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From Mathias Bauer <>
Subject Re: Open Office Help Wanted
Date Thu, 14 Jul 2011 12:59:01 GMT
On 13.07.2011 17:47, Rob Weir wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 4:33 PM, Harold Fennell
> <> wrote:
>> I would like to know more about:
>> external diff and merge tools for Subversion that can process ODF documents
>> Do you have other teams working on this problem, what is the expected timeframe,
any helpful hints on completion, and is the a tool that integrates into Subversion or into
open office.
> No one currently working on it.  The general problem is tools like
> SVN, that work admirably with text files, have limitations with what
> it considers to be opaque binary files:
> 1) Cannot do an effective diff, meaning the commit notifications are
> not as useful to reviewers of the commits.
> 2) No effective way of doing branching and merging
> One possible solution is to note that SVN has the capability to invoke
> external diff and merge (diff3) tools [1].  In theory something like
> this could be written for ODF documents.

For many use cases a simple tool that just reads the text contents in
ODF documents and compares them would be enough already, IMHO. Perhaps
we can create one as a start.

Of course such comparisons will be slow, not only because of the text
extraction preprocessor, but also because of the more complicated text
comparison algorithms. ODF documents usually contain continuous text, so
the usual "text lines comparison" doesn't help (as a "line" would be a


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