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java & openoffice

Following up something I remembered from a couple of months ago... I've been looking with some detail at the different APIs exposed by OpenOffice/StarOffice, in part to provide support for connections between OO/SO and spaces, and in part since I've been working on the design for a similar API for spaces itself. OO/SO goes pretty much along similar lines to what I was thinking: two APIs, one for compiled code and one for scripting.

The "compiled code" API is called UNO and it's a bit overreaching, supporting basically every major language out there and then some. As the web page describes:

UNO (Universal Network Objects) is the interface based component model of UNO offers interoperability between different programming languages, different objects models, different machine architectures and different processes either in LAN or via the internet. UNO components can be implemented in and accessed from any supported programming language.

Currently [there are] bindings for Java, C, C++ (compiler dependent, please see for a list of supported platforms), OLE Automation and Python(in a alpha state).

A bit too much isn't it?

It seems to be a design more influenced by the "all things to all platforms" mentality of CORBA rather than Java's simplicity. I'd sure would like to see a simple, streamlined Java-only API. Burdening Java with a framework that has to support the complexity (and potential ugliness) of C++ makes no sense to me.

The scripting framework appears to be a bit simpler and more targeted towards Java, and an early developer release is available for download. It is expected that these APIs/frameworks will carry on unchanged from OpenOffice to StarOffice.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on February 7 2003 at 12:40 PM

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