View Office documents in Open Wonderland

One of the great features of Open Wonderland is its application-sharing facility. And one of the benefits this provides is the ability to use OpenOffice in-world to create and edit documents that are compatible with Microsoft’s ubiquitous Office suite.

But what if you just want to show a document in-world without the overhead of application-sharing? Or, what if you’re running your Open Wonderland server on a host, like Windows, that doesn’t provide application sharing?

Well, the long answer is to open your document, save it (or print it) to a PDF, and then drag-and-drop the PDF document into your Open Wonderland client. For the +Spaces project we needed something easier; something that would enable users to easily share their documents with other users in the context of a debate about policy proposals.

A new module in the Open Wonderland Module Warehouse streamlines this process by allowing you to drag-and-drop any text document, spreadsheet or presentation supported by OpenOffice (in addition to its own file formats, of course). The office-converter module relies on a little advertised feature of OpenOffice: its ability to run in headless server mode. The module bundles the open source JODConverter software to provide a web-based API to OpenOffice and adds the necessary hooks into the Open Wonderland client and server so that it all works seamlessly.

In the movie below, I demonstrate how to drag-and-drop common Microsoft Office documents into a wonderland client.

And here, an interesting use case that extends the functionality of the office converter by combining it with the PDFSpreader module.

Advertisements

One Response to View Office documents in Open Wonderland

  1. […] of Essex talked about two tools he has developed for the EU-funded +Spaces project. To show off the Office Converter, he asked Michael Gardner to drop a PowerPoint presentation into the world. This was converted, on […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: