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Shrinking Portable OpenOffice.org. Lose Help?

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John T. Haller
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Shrinking Portable OpenOffice.org. Lose Help?

I'm working on a couple ways to make OpenOffice.org smaller. It turns out that I'd left in the UNO-Python bridge, which isn't necessary, which saves some space. A couple other options, like TestTool can be removed. Also, I'm considering removing the help files from the base install and then having them be an add-in as a seperate download. Removing the help files along saves over 16MB from the final installed version.

All told, with the above changes removing some unused features (at least when portable), making help optional, and then adding in a default set of settings (to alleviate the long path issue mentioned on the product page), we'd wind up with a 120MB package. The help files would then be a 16MB addon download, if desired.

Now, those with smaller drives can't get too excited, as that 120MB app will still take up a hair over 125MB on a drive due to inefficiencies of the FAT32 format and that 128MB drive of yours is really only about 121MB. But it's a step in the right direction.

Thoughts?

ace_dent
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Dropping the help files

Dropping the help files sounds good to me, but to offer the flip-side:
I think the reason Portable OO is so important, is letting new Users play with OO 'risk' free (before ditching M$). For the new user, Help is pretty essential. Maybe you should continue the 'standard' version (for the newbie), and also provide an additional sleek pro version.

Ultimately to get OO towards the 40MB goal(!) suggested in a recent news article (zdnet.com), requires some core changes... but since Google are giving OOo cash for streamlining, maybe there is an opportunity there for you John?

Andrew

John T. Haller
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2 Big Ones

I'd rather not maintain 2 large versions as that would mean 2 hours for uploading every new release. I see your point about the help files being handy for newbies, though. I'm curious to see other opinions on offering a single download of OO.o (sans help files) and then a help files addon pack. For now, 2 big packs (one with help, one without) is a bit unwieldy to manage.

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justin
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no surprise

As you may have guessed, I'm all for the reduction in size for OOo. If you can reduce it enough, I might use it.

-Justin

gao0nline
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I concur. A smaller OO.org

I concur. A smaller OO.org would be awesome, especially if it could fit on a 128MB flash drive...

You could probably host the help files on www.portableapps.com, and that would eliminate an extra download...

justin
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a good idea

I agree with gao0nline's assement. I have a 256MB, but I still consider OpenOffice too big, so I just use a little word processor (and PortableAbiWord for bigger things). I am still in the hunt for a good stand-alone spreadsheet, though Spread32 will function for now.

-Justin

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As For the Packs...

i think if you could do something like http://pack.google.com/ it would alleviate that problem. It would also alow for a custom pack for every person to visit the site.

andreasma
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I agree with Andrew. But not

I agree with Andrew. But not only for new users is a help pretty essential. Also for users, who works longer with OOo and makes a new action (for example a new formular in calc), is a help-file necessary. I think, it's not a good idea to split them away.

Andreas

John T. Haller
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It would still be there

It would just be optional. If it's a choice between someone not installing the app at all (due to size) vs installing it without help. I think I'd prefer the latter.

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andreasma
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Help with installer also usable for OOo-notportable?

If the help would be optional and could be integrated with an installer, will it be posible to use this for OOo-notportable also?
I ask this because it could be nice to change helpfiles (update) between two releases.

John T. Haller
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Whether Installer Or Not

The help files will be updated with each subsequent release.

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John T. Haller
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Single App Results

As it's come up a few times, I decided to run an experiment and see how small it would get with a single app. I decided to do Calc, as there isn't currently a solid portable standalone spreadsheet. OO.o was installed with ONLY calc selected. All extra options were disabled as was Calc Help. Standard compression was run (UPX/7zip) and then the launcher added. The result? 117MB. You can remove sounds (3MB) and templates (6.7MB) manually to get it down to 107MBish. Anything more, and you gotta start hacking OO.o code and removing features. So how much does that save us compared to the other version I'm working on (No Help, No Extras, All Apps)? 3MB.

So, PLEASE stop asking if you can install a single app Blum

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ace_dent
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Ditch Help

As I said in the first line of my reply, I think it's worth getting rid of help (I was just offering the otherside of the argument). If it will save 16MB, then go for it... as long as there is a 'Help' add-on.

@John- Interesting experiment with the single-app.

John T. Haller
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Yeah

I know. I think I'm going to make help a seperate download. Or do an installer that lets you pick. One of the two.

The ZDNet analyst missed the mark, in my opinion. While I agree that 40MB is reasonable for a portable app, OpenOffice.org isn't just one app... well, it is, technically... but you know what I mean. It's a word processor, a spreadsheet and a presentation tool... which pretty much everyone uses once in a while. Then it has the drawing tool, math and the database. All in what will be a ~120MB package. Not too shabby in my opinion. Also, his comment on most drives being 256MB... that's changing fast. I've had a 1GB drive for over a year and it was only $80 when I bought it. 1GB flash drives are under 50 bucks now. 512MBs are under 30. Under 30! And Portable OO.o works just fine on a 256MB one if you're so inclined (which, incidentally are under 20 bucks now) and you'll still have 1/2 the drive left for your docs.

Of course if, like when buying a computer, you plan what you're going to do with a portable device BEFORE you buy it, you can make a more informed decision about what you buy. Especially since it isn't just about size:
http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=2549&p=26

Regards,
John

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Steve Lamerton
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Hey John I don't know if you

Hey John I don't know if you saw this article

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9593_22-6021835.html

but the bit by the analyst made me laugh. He obviously has no real idea what he is talking about! Smile

John T. Haller
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I did indeed

that's what I was refering to in my post you replied to. Like I said, his 40MB per app isn't that off the mark. But OO.o serves multiple functions.

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Steve Lamerton
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Arghh I'm going mad. There

Arghh I'm going mad. There is no way I couldnt have seen that before I posted!

Ryan McCue
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I could make that

I could make that installer
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Get rid of help

I hadn't downloaded OO.org because of size.
If you can get it down, I will happily download.
BTW i thought you used UPX to compress stuff
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John T. Haller
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UPX *and* 7zip

Every DLL and EXE is UPX compressed. And every JAR is compressed to ultra with 7zip. That's why it's 144MB now instead of 202MB.

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Ryan McCue
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so i guess thats what will

so i guess thats what will be on your development page
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I can only guess how slow OO

I can only guess how slow OO will now be. Obviously compression has it's downside.

- Chris
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Bruce Pascoe
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...

UPX compression doesn't slow a program down at all. I'm pretty sure the entire executable is decompressed when you launch it. So actually, it speeds up startup time (less data to read from storage). The only downside I can think of is it will use more RAM as everything is loaded into memory from the beginning.

John T. Haller
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Give and take

UPX is a bit of a give and take. I like using it for portable applications because, as you said, it decreases reads from the flash ram, which is a (relatively) slow medium. So, Portable OO.o actually starts up faster from flash ram when UPX compressed. From a faster medium, like a local hard drive, UPX compression will actually slow an app down by a few percent at most, which isn't noticable. It will take up a bit more RAM, but not by a whole lot.

I had done some testing of this a while back. I should post some numbers for everybody.

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UNO-Python and TestTool?

Would this mean the Python-Core-2.3.4 directory? Can this be deleted?
Not familiar with what Python is...

John T. Haller
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Try it

Yeah, I've left that out of 2.0.2 which will be released when I move to the new server. Try deleting the directory directly to see if it works (back it up first).

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stacoma
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Seems to work :-)

Everything seems to work OK without it Smile ... thanks.

As for help files alternatives, I see that OpenOffice.org has several manuals in PDF format for download at:

http://documentation.openoffice.org/manuals/

Some of note are:
1) "OpenOffice.org 2.x User Guide" (458 pgs, 6.5MB D/L) ... currently in 14th draft and seeking inputs

2) "OOo 2.0 Getting Started Guide - Full Book" (293 pgs, 5.8MB D/L) ... also available for purchase in print form if you like

3) "OOo2.0 Migration Guide - Full Book" (107 pgs, 1.4MB D/L)

Personally, I chose to load the "migration" guide at only 1.4 MB to my thumbdrive...nice small size, and the guide is basically written to help Microsoft Office users get used to Open Office, and translate between the functions. I saved the larger user guide to my hard drive for reference. I currently use OpenOffice as a backup to Microsoft Office, so that's why I like using the smaller PDF as I wont be getting too in-depth with Open Office, but even if you want to load the larger PDF file on the thumbdrive, it still will save a lot of room compared to the help files.

Hope this info helps out Smile

I just went to a 1 GB drive so I decided to put the help files back in, but these are some of the options out there.

stacoma
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Size of Portable OpenOffice 2.0.2 ?

Keep up the good work!

brillbillbo
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foreign language dictionaries

I had discovered this method of shrinking oo before I had even read about here. I just thought I would mention another way to shrink it a little by removing the foreign language dictionaries. You set your preferred dictionary in “options” then remove all the others from the “dict” folder. It doesn’t shrink it much but every little helps.

nm35
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40MB or so

I 7-zipped (Brutal) the help files and all the non-English dictionaries/thesauruses, removed the originals, uploaded the 7z's to GMail, and got about 40MB back.

~nm35 {blog} {site}
Mark Smith | PortableApps.com Developer

m2
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There are more

There are more language-specific files.
Some dlls (I don't remember...)
And some classes (inside jars).
A quick search gave me following results:

serializer.jar\org\apache\xml\serializer\utils
xalan.jar\org\apache\xalan\res
xalan.jar\org\apache\xalan\xsltc\compiler\util
xalan.jar\org\apache\xalan\xsltc\runtime
xalan.jar\org\apache\xml\res
xalan.jar\org\apache\xml\utils\res
xalan.jar\org\apache\xpath\res
xt.jar\com\jclark\xsl\util

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m2
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Some thoughts

Spread32 is not enough for me anymore, so yesterday I downloaded OOo. As usually, I tried to reduce it's size. Some thoughts:
- As mentioned above, there are foreign dictionaries left. And not only dictionaries , also templates, 2 dlls and more things I don't remember.
- readmes / licences IIRC totally 6+6 files, in txt and html.
- Html can be converted to chm.
- crashrep.com / soffice.bin aren't compressed. Did you forgot about it? Or maybe there are some drawbacks?
- Jars can be shrinked with kzip.
- images_crystal.zip etc. - are these skins? I removed them (except images.zip) and see no problem. (inside images.zip there are also files for foreign languages)
- some small dlls are compressed when they probably shouldn't be. All pendrives with at least 256 MB (OOo doesn't fit on the smaller ones, so we can omit them in our considerations) have cluster size at least 4KB. So when you reduce size of dll from 7.5 to 5.5 KB - you actually gain NOTHING. And you have all the drawbacks of compression. They aren't big with such small files, but it's better not to have them.
ADDED: with upx 2.91beta and some hacks I have OOo reduced to 95.9 MB (OpenOffice directory). But I'm still working on it. 8)

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m2
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Sorry for double post, but

Sorry for double post, but there's something more.
- .NET dlls can also be compressed (google .netz)
- some pngs have exif info - to be stripped
- OpenOfficePortable\App\openoffice\share\dtd\math\1_01\w3c_ipr_software_notice.html can be shrinked (removing white spaces etc.) to 3.9 KB
85.1 MB, but not fully functional.

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m2
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One more thing.

I think you use NSIS too much. It's useful for things like OpenOfficePortable.exe, but why do you use it for OpenOfficeBasePortable.exe etc.? NSIS generates big, slow executables. And in such simple programs it has no advantages. A quick switch to C gives 30 KB smaller executable * 6 files == 180 KB lose.
Code

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quinton
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Im not sure if this is

Im not sure if this is possible but couldn't you 7zip all the files that dont change(with max compression) then in the launcher extract all the files to the local computer. Then delete them when you are done. Im not sure but just a sugesstion.

Kevin Porter
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Awesome idea

I think making a smaller version of Open Office would be great. I can't use the current version because I am too cheap to get a larger sized drive. Keep up the good work, John.

Kevin P.

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A couple notes:

I've found removing the non-English dictionaries chops off a considerable amount of space. I basically went through and looked for "en-US" or "en" folders and files and figured out how to prune other language files out without completely breaking OpenOffice. It seemed to work well.

[Edit: Oh geez, John wrote this over a year ago! I hate it when I figure that out AFTER I post.]

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