From Kay Ramme at the GullFOSS blog at Sun comes this demo of a wiki-like system using ODF as a document format and OpenOffice.org as an editor.
It seems to be using WebDAV to allow users to edit documents on a server, then convert them to HTML automatically when they load the document in a browser.
Good idea to have the user change a document and automatically render it to HTML on request.
Same idea, in fact as the ICE system.
Some differences with ICE:
ICE doesn’t use WebDAV because, well, it doesn’t work with Windows reliably and it doesn’t work with the Mac too well either.
ICE doesn’t rely on OpenOffice’s native save as HTML feature which will produce awful results on all but the simplest text documents. A few of several reasons not to use it:
It gets list formatting badly wrong.
It exports photos at full resolution and puts height and width attributes on them to resize them meaning that you end up shipping megabytes when you should be shipping kilobytes.
It is not styles-based so you have no way of configuring it to do things like use pre formatted text in the right places.
ICE is styles-driven which means it produces very clean HTML compared the rubbish that office suites spit out.
ICE uses templates to help people apply styles.
ICE can deal with Microsoft Word documents and has cleanup code to correct some of the interop issues with OpenOffice.org.
ICE has a version-controlled back end courtesy of Subversion so it can be used by distributed teams.
ICE can create IMS content packages for courseware.
ICE has an Atom Publishing Protocol button which can send stuff to a blog – and do a much better job of formatting than the Sun Weblog Publisher addin too.
ICE has a plugin architecture and a growing number of hooks for integrating other content types like chemistry data.
ICE doesn’t deal with spreadsheets, but we could add that pretty easily.
ICE doesn’t have a mechanism to create new pages by linking to a target that doesn’t exist – if we add that we’ll make it a bit smoother than what’s shown in the demo.
ICE can be used as a conversion service by other systems.
I could go on.
If you like the demo, check out some of ours although I note that we don’t have a really basic one that shows what Kay shows in hers. We’ll get on to that.