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NeoOffice :: View topic - Feature comparison updates?
Feature comparison updates?
 
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OPENSTEP
The One
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Joined: May 25, 2003
Posts: 4752
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:38 pm    Post subject: Feature comparison updates? Reply with quote

I was going through some of our stuff on the wiki and I was thinking that it may be time to start updating our feature comparison page. OOo 3.0 is in its second, and probably, final beta and new requests are being pushed off into the future 3.1 release, so I think it's probably a good time for us to start updating our feature comparison page on the wiki for OOo 3.0 and StarOffice 9. Of course, we will need to make it clear that this is against OOo/SO betas and their final feature set is subject to change.

Also, Patrick and some other people have started to put together performance stats. I'd like to get people's opinions on adding performance stat measurements to the feature page. The idea is we come up with a standard Word, Excel, and PowerPoint document and then measure basic performance stats on it (e.g. launching application, time to open, scroll top to bottom, printing to Preview.app, etc. similar to the Anandtech style of reports). I'd like to measure time ideally for Office 2004, Office 2008, Neo, the SO9 beta, and the OOo 3 beta. Of course, the idea with the latter two being that we remeasure them when final comes out Smile Patrick and I have been seeing a number of comparative reviews as of late between Office, Neo, iWork, etc. and some have claims like "this one feels faster" but it'd be fun to actually get some hard numbers, put them to the test, and put our source documents out there as well for other people to try.

Should we add in an iWork feature comparison as well? iWork '08 is now really a full business office suite, and a nice one I might add Smile Perhaps a more specific AbiWord vs. Writer would be a good comparison as well.

For me I'm hoping that we can make the feature comparison page a way to highlight the strengths of all of the different solutions: iWork, Office, Neo, OOo, StarOffice, et. al. Perhaps with enough information we can help people frustrated with what they have find the solution that's right for them.

Thoughts?

ed
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pluby
The Architect
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is a good idea especially if we our users can provide some unbiased comparisons so that users can decide which tool will best meet their needs.

Like Ed noted, I have only seen how fast OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta is but my own personal experience says otherwise. So, if OpenOffice.org is not going to provide data for users, it makes sense that we do that.

NeoOffice definitely will not be the fastest app and, in many case, Microsoft Office or iWork or OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta may be the better choice for those that already have either of those applications. However, I think that we will find that NeoOffice is noticeably faster than OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta in some areas and will soon be in other areas.

Even where OpenOffice.org 3.0 is faster is a good thing for users to know, but it also points to where we need to focus development effort.

Patrick
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sardisson
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Feature comparison updates? Reply with quote

OPENSTEP wrote:
I was thinking that it may be time to start updating our feature comparison page. OOo 3.0 is in its second, and probably, final beta and new requests are being pushed off into the future 3.1 release

We've historically not done a comparison between our current version and a version of another piece of software released months after our current release; that is, we compare current versions to current release versions, whatever they are (with a small bit of wiggle room when an OOo release comes within a week or so of a Neo release).

I'm hesitant to start changing this, because it then "commits" us to constant maintenance of the page throughout a release cycle (rather than having a page ready at release and leaving it until the next release) and because the comparison will be changing underneath people depending on when they visit during our release cycle (and other apps' cycles).

On the other hand, OOo 3 is clearly a big release for them and changes a lot of things (it should significantly reduce the number of red X in the OOo column of the comparison), so I wouldn't be opposed to adding a second page that's a "supplemental comparison" of Neo and OOo3 Beta, and link to that page at the top of the Neo-OOo comparison section.

OPENSTEP wrote:
Also, Patrick and some other people have started to put together performance stats. I'd like to get people's opinions on adding performance stat measurements to the feature page.

I think that's a great idea, though in terms of what shows up on the current (2.2.4) page, I'd like to limit it to the versions set there (linking to supplemental pages for other versions/applications if necessary).

OPENSTEP wrote:
Should we add in an iWork feature comparison as well? iWork '08 is now really a full business office suite, and a nice one I might add Smile Perhaps a more specific AbiWord vs. Writer would be a good comparison as well.

I think iWork is a good idea, provided we can get someone to maintain it. With OOo it's pretty easy, and a fair number of regulars here have (or have ready access to) Office:Mac. I don't have a good idea of the penetration of iWork here, though.

AbiWord, sadly, is all but dead on the Mac. The last Mac version was released about 3 years and 2 major versions ago. It's PPC-only and has major font-positioning bugs.

OPENSTEP wrote:
For me I'm hoping that we can make the feature comparison page a way to highlight the strengths of all of the different solutions: iWork, Office, Neo, OOo, StarOffice, et. al. Perhaps with enough information we can help people frustrated with what they have find the solution that's right for them.

In the longer term (for the Neo 3 release, perhaps?), it would be good to rework the page into one chart comparing multiple apps (and probably a second chart for the performance tests for all apps). We talked about doing this before, but the OOo-Neo comparison had a bunch of things that didn't make any sense at all to be in a comparison with Office; most of those should be eliminated by OOo 3.

Note also that for German speakers, ApfelWiki's Word Alternative Test remains one of the best comparisons of word processors out there, though it omits Word itself.

Smokey

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pluby
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Feature comparison updates? Reply with quote

sardisson wrote:
We've historically not done a comparison between our current version and a version of another piece of software released months after our current release; that is, we compare current versions to current release versions, whatever they are (with a small bit of wiggle room when an OOo release comes within a week or so of a Neo release).

I'm hesitant to start changing this, because it then "commits" us to constant maintenance of the page throughout a release cycle (rather than having a page ready at release and leaving it until the next release) and because the comparison will be changing underneath people depending on when they visit during our release cycle (and other apps' cycles).

On the other hand, OOo 3 is clearly a big release for them and changes a lot of things (it should significantly reduce the number of red X in the OOo column of the comparison), so I wouldn't be opposed to adding a second page that's a "supplemental comparison" of Neo and OOo3 Beta, and link to that page at the top of the Neo-OOo comparison section.


I understand your logic, but I have to respectfully disagree. OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta is their big release and if the past is any indication, Sun will sending this to reviewers and users will be comparing the that release against NeoOffice. They have already done this when the first Beta came out and I expect the comparisons to only increase.

The way I see it, we have two choices:

- Ignore the fact that OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta exists and compare ourselves to OOo 2.4 X11 which almost no one uses

or

- Compare ourselves to what Sun is saying their current release is

I favor the latter because even if we have less features or have worse performance in certain cases, at least we can encourage Sun and reviewers to post objective comparisons. In contrast, continuing the past practice only encourages the current trend of posting unverified claims as fact.

Of course that is just my opinion.

Patrick
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OPENSTEP
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do hear the issues of maintenance; keeping complex lists like that is not an easy task, and I'm glad they exist Smile I think a supplemental page would be fine...perhaps it might be easier to reorganize all the products into separate pages in the future? I guess I'm thinking along Patrick's lines as well of trying to get an unbiased feature comparison up somewhere so reviewers and users can get information.

I also have access to iWork and can do some comparisons, but I don't really use it extensively so am not familiar with the features that really are its strengths. I still can't get accustomed to Numbers myself Smile

ed
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ovvldc
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Joined: Sep 13, 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that the performance comparison may need to be updated as things progress, but I expect that OOo 3.0 is now reasonably feature complete.

As such, I think that NeoOffice 2.2.4 vs. MS Office 2008 vs. MS Office 2004 vs. iWork vs. OpenOffice.org 3.0 is a fair comparison. Eventually, that will have to be updated to NeoOffice 3.0 when Patrick gets traction on that.

I doubt that much of this will have to be changed once the comparison has been made, but setting it up will be quite a job.

Best wishes,
Oscar

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pluby
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ovvldc wrote:
I think that the performance comparison may need to be updated as things progress, but I expect that OOo 3.0 is now reasonably feature complete.


I think that Sun Microsystem's OOo community manager agrees with you.

Patrick
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narf
The Anomaly


Joined: Jan 21, 2007
Posts: 1075

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Feature comparison updates? Reply with quote

sardisson wrote:
OPENSTEP wrote:
Also, Patrick and some other people have started to put together performance stats. I'd like to get people's opinions on adding performance stat measurements to the feature page.

I think that's a great idea, though in terms of what shows up on the current (2.2.4) page, I'd like to limit it to the versions set there (linking to supplemental pages for other versions/applications if necessary).


I can get started with some performance stats. I will put this on a separate NeoWiki page. I can call it NeoOffice Performance Comparison or something similar.

I have got a Intel Mac Book Pro and will set up a new user to start with a fresh default set up. I will compare NeoOffice 2.2.4 with the latest patch, the latest OpenOffice 3.0 beta and MS Office 2004. I do not have iWork or MS Office 2008 but I can add comparisons to those in the future if I ever do get them.

Let me know what you think,
--fran

Edited to add: Please let me know what would be good performance tests. I have a few ideas such as time from a cold start to when the cursor becomes active.
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sardisson
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Feature comparison updates? Reply with quote

narf wrote:
I can get started with some performance stats. I will put this on a separate NeoWiki page. I can call it NeoOffice Performance Comparison or something similar.

Sounds good.

narf wrote:
Edited to add: Please let me know what would be good performance tests. I have a few ideas such as time from a cold start to when the cursor becomes active.

For reference, the performance tests Mellel uses are at the top of their comparison chart (but you still have to scroll down to see them Razz), and the Apfelwiki tests are detailed here (Google Translate version), including sample documents (and historical values for historical versions of the apps).

Smokey

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narf
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great. Thanks Smokey.

I'm going to pick up a copy of MS Office Home/Student edition so I can throw that into the mix as well.

--fran
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OPENSTEP
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can throw in Office 2008 and iWork '08 Smile

ed
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pluby
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: Feature comparison updates? Reply with quote

sardisson wrote:
For reference, the performance tests Mellel uses are at the top of their comparison chart (but you still have to scroll down to see them Razz), and the Apfelwiki tests are detailed here (Google Translate version), including sample documents (and historical values for historical versions of the apps).


These are really good cases to use. I really like the use of large test documents to test the text layout and scrolling speed of Writer.

To test Impress, I would suggest using the presentation attached to bug 1473. This presentation's transitions have always taxed NeoOffice's slideshow performance so I think it should be a good test of any application's slideshow performance.

Note: since that presentation has transitions set to random and different transitions have different performance costs, you will need to select one transition and press the Apply to All button in the slide transitions panel before running your slideshow to ensure that you are getting accurate comparisons.

Edit: Added the correct link to bug 1473. Also, I should add that when testing slideshow performance, I would suggest measuring how long it takes to run the slideshow from clicking the slideshow button until the slideshow has ended and the presentation document is useable again. You will need to force the slideshow through by continually clicking the spacebar while the slideshow is running to determine the slideshow's maximum speed.

Patrick
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narf
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have started a Performance Comparison page on NeoWiki.

Right now the comparisons are only Writer and Impress. Let me know of any sample spreadsheets that may make good test candidates.

Looking forward I think I may put the machine type in each table row so more than one machine can be used for testing. That way others can easily add performance results from their own machines.

Let me know what you think.
thanks --fran
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rpatrick
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, thanks for the work you've put into it, it's very clear and it seems to me to be quite thorough too.

Richard
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sardisson
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've posted the first stage of my merging the three tables into one unified comparison on NeoOffice_2.2.5_Feature_Comparison_New (this is just a temporary home as I work on it). It's in very rough shape, but there's one unified table now. The table rows don't yet alternate, the footnotes aren't in order (and are a mess), and the order of various items are subject to change.

I've changed the OOo version to 3.0 since 3.0rc1 is out there and it's reasonable to expect that's very close to shipping any day now (just like 2.2.5 is Wink ) and that any updates we need to make between rc1 and "final" would be very minor. When the page is ready, I'll undo Patrick's changes to the 2.2.4 page and put this new 2.2.5 page in the real 2.2.5 spot.

Any comments, suggestions, etc. are most welcome. One thing that I've been toying with, actually, is splitting the one table up where we have the grey rows—except for the "Supported Scripts" section, which I'd leave attached to the "General" section, unless we wanted to merge the last three items from General with Scripts to form a new "Internalization and Localization" section.

As I said, it's in rough shape now and I haven't fully decided what I think is the best layout, so comments and suggestions on additions/deletions/changes encouraged. I do aim to have this ready in a usable, if perhaps still slightly imperfect, state by Monday.

Smokey

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