AUG
29
2001

KOffice 1.1 Rolls Out

After a series of three betas and one release candidate, the KDE
Project
used the occasion of the first day of the Linux World Expo
in San Francisco, CA to
announce
(alternate with fixed
table
) the much-anticipated stable release of KOffice 1.1. KOffice
is a free, Open Source,
integrated office suite demonstrating the richness and power of the KDE
development environment. The announcement contains links to the
source and binary packages as well as a good deal of information about
the current features of the KOffice packages. A candid assessment by
yours truly follows.

Like all of KDE, the interface of each KOffice application is really slick
and gorgeous. The available functions are easy to use. The KOffice
developers have again demonstrated their canny ability to make the
transition from other office suites as easily as possible, but making
improvements and innovating where appropriate.

The feature set
is probably adequate for the great majority of users (and the price tag can't be beat!).
For example,
KPresentation is great and has many useful and snazzy features, but
lacks layers and the ability to easily reproduce layers across
selected pages. KWord is easily up to the task of generating nice letters,
letterheads, memos, faxes and papers, but lacks hyphenation,
mail merge (or any database integration) and endnotes/footnotes.
Similar stories for the other applications.

But, with all due respect to the diligent work of the filter developers, the biggest obstacle
to KOffice right now is the filters for MS Office documents. So while I will make
KOffice my primary office suite, someone who (1) has a repository of .doc
files; and/or (2) receives many .doc files by email; and/or (3) needs to collaborate on document production with someone tied to non-KOffice formats, and/or (4) has unusually
demanding office needs, will likely not be happy with KOffice as their exclusive Office Suite (yet -- things are improving quickly!). I hope all the Open Source office developers (Abiword/etc., KOffice, Open Office) can collaborate on writing filters for the extremely complex and poorly-documented proprietary formats into an intermediate, standard-based XML format).

Comments

Congratulations to KOfficers !

Since KOffice is now stable, the next priority should be to get filters working. For real world usage you really need .doc support.


By hackorama at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

Actually, getting someone to work on Krayon ought to at least be worth thinking about (no, I can't, I have almost no skill in C++ whatsoever)

It is unlikely any open source projects will be able to properly read MS Office formats: they're complicated, and use Windows-native technologies like OLE2.

Instead, the focus should be making KOffice more functional, faster & more stable.


By RK at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

Won't help me much, all my files at home are WordPerfect (5.1 & 6.x formats) documents (plus various QuattroPro files). At work it's SmartSuite (although I don't expect to need to convert those anytime soon).


By James E. LaBarre at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

Yep...I agree, filetes are a must...how about .lwp support? (ya know, lotus word pro?)


By Fred Thiele at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

I think focusing on filters is important but
premature. Once e.g. KWord gets feature
parity with Word (XP or whatever then current
version would be), then it makes sense to try to
translate to and from Word format. At this
point you can't recover all formatting
properly anyways. For instance, without
hyphenation even plain text Word document will
not have proper formatting when imported into
KWord.


By All_troll_no_tech at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

For real world usage we need a windows version (also free, at least as in beer). This way, windows users will at least take a look at it (since it costs nothing), and if it's good, maybe they'll forget about M$ Office.


By Rui Prior at Thu, 2001/08/30 - 5:00am

I am just now compiling/installing KDE 2.2, so maybe I'll grab this while I'm at it :)

OT: has anyone had any trouble using objprelink with KDE2.2 final? The patch worked fine for kdelibs, but when I patch kdebase it causes autoconf to hang on an infinite recursion when I run 'make'. Maybe it's just my version of autoconf. I'm running Slackware 8.0. I would really like to get this to work!


By Justin at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

qt kdelibs and kdebase all compiled perfectly while using objprelink on my debian unstable box. Limit the level of recursion to 500 and see if that helps. I want to try kde without objprelink; once the app has fired up, it seems to run slower.

OT: can any1 explain --enable-final?


By eze at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

--enable-final is just for optimisation.

All sources files are appended in one big source file, and then compiled. It allows some bette opt. but requires a lot of RAM to compile.


By aegir at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

Actually the main interest is not better optimisation but (much) better compile times.


By Guillaume Laurent at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

This is no joke either. First time I tried it, the compile finished so quickly I thought something was busted.. nope.. worked fine. :)

It doesn't always though, some projects can't be built with --enable-final.


By jd at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

How much memory do you have?
I have not tried it as it warns that you need a lot of memory.


By Jim at Fri, 2001/08/31 - 5:00am

You have to return autoconf form pasture in slack 8, the new one is not really compatible.


By Flaker at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

On the subject of objprelink, has anybody managed to run it succesfully on RH6.2(with compiler updated to gcc-2.95.3 of course)? Do I need to update other packages(eg binutils) also? Does anyone else still run RH6.2? :-)

Now, off to compile koffice. :-)


By Rob at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

- Use a pre 2.50 autoconf
AND/OR
- Rude hack!
move m4 to gm4 and then make an 'm4' shell script: /usr/bin/gm4 -L2000 $@

There's a way to set the M4 recursion with an environment variable, but I could not quickly find documentation on it.

I did notice that most/all of the packages take more time to compile using autoconf 2.50


By Beehive at Thu, 2001/08/30 - 5:00am

why the announcement is so late? Its rpm became available many days ago an rpmfind.net.


By vk at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

You didn't read the first sentence of the news, didn't you?


By Someone at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

First distribute to mirrors, then announce. Otherwise the original site will be slashdotted, as has happened previously.


By reihal at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

Wouldn't it be possible to view word documents using Microsofts own viewer inside the new ActiveX compatible KDE browser?

I would be really glad if I could just view and print office document more or less the way they are supposed to look.

The ability copy text and pictures from this word-viewer would also be very handy, but if you want to make a wordprocessor that can load and save word documents without screwing them up I guess that this program has to be stupid in exactly the same way as Word is. And THAT should really not be the goal of the KOffice project.


By Johan at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

Take a look at this ./ article:

http://slashdot.org/articles/01/08/28/1552247.shtml

It talk about the ability to play Quicktime trailers and view Word documents.

Johan V.


By Johan Veenstra at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

I would like to say a congratulations to the KOffice team. They have toiled hard over a hot computer to bring this to the world, and it gets better and better. The future is bright. :-)


By Jono at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

They all toiled over the same computer? Wow.


By Anomalous Coward at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

Well done guys. But you guys still need one more app, a FrontPage or Netscape Composer like tool. Sure, sure, I know HTML, but most of the world doesn't. Plus, kOffice should release a version with a GTK frontend for GNOME. After all, if kOffice wants more market share, it has to look to the competitior. Hey, Microsoft ports its own Office suite to competitor Apple.


By Rajan Rishyakaran at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

Since KDE is based on QT, and QT is available on Windows and Mac, port kdelibs and Koffice to windows and mac. Plus kOffice could do with a little comestics to make it look purely native on Windows and Mac. Maybe one day, KOffice might exceed MS Works and Apple Works (MS Office is just a little too far, okay?)


By Rajan Rishyakaran at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

> Since KDE is based on QT, and QT is available on
> Windows and Mac, port kdelibs and Koffice to
> windows and mac.

I got interested in that. Is there any plans for porting KOffice?

Juha


By Juha Manninen at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

Before even thinking about porting to other platforms, one will have to make a KDE version witch is not X dependent. After that you could probably port KDE with little effort, probably also compile a version for the Linux frame buffer witch world be great.. :) But for me at least, this is not a big deal, I like freeBSD :)


By Jørgen at Fri, 2001/08/31 - 5:00am

hi


By allam at Sun, 2003/05/11 - 5:00am

I agree, That would be somthing that would be really usefull, as far as I can tell there is no front page alternative for Linux. or even somthing similar to the homestead (homestead.com)site builder. now that is a easy and powerfull site builder!


By L.D. at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

I used to use Homestead.com for building sites when I used windows. They're service is unbeetable because it has a superior sitebuilder/editer that doesn't require html knowledge- unless you're not using MS windows. I wish they would port to linux- or I wish there was an inway on our end so us linux users can use homestead. My son's site was built with it- http://tekkenray.homestead.com/home.html which can no longer be edited because we no longer do windows of which I don't regret even a little bit.


By Mary at Mon, 2002/04/01 - 6:00am

We don't need a new Frontpage tool. What we need is a WYSIWYG web editor, that makes *standards compliant code*.


By Joergen Ramskov at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

BTW the easiest way to have a such tool is probably to write an HTML import/export filter for KWord, no ?


By aegir at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

good idea! which is why someone wrote one ;-)


By Aaron J. Seigo at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

Well, I should have said a *GOOD* HTML filter :-)

BTW, the available filter just import datas from HTML files(what is very usefull), but not tables, images and so.


By aegir at Thu, 2001/08/30 - 5:00am

You sure know Quanta+ ????

great kde Web-editor , like Frontpage or netscape composer , or even better i dont know , i use it as picture viewer :--))))


By chris at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

quanta is buggy.
i use it for my personal use and in training courses. its very naice but has some very silly bugs.
and the worst: it is not maintained for a while.
so - comparing frontpage with quanta is a joke (remember i am not a windows user, althoungh uses dreamweaver a lot and tought frontpage at class)

gunnar.


By gunnar at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

> quanta is buggy.

Yes and no. If you use it without the notion of project, page per page, it is good... excepted that it is impossible to manage the toolbars... As for Kate and some other KDE programs, it is very irritating to be enable to save the position of toolbars... I hope it will be fixed in KDE 2.2.1 or 3.0...

> and the worst: it is not maintained for a while.

Yes, it is the worst. Is it a good choice when it seems not maintened ?... No evolution... It's a pity to see such a great project going to death... perhaps... I hope no...

> so - comparing frontpage with quanta is a joke

Hmm, I feel Quanta Plus better than Frontpage... Any text editor is better than Front page, and Kate seems very good. Add to Kate a Khtml preview, and it replaces Quanta, for me...

I think that Kde don't need a FrontPage like. It would be done by KWord and a good Html export. For big sites, you need to know Html, so you may work in an advanced editor like Quanta... Imho...


By Alain at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

> Yes, it is the worst. Is it a good choice when it
>seems not maintened ?... No evolution... It's a
>pity to see such a great project going to death...
>perhaps... I hope no...

this must be good news then:
http://kdewebcvs.nebsllc.com/cgi-bin/cvsweb.cgi/quanta/quanta/
shows recent cvs activity ('fix crush' five days ago)


By ik at Thu, 2001/08/30 - 5:00am

we ll see quanta as Hancom WebBuilder 2.0...


By gunnar at Fri, 2001/08/31 - 5:00am

Noooo! FrontPage is evil!

Seriously though, emacsen do well as html editors, but there's a serious need for a WYSIWYG editor and especially site maintenance tools a la Dreamweaver.

As it is now I've had to stoop to using Windows at work because I can't find serious alternatives to DW...


By Tony A. Emond at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

Well, FrontPage XP supprised me a bit. The code is actually very clean, clearly indented and all. Compliance I don't know about, but its definetly a step forward.


By mg at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am


By gorbeia at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

dont hold your breath for a gnome/gtk Koffice (notice the K there).

I think if you read about Kparts vs bonobo, etc. (the diferences are many) you will see that Windows, maybe *could* be possible (there is more to KDE than just QT), but Gnome... naganahappen.

ps. frontpage = vomit. i like the idea of html export filter for kword, though.


By Pablo Liska at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

i think it should be technically possible to build a bonobo - koffice parts bridge, just like we saw a mozilla bridge (which ain't complete yet, but a nice proof of concept)
however, somebody has to find it important enough to work on it ...


By ik at Thu, 2001/08/30 - 5:00am

You can run KDE programs in GNOME just fine...


By dc at Thu, 2001/08/30 - 5:00am

After reading the posts on this side, i feel it´s necessary to point out, that the work the KOffice developpers have done is greatly appreciated by the users!
The fact that some complain about missing filter functionality should not offend anyone who has contributed to this great work. Especially because the filters are at the moment much better than one could expect from the comments above (I´ve tried cvs-checkout a week (or so) ago and I could import word documents with german umlauts, tables etc. without any problems into kword).

Once again: Congratulation

Wolfgang


By Wolfgang Kesseler at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

Yeah, I'd like to second this.

Reading the posts for both the KDE 2.2 and KOffice 1.1 announcements can be a little depressing. The fact remains that KDE and its surrounding projects are very high-quaility products.

I develop on Windows all day long, and when doing web development I long for something as complete and fun to use as Quanta+. KDevelop looks great, and looks like it might be a good competitor for Visual Studio (which I use daily and quite like.). There's simply no denying that the default KDE install is far more feature-rich and useful than a bare Windows install.

Think about it, Notepad, Paint, no Zip utility, no PDF viewer.. KDE is very nice.

I use Konqi for about 90% of my browsing, and I almost _never_ see any problems whatsoever. KHTML must be well designed, as Kurt chose this rather than Gecko as his HTML rendering engine in AtheOS.

The overall design and care that goes into the various KDE projects is astounding. Keep up the great work. If it wasn't for KDE, Desktop Unix/Linux wouldn't be where it is today.

Thanks a lot. I look forward to using KOffice, and am a very happy KDE user.


By Ben Hall at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

It seems like krayon devel is going very slow, is this subproject still live?

When krayon could compete the another project's gimp?

Shame on krayon, this project is started 4 years ago and it's still:

> in the early stages of development but is
> already usable for experimenting with painting
> techniques and composing images using brushes
> and layers.

Also, ...! somebody knows something about already dead koffice subproject, kdatabase (or something like that (kdb, katabase)) that was planned to be ms access competitor in koffice?

Anyway some of other apps really rocks - kword, kspread, kpresenter, kontour. It's very hopefull release, as soon as you imlement more filters you will compete staroffice too :)

Also KDE2.2 is really the best DE!

Keep on good work!


By kde user at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

Krayon developpment is slow, but project is still alive.

This month fuctions for loading/saving multi-layers pictures, and printing functions has been added.

About Katabase, IMHO the project will resurrect with KDE 3 because Qt 3 provides tools for database connectivity and data presentation.


By aegir at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

> About Katabase, IMHO the project will resurrect
> with KDE 3 because Qt 3 provides tools for
> database connectivity and data presentation

Where i can find more info about katabase project? home url?
I am really interested to contribute katabase resurection in flame of QT3 database connectivity.

About krayon I understand the difficulties of open-source delev. but there is no any info, the latest news is from November 21, 2000, there is only one screenshot from (08/99), which is for kde1. Community needs to be informed about recent developments, last weeks news were very rare, it seemed like kde died after post that it released version 2.2 and the review news. But there is no such article about latest improvements in krayon.

BTW recent screenshots of koffice (and krayon too) can be found at http://www.mslinux.com - a koffice guide (only first two chapters are ready). I think also that the Dot news should post an article about this site :)

Just want to be informed ;)


By kde user at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

About crayon, seen the "kimageshop" mailing list on KDE website.

About katabase, I don't know.


By aegir at Wed, 2001/08/29 - 5:00am

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