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slow file save times

 
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holycow
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 10:33 am    Post subject: slow file save times Reply with quote

hi all.

i've searched this forum, other forums, bug tracker and google on this but i cannot find a single reference to an issue that i think needs to be resolved. i am starting to think we are the only ones seriously trying to use open office on very large documents.

we are piloting openoffice.org2 and essentially its a perfect replacement for our needs (MS Office is gone forever from here). for our needs virtually all the issues brought up on the message boards and elsewhere are really not something we have noticed come up at all.

however, we do have several power users, and as the big test we are having one of them rework our policy manual document that is approximately 600 pages in size entirely in open office.

what it boils down to for us is that all the features are there, the suite actually is superior to ms office in terms of handling style sheets, EXCEPT for one show stopper:

opening a 600 page document is painfull in enough in open office, BUT SAVING a 600 page document is unnacceptable. we are talking in the order of 5 minutes per save.

the general workflow with any large document is that you must save the file frequently - computers crash, there are power outages, etc. as with all computer related activity, save and save often. this of course is impossible with oo.org2 on large documents as it takes many minutes to do so, where in comparison ms office is very quick.

we have tried the automatic save feature, but that too is essentially useless when working on huge documents because a) it stops oo while it save and b) it still takes the same amount of time to save the doc as ctrl/s.

my questions therefore are this:

1. is there any work being done on the file/save time issue at all?

2. if there is work being done on this issue, can anyone point me to some references, contacts, etc? we would like to see how we can help.

3. what it looks like to us, is that oo is saving the entire file each time instead of perhaps simply saving just the changes. i understand the performance issues particularly with verbose xml formatting, however there must be a way to handle this issue. perhaps creating a daemon/service that runs in the background that handles all the file saves might be the ideal way to do this. with a daemon one could envision that ctrl/s would merely post a job to the dameon and it would handle the data storage, perhaps by runing a virtual copy of the document in memory and saving that? this of course is just a thought there are probably far more intelligent and elegant ways to handle the issue.

we would be greatfull for any input on this at all as i am surprised to have not found almost any reference to anyone considering this as a showstopper issue.

Smile

do let me add that we consider open office an incredible piece of software, and will hopefully be looking to not only contribute to the project but purchase support services for it.
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9point9
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What format are you saving it in? Saving in the native OpenDocument format may be a lot quicker than other formats.
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holycow
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

with a 600 page document the format makes no difference, the save times are still so large as to make the situation untenable for the user.

however, we are saving in the oasis format as we are standardizing on that.
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AndrewZ
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Meeks at Novell is working on performance.

http://www.gnome.org/~michael/
http://ooocon-ljudmila.kiberpipa.org/media/
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Corfy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might try dividing it up into smaller files lump them together using a Master Document.

I haven't worked with the Master Documents myself, but then I rarely work with a document larger than 10 pages. But I have read that if working on a book with chapters you can make each chapter a file within a Master Document, that way you can open and edit any one of the chapters without having to open the entire book each and every time.

Not sure if your 600 page document can be divided up easily or not, but it may be worth looking into.

Quote:
A master document lets you manage large documents, such as a book with many chapters, by acting as a container for individual OpenOffice.org Writer files. The individual files are called subdocuments. You can also separate a large document that is being worked on by several people into subdocuments and then add the subdocuments to a master document.

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holycow
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you for the tips and contacts.

muchly appreciated.
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verson
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

holycow,

The problem I think is that the xml formats are compressing on saving each time.
The workaround I have found is to use the Star Calc 5.0 .sdc format which is
uncompressed.

If file size & disk space is not an issue (big hard drives are pretty cheap these days)

It would be nice if OO developed an uncompressed xml (odt, ods) file format for those of
use that use larger files.
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verson
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 4:49 pm    Post subject: Addendum Reply with quote

seems to only work well in OO 1.1.5 not OO 2
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taylormc
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Possibly the solution put forward at http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=25983 may also help with file save times.
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holycow
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

not to bring up an old thread but perhaps it might interest someone what our results have been so far:

1. the original issue actually is realted 100% to importing/converting a VERY large 600 page microsoft crap-fice document into oo. what looks like was happening was that all the styles got converted to thousands of individual styles, and i assume there must have been a lot of other cruft in the back ground that saving the document turned out to be very very cumbersome as per post.

2. subsequently we did some tests and were able to create very very large test documents in a master subdocument setup of around 2500 pages just to see what the beast can do. as of 2.0 official releases the stability was there and it would save the files fast! each chapter of course was about 40 to 140 pages in the test. saving was fast and normal in feel.

3. we have no recreated our 500 policy manual in a master / subdocument style and the user that did this just dove right in. i tried to teach her the basics in the first few days, i had to look up a few things but she really got right into it and now swears by open offfice. it saves fast, she says it works great and not only that it works better than microsoft office.

so there you have it.

we are switching the whole company to open office, BECAUSE IT IS BETTER than MS Office for our needs.

keep it up guys!
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