SpudSoft BIRT Excel Emitters

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The SpudSoft Excel Emitters are the premier open-source Excel emitters for BIRT.
By placing usability of the spreadsheet above fidelity to the report design the SpudSoft Excel Emitters are able to provide advanced features including:
  • Strictly "one BIRT cell" equals "one Excel cell" layout (no unhelpful filler rows/columns to make things look right).
  • Rotated text (not just an image), invaluable when dealing with long column headers.
  • Frozen panes, display (or not) of gridlines, formulae, headings & zeroes.
  • Named sheets.
  • Grouping.
  • Password protection.

LSNED48: Updating an eclipse plugin needs permission

This is pretty obvious when you think about it, but of course, when it's being annoying one doesn't think about it enough.

In order to instruct eclipse to refresh its cache of plugins it needs to be run with the "-clean" argument. So upgrading a plugin should be a case of:

  1. Delete the old plugin.
  2. Copy the new plugin to the same location.
  3. Run eclipse with the -clean argument

I did that, and found that my plugin had been completely ignored.

LSNED45: How to deploy a jar with source and javadocs to a maven repository

Unfortunately there is no maven repository with jodconverter v3 snapshots in it.

In order work around this I chose to install it into our local repository, which required a couple of changes to the pom.

Enabling deployment
The first step is to tell the pom the location of the repository:

LSNED44: Sonatype Nexus does not support 3rd party snapshot repositories

The reasons for this are well documented (try here or here) but, when you need it, it's irritating to discover that you cannot upload 3rd party snapshots to Nexus.

I got as far as creating a new 3rd party snapshot repository and faffing around with it for far too long before discovering this.

LSNED43: How to have relative path in a Flat File Data Source in BIRT

In BIRT if you define a Flat File Data Source you have to provide it with an absolute path, and if you try to cheat by going in to the XML and changing the path to a relative one the data simply won't be found.
This is very frustrating if you want to ship a set of data with a report, in my case as one of the tests for my Excel Emitters.

The solution is a little bit of scripting in the beforeFactory method:

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