aliased graphics and using the hardware-accelerated canvas sprite primitives while manipulating shapes.

Furthermore, and overview is given about the underlying architectural rework of the Impress drawing layer, which is now based on true MVC. Additionally, the engine then offers an extensible display list of shape primitives, which facilitates transparent switching of the rendering subsystem.

The session concludes with an outlook on the port of Calc and Writer, and the obstacles that have to be overcome beforehand.

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.

Back and GNU/Linux distributions

René Engelhard increasingly gets common and increasingly gets included in GNU/Linux dustibutions. Unfortunately the working relationship with the free software community at large and especially the GNU/Linux distributions is not always as optimal as it can and there often are some stones in the way for them when trying to package optimally.

This Talk is intended to show those up and maybe to search ways for a better working relationship in the future.

René Engelhard, during his (aborted) studies of CS at the University of Dortmund, Germany, he came in contact with Linux and Free Software and not long after it joined the Debian Project. There he then participated in the initial packaging efforts and now is one of the two Debian Maintainers.


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