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Is OpenOffice.org getting faster?

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Some complain OpenOffice.org is slow and bloated. With each release there may be dozens of performance improvements, but there are also new features, some of which may slow things down. This the natural balance in software development, but in the end, what is the net effect on performance from one version to the next?

OpenOffice.org startup performance is critical to the overall perception that the application is quick. The startup process involves many steps including loading the application into memory, resolving the linking of symbols, initializing fonts, reading configuration files, initializing the Java runtime, checking printers, checking for software updates, and importing any documents. At different points the startup process may stress the hard disk, CPU, memory, and network interface.

With startup time, they certainly succeeded as you can see in this boxplot depicting application startup times after a cold start, meaning directly after a reboot of the operating system without the benefit of caching. The single jump from OpenOffice.org version 1.1.5 to 2.0.0 slashed application startup time a dramatic 43%.

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