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From Patricia Shanahan <>
Subject Introduction and a project
Date Fri, 10 Feb 2017 18:40:19 GMT

I'm a member of the OpenOffice Project Management Committee. Some time 
ago, I pushed the creation of the recruitment@ mailing list, and offered 
to do some mentoring of new volunteers.

The good news is that, although now retired, I am a very experienced 
developer. The bad news is that I am relatively new to OpenOffice 
development.  We will be learning its implementation together.

There seems to be a critical mass of developers here, so I would like to 
offer you a joint project. I'm asking each person to attack this from 
their own point of view, using their own skills and resources. Whenever 
you find out anything about the problem, please post it here. The hope 
is that your combined skills will be even more effective than each of 
you could be individually.


There is a difference between spreadsheet and text document behavior. 
The text document behavior is the more desirable. The objective is to 
understand why spreadsheets don't behave the same way, and fix it.

OpenOffice supports embedded OLE document links. I created each of the 
attached files by creating a new document and then inserting a link:

Insert -> Object -> OLE Object

In the dialog, pick "Create from file" radio button, enable "Link to 
file", and select a text file. The one I used contained the text "This 
is the dummy file on the Windows 10 computer", and the path to the file 
is c:/OpenOfficeDev/test_files/dummy.txt. If you want to use a different 
path, you should create your own test files.

To see the different behavior, open each file on a computer that has a 
file with the same path but different content. The text file 
original.odt asks if you want to update links. If you select "yes" you 
will see the content on the computer on which you are running, not the 
original text. The spreadsheet original.ods does not - it just uses the 
copy of the original text from original.ods.

I would like to get the spreadsheet to go through the same dialog as the 
text document.


The key for developers getting started is the build instructions at 
Even if you don't want to actually build, you can use it for getting 
access to the source code.

There is an index of the source code at There may well be better 
tools for doing the same job - feel free to post suggestions here.

Some of the files contain German comments. There is a problem for those 
of us who do not know German. The usual solution of pasting the text 
into an on-line translator does not work well because of the style and 
jargon. Fortunately, we have some people who are fluent in both German 
and English, and a system for asking them to translate a specific 
module. If you are familiar with Bugzilla, or want to learn it, see If you prefer not to 
deal with Bugzilla at this time, post the path to the file here and I'll 
request translation.

Of course, ask any questions here as well as posting any results you get.

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