(As of OpenOffice.org 3.3)
Apache OpenOffice stores extensions in different places, the so-called repositories. This mostly does not matter for users because this has no influence on the extension's functionality. There are three repositories: user, shared and bundled. An extension can be part of every repository at the same time, but one repository can only hold one version of an extension. That is, assuming one has version one and version two of an extension, which also may be contained in different files, then only one of them can be installed per repository. The extension manager enforces this by checking the extension identifier which is stored within an extension. The repositories are prioritized, meaning that an extension in a repository with a high priority is preferred over the same extension in a repository with a lower priority. The user repository has the highest and the bundled repository has the lowest priority. An extension repository consists basically of two parts, the extensions and additional data, which is produced by the extension manager. In order to easier refer to the locations where these are stored, we name the location containing the extensions the extensions folder and the place where the other data is stored the registration data folder. Both folders may not necessarily be within the same parent folder. The registration data folder for all repositories are within the user installation (user data).
This repository contains extensions, aka user extensions, which can only be used by the user who installs them. Users can manage the user extensions themselves. That is, they can add, remove, disable and update them.
The extensions in this repository, which are also referred to as shared extension, can be used by all users - that's where the name “shared” comes from. Therefore they need to be located in a place accessible by all users, which is currently within the office installation. This place is usually restricted in terms of who is allowed to modify (write, delete) files. Therefore only people with the proper file access rights, who usually have an administrator or root account, can add, remove, update ( disabling is not supported) extensions in the shared repository. Before modifying a shared extension one must make sure that all other Apache OpenOffice processes, that is, Apache OpenOffice run by other users, are shut down.
This repository holds the bundled extensions. They resemble to a certain degree the shared extensions. That is, they are usable by all users. But only those with the proper file access rights, can add and remove them. Bundled extensions are, as the name suggest, bundled with Apache OpenOffice. That is, they are part of the installation set and are already available after installation. Contrary to shared and user extensions, they are exclusively maintained by the installation program (aka setup) of Apache OpenOffice. Although they are visible in the extension manager's dialog, they cannot be modified by the extension manager, even by administrators. The setup program may offer to choose which extensions are to be installed. To later add or remove a bundled extension, one needs to restart the setup program and determine the wanted extensions. Before running the setup program one must make sure that all Apache OpenOffice processes are shut down. When the office is being uninstalled then all bundled extensions are removed.
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