Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Short Aspose.Slides for Java review

I like Aspose. It's moderately powerful. There's nothing that really competes with it for generating MS Office documents accurately in custom code. My problem is that the API is too rigidly tied to the file format. For example, all my Shapes that I'm editing in a powerpoint template are just boxes of text. To edit the text, I have to call shape.getTextFrame().setText(). (this will look much nicer in .NET code since you can omit all the get/set stuff that java forces on
you) But if I do edit my text that I destroy the font attributes (color, height, which font) that were in my template. So, in order to preserve my font, I need to call shape.getTextFrame().getParagraphs().get(0).getPortions().get(0).setText(). That's not intuitive default behavior. Aspose is great, I just wish the would engineer the API to make things a little easier on programmers. One more little example is that you have to get and set all font attributes individually even though there's a container class in the API called FontEntity. I don't doubt that they're going to fix that in a later version though.

Also, it's stupid that they don't include JAI or put a link to it on their download page since it's a required library.

Update: The java version is maybe half as good as the .NET version. You can't convert excel charts to images, the collections don't implement the java.util.Collection interface and it seems to be crippled in general by their support for Java 1.4. Also, searching the forums for help on java stuff instead of .net stuff is a pain in the butt. Plus, since they put the words .NET and Java and links to all of their products on every page you can't effectively search the forum with google or msn.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I can't read "Aspose" without thinking "Asplode."