[solved] PreLoad Portable Office

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Stoik
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[solved] PreLoad Portable Office

#1 Post by Stoik » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:28 am

Whatever happened to those past attempts to preload Open Office or it's derivatives ?

Or, for that matter, to preload any other "slow & heavy" application.

With Windows XP there was some real buzz about it, all that talk about
prefetch and later superfetch, but now you barely hear about it.

Here is what puzzles me ...

I am using OpenOffice and LibreOffice, and both are significantly slower on that first cold launch.
A preloader could launch the relevant libraries in a hidden way, and achieve a much faster launch for me.

I singled out the free Office applications as a good target for preloaders, since they fit the recommendation :
preload applications where there is a huge difference between the cold and the warm launch,
and do it only for applications you use frequently (I do with the office apps - all the time).

Also, these preloaders seem to be perfect little things to be - small, free, and portable.
So where are they ?
Last edited by Stoik on Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: PreLoad Portable Office

#2 Post by SYSTEM » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:36 am

The main reason why preloaders are rare these days is that they're a trade-off. They slow down Windows startup in order to speed up application startup. See https://devblogs.microsoft.com/oldnewth ... 0/?p=36223
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Re: PreLoad Portable Office

#3 Post by webfork » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:49 am

Stoik wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:28 am
Also, these preloaders seem to be perfect little things to be - small, free, and portable.
So where are they ?
I think the technical rationale is that preloaders (which is still present in the installer version of LibreOffice) are something that appears at system startup. So it does part of the launch work along with launching your computer. Computer restarts used to take a while (I barely blink now) so it was thought that adding a prelaunch function was something you wouldn't notice. I think what the software people would say is "don't close the program."

It's definitely something that Mac still holds over Windows (or doesn't, depending on the application and person you're talking to). You can close all your LibreOffice docs and spreadsheets, but the program doesn't actually leave memory until you quit. So launching new docs and spreadsheets is much faster.

My own view is that so many programs come with so much extra programs, processes, services, and general involvement in my computer that it's frankly made me cynical that anything good can come from it. I actually seek out portable just because it runs independently leaves the rest of my machine (mostly) alone.

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Re: PreLoad Portable Office

#4 Post by JohnTHaller » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:57 pm

If you'd like to preload LibreOffice Portable, you can run LibreOfficePortable.exe --quickstart on the command line. Run that as Windows starts or similar. Note that this will keep it running in the background, so you won't be able to eject any drives with it on it until you start and then exit LibreOffice.

Note that I'm not sure if this will cause other weirdness as I haven't really tested this other than a quick one now.
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Re: PreLoad Portable Office

#5 Post by Stoik » Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:07 am

System wrote :
"The main reason why preloaders are rare these days is that they're a trade-off.
They slow down Windows startup in order to speed up application startup."

Well, whoever attempts to write a small preloader, and the user of a preloader,
can easily recognize what to do and what not to do.

For example, do not run the preload action right on windows startup,
but do it 2 or 3 minutes after starting windows - so that windows startup is not affected.

Also, only use the preloader for very few precious applications that you use frequently,
and where there is really a huge difference between "cold" and "warm" launch.

This way, by being smart, you get all the benefits of a preloader
without any of the downsides.

JohnTHaller wrote :
"If you'd like to preload LibreOffice Portable, you can run LibreOfficePortable.exe --quickstart on the command line."

Thank you, John, you are such a precious resource of information, as ever.
Maybe, if we cannot get a straight preloader, there are more such workarounds.
There used to be some tiny commandline, similar to "--quickstart" that could be added to all shortcuts,
something like "--1" or so, but I think that was supposed to help only a bit on Windows XP,
like it would force Windows XP to add this program to the prefetch collection, but
for me it made no difference whatsoever (!) even on Windows XP, so I gave it up quickly;
one of those "snake oils" that claim to "make everything faster" and "cure all ailments".

John, does "--quickstart" work also for Apache OpenOffice (I am forced to use it at work) ?

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Re: PreLoad Portable Office

#6 Post by bitcoin » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:11 pm

not sure what the problem is

if i launch Open Office or Apache Open Office from a USB 3.0 thumb drive it takes less than 10 seconds, from an onboard SSD drive its less than 5 seconds

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Re: PreLoad Portable Office

#7 Post by JohnTHaller » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:03 pm

Stoik wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:07 am
JohnTHaller wrote :
"If you'd like to preload LibreOffice Portable, you can run LibreOfficePortable.exe --quickstart on the command line."

Thank you, John, you are such a precious resource of information, as ever.
Maybe, if we cannot get a straight preloader, there are more such workarounds.
There used to be some tiny commandline, similar to "--quickstart" that could be added to all shortcuts,
something like "--1" or so, but I think that was supposed to help only a bit on Windows XP,
like it would force Windows XP to add this program to the prefetch collection, but
for me it made no difference whatsoever (!) even on Windows XP, so I gave it up quickly;
one of those "snake oils" that claim to "make everything faster" and "cure all ailments".

John, does "--quickstart" work also for Apache OpenOffice (I am forced to use it at work) ?
You're welcome :)

I think Apache OpenOffice still supports -quickstart (note that it's a single dash in their online docs). I tried it with Apache OpenOffice Portable and it unfortunately starts the whole app. Not sure if it still works in the local version. I seem to remember talk of removing it. Apache OpenOffice is barely supported and very out of date, so I don't normally use it.
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Re: PreLoad Portable Office

#8 Post by Stoik » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:12 am

Bitcoin wrote :
"not sure what the problem is, if i launch Open Office or Apache Open Office from a USB 3.0 thumb drive
it takes less than 10 seconds, from an onboard SSD drive its less than 5 seconds".

Dear Bitcoin, bless you !
You must have lived a very privileged and sheltered life
if you were never in a situation that some software launched a bit to slow for your taste.
No matter how powerful a PC I purchase, latest cutting edge, withing months
Adobe Acrobat or Photo Shop or iTunes will push it's latest version to the very limits of modern technology,
and the only way to stay ahead is to buy a new PC every year.
Most of us do not do that, so we end up with the latest versions of large programs becoming a bit too slow.

You will notice from the top of this page that this is not about LibreOffice or OpenOffice specifically,
but about all programs launching too slowly for our taste, I just mentioned those Offices as an example.
Nevertheless, thanks for your interest in this topic !

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Re: PreLoad Portable Office

#9 Post by webfork » Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:30 pm

Stoik wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:12 am
You must have lived a very privileged and sheltered life
lol ... I'm not sure I'd call SSDs and USB 3.0 are far from the property of people who own speedboats and wine cellars. I'd probably have to do some digging to find even a used Chromebook without a USB 3.0 port or an SSD hard drive.
Stoik wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:12 am
Adobe Acrobat or Photo Shop or iTunes will push it's latest version to the very limits of modern technology,
and the only way to stay ahead is to buy a new PC every year.
All those programs try to stay resident in memory to enable faster startup times, probably to make up for the fact that they're bulky and poorly maintained. I don't know if that means it's a good idea. This is just squeezing one part of the computer to make up for problems on the other side. And you might tweak iTunes to turn off when not in use, but it's not optional with Adobe.
Stoik wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:12 am
Most of us do not do that, so we end up with the latest versions of large programs becoming a bit too slow.
I sympathize that waiting for software to do something if you're using it for 8 hours a day is tedious and that a few seconds here and there definitely add up.
Last edited by webfork on Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: (better wording)

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Re: PreLoad Portable Office

#10 Post by Stoik » Wed Oct 28, 2020 1:30 pm

Webfork wrote :
"All those programs try to stay resident in memory to enable faster startup times,
probably to make up for the fact that they're bulky and poorly maintained.
I don't know if that means it's a good idea.
This is just squeezing one part of the computer to make up for problems on the other side ...".

I hear you, you make total sense, but here is the flip side, which also makes sense to me ...
Yes, I want to temporarily "squeeze one part of the computer to make up for problems on the other side".
That is one of the smart uses of a powerful PC - it can aid and forcefully drag along dumb programs.

Sometimes you get into a project, let's say you want to give your scanned PDF files a work-over,
and only Adobe Acrobat Pro or another rare program has that feature of making dark letters even darker.
So you have this imperfect, slow program, but it does something unique, and you cannot choose from 10 programs.
Sumatra PDF (super fast) or Foxit Business just won't do what I want to do.
So you spend a weekend working on your PDF scanned book collection, and just for these 2 days
I wound not mind making my CPU & RAM work a bit harder to help this "limping" but essential program.

I used do be so proud that I am always running things at 13 % of RAM, and even less CPU, but hold on !
That means I not using my PC to it's full capacity at all, I am using barely over a tenth of it's capacity.
So if I temporarily (for this weekend) sacrifice another 10 % of this idle RAM to aid that limping Adobe Acrobat Pro,
than I am doing myself a favor. I am not talking about doing this permanently,
like those useless "startup" items that you never use.

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Re: PreLoad Portable Office

#11 Post by Stoik » Thu Oct 29, 2020 8:15 am

OK,
I am looking above at this page, and
all the responses are from "wise heads" (administrators, etc)
I am the only "amateur" in this discussion.

Hence, the verdict is pretty clear to me :
do not bother with any preloaders,
they are not worth the bother,
there is little bang for your buck.

Thank you all for your time !

I will try adding "- RESOLVED" to the title,
I believe that is the custom ...
I hope I am compliant with the prevailing culture.

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Re: PreLoad Portable Office

#12 Post by webfork » Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:21 am

Stoik wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 8:15 am
all the responses are from "wise heads" (administrators, etc) I am the only "amateur" in this discussion.
Sometimes you get pushback when you're talking from a camp that we don't want to hear from, not because you're wrong or an amateur. I struggled to respond to your post effectively because it seemed like preloaders are just opening yet another gate for bad development work (as with the mentioned Adobe, iTunes, and a box of other programs I could name), but it's also true that some tools are just more taxing to your computer because they either aren't optimized for Windows or are written for high-end machines.

I even spent some time looking around for a GIMP pre-loader, since all these years later the reason I don't use it often is ongoing speed drag.

Second, I'd call myself an expert on very few things. I can count just twice in the last month or so that SYSTEM has come back and updated me on something I posted from a developer perspective where I was wrong or I was missing the point, and I'm glad to have it.

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Re: PreLoad Portable Office

#13 Post by bitcoin » Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:05 am

Stoik wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:12 am
Bitcoin wrote :
"not sure what the problem is, if i launch Open Office or Apache Open Office from a USB 3.0 thumb drive
it takes less than 10 seconds, from an onboard SSD drive its less than 5 seconds".

Dear Bitcoin, bless you !
You must have lived a very privileged and sheltered life
if you only knew

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