Using UNOIDL to Specify New Components

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Component development does not necessarily start with the declaration of new interfaces or new types. Try to use the interfaces and types already defined in the Apache OpenOffice API. If existing interfaces cover your requirements and you need to know how to implement them in your own component, go to section Component Architecture. The following describes how to declare your own interfaces and other types you might need.

UNO uses its own meta language UNOIDL (UNO Interface Definition Language) to specify types. Using a meta language for this purpose enables you to generate language specific code, such as header files and class definitions, to implement objects in any target language supported by UNO. UNOIDL keeps the foundations of UNO language independent and takes the burden of mechanic language adaptation from the developer's shoulders when implementing UNO objects.

To define a new interface, service or other entity, write its specification in UNOIDL, then compile it with the UNOIDL compiler idlc. After compilation, merge the resulting binary type description into a type library that is used during the make process to create necessary language dependent type representations, such as header or Java class files. The chapter Professional UNO provides the various type mappings used by cppumaker and javamaker in the language binding sections. Refer to the section UNO Type Library for details about type information in the registry-based type library.

Documentation note.png When writing your own specifications, please consult the chapter Apache OpenOffice API-Design-Guidelines which treats design principles and conventions used in API specifications. Follow the rules for universality, orthogonality, inheritance and uniformity of the API as described in the Design Guide.
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