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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Documents
SoftMaker FreeOffice 2012 SFS & PET
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Puppus Dogfellow


Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 570
Location: nyc

PostPosted: Thu 10 Apr 2014, 01:39    Post subject:  

i've had freeoffice crash on me at least twice--still more reliable than abiword.


libreofffice keeps touting improved interoperability with msoffice, but i can't vouch for that or for it being inept in that regard--it definitely can manipulate odf text better than docx text, though.

anyway, in my experience libreoffice is the most stable of the four and start up takes under twenty seconds. (subsequent files open instantly unless very large or heavily loaded). the "bloat" doesn't affect me--my systems (3 from 1 gig of ram to 6) run pretty much the same whether the program is open or not. compared to a browser, the word processor is nothing, maybe a tenth of the usage (firefox can get up to almost 2gigs of ram usage on my 6 gig machine). puppy apparently scales rss and vm--different machines read different values for the same workload, but i've never seen much more than 100 mb/vm and 250/rss from libre. (whereas FF is reading 1.3/1.8 gig at the moment.)

still, freeoffice starts faster and is a third the size. also, i seem to be the only one who's suffered crashes with it (as opposed to abiword...). i had a paid copy when i used windows. it read almost everything, i remember. pwd and some other files word (at least at the time) couldn't open, it was able to. not sure if that's still a viable commendation.

nothing seems to be developing at a faster pace than LO, and i'd like to see odt become the dominant document format, but i'd rather be realistic than a rooter. and since i've pretty much abandoned using doc/docx (except in documents to go on my phone), take my recommendation as not necessarily taking your needs into account.


vic, how badly did the most modern LOs mangle your doc file? how well does word read odt?
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vicmz


Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 1108

PostPosted: Thu 10 Apr 2014, 09:03    Post subject:  

Puppus Dogfellow wrote:

vic, how badly did the most modern LOs mangle your doc file? how well does word read odt?


Yeah, I wish there was one for all, too. At times some people manage to bridge the gap between wish and fact, but people in general don't think it to be that important. Alternatives like this one are actually necessary because they're made for special purposes.

The truth is that when I have to share a file, I'm obliged to ensure that others are able to just read it, and read it with the software already installed. To better understand this, I remember there was an Internet café here that had OpenOffice installed in absence of MS Office in all its WinXP computers, customers used it simply because it was the default program and did the job, yet the only two LibreOffice users I met in my town were one of my friends and a little girl who used StarOffice until she learned that LibreOffice was a more updated derivative.

LibreOffice is really good and I do use it regularly, it's just that I can't tell other people what to use in their own computers. Imagine sharing my documents with a brochure of how to install and learn to use LibreOffice from the beginning or how to set MS Office to read odt by default, I'd instantly get an answer like "stop messing about and do it at once!" Same thing in the opposite direction, if I receive a document and LibreOffice doesn't open it "as is" I have to spend some time tidying things before printing (till now I had to do it with FreeOffice only once), and sending it back after adapting it to LibreOffice's way of interpreting documents would make them spend some time re-adapting, too.

Finally, if I recommend something I think there's no point in being rigid. I'm not a "use this and only this" guy, I'm an "if this is your case then this may well suit your needs" guy.
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Puppus Dogfellow


Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 570
Location: nyc

PostPosted: Thu 10 Apr 2014, 20:11    Post subject:  

vicmz wrote:
Puppus Dogfellow wrote:

vic, how badly did the most modern LOs mangle your doc file? how well does word read odt?


Yeah, I wish there was one for all, too. At times some people manage to bridge the gap between wish and fact, but people in general don't think it to be that important. Alternatives like this one are actually necessary because they're made for special purposes.

The truth is that when I have to share a file, I'm obliged to ensure that others are able to just read it, and read it with the software already installed. To better understand this, I remember there was an Internet café here that had OpenOffice installed in absence of MS Office in all its WinXP computers, customers used it simply because it was the default program and did the job, yet the only two LibreOffice users I met in my town were one of my friends and a little girl who used StarOffice until she learned that LibreOffice was a more updated derivative.

LibreOffice is really good and I do use it regularly, it's just that I can't tell other people what to use in their own computers. Imagine sharing my documents with a brochure of how to install and learn to use LibreOffice from the beginning or how to set MS Office to read odt by default, I'd instantly get an answer like "stop messing about and do it at once!" Same thing in the opposite direction, if I receive a document and LibreOffice doesn't open it "as is" I have to spend some time tidying things before printing (till now I had to do it with FreeOffice only once), and sending it back after adapting it to LibreOffice's way of interpreting documents would make them spend some time re-adapting, too.

Finally, if I recommend something I think there's no point in being rigid. I'm not a "use this and only this" guy, I'm an "if this is your case then this may well suit your needs" guy.



a document's formatting should be consistent no matter what is opening it, at least in terms of spacing and font size, links and layout, etc--the machines should all be able to read the same instructions in the same way. This Is What You Do With This Text doesn't seem like a big deal for things that can set the spark and calibrate air fuel ratios in combustion engines, etc. they should all be reading it and handling it the same. pity that's not the case. anyway, if i write something, i don't see what puts microsoft automatically in the equation (beyond their strategy and greed), and quite frankly, i find the whole thing more than a little cheesy.

anyway, good on the UK for the ODT decision.

and yes, of course use what you like.
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Tombombadil

Joined: 11 Apr 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri 11 Apr 2014, 05:06    Post subject: FreeOffice - unrivaled compatibility with MS Office  

@vicmz:

"This week I shared a presentation made in FreeOffice with a colleague who doesn't use Linux. She could flawlessly open, edit and save it to send it back. Then we shared it with everyone and they had no problems either."

I made similar experiences - I created lots of sheets in FreeOffice PlanMaker, and documents in FreeOffice TextMaker, saved them as Microsoft Office formats, and my collegues used them faithfully with Microsoft Office. And vice versa. I can strongly recommend it.

I used LibreOffice before, but no chance, it screws up formatting in almost every file.

"It's worth to buy the commercial versions if you're able to" - that's exactly what I'll do next: buy SoftMaker Office for Linux. As I'm very happy with FreeOffice, I'll spend a reasonable sum now, and get several more functionalities, templates, an extended ui, and free technical support.
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slavvo67

Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 383
Location: The other Mr. 305

PostPosted: Fri 11 Apr 2014, 14:46    Post subject:  

I just switched from ABI to Libre Office and the difference is night and day. I may try this Free Office thing over the weekend. I do a ton of document creating and editing (hundreds of pages), so I'll be able to give it a good run.

I'm not sure if it's the right approach having a purchase option. Everybody want to make money but when competing against free, you're probably better off providing the full version for free and offering templates or other usable add-ons at a cost. Maybe pay for a dictionary add-on or something. If it's truly a superior product, people will buy the add-ons.

I'll have to double-check but Libre's conversions to / from doc, docx and abw seem spot on and work very nicely right through the terminal. It just doesn't seem to convert to pdf but there are plenty of options out there for that including ... back to ABI.
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Puppus Dogfellow


Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 570
Location: nyc

PostPosted: Fri 11 Apr 2014, 17:39    Post subject:  

slavvo67 wrote:
I just switched from ABI to Libre Office and the difference is night and day. I may try this Free Office thing over the weekend. I do a ton of document creating and editing (hundreds of pages), so I'll be able to give it a good run.

I'm not sure if it's the right approach having a purchase option. Everybody want to make money but when competing against free, you're probably better off providing the full version for free and offering templates or other usable add-ons at a cost. Maybe pay for a dictionary add-on or something. If it's truly a superior product, people will buy the add-ons.

I'll have to double-check but Libre's conversions to / from doc, docx and abw seem spot on and work very nicely right through the terminal. It just doesn't seem to convert to pdf but there are plenty of options out there for that including ... back to ABI.


file > export as PDF
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slavvo67

Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 383
Location: The other Mr. 305

PostPosted: Sat 12 Apr 2014, 14:00    Post subject:  

Thanks Puppus. I was looking at the scripting in terminal to do that via Libre and I didn't see it. I'll have to look again. Shocked
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ThoriumBlvd


Joined: 04 Oct 2013
Posts: 142
Location: N.E. USA

PostPosted: Sat 12 Apr 2014, 23:29    Post subject:
Subject description: Slacko 55/56/57 OK?
 

I'm running Slacko-5.5XL on an older ASUS 900a netbook. This sure does look to be a less bulky alternative to LO4/Java. And since I'm an OO2 ---> LO4 user, compatabiliity seems transparent.

Any slacko (14.0+) users have comments? I'd like to toss LO4 and Java and install FO on the Puppy. Remastering as an alternate a distinct possibility, but those Q&A's are for a different place and time.

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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8252

PostPosted: Sun 13 Apr 2014, 06:56    Post subject:  

Dont know about slacko but I seem to be using softmaker more and more..both as writer and spreadsheet handler...I like saoftware that launches when I ask it to Very Happy (I have never had a need for Java in OO and usually leave it out.)

Its very modular so if you want to incorporate it you would find it similar in size to what you are replacing ...

I suppose a remaster using it should only be for your own use for legal reasons.

mike
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ThoriumBlvd


Joined: 04 Oct 2013
Posts: 142
Location: N.E. USA

PostPosted: Wed 16 Apr 2014, 15:24    Post subject:  

Correct, all new users need a registration.
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slavvo67

Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 383
Location: The other Mr. 305

PostPosted: Sat 26 Apr 2014, 21:01    Post subject:  

Yeah... no.. I don't like being forced to register for things.
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rufwoof

Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 308

PostPosted: Sun 27 Apr 2014, 03:31    Post subject:  

Functionality wise I found FreeOffice to be good. The interface however for me is its weak/failure point. Under Puppy Slacko it doesn't pick up on the GTK theme settings and just defaults to its own choice - which in my case makes the menu's and options pretty difficult to read.

The latest Libre Office works better for me and if you have the quick launcher activated as part of startup it opens up text, spreadsheets etc very quickly.
dt-l.png
 Description   LIBRE OFFICE
 Filesize   87.57 KB
 Viewed   178 Time(s)

dt-l.png

dt-s.png
 Description   FREEOFFICE
 Filesize   78.75 KB
 Viewed   174 Time(s)

dt-s.png

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rufwoof

Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 308

PostPosted: Sun 27 Apr 2014, 04:13    Post subject: Re: Don't overdo things
Subject description: Puppy is a pet dog, not a beast of burden.
 

Pelo wrote:
in my opinion, using Puppy with so big suites as Libre office is contradictory with the domestic use spirit.
SFS Koffice is lighter 79MB and include other tools.
For my own, i got big office suites intalled on... my windows 7. When (rarely) needed, I go there. Windows has to be used fom time to time. No need to install JRE within Puppy, which keeps lightness and speed.
Nevertheless, Freeoffice can open very complicated microsoft Word documents (with macros) and 79MB (or less) is not much.
Puppy must be used as a pocket knife, and if you withdraw the word 'pocket', then Puppy is not Puppy.

Puppy's best quality IMO is its scalability and features as a LiveCD.

My slacko 5.3.3t ISO is 80MB - which provides the desktop and basic text edit, calculator, multimedia, browser tools and runs totally from CD and in memory. Mount the HDD and add in Libre SFS and that extends the text/image capabilities. Add in a Multi-Media SFS and I can also edit sounds (Audacity) and Video (Openshot with Blender 3D animations).

Most often I just use the first level - as I browse a lot more than I do edit text/spreadsheets and/or videos. Knowing that I'm surfing from a LiveCD with factory fresh versions of the op-sys/desktop and browser after each reboot is comforting. If you walked into a internet cafe and there were two PC's available, one that had just had a new install and the other that had been in use for a year or more, using the former is the obvious more preferred choice.

Whilst I have both Softmaker FreeOffice and Libre available as portable apps Libre is my primary/first choice of 'SFS' to load when I'm looking to do some doc/spreadsheet stuff.

Instead of SFS versions of browser, office and multi-media, if you use portable versions of those, which is pretty easy to set up under Puppy, then any config changes are persistent across reboots. If you also keep all docs, music etc outside of Puppy (on the HDD) then your need for a Puppy savefile is reduced/eliminated (booting pfix=ram means that your savefile space is all of RAM and swap).

My Libre Office portable is around 140MB, which includes UK dictionary. I don't load java, nor gstreamer, but have those to hand as SFS's in case they're needed (but in practice don't actually load them). Libre works ok without java, whilst there is some functionality that requires java its functionality that I don't have a need to personally use.

With Libre quickstarter loaded (tray icon) htop indicates around 10MB more memory being used than without quickstarter. In today's terms that's nothing. With quickstarter started as part of Startup, opening the text/spreadsheet editor is about as quick as starting Abi. They're also developing/improving Libre at a rapid rate, with a new version about once each month (even more of a reason to have Libre as a Portable app on the HDD).
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rufwoof

Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 308

PostPosted: Sun 27 Apr 2014, 05:02    Post subject:  

For reference, this is how I made my softmaker FreeOffice 'portable'

I saved the softmaker sfs to a HDD directory and in that directory I copied the Softmaker and .softmaker directories (.softmaker would otherwise be in /root and any changes wouldn't persist across reboots). To get those directories you obviously have to load the softmaker sfs manually for the first time (and then copy them from /root to the HDD). I then created a script in the HDD directory (there's likely a better way to code it as my scripting skills are pretty low)
Code:

#!/bin/bash
curdir=`pwd`
cd /root
echo l >./.softmaker/loadedtest
if [ -f $curdir/.softmaker/loadedtest ];
then
   # looks like already previously been loaded
   rm $curdir/.softmaker/loadedtest
else
   # load sfs
   rm -r -f .softmaker > /dev/null 2>&1
   rm -r -f SoftMaker > /dev/null 2>&1
   ln -s $curdir/.softmaker .softmaker
   ln -s $curdir/SoftMaker SoftMaker
   cd $curdir
   sfs_load -c -q $curdir/.softmaker_freeoffice-2012.sfs > /dev/null 2>&1
fi

Basically that's just deleting /root/.softmaker directory and replacing it with a symbolic link to the HDD version of the .softmaker directory (which persists across reboots).

It runs a very basic test that changes directory to /root and creates a file (using echo) in .softmaker and then if that file is visible in the HDD .softmaker sub directory it assumes the symbolic link had already been created i.e. softmaker already previously been loaded, otherwise it creates the symbolic links to the HDD versions of those directories.

After that, even if you boot using another Puppy LiveCD you'll still be able to start up FreeOffice with the same settings/configuration apparent when you load it.

My Libre version is along similar lines, but more complicated as its stored as a App-Dir and it loads other PET's (UK dictionary, extra fonts) - also checking whether they've been pre-loaded or not - and I also had to create a petgetquiet for that which is the same as petget (that loads PETS from the command line), but without any prompts/dialogs (commented out). The core bit of code in that is something like
Code:
[ "`grep 'extra-fonts-1.1' /root/.packages/user-installed-packages`" == "" ] && $APPDIR/petgetquiet $APPDIR/extra-fonts-1.1.pet

i.e. it uses grep to search the installed packages list to see if the pet is already installed in which case it doesn't reload it again, otherwise it loads the pet (in this case the extra_fonts pet).

Otherwise pretty similar to as before (as per Freeffice) except that the /root directory that's 'moved' (linked) to HDD from within /root is the root/.config/libreoffice directory
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 8252

PostPosted: Sun 27 Apr 2014, 06:47    Post subject:  

Quote:
Yeah... no.. I don't like being forced to register for things.

Its not unusual to register for free software...you signed up for this forum to get free help.

Softmaker are a respectable company...indeed they sometimes give to charity based on new signups.

You get free fonts via email and some very good offers to buy the paid version...you can opt out of the emails whenever you like. Never had any 3rd party spam either from it.

My sfs method is to install... run and register.... then add the /root folder to the sfs and no more registration needed if used on another system/machine. I did sign up to get my original copies of softmaker for linux AND windows and seems a bargain to get 2 free decent office suites which will works fully with no time limits.

Almost a free lunch....

Mike
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