Thursday, November 22, 2007

Frankfurter Allgemeine hacking

It was decided on Tuesday afternoon, that I should converge to Nuernberg to meet my favourite manager JPR and my dear colleague Florian, in order to complot about possible changes to Writer core in order to increase its interoperability with one competing product.

Since the decision was a little bit short notice, the only way to travel was the train. So, I took a night train from Geneva at 19:14 and passed Basel and Frankfurt Flughafen (sic) to arrive finally at 8:02 to Nuernberg.

What a wonderful journey of almost 13 hours of pure hacking pleasure. Especially that German ICE trains have electric plugs under every seat. Like that I was always able to recharge my laptop battery and use it during the long hours between trains. Especially, during the more then two hours in the empty Frankfurt Airport railways station.

An attentive reader is asking "why all this bla-bla?" And the answer is that thanks to Jaroslav Fojtik of wp2latex fame, thanks to his reverse-engineering skills, and also thanks to my dearest employer and to this long journey, I was able to touch 275 files and make the HEAD CVS libwpd support conversion of password-protected and encrypted documents for almost all supported file-formats (except WP6+ that we were not able to decrypt for the while).

I also forgot to mention, that since a week or so, the duo libwpd-writerperfect is not depending on any desktop specific library. Writerperfect can still use libgsf for the zip output if one insists by giving it a configure option --with-libgsf, but it produces nice ODTs and ODGs even without it. Thanks to Ariya's FemtoZip namely.