Bringing social capabilities into the core SDK

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Bringing social capabilities into the core SDK

Rob Weir
(Responses please to the ooo-api list)

I wanted to confirm some thinking I've been having recently.  Please
let me know if any of this sounds plausible or even useful.

The problem I'm trying to solve is how to make OpenOffice better
connected with the online tools that we all use today, from DropBox to
Drupal, Twitter to Facebook, Sharepoint to SAP.   We do have a few
extensions in these areas.  That is good.  But I'm wondering if there
are some things we can do in the API to make these kinds of extensions
much easier.

The key observation is that there is a set of protocols and formats
that have emerged as the basic foundation of connecting with these
kinds of apps.  HTTP/XML at the base, but also on top things like RSS,
Atom, OData, OAuth, OpenID, OpenSocial, CMIS, etc.

What if we made available in our SDK, access to a cross-platform
library that provided these capabilities without any extra coding
required?  Where needed, provide integration with native credential
stores, etc.  So the SDK does all the heavy lifting.  The extension
authors can then focus on things at a higher level.

In other words, make socially-connected OpenOffice apps be in the
reach of every app developers, rather than requiring a protocol
expert.

I'd be interested in hearing from extension authors on whether such a
capability would be useful.  And how useful?

Regards,

-Rob
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Re: Bringing social capabilities into the core SDK

Alexandro Colorado-4
On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 10:54 AM, Rob Weir <[hidden email]> wrote:

> (Responses please to the ooo-api list)
>
> I wanted to confirm some thinking I've been having recently.  Please
> let me know if any of this sounds plausible or even useful.
>
> The problem I'm trying to solve is how to make OpenOffice better
> connected with the online tools that we all use today, from DropBox to
> Drupal, Twitter to Facebook, Sharepoint to SAP.   We do have a few
> extensions in these areas.  That is good.  But I'm wondering if there
> are some things we can do in the API to make these kinds of extensions
> much easier.
>

I think social is a bit of a gimmick or buzz. Most companies are more
concern with the leakage of information than the 'sharing' of it. That
said, is true that "Social" on CRMs and even ERP has been also slowly
changing this point of view. On the other side it makes better sense to
make OO more web-ready. Easing the integration with webapplications
specialy open source platforms like Wordpress, Drupal, SugarCRM, OpenERP,
Pentaho etc. Some even rely on OpenOffice for certain process.


>
> The key observation is that there is a set of protocols and formats
> that have emerged as the basic foundation of connecting with these
> kinds of apps.  HTTP/XML at the base, but also on top things like RSS,
> Atom, OData, OAuth, OpenID, OpenSocial, CMIS, etc.
>

Authentication is one key thing, also the exchange of data like REST or
JSON.


>
> What if we made available in our SDK, access to a cross-platform
> library that provided these capabilities without any extra coding
> required?  Where needed, provide integration with native credential
> stores, etc.  So the SDK does all the heavy lifting.  The extension
> authors can then focus on things at a higher level.
>

+1 OO has always been a challenge for new developers to even do simple
things.


>
> In other words, make socially-connected OpenOffice apps be in the
> reach of every app developers, rather than requiring a protocol
> expert.
>

Not sure we are talking about the same thing, social (IMO) is one thing,
web enabled is another completely different. Most of the social aspects
have been doing with the Social grid of things, which means exchanging data
on a somewhat "standard" way to the spec of the popular social platforms.


>
> I'd be interested in hearing from extension authors on whether such a
> capability would be useful.  And how useful?
>

I think there are key things where an office suite makes sense. For
example, it would be good if we looked into the LinkedData movement and the
semantic web and are able to classify a document as a book, or a form,
letter. or scientific paper. It would be nice to be able to map our master
documents graphically so we can have a modular body of work with documents,
sections and such.

Writer supports a Javascript engine, I am not sure how can we further
expand that to be able to receive and process webservices from online
sources, things like webhooks, or others.


>
> Regards,
>
> -Rob
>



--
Alexandro Colorado
PPMC Apache OpenOffice
http://es.openoffice.org
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Re: Bringing social capabilities into the core SDK

Rob Weir
On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM, Alexandro Colorado <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 10:54 AM, Rob Weir <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> (Responses please to the ooo-api list)
>>
>> I wanted to confirm some thinking I've been having recently.  Please
>> let me know if any of this sounds plausible or even useful.
>>
>> The problem I'm trying to solve is how to make OpenOffice better
>> connected with the online tools that we all use today, from DropBox to
>> Drupal, Twitter to Facebook, Sharepoint to SAP.   We do have a few
>> extensions in these areas.  That is good.  But I'm wondering if there
>> are some things we can do in the API to make these kinds of extensions
>> much easier.
>>
>
> I think social is a bit of a gimmick or buzz. Most companies are more
> concern with the leakage of information than the 'sharing' of it. That
> said, is true that "Social" on CRMs and even ERP has been also slowly
> changing this point of view. On the other side it makes better sense to
> make OO more web-ready. Easing the integration with webapplications
> specialy open source platforms like Wordpress, Drupal, SugarCRM, OpenERP,
> Pentaho etc. Some even rely on OpenOffice for certain process.
>

Things are merging in ways that social stuff is now mixed in with
other capabilities.  Without getting into an argument about where one
ends and another begins, these are all forms of integration some form
of web applications, and they have an overlapping set of common
protocols and formats that they used.

>
>>
>> The key observation is that there is a set of protocols and formats
>> that have emerged as the basic foundation of connecting with these
>> kinds of apps.  HTTP/XML at the base, but also on top things like RSS,
>> Atom, OData, OAuth, OpenID, OpenSocial, CMIS, etc.
>>
>
> Authentication is one key thing, also the exchange of data like REST or
> JSON.
>

+1

>
>>
>> What if we made available in our SDK, access to a cross-platform
>> library that provided these capabilities without any extra coding
>> required?  Where needed, provide integration with native credential
>> stores, etc.  So the SDK does all the heavy lifting.  The extension
>> authors can then focus on things at a higher level.
>>
>
> +1 OO has always been a challenge for new developers to even do simple
> things.
>
>
>>
>> In other words, make socially-connected OpenOffice apps be in the
>> reach of every app developers, rather than requiring a protocol
>> expert.
>>
>
> Not sure we are talking about the same thing, social (IMO) is one thing,
> web enabled is another completely different. Most of the social aspects
> have been doing with the Social grid of things, which means exchanging data
> on a somewhat "standard" way to the spec of the popular social platforms.
>

I see it as a continuum.  You can save a file locally.  You can save a
file on a server or CMS.  The CMS might support some collaboration and
social features.  From a technical perspective social is not a
different beast, but a different focus.   You are collaborating with
(sharing information with) exchange partners that are not necessarily
known in advance.   One of the emerging standards in this are is
called OpenSocial, which from the perspective of an application like
OpenOffice, would be a specification for how to authenticate to a
social network and post/retrieve data to it.  Underneath it is OAuth
and REST, etc.

My question is:  what is the core set of such capabilities that it
would make sense to bring into the core product, so extension authors
have it already available to them?

>
>>
>> I'd be interested in hearing from extension authors on whether such a
>> capability would be useful.  And how useful?
>>
>
> I think there are key things where an office suite makes sense. For
> example, it would be good if we looked into the LinkedData movement and the
> semantic web and are able to classify a document as a book, or a form,
> letter. or scientific paper. It would be nice to be able to map our master
> documents graphically so we can have a modular body of work with documents,
> sections and such.
>
> Writer supports a Javascript engine, I am not sure how can we further
> expand that to be able to receive and process webservices from online
> sources, things like webhooks, or others.
>

Interesting idea.  ODF certainly has this capability.  And I thought
some of the RDF stuff made it into OpenOffice, at a lower level.  But
I have not seen any compelling uses of it.  One problem might be that
having semantic capabilities along is not as useful until we agree on
a taxonomy.  If we had built-in support for some of the Schema.org
taxonomy, for example, then you have something that extensions can
build upon.

But perhaps this is another topic.

-Rob


>
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> -Rob
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Alexandro Colorado
> PPMC Apache OpenOffice
> http://es.openoffice.org
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Re: Bringing social capabilities into the core SDK

Alexandro Colorado-4
On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 12:10 PM, Rob Weir <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM, Alexandro Colorado <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 10:54 AM, Rob Weir <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> (Responses please to the ooo-api list)
> >>
> >> I wanted to confirm some thinking I've been having recently.  Please
> >> let me know if any of this sounds plausible or even useful.
> >>
> >> The problem I'm trying to solve is how to make OpenOffice better
> >> connected with the online tools that we all use today, from DropBox to
> >> Drupal, Twitter to Facebook, Sharepoint to SAP.   We do have a few
> >> extensions in these areas.  That is good.  But I'm wondering if there
> >> are some things we can do in the API to make these kinds of extensions
> >> much easier.
> >>
> >
> > I think social is a bit of a gimmick or buzz. Most companies are more
> > concern with the leakage of information than the 'sharing' of it. That
> > said, is true that "Social" on CRMs and even ERP has been also slowly
> > changing this point of view. On the other side it makes better sense to
> > make OO more web-ready. Easing the integration with webapplications
> > specialy open source platforms like Wordpress, Drupal, SugarCRM, OpenERP,
> > Pentaho etc. Some even rely on OpenOffice for certain process.
> >
>
> Things are merging in ways that social stuff is now mixed in with
> other capabilities.  Without getting into an argument about where one
> ends and another begins, these are all forms of integration some form
> of web applications, and they have an overlapping set of common
> protocols and formats that they used.
>
> >
> >>
> >> The key observation is that there is a set of protocols and formats
> >> that have emerged as the basic foundation of connecting with these
> >> kinds of apps.  HTTP/XML at the base, but also on top things like RSS,
> >> Atom, OData, OAuth, OpenID, OpenSocial, CMIS, etc.
> >>
> >
> > Authentication is one key thing, also the exchange of data like REST or
> > JSON.
> >
>
> +1
>
> >
> >>
> >> What if we made available in our SDK, access to a cross-platform
> >> library that provided these capabilities without any extra coding
> >> required?  Where needed, provide integration with native credential
> >> stores, etc.  So the SDK does all the heavy lifting.  The extension
> >> authors can then focus on things at a higher level.
> >>
> >
> > +1 OO has always been a challenge for new developers to even do simple
> > things.
> >
> >
> >>
> >> In other words, make socially-connected OpenOffice apps be in the
> >> reach of every app developers, rather than requiring a protocol
> >> expert.
> >>
> >
> > Not sure we are talking about the same thing, social (IMO) is one thing,
> > web enabled is another completely different. Most of the social aspects
> > have been doing with the Social grid of things, which means exchanging
> data
> > on a somewhat "standard" way to the spec of the popular social platforms.
> >
>
> I see it as a continuum.  You can save a file locally.  You can save a
> file on a server or CMS.  The CMS might support some collaboration and
> social features.  From a technical perspective social is not a
> different beast, but a different focus.   You are collaborating with
> (sharing information with) exchange partners that are not necessarily
> known in advance.   One of the emerging standards in this are is
> called OpenSocial, which from the perspective of an application like
> OpenOffice, would be a specification for how to authenticate to a
> social network and post/retrieve data to it.  Underneath it is OAuth
> and REST, etc.
>
> My question is:  what is the core set of such capabilities that it
> would make sense to bring into the core product, so extension authors
> have it already available to them?
>

You might want to see what www-at-odf project was, and see if there is
something that we could see as a starting point to get OOo on the 'web'.
Then build on top a social layer on top:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI0AEJkotzM

The UNO IDL supports an XMLRPC Interface, maybe thinking about replacing it
with a Jabber, AtomPub or REST service.

Again I see OO as a productivity suite, so I see more value on
'productivity stuff' vs 'social stuff'. For example, export of ODS to XBRL
or ODT to hresume microformat seems more produtivity-like than, adding a
twitter/facebook widget announcing your 'save' or opening of a document.

There are exceptions like Impress when you might want to stream your slides
through a social platform.


>
> >
> >>
> >> I'd be interested in hearing from extension authors on whether such a
> >> capability would be useful.  And how useful?
> >>
> >
> > I think there are key things where an office suite makes sense. For
> > example, it would be good if we looked into the LinkedData movement and
> the
> > semantic web and are able to classify a document as a book, or a form,
> > letter. or scientific paper. It would be nice to be able to map our
> master
> > documents graphically so we can have a modular body of work with
> documents,
> > sections and such.
> >
> > Writer supports a Javascript engine, I am not sure how can we further
> > expand that to be able to receive and process webservices from online
> > sources, things like webhooks, or others.
> >
>
> Interesting idea.  ODF certainly has this capability.  And I thought
> some of the RDF stuff made it into OpenOffice, at a lower level.  But
> I have not seen any compelling uses of it.  One problem might be that
> having semantic capabilities along is not as useful until we agree on
> a taxonomy.  If we had built-in support for some of the Schema.org
> taxonomy, for example, then you have something that extensions can
> build upon.
>

I agree here, the key is extending the DC to make it more semantic-like.
One small step was making the DC field flexible enough to add additional
DC, we would only need to agree on some basic publication schemas and
integrated into OpenOffice property field. Also on a simpler interface to
connect with semantic engines like Nepomuk and third parties.


>
> But perhaps this is another topic.
>
> -Rob
>
>
> >
> >>
> >> Regards,
> >>
> >> -Rob
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Alexandro Colorado
> > PPMC Apache OpenOffice
> > http://es.openoffice.org
>



--
Alexandro Colorado
PPMC Apache OpenOffice
http://es.openoffice.org
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RE: Bringing social capabilities into the core SDK

Jim Holgate
In reply to this post by Rob Weir

Really, what I would like to see is a security warning on extensions that invoke external processes, write files, or connect to the Internet, similar to what Android does when you try to install an application from the Android marketplace.
In its present release, LibreOffice is blacklisted when you try to install or run it in Apple OSX mountain lion. In part, this may be due to a security concern that extensions can run arbitrary code without warnings. In the future, OpenOffice and its variants may face increasing restrictions.
Most people go ahead and install the Android Applications in spite of the warnings. At least they have been given the opportunity for informed consent.

> Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:54:41 -0400
> Subject: Bringing social capabilities into the core SDK
> From: [hidden email]
> To: [hidden email]
> CC: [hidden email]
>
> (Responses please to the ooo-api list)
>
> I wanted to confirm some thinking I've been having recently.  Please
> let me know if any of this sounds plausible or even useful.
>
> The problem I'm trying to solve is how to make OpenOffice better
> connected with the online tools that we all use today, from DropBox to
> Drupal, Twitter to Facebook, Sharepoint to SAP.   We do have a few
> extensions in these areas.  That is good.  But I'm wondering if there
> are some things we can do in the API to make these kinds of extensions
> much easier.
>
> The key observation is that there is a set of protocols and formats
> that have emerged as the basic foundation of connecting with these
> kinds of apps.  HTTP/XML at the base, but also on top things like RSS,
> Atom, OData, OAuth, OpenID, OpenSocial, CMIS, etc.
>
> What if we made available in our SDK, access to a cross-platform
> library that provided these capabilities without any extra coding
> required?  Where needed, provide integration with native credential
> stores, etc.  So the SDK does all the heavy lifting.  The extension
> authors can then focus on things at a higher level.
>
> In other words, make socially-connected OpenOffice apps be in the
> reach of every app developers, rather than requiring a protocol
> expert.
>
> I'd be interested in hearing from extension authors on whether such a
> capability would be useful.  And how useful?
>
> Regards,
>
> -Rob