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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Documents
wine + free softmaker office suite fast/uses low resources
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jakfish

Joined: 18 Jul 2008
Posts: 754

PostPosted: Thu 29 Oct 2009, 21:50    Post subject:  

I'm intrigued by your numbers on the processes, etc. Though SM 2006 isn't as easy on the eyes, your research shows it may be easy on the CPU.

I'm typing this on SeaMonkey 2.0, a very fast browser, but with equally unattractive fonts and menu bar. Whatever it is, it's catching Smile

Jake
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mcewanw

Joined: 16 Aug 2007
Posts: 2252
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct 2009, 00:49    Post subject: TextMaker 2008 plus wine - how many processes does it use?!
Subject description: 6 processes (including wine) and 14M RAM
 

Running TexMaker Office 2008 using wine-lite-1.1.30 on Dell CPx laptop with Pentium III, 450 MHz CPU and 256 MB RAM on Puppy 4.3

Prior to running Textmaker 2008:

From output of top (since like better free it shows buffers and cache being used) ->
Mem: 125784K used, 128716K free, 0K shrd, 17828K buff, 76232K cached

free memory + buffers + cache = 128716K + 17828K + 76232K = 222776K

tail of ps command showing current highest process numbers:

6271 root 0:00 top
8567 root 0:00 sleep 2
8568 root 0:00 busybox ps

After starting up Textmaker 2008:

From output of top ->
Mem: 178000K used, 76500K free, 0K shrd, 18712K buff, 113452K cached

free memory + buffers + cache = 76500K + 18712K + 113452K = 208664K

So TextMaker running uses: 222776 - 208664 = 14112K RAM

tail of ps command output showing the new processes after top (6271):

6271 root 0:01 top
8750 root 0:05 TextMaker.exe
8754 root 0:01 /usr/bin/wineserver
8760 root 0:00 C:\windows\system32\servi
8762 root 0:00 C:\windows\system32\wined
8797 root 0:00 C:\windows\system32\explo
8800 root 0:00 rpcss
10039 root 0:00 sleep 2
10040 root 0:00 busybox ps

Ignoring the sleep 2 and busybox ps at the bottom of each ps output (since occurs both before and after running TextMaker), it can be seen that TextMaker 2008 with wine is only using an extra 6 processes.

Immediately after a reboot, Textmaker loads in twelve seconds on this old Pentium III 450 MHz, 256M RAM machine, and in eight seconds when then closed and restarted. IMO there is no way Open Office would come anything near to that! (even the go-OO version) But I'll try OO again sometime to be sure.

TextMaker subsequently runs fast and smooth on this old clunker of a machine (OpenOffice was always very slow and stuttery when I've tried it in the past, and Abiword on here still is - though less I think than OO used to be).
Textmaker 2008 quite accurately (it seems to me) also displays the complex MS word formatted documents I've looked at (Abiword certainly struggles there and OO is far from perfect I think).

I thus doubt OO will be anything like as "good" as Textmaker 2008 on an old machine like this, but I hope I'm wrong.

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mcewanw

Joined: 16 Aug 2007
Posts: 2252
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct 2009, 02:47    Post subject: Re: TextMaker 2008 plus wine - how many processes does it u
Subject description: 6 processes (including wine) and 14M RAM
 

mcewanw wrote:

So TextMaker running uses: 222776 - 208664 = 14112K RAM


Of course, the above is arguable! I'm working on the assumption that the OS itself will take and allocate buffers and reserve as it sees fit - I'm not sure how much in the way of buffers and cache the app itself actually "needs" (for simplicity, I'm presuming it is a dynamic factor such that the app itself will actually keep running with very little in the way of buffers or cache). But if you have a better tool for measuring all this sort of thing, I'd be happy to know, particularly happy to know how it does its calculation (I guess they all rely on /proc/meminfo figures).

But at the end of the day, the important thing for me is that Textmaker 2008 runs quite well on this pretty slow and low resourced machine. Will Open Office? I don't know (but rather expect it to be much less satisfactory). Definitely would like to try the go-OO version since it is supposed to be at least a little faster and lower on resource demand than standard OO.

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mcewanw

Joined: 16 Aug 2007
Posts: 2252
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct 2009, 05:12    Post subject: A few of links on free, htop, RAM and swap  

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=43298&search_id=209643808

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=215415&search_id=1414153712#215415

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=154307&search_id=1928117982#154307

http://sourcefrog.net/weblog/software/linux-kernel/free-mem.html

freeupram script attached (just a one line shell script as described in the first link above). Use at your own risk (I've never had any problems with it though...:-)
Untar it into /bin

Usage:

In a console (i.e. command line), run free and observe the results.
Run freeupram
Then run free again and see the difference
freeupram.tar.gz
Description  regains RAM used by cache and buffers
gz

 Download 
Filename  freeupram.tar.gz 
Filesize  165 Bytes 
Downloaded  509 Time(s) 

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playdayz


Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 3788

PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct 2009, 14:53    Post subject:  

Quote:
Ignoring the sleep 2 and busybox ps at the bottom of each ps output (since occurs both before and after running TextMaker), it can be seen that TextMaker 2008 with wine is only using an extra 6 processes.


This is interesting . It looks like we are getting different results depending on our method of measurement. I am using htop which I should have said. Lots of people have prepared htop for puppy it looks like, I think this one might be the pet I am using -> http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?search_id=2045590380&t=43022

I start htop and see how many processes are running and how much memory is used and then I start the program and see what the changes are. (I am using Puppy 4.3.2 the uPup build, so the Processes and RAM usage are higher than usual to begin). I wait a bit for things to settle after starting a program.
Code:

            Processes      RAM
Idle                  26         70

2008 Wine        44         89

2006 Linux        28        78

AbiWord  Linux  27        76

Go-oo Linux      32         90

2008 Linux        27        79

It is too much to hope that these columns will come out right. The real winner, imho, is Softmaker Office 2008 for linux, it starts up like lightening and has a small footprint, but US 79.95/Euro 69.95??? No way. I wish Ashampoo also sold Office 2008 for Linux because Ashampoo is having a sale until OCT 31--anything for $10.00, just in case someone wanted to buy the Windows version.
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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1077
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct 2009, 16:00    Post subject:  

Has anyone created a test .doc in their version with tables of different column and row sizes, margin changes, font changes, and changes in justification and opened it up side by side with say MSWord 2000 to see if the formatting is screwed up?

It happens with Abiword and Open Office 3.

I find I can't trust docs prepared for professional, publication, or resume use on any of the secondary word processors.

Nothing like sending in a resume via email with blank pages, table formatting and fonts mixed up -- but which looks "fine" in the program that created it. You just never hear back, and are none the wiser. The place you applied to just thinks you can't read, or don't care what nonsense you mail in.

Opening up .docs is easy for these programs, and they read their own versions properly. It's just the people in business you send them to who end up scratching their heads.

To be honest, I don't understand the purpose of a .doc which isn't compatible. Why have it as a feature of the word processor at all? Just use a native format and leave it at that.

An approximate .doc is worse than no .doc, since the only real purpose of writing a .doc is to interchange with proper formatting with MSWord users. If formatting is screwed up, it would have been better to have sent a .txt.

Anyway, if this program can actually compose an accurate .doc it's worth the charge -- nothing else can.
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Michalis

Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 237
Location: Greece

PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct 2009, 16:25    Post subject:  
Subject description: The fastest
 

mcewanw thank you very much for the info about this program.

Indeed is very fast and light weight. Whoever doesn't believe it I made my one test in my old dinosaur a pentium II celeron at 366MHz 256Mb ram. Does anyone believe that can't find out a light weighted program in this pc? Twisted Evil


First of all I used the 2006 and 2008 linux versions, not wine.
Actually didn't really had to do anything in order to test it, it was obviously working fast without any problem (almost check later).

Textmaker rendered anything and was scrolling faster than both abiword and open office (the latest compiled by Barry).

To check planmaker, gnumeric and open office calc I opened a big .xls file. Gnumeric was hardly usable, calc was rendering and scrolling ok but very slowly, planmaker was fast and perfect, only had to change the font to dejavu as also the others.

If you still don't believe that is the best I've ever seen up till now think that I used textmaker and the same time I had opera 10.01 running in puppy forum, I was listening an online radio from aqualung and had also transmission running Cool I'm not planning to give any number is more than obvious to me that is the fastest yet low resource demanding office suite in linux.


Moreover I didn't even had to install them, I just extracted them to a folder outside from the puppy save (I keep it small) and just located the executables and worked out of the box.


Everything perfect? Unfortunately no. I couldn't use accents in greek and also there isn't any greek dictionary, so for me is useless except for english since almost all greek words need accents.
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playdayz


Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 3788

PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct 2009, 19:03    Post subject:  

Yes, I agree completely there are many considerations other than speed and footprint. I also have gotten mad at OpenOffice for not showing me exactly what the person who made the file saw. For some people it may also be a factor that Softmaker/Ashampoo Office is proprietary rather than free and open source. It looks like we have some people looking at speed and footprint, others looking at compatibility, others at function. Maybe we will get some consensus, or at least some solid observations.

Quote:
Anyway, if this program can actually compose an accurate .doc it's worth the charge -- nothing else can.

I am afraid I have found the same--and I keep versions of both Word 2003 and 2007 ready to run in Crossover. i am thinking that 100% compatibility is not possible--given that the "secondary" word processors are constantly having to play catch up with a moving target. But it's fun looking, huh?

If anyone is interested I made an sfs of go-openoffice. The hype is that it is faster starting up (it is fast in my experience), lighter weight, more compatible with microsoft office documents, and with a less cluttered interface. There is also controversy: that it is a way for microsoft through Novell to gain leverage in the open source software community (specifically, by using the language "mono" to write scripts or addons). On the third hand, Sun has not been notoriously successful in bringing openoffice along on its own or incorporating code from the community; specifically, all code in Sun OpenOffice must be copyright by Sun. Novell, however, has a more open policy. How many hands are we on now? About the last thing I know is that the go version is the one that Ubuntu includes.

Go-OpenOfice 3.1.1 -> http://www.diddywahdiddy.net/Puppy400/go-00432.sfs 170MB
md5sum - 63c6a76d95a806c4c8ca9fc802585b35

This is No frills. I made it for myself so there are no menu entries or other conveniences. The desktop files for each program are in /opt/openoffice.org3/share/xdg, and you can drag them to the desktop for convenience. To use it, download it and place it in /mnt/home, then go to Menu -> System -> Bootmanager configure bootup -> Choose which extra SSF... and Add it to the Right Side. Then, next boot, it should be there in /opt so you can click the desktop files to run the programs. I made it from the version distributed at http://www.go-oo.org/. I used the script available there to download the rpm files and then used a loop with unrpm to unpack them all, then used mksquashfs to make the sfs. I'll be testing but I would appreciate it if anyone who tried it could let me know if there was a problem. Thank you.

I have moved this to a new topic in Additional Software. http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=356673#356673
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Michalis

Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 237
Location: Greece

PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct 2009, 20:14    Post subject:  

playdayz You definitely have a point about being proprietary but unfortunately sometimes some open source programs are so bad written and bloated that is hard to not choose a proprietary one.

I always look for programs that are snappy, use low resources and do what they're supposed to do. That's the main reason I keep this old machine, to be able to easy identify them (it's my fetish Laughing ). And I'm telling you for sure that many times programs much bigger in size 20, 30 times are snappier and much better than the opposite.

The reason why I did my post is that truly I haven't found any writer program or spreadsheet program so fast and usable up till now. I'm totally amazed. Unfortunately as I wrote in my previous post I can't say that I found my holy gray since I can't use it for greek.


I'm downloading now your go-openoffice sfs and I'll test it tomorrow and respond in the go-openoffice thread. As long as it is not based in the very bloated java it will be faster than open-office for sure.

If anybody knows also any other alternative office suite please write it here in order to check it.
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playdayz


Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 3788

PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct 2009, 20:28    Post subject:  

Quote:
You definitely have a point about being proprietary but unfortunately sometimes some open source programs are so bad written and bloated that is hard to not choose a proprietary one.


That is not necessarily my point--but I know it is important to many people. Personally, I am happy to reimburse a programmer or set of programmers who make good, useful software, the same as I would buy a finely crafted tool that felt good in my hands and worked well. Usually I have found such programs as shareware--which is fine with me. As I said I have bought from Ashampoo before and I had a chance to buy Office for 4.99 but I can't find the email!!! I also like to use software to explore theoretical ideas about computing, so i am enjoying this thread quite a bit. I am interested to know how go-oo does for you.

At the Softmaker web site I see they have an academic pricing of teachers and students: € 20 | US$ 25

$25 for Office 2008 for Linux is starting to seem closer to reasonable Wink They say: "Nearly 40% of all public schools in Germany have already ordered SoftMaker Office."

Last edited by playdayz on Fri 30 Oct 2009, 21:10; edited 2 times in total
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Patriot


Joined: 15 Jan 2009
Posts: 734

PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct 2009, 20:35    Post subject:  

Hmmm .....

jakfish
jakfish wrote:
........ Re: softmaker for linux 2006--have you figured out any way to increase size of menubars, menu fonts, etc.? ........

No, it is not supported (read: hardcoded) on linux. You're advised to post a request on their forum. While this seems a bit unfortunate but read below to understand why ...

@all interested parties
If you ever wondered why softmaker apps have fantastic speed and small memory footprint, then look at the dependency list ... GTK2 and glibc is not on the list thus reducing a lot of layers ... yeah, software is like onions ... like onions, they have layers ...

Softmaker apps (on linux) uses their own "widget toolkit". Anyone wondered how they could implement those 95/2000/XP/Vista appearance? ..... Well, if you've used XP themes, then you'll know basically how it works ... The use of direct owner painting allows apps skinning but also requires specific support for many functions. The internal menus, fonts, lists and buttons combos have fixed sizes due to this. It has been requested a few times on their forum to allow resize-able menus etc (on linux) ... hopefully with enough people requesting, they'll do something about it ...

(BTW, in my simple tests, upon loading textmaker 2006 linux, top reports roughly 18MB of ram usage.)

Frankly, I prefer textmaker linux anytime compared to abiword/OOwriter. Sure textmaker is proprietary ... but the core functions works fine and it gets the job done right ... Nothing wrong using proprietary software if they do the actual job properly ... I find textmaker to be the perfect answer to fill that gap between abiword and OOwriter. Abiword is cranky with my docs and OOwriter is way too big with functions that I never use.

I own a copy of office2k but I've been using textmaker 2006 windows portable for the past two+ years and now finds that the same .doc documents opens correctly on textmaker 2006 linux. The same cannot be said for abiword ... I also couldn't care less about file formats. I just feed them through a viewer and copy-n-paste back to textmaker if I need to ...

The softmaker office2006 link-to-another-link that jakfish pointed out is for the full free version. The poster in the original link have indicated prior approval for publishing the download. So, grab a copy and give it a test run ... If you like it, register it for the price of free ...

Here's a tip:
Let's say you wanted a portable softmaker running in your flashdrive, just make a copy of /usr/share/office2006 into your flashdrive and create an empty portable.txt (ie. touch portable.txt). This instructs textmaker/planmaker to save all configs in the same folder.


Rgds
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jakfish

Joined: 18 Jul 2008
Posts: 754

PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct 2009, 21:49    Post subject:  

Patriot--

Thanks for the insights/post-ing on why TM visuals are so immutable.

I've used TM since its first alpha for my Jornada 720, and I admire their hard work immensely.

As somebody pointed out in this thread, it's hard, however, to trust 3rd-party software, regardless of price, to talk nice to Microsoft.

I'll try to embrace TM et al as a genuine substitute for my MS Word 97 on Puppy 4.31, but I keep going back to Word because I know that *.doc will play nice with other desktops (and my formatting is not that sophisticated).

Jake
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Dingo


Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 1415
Location: somewhere at the end of rainbow...

PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct 2009, 22:00    Post subject: problem with opentype fonts  

I tried Softmaker Office 2008 for Linux (evaluation version) and it seems to have exporting problems with opentype fonts having postscript outlines (I used opentype set of Linux Libertine for my test)

Fonts are displayed, but not are showed when you export to pdf your file

regarding Softmaker 2006 for Linux, once started, when I click to export in pdf it says can't locate ps2pdf

EDIT: solved pdf export issue printing via cups with

lpr -P pdfprintername

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vtpup


Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 1077
Location: Republic of Vermont

PostPosted: Sat 31 Oct 2009, 11:32    Post subject:  

This is perhaps slightly OT, but I think just a small tip here is important to those seeking jobs and submitting resumes when using non-MS word processors.

One workaround is to save to .pdf -- which several of these WPs can do, assuming it is acceptable to the employer. Then open it in a genuine Adobe Reader to check it, and then you can send it in with a fair amount of confidence that what you wrote is what they will see.

Apologies for this again, but I have personal experience of people whose job chances were shot by being unaware of the problems with the .doc format produced by alternative WPs.

I hope some day that the alternative WP's will pay as much attention to their .doc formats as they do to piling on rarely used features. A basic word97 .doc format compatibility would serve everyone fine. Yet this has not been achieved in reality. Simple comparisons of formatting are very easy to do onscreen and through printout. It would seem to be a basic requirement.
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playdayz


Joined: 25 Apr 2008
Posts: 3788

PostPosted: Sat 31 Oct 2009, 15:10    Post subject:  

Quote:
This is perhaps slightly OT, but I think just a small tip here is important to those seeking jobs and submitting resumes when using non-MS word processors.

One workaround is to save to .pdf -- which several of these WPs can do,


I see a big movement in general in that direction--i wonder why--maybe the fact that pdf is now included in so many document processors. One of the institutions for whom I teach has now gone exclusively to pdf for all documents in online courses. This is good news for alternative word processors I would say.
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