Is deleting Open Office and reinstallng it from Source code a problem?

This is a discussion on Is deleting Open Office and reinstallng it from Source code a problem? within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; I presently have Open Office installed on one of my PCs. I would like to uninstall it so I can ...

  1. #1
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    Is deleting Open Office and reinstallng it from Source code a problem?

    I presently have Open Office installed on one of my PCs. I would like to uninstall it so I can download the source code, compile it, and study the C++ code in it.
    My concern is that I have had problems uninstalling drivers, programs, etc and reinstalling them before. It seems like the original installation may leave garbage in the registry, various folders, etc that mess up with the reinstall. For example, I think I never reinstalled a Oracle database, I always wiped the disk clean and reinstalled the op system first.
    I can't wipe this disk, I have important data on it. Has anyone else uninstalled Open Office and then reinstalled it safely?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    I don't see why, if you use a program whose source you want to study, that you have to reinstall the program from source. The only thing that would show you is the build procedure. Windows systems only get an SDK for extensions. It's not the whole program; to study that you would have to study the Linux port, for example. I also don't see why you're worried about the registry, since if you reinstalled the program, it would recreate the registry keys anyway if you deleted them.

  3. #3
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    If you use the uninstall program and manually delete the folders left behind in user account folders you should be fine.

    That said, you are also apparently insane. Please find a psychologist or psychiatrist immediately.

    [Edit]
    That to say you shouldn't be trying to compile and study a system as large and complex as "Open Office" if you can't handle the fiddly bits a program may leave behind.
    [/Edit]

    Soma

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    From what I understand, you can use the debugger in some compilers to trace which functions call what functions, and so forth, to speed up the understanding process. That's why I would want to compile the source code.
    I would like to find out how they use C++ to create documents. I hope to contribute to the project someday, or create my own document creating software.
    If I have time, of course.

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    Those fiddly bits are a ........... Who knows where the heck they are. I just want to understand the general flow of the program (with help of compiler) and maybe that will be lots easier. Just like reinstalling oracle is a whole lot easier than figuring out how to fix it if the install went wrong.

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    You've be better off reading the documentation (particularly any available design information) before you go anywhere near the source code.

    OpenOffice is not exactly a trivial system and, as with all non-trivial systems, you actually need to have some understanding of what's going on before diving into source source.

    If, as I assume, OpenOffice is an object-oriented design, you'll find a lot of code you step through will simply be forwarding data on to something else. Stepping through it gives you no real information unless you have some conceptual understanding of the design.

    Without some understanding of the design, you'll be in the position akin a blind man inspecting parts of an elephant - depending on what you step into, the elephant will feel like a rope (eg if you're at it's tail), something smelly (if you're below its tail), a pillar (if you're near a leg), a wall (if your hands are on its tummy), or a flexible pipe (near its trunk). All of those attributes make perfect sense if you know you're inspecting an elephant. But, if all you have is a couple of those attributes, you'll have trouble puzzling out that it is an elephant.

    OK, you know OpenOffice is an office suite. But you probably don't know enough about office suites to understand what's going on if you look at it at too low a level.
    Last edited by grumpy; 07-31-2010 at 10:29 PM.
    Right 98% of the time, and don't care about the other 3%.

  7. #7
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Not to mention that reinstalling is still completely unnecessary. On a bad day I would call it idiotic. You just don't replace programs you use with debug builds. They're meant to be analyzed, changed, and recompiled (frequently). You shouldn't want to depend on the same build to do regular office work. What a sad state of affairs!

    That aside, considering what you want to do, a separate build in a virtual machine would be my choice environment to study in. If I reached the point you are leap-frogging to... That way you don't have to change anything about your system at all. Not to choose for you, but this is brewbuck's favorite ATM: VirtualBox. Use a spare computer for this which is what a virtual machine can do for you metaphorically.

    By the way I was very wrong in saying that the source was not available for windows, when I was merely looking in the wrong place for it.
    Last edited by whiteflags; 07-31-2010 at 10:35 PM.

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    Interesting. I asked to see if it would be safe to delete and reinstall open office and end up engaged in a long defense of why it might be correct for me to go for this project. But I will take away from here that it probably will be okay to uninstall OP and reinstall it.
    I plan to install MS office to take care of my writing needs (I can open Open office documents and rewrite them in word if needed).
    I have already gone through the trunk repository of MythTV (an open source media center) although I haven't tried to download and compile it. It is true, endless folders with endless files which seem to make no sense. But I've already learned a lot of code techniques, and it is helping me catch up with new things happening in C++. I've been told that the ONLY way to understand what is going on in such a large program (by several people) is to compile it from source and then trace the action in the debugger, figure out which class is called by what class, etc. I don't think it is impossible, lots of people understand MythTV enough to modify it for their own needs, or contribute. Same with Open Office.

  9. #9
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Interesting. I asked to see if it would be safe to delete and reinstall open office and end up engaged in a long defense of why it might be correct for me to go for this project.
    If I gave you that impression, I'm sorry you read that much into what I was saying. That's not why I recommended doing this on a virtual machine.

    Yes, OO uninstalls cleanly without special effort.

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