The KDE Project today announced the release of KOffice version 2.0 Alpha 7, a technology preview of the upcoming version 2.0. This version adds a lot of polish, some new features in Kexi and KPresenter and especially better support for the OpenDocument format. It is clear that the release of KOffice 2.0 with all the new technologies it brings is drawing nearer.
This is mainly a technology preview for those that are interested in the new ideas and technologies of the KOffice 2 series.
The Alpha 7 release is a work in progress. This release introduces improvements in almost all the components as well as in the common infrastructure. All the applications saw big changes, both bugfixes and new features.
The release notes for Alpha 6 noted the addition of snap-guides that will guide the user when he or she is placing objects near other objects in any direction, Alpha 7 adds a bounding-box snapping option for even more powerful snapping options. This release has also added the option for users to configure shape-shadows in the form of a new dock widget.
Report Generator for Kexi
There is a whole new set of features in Kexi, the most important of which is a new report generator. This allows the user to create a document based on the data in the database with features like charting and scripting.
New Features in Krita
Krita has received a lot of attention e.g. general polish and bugfixing. Krita has additionally received a new plugin type which will allow both KOffice developers as well as 3rd party developers to create new pixel-generator filters, such as clouds or fractal generators.
Developer Focus on KPresenter
The KOffice developers decided to focus their efforts to make KPresenter an application that will be released in the 2.0 suite. This has given KPresenter a lot of page-effects in this release, but has managed to do more work on master page editing as well. Much of the work on the KOffice libraries have been specially selected because it benefits KPresenter in particular.
Improved OpenDocument Support
This release is the first to see some results of the OpenDocument Format testsuite being imported into KOffice. The testsuite exists from a lot of little documents that each show one feature in ODF. Automated testing of loading those documents will allow developers to keep on working on the code without fear of breaking the already working code. This is known as regression testing.
In this release already 23 tests are added into KOffice and the results are visible in much better loading of text documents in KWord. KWord is also one of the target applications for 2.0, and NLNet has sponsored a developer working on that application.
KOffice 2 is still under heavy development. It is not meant as something