Sunday, October 11, 2009

Android and ODF

The other day, on the blog planet I read Eric Bachard's post regarding a port of the office suite to the Android platform.

The first thought that came to my mind was, cws_odficons.

Ahhh - why that you might on.

Today did a google for 'Android ODF'...looks bleak.

Which led me to think about the need to expand the ODF ecosystem, which is actually, IMO, what cws_odficons is really all about, and on the need to expand ODF usage I could not agree more. Which in turn brings me back to ...looks bleak.... and that brings me all the way back to Android.

In the update to Eric's post he mentions that one can't really port all of OO.o because of it's C++ nature - ok, so that gets me thinking about this recent blog, Create an Java client in a few seconds.

All of which has me thinking - ok, so leave OO.o on the server/ I mean desktop..silly me/ and just think about what a viewer would look like on Android. Later a trimmed down version of an editor.

The education project at OO.o is certainly on this track with OOo4Kids, so Android is perhaps just another step in feature pruning. I say pruning 'cause if, and assuming, I understand this correctly Android will run only a pure java application, no libraries created in C++ at all?

Now there must be some pure Java implementation that can display an ODF file - surely there is - isn't that what the odf toolkit is all about? So there might be a great student sized project here - porting the odf toolkit viewer to Android, making it assesible from the Android emial reader for attached ODF files.

It is not insignifigant, I believe, that in the above paragraph the word is not present. That fact is what makes my, sometimes quirky, mind associate blogs about cws_odficons and Android.

A project within the education project such as this would benefit OO.o for sure and would be benefited by association with the OO.o developers, it also benefits users of any ODF compliant application, that includes users of MSO and we need that because in the end real competition in the desktop office suite market will not happen until the percentage of ODF formatted files being created approaches parity.

Well, enough for now...hmm, something new to add to the mix JopenDocument.

Till next time,



oulipo said...

Interesting post, Drew. But why locate the proposed project within Education? I have no problem with that, but would want it, too, to have more exposure. (Then again, Education itself should get a lot more exposure.)

BTW, there is an ODF plugfest to be held in Orvieto, Italy, just prior to OOoCon (also to be held there). It's to be 3 November, and the idea is to further normalize support of ODF. I'd be interested to see the capabilities of Android....

Drew said...

Why the Education project?

Quite simply because the project is getting results.

Recently I was prompted to look again at what is happening there, even monitored (quietly sat in on) the last irc meeting. This idea to organize continuing student exercises, projects that are actually being tied back into the curriculum of the specific student participants, in a fashion similar to an "Endless GSOC" AND THEN focusing much of that effort into producing a derivative of designed for 7-12 year old students is IMO and in a single word - Brilliant!

What is more impressive is the way Eric and the other professors / working SE's have delivered on that idea the last couple of years. They are in the process of building a quite fruitful resource, all around.

MagicFab said...

Take a look at this project:

They have a basic reader working, I tried it with a simple ODT document and it worked (to the extent it displayed the text):

olidroide said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
olidroide said...

I´m the developer of a ODF viewer for Android
Is Libre Software, you can contribute at:

roadtoadc said...

I'm sorry for posting to a old thread, but this could be of your interest:

At the moment a colleague and me are working on a OpenDocument Viewer for Android. It's already available on the Android Market. (

Visit my website for more information. (

Feel free to ask if you have any questions / feedback.

Have a nice day