Re: So instead of 125Meg to run a basic wordprocessor it will now be 500Meg plus..
I had a Silverreed EX44 typewriter with serial interface to turn it into a printer, all hooked up to my Newbrain computer with CP/M. Sigh. Happy days.
The LibreOffice team has been working on a port to browser-hosted WebAssembly, and hopes for a working demo by summer 2021. "It's the way the industry is heading," said Document Foundation board member Thorsten Behrens. Browser-based versions of the open-source office productivity suite already exist in the form of Collabora …
"32K?!? We used to dream about having 32K! We barely had 8K in our MITS Altair. And every time it got unplugged we had to toggle in BASIC from a fuzzy 7th-generation Xerox copy of a mimeograph. But it was a computer to us!"
Sadly, the above is actually true. And I'm not even at retirement age yet...
We had 16K. But as it was core memory you could trip over the power cable and just plug it back in again. The boot loader was only about 10 lines though. In octal. For the paper-tape boot-loader.
Altair Basic...wasnt that about 3.5K? Ouch. So you could not afford the 4K EPROM then. I think they were about $60 S-100 cards.
Altair Basic...wasnt that about 3.5K? Ouch. So you could not afford the 4K EPROM then. I think they were about $60 S-100 cards.
It was an academic lab project: build the computer, make it do something. The EPROM was for wimps, we were told; toggling in BASIC would toughen us up.
Once upon a time Mozilla Firefox used to ship as a smallish executable with 50 or 60 DLLs. But then somebody said this is stupid because we need to load most of those DLLs anyway so let's just statically link them into the executable and they did. Startup times improved because the OS didn't have to resolve, and dynamically load all those DLLs. But it's still modules & components under the covers.
The same has happened with LibreOffice. The DLLs are consolidated so it looks monolithic but under the covers it's a bunch of modules linked together. So I imagine if there were a WebAssembly version they could pick and choose how modules loaded up. It probably makes more sense to be more granular in that situation and it does not follow that everything has to be loaded for anything at all to happen.
In fact from a development perspective it probably makes sense to break it down into small pieces with well defined dependencies since they can play around with stuff and see how it works.
Which just goes to prove that the codebases are spaghetti. Neither properly partitioned or layered. Horizontally or vertically. If you need to muck around with DLLLoad issues on startup then the core code / common code is neither. And if so many functions in a module are exported symbols then that is another red flag that the modules are not actually that modular. The only symbols that should be exported are external service call entry points. And the only symbols that should be imported are core / common / platform services.
But there again just how many of the people making those decisions actually traced through a full DLL resolve / execute call chain. ASM Instruction by instruction. Based on personal experience almost none. Everything like this is just a zero cost black box function to most people. Not the couple of dozen / couple of hundred instructions it actually is. Same with platform API calls.
Or a bit like when people mix exceptions and template in C++ methods with multiple exit points. You should see all the machine code that generates for even a small expression line count method. The worst example I've seen was about 25 line of simple C++ code using exceptions, templates, RTTI etc that generated a 44 page final pre-processor stage output listing. That was not even the ASM disassembly. That code was very easy to optimize. It was thrown and and rewritten in straightforward C++ which was about 5% the exe size. And unlike the original code, did not crash the shipped product.
First rule of this sort of software development. If you dont know exactly what is going on under the hood then always assume it is actually very computationally expensive. You will almost never be wrong.
"Where the industry is headed"
Where those in the industry that want to sell software as a service and cloud storage are headed.
I'll stick to old versions or goto Open Office before I use this.
I don’t need everything to run in the web. In fact, where possible, I’d rather that it didn’t. I like being able to work offline. What I would like to see is seriously lightweight software. Seriously, who needs Excel most of the time? Or Word? And no one needs to be subjected to PowerPoint or Access! I’d like something else, please.
Instead of frigging around with Office Clones, on the web of all places, can we have some lightweight integrated packages again? Microsoft Works, for example, or Claris Works - I loved them, and I’d choose them again in a heartbeat (Claris in particular, which let you draw any of its supported document types into any document).
Perhaps less sensibly, and proving that I might be a smidge old-fashioned, I’d also like to see some big-hitter choice again. I’d like to see the return of WordPerfect as a cross platform leviathan and alternative to Word. I’d like to see Resolve and Lotus 123 again. Okay, perhaps I am just being silly and unnecessarily nostalgic.
Nostalgic fondness of this as it was used for IT lessons in secondary school. Back when DTP was the big thing, it was relatively easy to drag and drop items from drawing, embed spreadsheets and the likes.
Sometimes I'll fire it up on DosBox or my old Mac Mini G4.
Would love something like this as part of an OS base install. Perhaps we should start a project OpenClaris? :D
I felt Lotus Symphony, based on OpenOffice, was slightly similar in that it felt like one application as you could have tabs for different documents.
No, your're not being silly. It's what many users want. I'd be happy with Wordstar, dBase II and Supercalc, the memory limitations would be a problem though. I still use photo imaging software for web stuff thats 25 years old, U-Lead Photoimpact because it's very quick, everything can be done with keystrokes and it's great at creating lightweight decent resolution graphics.
Have you ever loaded an old Netscape browser? Jeez they are fast, dangerously insecure but quick.
Anyone got a copy of Sidekick?
...Behrens said LOOL is based on the HTML5 Canvas element that displays the document, but that "all the rendering, all the interaction with the document, all the editing" happens on the server...
So, we're returning to the old and not-so-good days of the X terminal then... Oh my...
"...So, we're returning to the old and not-so-good days of the X terminal then... Oh my..."
: NFS Server Thor not responding
: NFS Server Odin not responding
Gaze blankly at screen
Go away and make a mug of coffee
: NFS server Thor not responding
Go and have lunch
: NFS server Odin not responding
Start writing report in longhand in the lab book.
Do we really want to go back to this? Really?
The times they are achanging. I have an NFS mount on my laptop over wifi and twenty yards of ethernet for my music collection. I can shutdown without using the power button even if I lose comms with the server. It even reconnects after wake up from suspend.
Now that's progress!
(I have plenty of other ways of making data go poo poo than NFS.)
Yeah, but money...
Ownership of tools and resources by the Great Unwashed has been slowly phased out so you can sell them the same thing over and over again. It started with music and movies, and goes on with software.
Ideally you will rent your
computer terminal, and rent the software running on it by the use. Think of the freedom and the savings, especially when your software service provider closes shop and your files disappear with him because CRMed to his solution...
An urgent call from one of our offices. Their X terminals were crawling on rendering any screen. It had been ok the day before - so they declared it must be a local network fault.
Took a network capture. The lan was running ok - but the volume of traffic to the terminal was enormous. The acid question "what did you change?". The answer eventually was an official updated X library was doing the rendering with many, many repetitive primitive commands. Reverted to previous library - all worked ok hardly exercising the lan.
Lotus Notes had an embedded browser in the late 90s (think it was probably IE embedded as an ActiveX).
Now they're trying the opposite way around. It's ridiculous to download 30MB just for a quick bit of text editing and formatting, which is the limit of what most people want from browser based editors. And rather a futile effort anyway, when most LibreOffice users run Linux and have it available on their desktops.
Whatever's next for wasm? A browser that runs in a browser?
.... when they've darned well finished the native version!
Charting on Calc is a maze of twisty passages, all alike.
Mailmerge is still a geek poke-fest, without the simple ability to transfer a template document and it's matching database to another computer.
As long as even the apps for trading are server-based, why still worrying for 3-letter agencies patriotting out one's lab data with its browser-based addons?
I see. Must be not a trader. That explains why one's brain muscle is not being under anaesthesia, and one's neck joint is radarring the changes going on around, in a proper manner.
TY somebody for the on-the-fly downvoting. I didn't even finished the post, but thumb up was already mine bgg
In LO I can open documents written in old unsupported versions of MS Office without signifficant format errors. To me that is mainly relevant but the discussion here has nothing to do with Microsoft Office. We were talking about online versus offline LO. Please stay with us here.
Well don't try a Nokia with Android one that may have specs beyond a 90s pc but it is so full of problems it would take a week to type even on a keyboard that works (following the latest update the keyboard on the Nokia is good for about 5 chars between lockups, down from the 8 to 10 before. And it has yet to receive a phone call where both sides can hear each other.
Nothing that relies on firefox works longer than a few weeks because they can't stop tinkering.
Excel was successful because it had continuity and, apart from the usual Microsoft bugs could always be relied on to work. Libreoffice were supposed to be providing office apps for businesses - like Firefox they obviously have a death wish.
They obviously want to follow our favourite open source software provide - Adobe - and will shortly be moving to a subscription cloud-based model soon.
The nuts thing about WebASM becoming something of a defacto standard is that, eventually, someone will do a CPU that uses WebASM for its instruction set, or as an extension of it. And then where will we be?
This has happened before with Java (Sun, ARM both did chips that understood Java byte code).
......namely......the quality of the WRITTEN PRODUCT hasn't changed since the quill pen and inkpot!!!!!
Oh yes.....it might be PRETTIER.....fancy fonts, footnotes, bullets, indents, page numbers......etc.........etc.....................
............but the CONTENT still no better than what I wrote with Wordstar on my Osborne and CP/M-80 running in 64K of 8-bit memory...........
Progress? Well.............progress for anoraks, but no progress for anyone else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyone remember Java? Software would no longer be bound to the shackles of a singular OS, but could run freely within the alternative reality of the Java Runtime Environment. Java would run on desktops, on servers, mobile devices (J2EE, anyone?) and in browsers (Java Applets).
So basically WASM and as a corollary LibreOffice-In-The-Browser is basically the whole Java Applets debacle, rehashed. I guess learning from history still isn't a popular pastime.
... mobile devices (J2EE, anyone?) ...
Mobile devices? That'd be J2ME, then?
Brilliant Idea that was ... Hey let's make a cut-down version of Java whose runtime will fit on a mobile phone ... in, say, 32k! We'll leave out floating point, because that's always the first thing people leave out, and ... I know, security, that's a big chunk of stuff.
Yeah, good idea ... nobody could ever need security on a mobile device!
Ah yes, all those years of server-side Java development must have affected my faculties :)
I have never had the pleasure of developing with J2ME, but I heard some stories of all the fun one could have with it. Presumably it ended up being mostly used to implement some basic games and utilities with on feature phones and that was about it.
Java may have been an early attempt to solve the same issues but it didn't have the built-in browser support or standards to pull it off seamlessly. e,g, a Java Applet was basically responsible for rendering its allocated box of space in the browser making it look ugly and out of place since it didn't share styles, the rendering context or stuff like Z-order, transparency etc.
It's also really questionable whether the HTML DOM is at all a good framework to build a UI in. Many voices say it is not, and we may end up with UIs being rendered in WebGL inside a Canvas at some point. At which point I'm not sure why one didn't just use C++ with GTK+ or Qt and compile it for a few different platforms.
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