Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Linux Technology

Google Docs Replaces OpenOffice In Ubuntu Netbook Edition 298

Posted by timothy
from the hope-your-connection's-up dept.
uneuser writes "Digitizor reports that the Ubuntu developers have dropped OpenOffice from the default installation of Ubuntu Netbook Edition (UNE) 10.04 and replaced it with Google Docs. Documents in Ubuntu Netbook Edition will now be opened in Google Docs by default."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Docs Replaces OpenOffice In Ubuntu Netbook Edition

Comments Filter:
  • by BlueKitties (1541613) <bluekitties616@gmail.com> on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:27PM (#31042024)
    I think this is good, it leaves more space on your already small disk to do other things. This is a net-oriented device, afterall. If you want a full-fledged computer, then get a full-fledged computer. This sounds exactly like what a NETbook should do.
    • by ipX (197591) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:31PM (#31042058)

      This is a net-oriented device, afterall.

      Yes, with terrible wireless reception. :P

      If you want a full-fledged computer, then get a full-fledged computer

      It's more like... if you want full functionality, install the package yourself?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        with terrible wireless reception. :P

        Every netbook has terrible wireless reception? What?

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:32PM (#31042074)
      The thing is, I don't see really any benefit for this. Google docs doesn't exactly offer more features, most netbooks come with at least 20 gigs of storage (even the SSD based ones) and performance is only increasing. It might have made sense for some of the early netbooks, but with faster and faster netbooks, I just don't see the point.
      • by Daengbo (523424) <daengboNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:41PM (#31042148) Homepage Journal

        It's also strange to switch from Google to Yahoo! (search) and OO.o to Google Docs in the same release.

      • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob.hotmail@com> on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:50PM (#31042216) Journal
        Google docs doesn't exactly offer more features

        For many people in the netbook market, that IS a feature.

        • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:55PM (#31042260)
          The netbook market is comprised of about three types of people

          A) People who go "Oooohhhhh look a cheap device that runs a real OS for hundreds less than a "real" computer" (this is most people.
          B) People who go "Ooooh this is tiny I can take this on vacations/business trips/etc" (this is some people)
          C) People who go "Oooh this cheap thing is going to be online 24/7, never going to be offline and I want to run no local apps on its 160 gig HDD!" (just about no one)
          • So why is Google bothering with Chrome OS then?

            • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:01PM (#31042318)
              Because it is a good money maker for Google. Release an OS for free with good support, mine user data, boost user stats of Google's programs. Profit.

              Plus, it doesn't require much work (basically they can take Linux and Android experience and rework it) and Google has the name that everyone knows (compare how many people know Google's name compared to Ubuntu, Red Hat, Debian, etc.) so they can market it to device makers.
          • by rtb61 (674572) on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:40PM (#31042568) Homepage

            5 types of people.

            D) People who need a cheap portable 2nd computer that wont be too painful when they drop it, step on it, run it over, spill coffee on it, one they expect to replace about once a year. Hmm, I wonder if they will start selling netbooks as an option without any drive at all so you simply plug your old drive from your dead unit into it, maybe a 2nd drive slot.

            E) Millions and millions of school children, similar to 'D' but not the same.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Hmm, I wonder if they will start selling netbooks as an option without any drive at all so you simply plug your old drive from your dead unit into it, maybe a 2nd drive slot.

              How often is the drive the part that survives?

              • by Hadlock (143607) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @02:32AM (#31043776) Homepage Journal

                The drive is the only part I port over from computer to computer. My primary drive (just the OS, I use a different drive for the swap and data) is an ancient 7.2gb drive that still loads XP in under a minute. Yeah its kind of strange to have a 7gb boot drive in the same computer with a 500gb "apps" drive and a 1tb "data" drive, but once windows from the 7gb drive is loaded into ram it just spins down and isn't used again. Makes reinstalling windows a snap after a virus too (since all the drivers are local on another hard drive). Hard drives also can withstand insane G-Forces considering all the moving parts (and their impressive precision) they have.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by geminidomino (614729)

                Hmm, I wonder if they will start selling netbooks as an option without any drive at all so you simply plug your old drive from your dead unit into it, maybe a 2nd drive slot.

                How often is the drive the part that survives?

                Pretty often, if compared with the screen.

          • >A) People who go "Oooohhhhh look a cheap device that runs a real OS for hundreds less than a "real" computer" (this is most people.)

            FTFY

            For a start, Google Docs is available offline, so the point is moot. http://docs.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=15134 [google.com]

            Maybe it's just a different demographic though, but most of my friends have wifi at home and wouldn't even know if they were working on or offline. If they take their laptop outside, they'll be looking for a cafe with free connectio

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by pj81381 (1703646)

            The netbook market is comprised of about three types of people A) People who go "Oooohhhhh look a cheap device that runs a real OS for hundreds less than a "real" computer" (this is most people. B) People who go "Ooooh this is tiny I can take this on vacations/business trips/etc" (this is some people) C) People who go "Oooh this cheap thing is going to be online 24/7, never going to be offline and I want to run no local apps on its 160 gig HDD!" (just about no one)

            What about tablet PCs and "smartbooks"? Manufacturers seem to think the market is trending towards C. This change makes sense especially considering tablet PCs' limited functionality as a productivity tool, as well as (relatively) limited hard disk space. Even following your assumption that just about everybody is or will be in category A, this change still makes sense for UNR. People in category A can still install OpenOffice or whatever other applications they want, just like they would on say Windows...o

        • The only good thing about google docs are superior .docx support and its ability to share documents.

          Otherwise, I feel like I am using Word 2.0 on Windows 3.0 or macOS 5 back in the 1980s.

          Its not practical that it does not even have a grammar check.

          How much more powerful is a netbook compared to a late 1980's computer with the same feature set of Google Docs?

      • I can think of two benefits: Google Docs is generally quicker than OpenOffice and it takes up less space. If you're talking about a relatively underpowered computer with a small hard drive, then I can imagine preferring a lightweight, quick office suite rather than a fully-featured one.

        most netbooks come with at least 20 gigs of storage (even the SSD based ones) and performance is only increasing... with faster and faster netbooks, I just don't see the point.

        With faster and faster netbooks, I start to wonder whether "netbook" is a meaningful classification anymore. When people started talking about netbooks, I asked, "What's the difference between a netbook and an ultraportable

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by icebraining (1313345)

          I can think of two benefits: Google Docs is generally quicker than OpenOffice and it takes up less space. If you're talking about a relatively underpowered computer with a small hard drive, then I can imagine preferring a lightweight, quick office suite rather than a fully-featured one.

          Doesn't that hold true for Abiword, though? It's faster and definitively smaller (30MB with deps) than OO.o, and supports .doc and .docx.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by blind biker (1066130)

        Google docs doesn't exactly offer more features

        I am a big OpenOffice fan AND user. I think it's great and I will continue to use it for my scientific documents, presentations and drawings. It's a nearly unbeatable package for many reasons. That said, Google Docs does have ONE feature that none other office suite has, at least not quite as well implemented: groupwork. Google Docs allows concurrent editing in a way and scale that I have not seen anywhere else, and the only reason people are not crazy about it, is (I guess) because it's a paradigm shift in

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by vajorie (1307049)

      on your already small disk to do other things.

      Hi there 2007,

      The netbooks in the future (2010, welcome) have 160GB+ space... Oh, also

      This is a net-oriented device, afterall.

      No, it's not.

      When are you going back home, by the way?

      Sincerely.

    • What is a netbook? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sakdoctor (1087155) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:45PM (#31042168) Homepage

      I don't even know what a netbook is now. At the start they were defined by their tiny form-factors, low-ish power-consumption.
      The revolutionary part was the LOW price. Sony VAIOs of similar size had been around for absolutely ages, but those were just shit, overpriced laptops.

      Then microsoft moved in and netbook grew in size and power. I think my early eeepc IS a netbook, and despite the 600px screen height, I run stock Ubuntu rather than a netbook specific edition.
      Running open office has never been a problem, so I don't see the point in getting all cloud dependent for nothing.

      • Exactly, the three things that make a good netbook are

        A) The ability to do -real- tasks without a dumbed down OS
        B) -cheap- price
        C) Size

        Price is paramount. When I can buy a "real" laptop for $300 with a 15 inch screen and a 12 inch netbook costs $500 and is far underpowered, something isn't right. I have a feeling that "netbooks" are now just going to be the new term for ultra-portables which have been around for ages but have historically had too low of power and too low of price for most to be
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Price is paramount. When I can buy a "real" laptop for $300 with a 15 inch screen and a 12 inch netbook costs $500 and is far underpowered, something isn't right. I have a feeling that "netbooks" are now just going to be the new term for ultra-portables which have been around for ages but have historically had too low of power and too low of price for most to be bothered with them.

          And the weight of that "real" laptop is...? And the battery life? Plus can you actually hold it on your lap without frying your... legs?

          When it comes to portable devices, smaller and lighter costs more because the components cost more. It is much simpler and cheaper to make a 10 pound, 2-inch thick laptop than a 5 pound, 1-inch laptop.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday February 05, 2010 @11:12PM (#31042770) Homepage Journal

          a 12 inch netbook costs $500

          A "12 inch" netbook? I think if it's that big it's not really a netbook.

          I'll make up a rule: The biggest screen a netbook can have is 10" maybe 10.1".

          too low of price for most to be bothered with them.

          I bet the computer industry loves you. "Say, this netbook is not expensive enough for me to bother with!"

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        My Earlier EEE 701SD has only 480 lines, so I run UNR in the form of Jolicloud. If it were easier to find alt and tab, I would just run ordinary Ubuntu. When I get home again, I'm going to install vanilla UNR so I can run a more recent release and hopefully fix some problems. Jolicloud is a lagger. My LT3103u has normal Karmic, in fact I run with Compiz and Avant Window Navigator. But it also has a 720p display, and it's basically a cheap subnotebook. It came at a netbook price, though...

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        I don't even know what a netbook is now.

        Same thing it was at the beginning: A EEE or a MSI Wind. Maybe a Dell Mini. Cheap, small and useful.

        I've got the newest EEE with SSD and I use the hell out of it. When I travel, it's all I need and fits in the front pocket of my backpack. Since there's WiFi just about everywhere I go, it fits my needs exactly. I started out with the hard drive model, but after a year gave it to my daughter and bought the SSD model. Now she uses the hell out of it for school. It

      • by westlake (615356) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @01:21AM (#31043488)

        I don't even know what a netbook is now. At the start they were defined by their tiny form-factors, low-ish power-consumption. The revolutionary part was the LOW price. Then microsoft moved in and netbook grew in size and power

        The "tiny form factor" becomes a deal breaker as you grow older.

        The keyboard awkward and uncomfortable to use. The display hard to read. It's surely no coincidence that Walmart's in-store selection of netbooks has been reduced to a single Nickelodeon branded laptop for kids. [walmart.com]

        The netbook strikes me as being a second or third purchase - and not the first choice for the low income buyer that the geek fondly believes. That's the second shoe you hear dropping at Walmart.

        The low-end netbook competes for attention and sales with a dozen other high-tech gadgets at the same price point - and it just might be the product that gives the retailer most grief.

    • This is a net-oriented device, afterall. If you want a full-fledged computer, then get a full-fledged computer. This sounds exactly like what a NETbook should do.

      Except that netbooks are also designed to be ultra-portable. Unless you're always around an available wireless access point, not having office productivity software installed might be pretty annoying on that flight, bus trip, on the road, visiting family, etc.

      If these NETbooks had some kind of always-available Internet access (say a 3G modem or something else) then I'd probably agree with you, but unfortunately lots of people use these devices while not online. I'm not sure this decision makes a lot of sense given the way the devices are actually used, their misleading name notwithstanding.

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Friday February 05, 2010 @11:47PM (#31042990) Journal

        I agree with you and go one step further...if all they cared about was the space why not go with Abiword [abiword.com]? It is small and light, thus great for Netbooks, runs on all the major OSes, again great because if one likes it they can use it at home as well as on the road, and gives you a full featured word processor without the bloat.

        Who knows, maybe Google cut them a check. But it seems to me Abiword would be a better fit for a netbook than Google Docs. Can anyone tell us how Google Docs runs on ultra low powered devices like low end netbooks? Because I have run Abiword on machines as low as 400MHz and it was quite snappy and very comfortable to work in.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by blind biker (1066130)

          I agree with you and go one step further...if all they cared about was the space why not go with Abiword [abiword.com]?

          I'll make a guess: they didn't select Abiword, because it's probably still instable and bug-ridden. I try Abiword from time to time, and it usually crashes when trying to open even the simplest Word document, or while I try to edit a formula, or while I try to do something even slightly exotic (read: anything that isn't just plain text without formatting). In my view, anyone who praises Abiword, hasn't used it very much.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by hairyfeet (841228)

            I don't know what exactly has been going wrong with your Abiword, but I just used the latest version to open a test doc I keep around for seeing if a word processor or other text editor is gonna choke. This thing is 2.5Mb of headers and footers and page numbers and links and images. A really nasty doc cooked up with no less than 3 versions of Office and 1 version of Open Office. How did it do?

            While it took it a little over a minute to open that mess up on a 1.8GHz Sempron, when it did the doc looked correct

    • by horza (87255)

      Eh? I think you are confusing netbook and thin client. I have a netbook and the installed packages are practically identical to my PC except for games via wine. If it doesn't have a decent offline word-processor then you can pretty much kiss goodbye to anybody using it except smart PDA users.

      Phillip.

      • by prockcore (543967)

        If it doesn't have a decent offline word-processor then you can pretty much kiss goodbye to anybody using it except smart PDA users.

        I don't use an offline word-processor on any of my machines.. I can't even imagine a scenario where I'd need one. So don't speak for everyone.

    • by ChipMonk (711367) on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:14PM (#31042412) Journal
      My netbook (EeePC 901) has no problem running OpenOffice.org; it has more power than the system I first installed StarOffice on (Windows 95 in 1997, converted to Linux in 1998). That was a full-fledged computer, as much as my netbook.

      Or are you assuming it has to be something made since 2007? If you want to jump on the three-year upgrade cycle, there's a company in Redmond that would be very interested in doing business with you.
    • I think this is good, it leaves more space on your already small disk to do other things. This is a net-oriented device, afterall. If you want a full-fledged computer, then get a full-fledged computer. This sounds exactly like what a NETbook should do.

      Excellent argument by nomenclature.

      I have a 4 gig drive, and was thinking about switching to Unbuntu netbook. Now I'm certainly not. While I often surf the web, I got a netbook because it is small and portable. Typing up documents on the train, outside of w

    • by Draek (916851)

      Let me ask you: what use does a NETbook have for a dual-core CPU, 1 GB of RAM and a 160 GB hard-drive?

      Your point would've been valid when netbooks first appeared, but these days they're really rather just tiny notebooks. And if you've got all that power, you may as well use it for something productive don't you think?

    • How moot is this argument! We're talking about linux users here. I think they can decide which is right for them and install it themselves. Who cares what comes on the install disc!
    • Although I am on record for online applications, and I am a big supporter for the idea however there are some software that can be online apps but shouldn't.

      Office tolls such as Word Processors and Spread Sheets are a key one.

      Why. Yes it is a netbook... However who cares. We have had These tools for generations on computers. So you are saying that these tools cannot work on a system with RAM in the Low Gigabytes, Screen Resolution 800x600+ Most of the features I use in these tools worked well (heck it was

    • by priegog (1291820) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @06:35AM (#31044478)
      And to be perfectly honest (anal) about it, you CAN turn on "offline mode" in google docs so that you can access your files offline and create new ones. So, on the contrary to most people here, I don't quite disagree with the "online" side of it, but rather, with the "Google" side of it. Sure, probably everyone on /. has a Google account, but most normal people don't. My granny certainly doesn't (she has hotmail like most of the "vanilla" computer users out there), and she just bought her second netbook. Why should she be forced to create an account with some company to be able to use the office suite? I do agree with the people here who were suggesting abiword, if hdd space and cpu power REALLY were the reason Oo got shafted. This will just hurt Ubuntu
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:28PM (#31042030) Homepage

    I use OpenOffice at home but it would be a tad heavy for a netbook. I think that was a good choice and if you needed a lighter weight word processor, you could always opt for Abiword.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)
      Um, what are your specs? While OOo was -slightly- sluggish on my first-gen netbook (EEE 701 with a 633 Mhz Celeron M CPU and 512 MB of RAM), it should work just fine on any modern netbook. The thing about a word processor is that its so essential to have a good one for a lot of basic tasks for the older generation. About the only thing I use my word processor for is to write papers, however a lot of older people I know use it to mail physical letters and such.
    • I use OpenOffice at home but it would be a tad heavy for a netbook.

      There's that word again! Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth's gravitational pull?

      On a more serious note, I don't see how OpenOffice is taxing for even the lowest power netbooks. So it might take a few seconds to boot - big deal. People are so used to programs loading instantly on modern hardware that they forget that it used to be normal to wait a good 30 seconds for a typical program to load and think that waiting 2-3 seconds for a program to load is a crime agains

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tftp (111690)

        People are so used to programs loading instantly on modern hardware that they forget that it used to be normal to wait a good 30 seconds for a typical program to load

        Yes, they forgot the DOS days, and they are happy about that. Why in the world they'd go back if they don't have to?

        think that waiting 2-3 seconds for a program to load is a crime against humanity.

        I have a reasonably fast Vista notebook (Windows score 4.2.) MS Word 2003 starts in ... let me measure ... 4 seconds, and I can start typing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Totenglocke (1291680)
          I've run Vista with Office 2007 and Ubuntu with Open Office 3.0 on the same laptop (that's about 3 years old and was only average specs when it was new) and the Ubuntu with Open Office was much faster to load. That's what we're talking about here - Open Office on Ubuntu, not on Vista (which runs everything slower).
    • by Vexorian (959249)
      At least the ubuntu 9.10 version of OOO runs just fine on my aspire one D250, and it also ran fine on my old 701 4G ASUS eee.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      If you want a lightweight but good text processor and spreadsheet for Linux, and don't mind having to pay for a closed source application, SoftMaker Office [softmaker.com] is very neat. The text processor there is fast and more powerful that AbiWord, and way more compatible with MSOffice formats (I think it actually beats OO.org there).

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by r7 (409657)

      I use OpenOffice at home but it would be a tad heavy for a netbook

      "Heavy", for a "netbook"? what on earth are you talking about? I own an MSI Wind which cost all of $280 USD. It has a 40GB hard drive, 2GB RAM (upgraded from 1GB for $12), 802.11, ethernet, vga, and three USB ports. Openoffice loads in less time on this netbook than on my desktop. Why would I opt for something as feature poor as Abiword or Google Docs given all that OO has to offer?

      Ubuntu's deal with Google is nothing more than horse trading. They were simply paid more by Google than by Sun/Oracle. B

  • how odd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:28PM (#31042038) Journal

    The developers have been removing applications that are irrelevant on a netbook.

    and

    While new ones have been added to provide better netbook functionalities:

    gbrainy added (gbrainy is a brain teaser game)

    Openoffice is "irrelevant" on a netbook but a game most /.ers have probably never even heard of made the cut? Something is wrong here.

    • Re:how odd (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:38PM (#31042122)

      Just for the hell of it, I opened up a terminal and typed `sudo apt-get install gbrainy.`

      If the program represented a significant change in space, it would have asked me if I wanted to.

      Need to get 363kB of archives.

      There are single fonts in OpenOffice that take up more space than that. Ubuntu installs it for me without even checking to see if it's okay, because installing it takes less time.

      I do think it would be a good idea to include Abiword, but I really don't care about OpenOffice. Both MS Office and OpenOffice need to die. They're huge resource hogs, and most of their resources are devoted to finding new ways to make my documents display differently every time someone opens them.

      • The point is that they're cutting out a lot of *useful* functionality and using some of the freed space to put apps on the thing that the vast majority of people in all likliness don't know about nor actually use. Besides, I'm pretty sure you could replace Openoffice with smaller alternatives and either gut Gnome or use Xfce and save 350 mb.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by John Hasler (414242)

          > Besides, I'm pretty sure you could replace Openoffice with smaller
          > alternatives and either gut Gnome or use Xfce and save 350 mb.

          So do so. This is the _default_ configuration. You can easily remove and install whatever you wish.

          • If that is the case, then they may as well just use xubuntu and scrape off nearly everything.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            You can easily remove and install whatever you wish.

            That's a wonderful sentence. Music to my ears.

            May it always be so.

      • And just for the hell of it, I ran it.

        Worst. Puzzles. Ever.

        Here's an example:

        Given the following words, what word has the closest relationship to "vinegar:" sugar / sweet ?

        Answer: sour (As context here, previous questions provided words as options for answers)

        Here's another:

        6 hours ago it was as long after 4 as it was before 10 on the same day. What time is it now?

        Here's a hint: It's 4 (um, ya.)

        Maybe I can't read. Maybe I can't do math. For me, though, the word sour is neither the word sweet nor sugar, and

      • by Locutus (9039)
        too bad the idea of parts/components died off in the 90s or else they could have just went with a lighter weight word process part and left it to the user to install a more feather rich part or not.

        LoB
  • why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dirtyhippie (259852) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:29PM (#31042044) Homepage

    Openoffice takes about 350MB of space, so it is a significant proportion of an ubuntu install, but c'mon. Despite the name "netbook", these devices in my experience spend a significant amount of time offline. This is bizarre choice - more discussion is here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1399012 [ubuntuforums.org]

    • Re:why? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:58PM (#31042300)

      I think you answered your own question in the first sentence - "350MB of space". Though Ubuntu's netbook page mentions CD installation, many netbook class devices won't include one. Thus having a small footprint in order to have a functional desktop via netinstall is perhaps the goal.

      That said, ChromeOS will obviously also use Google Docs so familiarity is also a factor. Ubuntu would be aiming for 'gPad' class devices too. i.e. power-users will buy a ChromeOS tablet but wipe the default install so they can have debiany goodness underneath. I expect the RAM and storage for such devices to be substantially lower that of your typical netbook - at least the low cost versions.

      In any case, perhaps unlike ChromeOS, OO.org is only a 'sudo apt-get install' away...

      • 350MB of space, while perhaps 15% of a default ubuntu install, really isn't that much altogether. And as someone who's installed UNR a number of times, it is easy to convert an iso to a bootable USB stick using netbootin, etc.

        Perhaps it would make sense to pare the installation down to a oo-minimal package or something, but in my mind ubuntu just lost a big advantage over ChromeOS.

    • Can't you use Google Docs offline with Gears?

      • I've tried it. The answer is - "usually" - if and only if you don't do anything fancy. I haven't taken the time to see how much google goop is in my cache when running offline, but its significant.

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      Also, I believe all new Eee PC models come with access to Asus WebStorage [asuswebstorage.com], a file/sync storage system, so one of the advantages of Google Docs is negated. You can use your local drive to store OpenOffice and keep your documents in (ahem) "the cloud." I guess the Asus WebStorage driver is not free software, but it is available on Ubuntu 9.10.

  • Stupid!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by linuxgurugamer (917289) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:34PM (#31042096) Homepage

    The net isn't everywhere. Sometimes people use the computer/netbook in places where there is no network access. So what is going to happen in these cases? It sounds like to me that those people will be SOL, unless they were savvy enough to have installed OpenOffice themselves.

    I use Ubuntu professionally, as well as CentOS & Fedora. By constantly changing the application mix they will discourage people from using Ubuntu because of future incompatibilities.

    • Re:Stupid!! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:48PM (#31042202) Homepage Journal

      The net isn't everywhere. Sometimes people use the computer/netbook in places where there is no network access. So what is going to happen in these cases?

      Users who need this functionality can, as you yourself suggest, install something else. I hear they're dropping the Gimp, too. What will users who need that functionality do? Oh noes! Maybe they can install it from the easy peasy add/remove programs tool.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Vexorian (959249)
        That's an excessively lame excuse. Ubuntu is continously losing functionality and replacing it with proprietary solutions just for disk space sake. You claim that it is no problem to have to install fundamental applications everybody uses manually, but you are missing something:
        * What about the live cd/usb? In case of emergencies I would be able to use my flash disk/CD to boot into a version of ubuntu that has the tools I needed for my work (ie: you are using someone else's computer, your hd broke and no t
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          Ubuntu is continously losing functionality and replacing it with proprietary solutions just for disk space sake.

          I've only got about 400MB out of 4GB free, so that care is welcome.

          You claim that it is no problem to have to install fundamental applications everybody uses manually,

          No, I claim is is no problem to manually install the applications that you want.

          What about the live cd/usb?

          Netbooks don't have CDROM drives. That's a distinguishing feature. You can install programs persistently to the USB.

          Besides of taking precious time from me and making it feel as cheap as windows,

          This statement is a troll until you provide some more support. Then it's just flamebait.

          there is the little problem that it is not obvious to new users that these useful apps ever exist.

          I agree that it might be useful to offer the user the option to install this kind of stuff at OS install time, if that's what you're saying.

          New users would just assume UNR forcefully needs web connection to use that limited office service that google docs is...

          I'm pretty sure that

  • Normal ubuntu (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:48PM (#31042198) Homepage Journal

    I run ubuntu on my eeepc 701. It works fine. I have considered uninstalling open office and installing more lightweight office tools. I will do that if I run out of space (again).

    • by Vexorian (959249)
      UNR actually targets even heavier "netbooks". An Atom processor is on the requirements list and also the 1024x600 resolution. In those machines there is definitely no issues with ooo in my experience. In fact I didn't really have much issues on my old 701 either.

      Honestly, I think it is just that the current ubuntu heads would just keep using disk space as an excuse to replace perfectly working apps with proprietary ones. I think we need a new flag distro...
  • I am skeptic about online applications, unless of course the application can be cached or the Google doc server application in fact is running on the netbook.
    I am however totally agreeing that Open Office is way to heavy for a Netbook. I do however myself usually use Abi-word and Gnumerics when finding OO too heavy.
    How does Google Docs compare to Abi-word?

  • by pz (113803)

    What sort of kickback did the Ubuntu folk get from Google for this? On the face of it, it's a bad decision from the user experience standpoint, as many others have pointed out, because of the potential lack of a network connection. Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that there must be a greater good, at least from the Ubtuntu viewpoint, to screwing their users.

  • Or any other text editor of your choice.

    The formatting can be done later.
  • by Animats (122034) on Friday February 05, 2010 @11:16PM (#31042796) Homepage

    Why does OpenOffice need 350MB, anyway?

    • Why is "soffice.exe" 7MB in size? It's just the launcher. The work is done in "sdraw.exe", "swriter.exe", etc.
    • Why is there also "soffice.bin", another 7MB?
    • Does OpenOffice have to have its very own full Python installation? It's only used for scripting OpenOffice from your own applications; OpenOffice itself doesn't need it.
    • Is the whole Java/UNO system, for scripting OpenOffice from Java, really used much?
    • OpenOffice has about 100 DLLs, doing who knows what. How many of those are really used?
    • In fact, most users don't need any of the Java stuff. It's mainly for the OpenOffice database engine, and you're probably not running a relational DBMS on your netbook.

    OpenOffice could probably be brought down below 100MB for netbooks without much work.

  • If I am not mistaken, Ubuntu 10.04 will drop Google as the default search engine for Firefox in favor of Yahoo! search. Now it's funny they will be using Google docs, as I am sure it will create a little bit of inconsistency...

    What's next, Bing maps?
  • Because as far as I know, Google Docs is not only closed-source and proprietary. It’s one step worse: It’s not even controlled by you, as it’s on another computer.

    No, it being a netbook is not making it OK, that it is only accessible when you have reception. “Netbook” is just a (marketing) name. It’s still just a small computer. It still has to be able to perform normal things without an Internet connection.

    This, to me, is one step worse, than replacing OOo by MS Office. At least with MS Office, your private data won’t be sold of to anyone, and you can still cut the connection.
    Were they drunk? Was someone payed?

    To me, this takes Ubuntu NE out of the equation for all possible uses.

    root@livecd ~ # emerge world

  • I actually use my netbook to give presentations, which I prepare obviously with my regular desktop. Now, I can only imagine the problems and issues that I would have in using Google docs. The files are limited in size and my presentations usually don't fit within the actual limits imposed by Google. The same for text documents, as it is not uncommon for me to receive large (>10MB) word files. What should I do then?

    The only consolation is that (hopefully) OpenOffice is only an "apt-get install" away.
  • by Qubit (100461) on Friday February 05, 2010 @11:54PM (#31043054) Homepage Journal

    What the everlasting f*ck, guys?

    Here, let me go dig up the Ubuntu motto or whatever you're calling it now.

    The Ubuntu promise

    Ubuntu will always be free of charge, along with its regular enterprise releases and security updates...Ubuntu core applications are all free and open source. We want you to use free and open source software, improve it and pass it on.

    So they took a Free Software application out and replace it with a non-Free application from Google. What a great idea!

    Although an office suite isn't necessary for one to run Ubuntu, being able to create and consume office documents is admittedly a very common task. Making UNR able to interoperate "right out of the box" seems like a very high priority.

    Bradley Kuhn was spot-on [ebb.org] when he recently said "It seems clear that one of Canonical's top goals is to convince every Ubuntu user to rely regularly on new proprietary software and services". Bradley's solution to the problem? Go back to Debian.

    My experience with Ubuntu has been, on the whole, a rather pleasant one, so I wish that Ubuntu would find a better solution to this problem. OOo might take up a certain amount of space on netbooks, sure, so perhaps they should install a stripped-down package that doesn't install extra fonts until you need them. Or maybe just prompt the user during the install, letting them know how much space OOo will take up?

    I've been willing to deal with non-free drivers and binary blobs in the past, as that has sometimes been the only way to get key parts of my system up and running. But when the only limitation to using a completely Free program is a few hundred MB of disk space, in nearly all cases one could (and should) just get a little more disk.

    Software Freedom is worth it!

    • by Vexorian (959249)
      Darn I was not aware of that statement Bradley made and now that I read it it is so true and it makes me so sad. Just every new ubuntu version comes with a new idiotic change that had no reason to happen, like ooo to google docs. GIMP to f-spot. Etc, etc ,etc. I think it is because the current heads of the project (Mark is just the owner, not the ones controlling them) have complete disregard of the ubuntu manifesto. It was that manifesto what lead me to choose it, but now it is clear that it is not importa
  • by Pecisk (688001) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:45AM (#31044296)

    For those who want to know: Launchpad blueprints are ideas converted in subprojects. For example, there have been thousand blueprints which while have been completed, have never been implemented.

    So first - no official announcement in mailing list, no blog post, but a *blueprint* is a basis of the whole fact in this blog (which is full of ads and snags). Impressive.

    https://blueprints.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/mobile-lucid-arm-webservice-for-office [launchpad.net]

    Wow, first of all, it's for ARM UNE (small subvariant of Ubuntu Netbook Edition), implementation is not started yet and motivation is more clear than ad-riddened blog wrote - OO.o is simply slow on ARM. Yes, you can try to use Abiword, but I think it is not tweaked to run ARM too.

  • by Uzik2 (679490) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @11:44AM (#31045798)
    The version of Ubuntu I tried gets high marks for a great install, but low marks for usability. The cd burner doesn't work at all, the archive manager and file system explorer both have horrible bugs and very poor usability design. That they're choosing to put my documents at risk further emphasizes their poor judgment at the leadership level.

If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law. -- Roy Santoro

Working...