The Importance of KOffice

KOffice is built on KDE. This advantage brings enormous potential in terms of integration, performance, scalability, and with the coming full support for the OASIS Open Document Format, even portability. All these factors are vital for business deployments. The KOffice team is looking for contributors and developers to significantly increase and utilize the potential of KOffice even further.

The functionality KOffice has already reached in its short life is significant. And still, KOffice has good performance and is fully usable on low-end hardware, which makes it suited for organizations and individuals. This could even save costs when upgrading or migrating the office software and old hardware can be reused.

Because KOffice is built directly on KDE, it can offer the best office experience on a KDE desktop. Many excellent technologies already present in the KDE Framework are available for KOffice at almost no cost. Examples are:

  • Automation via DCOP
  • Document location abstraction (remote file editing) via KIO
  • Fully object oriented design through the Qt and KDE Frameworks
  • Application Embedding through KParts

Additionally KOffice extends the application embedding capability (KParts) of KDE to allow highly integrated documents. Such a close KDE integration also results in fast application load time, while still having all these features available.

Even full OASIS Open Document Format support is being worked on which is the same file format as OpenOffice.org 2 will use. This will make data exchange with OpenOffice.org seamless while being a fully integrated KDE office suite. Building on an approved and open document standard is a key feature today.

Much work has already been done and central office components like
KWord, KPresenter, Kivio and KSpread are quite stable with only a few glitches here and there.

And KOffice has many more applications to offer that will be included in next major releases:

  • Krita (Pixmap Graphics)
  • Kexi (Database Frontend)
  • KPlato (Project Management)

All these applications are in development and have a huge potential. Additionally some smaller utilities such as KFormula and KOffice Workspace are available.

As you can see, KOffice is close to offer a very complete office environment, completely integrated into your KDE environment and completely free.

The development of so many additional office components has of course raised the number of developers needed. We are looking for additional contributors to offer all KOffice components in a fully stable and feature complete state.

If you are interested in helping to make this happen, feel free to have a look at the webpage and contact the developers mailing list. Both, developers and documentation writers, are very welcome. There are also easy-to-get-started jobs available. And in case you have special interests of any kind feel free to contact us.



I think the GNOME website is incredibly ugly, and I dont particularly like the "give us money" attitude. I think that people are more likely to donate if requests are made with greater subtlety.

The KDE website looks nice, it's vast volume of content is made accessible via an effective navigational interface, and it provides a hell of a lot more useful information than the Gnome web site does. I do ocassionally get frustrated with the fact that such large portions of the KDE website are out of date.

Gnome corporate sponsorship has very little to do with the website. KDE suffers from a number of very peculiar licensing issues, and until they are dealt with, I cant imagine that any major company would want to risk potential lawsuits. There is a hell of a lot of senseless litigation going on right now, and KDE is an easy target.

By Anonymous at Tue, 2005/01/18 - 6:00am


Potential lawsuits like what? Easy target in what way? If this is about Trolltech in some way, maybe you could be specific or just lay off the FUD.


By Derek Kite at Tue, 2005/01/18 - 6:00am

qpl/gpl conflicts. Unless i'm sorely mistaken, this has been an ongoing problem for years now.

By Anonymous at Thu, 2005/01/20 - 6:00am

Yes, you're sorely mistaken.

By Boudewijn Rempt at Thu, 2005/01/20 - 6:00am

sure ... lets improve the fundraising efforts, brainstorm a lot, and develop an action plan. For startes. Some data would be nice to know, like donations in 2004 versus a target for 2005 (if there is a target :-).

By Stefan at Tue, 2005/01/18 - 6:00am

Why are some people so eager to obtrude their 'help' for a topic when no help was requested? Why not help to test KDE 3.4 Beta 1 like requested for example? Why do you think that some more money (of course not yours, you want others to pay) will help KDE significantly?

By Anonymous at Tue, 2005/01/18 - 6:00am

Don't be so quick to judge. I am testing Beta 1 and I have donated to KDE.

By Tom at Wed, 2005/01/19 - 6:00am

Well, I send my 50 Euros some weeks ago.

Maybe KDE needs testers/coders/artists more than people who just give some cash.

Perhaps the KDE-people really don't need money anyway? That's OK. For me it shows in low-key fundraining efforts, e.g. I received no thank-you mail (standard in fundraising if you want to cultivate your one-time donors into regular givers).

By Stefan at Wed, 2005/01/19 - 6:00am

What has your flaming to do with the KOffice story?

> GNOME on this, they are getting the corporate support and $$$ at a greater rate than KDE.

And what do they do with that $$$? They burn over 60.000 Dollar a year for "administrative tasks" (one full-time employee). Costs which KDE doesn't have currently because of volunteers.

> 1. The GNOME.org website is easy to use, clean and with a graphically intensive layout.

The GNOME.org website is four fifth about "Buy! Spend us money!" at the moment. Not friendly.

What do you know about KDE and KDE e.V.? If there would be a real need for much more money/a shortage there would be naturally other/more fund raising efforts.

By Anonymous at Tue, 2005/01/18 - 6:00am

I hear you saying that there is no real need for funding in kde but,earlier in this thread,there was a message from a koffice developer who said that it certainly would help and if some funding would bring some new features and more stability in koffice I would say there is real need for funding in kde.

By larry at Tue, 2005/01/18 - 6:00am

> earlier in this thread,there was a message from a koffice developer

Dunno to what posting you're referring to.

> would help and if some funding would bring some new features and more stability in koffice I would say there is real need for funding in kde

Sure, fund/support KOffice developers. But KDE e.V. doesn't employ developers and as the original poster complained about KDE e.V.'s fundraising...

By Anonymous at Tue, 2005/01/18 - 6:00am

Why doesn't KDE e.V. do this?
This works very well for Quanta (AFAIK).
If I recall correctly Sebastian Trueg, the author of K3B was also payed by some well known distributor to work on K3B.
I think it would be great if there would be more payed KDE developers.
Or maybe documentation writers, or QA-people or whatever you can imagine and KDE could use.

Just my 0.02 EUR

By SegFault II. at Tue, 2005/01/18 - 6:00am

> Why doesn't KDE e.V. do this?

How would one decide which developer to hire and on what to work?

By Anonymous at Wed, 2005/01/19 - 6:00am

Who would decide this?
I don't know.
I think this could be done by KDE representatives or core-developers.

What to work on?
Bugs.kde.org: Most wanted features, Most hated bugs, etc.

By SegFault II. at Thu, 2005/01/20 - 6:00am

Boudewijn at thread "Go Koffice":

"I'm not the only who wouldn't mind being paid full-time to work on KOffice."

> Sure, fund/support KOffice developers. But KDE e.V. doesn't employ developers and as the original poster complained about KDE e.V.'s fundraising...

Ok. Maybe I should read the originals bit more thouroughly. I just thought that you were saying there is no real need for funding.

Maybe it is just so that people working with kde do rely on more delicate ways to get funding. It is unfortunate if it leads to less funding for kde -projects.

By larry at Tue, 2005/01/18 - 6:00am

Personally, I think GNOME's half-page 'give us money!!!11' ad is a bit pathetic. A small-to-medium sized graphic in the corner (slightly smaller than the 'related links' on this page) should be about right. Their page -is- a lot more aesthetically pleasing and professional looking, though.

By Gábor Lehel at Tue, 2005/01/18 - 6:00am

Horses for courses, I guess. I've just been to both sites:

* after recoiling in horror at the BIG SHOUTY TEXT which jumps straight at you from the GNOME site, it's hard to find anything without realising the small text at the top *isn't* part of the logo, it's supposed to be the navigation. Meanwhile, due to the large "give us cash!" graphic, all the other stuff requires scrolling to read

* in contrast, I find the KDE one quite pleasant - all the links to important places are nicely organised on the left, where you start reading; you get a summary of what it is straight away, rather than a begging image; you can read the latest news without scrolling. On the right - where I still found it quite easily - is the search box.

I'm not saying either of us is definitively right, but you might want to be a bit less free with the absolutes next time you talk about the page. ;-)

By Paul Walker at Tue, 2005/01/18 - 6:00am

There are two deadly errors for marketing open source software:
1. Not to market it at all.
2. To tell it is production ready when it is not.

KWord will be a productive tool as soon as the kerning problem is solved (QT4!). I am writing mainly simple office letters. Still the print result of KWord is too ugly to be sent to clients. As soon as this is fixed KWord will be my primary text processor. Occasional crashes will not stop me from using it.
Please be careful with pushing the use of KOffice today because people might not give it a second chance.
KOffice has a bright future. The vehicle which will bring a critical mass of users however is a production ready KWord. I am convinced that we will have this in a couple of months. This should be the time to sprad KOffice.

By Roland Wolf at Tue, 2005/01/18 - 6:00am

It is rather hard to delay KOffice until it would be ready (whatever that would mean.)

If we do not release anything for years, users will get bored too and would not come again either (not counting that we would not get any new developer either).

Have a nice day!

By Nicolas Goutte at Wed, 2005/01/19 - 6:00am

You are right of course, the release cycle should be maintained.
My point was: Do not offer it as a KWord/OpenOffice replacement today because you will be able to do it very soon with a much better credibility.
I can't wait to get KOffice on QT4.

By Roland Wolf at Thu, 2005/01/20 - 6:00am


kopenoffice is out there and already working, even a kpart exists. interface is already kde native (via the OOo native widget framework). i think the best bet would be a stripped down kopenoffice ala firefox for mozilla where the things can be un-bloated.

meanwhile a better effort could be put on integrating current koffice offerings into OOo. that way the two projects will integrate and probably unite/merge.

just imagine if OOo could have the already working office modules that OOo has no analogue (especially kexy).

kword however as a mature and stable lightweight wordprocessor can still be kept as just a light weight processor for simple docs like M$ still keeps MS Write but offers the advanced MS Word.

both projects will benefit this way, on one hand all improvements to all modules available to both worlds, and on another will keep kde office apps portable to other platforms and even more platform and toolkit independent.

i haven't checked in details the koffice parts code, but i beleive that if the 'design' is good it will as easy as OOo was ported to kde the koffice kparts to be ported to OOo architecture.

just a suggestion

By Anton Velev at Thu, 2005/01/20 - 6:00am

If kOffice is to suceed, it MUST work on multiple platforms. I mean sure, you can get it to work on windows, or mac OS, but it's a hack. It's slow and it's weird. I for one stopped using koffice as I switched to mac not because iWork was better, but because koffice is not avaiable for that platform. Port it and it will spread. I think it has the potential, koffice is a much better piece of software than OO.org, so please make it available for those of us who don't use Unix/X11.

By Adam at Fri, 2005/01/21 - 6:00am

we dont need to port this.

first you will run more than one OS when virtualisation comes in processor cores. And we need something to embed KParts over Network perhaps in IE.

then you never have to port any apps.

By assfd at Mon, 2005/01/24 - 6:00am

Development should quit on it since it is so far behind Abiword/Gnumeric and OppenOffice.org

KDE is the best desktop environment for Unix, but not its office suite.

Take the rules for instance. Very ugly.

Also, document rendering is the worst of all of the office suites for linux.

Nobody cares about the OASIS Open Document Format, so don't waste your time supporting it.

Usually I am one of the biggest KDE supporters around, but I think that KOffice is an embarrassment to the project and developers should quit wasting their time on it.

By Turd Ferguson at Sat, 2005/01/22 - 6:00am

> Nobody cares about the OASIS Open Document Format

Nobody? Like the European Union? Or OpenOffice.org?

By Anonymous at Sat, 2005/01/22 - 6:00am

OASIS OpenDocument is the single most important step in the spread of FOSS. It is unique in that:

1) It cuts right to the core of the issue: Vendor lock-in. The format is designed and intended to eventually break the dominance of .doc. And the ".doc monopoly" is the *real* monopoly.

2) It has a real chance of working:

* It is technonologically capable of meeting all the demands you can throw at it. NO OTHER open format can be used for nearly as much as OpenDocument. From the most complex documments, complex layout, databases, mathematical formula, vector graphics, embeded applications, and any combination of those.

* It is supported by OpenOffice.org, KOffice, OASIS, the European Union, ISO, and supposedly will be supported by IBM Workplace. The European Union has "asked" Microsoft to make Free filters between OpenDocument and MSXML, and Microsoft has grudgingly aceeded.

At OpenOffice.org we are very happy that KOffice is working with us and OASIS/ISO to make a new format to compete with .doc. One that's truly independent, owned and maintained by non-profit standards groups (OASIS and ISO).

OpenDocument is in a position to become the new standard format for all kins of documents. It won't be easy, and it won't happen overnight. But we have a real chance to make this happen. The European Union has done a great job. I can't provide details, but I'm hopeful about the state of Masachusetts.

And The success of OpenDocument would provide invaluable benefit to open source and Free Software. No vendor lock-in, bye bye monopoly.

Daniel Carrera.
OpenOffice.org Community Representative.

By Daniel Carrera at Tue, 2005/01/25 - 6:00am