easy openoffice self-collaboration?

I’ve got an openoffice document that I need to edit on more than one machine (probably on Linux and XP; long story about why I have to use multiple machines/multiple OSs but hopefully it isn’t a long-term thing.)

I can’t use abi/abicollab or google docs because this is a very, very large document (100-150 pages, mostly in outline form, w/large auto-generated ToC), which in my experience both abi and google docs don’t do well with.

So OpenOffice it is. But is there any way to do that across the two machines more easily/efficiently than just mailing the file back and forth? Does OOo for XP support webdav, for example? Or is there a clean/easy solution to dump OOo files into proper RCS? Open to any and all suggestions, thanks.

(By the way, weave makes doing this for my moz data really pretty nice, and since it is encrypted on the server side, it avoids the problems I just posted about. I look forward to their identity solution.)

41 thoughts on “easy openoffice self-collaboration?”

  1. Does look interesting. Sounds like it is on an internal Sun cloud, though, so even if the extension were available… :/

  2. uwog: tell you what; I’ll test a similar file against 1.7 and see what happens, and file a perf bug if still necessary :)

  3. @Luis: We’re working very hard on getting builds. If you’re on Fedora, then I should be able to make some binaries. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait.

  4. I’m actually on XP today, blah :( (like I said, long story.) But I may be able to switch back to my F10 box later this afternoon, and I can probably build it there assuming the build reqs aren’t too crazy. (Is it in jhbuild these days?)

  5. Not sure if it is in jhbuild, and atm I’m working towards a Windows build (which will take a week or so). F10 should have all the deps you need, but let me tag 2.7.1 first, which resolves some silly build issues. Yay for dev releases :/

  6. FWIW, 2.6.8 is unusably slow. I’ll post the sample document, but it is large enough/outside of the ordinary enough that you’d be perfectly within your rights to say ‘that just isn’t our use-case right now.’

  7. Luis: thanks… we’re always interested in improving performance, but it’s not our main focus point atm.

  8. luis push comes to shove install samba and share the file between the 2 machines, leaving the original in the share until you have completed using it

  9. You can put binary data (including .odt) into git. Of course, you can also (if you don’t have any pictures there), using XSLT exports to use raw XML (not having at hand).


  10. Andreas: I’m glad *someone* realizes that dropbox is an unhappy compromise…

    Dave: that’s probably the route I’m going to take.

  11. You save your odt document as a fodt (F for flat, unzipped version). And you can also use *any* VCS to keep it versionned and have collaboration working fine. I find it very useful.

  12. > Does OOo for XP support webdav, for example?

    XP itself supports WebDAV (at the “vfs” level), it’s just non-obvious. I don’t know if it’s possible to open a WebDAV folder directly from the file manager, but if you open Internet Explorer, then type Ctrl+L, and type in the URL of the WebDAV folder and check “Open as a Web Folder”, it should work (meaning it will mount the WebDAV server as a folder in the file manager, which you should then also be able to browse to from OOo), and after that you should be able to create a shortcut to open it directly in the future.

    Oh, that’s with IE6. I haven’t done this in a long time, and maybe it’s different in IE7. But “Web Folder” is the correct Microsoft-ese for “accessing WebDAV as a remote drive”, so google that if it doesn’t work.

  13. I use SMB to edit stuff off of my NAS at home (as well as externally as well). This works really well for mounting drives in Windows, as it is relatively supported, and speeds up productivity (if there’s not a lot of config issues) as you can use it similar to a normal drive, so you can simply save rather than upload every time.

    This would mean using Samba with Linux, or SMB server in my case (as my NAS is OpenSolaris and SMB/server has always worked better for me).

    I also use WebDrive/FTP or ExpanDrive/SFTP depending on the situation. These are both free for at least a month, and are nice tools to use if you have to do something with windows.

    So, bottom line, IMO store a central copy and edit it from either machine with some fairly OS independent protocol. If you need version control (which you may for a 150 page doc), use svn or git.

    Happy writing!

  14. I suggest you try the OO.o Google Docs extension. Upload to GDocs, then try to open in OO.o. If the formatting remains the same, I’d say that you’ll have no problems. Just use the extension on both ends and never open the document in Google Docs itself.

  15. Luis,
    When I do ‘save as…’ in Open Office Text, it gives me different possible file types and one is OpenDocument Text (Flat XML) (.fodt).
    It is there by default, and it might ask you to install necessary packages if you don’t have them already.

  16. @Weboide what’s your distro? Something else than Fedora, right? Fedora is one of the last few Linux distros which has still official Sun build of OOo.

  17. I use rsync for keeping my ODF documents in sync across machines, and the Zotero 1.5 rsync functionality to handle that part. But I don’t use Windows.

    Also, on git, I remember reading somewhere a clever way that you could store ODF documents as the zipped binary in the repository, but have a pre-process that unzips it to allow diffs to be properly registered in git. I can’t say that I’ve tried that yet though.

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