- Paperback: 334 pages
- Publisher: Hentzenwerke Publishing (August 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1930919514
- ISBN-13: 978-1930919518
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,111,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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OpenOffice.org Macros Explained
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The book suffers badly from a lack of diagrams -- there are none! So figuring out the object hierarchy is left as an exercise of reverse-engineering the text. To make this harder, the text jumps all over the place, sometimes talking about one object, sometimes another. Core concepts like "object", "interface" and "service" are left with fuzzy descriptions and are used erroneously in many places, leaving the distinct impression that the author is himself unsure of the meanings.
I set myself an exercise to create a macro to insert and format a table at the current cursor position. Finding the necessary information in this book was an exercise in frustration. With no clear object model and muddy text its unclear when you are dealing with an object, a service, a property or a structure. In the end I was able to partly get what I wanted, but it took endless experiments to try to overcome the lack of clarity in the text.
Overall, this book reads like a rather poorly organized cookbook. I'm giving it 2 stars only because it has no real competition and if you invest a great deal of time reading between the lines and studying the examples, *and* trying to make sense of the text, you might be able to create a few useful OOo macros.
My only complaint is that it was written in 2004. I wish a more current version were available, perhaps including information for LibreOffice as well.
The Developer's Guide for the OOo API is over 1000 pages long. It is, therefore, not a surprise that this book does not provide exhausitive coverage for the internal API. When a topic is covered, however, there are typically complete working examples and descriptive text for the topic. For example, I had trouble inserting and naming my tables until I noticed that the book includes a tip that a text table needs to be named after it is inserted into the document.
Not all topics are covered exhaustively. Again, considering text tables, no method is provided to individually enumerate all cells in a text table. Numerous complicated text table examples are provided, however, including methods to select and copy entire text tables. Although, the author does not provide a solution for every problem that I have needed to solve, there is generally a pointer along the way and a simpler example to get me started. For example, I read about the current controller in the "UNO and the Dispatcher" section. The controller is then used to select things such as tables and cells, but I had to figure out for myself that I could also use the controller to select an entire row or column. The simpler a problem, the more likely it is to be solved.
The book was published before Base was available and it provides no coverage for the Databse capability built into OOo.
In the section on Universal Network Objects, the author provides examples demonstrating how to create and use your own data types in OOo Basic (this should have been in the help. This section also provides simple definitions for things such as Interface, Service, and Context.
After buying the book, be certain to obtain the PDF from the publisher, this is one of the few books that provides the PDF. The PDF is very useful for searching through the text. Although the examples are all available from the publisher as well, I found that it was usually just as easy to copy them from the PDF file to where I need them.
I found the available downloadable PDF to be invaluable when finding specific examples in the book that dealt with a specific call or method. I could search that for a term, and find where is was used in a code example in the printed book. Instructions on downloading the PDF are in the book.
Though the PDF is supposed to be an update of the book, I found no differences.
Documentation for open source products is universally poor, so one NEEDS a book like this. It is value for the money spent.
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