The KDE Project today announced the release of KOffice 1.5 beta 1, the first preview release for KOffice 1.5, scheduled for release this March. KOffice is an integrated office suite with more components than any other suite in existence. Never before has a new version of KOffice brought this many exciting new features including Kexi 1.0 and the first release of project management application KPlato. Read the full announcement and the changelog for more details or read on for the full article.
This release specifically introduces the following highlights:
- OASIS OpenDocument as the Default File Format
KOffice now uses OASIS OpenDocument as the default file format for the productivity applications KWord, KSpread, and KPresenter. In the final 1.5 release, the charting application KChart will also use OpenDocument as the default format.
- Enhanced Accessibility for Users with Disabilities
The decision of the Commonwealth of Massachussetts to base its future document format on open standards started a great debate with many different people and organization taking part. One major aspect is accessibility. KOffice now supports enhanced accessibility through mouseless operation and text-to-speech.
- Start of a Unified Scripting Approach
This version of KOffice features a start of a unified scripting solution called Kross. Kross provides cross-language support for scripting (thus its name) and at present supports Python and Ruby.
- First Major Release of Kexi (1.0)
KOffice 1.5 contains the much expected final 1.0 version of Kexi, a data
management application which is the KOffice counterpart to MS Access or
FileMaker. It is designed from the ground up as a standard KDE database
- Project management application KPlato
KOffice 1.5 is the first official release to include KPlato. KPlato is a project management application that lets the user control project schedules and resource use. It is included in KOffice 1.5 as a technology preview and full functionality is expected for version 2.0.
Of course, it also fixes countless bugs and introduces a lot of smaller new features.
Packages are available for Debian Sarge, Debian Sid, Kubuntu and SuSE.
Throughout the beta period, to make testing easier, the Klik developer team will provide up to date Klik packages for all of KOffice. Klik packages may be used without installation and run on multiple GNU/Linux platforms without disturbing the system's native package manager. See the KOffice Klik wiki page for details of the bundles and supported distributions.