Daniel Carrera wrote:

> Greetings all,
> 
> Some of you might remember me.  I used to be in this list, but school has 
> kept me out of the loop for several months.
> 
> I'm trying to re-subscribe, but the ctl address isn't working.  Until I 
> get that sorted out, I'll have to ask you to put my email on the CC line.

Welcome back.

> 
> I plan on starting a simple project, and I want to try to do it in Ruby.
> 
> Lately I have become interested in the OpenOffice.org project, and am 
> fairly active in the users mailing list.  I have seen several requests for 
> a program that can search for text inside OpenOffice.org files.
> 
> OOo SXW files are actually fairly simple conceptually.  They are a 
> collection of XML files packed in a ZIP archive.  That's it.  I have 
> already used Perl to write a couple of tiny programs to manipulate SXW 
> files.


Thanks.  You'll be saving me some trouble. :)
I was looking at the XML files the other night, thinking what would be 
involved in writing a Ruby lib to work with them.

> 
> So, I guess that my project requirements are:
> 1) An XML library.
>    After looking through RAA, I think I'll pick XMLSimple and REXML.
> 
> 2) A ZIP librry.
>    I need some help here.  I saw "ruby-zlib" in RAA, but I can't find
>    any documentation.  Is it good?  All I need ZIP for is to extract
>    one file from a ZIP archive.  That's it.
> 
> 3) Portability (since OOo is cross-platform).
> 
> This is tricker, but this is also part of what made me think of Ruby.  OOo 
> users are roughly speaking 60% Windows, 40% Linux (at least, on the 
> list).  The Windows users are technicially competent, but not savvy.  I 
> have no qualms asking them to download some dependencies, but most won't 
> have a compiler.
> 
> Are there any suggestions on the best way to approach this?

I have no profound sugeestion on shipping native code/compiled code 
(ship a DLL?), but might I suggest looking into the Nullsoft installer 
for instaling this on Windows? It does a good job of adding registry 
entries and dropping files where they should go (e.g., the system dir or 
application data directory).  Then bundle all the dependencies in the 
installer, rather than requiing users to go download and install many 
seperate items.

There is a slick NSIS editor[1] that makes things much easier, and I can 
give you hand if you like, as I've spent a bit of time using the 
installer and the editor.

[0] http://nsis.sourceforge.net/site/index.php
[1] http://espanol.geocities.com/ranametalcr/nisedt/index.htm

James Britt

james_b AT neurogami DOT com