ODBC, biblio and OO 2

I’ve got to stop wasting my weekends on broken software.
I’ve got the Ubuntu 5.10 libmyodbc, OpenOffice 2 (actually 1.9.129) and refbase CVS. Using the refbase wiki instructions, I can open the refbase database in OO Base via ODBC (the instructions are actually for JDBC but I like to have some RAM left when I run applications). However, if I try to use refbase as the biblio database in OO Writer, it only sees the first table (refbase.auth). It seems impossible to switch to refbase.refs, the required table, or any other table. Same problem (and a host of others) using JDBC.
Far as I can tell, this is an OO biblio bug, as I can see all the tables in OO Base. Various mailing lists and forums allude to similar problems but no solutions.
Anyone with similar problems and/or insight, feel free to comment. In the meantime I’m going back to copying/pasting direct from PubMed results on NCBI webpages…

4 thoughts on “ODBC, biblio and OO 2

  1. Neil,

    your CVS version of refbase does already include direct output to OOo spreadsheet format (ODF XML). refbase currently only outputs the content.xml file which needs to get wrapped into a ODF directory and zipped (the packaging step isn’t done yet but you could do this yourself for testing purposes).

    The ability to output selected references directly to an ODF file will significantly ease integration with OOo. When the feature is completed, you should be able to specifiy this spreadsheet file as bibliographic database in OOo.


  2. Thanks Matthias, I’ll look at that option. I just tried the ODBC stuff again on my work machine which has OO 2.0.2 (Ubuntu 6.06) and I can now change table in the OO Writer bibliography database. So it looks like a bug in the earlier OO version. This is good as I’d prefer to connect to the refbase db via ODBC if possible.

    Now I just need to figure out how to map refbase.refs to columns correctly, as my list of “short names” is not showing up when I try to insert a bibliographic entry from the refbase db in OO Writer. According to one thread on this, table column names might have to match those of the original OO biblio database, which could make matters difficult.

  3. I’ve been having problems getting bibus to work with OO2 (1.9.29 from Ubuntu 5.10). There are two ways to connect: use the bibus db via ODBC in OO, or set up either a named pipe or tcp/ip socket for connecting to bibus. The difference is that in the first case you get to control references from OO; in the latter, control is via bibus. The advantage is with the latter, as subsetting/advanced querying/on the fly querying are possible.

    However, I can’t get either connection set up. OO won’t let me specify data sources in writer for the first method, and won’t set up a named pipe for the latter. I haven’t tried tcp/ip yet, but really… 2 of 3 methods won’t (apparently) work. Not impressed.

  4. I had bibus working for a while from pybliographer, but don’t have it installed just now. I recall a few setup problems but not their exact nature. Must have another look at it. I was never entirely comfortable in pybliographer for some reason – I think it all felt a bit “on the fly” and not like a permanent database solution. Having data in a mysql db just feels better to me.

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