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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: ODF Toolkit Incubation Pre-Proposal
Date Mon, 27 Jun 2011 21:09:21 GMT
On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 4:26 PM, Ross Gardler
<> wrote:
> Thanks Rob,
> Looking I've the Kenai site I notice that there is as good as no visible activity within
the project. You mention that the "ODF Toolkit Union Steering Committee" met and approved
the idea of this proposal, but this is not visible so we don't know what this means.

There is activity.  It just is not evenly distributed.  For example,
with the Simple API, we had a release June 1st;

(We'll have another release in July)

Forums are dead because the activity occurs on mailing lists, e.g.:

Activity on bug reports:

Commit logs:

User list:

> What interest is there in reviving the project rather than just moving it here. I'm particularly
worried that in just a few minutes of browsing the project website I've found a number of
people who seem to want to engage with the project but receive no response. The project seems,
for all intents and purposes, to be dead.

We've consistently made monthly releases of the Simple API for almost
a year now:

I wouldn't call that dead.  How many Apache projects have a QA'ed
release every month?

But that is just the simple API.  Other components are more driven by
the ODF specification.  For example, the conformance checking module
gets revised when the ODF specification is updated, when a new
Committee Draft is released, with schema changes.  So that happens at
the pace of standards, which is a bit slower.

Overall, we have a mix of pieces actively worked on and pieces that are not.

> Who is going to kickstart this new community? Who will make sure that it receives the
attention it needs in order to graduate from the incubator?

That's what I'm here to find out.  Back when I mentioned the project
before, during the OpenOffice proposal, there were a few people who
seemed interested in it.  I don't remember all the names.  I think
they were from the PO project.  If that interest still exists, I think
that, plus the existing sponsored programmers we already have working
on this code, would be sufficient to bring the ODF Toolkit to the next
level.  This is not a huge piece of code.  If we grew to a dozen
committers, it would be amazing.

Mind you, we're doing fine and achieving some modest success with the
project as it is.  You can see some of the recent demos we've done

The other thing that recommends Apache, in my mind, is the synergy
with OpenOffice, POI and other projects.  There is potential, at
Apache to have an even more amazing collection of document-oriented
toolkits that covers everything from the legacy binary formats of MS
Office, to the latest generation of XML-based formats.  This would be
covered both as head-less pure Java libraries, as well as in the SDK
associated with OpenOffice.  Add in that the PDF, SVG and XSL:FO
libraries from other projects and you have a something that excites
me, at least.

Think of it this way:  If OpenOffice succeeds at Apache, and its
default file format is ODF, then the ODF Toolkit becomes a necessary
part of the successful ecosystem.

> I appreciate this is not yet a proposal, this is a discussion that might answer these

Thanks, I appreciate the questions.


> Sent from my mobile device (so please excuse typos)
> On 27 Jun 2011, at 20:42, Rob Weir <> wrote:
>> I'm cc'ing the POI and OpenOffice projects, inviting them to join this
>> discussion on the Incubator general list:
>> When we were discussing the OpenOffice proposal a few weeks ago I
>> mentioned that there was another set of technology called the ODF
>> Toolkit, that we might want to bring to Apache as well.  I heard some
>> enthusiasm for this at the time, but I didn't have the bandwidth to
>> put together another proposal.  Now I do.  I'd like to pitch the idea,
>> and see if there is still interest in having a formal incubation
>> proposal submitted, and if so, identifying a Champion and Sponsor for
>> the proposal.
>> Note that this would not be a fork.  The ODF Toolkit Union Steering
>> Committee met this morning and agreed to propose moving to Apache.
>> As you probably know, ODF == Open Document Format, a open standard
>> document format for office documents.  The ODF standard is created at
>> OASIS and then sent to ISO/IEC JTC1 for transposition into an
>> International Standard.  ODF 1.0 was first published in 2005.  ODF 1.1
>> came out in 2007.  And ODF 1.2 is "Candidate OASIS Standard" awaiting
>> final approval in OASIS, probably by end of September.  ODF 1.2 is
>> what most applications are supporting today.   OpenOffice,
>> LibreOffice, Symphony, KOffice/Calligra Suite use ODF as native
>> formats.  Other applications, including Microsoft Office, Corel
>> Wordperfect and Google Docs offer some degree of import/export
>> support.  ODF 1.2 is the version also supported by the ODF Toolkit.
>> The ODF Toolkit Union maintains the following toolkits, all of them
>> under the Apache 2.0 license:
>> 1) ODFDOM is Java-based typed DOM API, relatively low level, a 1-to-1
>> mapping to the ODF schema.  In fact, much of the code is generated by
>> processing the schema.
>> 2) Simple Java API for ODF is a high level wrapper of ODFDOM.  So
>> operations that might require several DOM-level operations, like
>> deleting a column in a spreadsheet, are a single operation in the
>> Simple API.  Search and replace, copying slides from one presentation
>> to another, adding hyperlinks to a selection, etc., are top level
>> operations.
>> 3) The Conformance Tools projects is also in Java, and includes an
>> online conformance checker of ODF documents, which can also be run in
>> command line mode.
>> 4) XSLTRunner and XSLT Runner Task allows easy use of XSLT transforms
>> with ODF documents.
>> 5) AODL is a C#/.NET library for ODF
>> I think there is natural synergy with Apache, especially with the Java
>> components.  For example, I could see publishing pipelines involving
>> the ODF Toolkit with PDFBox, Batik, FOP, and POI. Having these tools
>> under a common license, in one place, has obvious benefits.
>> Moving this project over would not be a large technical effort.
>> Mercurial ==> SVN,  some simple website/wiki migration, 30 or so
>> pages, a few mailing lists and bugzilla databases.  It is currently on
>> the Kenai infrastructure, so similar to OpenOffice, just much, much
>> smaller in scale.
>> I'm open as to whether this would be best eventually as a TLP or as
>> part of an existing project, like POI or even OpenOffice.  I'm leaning
>> a little toward having this as a TLP, but I'm open to other ideas.
>> Also, since this is already an open source project with all code under
>> Apache 2.0, I assume no SGA is required?
>> So please let me know if you agree that Apache would be a good
>> location to further develop the ODF Toolkit libraries.
>> Regards,
>> -Rob
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