Bloated Open Source Software

Several months ago, I joined OpenOffice.org and downloaded the source, although I haven’t done much with it. I’ve tried running the application itself (which currently runs under X11) and I find that I dread launching it. OOo is a huge application that loads the word processor, spreadsheet, and other modules when launched. It’s even bigger, slower, and more bloated than MS Office.

OOo is written mostly in Java with a huge portability layer and lots of non-native widgets. On a 1GHz G4 it takes 8-10 hours to build. I haven’t been able to build it successfully under Panther.

A successful office alternative needs to be lean, fast, and easy to use. It should be modular and easily extensible via scripting. It also needs to look & feel like a native application and should integrate & exchange data with other native applications. It should not be a huge monolithic application full of useless cruft.

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