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From Rob Weir <robw...@apache.org>
Subject Re: ODF Command Line Tools -- Request for community feedback
Date Wed, 15 Aug 2012 01:20:56 GMT
On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 2:01 PM, Noah Tilton <noahktilton@gmail.com> wrote:
> Rob,
>
> Quick update:  I renamed the project to something shorter and catchier:
>
>     https://github.com/noah/ocelot
>

Hey, I like that!   Was that a lucky accident?


> Also, here is the documentation, which describes in detail how to use
> the (cross-platform) executable jar:
>
>     http://noah.github.com/ocelot/
>
> Please check out the docs and let me know if anything doesn't work as expected.
>

I've downloaded and am playing with the examples on Ubuntu.  So far so
good.  The one thing I noticed is not example for creating a
spreadsheet.  A spreadsheet is just a table, so nothing conceptually
different, in the basic case.

-Rob

> Thanks!
> -Noah
>
> On Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 8:39 PM, Noah Tilton <noahktilton@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Rob,
>>
>> New code is up at github.  This update brings a more ruby-esque
>> (idiomatic) syntax to the DSL, as well as better coverage of Text
>> documents, Presentations, Lists, and Tables.  I have also added
>> documentation to about 80% of the code.
>>
>>     https://github.com/noah/odf-command-line-tools
>>
>> Remaining todos:  1) work out additional docs and any needed function
>> stubs 2) cross-platform installer.  I think you will agree that the
>> code is easily extendable as it stands.
>>
>> Paradoxically, bundling jruby/java jar codes together has proven to be
>> the hard part, so I will focus on making it cross-platform in the next
>> week.
>>
>> Please take a look and let me know your thoughts.
>>
>> Thanks!
>> -Noah
>>
>> On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 8:58 AM, Noah Tilton <noahktilton@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hi Rob,
>>>
>>>
>>> On Fri, Jul 6, 2012 at 8:17 AM, Rob Weir <apache@robweir.com> wrote:
>>>> On Sun, Jul 1, 2012 at 5:30 PM, Noah Tilton <noahktilton@gmail.com>
wrote:
>>>>> Hi Rob,
>>>>>
>>>>> I just pushed to Github, please see below for an explanation of the
>>>>> changes and some questions regarding next steps.
>>>>>
>>>>>   https://github.com/noah/odf-command-line-tools
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Great.  I downloaded and gave it a try.  Looks good.
>>>>
>>>>> On Sun, Jun 3, 2012 at 12:47 PM, Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org>
wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> OK.  Thanks for trying.  Maven is great for managing Java project
>>>>>> dependencies.  Well, at least for pure Java projects targeting
>>>>>> standard Java outputs like JAR's, WAR's, EAR's, etc.  But the
>>>>>> Java/JRuby combination may be more complicated.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I'm using Ubuntu 11.04 with bash.  It isn't liking parts of that
>>>>>> script.   But I was able to modify it as follows and it worked fine:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> #!/bin/sh
>>>>>>
>>>>>> if [ ! -d ./jars ]; then
>>>>>>
>>>>>>   echo "Downloading jars"
>>>>>>   mkdir -p ./jars
>>>>>>   cd jars
>>>>>>
>>>>>>   wget  http://mirrors.gigenet.com/apache//xerces/j/binaries/Xerces-J-bin.2.11.0.tar.gz\
>>>>>>         http://apache.osuosl.org/incubator/odftoolkit/binaries/odftoolkit-0.5-incubating-bin.tar.gz
>>>>>>
>>>>>>   for targz in *.tar.gz; do
>>>>>>     echo "Extracting $targz"
>>>>>>     tar zxf $targz
>>>>>>   done
>>>>>>
>>>>>>   cd ..
>>>>>> fi
>>>>>>
>>>>>> echo "Running test"
>>>>>>
>>>>>> JAVA_HOME="$(dirname $(dirname $(readlink -f $(which java))))"
>>>>>> echo "set JAVA_HOME to $JAVA_HOME"
>>>>>> CLASSPATH=./jars/xerces-2_11_0/xercesImpl.jar:./jars/xerces-2_11_0/xml-apis.jar:./jars/odftoolkit-0.5-incubating/simple-odf-0.7-incubating.jar:./jars/odftoolkit-0.5-incubating/odfdom-java-0.8.8-incubating.jar
>>>>>> export CLASSPATH
>>>>>>
>>>>>> jruby lib/oclt.rb
>>>>>
>>>>> I incorporated your portability changes to test.sh, and renamed it to
>>>>> setup.sh, to reflect the fact that it doesn't actually run the code --
>>>>> it merely downloads jars and sets environment variables.  To run the
>>>>> code from the odf-command-line-tools directory, type:
>>>>>
>>>>>   source ./setup && jruby main.rb
>>>>>
>>>>> "source" is necessary because the script needs to export shell
>>>>> variables in the parent shell (i.e., not a subshell).
>>>>>
>>>>> If you want to use rdoc to build the documentation you may need to run:
>>>>>
>>>>>   % jruby -S gem install rdoc
>>>>>
>>>>> before running
>>>>>
>>>>>   % rdoc --main *
>>>>>
>>>>> from the top level directory (odf-command-line-tools).
>>>>>
>>>>>> Two things: build env and runtime env.  For runtime env we should
be
>>>>>> cross platform, right?  For bulld env, cross platform is ideal, but
I
>>>>>> would not get bogged down on that.  Linux is fine.
>>>>>
>>>>> Yes, Linux for build only; runtime will be cross-platform.  Added to
TODO
>>>>>
>>>>>> I'm looking forward to seeing more on the DSL.
>>>>>
>>>>> The initial version of the DSL has support for generating new Text
>>>>> documents;  loading modifying existing Text documents, iterating over
>>>>> Paragraphs, changing mode and font attributes of new Paragraphs ...
>>>>> This first version should give you a flavor of what the DSL might
>>>>> eventually look like, and I hope it is general enough that we can
>>>>> easily add other document types (e.g., Presentation).
>>>>>
>>>>> It's made up of 2 parts:  the DSL proper (lib/oclt.rb) and a client
>>>>> script (main.rb).
>>>>>
>>>>> Assuming you're okay with what I've done so far, I'd like the
>>>>> discussion to focus on how the mapping of DSL methods => SimpleAPI
>>>>> methods should look.  A 1-1 mapping works "out of the box" with the
>>>>> way the DSL is currently written.  I.e., any SimpleAPI TextDocument
>>>>> method can now be called from the DSL, and will work.
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I noticed that. I had not taken a close look at Ruby before, but I'm
>>>> impressed by how that kind of dispatch can be set up with only a
>>>> little code.
>>>
>>> I like it too!
>>>
>>>>> So if we don't want to change the interface/API, all that's left to do
>>>>> is write documentation and more examples.  But that won't provide much
>>>>> of an improvement over the original Java API, only those benefits
>>>>> which Ruby provides at the most basic level before any "sugar" is
>>>>> applied.  In other words, while a 1-1 mapping works, it leads to
>>>>> unnecessary initialization, overall verbosity, and (IMHO) is exactly
>>>>> what a good DSL should seek to avoid!
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Right.  So is your goal to make this me more "idiomatic" Ruby?  Or to
>>>> create a DSL that is either Ruby nor Simple API, but something more
>>>> oriented to text processing?
>>>
>>> Yes, idiomatic Ruby is the way to go.  I'd go one step further and say
>>> "idiomatic Ruby DSL-esque".  There are many good examples, Rake and
>>> Buildr come to mind.  This still leaves us a lot of freedom to tweak.
>>>
>>>> When we were designing the Simply API we tried to make it as easy and
>>>> intuitive as possible, within the constraints of Java, and using an
>>>> imperative programming style.
>>>>
>>>> One idea I had last night -- what if we inverted the problem?  Instead
>>>> of a command line script running against the document, what if we put
>>>> the script *inside* the document?   Does that help with any kinds of
>>>> repetitive tasks, document automation, etc.?  Now the mere location of
>>>> the script doesn't matter.  But a side benefit is that a script inside
>>>> the document, inline in the text of a document, has a context that the
>>>> user defines naturally via their word processor:
>>>>
>>>> "This confirms your order for %widget_count% widget(s)."
>>>>
>>>> This is then processed by a command line took that evaluates
>>>> widget-count as a Ruby routine.  Or we want to avoid the user writing
>>>> code, what if we ultra-simplified it?  For example, a document
>>>> template that had some named styles that expressed both
>>>> appearance/presentation as well as behaviour.  Trivial example:  a
>>>> list style called "Sorted List".  No word process has this, to my
>>>> knowledge.  But we could have that defined as a style.  When the user
>>>> applies it, nothing magic occurs.  But later, on the command line, the
>>>> document is processed by an app that applies the behaviours implied by
>>>> the styles, and writes out a new document.   One could do very simple,
>>>> single-step operations that way.  But is there a way to build up more
>>>> complicated scenarios like this?   In other words, what helps enable
>>>> the power-user, scripter type to get some benefit of document
>>>> automation?
>>>
>>> I think this idea could work.  And it's consistent with the codebase
>>> we already have.  We could define some tags and a parser that would
>>> call out to the jruby routines in the lib/oclt.rb file (that's just a
>>> sketch, but I think it works).  I can see a couple of problems with
>>> this approach, however.  First is tight coupling -- do we really want
>>> the business logic inline with an XML document describing the
>>> structure?  Second is, how does something like this jive with the ODF
>>> standard?  It seems like embedding a bunch of tags into the document
>>> might mess that up.
>>>
>>>>> As a next step, I propose creating a more concise set of keywords for
>>>>> the TextDocument API, and working from there.  I'm hoping we can
>>>>> iterate very fast now that there is a working version.  If we can come
>>>>> up with (or better yet, find) some conventions for how to map a
>>>>> standard API to a DSL, I can use that and hit the list when I have
>>>>> specific questions.
>>>>>
>>>>> For an example of what I'm talking about, do we really need to say
>>>>> "set_horizontal_alignment(HorizontalAlignmentType)" or will "center"
>>>>> suffice?  Should that really be done instead as a parameter in
>>>>> add_paragraph()?  (e.g., doc.add_paragraph(:alignment => :center)).
>>>>> Should we let it work both ways for flexibility
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Right.
>>>>
>>>>> At the same time, we don't want to take the sugar too far -- the
>>>>> interface should be logical to end users without being too "cute".  A
>>>>> couple of examples of things I changed/added are:
>>>>>
>>>>>   page_break instead of add_page_break; paragraphs as a new iterable
method.
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Right.  All else being equal, it is best to be idiomatic Ruby.
>>>>
>>>> Another question: Are there any other Ruby libraries that it would
>>>> make sense to bring in to the mix?  For example, any that are text or
>>>> language related, or even NLP?  Google Translate interface?  Stuff
>>>> like that that would radically extend the capabilities with little
>>>> incremental coding on your part.
>>>
>>> The code is an internal DSL whose host language is jRuby.  Therefore,
>>> any C Ruby code can be used -- just require a Gem, external library,
>>> or part of the standard library.  And because it's jRuby, Java
>>> libraries and core are fair game, and really anything that can be
>>> compiled into Java bytecode should work.  Very flexible.
>>>
>>>>> The heavy lifting in the code is currently being done in the file
>>>>> lib/oclt.rb, specifically the method_missing call.  Inside I have some
>>>>> logic that tests whether a certain method exists at runtime, and if it
>>>>> does, delegates appropriately.  If the method doesn't exist the
>>>>> program bombs out, but there's no reason not to make it do something
>>>>> more intelligent, like search the SimpleAPI for a method which is
>>>>> similar to or begins with the given method name, and then perhaps give
>>>>> the user an informative error message.
>>>>>
>>>>> More formally, I think the code as written is (loosely) an
>>>>> implementation of the Adapter pattern
>>>>> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter_pattern) but using open classes
>>>>> rather than an explicit adapter class.  In ruby this can be done a
>>>>> number of ways, I was going for brevity.
>>>>>
>>>>> I invite your feedback, and the rest of the community too.  Thanks and
>>>>> enjoy the 4th!
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> Noah
>>>
>>> I'm going to keep hacking on the DSL in the main branch, and work out
>>> a more idiomatic syntax and more examples.  I'll aim for 100% Simple
>>> API coverage (in terms of idiomatic functionality but with a more
>>> idiomatic API; although the Simple API calls will still be available).
>>>  In addition, I will create a separate branch for your "embedded tags"
>>> idea and see how it looks.  I've got a dead laptop at home, but I'll
>>> try to get you something by the end of the week.
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>>
>>> --
>>> Noah
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Noah
>
>
>
> --
> Noah

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