Date: prev next · Thread: first prev next last
2012 Archives by date, by thread · List index

Hello Astron

Thanks for an interesting and informative reply.

I believe, with your script, you'd best go to the developer list at
[1] which is always quite enthusiastic about patches etc. As far as I
know there is quite some interest in automatic PDF conversion.

OK, that certainly encourages me.

Also, maybe take a look at ODF-Toolkit [2] (now also at Apache) which
is designed to (AFAICS) to manipulate ODF programmatically.

Great. I wasn't sure whether I was heading down a dead-end alley.

Right... the problem is that LibO is a very complicated network of
must be loaded to do anything productive.

I'd figured that this was probably the case. Given that you respond well to odd suggestions, I'd like to say a few words here that will surely get a hostile reception in most quarters. I'd better warn you that I'm a retired hardware engineer and a reluctant convert to coding - a.k.a a grumpy old man. When young, my generation faced a much brighter prospect - a broad, unexplored field with no roads, no maps, and only a few tracks leading to uncertain destinations - freedom and exploration beckoned excitingly. Today's young developers face a crowded highway heading in a direction that many (myself included) do not like, and enclosed between walls to hide the open prospect. Turn-offs are few, and discouraged.

The comprehensive, mature code-base that is OO/LO is certainly a valuable inheritance, but defines and largely delimits the creative possibilities open to younger would-be explorers. It's always more exciting to devise and develop something brand new than to maintain and refine an established product. One result is that new versions now tend to be less useful or appealing than earlier versions, being the result of a need for novelty rather than a response to requirements.

I believe that there is a way forward through this sticking-point, but it requires a fair bit of preliminary tedium. I've long suspected that most of the big apps and OS components are now such an impenetrable maze of dependencies and undocumented code that maintenance is a chore, and further development increasingly difficult. To go back over these acres of code, reorganizing and rewriting them where necessary, is obviously an unexciting prospect, but it may be the best way to reveal new possibilities. One of the confident criticisms leveled at the Open Source movement back in the 80s and 90s was that, without financial incentive, no sane person would devote the time needed to create an OS and major apps from scratch. I entertained such doubts myself, and was both amazed and delighted at what had been achieved by the turn of the century. It is, in fact, one of the greatest of modern social achievements, but gets no official recognition - much less praise - since it completely refutes the corporate rationale and philosophy.

Self-praise is always ugly to behold, but the Open Source movement certainly deserves far more recognition than it gets, especially by way of educating young people about its achievements and future potential. I believe that it is time for all Open Source developers to "take a break", to sit back and reflect on what they've achieved and inherited, and consider some alternative routes into the future, rather than being increasingly driven by corporate competition down corporate highways. If it's not too abstract a suggestion, I believe that Open Source needs to expand laterally rather than vertically. OO/LO is just one case in point; I'm still using KDE 3.5 because 4.5 is a glitzy dog of a desktop that is much less usable and intuitive than its predecessor, and there are many others who share this opinion. End of rant.

There are some ideas how to present LibO on e.g. Android [3], yet of
certainly highly welcome.

I'm very much a Philistine when it comes to the whole mobile thing, mainly because I believe it's being driven almost solely by corporate interests and wrong-headed social philosophy, so for the moment I've little to offer in this regard, and almost no experience of it.

PS: Sorry for the long list of references, but there were many points
you wanted to discuss. :)

Not at all - much appreciate the time and detail.

All the best

Unsubscribe instructions: E-mail to
Posting guidelines + more:
List archive:
All messages sent to this list will be publicly archived and cannot be deleted


Privacy Policy | Impressum (Legal Info) | Copyright information: Unless otherwise specified, all text and images on this website are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. This does not include the source code of LibreOffice, which is licensed under the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2). "LibreOffice" and "The Document Foundation" are registered trademarks of their corresponding registered owners or are in actual use as trademarks in one or more countries. Their respective logos and icons are also subject to international copyright laws. Use thereof is explained in our trademark policy.