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OpenOffice Bloated? 941

Posted by Zonk
from the feeling-the-weight-gain dept.
cygnusx writes "ZDNet's George Ou has been writing a series of posts about Open Office bloat. Includes some interesting system usage comparisons" From the article: "Even when dealing with what is essentially the same data, OpenOffice Calc uses up 211 MBs of private unsharable memory while Excel uses up 34 MBs of private unsharable memory. The fact that OpenOffice.org Calc takes about 100 times the CPU time explains the kind of drastic results we were getting where Excel could open a file in 2 seconds while Calc would take almost 3 minutes. Most of that massive speed difference is due to XML being very processor intensive, but Microsoft still handles its own XML files about 7 times faster than OpenOffice.org handles OpenDocument ODS format and uses far less memory than OpenOffice.org."
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OpenOffice Bloated?

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  • I know the problem! (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:12PM (#13889541)
    Java.
  • by RPoet (20693) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:17PM (#13889587) Journal
    This is no bad thing, however. An article like this, pointing out that feature X of OpenOffice.org is n times slower than on Microsoft Office, will only trigger the OOo hackers to optimize and improve. So, in a sense, Ou's effort against OOo will "backlash".
  • by mnmn (145599) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:18PM (#13889594) Homepage
    I dont know how you got the opposite results.

    I installed OO 2.0 on my machine to check the updates, and to see if its speed is up to snuff. Issues with compatibility are gone but it is more than twice as slow while opening files. (I'm not using quickstarters for OO or MSO).

    Heck since I'm reporting these results, I MUST be a microsoft shill too I guess.
  • Re:GUI (Score:5, Informative)

    by bheer (633842) <rbheer&gmail,com> on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:18PM (#13889600)
    Office uses zero MFC. Most of the older bits is Platform SDK C, and is a b*tch to maintain, and the newer parts are C++ *but not* MFC -- I understand the Office team has its own lightweight frameworks, similar to ATL.

  • by BenjyD (316700) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:19PM (#13889608)
    Openoffice.org is a C++ app. It uses java for some scripting, but everything else is C++.
  • On its face (Score:2, Informative)

    by shareme (897587) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:20PM (#13889619) Homepage
    On its face MS Office does not handle OpenDocument format so theother claism are entirely suspect.. Do anly /. contribs actually read what they submit?
  • by InThane (2300) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:20PM (#13889620) Homepage Journal
    AFAIK, most of OO is NOT using Java - the only part of OO in Java is the database manager, and that's only for the JDBC connectivity.
  • by fishybell (516991) <fishybell@[ ]mail.com ['hot' in gap]> on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:21PM (#13889628) Homepage Journal
    Well, don't believe it? Benchmark it yourself.

    He provided the test data here [lanarchitect.net] and here [lanarchitect.net]

  • NeoOfficeJ (Score:4, Informative)

    by ontheheap (824062) <ontheheap@gmail.cBOYSENom minus berry> on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:22PM (#13889637) Homepage
    I recently purchased an iBook G4 which came with a trial edition of Office.Mac (or whatever it's called). I used it for the 45 days of the trial and then switched to "OpenOffice.org for the Mac," otherwise known as NeoOfficeJ. The only thing I've noticed thusfar is that Neo takes about 1.5 times longer to run initially, and it seems to take longer to save files. Other than that I really haven't noticed any other differences in performance.
  • by plover (150551) * on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:23PM (#13889648) Homepage Journal
    Hmm. I've been running MS Office 2003 for over a year and have yet to experience a single crash with Word or Excel. I've had Outlook freeze up numerous times, but virtually all of those problems have their roots in our Exchange server (and the seriously mismanaged overload they've piled on it.)
  • Bought (Score:4, Informative)

    by Psionicist (561330) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:24PM (#13889656)
    He is already anti-Open Document http://government.zdnet.com/?p=1723 [zdnet.com] and heavly pro-Microsoft http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/ [zdnet.com] so this is not unexpected.
  • by Glock27 (446276) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:24PM (#13889658)
    How much of this slowness is the application's fault vs. this being a giant Java app running in a JRE?

    OpenOffice is *not* written in Java. It'd most likely work better if it were. ;-) It is written in C++. I wonder if there'd be much of a speedup compiling it with the Intel compiler....

    It does have some Java functionality, which is why a JRE is required. IIRC, gcj is the JRE most often used, which might impact interpreted Java performance. Gcj has a slow interpreter, though I think the most recent version has an optional JITC.

  • by zippity8 (446412) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:28PM (#13889693)
    Not to argue about whether or not OOo is more bloated than Office, but George Ou has always seemed to be ranting pro-MS and putting forth statements like this just to get the reaction.

    Here's his webpage [lanarchitect.net]

    And his other ZDNet entries [zdnet.com]

    Also, you might want to check out the comments already posted to his review of OOo beta2 [zdnet.com]
  • So true (Score:5, Informative)

    by Arthur B. (806360) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:31PM (#13889713)
    Honestly, I want to love Openoffice and to advocate it... I have worked in finance on excel, dealing with huge huge spreadsheets and many graphs... Have you tried to plot a 10 000 points graph in OOo Calc vs excel... in excel it is done in less than a second... In OOo the application will freeze for half and hour before slowly starting to display the graph. Cherry on the cake it will conviniently try to write "ROW" under each point in a huge ugly font. After that, changing the data means of course waiting half an hour again because the chart is updating. OOo calc simply doesn't do the job, how hard I wish it would.
  • No kidding... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dr. Zowie (109983) <slashdot@deforeC ... g minus language> on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:31PM (#13889716)
    The Mac port of OpenOffice (NeoOfficeJ) is so bloated that by default it starts up in the background when you log in! That's a crappy solution because it sits there hogging swap space until you want it.

    I can start Mac Pages, Inkscape, Keynote and even the Gimp before NeoOfficeJ is finished loading. Now that's slow.

  • by eelke_klein (676038) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:31PM (#13889723)

    I think it was Corel Draw that was released as a Java port a bunch of years ago.

    You've got it partly right, it was Corel but the application was WordPerfect.

  • by BenjyD (316700) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:31PM (#13889724)
    Just to attempt to forestall all the Java posts - Openoffice.org is written almost entirely in C++, not Java.
  • by Bradee-oh! (459922) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:37PM (#13889785)
    Disable Java in the options and it starts in 1-2 seconds on the same machine.

    Somewhat off topic but pertinent ENOUGH... Good God man! Thank you! The Java tab in the options dialog was incredibly easy to find but for some reason I just breezed right over it. Unclicking that little devil's box just dropped my start time from 15-20 seconds to 1. I know it likely has nothing to do with the working data that this "benchmark" tested, but it sure shows how good an idea it would be to transition the Java dependency on over to native code.

  • Re:Lets see... (Score:4, Informative)

    by jdclucidly (520630) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:38PM (#13889794) Homepage
    OO.o is written in C, not Java.
  • by sarguin (702714) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:40PM (#13889808)
    Go to the Options and uncheck the Java option (Use a java runtime environment). After this, OpenOffice.org start like a breeze...
  • by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:44PM (#13889848)
    Read this comment [slashdot.org] for a nice description of why that is not ad hominem.

    Your slur on his 2 digit ID, however, is completely off topic. Google for "petard, hoist upon".
  • by vijayiyer (728590) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:45PM (#13889860)
    I know I'm going to get modded down because I'm about to criticize one of the darlings of Slashdot, but I have some karma to burn: The problem with OO.org is that it attempts to be a clone of MS Office rather than a good office suite. I run MS Office using Crossover Office, and it is much faster (I don't have numbers, but it's on the order of 5-10x, even more for some very large documents) than OO.org. I'm not ideology driven - I need to get real work done. For me, that means document compatibility and speed. When I generate my own documents, I use LaTeX and Matlab to produce documents superior in quality to both OO.org and MS Office in an open document format. When reading large documents, OO.org is unstable, is not 100% compatible, and is too slow for day to day use. I tried opening one Word document killed OO.org after an hour, where MS Office opened it in a minute or so. Bottom line - why _should_ I be using OO.org? It suffers in compatibility on the reading side, and doesn't generate true publication quality documents on the output side. I understand that document compatibility issues are really Microsoft's fault, but, again, I have to be pragmatic. A couple of hundred dollars is negligible compared to the value of my time.
  • Re:GUI (Score:5, Informative)

    by electroniceric (468976) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:46PM (#13889867)
    IIRC there was an article not too long ago that explained that the main difference between Office and OO is that Office makes extensive use of lazy loading, while OO essentially hammers through loading every library it may need, which not only thrashes the disk once on initial load, but again as you (likely) swap out memory pages. My recollection was that this lack of lazy loading had something to do with cross-platform compiling and linking issues, as well as MS having extensive resources to put into optimizing Office loading that OO did not. My understanding is that Sun hasn't exactly dumped developer time into OO, either, and I believe the focus of this release was compatibility and.

    Typically people solve this problem by preloading a bunch of the relevant libraries at startup, a strategy both MS and OO attempt to employ (viz OfficeStartup and OO QuickStarter). I used to detest that, but if I had 1 or 2GB or RAM and wanted to rely on OO, I might not find it so bad. I think an interesting addition to this comparison would be to see how OO fared with QuickStarter enabled, and what drain that placed on the rest of the system. Likewise disabling the JVM loading.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:46PM (#13889869)
    but even I can see that OO.org runs laps around any MS product for my uses

    You've got to be kidding me. OO has never been faster than any version of MS Office I have ever tried. Without that "booster" application sitting in your system tray the individual applications take usually about 2x as long to load and be in a usable state as the equivalent MS Office application.

    Now, on to some real numbers. I'm timing this with my watch so you'll have to forgive the ~1 second resolution. I perform each test several times to ensure that disk I/O doesn't taint the numbers.

    A random excel spreadsheet on my desktop that calculates some manufacturing costs.

    XLS format - 1980 kb

    Opening in Excel XP (this includes the time to load excel)
    Less than 1 second

    Opening XLS file in OO (Calc already loaded)
    5 seconds

    Ok. To be fair we should save the spreadsheet in OO format so the converter isn't required. Let's test save times first though.

    Save as new XLS file under Excel XP
    3 seconds

    Save as new XLS file in OO
    3 seconds

    Save as new native file in OO
    4 seconds

    Ok. Let's see how long it takes OO to open a document saved in native format.

    Open ODS file in OO (Calc already loaded)
    7 seconds (not surprised - XML processing is sssllllooooowwwww)

    And finally, on to memory usage with said spreadsheet loaded:
    OO Calc - 67 meg
    Excel - 15 meg

    I won't even mention the issues with things like the noticable delay between the time you click the menu and the time it appears. Don't get me wrong - OO 2.0 is a nice office suite but don't claim it "run laps around" MS Office. That isn't true by any stretch of the imagination.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:48PM (#13889891)
    AbiWord and OpenOffice are bloated pigs compared to MS Office. See http://www.geocities.com/typopl/bug5291.html [geocities.com] for a speed and memory usage comparison between MS Office 2003/AbiWord 2.2.X/2.4.X, and OpenOffice 1.X/ 2.X.
  • by krbvroc1 (725200) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:51PM (#13889925)
    Not only that but what about all the 'hidden' services that office installs which preloads the DLLs so that office loads faster? Maybe that optimization helps? (Quicken does the same thing too).
  • External XML (Score:4, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @12:57PM (#13889993) Homepage Journal
    XML is a data interchange format. We've finally arrived at the era where apps can interchange data in XML without (necessarily) being trapped in a proprietary data format. But that doesn't make XML suitable for internal data representation. Apps should use internal data formats that support their native performance, and serialize data objects to XML for interchange, including storage. Using XML internally when performance thereby suffers is the bad kind of lazy, bad design that saves development time at the manifold expense of user time.
  • Re:No Methodology (Score:3, Informative)

    by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @01:11PM (#13890120)
    What files were loaded, what conditions were they loaded ..except that they provide you links to them (did you _read_ the article)

    Was it the same machine

    Yes

    What distro

    No distro - it was openoffice for windows

    Sounds like another MS shill to me.

    And you sound like a FOSS shill to me.. ;)

    Openoffice is bloated. Anyone who has used it should realize. We know it, but we have no OSS alternative to it, so...
  • by piquadratCH (749309) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @01:18PM (#13890189)
    Unclicking that little devil's box just dropped my start time from 15-20 seconds to 1.
    Make sure that this speedup of the second startup(without Java) isn't the result of all the caching after the first start (with java).
    I tried it myself on my P4 1.8GHz: the first start (with java) took about 15s, subsequent starts (with java) took 7s. After disabling java, the startup time didn't improve. All times are handstoped with a wrist watch, so YMMV.
  • Re:Actually. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Philip K Dickhead (906971) <folderol@fancypants.org> on Thursday October 27, 2005 @01:19PM (#13890208) Journal
    Microsoft - for all of its size - has only about 8,000 FTEs on development teams.
  • by jbeaupre (752124) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @01:22PM (#13890231)
    I used the data you suggested. My methodology and note-taking aren't perfect, but here's the lowdown

    On a 3.06 GHz Intel with hyperthreading on (though it makes no difference) and 2 Gig of ram
    OO 1.9.122 vs Excel 2002 SP3
    3.4 Meg SVX file vs 191 meg xlm

    File load: SXC OO ~3 minutes , XML Excel ~ 1 minute (not including time to unzip and open from withing excel).
    Memory use (meg): min/typical/max OO 13/115/212 excel 4/45/65 (yes, 4 meg with a 191 meg file open, go figure !?!?!)
    proc load: 100% during load times for both on "1" processor (HT did not help)

    I saved the sxc file as ods and xls versions (hadn't figured out loading the zip into excel at that point). 3.9 meg and 49.5 meg file size repectively.

    File load: ods OO ~1 minute, xls Excel ~3 seconds
    Memory use (meg): min/typical/max OO ?/72/72 Excel ?/91/91
    proc load: 100% during load times for both on "1" processor (HT did not help)

    Seems the Excel has some advantage in extreme situations but the caveat mileage may vary seems to apply.

    If OO would run twice as fast or use half the memory, I'd be willing to pay twice as much!

  • by Glock27 (446276) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @01:41PM (#13890392)
    In this case, as previous posts here have suggested, the use of a JRE for scripting capabilities is resulting in long startup times, even if most of OO.o is written in C++.

    No, the only post that seems to complain about long startup times is dealing with the case where there is NO JVM INSTALLED, but OO is looking for one.

    Disabling Java support resulted in vastly improved startup times.

    Since OO was no longer searching for a JVM that wasn't there in the first place...

    That does lead us to believe that Java is somewhat responsible for some of the problems that have been noted.

    Logic error, retrying....

  • Note: GP is correct (Score:5, Informative)

    by shark72 (702619) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @01:45PM (#13890428)

    "You clearly don't know what an ad hominem attack is."

    The GP does indeed appear to understand the subject. I think the confusion lies in the fact that there are various types of ad hominem attacks. In this case, this is what's known as a circumstantial ad hominem.

    The wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] explains this well. If you believe the wikipedia article to be incorrect, you may want to take the time to edit it.

    "But when Ou, who has a long and easily verifiable history of writing articles that disparage open-source software, says the same thing, his words should be taken with a generous pinch of salt."

    Ironically, you have made an ad hominem attack yourself. From the wikipedia article:

    Ad hominem circumstantial involves pointing out that someone is in circumstances such that he is disposed to take a particular position. Essentially, circumstantial ad hominem constitutes an attack on the bias of a person. The reason that this is fallacious is that it simply does not make one's opponent's arguments, from a logical point of view, any less credible to point out that one's opponent is disposed to argue that way.

    But I'm not surprised that you're incorrect, since Anonymous Cowards usually are. ;-)

  • by tjw (27390) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @01:50PM (#13890473) Homepage
    You need Java enabled to work with .odb files. Well at least any that use the built-in database which is written in Java:

    hsqldb.org [hsqldb.org]

    I'm not sure if JDBC drivers are used for all external dbs, but probably.

  • Re:No Office Gripes (Score:5, Informative)

    by dominator (61418) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @01:52PM (#13890498) Homepage
    Though, Office has been around for a long time and Openoffice hasn't, so I'm sure there will be lots of features and performance gains in the coming years for the latter. I'm definitely going to keep an eye on Openoffice.


    That's not true at all. While OpenOffice is "only" maybe 5-6 years old now, it is built on top of the older StarOffice codebase, which has been in development since the mid-1980s. It's not like they started from scratch a few weeks ago...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StarOffice [wikipedia.org]
  • Re:erm.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by AlXtreme (223728) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @02:05PM (#13890600) Homepage Journal
    As Mr. Jobs has stated in the past, you have to realize that millions of people are going to use your product. Suppose 10 million people use OOo, a minute a year would result to 19 human-years lost. For merely loading documents.

    From my personal experience, OOo takes at least 20 seconds to load on a reasonable machine. Suppose I start OOo once every day (not very unrealistic) that would mean some 120 minutes lost. That would result in 2280 years lost over the population of OOo users. Tends to put load-times in perspective, doesn't it?

    Abiword and Gnumeric do fine for me personally and start in a flash. Now if my boss would stop sending me .ppt's I could finally get rid of OOo for good. Speaking of which, the latest Abiword can handle ODF! \o/

  • by civilizedINTENSITY (45686) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @02:05PM (#13890603)
    More like, one bicycle is locked up out front, one bicycle is in the back of the garage behind crates with piles of stuff on top, and yet a third bicycle is somewhere in the attic, we think. I yell "go", and time who gets around the block faster. Storage placement and access is not a fair test of the design of the bicycle.
  • by SeattleGameboy (641456) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @02:23PM (#13890746) Journal
    Gosh, this is one of the stupidest thread I have ever seen.

    I can understand yours and the parent poster's reservation about the article's authors bias IF the article was just stating his opinions, which would be impossible to prove false, but...

    BUT HE ACTUALLY POSTED NUMBERS!!!

    You don't like the results? Just do the tests yourself. We are not talking about global warming here. Just load both apps, creates some files and see how long it takes to open it.

    If you think he is biased and is wrong, just go ahead and PROVE IT!!!

    Gosh, don't we have enough people right now (re: media) who confuse facts with opinions? I think we can do better than that hear at Slashdot.

  • by ThaFooz (900535) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @02:34PM (#13890855)
    Anyone running OpenOffice on a Mac want to add another data point where MS doesn't have code "hidden" in the OS?

    I've wondered that myself, but unfortunatley its rather difficult to make that comparison. MSO for the Mac uses Apple's native Quartz windowing system, whereas there really isn't a full port of OOo to the Mac yet - you have to choose between OOo for X11 or NeoOffice (Java-heavy OOo)... both of which tend to be incomplete and/or several versions behind. Since the X11 emulator and JVM are launched on demand of the apps, OOo will always feel quite sluggish, and its difficult do determine how much of the RAM footprint is due to that key difference. Its a real drag, which is why I abandoned OOo in favor of MSO on my powerbook, whereas OOo on my Linux & Windows PC's is just fine and dandy.

    Kind of a tangent, but I would be interested to see the memory comparison of MSO to iWork. Of course, then we're trusting that Apple doesn't "hide" any code ;)
  • by dozer (30790) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @02:38PM (#13890913)
    You can't deny the fact that MS has had about 10 years long[er] to get MSO right than the OOo people have had to get OO right.

    Are you joking? StarDivision was founded in 1986, and some code found in OOo goes back almost that long. StarOffice was created in 1994. Depending on how you count, I would say that StarOffice and OpenOffice are within a year or two of each other in age.

    Two years until OOo is as good as MSO? You're dreaming! I'll take that bet.

    Personally, I use Gnumeric for all my spreadsheet tasks, and I eagerly await the day when Abiword doesn't randomly crash when a document contains footnotes.

  • by kylef (196302) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @02:52PM (#13891046)
    Anyone running OpenOffice on a Mac want to add another data point where MS doesn't have code "hidden" in the OS?

    Hidden code, you say? Before you go off accusing Microsoft of a Consent Degree violation, perhaps you should be a bit more careful about what exactly you're comparing. It is extremely important when you try to compare "memory usage" on different Operating Systems that you are actually comparing apples to apples. And since you didn't cite the source for your "7.10" and "9.81" numbers above, I doubt you really understand what you're measuring.

    If you're using Task Manager, for example, you will by default only see "Mem Usage" which reports the physical memory (i.e., the "working set") consumed by the process. Even though this metric includes both private and shared pages (i.e., shared code and data segments of DLLs are charged to each process here), it does NOT include pages which still reside on disk (either in the executable images, memory-mapped files, or the system pagefile.

    Another common memory statistic from Task Manager is "VM Size" (you have to add it to your column view by "View->Select Columns"). "VM Size" tallies private virtual bytes consumed by the process. Private means that this quantity does NOT include shared/shareable pages like DLLs and memory-mapped files. "VM Size" is sometimes smaller than the "Mem Usage" precisely because shared pages aren't counted. This causes a large amount of consternation to those who don't understand what is being reported, because they expect physical memory usage to be smaller. "VM Size" is the equivalent of the process's page file allocation, since shared pages by their nature are already backed up on disk elsewhere.

    Another common memory usage metric in Windows can be obtained from Perfmon (perfmon.msc, the Performance MMC snap-in). From this tool, you can view "Virtual Bytes" of each process, which is the amount of reserved virtual memory for the entire process, including shared pages. It is equivalent to "VM Size" from task manager PLUS shared virtual memory.

    So, as you can see, it is not altogether obvious what is being reported unless you really understand the details of memory management on the underlying OS. Before comapring application memory usage across platforms, you need to be sure you're using comparable metrics!

  • Re:GUI (Score:2, Informative)

    by Geoff NoNick (7623) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @02:52PM (#13891050)
    Bingo - this is exactly the difference between OpenOffice and MS Office. But ultimately it's just a matter of exchanging the OS' virtual paging system for an internal system that loads and unloads as required. You'll still end up getting a fair amount of swapping in both cases, but the latter (which MS Office uses) makes it *appear* that there's less memory being used. In reality, most of OpenOffice's used memory is committed to the swap file anyway.
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @02:59PM (#13891120)
    I tried this recently, just to check on initial memory usage, and fired up Word 2003 and AbiWord v2.4.1, typed in a very small line of text into both (same text), and checked memory usage under Windows - and found AbiWord using slightly less than half the memory that Word 2003 was taking. I've not tried having AbiWord laod up any Word documents or anything like that, yet, but it's certainly worth checking into.
  • Re:No kidding... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Master Of Ninja (521917) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @03:21PM (#13891361)
    Sorry, what version of NeoOfficeJ are you using? I have the 1.1 version here, and there is no default start up in the background. Starting up NeoOffice J for the first time in a session might take 10-20 seconds, but each additional time to start up after that is quick (prob due to the java runtime needed).

    Besides NeoOffice isn't a mac port per se. Its just re-implementing the X11 version of OpenOffice.org for the mac as a java application.

    If you can start up all those programs before NeoOffice you either have something wrong with your setup or are a troll. Which one are you?
  • by InvalidError (771317) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @03:46PM (#13891611)
    Moore's Law: transistor count doubles every ~18 months.

    Up to about three years ago, this translated in a comparable increase in system performance. If you look at system performance now compared to back when Northwood/HT was introduced, the only thing that sort-of-doubled performance since then is dual-core. Add marginal clock increases and infrastructure upgrades and you get a ~3X boost over the last three years rather than 4X. They can keep doubling transistor count by doubling caches and core counts but beyond 2MB caches and quad-core, we're deep in the land of diminishing returns.

    Now, it takes nearly triple the transistors to double performance, bringing the performance-doubling cycle closer to 24 months... and even longer in the not-so-distant future.
  • by rdoger6424 (879843) <rdoger6424+slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday October 27, 2005 @03:55PM (#13891669) Journal
    Are you using a beta or stable release of OpenOffice? I think that there are two different versions (Beta being the buggier version, stable being bug free, persumably)
    And yes, OO.org is based off of star office.
  • by Markus_UW (892365) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @04:45PM (#13892149)
    Plus WINE Is Not an Emulator.
  • by mykdavies (1369) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @05:05PM (#13892343)
    Good point - I've just compared Office/X with NeoOffice/J (perhaps not really fair on OOo, as NeoOffice brings Java into the equation as well).

    (All on a 1GHz Powerbook, 750MB RAM)

    Footprint with a blank doc:
    NeoOffice/J Writer 74MB
    MS Word 20 MB

    Footprint after loading a 750kB html file:
    Writer - 103MB
    Word - 31MB

    Launch time:
    Word 17 seconds first time, second time was 6 seconds
    Writer 47 seconds first time, second time was 17 seconds

    Word Document open time:
    Word - 3 seconds
    Writer - 16 seconds

    Opening a .txt file (750kB)
    Word - 3 seconds
    Writer - 5 seconds

    Opening a .html file (730 kB)
    Word - 5s
    Writer - 5s

    Not looking too good for OOo there...
  • by dedded (908894) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @06:29PM (#13892990)
    I ran a quick, one-datapoint test. Opening a Word document was as fast in OOo2.0 as in Word, but opening a large Excel spreadsheet in (an already running) OOo2.0 was very slow. Most of the time I had a progress bar labeled "Calculating..." at the bottom of the screen, so I don't think XML parsing was the culprit.

    On my Fedora system, the OOo calc package lists i386 as the architecture, so I'm wondering if SSE/SSE2 floating point is enabled. The old stack-based floating point is slow.

    /Dan

  • by adoll (184191) * <`alex.doll' `at' `agdconsulting.ca'> on Thursday October 27, 2005 @07:47PM (#13893463) Homepage Journal
    Excel is a serious problem for people like me doing circulating load calculations in process engineering. See my papers here [agdconsulting.ca] and here [agdconsulting.ca]. It is OK for chequebooks, but don't expect to design a copper smelter using it (use an ancient ver of 1-2-3 instead).

    To be blunt, the guys who wrote the Excel GUI got an "A" in computer science, but the guys who built the calculation engine only got a "C+". To be a truely great spreadsheet, Excel must:

    • Use backward chaining to iterate circular calculations
    • Not invert singular matrices
    • Put in a more robust statistics package, although this may be a sub-set of the matrix math problems.

    Any engineer who gives me a calculation done in Excel using circular reference calculations had better be prepared to get his butt roasted. I've had 10Mb files modelling a copper smelter that converged to a wrong answer - that's unacceptable given that the same calculation saved as a 1-2-3 file converged to a correct answer in 10 seconds using Lotus 1-2-3.

    -AD

  • by dcam (615646) <[david] [at] [uberconcept.com]> on Thursday October 27, 2005 @09:11PM (#13893920) Homepage
    Love the Monty Python reference.

    For thoe who don't recognise it:
    http://www.pion.ch/Fun/funniest.html [www.pion.ch]
  • by gummyb34r (899393) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @11:30PM (#13894460)
    ~~~~

    From: Guy de'Geek
    Newsgroups: comp.office.app
    Subject: What would you like to see most in openoffice?
    Summary: small poll for my new office suite
    Date: 25 Oct 2005 20:57:08 GMT

    Hello everybody out there using OpenOffice -

    I'm doing a (free) office suite (just a hobby, won't be big and
    professional like OOo) for 586(686) stones. This has been brewing
    since april, and is starting to get ready. I'd like any feedback on
    things people like/dislike in openoffice, as my suite resembles it somewhat
    (same layout of the GUI (due to practical reasons) among other things).

    I've currently done numberscruncher and wordscruncher apps, and things seem to work.
    This implies that I'll get something practical within a few months, and
    I'd like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions
    are welcome, but I won't promise I'll implement them :-)

    PS. Yes - it's free of any openoffice code, and it is fast,
    multi-threaded and not greedy to resources. It has descent charting too.

    ~~~~~

    So there is hope...
  • by CoolHnd30 (89871) on Thursday October 27, 2005 @11:49PM (#13894509)
    I had a user with a corrupt Excel spreadsheet. She wanted me to dig up a tape backup from March to restore. Instead I opened it in OpenOffice, and saved it back to Excel format, and voila, it mirculously opened in Excel again. So, in this instance, at least, OOo was much faster. :)
  • Re:So true (Score:2, Informative)

    by WWWWolf (2428) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Friday October 28, 2005 @11:13AM (#13896645) Homepage

    The horrible truth is that graphing, in general, tends to suck in all office packages. Back in the DOS era, I was a schoolkid and the only thing we had that could make graphs was Works, and it was really pain after a while (and this was just school project stuff, nothing as glorious as 10000 item plots); then, for me, came a long lull of not needing to do any graphing, and recently, now that I've had to fight Excel and OO.o, they've made the whole thing "easier" and almost impossible to use effectively for anything

    Nowadays I keep going back to GNUPLOT [gnuplot.info] if I want to graph something. Pain to work with (no "click and it does it"), but at least it gives understandable output without too much messing. Export stuff to CSV from OpenOffice.org Calc, let GNUPLOT shred it for a while, and it spits out EPS. Works perfectly each time, plus the graphs it makes have "dull scientific" look rather than "idiotic business" look, and I prefer dull scientific look any day =)

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