ProDigit
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Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:14 pm

Open Office is slightly too heavy to run on the Pi Zero.

Is there a lighter version available?
I mainly need calc (Excell), or a word processor alternative, that preferably allows me to open .xls and .doc format, but if it has it's own file format I guess it'll be ok as well...

Preferably GUI based (non-terminal)
Thanks!

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:28 pm

I doubt there is a "lighter version". (And, FYI, what is in Raspbian is the LibreOffice fork.) If you need a lighter weight spreadsheet or other such application, look around to see what's available. Alternatively, use a more powerful Pi.

In the mean time, if I want to write and I don't want everything that comes with LibreOffice, I just use vi. That's pretty light weight.

kenkrsme
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Re: Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:34 pm

i have used X over ssh for light web browsing. would work for word processor and spreadsheet. or maybe vnc to another computer.

ProDigit
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Re: Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:56 pm

Yeah, the zero is part of a project.
I do have a 3B+, which works fine, but am trying to find alternative programs that will work better on the zero, and see how far I can take it, to make it into a desktop replacement.

With LibreOffice not functioning the way it should, it lowers the rating to about 50% usability.
The Zero is still great for coding; but I was hoping I could find a lighter weight alternative for office programs.

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scruss
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Re: Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:08 pm

If you need to be able to read most DOCX or XLSX files, you need an absolutely colossal program to handle all the edge cases. To be honest, LibreOffice is fairly lightweight for this sort of application.
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ProDigit
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Re: Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:17 pm

scruss wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:08 pm
If you need to be able to read most DOCX or XLSX files, you need an absolutely colossal program to handle all the edge cases. To be honest, LibreOffice is fairly lightweight for this sort of application.
Well, if it functions like an excell program, but isn't compatible with MS Office, I'm ok with this as well.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:32 am

ProDigit wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:17 pm
scruss wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:08 pm
If you need to be able to read most DOCX or XLSX files, you need an absolutely colossal program to handle all the edge cases. To be honest, LibreOffice is fairly lightweight for this sort of application.
Well, if it functions like an excell program, but isn't compatible with MS Office, I'm ok with this as well.
The spreadsheet in LibreOffice functions like Excel. It may not have the latest bells and whistles that Excel has, but for anything that doesn't require an exact match, it should work.

Now, as regards you prior remark about LibreOffice not "working the way it should". I'm curious about that. It what way doesn't it work correctly?

ProDigit
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Re: Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:23 am

crashes, freezes on the zero.

cspan
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Re: Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:32 am

ProDigit wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:56 pm
Yeah, the zero is part of a project.
I do have a 3B+, which works fine, but am trying to find alternative programs that will work better on the zero, and see how far I can take it, to make it into a desktop replacement.

With LibreOffice not functioning the way it should, it lowers the rating to about 50% usability.
The Zero is still great for coding; but I was hoping I could find a lighter weight alternative for office programs.
I share your interest in how far you can get with the Zero.

I remember fondly the days when I would fire up MultiMate Advantage II, or Lotus 1-2-3, and just fly around the clicky keyboard, no mouse, just lots of memorized keyboard shortcuts. Macros could do a raft of data studies overnight. And then I look at today, and sometimes suspect that most of our technological gains have gone to making things pretty on the screen.

A quick look at the Zero's 512 MB RAM and 1 GHz processor suggest to me that for the specs that are still comparable ... this is a machine that would have been a high end desktop around the year 2000! So why does it seem slow? Because the programs we run today (incl. the GUI) are so much more demanding than those available back then. And most office programs available back then probably won't run on the Zero's ARM chip. If they could, I'd bet they'd be speedy.

At some point you have to be realistic and acknowledge the limitations of the hardware in light of what we're trying to run on it. So I'm not sure you can fairly claim that LibreOffice isn't functioning the way it should. It may just require more RAM and processing speed on top of the GUI load that the Zero is already carrying. With just a browser, email client, and spreadsheet running, I'm using 2.5 GB of RAM on my windows machine. Granted, the browser is the worst offender by far. But the point is, the GUI plus a GUI application - can be weighty.

If you can find an office suite that runs off the command line of an ARM machine, please let us know!

You might be able to cobble together some basic terminal applications from various sources. Text editing should be a non-issue, though I actually haven't tried to print from the Zero command line just yet. I haven't even set up CUPS on the Zero.

Word Processing - seems like there's tons of text editors. For more functionality you could look into wordgrinder, pandoc, etc.
Spreadsheet - you could try sc, which is spreadsheet calculator. I have to say, though, it does not look like state of the art year 2000 spreadsheet. Not even 1992. More like 1986 or so ... but I could be missing a lot of power hidden in the no-dropdown-menu interface.
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you may need to add some x window thing to be able to view graphics (PDF or jpg viewer for email attachments, for instance).

So I think you can, in theory, cobble together some programs and adapters/hubs/etc to create an ersatz desktop computer with the Pi Zero, but IMO you'd find it of little utility, beyond the satisfaction of mental exercise and problem solving. The full-size Pi is still very small and very low power - yet vastly more functional. The Zero is really optimized for embedded / headless use.

Look at it this way. The Pi 3B/3B+ is like a tiny house. The Zero is like a 1-person tent.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:15 am

ProDigit wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:14 pm
Open Office is slightly too heavy to run on the Pi Zero.

Is there a lighter version available?
I mainly need calc (Excell), or a word processor alternative, that preferably allows me to open .xls and .doc format, but if it has it's own file format I guess it'll be ok as well...

Preferably GUI based (non-terminal)
Thanks!

May not be as compatible to MS Office, though available from the Raspbian repositories:

https://www.abisource.com/

http://www.gnumeric.org/
Retired disgracefully.....

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B.Goode
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Re: Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:20 am

ProDigit wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:17 pm
if it functions like an excell program, but isn't compatible with MS Office, I'm ok with this as well.

Prior to the development of monolithic Office suites for Linux, a common choice for a spreadsheet calculator under Linux was gnumeric.
http://www.gnumeric.org/

It appears to be in the standard repositories for simple installation under Raspbian. But it has a number of dependencies, which may not be to your taste.


Just suggested by another contributor...

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rin67630
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Re: Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:09 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:32 am
I'm curious about that. It what way doesn't it work correctly?
I recently tried a search and replace on a medium sized spreadsheet (on an X86 system with enough memory) and it crashed miserably.

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rin67630
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Re: Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:15 pm

ProDigit wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:14 pm
Open Office is slightly too heavy to run on the Pi Zero.
Not only OO. The Zero is not really suited to do desktop tasks.
It is a great working horse for simple tasks that must run 24/24 and you can use the desktop to organize your files, and even copile a small program if you have time to wailt, but for browsing or any serious office job it is underdimensionned.

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rin67630
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Re: Lighter Open Office for Zero?

Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:29 pm

rin67630 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:09 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:32 am
I'm curious about that. It what way doesn't it work correctly?
I recently tried a search and replace on a medium sized spreadsheet (on an X86 system with enough memory) and it crashed miserably.
It crashed.
Nothing, Nada, Niente, Nix...
Could only kill the process and redo. Then same picture...

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