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Summary of important user-visible changes for releases of the io package

===============================================================================
io-2.2.6   Release Date: 2014-TBA Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

*** New features:

*** Bug fixes:
    - xlswrite: provide sheet name if empty string was supplied for sheet name

===============================================================================
io-2.2.5   Release Date: 2014-11-22 Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

*** New features:
    - On Windows, try to avoid using 32-bit UNO interface for 64-bit Octave.
    - Added a first dbfread.m, to read dbase files. Needed a.o., for reading 
      shapefiles etc. dbfread.m is considered experimental for the time being.

*** Bug fixes:
    - Enable writing formulas to OOXML (.xlsx) in OCT interface(bug #43321a).
    - Fix creating new .ods file in OCT(bug #43321b).
    - xlswrite: supply default data cellrange if no or empty cellrange argument
      is supplied.
    - OCT interface: make sure requested worksheet names are matched exactly
      (bug #43353)
    - OCT interface: make sure writing to relative paths works. Creating the 
      intermediate subdir tree won't work (a zip / gzip limitation)
    - Fix reading from sheets with some special names (bug #43331)
    - Fix worksheet bookkeeping when adding new sheets (bug #43354)
    - More robust code to read SharedStrings.xml (bug #43399)
    - Oct2xls (OCT) fails when sheet names are being used (bug #43400)
    - Invoke SaveCopyAs rather than SaveAs for new Excel files in COM interface

*** Other changes
    - First throw at restructuring to eliminate duplicate code:
      . chk_spreadsheet_support.m: singled out checks for java class libs per
        interface
    - Checked odfdom-incubating 6.1 (odfdom-0.8.10): doesn't work properly
    - Added checks for unsupported jar versions in chk_spreadsheet_support.
      This function won't load unsupported .jar versions anymore and will even
      remove them from the javaclasspath if it finds them. The only way that
      unsupported .jar versions (spreadsheet Java class libs) can get in the
      javaclasspath is if users manually add them.

===============================================================================
io-2.2.4   Release Date: 2014-09-11 Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

*** New features:
    - Add 'headerlines' parameter to csv2cell, to allow skipping a first number
      of lines before reding actual data. See "help csv2cell".

*** Bug fixes:
    - Replace __num2char__ / __char2num__ (.mex files) by .oct versions num2col
      & col2num as 64-bitOctave cannot compile mex files with int64_t.
    - Add some delays (0.25 s) in OCT and UNO file open/close functions to give
      zip and unpack some time to finish I/O operations (lazy write) on fast
      systems.

===============================================================================
io-2.2.3   Release Date: 2014-08-14 Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

*** Bug fixes:
    - Replace canonicalize_file_name calls by make_absolute_filename to avoid
      ActiveX/COM errors (due to changed canonicalize_file_name in 3.9.0+)
    - More robust strrep code in OCT/xlsx write code (modifying access time)
    - Fix handling  empty cell range argument when writing .ods with OCT
      interface (bug #43783)
    - Better string detection when reading .xlsx with OCT interface
    - Properly return a value of 0 after xlswrite/odswrite write errors

===============================================================================
io-2.2.2   Release Date: 2014-05-12 Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

*** New features:
    - Write support for gnumeric

An updated overview of which interface can be used for what types of files
(extensions):

                                 Interface
File extension       COM POI POI/OOXML JXL OXS UNO OTK JOD OCT
--------------------------------------------------------------
.xls (Excel95)        R                 R       R 
.xls (Excel97-2003)   +   +      +      +   +   +
.xlsx (Excel2007+)    ~          +         (+)  R           +
.xlsb, .xlsm          ~                     ?   R           R?
.wk1                  +                         R
.wks                  +                         R
.dbf                  +                         +
.ods                  ~                         +   +   +   +
.sxc                                            +       +
.fods                                           +
.uos                                            +
.dif                                            +
.csv                  +                         R
.gnumeric                                                   +
--------------------------------------------------------------
(~ = dependent on Excel/LO/OOo version);  + = read/write;  R = only reading )
(+) unfortunately OOXML support in the OpenXLS Java library itself is too
    buggy, so OOXML support for OXS has been disabled (but it is implemented)

*** Docs (html) & texinfo help texts updated

*** Bug fixes:
    - UNO open/close: catch changed behavior of canonicalize_file_name in
      Octave-3.9.0+
    - odsfinfo.m, xlsfinfo.m: also check for leading period in file extension
      switch statement
    - Replace java_get (deprecated in Octave > 4.1.0) by __java_get__
    - Catch rare Java exception in OTK interface under Octave-4.1.0+

===============================================================================
io-2.2.1   Release Date: 2014-04-26 Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

Bug fix release:

*** Bug fixes:
    - First check built-in Java support before further testing Java-based
      interfaces (bug #42192)
    - Invoke __char2num__/__num2char__ rather than __OCT_cc__ for spreadsheet
      cell address translation in OCT interface funcs as well
    - Fix wrong file handle refs. when updating app.xml in OOXML files

===============================================================================
io-2.2.0   Release Date: 2014-04-13 Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

*** New features:
    - Experimental write support w/o Java or ActiveX, just native Octave, for
       ODS 1.2 (LibreOffice native format) and OOXML (Excel 2007+ .xlsx)
    - (write support for gnumeric pending)

An updated overview of which interface can be used for what types of files
(extensions):
~ = dependent on Excel/LO/OOo version);  + = read/write;  R = only reading )
                                 Interface
File extension       COM POI POI/OOXML JXL OXS UNO OTK JOD OCT
--------------------------------------------------------------
.xls (Excel95)        R                 R       R 
.xls (Excel97-2003)   +   +      +      +   +   +
.xlsx                 ~          +         (+)  R           +
.xlsb, .xlsm          ~                     ?   R
.wk1                  +                         R
.wks                  +                         R
.dbf                  +                         +
.ods                  ~                         +   +   +   +
.sxc                                            +       +
.fods                                           +
.uos                                            +
.dif                                            +
.csv                  +                         R
.gnumeric                                                   R
--------------------------------------------------------------

*** Docs (html) & texinfo help texts updated

*** Bug fixes:
    - (gnumeric reading): Properly handle ValueFormat tags
                          Fix older formats w/o Value* tags
    - Restored UNO interface option in ods2oct.m
    - (xlswrite) when truncating an array (sheet capacity, too small a range),
      convey truncated range rather than topleft cell
    - PKG_ADD: Fix case-sensitivity when searching for Libre/OpenOffice loc.
               Do not automatically load Java class libs on *nix
    - OCT: delete tmp dirs after closing spreadsheet files
    - POI: return complete cell range for a.o., xlsfinfo

===============================================================================
io-2.1.x   Release Date: TBA Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

(unstable version)
For changes see 2.2.0 (above)


===============================================================================
io-2.0.2   Release Date: 2014-01-09 Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

Another bug fix release

*** Bug fixes:
    - PKG_ADD, PKG_DEL: move into script dir to be sure they can be invoked
      while loading / unloading io package

*** New features:
    - chk_spreadsheet_support: Remembers which javaclasspath entries it loaded,
      can remove them too
    - PKG_DEL: Removes all javaclasspath entries added by chk_spreadsheet-support
      when unloading the io package
    - PKG_ADD: Searches for OpenOffice.org / LibreOffice in some conventional
      places to allow silent automatic loading of Java class libs &
      directories required for OOo / LO

===============================================================================
io-2.0.1   Release Date: 2014-01-01 Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

Bug fix release

*** Bug fixes:
    - Fixed rfsearch error (empty subdirs) when loading package

*** PKG_ADD: Also search user (%USERPROFILE%\Java  or ~/Java) for Java
             spreadsheet support .jar files; also add conventional Linux
             place in search (usually /usr/share/java)

===============================================================================
io-2.0.0   Release Date: 2014-01-01 Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

*** Some code simplifications & style fixes

An updated overview of which interface can be used for what types of files
(extension):
~ = dependent on Excel/LO/OOo version);  + = read/write;  R = only reading )

                                 Interface
File extension       COM POI POI/OOXML JXL OXS UNO OTK JOD OCT
--------------------------------------------------------------
.xls (Excel95)        R                 R       R 
.xls (Excel97-2003)   +   +      +      +   +   +
.xlsx                 ~          +         (+)  R           R
.xlsb, .xlsm          ~                     ?   R
.wk1                  +                         R
.wks                  +                         R
.dbf                  +                         +
.ods                  ~                         +   +   +   R
.sxc                                            +       +
.fods                                           +
.uos                                            +
.dif                                            +
.csv                  +                         R
.gnumeric                                                   R
--------------------------------------------------------------

For unsupported file types, UNO will write .ods whatever the actual file
extension.

*** Bug fixes:
    - Fixed texinfo headers for the test scripts

    - The UNO interface no longer writes ODS for all file extensions. An
      updated list is shown above.

*** Known issues:
    - OOXML write/read support in OpenXLS (OXS) is a bit wonky. Doesn't
      pass Octave OF-io's test script. Upstream has been informed of one
      example bug.
    - OpenXLS' OOXML depends on another .jar file (gwt-servlet-deps.jar).
      Rip it from this archive (108+ MB download): gwt-2.5.1.zip,
      available at:
      http://www.gwtproject.org/download.html  ("Download GWT SDK")
    - LibreOffice/OpenOffice.org (UNO interface) doesn't write .csv
    - OTK interface (.ods) sometimes writes ridiculously wide columns.

===============================================================================
io-1.3.6   Release Date: 2013-TBA Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

*** OXS (OpenXLS) now has read/write support. AFAICS it is the fastest Java-
    based interface. Provisionally .xls (BIFF8, Excel'97-2003) works fairly
    reliably. OOXML works too but is unstable (see below, "Known issues").

*** Some code simplifications & style fixes

*** xlsread may fall back to csvread for .csv files when no Excel (COM) or
    LibreOffice/OOo (UNO) interface is supported (bug #40993)
    
An updated overview of which interface can be used for what types of files
(extension):
( ~ = dependent on Excel version);  + = read/write;  R = only reading )

                                 Interface
File extension       COM POI POI/OOXML JXL OXS UNO OTK JOD OCT
--------------------------------------------------------------
.xls (Excel95)        R                 R       R 
.xls (Excel97-2003)   +   +      +      +   +   +
.xlxx/xlsm            +          +         (+)  +           R
.wk1                  +                         +
.wks                  +                         +
.dbf                  +                         +
.ods                  ~                         +   +   +   R
.sxc                                            +       +
.fods                                           +
.uos                                            +
.dif                                            +
.csv                  +                         +
.gnumeric                                                   R
--------------------------------------------------------------

*** Bug fixes:
    - post_install.m: seems unneeded, provisionally commented out all commands
    - PKG_ADD: dropped all references to Java package, now just checks
      octave_config_info("features").JAVA

*** Known issues:
    - OOXML write/read support in OpenXLS (OXS) is a bit wonky. Doesn't pass
      Octave OF-io's test script. Upstream has been informed of one example bug.
    - OpenXLS' OOXML depends on another .jar file (gwt-servlet-deps.jar). Rip
      it from this archive (108+ MB download): gwt-2.5.1.zip, available at:
      http://www.gwtproject.org/download.html  ("Download GWT SDK")

===============================================================================
io-1.3.5   Release Date: 2013-TBA Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

*** Merged in changes from io-1.2.5 (OCT interface)

*** New spreadsheet test routine; improved existing routines to write with one
    and read with some other interface (helped to uncover many concealed bugs)

*** (pending) Cleaning up chk_spreadsheet_support.m

*** Bug fixes:
    - OCT: Replace fgetl calls by fread
           Improved regexp's
    - JOD: Wipe "A" and "B" in A1/B1 in new empty spreadsheets (a very old bug)
    - POI: File extension checks improved

===============================================================================
io-1.3.4   Release Date: None (internal)
===============================================================================

*** chk_spreadsheet_support restyled from Matlab into Octave style
         "   ,  introduced recursive subdir search for Java class libs (nice for
                Fedora)
    Added rfsearch.m, function to find files in subdirs

===============================================================================
io-1.3.3   Release Date: 2013-08-15   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

Intermediate unofficial development version for Octave 3.7.x.
Only released on patch tracker

Changes: see section for version 1.2.3

===============================================================================
io-1.3.2   Release Date: 2013-06-18   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

Intermediate unofficial development version for Octave 3.7.x.
Only released on patch tracker

** Bug fixes
--- chk_spredsheet_support: better Java detection (bug #38725)

--- xlsopen.m: .xlsx files are properly recognized

--- Re-enabled OXS (only reading) and UNO

** Created test_spsh.m test script
--- This will find all supported spreadsheet interfaces and tests them one by one

===============================================================================
io-1.3.0, io-1.3.1  Release Date: -internal-   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

Version 1.3.0 - 1.3.1 are intermediate development versions for Octave > 3.7.1
with built-in Java support.
They are largely untested; the built-in test scripts work for all tested interfaces 
except UNO and OXS (which consequently are disabled).

===============================================================================
io-1.2.5   Release Date: 2013-11-14 Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

*** - Added string/formula read support to xlsx/OCT. There's now full read
      support for .xlsx (OOXML) files w/o requiring Java or COM
    - Added requested range for .xlsx/OCT reading

*** Bug fixes:
    - Better filetype / file extension detection (bug #40490)

    - Added unpack.m from dev core Octave as private/__unpack.m to avoid
      unzip errors for .xlsx and .gnumeric

    - Removed harmless but annoying error messages from Java detection
    
    - Fix tablerow repeat counter bugs (affected reading ODS w. OCT interface)

===============================================================================
io-1.2.4   Release Date: 2013-11-05   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================
*** Added !experimental! OCT (native Octave) interface for reading .ods,
    gnumeric, and xlsx. OCT doesn't need Java or COM/ActiveX; it works without
    any support software. That independence does come at a price however:
    - reading .ods is fully flexible like the other interfaces but a bit slow
    - reading .xlsx is FAST but it only gives numeric data (no strings yet)
    - reading gnumeric only reads "hard" data, no formula results. I'm afraid
      this isn't gonna change (it's a gnumeric developer issue)
    Markus Bergholz supplied the code for very fast reading of OOXML (at
    present only numeric data) - Thanks very much Markus!

An overview of what interface can be used for which types of files (extension)
( ~ = dependent on Excel version);  + = read/write;  R = only reading )

                                 Interface
File extension       COM POI POI/OOXML JXL OXS UNO OTK JOD OCT
--------------------------------------------------------------
.xls (Excel95)        R                 R       R 
.xls (Excel97-2003)   +   +      +      +   R   +
.xlxx/xlsm            +          +              +           R
.wk1                  +                         +
.wks                  +                         +
.dbf                  +                         +
.ods                  ~                         +   +   +   R
.sxc                                            +       +
.fods                                           +
.uos                                            +
.dif                                            +
.csv                  +                         +
.gnumeric                                                   R
--------------------------------------------------------------

*** getxmlattv.m, getxmlnode.m: new functions (for support of OCT interface)

*** xlsopen.m: suffixes for Excel filenames (.xls, .xlsx) need not be specified. 
               (But the files on disk do need these suffixes!)

*** odsread.m, xlsread.m: No output arg required (output is sent to terminal
                          if not output args specified)
       ''          ''     Check if filename is a text string

*** odsopen: Relax requirement of lower case filename extension

** Bug fixes:
--- xlsopen.m: Undue fallback to JXL for OOXML files hopefully fixed now
       ''      Misinformation in error message about unsupported OXS & UNO fixed

--- private/__POI_getusedrange__.m: Check return value of XSSF getFirstCellNum
    method

===============================================================================
io-1.2.3   Release Date: 2013-08-15   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================
** Bug fixes:

--- private/chk_jar_entries.m: trim multiple entries to avoid padded spaces

*** private/getxlsinterfaces.m: add multiple jar entries for POI cf. Fedora
    naming (actually a Fedora packaging complication)

*** chk_spreadsheet_support.m: same as getxlsinterfaces.m

*** Added logical types to object2json (by Keith Sheppard, bug #39429)

*** Tested odfdom-0.6-incubator (odfdom-0.8.9): too buggy to support :-(
    Updated doc/READ-ODS.html and added checks to chk_spreadsheet_support.m
    and private/getodsinterfaces.m

===============================================================================
io-1.2.2   Release Date: 2013-05-21   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================
** Bug fixes:

--- xlsopen.m: avoid fallback to JXL for OOXML files in some cases

--- xlsopen.m, odsopen.m (actually silently fixed in 1.2.1): always re-read
    javaclasspath when a Java spreadsheet interface is requested explicitly
    (because between calls to xls-/odsopen new classes could be added to the
    javaclasspath, this wasn't picked up properly)

--- csv2cell(): Fix hanging when it encountered EOF w/o preceding EOL (#143
    in former OctDev bug tracker)
    csv2cell(): Fix inconsistent behavior when first field on a line is a
    string protected by "" (see
    http://octave.1599824.n4.nabble.com/csv2cell-inconsistent-tc4635817.html)

--- __UNO_oct2spsh__.m: wrong assignment in code finding existing sheetnames

--- Fix checks on xls or xls? suffix (due to Vermylen)

--- Temporarily commented out tests in private subdir (bug #38755)

** csv2cell(): Tests added for above bugs and proper SEP and PROT args

** cell2csv(): Tests added incl. for proper SEP and PROT args

** Added read_namelist.m and write_namelist.m, kindly contributed by
   Darien Pardinas Diaz and Terry Duel

===============================================================================
io-1.2.1   Release Date: 2013-03-01   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================
** Bug fixes:
--- post_install.m: fixed wrong format specifier in error message

--- chk_spreadsheet_support: Java call to return JVM memory size returns
    varying type dependent on Java version. Made this part of code more robust.
    Also prepared for Octave-3.8 built-in Java support

--- xlsopen.m, odsopen.m: improved matching file type to specific interfaces
    (e.g., .sxc can only be read by JOD and UNO; .xlsx only by COM, POI-OOXML
    and UNO)

** moved common Java detection code from getods/getxlsinterfaces to separate
   function

** post_install: if PKG_ADD couldn't be removed from .oct file dir, inform user
   to add spreadsheet Java class libs manually to the javaclasspath

** Replaced all calls to to-be-deprecated java_new & java_invoke calls by 
   javaObject and javaMethod

===============================================================================
io-1.2.0   Release Date: 2012-12-27   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================
This will be the last major version that is "depending" on the separate Java
package for most of the spreadsheet I/O. In a next major version this will be
based on Octave's built-in Java support.
Some of the spreadsheet support files in io-1.2.0 are expected not to work
anymore in Octave-3.8+

** Bug fixes:
--- xls2oct(POI)/__POI_spsh2oct__: now correctly evaluates formulas (as far as
    POI can handle cell formulas)
--- Fixed sheet selection code for UNO and COM interfaces

** Moved all interface-specific subfunctions and code into ./private subdir.
   This allowed for elimination of a lot of duplicate code.

** Moved functions parse_sp_range.m, spsh_chkrange.m & spsh_prstype.m into
   ./private subdir

** Support for POI 3.9 added

===============================================================================
io-1.0.20   Release Date: 2012-09-07   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

** Bug fixes:
--- xlsopen, xlsclose, odsopen, odsclose: replaced canonicalize_file_name call
    with make_absolute_filename for non-windows systems (canonicalize_file_name
    doesn't work with non-existent (new) files on *nix) (bug #36677);
    Web addresses (URLs) only need two rather than three slashes;
--- xlsopen: matching .jar names to javaclasspath entries worked the wrong way
--- io_xls_testscript / io_ods_testscript: added small delay for UNO calls to
    avoid lock-ups with recent LibreOffice (3.6.x)

** The annoying flashing LibreOffice splash screens have been fixed upstream;
   with LibreOffice 3.6.1 I didn't see them anymore

** Extended file rename section in odsclose similar to that in xlsclose

===============================================================================
io-1.0.19   Release Date: 2012-06-08   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

** Bug fixes:
--- getusedrange subfunc getusedrange_jod: str2num applied to indices rather
    than the substring. Must have been there for > 2 years, only surfaced
    with jopendocument v 1.3b1
--- oct2xls, oct2ods: cast all numeric types in input array to double as 
    spreadsheets have only double, boolean or character string type. This bug
    has been there from the very beginning of the spreadsheet functions  >8-O

--- Support for reading back formulas from .xls spreadsheets using ActiveX/COM

** Compatible with jOpenDocument version 1.3b1
   getUsedRange() method added (MUCH faster than the old hack)

** Compatible with odfdom-java-0.8.8-incubator.jar (ODF Toolkit 0.5-incubating)

** Compatible with Apache POI 3.8 final

===============================================================================
io-1.0.18   Release Date: 2012-03-22   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

** The following functions have been imported from the miscellaneous package:
      cell2csv    csvconcat     xmlread
      csv2cell    csvexplode    xmlwrite
   Their error messages and help messages have been cleaned up a bit.

** Bug fixes:
--- odsfinfo: fixed "wrong type argument `cell'" bug when run interactively.
--- xlsopen, odsopen: fixed messed up screen output due to UNO usage warning.
--- csv2cell: checks if file is empty and if so, return an empty cell.
--- xlsopen: better Java detection logic, more informative error messages

** Adapted to internal LibreOffice-3.5-final changes. 
   Some bugs (flashing LO screens) still have to be fixed upstream - see here:
   https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=42470

** Tried OpenXLS-6.0.7.jar. Reads OK, still unusable for writing .xls files.

===============================================================================
io-1.0.17   Release Date: 2012-02-27   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

** Bug fixes:
--- oct2ods, oct2xls, odswrite default range input arg. These functions may not
    have worked properly for two years (!)

** Fixed support for odfdom v.0.8.7 (ODS). Note: the OTK interface only works
   well with xercesImpl.jar 2.9.1 (Sep 14, 2009)

** Many small bug fixes & documentation updated to actual functionality.

** Fixed "seealso" texinfo header string in almost all functions.

** Added formal test scripts to "internal functions" section.

===============================================================================
io-1.0.16   Release Date: 2012-01-19   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

** Bug fixing release

** PKG_ADD now expects Java spreadsheet class libs (.jars) in /lib/java
  (for MinGW)

===============================================================================
io-1.0.15   Release Date: 2011-10-02   Release Manager: Philip Nienhuis
===============================================================================

io-1.0.15 is primarily a bug fix release and a snapshot / wrap-up of current 
  development status (some still a bit experimental). It mainly comprises:

** A number of bug fixes (incl. some serious ones, notably with .ods/OOo Calc);

** Some mainly cosmetic improvements to existing code; less verbosity;

** pch2mat (reading & transforming Nastran PCH files, contributed by 
  B. Oytun Peksel);

** object2json.m (creating a json description string of objects, contributed
  by Daniel Torre). This was already silently introduced in io-1.0.14;

** A scripted troubleshooting / classpath setup tool for spreadsheet I/O
  support (chk_spreadsheet_support.m);

** Experimental OXS support (OpenXLS) for reading Excel xls (BIFF8).
  OpenXLS is -let's say- a little bit lacking: For reading it is faster than
  JXL. However, while OXS write support has been coded (and works) I had to
  disable it as the OXS Java classes won't release the file handle so Octave
  will hang upon closing :-(  I'm stuck with this so I just release it as-is;

** Experimental UNO support, i.e. invoking OpenOffice.org (or clones like 
  LibreOffice) behind the scenes to read spreadsheet files, much like 
  ActiveX/COM for MS-Excel. This is also based on Java. The first time you
  use UNO, OOo has to be loaded and you'll have to be patient, but once loaded
  (and in the OS cache) you'll see the pros:
  --* Very fast;
  --* Much lower Java memory usage as OOo loads the spreadsheet in its own 
      memory chunk (not Octave's) => much bigger spreadsheet capacity;
  --* You can read *all* formats supported by OOo: .ods, .xls, .csv, .xlsx,
      .sxc, .dbf, Lotus wk1, Quattro Pro, ......; and it doesn't really matter
      whether xlsopen of odsopen is used.
  Of course all this wonderful stuff comes at a prize:
  --* After closing the spreadsheet file (odsclose, xlsclose) ALL OOo
      invocations will be closed, also those started outside Octave. This is 
      due to "the way OpenOffice works" (quoted from OOo dev forum), especially
      through Java. There are other ways to close OOo but they'll hang Octave;
  --* The Java UNO classes supplied with e.g. LibreOffice aren't kept quite
      up-to-date with the main program. As a consequence, with e.g.,
      LibreOffice 3.4 the main LO window will pop up (it can't be hidden). I 
      filed a bug report for this 
      (https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=40991) but I haven't seen
      it being picked up yet. Another example: while LO 3.3.1's row capacity
      was already > 10^6, it took until LO 3.4 before this capacity was
      implemented in the Java UNO classes.
  Like with OXS, I'm a bit stuck here - all this has to be fixed upstream.

Hint:
for older Octave versions (< 3.4.0) you can install io-1.0.15 using the -nodeps
  flag. You'll then loose the old and buggy textread and csv/dlm-read/write
  functions but I'd consider that as no big loss.
  
  <please scroll up/back to see rest of io NEWS>