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From Pedro Giffuni <>
Subject Re: Transliteration Font Support of Apache OpenOffice 3.4 and beyond...
Date Wed, 14 Mar 2012 15:43:56 GMT
On 03/14/12 00:29, Rob Weir wrote:
>>> It would be great if the community would focus
>>> some effort on academic publishing requirements such as
>>> this. There are other aspects to this space that we can
>>> attend to which could create some exciting value for
>>> scholars who have crappy tools today. For example,
>>> integration of the R statistics package
>>> ... just a thought. We may have some licensing challenges
>>> but if we think about how valuable this could be...well.
>>> there must be a solution, right?
>> Yes, this has been proposed in a bugzilla issue
> It is an interesting idea. Some programs, like the Gnumeric project,
> have added a considerable amount of more advanced statistical support
> directly into their spreadsheet, more than OpenOffice, more than
> Microsoft Office, more even than LibreOffice.   But they obviously
> still have only a fraction of what is in R. You can never beat R.

Well, R is a language for statistics with it's own graphical tools
etc. This was the approach used by major statistic packages
a decade ago but it seems like all of them have been moving to
a more spreadsheet oriented approach in recent years.

> But doing fine grained interchange with R, within a spreadsheet
> calculation cycle, is probably a killer for performance.  But there
> are some things you can do that do perform well.  For example,
> ODFWeave gives a way to treat an OpenOffice document (or any ODF
> document) as a template that this then filled out based on R's
> calculations and charting.  I could see it being useful for automating
> laboratory reports, for example.

I would like to see some day a package adds full math capabilities
to writer.. something like MathCAD. I doubt this project will head
that way but it would be a great tool to see in relation to TeX.
> Also, I wonder if there is anything more we can integrate from the
> COIN project?  That was Eclipse license, right?  They had non-linear
> constraint solving, etc.   Quadratic programming would be another good
> one.
You should now better about the COIN license ;). The code was
originally from IBM. When it started it was strong thanks to the
Open Solver Interface that supports the top of the line
commercial solvers in the market.
CoinMP was a simple solution for the immediate problem but
we are not using the full advantages of the OSI interface.

For practical purposes though, the current CoinMP is more
than sufficient for the requirements of a basic OR course and
I suspect it will stay like that for the foreseeable future.

I see COIN-OR is starting to build some code around python
and I guess that's something we should examine in the future
since we are already carrying python.

> But still, it is a trade-off.  The more capability we bring to Calc,
> the bigger it becomes.  We need a way to grow without growing.
> Modular extensions, not just at the UI level, but at the computational
> level.

There is a OOo extension for non-linear programming (partially
owned by Oracle) that was brought into LibreOffice. I personally
think bringing in such functionality that few people use is a
bad idea and just make the basic office suite bloated and
eventually unmanageable.
There are some really powerful libraries out there (fftw, taucs,
mumps ... ) that can be useful to make extensions but most
of them add the requirement of fortran to the build system.

Such tools can/should live as extensions.

> Another thing I hear from academics is the desire to have much
> improved bibliographic support in Writer.
>> I would personally favor some VBA macros in the
>> lines of software like Minitab.
> I'm not sure I understand.  VBA macros in AOO that can call an
> automation interface in Minitab?
No, Minitab was really innovative in offering a powerful
statistical environment with a spreadsheet interface at
a very competitive price (they raised the prices a lot

I guess I would mean the gnumeric approach. Keep it simple,
use existing tools.



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