OpenOffice Chart2 API Not Yet Ready !

I always thought OpenOffice.org is a pretty good piece of software but I just feel that SUN has taken the wrong approach with their OpenOffice.org development. Their effort on Netbeans is miles better.

As I was working on an OOo chart extension project, I was disappointed by SUN reluctance on the com:sun:star:chart2 API. OOo chart component experts said that it is not official and they may want to change something later. However, I feel that SUN should get their act together. They have been playing with the com:sun:star:chart2 API for more than 3 years and it is still not ready. This is very sloppy for an active open source project Like OpenOffice.org !

I do not agree with SUN approach regarding the development of com:sun:star:chart2 API. Consider that you are building a car, you need to do a lot of road test to ensure that the car would behave properly. SUN is building a car behind close door, it is never a good idea. Surely, there will be changes in the course of the chart2 development, but I do not think that it would matter too much if it is done properly. After more than 3 years of development and chart2 is still not ready for use is very poor performance for a open source project.

A standard OHLC chart could be drawn on OOo perfectly. OOo could draw the OHLC chart but could not combine it with other line charts in the same graph .

What I needed is a way to modify the OpenOffice.org code so that it could superimpose charts with same coordinate system to appear on the same graph. The com:sun:star:chart API is very rigid on the chart type so I needed to develop new chart type to take care of these needs and it is not flexible to use this approach.The com:sum:star:chart2 API appears to be the answer as it has the infrastructure in place to allow you to draw more than one chart-type on the same graph under the same coordinate system.

It is obvious that SUN knows about the problem on chart1 therefore they have developed chart2. However, for some strange reason, they could not release it. Probably due to some bugs in the system and it appears that only a handful of people have participated in the development.

In my next column I will describe an algorithm that uses com:sun:star:chart2 API to combine a candle chart and line chart in same graph.

Additional Resources :

Openoffice.org Wiki Chart2

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3 comments on “OpenOffice Chart2 API Not Yet Ready !

  1. Ulf Dittmer says:

    While I can’t comment on your interaction with any of the OO developers -which may or may not have been satisfying-, I disagree with a number of the conclusions you’ve drawn from it.For starters, the chart2 module is released; it has been the basis for OO’s Draw module since OO 2.3 – for more than a year. That being the case, I very much doubt that it’s going to change substantially. Also, it’s open source, so it’s available for people to study and use. If it does what you need done, great – no need to wait. Should it really change later you can keep using the old version until you’ve changed your code that is based on it.Secondly, I don’t understand what you mean by “behind closed door”. It’s open source, so it’s very much out in the open. The developers may have other things to do than answer questions in detail and to everyone’s satisfaction, but hey, what do you expect for the price?Lastly, once again, it’s open source. If you need a feature, and it’s not high anyone else’s list, then your best bet is to get involved yourself. If that’s not feasible for some reason I think it’s rather disingenuous to complain. (Also, there are probably a number of other charting packages -commercial and open source- you could be using instead.)Just my 2 cents.

  2. othman says:

    Thanks ulf for the comment.Let me make clear some points :1-I am “complaining” -even though i don’t like the term- about OOo project because i’m expecting SUN’s OS projects to perform high and be highly successful OS projects. For OOo i just feel it is not the case yet. I’ve been discussing with the OOo chart dev team and can say was quit disappointed they were not very cooperative and open for suggestions on the chart component.Have you wonder why the Openoffice project was not as successful as it should be? OOo chart dev team’s attitude should give you some hints on the reasons. Should the openoffice team be as helpful as Matt Caster in the Kettle project, those problems i have found -dealing with chart API- should be fixed long time ago. I believe the problem with Openoffice is mostly management problem from SUN.2- we should distinguish between the module chart2 and the API com.sun.star.chart2 . Within the module chart2 all the features are implemented that are offered by the OpenOffice.org Chart -including layout engine, user interface and support for both APIs: com.sun.star.chart and com.sun.star.chart2. There is no unpublished module com:sun:star:chart2, but only an unpublished API com:sun:star:chart2 which is implemented within module chart2 using c++: That’s what i meant by “behind close door” . chart2 API is not yet public, but the dev team use the chart2 module internally for the official/public chart API.3. In terms of underlying technology, UNO is actually far superior to the MS offering. It may seem complex at the first sight but once you are familiar with it, it could do a lot more. The extension mechanism is one area where it shine in comarsion with MS. Try doing similiar to the Netbeans OOo integration in MS office and you will see what I mean.4. Openoffice is build on top of UNO, it is a strange system for an office suite program. As a matter of fact, it is a client-server system. Very strange, but have tremendous potential behind it.5. There are fork of openoffice, like Neooffice, GO-oo and redflag office etc. 5. I agree with you : One thing good about opensource software, if you don’t like something, then change it yourself. See the post by the Neooffice founder insidehttp://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/03/1212234Kind regards.othman

  3. […] « OpenOffice Chart2 API Not Yet Ready ! Swinging HTML Forms […]

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