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Reading Excel files in Linux
Slace 
15/8/08 7:45:15 PM
Hero
Titan


Thougth someone might find this interesting, how to read the new Excel file using Perl: http://blogs.msdn.com/excel/archive/2008/08/14/reading-excel-files-from-linux.aspx


Edited by Slace: 15/8/2008 07:45:27 PM

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Why can't a programmer tell the difference between Halloween and Christmas? 
Because OCT31 = DEC25


What's playing? http://www.last.fm/user/slace/

foxmulder 
16/8/08 11:45:01 AM
Overlord

Also, OpenOffice.org 3.0 will have full support for reading Microsoft Office 2007 file formats.

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TheSecret 
17/8/08 2:11:29 AM
Primarch
Full support like the current version has for 2003 formats, or actual full support?

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Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.

Redhatter 
17/8/08 9:12:23 AM
Hero
Titan


TheSecret: Presumably full support as far as possible given the proprietary nature of these files.

You can't expect 100% compatibility when the specifications aren't published. And it'll be 100% better than Office 2007's support for OpenDocument formats. ;-)

Nonetheless, this method is not specific to Linux, but rather, can be used anywhere where you have an installation of Perl. Including Windows. It could be of use with webapps for instance. There's a Perl module for reading traditional Excel files that's been around for a few years now on CPAN, and it's only a matter of time before this code winds up being a CPAN module for the OpenXML spreadsheet.

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Stuart Longland (aka. Redhatter, VK4FSJL)
I haven't lost my mind it's backed up on a tape somewhere...
http://atomicdoc.yi.org <-- AtomicDOC Wiki
Resident Coolie-hatted Gentoo geek. (Gentoo MIPS & Mozilla herd member)

TheSecret 
17/8/08 9:44:35 AM
Primarch
Redhatter,

I really have not followed the progress too closely, I know that OOXML is technically open and documented, so why is it a problem to write to? Also, are there not plugins for Office that can read OO.org formats?

I guess I never really understood why the focus was always on .doc with OO, people need spreadsheets or presentations nearly as much, but these formats were unusable a lot of the time. They can't be more proprietary..just not enough manpower perhaps?

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Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.

Slace 
17/8/08 5:49:15 PM
Hero
Titan


RedHatter - yeah I know it's not Linux specific but Linux is the primary location you'll find a Perl install. And that was the title of the blog post :P

TheSecret - OOXML is an XML format but the specifications are often contradictory or unclear. There's quite few tags and attributes which no one seems to know what they are used for.
And OpenDocument isn't an OO.org format, it's another XML-based document format, not specific for OO.org

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Why can't a programmer tell the difference between Halloween and Christmas? 
Because OCT31 = DEC25


What's playing? http://www.last.fm/user/slace/

spielentwickler 
17/8/08 6:02:37 PM
Guru

There's a plugin for office 2007 that is supposed to load and save from OpenDocument formats. The problem is, it isn't integrated into the standard open/save mechanism of the program, and it doesn't work.

I tried saving a word document as an ODT file and none of the text was preserved. All the formatting was there, including lists, tables, etc but no text.

Open office integrates its microsoft format compatibility in with other file types, and does a fairly good job at translating them. I've usually only had minimal editing to get the document LOOKING the same. This support should improve with the new microsoft formats as they have "opened" the "standard".

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http://www.last.fm/user/spielentwickler/
<= knight of the 6fAOEC =>

Redhatter 
18/8/08 9:51:47 AM
Hero
Titan


Quote by TheSecret
Redhatter,

I really have not followed the progress too closely, I know that OOXML is technically open and documented, so why is it a problem to write to? Also, are there not plugins for Office that can read OO.org formats?



It's open as far as they let you look in over their shoulder. Lots of things are not properly defined... such as WordWrapLikeWord97... Use of binary blobs of proprietary data and bitfields. It's a mess. OOXML spreadsheets even carry forward a date handling bug that originated in Excel 97.

The specification they've released is a behemoth that totally ignores other standards in existence such as SVG, MathML, XHTML...etc. And not even Office 2007 is a 100% implementation of OOXML.

OOXML is more concerned with maintaining backward-compatibility with the legacy Office formats than with doing the job properly.

Plus... OpenDocument got ratified first... why do we need two standards? It's bad enough now.

I guess I never really understood why the focus was always on .doc with OO, people need spreadsheets or presentations nearly as much, but these formats were unusable a lot of the time. They can't be more proprietary..just not enough manpower perhaps?


Maybe... I find support for Excel usually isn't too bad. PowerPoint presentations can be iffy... as can positioning of elements in Word documents.

As I say though... this is to be expected when things have to be learned through reverse engineering voodoo and guesswork. I get lots of this material thrown at me from various sources... uni is a prime culprit. I try to make people aware of the problem (execute touch foo.doc and email it to me, then watch the auto-response... also see http://www.qsl.net/vk4ba/news/ regarding preferred formats) but raising awareness is a slow process.

I'd rather use a format that's completely open from the start, than one that is only 80% open.

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Stuart Longland (aka. Redhatter, VK4FSJL)
I haven't lost my mind it's backed up on a tape somewhere...
http://atomicdoc.yi.org <-- AtomicDOC Wiki
Resident Coolie-hatted Gentoo geek. (Gentoo MIPS & Mozilla herd member)

Meeko 
28/8/08 8:41:53 PM
Titan

Originally I didn't like the layout of the OO programs, but with the new Office formats OO now stands a chance. :-)

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