JUN
19
2003

KOffice 1.3 Beta 2 Released

On June 18th 2003, the KDE Project released the second beta version of KOffice 1.3. It comes with a lot of bugfixes and a couple of new features such as a PDF import filter, new OpenOffice.org filters and more stencils for Kivio. Kexi isn't part of this version nor will it be in the final KOffice 1.3 but it's slated for a stand-alone release later this year and will re-integrated into KOffice in the next major version. Read more in the KOffice 1.3 Beta 2 release notes and in the detailed KOffice 1.3 Beta 2 changelog. Binary packages are expected to be available soon, for now you can only grab the source. Next step is a release candidate planned for 8th August.

Comments

THis is very good news that Linux is getting so many excellent office programs like Koffice 1.3, Abiword 2, and OO.org, now I think that ina year Linux will certainly be ready for the msot demanding fo offices =)

Speaking of OO.org too, there is a plan for GNOME to leave Goffice in the dust ofr it and integrate it into GNOME etc.

Check out this interesting document on it: http://primates.ximian.com/~michael/guadec-ooo-2003/img0.html lots of cool changes too, and I think it makes some important points, but I am not suggesting that KDE ditch Kofice and go OO.org because Koffice is already quite mature just a little better integration with KDE. The OO.org quicstarter is a great step in bette integration =)

There's a lot of cool stuff in th office department for linux =) and windows I guess with Office 2003.


By Mario at Thu, 2003/06/19 - 5:00am

I was getting so excited about the linux office that I forgot to mention taht for some reaon the headline says beta 1 was released instead of beta 2.


By Mario at Thu, 2003/06/19 - 5:00am

It should say beta 2 in the titel of the article. I forgot to say that because of the OO.org stuff http://primates.ximian.com/~michael/guadec-ooo-2003/img0.html and this release and abiword etc. and missed it.


By Mario- at Thu, 2003/06/19 - 5:00am

sorry again, I thought the first comment did not get submitted sicne it didn't appear for like 3 minutes =( Ill stop now.


By Mario- at Thu, 2003/06/19 - 5:00am

The most exciting change is that Ximian OOo is sooooo unstable.


By anon at Thu, 2003/06/19 - 5:00am

It isnt a GNOME plan, it is basicly (AFAIK) a suggestion by a ximian employee. There are a number of problems though:
1) unlike mozilla which was built to be flexible, OO isnt, meaing making it integrated with gnome is practically impossible currently
2) Both abiword and gnumeric are extremly mature in the gtk2 enviorment. There is even a possibility that gnumeric is gonna get proted to win32.

So whatever is going to happen, dont expect any major changes soon :P


By guest at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

The Gnome Core Developers have targeted to make OO.org a Gtk-app since more than 3 years. Since then they spreaded the rumor that this will happen really soon. The truth is that you shouldn't expect it to happen within the next three years either.


By anon at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

> Speaking of OO.org too, there is a plan for GNOME to leave Goffice in the dust ofr it and integrate it into GNOME etc.

That "plan" is no more than wishful thinking from one of the OpenOffice developers. He would love if all the talented developers put their efforts into OpenOffice instead of other Gnome Office applications.

Programs like Abiword and Gnumeric will continue on as long as there is even a single developer who want to work on them. The gnome office app's will continue to get better and integration will come eventually, and at the same time interoperability and compatiblity with OpenOffice will improve.

Anyone interested in helping abiword integrate better with KDE is more than welcome to get involved, hell if someone wanted to make a QT port there is nothing stopping them (although there are probably better ways to integrate).


By Alan H. at Tue, 2003/07/01 - 5:00am

I was reading news with Knode on "news.uslinuxtraining.com" but some weeks couldn't read any news over KDE projekts.
Can sombody verify this or do somthing else on this.

greets andreas


By Andreas at Thu, 2003/06/19 - 5:00am

I don't know why, but the same applied to me.


By Gerd at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

You could switch to the excellent news.gmane.org (see www.gmane.org) if the problem persists.


By Anonymous at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

Everything should be fixed now. Could you please try again and see whether it works for you? Some of the CVS splits weren't working for a while, but they have been working again for the last few days. I currently use it as my nntp gateway.


By Ravi at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

I think I'll finally migrate from OpenOffice to KOffice with the release of the final stable version of KOffice 1.3. I find KOffice to be way more responsive than OpenOffice is, at least on KDE. And thank God for the PDF and OpenOffice.org filters. It is really thoughtful of the developers. Good Job guys!

Regards,

Mystilleef


By Mystilleef at Thu, 2003/06/19 - 5:00am

Does the OpenOffice.org-filter make it possible to import MSOffice-documents as the OOO.org suit does or is it only the format bundled with OpenOffice.org that is concerned???


By coward at Thu, 2003/06/19 - 5:00am

Of course it's the OO format itself, otherwise it would state MS format.


By Philipp at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

Is it dead? :-(


By tuxo at Thu, 2003/06/19 - 5:00am

Practically yes... :(


By Lukas Tinkl at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

Basically I have two problems with KOffice:

1) The lack of standard file formats in the free software world. There was some talk about an oasis standard based on OpenOffice (which seems to be the most widespread free word processor today), but has anything happened? Office work has a lot to gain from Linux desktops but interoperability between them, say with a clean Bluecurve or Ximian professional desktop, must be perfect.

2) The sad state of interoperability with proprietary Microsoft Office solutions. Again, OpenOffice seems to be state of the art here. There was some promising work with wvlib, did anything come out of that? Is OpenOffice a completely indepedent codebase?

I would guess the easiest way to hack together a working solution would be to rip out the filters from OpenOffice to use in KOffice, and start using their document format right away. Has there been any progress with that?

(As I could understand, the filters mentioned in the article are just export/import filters for OpenOffice documents from/to the KOffice semi-proprietary ones.)

It is somewhat amusing that not only do we have two major Linux desktops projects out there, but that the most widespread killer apps out there (OpenOffice and Mozilla) belong to neither. The latter is almost a desktop environment of its own. I hope all this experimentation will be fruitful for free software on the desktop for the masses in the long run!


By jb at Thu, 2003/06/19 - 5:00am

>"It is somewhat amusing that not only do we have two major Linux desktops projects out there, but that the most widespread killer apps out there (OpenOffice and Mozilla) belong to neither"

Both applications were already available before KDE and Gnome were founded. No wonder they don't 'belong' to either desktop.

Rinse


By rinse at Thu, 2003/06/19 - 5:00am

Mozilla was a complete rewrite from the old Netscape-- the released Netscape 5.0 source was not even used for it. The Modern Mozilla thus was born in 1998. KDE was founded in 1996 and GNOME in 1997 in comparison.

You're right about StarOffice though-- it's been around for a very long time. Before StarOffice, StarWriter was a standalone program for DOS. I beleive it started in 1989. A full fourteen years of development. Of course, it probably has had rewrites from then on :)


By fault at Thu, 2003/06/19 - 5:00am

I just love it when people do their homework instead of babbling nonsense...

> The lack of standard file formats in the free software world. There was some talk about an oasis standard based on OpenOffice (which seems to be the most widespread free word processor today), but has anything happened?

In fact both office suites use an XML format now. Beyond that Koffice switched from gzip to the worthless zip compression format as an initial move toward a common file format. I haven't followed recent developments in this area but that doesn't mean they haven't continued. FWIW Kword is a frames based word procssor and OO writer is not. However I'd say that having filters is certainly a serious step in that direction. Some things can't be done in a short time span.

> Office work has a lot to gain from Linux desktops but interoperability between them, say with a clean Bluecurve or Ximian professional desktop, must be perfect.

What in the world are you talking about? Running M$ office on Linux with Ximian? What does that have to do with Koffice? Maybe you're in the wrong place?

> The sad state of interoperability with proprietary Microsoft Office solutions. Again, OpenOffice seems to be state of the art here. There was some promising work with wvlib, did anything come out of that?

Why don't you at least look at koffice instead of looking to have somebody else read the release information to you or check the dependencies and get back to you? Filtering is a joint effort.

> It is somewhat amusing that not only do we have two major Linux desktops projects out there, but that the most widespread killer apps out there (OpenOffice and Mozilla) belong to neither.

I really hope you're not amused that we have two desktops because we elected not to be fascist with one. Your "killer OSS" apps are a laughable choice when contrasted to the current Linux desktops. KDE is the oldest starting from nothing in 1996. OO.org in contrast started as Star Division in Germany IIRC in the late 80s but certainly was in development in the early 90s. I think we can agree that for a desktop based office suite you need the desktop first. Koffice is roughly 1/4 the age of OO.org and is preferable for many uses. OO.org had it's code base donated to open source when it was already a mature app. Mozilla is another story, starting out as Netscape it was open sourced and then re written from the ground up taking over four years to reach a 1.0 release and giving up about 60% of the web browser market. By most standards that's not exactly a stunning success. When Apple chose an HTML viewer component most of them were involved with Mozilla but went with KDE's KHTL instead.

It's actually pretty un-amusing anyone could make such a lame comparison. Outside of pre-existing software the new killer apps are largely desktop specific. On KDE that would certainly include Koffice along with Kdevelop, Quanta and a number of other excellent apps.

> I hope all this experimentation will be fruitful for free software on the desktop for the masses in the long run!

FUD somebody else! I'm busy making the best web development app anywhere with Quanta. It's NOT an experiment! If you want to comment then read something current on what you want to comment on instead of operating on assumptions.


By Eric Laffoon at Thu, 2003/06/19 - 5:00am

OK, I'll bite: how is Quanta going to be better than Dreamweaver, the current industry standard?


By rogue at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

Who or what is Dream Weaver? I never used it.


By Datschge at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

A dot regular troll?

Come one Datschge :)


By AySee at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

Well, I simply dislike superficial comparisations which follow several imo wrong assumptions: That everyone know the features of a comercial program (which costs money) running on a proprietary system (which again costs money) and calling it a "current industry standard" (note the omission of "quasi", and even then Microsoft's Frontpage is probably more widespread...).

In general I'd wish people would stop making the assumption that everyone can easily check out commercial programs legally for looking what "great features" they are missing. Instead more people need to learn to describe missing "killer features" accuratelly and more detailed, when it's really that great developers might get excited as well and implement it after all.

That and the silly name was the reason for my "troll" post. =)


By Datschge at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

I agree.
I've never used DreamWeaver yet, but I'm a web developer, so if it's industry standard, why don't I know it?


By Beefy at Sat, 2003/06/21 - 5:00am

It's basically the MS Office or Adobe Photoshop of web page/web application development. Basically any professional web page designers use DreamWeaver these days.

http://www.macromedia.com/software/dreamweaver/


By fault at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am


By SMEAT! at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

Or they use one of the many text editors.


By Datschge at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

Dreamweaver is only useful for semipros. A a pro you need FULL code-control!
And 100% proper XHTML-conformance of the resulting documents! And when i say 100% i mean 100%!!

What are these wizards for anyway?? Just overhead.
What really counts is the ability to CODE quick and have foll control.
And the ability to work flawless with all kinds of snippet of web-pages.
(Also a reason against wizards. 99% of them don't work in snippets or complex code.)

The only acceptable thing here is homesite.
Include one or two libraries, a standard-setup-file, then do some code wich parses stuff from a db to xml or xhtml with some regex for searching stuff in the db. and if you then have to spit out some javascript depending on the result...
Do i have to go any further to explain why drwamweaver is useless??
Same for golive.

BTW: If you even try to use frontpage in our company, they laugh at you... Building pages with it and putting them live on the server could result in you beeing fired!

In germany we say: "Wenn man keine Ahnung hat... einfach mal: "Fresse halten!"
So shut up all you wannabe-pros!

Ever tried to code a web-application in dreamweaver mx??


By Hurricane at Thu, 2003/07/10 - 5:00am

This is offtopic but Quanta can not be compared to Dreamweaver.

Dreamweaver is a WYSIWYG HTML editor (Although I'd call it WYSIAWYG - A for Almost :P) Quanta does not (yet) include a wysiwyg editor. But it is also more than just a plain HTML editor... (Go and read the features list, or better yet, try it! :P) The closest commercial program it could be compared to is Homesite, which used to be the industry-standard (for non-wysiwyg editors) before Macromedia bought it and "integrated" (more or less...) it into Dreamweaver. Needless to say Quanta is A LOT better than Homesite, or the non-wysiwig portion of Dreamweaver.

As for Dreamweaver being the standard I think this is sad but true. This program, along with GoLive!, generally produces "dirty" HTML (and I won't even talk about the javascript!) I think they are great tool for planning the design and for complex table layouts but coding should be done by hand... We can only hope Quanta will become the first wysiwyg editor that will produce clean, standard-compliant html :)

The major problem I think is that I learnt Homesite/Dreamweaver in school, but not Quanta. I did switch to Quanta but I don't think my old classmates did...


By Mathieu Ducharme at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

Yeah, I appreciate the difference - although IIRC Quanta is getting WYSIWYG support. But the original poster claimed he was building "the best HTML editor in the world" or something similar. I'm all for ambition, but it should be tempered with realism. We will be able to say that Quanta is the best HTML editor in the world when web designers all over the world agree and switch to it :-)


By rogue at Sat, 2003/06/21 - 5:00am

>>OO.org in contrast started as Star Division in Germany IIRC in the late 80s but certainly was in development in the early 90s.<<

Yes, StarWriter has been released for 16-bit systems like the Atari ST in the late 80s. I have doubt that there is StarWriter code left though :)


By AC at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

zip compression is not worthless, but with the old .tar.gz compression you had to uncompress the whole file before you could read one of its contents. zip allow one contained file to be extracted by itself


By ik at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

Yes... the compression rate suffers though, especially with many smaller files (because the compression dictionaries must be re-created for each file, the compressor does not 'learn' from the preceding files).


By AC at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

> 2) The sad state of interoperability with proprietary Microsoft Office solutions.

I think that so-called interoperability question is much overrated.

Part of this is that people are so stupid that they send people FINISHED documents in a wordprocessor's native file format rather than RTF or PDF.

Quite often these even contain deleted text. :-(

If you want to send someone a completed document, you should use an open standard file format such as PDF or PS.

So, what I think is needed is the ability to import PDF and PS files (perhaps RTF would be a good idea as well). KWord now has a PDF import filter which I see as a great interoperability feature.

So, I ask: are there really a lot of instances where multiple users need to work on the same document with different wordprocessors?

--
JRT


By James Richard Tyrer at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

"Quite often these even contain deleted text. :-("

We should inform everyone about that fact, people using Microsoft Office then might consider switching or at least using a sensible format (even though I personally enjoy seeing all the document changes a Microsoft document went through ;o).


By Datschge at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

Most deleted text in office documents come from the "Quick Save" feature (either that, or from track changes..).. If this is on, Office basically writes documents as a series of diffs. It's completely transparent to the end user, and usually works well. However....

while Quick Save might have made saving files lightening fast on my 16 mhz Apple IIci with Microsoft Word 4.0, I'm not sure why Microsoft still defaults to it. It actually balloons files to several times their original size.

Quick Saved' files also are much harder for foreign importers in other apps such as OOo and koffice to open.

A good way to disable Quick Save in Office is to simply use the "save as.." command instead of save.


By fault at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

Let's look at it from an MS point of view ...

If you are charged with increasing Office market share, what will be your first decision?

1. To make MS Office documents easier to convert to open source alternatives?
2. To make it more difficult for open source alternatives to read MS documents?

Gee, let me think now :)

Remember that OS/2 had such great MS application support that people were able to run MS apps under OS/2. So migrating to MS was made very easy.

Why do you think MS hasn't made it possible to mount Linux partitions under Windows? (It is possible, but only through third-party add-ons). The same thing could happen to MS.

I will be totally suprised to see MS make their document format open to the world.


By AySee at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

Your point is correct, but I would also point out that the answer to the question depends on whether you have a monopoly.

If you have less than 50% of the market, it appears that the opposite is the case -- that it is to your advantage to have your WordProcessor file format a published standard.

--
JRT


By James Richard Tyrer at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

> I think that so-called interoperability question is much overrated.

Have you ever worked or been involved in a buisness or job that isn't computer related? try it sometime; it'll give you a fresh prospective on things.

> Part of this is that people are so stupid that they send people FINISHED documents in a wordprocessor's native file format rather than RTF or PDF.

Exactly. They are stupid. But you can't expect them to be smart either. For most people, .doc is the ONLY file format. They've likely not know what RTF is, and while they might know how to view PDF's, they might now know how to create them.

Like it or not, Office is the standard for pretty much everything these days. If a office suite doesn't offer strong Office compatability, it'll likely not be able to be of use to very many people who do a lot of non-computer relaated work on their computer (hint.. hint.. use their computer as a tool).

But.. that being said, continue the good work on koffice. Every little thing is appreciated.. it's becoming better and better everyday. :)


By fault at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

> Have you ever worked or been involved in a buisness or job that isn't computer related?

Yes, but in those days I used a wordprocessor called Olympia. :-)

I still don't get it (or perhaps you don't). If somebody is stupid and sends me a *.doc file which is a finished document, I don't need to open it in my wordprocessor. I simply look at it with: "Microsoft Word Viewer 97". That runs on WINE.

NOTE: If WINE would please get their PostScript printing fixed (it is a mess similar to KWord), I could import the text formated EXACTLY into KWord if I wanted to mark it up.

--
JRT


By James Richard Tyrer at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

Well, Wine isn't much use if you don't use an x86 machine.


By Stephen Douglas at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

> Well, Wine isn't much use if you don't use an x86 machine.

I don't know (for sure) if you can run either WINE or MS Office on an Alpha, so I will say that with the single exception of the Mac that MicroSoft Office isn't much use on non-x86 systems either.

--
JRT


By James Richard Tyrer at Sat, 2003/06/21 - 5:00am

No, Wine only works on x86. But what I meant was that KOffice is useable on every processor supported by a decent *nix type OS, unlike Wine (or like you say, unlike MS Office)


By Stephen Douglas at Sat, 2003/06/21 - 5:00am

Well, i have to agree here. 95% of the current company's use office. It's a fact of life. So, it's quite logical they use these format's when they interchange documents, it's easy, you don't have to convert to anything. The only exception are pdf files if something has to be send without anyone changing it.

These days the real monopoly of Microsoft is on the office suite. It used to be Windows _and_ office, but with the current state of Linux+KDE it's only the office suite. If we want to give companies a reasenable alternative to Microsoft, we MUST have strong compatibility with the office formats. we really, really MUST!!!


By faz at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

No, we need not.

The overall benefit of using KGX is someday going to be big enough to make people switch for it.

If not that, nothing else is going to make it.

If you have time to volunteer to making any of the office product import/export better the MS formats, then spend it.

Otherwise, please allow everybody else to do what is fun for THEM. Which may very well be improving the Office they already use.

Yours, Kay


By Debian User at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

> The overall benefit of using KGX is someday going to be big enough to make people switch for it.

Of course, one of the problems is that in order for things like Koffice to be mainstream and supplant MS Office, it needs to have strong compatability with the latter. This is how WordPerfect supplanted WordStar, and how MS Word supplanted WordPerfect as the premier word processing application.

> Otherwise, please allow everybody else to do what is fun for THEM. Which may very well be improving the Office they already use.

Agreed.


By fault at Fri, 2003/06/20 - 5:00am

> This is how WordPerfect supplanted WordStar, and how MS Word supplanted WordPerfect as the premier word processing application.

Didn't WordPerfect like -- ah -- buy WordStar?

So, please tell us why compatibility is needed.

I have tried to explain why it is NOT.

--
JRT


By James Richard Tyrer at Sat, 2003/06/21 - 5:00am

> Didn't WordPerfect like -- ah -- buy WordStar

Nope-- never. Both WordPerfect and WordStar ended up in the hands of Corel however. Corel licensed the code for WordStar from Softkey (which became the Learning Company) in 1994, deciding to make a office suite to compete with WordPerfect and Office. They bungled this up, although they did successfully launch another licensed product that became CorelDraw :)

> So, please tell us why compatibility is needed.

Ah, that's easy. Think of it this way: you have an office full of people who have hard drives full of Microsoft Word documents. This particular office has been using MS Office only since about ~1997 (as many have). They have, over the years, piled up a nice collection of full of floppies, hard drives, zips, and DAT drives full of MS Office documents. Depending on what this-place-of-buisness does, it may mean important records, letters, documents, books, presentations, spreadsheets, etc...

So... one day, the IT manager at this particular office goes: "Alright guys.. Money is getting tight. We don't want to pay Microsoft for the next round of licensing for the next Office version. We either are going to stick with our current older version of Microsoft Office or transition into another office suite. Most companies will pick option A, which explains the lack of market prenetation of perfectly capable MS-compatable office suites such as StarOffice.

However, if they do decide to go with another office suite, do you think they going to pick YaYaOffice (which has great MS Office compatablity) or JujujuOffice which has very little MS Office document compatablity?


By lit at Sun, 2003/06/22 - 5:00am

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