[Phpmyadmin-devel] legal concerns about external libraries

Dieter Adriaenssens dieter.adriaenssens at gmail.com
Wed Aug 3 15:48:12 CEST 2011

2011/8/3 Marc Delisle <marc at infomarc.info>:
> Michal Čihař a écrit :
>> Hi
>> Dne Tue, 02 Aug 2011 10:18:33 -0400
>> Marc Delisle <marc at infomarc.info> napsal(a):
>>> Michal Čihař a écrit :
>>>> I still wonder if native support for Excel 2007 is worth including 3
>>>> MiB of code.
>>> Where I work, a user faced a situation where simple CSV exporting was
>>> not enough but I don't remember the specifics. Maybe Dieter can add his
>>> comments about native support's advantages.
>> Having use case when native Excel is needed would definitely help in
>> making such decision.
> Michal,
> in this old message from June 2004
> https://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=20040608142911.GA10581%40ns.liten.cz&forum_name=phpmyadmin-devel
> you mention that you added MS Excel export with PEAR
> Spreadsheet_Excel_Writer.
> Then Garvin Hicking replied "it's a good benefit".
> We could ask the phpmyadmin-users list about use cases.

Good idea.

I wouldn't drop Excel (97/2003 or 2007) export just like that, unless
nobody seems to use it of course. ;)
F.e. : It's very useful to export data from a database using a query
to an excel-sheet to use for further analysis (or other uses).
Since both Excel 2003 and 2007 (and other versions) are still widely
used, I don't think that any of them can be dropped.
It's true that CSV-export can be used for that, but it would mean an
extra step to convert to Excel.

I had a brief look at the PHPExcel library yesterday and I think it
will be possible to remove a lot from the library that we don't use,
including the OLE part (which would solve the license problem). OLE is
used to link objects (like an excel sheet or a graph) to other
documents/applications, but we don't use that when exporting to Excel

>>>> How about shipping just wrapper files (export and import plugins),
>>>> which would work only if PHPExcel is installed in PHP search path?
>>> This might be more difficult to set up for user in hosting environments.

True, but the phpMyAdmin package has to be installed by someone
anyway. It could be part of the installation procedure to install the
PHPExcel library somewhere.
But then again, this might cause compatibility problems with future
releases of both phpMyAdmin and PHPExcel.

>> It definitely would be, however it would save us of licensing troubles
>> and decrease download size.
> --
> Marc Delisle
> http://infomarc.info
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Dieter Adriaenssens

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