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Splashscreen for OpenOffice.org 2.0 Wanted 68

Posted by michael
from the dead-or-alive dept.
An anonymous reader writes "From the OOo site: 'OpenOffice.org 2.0 is coming fast and it needs a new splashscreen. You can help. Send us your best by 10 December and it might be seen on the desktops of tens upon tens of millions next year.' For more information, visit the OpenOffice.org website."
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Splashscreen for OpenOffice.org 2.0 Wanted

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  • by oldosadmin (759103) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @02:23PM (#10919220) Homepage
    We need you to GIVE OUT CDs to friends.

    We need you to DONATE MONEY (paypal button on openoffice.org).

    We need you to BE VOCAL in your support of OpenOffice.org.

    We need you to say "THANK YOU" to Sun Microsystems for donating all the code and their continual support of OpenOffice.org.


    And a few friendly reminders. Open Office(tm) != OpenOffice.org.

    And to kill the license trolls, we are LGPL.


    (and I may get FP!)

    Jason Faulkner

    OOo RegiCon North America Webmaster
  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @02:38PM (#10919317) Homepage Journal
    Splashscreen for OpenOffice.org 2.0 wanted?!

    Splash screens are evil! They pop up in front of you, disabling you from doing what you were doing, and don't allow you to start doing what you started the app for. They are just a smoke screen for a badly done application.

    The way to do it (assuming you're going to open a window) is to first open the window, so that the user sees the app is launching, and can position the window where he wants it. This prevents popping up a window at some unpredictable future time, which distracts and annoys users.

    So what to do if your app takes a long time to load? First off, it shouldn't. You don't have to load all functionality at once, just in case the user might want it. You can load it on demand. Secondly, if loading still takes a long time, you can indicate loading progress in the window you created.
    • Agreed (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jefu (53450) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @03:16PM (#10919571) Homepage Journal
      I agreee completely. OpenOffice starts slowly enough that a splash screen does help indicate that it is really doing something, but honestly I'd rather not have to watch it. Often I start OpenOffice to open a MS word document that someone sent me in my mail and I'd rather keep reading my mail than have to watch the progress bar creep across (slow machine) the screen. Make it optional at least and make it easy to find the preference to turn it off (if there is one now I can't locate it).
    • by oldosadmin (759103) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @03:20PM (#10919595) Homepage
      One of the #1 goals in OpenOffice.org 2.0 was to increase speed.

      Yes, we are a bit slow at times, but you also have to remember that we don't use OS hooks to help it load quicker. MSO, AbiWord, etc, all have integrated hooks to help it load faster (libs are already loaded).

      Try a developer snapshot of OOo 2.0, and then decide.
      • by Foolhardy (664051) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [23htimsc]> on Thursday November 25, 2004 @08:13PM (#10921011)
        What integrated hooks are you referring to in MSO?

        MS Office has a program that (by default) loads at the same time as the shell does (after you log on) to precache binaries. This is the same thing that the OpenOffice.org Quickstarter does.

        The only other thing that MSO does to load faster is that it uses common libraries that other programs, like the shell, use (like for OLE and COM) instead of re-inventing the wheel; something that OO.org can't do heavily because it would make them too dependent on a single platform, whose libraries they are not free to distribute.

        What else could it be doing?
        Personally, I don't think either one starts very fast, but not intolerably slow either.
      • I believed MS Office has faster startup times than OpenOffice because of all the pre-caching, until I installed CrossOver Office and MS Office 2000 on my Linux box.

        Word and Excel both start in literally 2-3 seconds using WINE even, where OpenOffice still takes almost 20seconds.
      • MS Office in crossover starts faster than native OpenOffice.org (1.1). What kind of MSO you refer to in case of AbiWord?

        I guess it might be of overwhelming number of shared libraries OO loads...
    • by renoX (11677)
      Agreed, splash screen should be removed, "splash window" like you described are much, much better!
    • > Splash screens are evil!

      No, the way splash screens are usually implemented is evil. (Granted, the
      OOo splashscreen falls into that category.)

      > They pop up in front of you,

      This part is okay, since you just clicked on the launcher/icon/whatever to
      start the app, you expect it to pop up. Even apps without splash screens
      do that. However...

      > disabling you from doing what you were doing,

      Yes, that's evil. There is a combination of factors responsible for this...
      * Splash screens usually set themse
      • There are only two reasons for splash-images/screens to exist.

        1) to give the user a feedback that the app is launching.
        2) it looks beautiful

        Both arguments however are flawed when it comes to experienced users.
        1) should be handled uniformly by the application-manager and not require the app to do anything.
        And 2) is actually reversed when you are starting multiple applications. This will create the look of tv-commercial interruptions, which, I think, nobody really consideres to be beautiful.
        • > Both arguments however are flawed when it comes to experienced users.

          Experienced users know how to change their launcher/link/shortcut/whatever
          to add the command-line argument that suppresses the splash screen. The
          splash screen exists, however, to notify *inexperienced* users that the
          app has, in fact, launched. If there were no splash screen, many users
          would continue clicking and clicking and end up with eight copies of the
          same application running. (I have seen this happen MANY times.)

          The problem i
    • Hear, hear!

      This is one of the times I wish the Score would go higher than 5 (and that I had mod points. Oh, and that I could give you more votes.

      Splash screens, however well intended, are not in the user's interest. At best, they're commercials for a product the user already *has*, at worst they are obnoxious interruptions.

      Please, pleeeease at least enable the user to dismiss it while OOo is loading, so it's not blocking whatever the user was doing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2004 @02:44PM (#10919356)
    Just a rough outline here. [img13.exs.cx]

    • What's with all the talk about OOo being so damned slow? I find it incredibly responsive on my machines. The machine I'm using now (Gentoo on P4@700MHz + 512MB RAM) takes less than 3-4 seconds to load up (ximianized) OOo 1.1.3! My laptop (Gentoo on PIII@400MHz + 256MB) still only takes 10-15 seconds to load OOo entirely (non-ximianized, OOo 1.1.3, i think). Give them a break, it's a damned good application and it runs almost as smoothly as Abiword for me.
      • I would be curious to know how you do that. Object prelinking, perhaps?

        On my Slackware 1GHz Athlon I just timed it at 15.7 seconds from clicking the launcher on my desktop to getting an "untitled" swriter window. Agreed, though, it's a damned good application - but IMO Abiword just doesn't cut it at all.

        Incidentally, I had been under the impression that OOo2.0 was still a long way off, but here's the relevant extract from the roadmap:

        Plan:
        November 2004: Beta Release Candidates
        December 2004: OOo2.0 Beta
        J

        • OOo has always been swift and speedy for me...okay, the 1.0 release (as with the StarOffice versions put out by stardivision) were bulky and slow, but as early as 1.0.3, speed was delicious for me. Perhaps I am an unusual case. I have only used the 1.* branch OOo on gentoo (though I used staroffice on windows 95) with relatively speedy compile options, but I don't think OOo uses those (if i recall correctly, it gives me a "open office is a delicate build, so I'm ignoring your flags" message whenever i upg
      • > What's with all the talk about OOo being so damned slow? I find it
        > incredibly responsive on my machines.

        A couple of points. First, it's usually fairly responsive once it's started
        (unless you exceed RAM and the OS has to swap it in and out, which can easily
        happen on older systems that haven't got as much RAM as could be desired),
        but these people are talking about startup time. Second, startup time for
        some reason is in my experience better on Linux than on Windows. I don't
        know why, and maybe it's
  • by cortana (588495) <sam@robo[ ]org.uk ['ts.' in gap]> on Thursday November 25, 2004 @02:44PM (#10919359) Homepage
    The Openoffice.org marketing site has more information about upcoming features in Openoffice.org 2.0 [openoffice.org].
    • I think OOo is an important piece of software and appreciate all the work that has gone into it.

      I'm a bit disappointed with the 2.0 list, though. There were quite a few problems and issues that people have been discussing for OOo 2.0 that don't seem to have made it into 2.0.

      Here are two things that come to my mind (because I keep running into them), but there were more:
      • The text and editing parts of Writer and Impress are rather inconsistent, with people being able to do much less in Impress than in Wr
  • by drix (4602)
    I think that's the first time I've ever heard "OpenOffice" and "fast" used in the same sentence.
  • by KWTm (808824) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:30PM (#10920011) Journal

    Could someone please design a splashscreen that is:

    1. transparent, and
    2. 2 pixels by 2 pixels? Okay, maybe not that big

    Every time I start OpenOffice.org, the huge splashscreen just sits there blocking the way of all my other apps. And it sits there for a LOOOooo...ng time! (Later I discovered that I could drag it out of the way by holding down Alt, but why should I have to?)

    Even some translucency would be good so that I can at least see what's going on underneath the splash screen. And someone can design a logo for their new slogan: "OpenOffice.org --now only takes 60 seconds to load!"

    Okay, okay, I shouldn't be so hard on the OOo team, since it *is* open-source. Please do take a look at some comments [slashdot.org] that I and other Slashdotters have made which I hope are being addressed. I recognize that some of these take time to work on, but the first step is to know that the items listed above are a significant incentive to switch to a lesser-developed program like AbiWord despite its inferior MSWord-importing capabilities (for example).

    • (Later I discovered that I could drag it out of the way by holding down Alt, but why should I have to?)
      BTW: this is a feature of your window manager, not the window itself. Alt-Button1 moves, Alt-button2 resizes, well, at least in all window managers that uphold the conventions. There are no rules, but most use these mappings.
  • UI (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Per Wigren (5315) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:57PM (#10920197) Homepage
    Have they got ridden of that weird custom GUI-toolkit in 2.0 yet?
    Real native look and feel (not just look) is my major #1 wish for OOo. Especially on OS X it feels extremly alien right now..
    • Re:UI (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Puggs (562473)
      OpenOffice.org is a strange one on OS X...

      You have two choices at the moment - OpenOffice.org for X Windows [openoffice.org], the official port, but development is very slow, and recent version(s) do not compile... or, NeoOffice/J [neooffice.org], a port that runs in Java, with the OpenOffice toolkit although this is being worked on to have a native Aqua interface.

      In other words, be patient, (or in true OSS-style) join either or both project and start helping ;)

      I use NeoOffice/J on my mac - its a little slow, but i prefer it to running X

    • by dracvl (541254)
      From the new features guide [openoffice.org]:

      Native system theme integration will be available for Gnome (version 2.4 or higher), Microsoft Windows (including XP and future versions), and KDE (version 3.2 and higher) desktop environments. On Windows XP the "Windows XP Style" must be chosen under Settings->Control Panel->Display->Appearance to achieve the correct look.

      No mention of Mac OS X, so I guess that's a no.

      Theme integration will be the default for desktop environments that support it (listed above). Syste

  • by Roman_(ajvvs) (722885) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @08:25PM (#10921046) Journal
    ... that the splash screen is one of the first things that I turn off when I install a new program and run it for the first time. It really doesn't matter what it looks like to me. It could be the equivalent of Michelango's David and I'd still turn it off.

    The primary reason I turn it off, is because I don't want some static, always-on-top window blocking my view of other windows I'm working on. I don't mind programs taking time to load if they need it, just let me read something while it's waiting. In my case, programs rarely get opened up on their own.

    Usually splash screens play nice, but they always seems to block something I'm looking at there and then. An about box will suffice if I really find out what I'm running.

  • I propose the one finger victory salute [atcybertopia.com] on the splashscreen. How can one go wrong with that? :D
  • Oh, wait a sec, not everybody has switched to Mac OSX. I take it back. Do whatever. I'll use msoft until you get a real OSX version working.
  • I'd like to see some kind of source for your claim that "tens of millions" of people will be using OO 'next year'.

    Based upon the OO team's utter failure at building a usable UI (for the most important segment---the average, non-technical user who has been using MSO), I highly doubt there are that many people using it.

  • I've been using OOo and Firefox for a while now, but the one advantage Firefox seems to have is that due to its open nature, people such as Moox and mmoy have been building CPU optimised versions which boot in half the time and are generally much more responsive (I'm on Windows BTW).

    The splash screen on OOo seems to be mostly there because it takes so long to load (relatively speaking of course) from scratch.

    Does anyone know if there are CPU optimised versions out there like the optimised Firefox versions
  • Dead Clippy: http://www.gotpenguin.com/misc_images/clippy.jpg [gotpenguin.com] Just got to change the date

    Live Clippy: http://crapdump.meepzorp.com/clippy/clippy.jpg [meepzorp.com] This guy needs a new gig
  • I tried OOo in knoppix last year and was pleasantly surprised that someone had made the OOo splash screen into a regular window with a - what do you call it? - a window around it. You could drag it around, minimize it (I think), but most importantly it would go behind other windows so you could actually do other stuff while it loaded.

    I dunno why that's not the default behaviour, but it would be nice if it was.
  • There happens to be several of us in the University/Scholastic segment that value OO for everything but Calc and their regression capabilities when compared to Excel. THis has been discussed OVER and OVER but the OO community views these issues are "features" or "non-essential" when they are THE most critical thing for the teacher/scientist/engineer in us. For example, see

    http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/showvotes.cgi?i s su e_id=366

    When they start seeing issues like this as essential and not a feature th
  • by sn0wflake (592745)
    After reading that OpenOffice.org 2.0 should have faster load times I installed it. Boy was I disappointed. The only thing faster was the installation. Load time was double of 1.1.3 if it even did load.
    So OpenOffice.org 2.0 should have a splash screen to indicate what it's doing because it's so damn slow starting!

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