openoffice and svn.

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openoffice and svn.

James Courtier-Dutton
Hi,

Has anyone tried using svn(subversion) to store openoffice documents?
If oowriter2 could be integrated with svn, one could turn openoffice
into a distributed document writing tool. This would be a major
advantage over using MS Word.

I tried unziping the .odt and storing those files in svn, but the diff
is not ideal, as the entire document appears to be on one line according
to diff.

Any comments?

James

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Re: openoffice and svn.

Daniel Naber-4
On Sonntag 15 Januar 2006 13:39, James Courtier-Dutton wrote:

> I tried unziping the .odt and storing those files in svn, but the diff
> is not ideal, as the entire document appears to be on one line according
> to diff.

You can turn off Load/Save -> General -> "Size optimization forXML format"
for better readable format. Anyway, a line-based diff doesn't really make
sense for XML.

SVN integration could/should also happen on a different level, like this:  
a virtual disk that looks like any other storage media but which
internally stored things in SVN. Not sure if such a thing already exists.

Regards
 Daniel

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Re: openoffice and svn.

James Courtier-Dutton
Daniel Naber wrote:

> On Sonntag 15 Januar 2006 13:39, James Courtier-Dutton wrote:
>
>> I tried unziping the .odt and storing those files in svn, but the diff
>> is not ideal, as the entire document appears to be on one line according
>> to diff.
>
> You can turn off Load/Save -> General -> "Size optimization forXML format"
> for better readable format. Anyway, a line-based diff doesn't really make
> sense for XML.
>
> SVN integration could/should also happen on a different level, like this:  
> a virtual disk that looks like any other storage media but which
> internally stored things in SVN. Not sure if such a thing already exists.

Thank you for that. It is much more suited for line based diff with that
optimization turned off.
The reason I would like open office to integrate better with svn is
because then open office would be able to handle svn commit conflicts
better, and also be able to use redlining to highlight changes between
different versions of the document in the svn repository.

If SVN was just a file system, open office would not be able to support
the above features.

But, at least with the "Size optimization forXML format" disabled, only
the real changes are placed in the svn repository, which is a start.

James



James

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Re: openoffice and svn.

Daniel Naber-4
On Sonntag 15 Januar 2006 15:59, James Courtier-Dutton wrote:

> The reason I would like open office to integrate better with svn is
> because then open office would be able to handle svn commit conflicts
> better, and also be able to use redlining to highlight changes between
> different versions of the document in the svn repository.

The "svn file system" could also provide access to old versions, for
example like this: if a file is named foo.odt, there could be a directory
"foo.odt-versions" which contains all versions ever checked in, named by
their id. Of course OOo would then need to know about that. But still
better than adding SVN support to every program that might ever want to
use it.

Regards
 Daniel

--
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Re: openoffice and svn.

Mathias Bauer
In reply to this post by James Courtier-Dutton
James Courtier-Dutton wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Has anyone tried using svn(subversion) to store openoffice documents?
> If oowriter2 could be integrated with svn, one could turn openoffice
> into a distributed document writing tool. This would be a major
> advantage over using MS Word.
>
> I tried unziping the .odt and storing those files in svn, but the diff
> is not ideal, as the entire document appears to be on one line according
> to diff.
>
> Any comments?

I already thought about that (stimulated by a discussion on the 2004
OOoCon in Berlin) and I think it's possible if you mean that svn shall
reflect the internal ZIP hierarchy so that every document becomes a
folder in svn containing files and sub folders for the document content.

IIRC svn allows to access it through WebDAV, so the "only" thing we need
is to exchange the component implementing the com.sun.star.embed.Storage
service that stores the content of documents into a ZIP package by
providing a hierarchical file system like view to it by another service
that stores to a location represented by a UCB content. Such a service
already exists in OOo, it is currently only used to store UI
configuration files to the local file system or into a document by the
same API, but it will also work if you let it access a WebDAV or FTP
resource (everything that can be acessed by a UCP and is able to provide
files and folders).

If this "unpacked" storing is done to a WebDAV folder working on top of
a directory in svn you will get a directory in svn for each document you
save, containing all streams inside the package as a file. I don't know
how good the WebDAV support of svn is, at least it must be possible to
create sub folders because OOo documents contain them.

Another way would be to write another new OOo service implementing the
com.sun.star.embed.Storage service where svn is accessed directly to
fulfill the service contract.

By using a configuration setting or function parameter to use this new
service (or the above mentioned UCB based storage) instead of the
"regular" one that stores into a ZIP package you can directly store to svn.

Best regards,
Mathias

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Re: openoffice and svn.

Kai Backman
On Mon, 16 Jan 2006 08:39:54 +0100, Mathias Bauer wrote:
> I already thought about that (stimulated by a discussion on the
> 2004 OOoCon in Berlin) and I think it's possible if you mean that
> svn shall reflect the internal ZIP hierarchy so that every document
> becomes a folder in svn containing files and sub folders for the
> document content.
<snip>Mathias talks about integrating SVN using WebDAV</snip>

 I think that the real goal should be to integrate the concept of
version control into the applications directly. MS Word supports something
called "Track Changes" that is a minimal versioning system in
itself. The feature basically let's you see changes anyone made to
the document inside Word itself and also shows who did what changes
and when. You can switch modes to "see the latest version", "show
changes", "accept change". Essentially a Word specific diff/merge tool.

 I know this feature is loved by legal people when they are wrangling
through a contract. Alienbrain (www.alienbrain) also features similar
functionality for 3D modelling packages where you can view diffs of
models inside tools like 3D Studio MAX. Movie and game people
seem to love it as much as the legal people do.

 This type of integration is a magnitude more difficult, but would
IMHO also be the most useful way to do serious integration of OO.o
with SVN. There are already existing WebDAV filesystems and great
SVN tools (Tortoise on Win32 anyone?) and just exposing the zip
structure does not really help with the real issue of producing
user manageable diffs. On the other hand, providing a "Track Changes"
feature based on full SVN functionliaty would really break some new
ground and provide something very practical for the end users. Think
about it, all those happy lawyers chatting away on the OO.o forums!

 As a sidenote, you already have Neon integrated so you might as well
just compile in libsvn if you want to do an integration. That way you
get access to SVN server and local RA (Repository Access) protocols as well.

 Take care,

 Kai

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Kai Backman, programmer, [hidden email]
http://www.ShortHike.com - space station game

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Re: openoffice and svn.

Eike Rathke
Hi Kai,

On Mon, Jan 16, 2006 at 12:20:24 +0200, Kai Backman wrote:

>  I think that the real goal should be to integrate the concept of
> version control into the applications directly. MS Word supports something
> called "Track Changes" that is a minimal versioning system in
> itself.

OOo has that, see menu Edit.Changes

  Eike

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Re: openoffice and svn.

Kai Backman
On Mon, 16 Jan 2006 12:44:21 +0100, Eike Rathke wrote:
<snip KaiB talking about Track Changes>
>
> OOo has that, see menu Edit.Changes

 Thanks Eike! I was trying to look for it but couldn't find it.
That's even better. Then all the infrastructure for supporting
a full blown SVN integration are there on the UI side.

 @Eike: Does there exist enough hooks for a implementation like
this to be feasible?

Kai

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Re: openoffice and svn.

Eike Rathke
Hi Kai,

On Mon, Jan 16, 2006 at 13:55:50 +0200, Kai Backman wrote:

> >?OOo has that, see menu Edit.Changes
>
>  Thanks Eike! I was trying to look for it but couldn't find it.
> That's even better. Then all the infrastructure for supporting
> a full blown SVN integration are there on the UI side.
>
>  @Eike: Does there exist enough hooks for a implementation like
> this to be feasible?

Do you mean hooks from the internal ChangeTrack feature to use SVN for
the versioning information? I don't think so.

  Eike

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Re: openoffice and svn.

Mathias Bauer
In reply to this post by Kai Backman
Kai Backman wrote:

> On Mon, 16 Jan 2006 12:44:21 +0100, Eike Rathke wrote:
> <snip KaiB talking about Track Changes>
>>
>> OOo has that, see menu Edit.Changes
>
>  Thanks Eike! I was trying to look for it but couldn't find it.
> That's even better. Then all the infrastructure for supporting
> a full blown SVN integration are there on the UI side.

I don't think that it is better. Change tracking does only work on the
text content of the document (IIRC), a version control would work with
the xml representation of it and so would be able to track *any* change
in the document, like inserting graphics, editing macros or metadata etc.

Change tracking is a nice an easy to access tool but it's not a complete
replacement for a real version control system. So it depends on your
needs which of them you should use.

Best regards,
Mathias

--
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Re: openoffice and svn.

James Courtier-Dutton-3
Mathias Bauer wrote:

> Kai Backman wrote:
>
>> On Mon, 16 Jan 2006 12:44:21 +0100, Eike Rathke wrote:
>> <snip KaiB talking about Track Changes>
>>> OOo has that, see menu Edit.Changes
>>  Thanks Eike! I was trying to look for it but couldn't find it.
>> That's even better. Then all the infrastructure for supporting
>> a full blown SVN integration are there on the UI side.
>
> I don't think that it is better. Change tracking does only work on the
> text content of the document (IIRC), a version control would work with
> the xml representation of it and so would be able to track *any* change
> in the document, like inserting graphics, editing macros or metadata etc.
>
> Change tracking is a nice an easy to access tool but it's not a complete
> replacement for a real version control system. So it depends on your
> needs which of them you should use.
>
> Best regards,
> Mathias
>

My intension for openoffice and svn was to implement a situation where
multiple people could edit the same openoffice document, in much the
same way that multiple people can edit source code of a large
application. svn would provide the central repository, with openoffice
being the client. The new features needed in openoffice would be for it
to resolve conflicts that can occur if two people edit the same
paragraph at the same time and then try to commit. Openoffice would have
to display the conflict and I though that the best way for it to display
the conflict would be with redlining.

James




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