APR
30
2005

KOffice 1.4 Beta 1 Released

The KDE Project today announced the release of KOffice 1.4beta1, the first preview release for KOffice 1.4, scheduled for release this June. KOffice is an integrated office suite with more components than any other suite in existence. This release specifically introduces the database management application Kexi, the image editor Krita and upgrades the major KOffice components to use the OASIS Open Document format, an industry standard allowing better interoperability across applications and platforms. A KOffice Live-CD has been created and several distributions provide binary packages. Read the full announcement and the changelog for more details.

Comments

That will take a while.

Most likely it will be based on Qt4 and KDE4, which means that there's probably a lot of work ahead.

For some more details, check out this post on the dot:
http://dot.kde.org/1061919133/


By Tim Beaulen at Sun, 2005/05/01 - 5:00am

Is there a feature list for 1.4, and a feature plan for 4.0 somewhere?

Would be good to see for a move from OO/SO.


By Hayer at Sun, 2005/05/01 - 5:00am

http://developer.kde.org/development-versions/koffice-features.html

But there's no "official" feature plan for the next releases of KDE or KOffice.

Basically it is:
- continue to work on things not finished for the current feature plans
- fix bugs and implement relevant wishes from bugs.kde.org
(- and whatever the developers feel like doing next)


By Tim Beaulen at Sun, 2005/05/01 - 5:00am

There are not any real feature plan but there are some long term goals.

See the links (especially the one of the Kastle conference) in the foreword of: http://developer.kde.org/development-versions/koffice-features.html

Have a nice day!


By Nicolas Goutte at Thu, 2005/05/05 - 5:00am

Actually, I'm aiming at full OASIS support in KOffice-1.4 already, at least for KWord. We're not far from it already.


By David Faure at Sun, 2005/05/01 - 5:00am

Does this mean that kword has the exact same features as openoffice writer? I've never understand how can you interoperate with openoffice writer files if some Writer features are not in kword yet? please explain,

Pat

PS: i love koffice and Kongratulation! :)


By Pat at Sun, 2005/05/01 - 5:00am

KWord certainly doesn't have all the features that openoffice writer has.
Sorry for my possibly misleading sentence then: I meant loading and saving 100% of KWord's features using OASIS, so that OASIS can really be used as a native file format for KWord (although it won't be the default one in 1.4, to be on the safe side; if enough people test it I can maybe make it a hidden option though).

When you open a file produced by kword in ooo, or the other way round, even when using OASIS, you have to be aware that features supported by only one of the apps will obviously not work in the other, there's no way around that; so I obviously recommend sticking to the common set of features (i.e. using kword to write the document :).


By David Faure at Sun, 2005/05/01 - 5:00am

The reason I did not use KOffice so far is the horrible table support.
It's so buggy that it's almost unusable. Perhaps this has improved
in KOffice 1.4 (havent tried out so far). Nevertheless KOffice is
an important project. I'm happy when I can finally discard the bloated
OpenOffice. The start-up time, even in 2.0beta, of OpenOffice is
totally unacceptable. My machine has enough memory and a decent CPU.
It takes ages even for the splash screen to appear anyway. There is
no hope that this will change in the near future because of all that
stupid Java stuff in there. Probably a tribute to its Sun origin.
For now, I will have to remember never accidetally closing OpenOffice
once it's started - otherwise I have some free to time to fetch
a cup of cofee when I want to open a document. Kudos to KOffice what
they've achieved so far! If you dont need tables: It's the best
free Office suite out there.


By Martin at Sun, 2005/05/01 - 5:00am

Table support in KWord:

You can embed KSpread into KWord, so that's probably why table support in KWord is not so "feature-rich", it's not necessary to reimplement too many features in every component. That's the advantage of a really integrated office suite.


By Raphael at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

So why isn't embedding KSpread made obvious and intuitive and replace ANY Kword table support with Kspread-embedding?


By kundor at Wed, 2005/05/04 - 5:00am

The obvious answer is: how do you create formatted text in a cell, then? By embedding kword in it? ;-)


By Roberto Alsina at Wed, 2005/05/04 - 5:00am

OASIS is a big advantage for KOFFICE Acceptance in LINUX... Abiword 1.4, OO 2.0, KOFFICE 1.4 can now Share Documents and that's real GOOD for KOFFICE users.

Now a request for Improvement of KOffice:

1. Copy All Good Features from Open Office: Slowly and Consistently will hep KOffice Mature. Features like:

a. Drop cap
b. Autocomplete (inline, words more than 5 characters)
c. etc.

I think that these features are going to be implemented automatically as to support the OASIS document format.

I Strongly believe that KOFFICE will be the OFFICE SUITE of the Linux Desktop!!! Thank you for your great effort, we users appreciate it!


By Asif Ali Rizwaan at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

Thanks for the nice words.
Autocompletion was already in KOffice-1.3, and autocompletion with a tooltip (as in OOo) is in 1.4-beta1. Is that what you meant by "inline"?


By David Faure at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

i enabled the autocomplete and the words >5 characters are appeneded to the list but won't work as expected. there is no tooltip suggesting the completeion of word!

i'll report it at bugs.kde.org


By Asif Ali Rizwaan at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

Didn't know that that KDE has its own officesuite before this announcement. Installed it and tried (I'm running debian sid so not the 1.4beta). Kword is much better than Openffice writer much liter too, I like it a lot. Only problem I encountered was KPresenter did not open some of my PowerPoint slides.

Ps. if someone has gotten the finnish spell software soikko working with Kword i wouldn't mind to know.


By Petteri at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

I agree with you about KPresenter. I have to admit that PowerPoint is the only good reason for me to keep Windows around. I didn't try KPresenter in 1.4 so I can't comment on it. But I don't think the OOImpress is good enough in OO 1.1.4.
If I could dictate the development of KOffice I would say: Join your forces on KPresenter and .ppt-import/export. Reason: The rest is already good enough for me :-)


By anaon at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

"I have to admit that PowerPoint is the only good reason for me to keep Windows around."

You obviously don't do any real work.
Powerpoint has been banned at some companies because it wastes so much time.


By Joe at Tue, 2005/05/03 - 5:00am

Could you explain why Joe?


By E.SCHRODER at Tue, 2005/05/03 - 5:00am

Can't really thank enough the Koffice developers (tried OO, bought and tried SO7, but somehow never took to that).
There are a few bugs (maybe some day I'll gather up the courage to submit a bug report), but for my needs it is *very* usable as it is already.
So once more - *thank* you; if it stays being fun, keep up the good work, and if happy users mean something to you, here's one ...


By Ned at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

No SuSE packages.
I badly want to try out Krita.
It must be a great application.
But I never get the chance.
Those stand alone packages they released just
never worked - no matter what I tried - and
I tried A LOT.
Now I thought: Cool, KOffice 1.4 with Krita
is released. But now: No packages.
Well, one day I will finally get to try out
Krita and if it's in an old people's home ;-)


By Martin at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

They are there. Look again. I went to the oregonstate mirror and rest assured, the SuSE packages for KOffice 1.4 beta were right there.


By Dude at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

Doh! You are right.
They are in unstable, of course.
The reason why I did not find them:
1) www.kde.org Homepage
2) Click on KOffice 1.4beta Released under "Latest Announcements"
3) Click on "Binary packages" under Download
4) Click on Contributed binaries can be found here
My mistake now: I did not notice that it says "1.3.5".
Why does it say so? I clicked on KOffice 1.4beta before.
Gee, that web site organization can be really confusing sometimes...
Thanks for your help!


By Martin at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

So I installed binaries from vendor RPMs.

I went to confirm the version.

When KWord eventually opens, it displays a few menu headings, one of
which is Help.

But one cannot access anything in that menu because some damn silly popup
window about opening documents appears and blocks interaction with Kword
proper. If the popup dialog is canceled, KWord crashes (disappears). This
is known as user-hostile GUI design. But it gets worse. If some option is
selected from the popup dialog to get KWord to actually stay open so that the
version can be checked, it still takes ages for KWord to become responsive,
and when it does, the Help menu heading that was clicked on has moved, and
instead some other menu is displayed.

When the Help menu is finally accessed, Help->About KWord says that the
version is 1.3 beta 1, rather than 1.4 beta 1 (and the binary is dated
April 26 2005 and replaced 1.3.5).

Attempting to open (or import) a one-page, simple Microsoft Word document
pops up an Error window with only an "OK" button (no it's not OK!). Now there
is a minor improvement at this point; KWord 1.3.5 would crash when clicking on
that button, sending the user back to the KDE start menu to re-launch (from
several levels down in the menu with no reference at all to KOffice). Kword
1. beta 1 doesn't crash at that point, nor does it do
anything useful.

By contrast,OpenOffice.org Writer doesn't force silly dialog boxes on users,
doesn't crash when opened dialog boxes are canceled, doesn't shuffle menu
headings all over the place, displays meaningful and accurate information in
the "About" dialog, and reliably opens Microsoft Word documents.

Although I'd love to have an alternative to OpenOffice, KOffice doesn't yet
seem to be ready for that role.


By Anonymous Coward at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

SuSE and Mandrake though they claim better support for KDE are nothing but annoyance. Their packages are patched so heavily that you can't compile new applications without having those patches.

Slackware is just Plain Good Distro. Performance wise and Source code compilation wise, and configurability it is the best!

Other Distros are good like Mepis, Kubuntu, but they are not full-fledged like slackware.

Get most of the Slackware packages at:
http://www.linuxpackages.net

Get Slackware support at:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/forumdisplay.php?forumid=14

Get Supermount (good feature in mandrake and linspire) in Slackware:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/showthread.php?s=&threadid=318091

I don't have any grudge for other distros like mandrake, suse, but Slackware is just great on performance! try it cause you'll always get the Latest KDE packages!!!


By A Happy Slackwa... at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

> Their packages are patched so heavily that you can't compile new applications
> without having those patches.

i compile new apps without modification and with 100% success[1] all the time on SUSE using their KDE binaries. so i'm not sure this is an accurate characterization.

[1] given that the app sources don't have actual errors in them, which i sometimes find when i pull someone's beta code to play with, so no surprises there ;)


By Aaron J. Seigo at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

Wow, a Slackware zealot, I thought they were extinct =)


By Gentoo at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

hehehe... the irony of that comment coming from someone using the name "Gentoo" is delicious.


By Aaron J. Seigo at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

Not all Gentoo users are zealots.


By Paul Eggleton at Tue, 2005/05/03 - 5:00am

Give them a few days...


By Joe at Tue, 2005/05/03 - 5:00am

>Wow, a Slackware zealot, I thought they were extinct

To call myself a zealot may be a bit over the top, as I don't bother fighting over anything.. But I am by far not extinct...

Why you ask? Because we are quite a few who like the "plain-vanilla-do-it-your-self-department-from-hell", without any "neat" "enhancements", without any "automagical" this or "userfriendly" that (perhaps that's also why you don't hear us all that much.. we generally RTFM or send patches instead of arguing about what would be better).

Besides his disregarding tone/misinformed accusations, i agree very much with the above poster.. Slackware provides a very nice KDE experience. The only thing that matches it (in my world) is LFS (and i don't have THAT much time ;-)...

Cheers!
~Macavity


By Macavity at Tue, 2005/05/03 - 5:00am

Seriously.
KDE runs faster on slack than anything.
Also, KDE's features tend to be dependent on little besides KDE itself, which brings about a lot of happiness to slack users, as most slackware packages are made to be less interdependent than on other distributions.
Side note: KDE as is, is not my *favorite* desktop, but i'm looking forward to seeing 4.0!

Now that's going to be awesome.


By Mr. Pwnage at Mon, 2007/02/26 - 6:00am

Koffice is light in resources, and has the potential to be as multiplatform as openoffice.

It is known to have a been cleanly programmed (what should I know, and could be a fast, light and modular alternative to the 2 big ones.

The market needs competition, and openoffice (the other suite in the duopoly)is too slow and bloated, but Koffice has still too far to go to be an alternative for in a production environment.

so:
- use oasis format (check)
- port to windows/mac (expand user/programmer base, as Kpim did)
- use openoffice filters (should be feasable with the common oasis format)
- keep it light: soon nor openoffice nor Msoffice will work on a 600 Mhz computer.
- support Koffice, submit bugs, program if you can.

KDE does not need a 54th program to sort music files, not a 69th sucking game that crashes my computer, it needs a good office package: Kontact and Koffice and 1 good music player.


By Geert at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

the only reason I mainly use OOo and not koffice is that mail merge in OOo allows as data source a flat text file, and koffice not.

As soon as koffice can do that, my OOo is only needed for opening occasionally arriving files from the legacy MS office world.

Checking 1.4 now, full of hope :-)

koffice is more fun to work with, it is the future!


By matt at Mon, 2005/05/02 - 5:00am

You can read the data in a kspread document first; which allows better feedback if something is not entirely right. Saves you from printing 50 pages only to find one wrong :)

So; its one extra step, but one that in the end gives you much more control and basically saves you loads and loads of work if the textfile was not 100% (which happens to more people then you might think!)

Hope you like it; Cheers!

ps; a mailmerge tutorial: http://www.virtualsky.net/daves/2005-06.htm
and a translated version for people from Holland: http://www.kde.nl/doc/kword-mailmerge/


By Thomas Zander at Tue, 2005/05/03 - 5:00am

Thanks, Thomas!

yes, going through kspread is a possibility. However in my case it is just an extra step, because the data in the text file is produced by an application, and always formatted correctly. And then there is always a rush to get it printed... so a manual extra step is definitely not what I want here.

May be writing a small app to convert it to a koffice accepted format might be a way - if i find the time. But then again, there are probably also others with the same request, I guess (and I hope) sooner or later koffice will read flat text files a datasource for mailmerge.

Regards,
Matt


By matt at Wed, 2005/05/04 - 5:00am

> "the data in the text file is produced by an application, and always formatted correctly."

Famous last words :)

> "I guess (and I hope) sooner or later koffice will read flat text files a datasource for mailmerge."

My hope is more along the lines of kword not going to code a parser that is already found in kspread. It would be silly to duplicate work.
So a better solution would be to automate the parsing of that file for you using the kspread libraries and filters.

You would not have some spare time to hack on this, right?


By Thomas Zander at Fri, 2005/05/06 - 5:00am

>> "the data in the text file is produced by an application,
>> and always formatted correctly."

> Famous last words :)

Well, after 0 errors in the last 2 years with many thousands of records processed, I dare to use "always" :)

>> "I guess (and I hope) sooner or later koffice will read flat text files as datasource for mailmerge."

> My hope is more along the lines of kword not going to code a parser
> that is already found in kspread. It would be silly to duplicate work.
> So a better solution would be to automate the parsing of that file
> for you using the kspread libraries and filters.

You are absolutely correct with this, yes, it is the better way to go. I did do a test, importing a text file in kspread. Easy and straightforward :)

Then all what is missing is to allow a kspread file as a datasource for mail merge, I could live with that. I guess I could automate that step with a macro.

This would allow using all import filters of kspread easily.

>You would not have some spare time to hack on this, right?

Unfortunately not :(

Lack of time did get me already to drop C++ and replace it with python and python-kde to get my helper apps programmed more quickly - with much success :)

Regards,
Matt


By matt at Fri, 2005/05/06 - 5:00am

Here's my little krita screenshot: krita.jpg [180 kB] (It's not using fancy crystal icons, but oldschool "kde classic". I hope this doesn't scare anyone away. :-)


By Melchior FRANZ at Tue, 2005/05/03 - 5:00am

Krita is very welcome as a competitor GIMP - Ok, I know, Krita wants to be more a painter application but I only want to use it for photo retouching.

The basics like CMS support, multi-channel, multi-layer and a fundament for 16bit/channel looks very strong, but krita (here CVS HEAD) is still not solid rock an crashs often. One thing I miss: A better zoom-view control like a slider and some fixed percent menu entries. Another problem is that some code seems to have a GUI but no backend code like "duplicate" or "variations". But I will follow this development with great enjoyment.

I hope that krita gets more stable towards the final release.

Bye

Thorsten


By Thorsten Schnebeck at Wed, 2005/05/04 - 5:00am

I should hope so, too. I've been on a two-week holiday and am now waiting for the 10.000-odd emails to be filtered by KMail so I can get back into the swing, but even in the weeks following the beta packaging we already fixed many crashes.


By Boudewijn Rempt at Mon, 2005/05/16 - 5:00am

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