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From "Andrew C. Oliver" <>
Subject Re: Excel generator
Date Wed, 24 Jul 2002 11:21:06 GMT
>>Well we do have some samples, but its been limited at the moment by kind
>>of a chicken and the egg scenario.  The serializer is there, the samples
>>are there but we can't more because we don't have any usage scenarios
>>except for mine (translation: lots of people are using POI but few
>>people are using the serializer).  But that may in itself be the reaons
>>that we don't.
>i guess the problem is another one (imho). at the moment the whole
>serializing stuff is to much tied to cocoon. this makes it virtually
>infeasable to use it simply out of the box with poi. i would have
>not made it run without the help of sven (so here once again thanks
>to sven). all those jars of one does not know which ones are necessary
>and which are not - not to mention the fact that when deploying all
>of them you surely increase the proballity of jar-hell (one of the
>biggest problems in large java-development-shops).
>another problem at the moment is, that concrete interface for the
>HSSFSerializer is way to complex. you have to create all this
>logging-stuff and readers and so on. well i'd say "no batteries included".
>something like:
>OutputStream os = (new HSSFSerializer()).convert(gnumeric_file_or_stream);
>would be much easier to use for newbies.

Yeah in short:  Its a Cocoon Serializer.  While I appreciate this 
feedback, I personally have no use cases for the Serializer outside of 
Cocoon.  This makes it impossible for me to support a non-cocoon version 
of the Serializer.  It would take a motivated individual who knew what 
to do in order to support such a project.  My continued personal 
interest is in generating reports via Cocoon and the HSSF Serializer.

>>Are you using the serializer?  For what?  how?
>>...and then bug reports and requests could drive the development a bit
>we (that is my customer) are using it to create invoive-files which in
>a later stage will be converted to pdfs.
>we are still in early development so i cant say how well it will work out.
>but we will generate more than 300 invoices per week and the number is
>going to increase.
Cool!  Would you mind writing up a case study for POI?

I'll look through what Sven did.  My only concern is whether you'll end 
up with Cocoon anyhow as your project scales up.

>>Well it actually kinda sucks and is probably hard to hand generate.  It
>>probably actually sucks more than
>>the Gnumeric format, but it more cleanly maps to the file format.
>hmm, i think the gnumeric-format is not so great, even thou i have to admit
>that there even worser ones.
>what is on the one hand realy nice is that the formating part is separeted
>from the content part but that is also the drawback. when changing the file
>by hand you almost surely f*ck the whole thing up. actually that is what
>i did on thursday of last week: destroying 1 1/2 days of work when trying
>to make a stylesheet out of a gnumeric-file.
>i settled now for a multistage-process. i'll fill in variables in the
>format of ant ( ${varname} ) in gnumeric -> replacing the variables
>by means of regex with '<xsl:value-of select="var-substitute">' and then
>merging the stylesheet and the date to a gnumeric-file and this one is
>being serialized.
Well one thing I don't recommend is generating the gnumeric format 
directly once you know what you're
doing.  Meaning come up with an interim format.

XML-> YOUR XML -> Gnumeric
       XSLT              XSLT

The first XSLT converts your datafeed into an XML Invoice (your own tag 
langauge).  The second stylesheet generically applys styling to this and 
makes it into a Gnumeric workbook.

>but what i want to do later to is to create a pdf-file instead of an excel-
>file. i'll be using xsl-fo for that and i see some hard times coming to
>first create an xsl-fo file out of gnumeric.
I don't think it has to be if you do as above.

>but to be honest i dont know any better solution than gnumeric. and at least
>the solution is symetrical gnumeric->excel->gnumeric.
You prefer this to the Excel xml format?


>ciao robertj
>Robert Kuzelj
>Gaissacherstrasse 7           email:
>81371 Muenchen                tel:   0177/5302230
>the trinity of desirables of (software) architecture:
>Firmitas, Utilitas, Venustas (marcus vitruvius 20 BC)
>strength, utility, beauty
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