Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



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This discussion has been archived.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 @08:27PM (#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.
  • how odd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Friday February 05, 2010 @08:28PM (#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.

  • by ipX (197591) on Friday February 05, 2010 @08:31PM (#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?

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday February 05, 2010 @08:32PM (#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.
  • Stupid!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by linuxgurugamer (917289) on Friday February 05, 2010 @08:34PM (#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:how odd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Friday February 05, 2010 @08:38PM (#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.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday February 05, 2010 @08:41PM (#31042152)
    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.
  • 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.

  • Re:Stupid!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday February 05, 2010 @08:48PM (#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.

  • 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 @08:55PM (#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)
  • Re:why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Friday February 05, 2010 @08:58PM (#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...

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:01PM (#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 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:35PM (#31042548)

    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 rtb61 (674572) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:40PM (#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.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:58PM (#31042686) Homepage Journal

    The question is not if google bothers with Chrome OS but if anybody actually _uses_ Chrome OS.

    It's only been available a short time. You'll see plenty of devices using ChromeOS in the coming year.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:01PM (#31042702)

    with terrible wireless reception. :P

    Every netbook has terrible wireless reception? What?

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:12PM (#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 Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@@@slashdot...org> on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:33PM (#31042894)

    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

  • by phantomcircuit (938963) on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:36PM (#31042914) Homepage

    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 pj81381 (1703646) on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:43PM (#31042968)

    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...or (perhaps more appropriate wrt your comment) just install Ubuntu Desktop.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:47PM (#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.

  • by Qubit (100461) on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:54PM (#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!

  • Re:Stupid!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vexorian (959249) on Friday February 05, 2010 @11:32PM (#31043276)
    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 time to fix, etc). But without openoffice or the gimp I am now screwed.
    * Besides of taking precious time from me and making it feel as cheap as windows, there is the little problem that it is not obvious to new users that these useful apps ever exist. New users would just assume UNR forcefully needs web connection to use that limited office service that google docs is...
  • by doug20r (1436837) on Friday February 05, 2010 @11:57PM (#31043396)
    Quoting from their terms of use for Google Docs "Google reserves the right in its sole discretion to decide whether your conduct is inappropriate and whether it complies with these Terms of Service..." "Google may terminate your access for such inappropriate conduct in violation of these Terms of Service at any time ". Google may for any reason terminate your use of this software causing you damage and loss. Be warned that Google have a bad reputation for such behaviour. They are currently threatening China so do you think they give a shit for us little people! Sorry Google I do not accept your right to decide who can use a document editing system on their own netbook - get your soft wares out of their system. Do not allow Google into your computer, you do not want to be in bed with this commercial entity.
  • by westlake (615356) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @12:21AM (#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.

  • Re:Stupid!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by keeperofdakeys (1596273) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @12:41AM (#31043560)

    For most people, a word processor is a fundamental part of the operating system. Some people also do not have access to the internet. This means that there WILL be some people who want to use a word processor before they are able to access the internet, which means they won't have a change to download open office or be able to use google docs. This is why an off-line, light weight alternative should be included.

  • by tftp (111690) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @12:44AM (#31043574) Homepage

    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. OpenOffice starts in ... let me measure ... in 25 seconds. Now, 5x difference is a major one, and this notebook has 2 GB of RAM (a netbook may have less than that - RAM eats power.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 06, 2010 @12:48AM (#31043590)

    Those two "new" points are covered by point A. Cheap device at less the cost of a "real" computer.

  • by xtracto (837672) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @02:30AM (#31043962) Journal

    Yup,

    Being plenty of other options aside of OO.o they had to go with the most propertary one.

    Geez, it would have better for them to use a Microsoft Office version with Wine (at least, you control the program and your data).

    Of course because Google is teh goodzor and Microsoft is teh Evilz, the typical anti-propertary slashdotters are getting warm feelings

  • by Knuckles (8964) <knucklesNO@SPAMdantian.org> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:11AM (#31044192)

    just for some virtual post-it notes.

    Except that Tomboy is more like a desktop wiki, and it's great at that. Also, Tomboy syncs with Ubuntu One, which is a great thing to have especially on a netbook. Take notes on the road and have them sync automatically to your home machine via the cloud. Pulling it is a weird idea. I still love Ubuntu, but some devs do make weird decisions at times.

  • by geminidomino (614729) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:43AM (#31044288) Journal

    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.

  • by ingwa (958475) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @06:32AM (#31044702)
    This makes no sense. An office suite like OpenOffice.org can't be replaced with an online service. They should put some effort into KOffice instead and then use that. That's what Nokia is doing for their N900 Linux phone and it's the best choice for this situation. I know that many are going to say now that KOffice will bring in many megs of dependencies, but that's not strictly true. There are ways to cut out what you need from Qt and kdelibs, and that is what the developers did on the N900.
  • Re:Stupid!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @07:27AM (#31044884) Homepage Journal

    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 someone installing UNR is likely to understand the distinction. The advertising for UNR makes it clear that you can install other apps.

  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @01:53AM (#31050868)
    You just reconnect and you've got all of your data again.

    You mean Google has it. If you're happy with that, I guess you're lucky. I just can't bring myself to trust Google with my data, no matter how inconsequential it may seem.

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer

Working...