KOffice 1.1 Rolls Out

After a series of three betas and one release candidate, the KDE
used the occasion of the first day of the Linux World Expo
in San Francisco, CA to
(alternate with fixed
) 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).

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by Rk (not verified)

AFAIK that list hasn't been used in quite a while...

by Tsujigiri (not verified)

Actually I think it looks like Katabase has been replaced/superceded/evolved into/whatever rekall by theKompany. And it looks very good so far (only up to version 0.5 (beta 3), but is shaping up to be VERY good).

It' so far can use MySQL, PostgreSQL or xBase files as a backend, uses Kugar for reports (I think) and the form logic is programmable in Python.

Looks very good.



by Magnus Pym (not verified)

Has anyone had a problem with KDE printing,
where the print produces HUGE .ps files that
are 3-10 times larger than similar files
produced by other apps? In particular, I have
in mind files produces by mozilla and konqueror.
Also, sometimes, .ps files produced by KDE
apps are unreadable by ghostscript, and many
printers (esp. HP) do not interpret them
correctly. Is this a known issue or am I
doing something wrong?


I've seen this too. It appears to be because QT converts TTF fonts to postscript and includes them in the file. And it appears to forget some of them. Today I had to edit an output postscript file and change a Misc-fixedList to a VerdanaList to get a document to print properly.

It definitely needs some looking at, but I'd wager it's a QT thing, not a KDE thing.


by David Faure (not verified)

You are right, this is entirely a Qt issue, and you should make sure you have the latest Qt 2.x release.

Printing will be much improved with the Qt 3 port, but that's for later.

by Johnzo (not verified)

Thank you KOffice people, for all your hard work.

With AbiWord, KDE, and KOffice all releasing new versions recently, it's been like Christmas on my Linux box. :)


by Billy (not verified)

One question... Does Kword print in wysiwyg?

by Dr_LHA (not verified)

Didn't in the last release candidate for KOffice, and I believe won't here. The KDE developers have a WYSIWYG branch of Kword in CVS, so it should work in the future. At the moment this is KWord's biggest missing feature as I found out to my loss when working on a presentation using KWord.

by Dr_LHA (not verified)

Replying to myself. Just installed it and it doesn't. In case anyone doesn't understand this limitation of KWord, try typing a full page of text in a big point font. Then zoom out to 33% and see how the layout changes. In my document I only realised this at the end of writing it, and I had to keep doing print preview and adjusting it to get it write. This is pretty silly.

Abiword behaves correctly in this manner, so I currently use that for my word processing needs.

Hopefully KOffice 1.2 will address this - until it does I'll not be able to use KWord unfortunately (which is a shame because I like everything else about it apart from it's ability to accurately lay out words!).

by David Faure (not verified)

Yes, it's not in 1.1, and I'm working on this.
The code in CVS (HEAD branch of course) already has WYSIWYG support, so this is almost done. Feel free to test it and report bugs. The current known issue is that it leads to quite big spaces between words, I might have to add some pixels between the letters in some cases to prevent that. But in any case the printing is _really_ WYSIWYG (the text is always flown at the same high resolution internally - same solution as Abiword's).

by Dr_LHA (not verified)



by Dr_LHA (not verified)

Didn't in the last release candidate for KOffice, and I believe won't here. The KDE developers have a WYSIWYG branch of Kword in CVS, so it should work in the future. At the moment this is KWord's biggest missing feature as I found out to my loss when working on a presentation using KWord.

by David Johnson (not verified)

Kivio supports plugin stencil sets. theKompany has many more available for 5 or 10 dollars. However it would be very nice if more free stencil sets were available by default.

One thing I am interested in as UML stencils. The "Basic UML" stencils at theKompany just don't cut it though. Dia is awesome for UML diagrams, and there's no reason why Kivio can't be either. Anyone interested in making some UML stencils?

by eze (not verified)

I agree, and am thinking about bulding some UML stencils in my spare time. I havn't the time right now to start programming stencil sets, and I can't find the "stencil builder" anywhere. Is there any docs or HOWTOs on programming stencil sets?

by cobaco (not verified)

Let me know if you find those docs, i'd be glad tp help :-)

by cobaco (not verified)

Let me know if you find those docs, i'd be glad tp help :-)

by Shawn Gordon (not verified)

There will be a stencil builder available in a week or two that you can buy. Stencils don't have to be programmed, but they do need to be created by someone with some level of artistic skill.


by Eric Kaps (not verified)

Now that some time has passed, are there any more Kivio stencils publically available, specifically for UML?

by SGT. DAGS (not verified)

deffinatly interested send info

by shinai (not verified)

now. more time has passed. where are the stenclis and where is a stencil builder? does any one here know?

by Martijn (not verified)

Well, under the Tools->Add Stencil Set you can find a good number of stencils (at least in version 1.92.

Also at http://sourceforge.net/projects/xfig2sml/
you can find a number of nice stencils (for instance stencils converted from Dia).


by winston (not verified)

i tried to install/use this
what a mission and it got me no where :)
i reccomend you either have a doctors degree in science or leave it untill you have many hours to spend to get this working.
the install file helped me nothing,

"copy this script in the xfig-library path
kivio don't handle a deep directory structure, so you have
to "flatten" the structure (see *stencils-*.bz2) - this are already
generated stencils"

thats al it said, and i tried to follow instructions but it got me no where
thanks anyways, and kivio is an awsome tool, but i think ill wait till i have more patience or that doctors degree ;)

by Instructor (not verified)

To successfully flatten, I did this:

1. From Kivio/File/Install, install the stencil file

2. Change to $HOME/.kde/share/apps/kivio/stencils/stencils

3. Move all directories to the directory above:

mv Electrical Knitting Libraries Maps Optics Structural_Analysis ../

4. Restart Kivio

by eze (not verified)

Great work Koffice team. Koffice is shaping up very nicely. The hard work that has gone into this project is very evident. And the best part is that it is only going to get better. I can't wait to see where this app goes. Speaking of which here is a WISHLIST for future versions:
1. underline mispelled words as they are typed
2. "New table" in the table menu
3. "Delete table" in the table menu
4. Make table UI more MS Word like
5. Text to table
6. Shading (as in borders and shading)
7. More styles

By more Word like I mean rather than selecting a cell, modifying the cell width/height which modifies the row/column hight you sould get that "resize" cursor when you mouse over a cell border and resize only those cells that are selected, or all if none are selected.

Again big ups. This is a great product from a great team of dedicated opern source developers. If I have time, I would like to add some of these items myself.

by David Faure (not verified)

> I would like to add some of these items myself.
Cool, please do ;-)

In any case, please use http://bugs.kde.org to register the wishlist items (with slightly more details). Otherwise they'll just get lost.

by Rob (not verified)

As a newbie, I'm just wondering why the developers don't pour their development efforts into porting OpenOffice to KDE rather than duplicating all this work in KOffice. As a newbie, I will probably go with Gnome as it (I understand) will use OO as its main office suite? At present OO on windows works very well, has M$ Word, Excel, etc. importing that work well, and is WYSIWYG. Comments?

by David Faure (not verified)

OpenOffice is 400 MB of source code (!), and some of StarOffice hasn't been made opensource (AFAIK).
So it's all quite messy....

Why do I spend my time on KWord rather than on porting OO ?

1) because I think it's MUCH more fun :-)

2) because I believe we have the right tools within Qt/KDE (and the koffice libs) for a great office suite, using all the KDE technologies
(for instance, is openoffice network transparent ? I strongly doubt it - or if it is, it's a duplicated effort wrt all the kioslaves KDE has ;-) Do you realize that you can now save a koffice document directly onto a FTP server, optionnally using a secure connection (kio_sftp slave) ?
Embedding, configurable toolbars, etc. etc. all of this comes for 'free' for any koffice application.
Right-to-left editing (for hebrew/arabic) will come with very little or no effort, with Qt3, etc.

3) because KOffice will remain much more lightweight than staroffice/openoffice, even for the same features, especially when used within KDE (with all the libraries already being loaded).

4) KOffice is very well designed, which helps extending it step by step. Starting from very old sources (with not such a great design) doesn't help at all. I'm not saying this is the case with openoffice (haven't checked the sources), but in general, several-years-old sources (often C) are no match to new, well designed, object-oriented code (like C++).

5) alternatives are good - that's what Linux is all about ;)

6) re-read reason 1, it's the more important one ;-)

by Rob (not verified)

Interesting reply. Question : What happens then for example re imports filters. Can you / do you grab the Open Office code and modify it. This would seem sensible. As someone currently trying to get rid of all M$ stuff (just sold my copt of M$ office), I need an office suite that will replace it. At present, that is OO build 638. Or is it more efficient to start from scratch?

by David Faure (not verified)

I don't personnally work on the filters (only on KWord and the KOffice libraries), but I know that those who do have had a look at the other available filters (e.g. wvware).
I'm actually not sure that the filters from OpenOffice are opensource - at least, at the beginning they weren't.

Anyway, two koffice developers are currently working with the AbiWord filter developers (wvware library) on a common layer for importing MSWord documents. One area where work won't be duplicated anymore, between the two opensource projects.

Also, KOffice might switch to ZIP instead of tar.gz, for technical reasons, bringing more compatibility with OpenOffice. No promises though, just evaluating this at the moment.

by Ash G (not verified)

I've had a look at the OO filters, but couldn't get my head around them. I was considering doing a powerpoint filter for Kpresenter, but there is very little in the way of documentation for powerpoint file formats, and I couldn't work out how OO was doing it. Though the OO filters are very good, using OO638 powerpoint files open perfectly. Maybe I should have another look.

by Danny (not verified)

A suggest talking with one of the OO developers. The filters are indeed the best non MS filers for MS programs available (heck, they open even files Word itself chokes upon..*grin*). But it will be difficult to copy them to koffice due to complete different designs of the filter system. What it can do however is, give you information about undocumented binary stuff in the file format.
really really talk with one of the OO people!

by Carbon (not verified)

Hmmm.. how about a filter for Open Office formats?

I mean, why port the filtering parts when you could probably encapsulate them, have them convert to OO format (which is what they do in OO anyways), then use KWord's OO filter. Can anyone tell me if this would be at all feasible?

by David Johnson (not verified)

I'm not working an KOffice, but I can offer some reasons why:

1) KDE does not do what GNOME is doing merely because GNOME is doing it. Hopefully the reverse situatin is true as well.

2) KOffice was started before the OpenOffice project got started. We were there first.

3) It is much more efficient to start an Open Source project from scratch rather than to start with a recently opened proprietary code base. Konqueror started much later than Mozilla, but still finished earlier.

Don't get me wrong, OpenOffice is going to be great when it's done (just as Mozilla will be). But that doesn't scratch the "itch".

by microhajk (not verified)

Too bad KDE as a whole is ___DREADFULLY__ slow on a pentium 200 with 32 MB of RAM! Pray for OpenWatcom, everyone!

by anonward (not verified)

go buy yourself some ram.......or better yet a whole new motherboard + cpu+ram....wont cost you much at all. Memory and cpu are so cheap now.

P.S. I use gnome but I still use kde apps....great work guys...keep it coming

by EdlinUser (not verified)

I'm running a pentium166 with 192 megs of RAM and KDE is great; perhaps a little slow opening some windows but I love it. Thanks, KDE team.

Mandrake and KDE for me? for free?
Ahhhhhh, the joys of the revolution.

by Lune (not verified)

So fuck*** what?!

So, KDE is slow on some 5 year old technology.

Is anyone forcing you to use the latest soft-
ware on ancient technology? There are plenty
of alternatives for slower machines, use them.

Quake won't run on an Atari 2600, and Linux doesn't run on a 286 with 16MB.

Does that mean they are bad?

by Ian (not verified)

Would it be possible to write a plug-in for MS Word that would allow it to read this proposed XML standard? Or does RTF already satisfy the needs of people wanting to take their documents from KOffice to Word?

The reason I have to use MS Word at home is because I use it at school; if a 30 second install at school allowed me to write the KOffice format in Word then I wouldn't have any interoperablity problems. Granted, for people who are recieveing .doc from other people this wouldn't be very useful, but it would for me.

by Joni (not verified)

I'm not sure if this is an appropriate place, but anyways... I can't get Kword to start (even though other Koffice programs run just fine).

I tried to run it as root and also with another user account, and there was no problem. But with the user account I normally use, it doesn't work.

Clicking on the Kword icon or typing "kword" on a console make the taskbar show "kword is starting" animation thingy, but then.. nothing happens. Not even any error messages appear.

I was wondering if there are some lock-files that need to be removed or something.. Any ideas?
(I'm running RH 7.1, by the way.)

by me (not verified)

execute kword in konsole and paste the output here

try to run kbuildsycoca

by Joni (not verified)

It gives no output whatsoever:

[[email protected] joni]$ kword
[[email protected] joni]$

The CPU usage goes up for a second and then comes back down. Pretty odd, huh?

Kbuildsycoca doens't say anything, either...

by Joni (not verified)

I managed to locate the problem to a file named
which had the following in it:

[Desktop Entry]

After removing that file, Kword starts just fine.

by Havard Bjastad (not verified)

I've just installed KDE2.2, and went on to install KOffice 1.1. However, I get the following dependency-problems:
$ rpm -Uvh koffice-1.1-2.i386.rpm
error: failed dependencies:
libcrypto.so.2 is needed by koffice-1.1-2
libexpat.so.0 is needed by koffice-1.1-2
libssl.so.2 is needed by koffice-1.1-2

To get around the expat problem, I just had to install expat-1.95, but the libraries from openssl seems trickier. It seems that they're called libssl.so.0.96 in the version I have, but if I try to install an RPM where they're named .so.2, I get an error because several packages are using them.

I seems that a lot of people have been able to install KDE2.2 and KOffice1.1 on RH7, could you please help me find the right packages?


by thomas (not verified)

Yes, I've had similar problem with RH7.1 - RedHat distributes
required libs in separate RPMs called openssl095a, openssl096.
You should be able to find them with rpmfind or in redhat-rawhide
distrib. (though I'm not sure if they'll work with RH7.0)
Hope this helps...

by Ashok Marudanayakam (not verified)

You can find the missing rpm from the web site
ftp.rpmfind.net. I was using Redhat V7.1 and installed
the missing rpm and it works fine.