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From Louis Suárez-Potts <>
Subject Re: Proposal: The ODF Commons
Date Wed, 08 Feb 2012 02:46:43 GMT

On 7 February 2012 20:35, Rob Weir <> wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 8:18 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
> <> wrote:
>> Louis,
>> Are you suggesting that extensions, the format of .oxt files, and the means by which
extensions can integrate into operation of an ODF processor should be the subject of the ODF
specification or some other interoperability agreement?

Not necessarily. Honestly, my goal here is to make more visible
discussions that allow "us" (the ODF community) to move in ways that
benefit all, and to do so as visibly as possible.

>> At the moment it is all under whatever variations arise as
part of Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice divergence.
> Also, some OpenOffice extensions are explicitly to support other
> formats.  For example, there is an EPUB extension, and we've talked
> about moving the Wordperfect support into its own extension.

Quite; am aware of that. And wold also welcome inviting Adobe, and
even Amazon to the party, provided license permits.

> However, the template repository is ODF and a well-written template
> should be generic enough to work with different ODF editors.  But
> extensions are tied to the application's automation interface, and
> that differers from editor to editor.

Yes, and I suppose a ramification of this proposal would be either to
harmonize or standardize the interfaces. Or provide tools that level
the field for users.

> Another approach would be to consider what types of applications could
> be done as operations directly on the document format, using something
> like the ODF Toolkit.  "Extensions" done that way might be made more
> portable, since they could have fewer dependencies on the app, e.g.,
> as little as just being handed a stream for the current document.

This is a solution that perhaps could be discussed by all interested?
To take an example…. Mozilla extensions for Firefox will usually but
not always run on other gecko apps, like Camino, and those for
Thunderbird will sometimes run on Postbox (another Mac OS X mail
client), but not always. It would be great if they ran freely on
Postbox, as Postbox is derived, it seems, from Thunderbird. But they
do not.

The result is that much of the functionality of Postbox is left
wanting, and so the app remains unused, even though it has a few
advantages over Thunderbird. The sadness is that the energy and
creativity and entrepreneurial guts visible in both open and closed
source apps is a little bit lost.

It is not the same, regarding extensions, as we see for Android and
iOS. There are fundamental differences, for now. (Soon enough, with
HTML5, there will be no meaningful differences, I would  hope, in the
way apps must be configured to run on any OS.)

My interest is not particularly sappy. :-) it is rather to promote a
robust ecosystem that encourages the use of ODF implementations. It is
this way, and maybe even only this way, that we will see our favourite
ODF implementation succeed.

>>  - Dennis
>> PS: I believe consolidated/federated repositories with a common catalog identifying
extensions, what they work with, platform requirements, licensing, and packaging is intended
as part of the evolution of the extensions and templates service, along with reliance on SourceForge
as a friendly host.

That's good to know, and I regret only partly following that
discussion. I should hope, then, that the LO and TDF good folk share
the same belief and expectation.


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