[Rd] Bridging R to OpenOffice

Kevin B. Hendricks kevin.hendricks at sympatico.ca
Thu Mar 29 17:18:29 CEST 2007


On Mar 29, 2007, at 8:55 AM, Erich Neuwirth wrote:
> It is accessible at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00180-007-0023-6
> If you cannot access it, write to me, I will send you a copy.
> Currently, we are working on a cross-platform alternative to using
> COM to connect the spread-sheet to R. The platforms in mind are
> (at least) Windows, Linux and MacOS (X). The spreadsheet program
> of choice for our next integration will be Gnumeric, where the
> integration is already worked on by students.

Thanks for that link.  I read the paper and I think that 80% to 90%  
of the work you have done would be directly translateable into  
OpenOffice.org (OOo).  OOo uses it own component object model UNO and  
it can abstract its interfaces in similar ways and can employ  
embedding of objects (including the entire application) in much the  
same way.  OOo spreadsheet has its own Basic programming language  
interface (some work has been done by the Novell people to actually  
enable extend the OOo Basic object model to translate and run VBA  

The ideas and concepts behind how you interfaced R and Excel in the  
paper should be almost exactly the same as how OOo and R could be  
integrated.  The UNO component model is already cross-platform and  
network based (OOo runs on Mac, Windows, Linux, Solaris, some BSD's  
etc).  Bridges for C++ - UNO, C - UNO, Java - UNO, Python - UNO, and  
obviously back already exist for multiple processors, multiple  
compilers, and multiple operating systems.   Similarly to MS Office,  
each application in OOo is actually its own component (I once played  
around with a Java app that embedded all of Calc in it with only a  
few lines of code).  And of course, OOo is fully LGPL now.

Given that Calc will most probably rapidly replace GNumeric as the  
GNU/OSS spreadsheet of choice (it already replaced GNumeric in the  
GNome Desktop office environment) and given the UNO cross-platform  
component model already exists (and I believe was modeled after DCOM/ 
COM), someone may be able to take the source code and rcom package  
talked about in the paper and convert it with hopefully minimal pain  
to create an runo package and associated source code that would use  
OOo's Basic and not VBA to create an Add-In.



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