OpenOffice documents into subversion

My girlfriend and one of her co-workers do need to work together on a document, independent of each other. Sending emails back and forth is really frustrating, especially when changing it at the same time.

Using svn for quite some time and being really happy with it, and knowing that OpenDocument files are just zipped folders containing some XML files, I thought I could use subversion here. (Of course activating "XML pretty printing" in openoffice: Extras -> Options -> Load/Save -> General -> deactivate Optimize for size)

While this is true as long as I and some shell scripts are involved, this doesn't work as soon as some non-techies like my girlfriend or her co-workers come into play. Basically I need some OpenOffice plugin that hooks the open and save actions and does everything in the background.

The web brought some forum threads, but none had a solution. The only one is on a blog, but only for OOo 1.x and no graphical frontend.

The openoffice IRC channel on Freenode linked me to, but this one is a complete server solution I don't want to setup, and the free version is not available yet.

So that leaves me with sending mails. If you know a better way, send a mail to me.

Some notes

KOffice has the ability to save files as "uncompressed opendocument" into a folder. This together with an svnfs (fuse) could actually work. Too bad that a) KOffice's OpenDocument support is not good enough, and that b) Jana's friend doesn't use Linux.

I think we will end up with a file for each chapter, linked together in a master document. This way they can work on different chapters at once and be happy.

Update 2007-11-10

I got notified that there is a project called OOoSVN which works on unix only, since it relies on the svn command line tools.

Written by Christian Weiske.

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