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From "Andrew C. Oliver" <acoli...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Problem generating a large file when following the POIFSstandard
Date Thu, 26 Feb 2004 17:09:21 GMT
I'm not bragging.  POIFS was originally written by me in a very primitive
form and called OLE2FS (but I never released code to the public so no
trademark violation), it was mainly to support HSSF and HSSF was mainly to
support the HSSF Serializer.  Marc Johnson rewrote it, I contributed write
support, then he rewrote it 2 more times (at least) mainly to satiate needs
for SuperLink customers and increase HSSF efficiency.  Marc then left the
project more or less though he occasionally does work for SuperLink.  No one
else has actually worked on POIFS but me and Marc except for the occasional
minor patch.

The questions aren't about POIFS they are about the file format in general
and have nothing to do with USING POI (this is poi-user!).  Next, the
poi-dev list which would seem to be more appropriate, isn't actually
appropriate because its for the contribution to developing POI.

This isn't the "free help with understanding Microsoft File formats" list,
it is the "POI users" list.  If you are not asking questions about using POI
then you're off topic and I may actually unsubscribe you from the list (as
list moderator).  

The poi-dev list would ALMOST be right except its not questions for
contribution or development of POI, its for development of a proprietary
fork of POI.  It is not the place for that.  We HAVE no list for that and
won't be founding one anytime soon.

I'm not arguing your right to help people fork the project for free (you can
do whatever you want), I'm arguing there is no right to post off-topic on
this list (which such requests are).  As moderator of the list, I'm quite
serious and I do not feel a great deal of magnanimity for those creating
proprietary forks of the project regardless of their reasons.  We've been
there, done that and I've got the T-Shirt.

Now move on.

-Andy
-- 
Andrew C. Oliver
http://www.superlinksoftware.com/poi.jsp
Custom enhancements and Commercial Implementation for Jakarta POI

http://jakarta.apache.org/poi
For Java and Excel, Got POI?

> From: "Kais Dukes" <kd@kaisdukes.com>
> Reply-To: "POI Users List" <poi-user@jakarta.apache.org>
> Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 09:21:33 -0000
> To: "POI Users List" <poi-user@jakarta.apache.org>
> Subject: RE: Problem generating a large file when following the POIFSstandard
> 
> Dear Andrew
> 
> What sort of question is that? Did you not read anything I said. I TOTALLY
> RESPECT other people getting paid. Ive got nothing wrong with it. I just
> said that not everyone might want to. Whats the point of asking active
> committers if they want to get paid? My point was simply this, if poeple ask
> quesitons about POIFS *I* dont mind answering for free.
> 
> You've decided to wrap up the guys question as a "properierty fork". I think
> answering questions about XBATs is fine -- it can only HELP this project,
> and HELP others understand POIFS.
> 
> Also, do you think its a good idea to brag that "I'm the only left who
> understands POIFS"
> 
> Apart from the fact that this is clearly untrue, thats not a good thing to
> go on about. In fact, its worrying. I would be more more proud to say "lots
> of people understand the core internals of my work". Instead of turning this
> guy away, why didnt we open a discussion on XBATs, and the implementation in
> POI? I would have been happy to discuss this.
> 
> The more people the better. Your survey is both childish and a waste of
> time. If everyone repies "I want to get paid" then ... well ... they like
> getting paid. You missed my main point: SOME PEOPLE LIKE GIVING AWAY
> KNOWLEDGE FOR FREE. As glen rightly pointed out, the knowledge itself is
> more important than the code, and you dont have to be a comitter to have a
> good understanding of exactly how XLS and OLE2 compound documents work.
> 
> -- Kais
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrew C. Oliver [mailto:acoliver@apache.org]
> Sent: 26 February 2004 03:28
> To: POI Users List
> Subject: Re: Problem generating a large file when following the
> POIFSstandard
> 
> 
> Pretty audacious, if merit on the project came in fluid form, Glen would
> have gallons.
> 
> Lets save everyone a little time and trouble active committers please sound
> off.  How many of you feel that you'd like to offer your services for free
> to someone developing a proprietary fork of this project?
> 
> So far:
> Andrew C. Oliver - No.
> 
> Glen Stampoultzis (expertise: HSSF, Graphing, Escher, Code generation,
> original advocate for unit tests, second oldest timer on the project) - No
> 
> Rainer Klute
> 
> Ryan Ackley
> 
> Avik Sengupta
> 
> Shawn Laubach
> 
> Danny Mui
> 
> Jason Height
> 
> Assuming it isn't a majority, then you can contact that/those individuals
> directly instead of flooding the users list with questions that do not
> interest users of POI or potentially start a proprietary-poi-fork list
> somewhere else.
> 
> -Andy
> 
> --
> Andrew C. Oliver
> http://www.superlinksoftware.com/poi.jsp
> Custom enhancements and Commercial Implementation for Jakarta POI
> 
> http://jakarta.apache.org/poi
> For Java and Excel, Got POI?
> 
>> From: "Kais Dukes" <kd@kaisdukes.com>
>> Reply-To: "POI Users List" <poi-user@jakarta.apache.org>
>> Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 02:46:25 -0000
>> To: "POI Users List" <poi-user@jakarta.apache.org>
>> Subject: RE: Problem generating a large file when following the
> POIFSstandard
>> 
>> Hi Glen
>> 
>> I respect what you are saying, but that doesnt mean that others should be
>> barred from offering free information if they want to, where it relates
>> directly to POI.
>> 
>> -- Kais
>> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Glen Stampoultzis [mailto:gstamp@iinet.net.au]
>> Sent: 26 February 2004 02:08
>> To: POI Users List
>> Subject: RE: Problem generating a large file when following the
>> POIFSstandard
>> 
>> 
>> You are right: the knowledge is the most valuable part.  That's why we
>> prefer to be paid for that knowledge.  Sometimes we give way that
> knowledge
>> for free but that's our choice and it's usually to further the cause of
> the
>> open source we are involved in and not to act as an unpaid employee.
>> 
>> At 09:49 AM 26/02/2004, you wrote:
>>> Dear Andrew,
>>> 
>>> The code itself is only one part of the project. Perhaps even more
> valuable
>>> than actual code is the documentation, and knowledge that poeple in this
>>> group have. Its important to discuss the actual standards themselves. The
>>> fact that Microsoft dont discuss these things, or make them public is
>>> EXACTLY the reason why this project is so valuable. Perhaps we shouldn't
> be
>>> so quick to turn away people asking questions about how POIFS persistance
>>> works. Answering these questions will help people understand the code,
> and
>>> find bugs, etc.
>>> 
>>> The service is not free? Perhaps your time is not free, but if people are
>>> asking questions about how POIFS works, Im happy to provide a free
> service,
>>> wherever I can help. The quesiton was not C++ specific, it was merely
> about
>>> the POIFS standard, so I think it's perfectly acceptable.
>>> 
>>> I dont think you should have to donate code in order to get an answer
> about
>>> how existing code works, even if you are deriving something from it,
>>> especially under an Apache license.
>>> 
>>> -- Kais
>>> 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Andrew C. Oliver [mailto:acoliver@apache.org]
>>> Sent: 25 February 2004 22:40
>>> To: POI Users List
>>> Subject: Re: Problem generating a large file when following the
>>> POIFSstandard
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Unless you plan to donate the C++ code to the project, I'm not sure this
> is
>>> the appropriate place to ask your question.  The source is open and free,
>>> the service (like helping you work on a proprietary language fork of POI)
>>> isn't.
>>> --
>>> Andrew C. Oliver
>>> http://www.superlinksoftware.com/poi.jsp
>>> Custom enhancements and Commercial Implementation for Jakarta POI
>>> 
>>> http://jakarta.apache.org/poi
>>> For Java and Excel, Got POI?
>>> 
>>> The views expressed in this email are those of the author and are almost
>>> definitely not shared by the Apache Software Foundation, its board or its
>>> general membership.  In fact they probably most definitively disagree
> with
>>> everything espoused in the above email.
>>> 
>>>> From: "Brandon Belvin" <bbelvin@iss-md.com>
>>>> Organization: Information Systems Support, Inc.
>>>> Reply-To: "POI Users List" <poi-user@jakarta.apache.org>
>>>> Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 16:04:00 -0600
>>>> To: "POI User Mailing List" <poi-user@jakarta.apache.org>
>>>> Subject: Problem generating a large file when following the POIFS
>> standard
>>>> 
>>>> As an add-on to an existing database front-end application, we have
>>> allowed
>>>> the user to export their report's data to Excel.  Following POIFS'
>>>> standards, we used C++ to write the Excel file.  Upon testing, we
>>> discovered
>>>> our code works perfectly for files under 6.8 MB.  For files larger than
>>> 6.8
>>>> MB, it is necessary to use an XBAT.  Excel will no longer open the file.
>>>> The error message states the file is not repairable and cannot extract
>>> data
>>>> from the file.
>>>> 
>>>> We adapted the code to calculate the number of XBATs needed and made
>>>> appropriate changes to the self-description in the BATs.  I've even gone
>>> so
>>>> far as to compare our generated file in HEX to an Excel XP file.
>>> Everything
>>>> looks the same for same-size files with the exception that we do not
>>>> compress our string table.
>>>> 
>>>> At this point, OpenOffice will successfully open the file but Excel will
>>>> not.  If we save the OpenOffice file as an Excel file, it does open
>>>> properly.  Since we cannot ask our customers to do this, this is not an
>>>> viable solution.
>>>> 
>>>> What potential pitfalls might we have fallen into?  I'm thinking the
>>> problem
>>>> is related to our implementation of the XBAT, but I'm not sure since it
>>>> looks the same as an Excel XP file.  I'd be more than willing to provide
>> a
>>>> generated file to anyone who is able to help.  Thanks in advance.
>>>> 
>>>> Brandon Belvin
>>>> Information Systems Support, Inc.
>>>> 
>>>> 
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>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
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>>> 
>>> 
>>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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>> 
>> 
>> Glen Stampoultzis
>> gstamp@iinet.net.au
>> http://members.iinet.net.au/~gstamp/glen/
>> 
>> 
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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>> For additional commands, e-mail: poi-user-help@jakarta.apache.org
>> 
> 
> 
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> 
> 
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