Announcing itself today is KOfficeSource GmbH, a
company that will sell services around KOffice. The founders comprise a small group of
members of the developer community, as well as outside talent. They share an interest in furthering KOffice by supporting it
commercially in addition to the non-commercial support that can be
found on the mailing lists and IRC. As the name suggests
it has been created in Germany but will operate across Europe and further afield.
"The founding of KOfficeSource GmbH shows the commercial potential of the KOffice suite.", said Sebastian Kügler, KDE e.V. director. "It is great to see a company spinning off the KDE Community. Combining the commercial experience in the field with excellent connections in the community seems to be a recipe for success. And success is also what we wholeheartedly wish to the founders of KOfficeSource.
Kügler continues: With the upcoming release of KOffice 2 later this year, this makes for a new contender in the office market space which no doubt will be beneficial for institutional, commercial and home users alike."
The founders of KOfficeSource GmbH are:
- Tobias Hintze: CEO (Geschäftsführer)
- Boudewijn Rempt: maintainer of Krita
- Inge Wallin: marketing coordinator and maintainer of KChart
- Kalle Mattias Dalheimer: KDE founder and owner of Klarälvdalens datakonsult.
From the announcement:
What is it?
From the start, KOfficeSource GmbH will function as a pure services
company. We will offer professional services around KOffice such as:
- Customising, e.g. by adding features or creating new GUIs.
- Integration into workflow systems or other products.
- Training for users, system administrators and programmers.
Since KOfficeSource does not own any copyright to the code, we can not
and do not want to steer the development in any particular direction.
We will work with the community, basing our services on what the
developers are already producing
Sometimes we will create new features, new modules or maybe even new
components for KOffice. We will then offer the new features to the
community to accept into KOffice or decline as it sees fit. We will
work with the current developer community as closely as possible when
developing new code. This means that we will work in the existing Subversion
repository, under the existing licensing rules and the existing governance customs.
What Will This Mean for KOffice?
In the long run, we think the mere existence of a company like this
will make KOffice more interesting for other companies to deploy. It
gives KOffice yet another piece in the Whole Product puzzle. If KOffice will ever be
able to challenge OpenOffice or the proprietary competition, we will need all of these pieces and more.
This is the first step in that direction.
On a shorter time scale it will probably not mean much at all. We
do not expect to become very active until KOffice 2.0 is out, maybe
even 2.1. We do not have any large funds at this time that we could
use to sponsor any development. We will offer our services when the
chances arrive and in time we will be more active.
What Will This Mean for the Developer Community?
Probably nothing, right now. The developers involved in this company
will hack on as usual, In the longer run, over a few years, we
might be able to hire developers part or full time. We have great
hopes, but they will take time to become real.
You can read more on our website.