Archive for February, 2009

KPresenter PowerPoint-Filter the other way

February 25, 2009

At the moment the KPresenter PowerPoint-Filter is broken, which means that KPresenter 2.0 will not be able to import ppt files directly. Unfortunately many users have PowerPoint presentations around and every day a few million new ones are made. At the moment the only way to import ppt files in KPresenter is to use OpenOffice to convert them to odp.

On the other hand many users already have a very capable filter on their disk namely the one included in OpenOffice. Very often some user suggested to use the OpenOffice filters, but getting just the filter out of the apps is practically impossible. Yesterday vandenoever proposed on IRC that we could use OpenOffice in batch mode to convert the files. At first I found it pretty ridiculous as that filter would need the OpenOffice installed and it would be pretty heavyweight, but vandenoever insisted that he rather use that one than a faster but half-working native filter. So I decided that it could be interesting to give it a try.

So I started to hack a new ppt filter together. I found some example scripts on how to convert files with a headless OpenOffice. After three hours of glueing C++, bash and Python code together, I have now a working KPresenter ppt-Filter. The result is as expected: The filter is quite slow as it needs some time to start OpenOffice, convert the file and open it with KPresenter, but the result is really nice (though I only tested some files from Bugzilla, as I don’t have any ppt files around) and very convenient as I can just select the file in the file chooser and everything happens automatically.

The fiter is completely experimental and not publicly available (At the moment hard-coded for my system). Depending on the interest I might put it somewhere later.