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Open Office

This week has been a blur of XSLT sheets and openoffice templates.

We've been generating Openoffice documents from XML data feeds all week. XSLT, is ... XSLT. I'm glad I don't use it on daily basis.

Openoffice however is remarkable. I was expecting a junk XML format with indecipherable floating point numbers, urns, and cryptic tags. Not at all. Oo has a very clean XML under the hood. Once you get your head around how styles work it's straightforward to generate Oo documents. Oo uses the Zip file format. I understand this was the subject of much debate - but it seems like a great idea to me at the tail end of a week hacking it. It makes the documents easy to manipulate.

When I think about stuff like postscript, Tex, nroff and Docbook, well... who would have though publishing could be fun? I thought Oo was just an office suite. Now it looks like a document publishing format that has a wysiwyg editor throw in for good measure.

October 25, 2002 09:37 AM