I decided to experiment with OpenOffice automation from Python, found the official PyUNO wiki, followed the "a must read" link PyUNO bridge and tried the proposed hello-world program "hello_world.py". As it was feared, nothing worked immediately. The error was:
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "hello.py", line 19, in
The search in Internet was not helpful. Instead, it added confusion.
Fortunately, there was a mention of the tool unoconv, which converts between any document format that OpenOffice understands. I tried it to test if it would fail with the same problem. But it worked perfect.
I opened the source code, found that unoconv does a lot of initialization of the environment and decided to reproduce it. I dumped the environment inside the Convertor::__init__ method:
for i in os.environ.iteritems():
print '%s=%s' % i
This helped to construct my own initialization:
export URE_BOOTSTRAP=vnd.sun.star.pathname:/usr/lib/libreoffice/program/fundamentalrc PATH=/usr/lib/libreoffice/program:$PATH export UNO_PATH=/usr/lib/libreoffice/program export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/libreoffice/program:/usr/lib/libreoffice/ure/lib export PYTHONPATH=/usr/lib/libreoffice/program:$PYTHONPATH
Now "hello_world.py" works as promised.