Hancom/theKompany.com Merge Product Lines, Announce Qt-3.0 Office Suite

During the first day of the
LinuxWorld Expo,
Hancom Linux and
theKompany.com became the talk of the show with the news that they are merging their product lines
and releasing a complete Linux/KDE office suite this coming
November. Dubbed
", the suite will combine 4 Hancom products
(Word, a word processor, Sheet, a spreadsheet, Presenter, a
presentation program, and Painter, a bitmap drawing program) with
4 theKompany.com products (EasyDB, a personal database management
system familiar to us as
Envision, a diagram and flowchart drawing tool familiar to us as
the KOffice component
WebBuilder, an HTML/PHP editing tool familiar to us as
Quanta+, and QuickSilver,
a personal information manager familiar to us as
The Word/Sheet/Presenter applications are advertised as outstanding
at both importing and exporting the corresponding MS Office formats. Because it uses Qt 3.0 the same
boxed set will run on Linux, Mac OS X, Windows and -- yes --
even embedded devices (some planned devices were announced).
Although the products are pure Qt, with 3.0's new features they should
integrate nicely into the KDE desktop.
Suggested retail price: $99. Ready or
not, KDE is coming to Main Street!

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by reihal (not verified)

No more Kivio? And what about ReKall?
Perhaps Shawn Gordon can explain.

by AArthur (not verified)

Yes, Kvivio and ReKall still exist, but they are also selling a supported version, with some additions, under their own product name (as they own the code, they can do that).

by sarang (not verified)

I don't know whether this is good news or bad news. Here we have, another office suite coming in town.. that means another set of file formats to take care of. Is TheKompany planning to keep all file formats open? Or are they heading in the same dirty direction of M$ where the file formats are not documented atall!

Its based on Qt3 and we know that KDE 3 isn't coming out anytime soon. That means Qt3 won't be installed by default.. When Qt3 is installed on top of Qt2, what happens?

Now what lies in future for KOffice? What happens to Kivio, ReKall, Aethera? Does the GPL development stop suddenly?

Anyway, definitely a good news that another application suite is coming to Linux and esp. KDE! Star office is too bloated since it uses its own UI library and nobody else used the KDE/Qt framework till now.. So this could head towards success!!

Finally, I just hope they select some better names.. Hancom, QuickSilver etc. are not at all trendy..


by Craig (not verified)

I'm sure they will be staticly linked binary's. I'm very excited about this. Finally a real MS Office competitor thats not running wine. The best thing of all is that its Qt so it will fit nicely into my desktop.

by ac (not verified)

Staroffice/openOffice is not running Wine
The Gnome office proograms also dont depend on wine

by Joe KDE (not verified)

I believe the grandparent said "a real MS Office competitor."

by azerty man (not verified)

Have a look at the screenshots on Hancom website.
The last ones seem to be Quanta+ and Kivio under winXP ?!!
WebBuilder is Quanta+ and Painter is Kivio.
Have they ever read the GPL ?

by Craig (not verified)

Sounds like you need to read the gpl friend. theKomapny owns the code and can licence it anyway they want.

by azerty man (not verified)

Does the Kompany owns Quanta code ?
what is the Xp screenshot, a port of qt ?
I don't want to blame this product, I think this is really a good news but I would like to be sure that it is not vaporware or something.

by Craig (not verified)

Yes they own the code and of course its not vapor ware.


by not me (not verified)

>Does the Kompany owns Quanta code ?

Quanta used to be Free but some of the developers decided to go commercial with it and relicensed it. I guess theKompany was the company that got it.

>what is the Xp screenshot, a port of qt ?

QT has always been available for Windows, and won't require any porting to work under XP. Any 100% QT-native program (such as these office programs) will work on any of QT's platforms with a simple recompile (theoretically).

by Philippe Fremy (not verified)

> Any 100% QT-native program (such as these office programs) will work on any of QT's
> platforms with a simple recompile (theoretically).

And practically!

As a Qt-windows licence holder, I confirm this. It took 1 day to make a 30000 lines unix Qt program compile under windows, and one week to make it link :-), because we were not experienced with windows lib/dll stuff. Now, it would link the same day it compiles.

by Kevin Puetz (not verified)

I'm interested in this, what build setup were you using?

I'm trying to figure out what I can use as a build environment that will work on both windows and unix with QT apps, and I'm getting the impression that (barring building with cygwin/gcc) autoconf doesn't do this very well? I'd love to be wrong :-)

by Dave Marotti (not verified)

It's no joke. It's a Qt based program (Kivio) so ports to other OS's are no longer just a thought.

(kivio developer)

by Guy Smith (not verified)

I was working the Hancom booth during the show. We had HancomSheet running on an iPaq -- handheld. Hancom told me the port took them about four hours.

Believe it -- a robust multi-platform office is on the way. As I was telling the press representatives "HancomOffice 2.0 is the camel's nose in the Microsoft tent."

by jasper (not verified)

they are the copyrightholders. therefore they can rerelease it under a other license.

by Brad C (not verified)

Yes they are...did you not read above...
thekompany is adding kivio, rekall, and quanta+
to hancom office.

no Painter is not Kivio...
Envision is Kivio...which is actaully a pretty cool name for it.

and yes...that does *APPREAR* to be kivio(envision) running under XP.

Personally I think releasing cross platform applications is a good idea. It gets people to use applications on familiar terms, then they realize, hey these apps are native linux apps! and makes us even more appealing.

the world is never going to be a one operating system world...the best way to go about it is to make yourself compatible with a lot of them. Kind of like Opera.

This has been thekompany's plan for a while now...to release their apps on both linux and windows. Data Architect is already released on both from the beginning.

just my $.02

by not me (not verified)

I'm confused. So far theKompany and KDE have managed to stay out of each others' way for the most part, but this move puts theKompany and the KDE project in direct competition! What will happen to KOffice? Will developers lose interest and switch to using HancomOffice? Will KOffice continue to improve and eventually replace HancomOffice, hurting theKompany and Hancom? Do theKompany and Hancom hope to perpetually improve their HancomOffice product so that it is always ahead of the features of KOffice?

Some informed comment would be great here. David Faure, Shawn Gordon? Comments?

by Craig (not verified)

I think your missing it. Koffice is strictly KDE while HancomOffice is a multiplatform solution allowing corporations to easily plug KDE and Linux into there networks. If anything it will help KDE and bring it into the mainstream. I don't think it will be a Koffice competitor. This is truly a good thing.

Craig Black

by not me (not verified)

>I don't think it will be a Koffice competitor.

And why not? They each provide: a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, and a bitmap picture editor. If HancomOffice is better than KOffice, KOffice use will be very low. If KOffice gets to be better than HancomOffice, everyone will start using KOffice because its free. That's competition.

Also, distros such as Mandrake (employer of David Faure, main KOffice coordinator and programmer) may decide to license HancomOffice and stop sponsoring KOffice development. Programmers who would otherwise have worked on KOffice might decide to simply pay $99 and use HancomOffice. KOffice could be hurt by this.

Now, I'm not saying that HancomOffice is bad, I'm just confused by theKompany's move here. So far they have taken steps to keep their programs away from KDE programs, but now they're competing with a KDE project.

by Craig (not verified)

Huh? Mandrake won't ship anything thats not gpl. So that just would'nt happen.


by oliv (not verified)

Well, actually, they ship many applications that are not gpl:


by Stof (not verified)

Since when is XFree86 GPL'ed?

by john (not verified)

you wouldn't be able to download hansonoffice for free, certainly, as part of Mandrake8.1 ISOs.

But it could be included in the power pack cds, which contain some commercial software.


by Guy Smith (not verified)

Who cares? I live by the rule that the best idea wins. If Hancom delivers the best product at a price the market accepts, then they win. The alternative is for the KOffice folks to ramp-up and meet the challenge.

by Konqi (not verified)

Pentium or better processor (500MHz recommended)

Come on, 500MHz for a stinking Office Suite. The last MS Office I ran (Office97) ran fine on a 486. I would say these guys have some serious optimization problems to sort out.

by Benoit WALTER (not verified)

And the minimal requirement is 64Mo, but 64Mo are recommended !!!

> Kernel Release 2.2 or higher/X-Windows
> Pentium or better processor (500MHz recommended)
> 64 MB of RAM (64 MB RAM recommended)
> 400 MB of hard disk space
> CD-ROM drive

by Guy Smith (not verified)

I ran the preview of HancomOffice on an old Dell 333 (and on a DOS file system install of RH 7.1) and didn't have gave performance problems. I think the 500mhz recomendation is a safety net.

Hi, this is a "service person" from HancomLinux.
First, I would like to say that HancomLinux was too exaggerated about the system requirements.
I found out that 200MHz was way enough to run it.
Now, we have fixed that point on our web site, so you can check it out on


Thanks for correcting a good one. We will always look and care for your concerns and suggestions.

By the way, how are you, Guy?? Itz Amy. :)

by antialias (not verified)

Hm, evaluation version of HancomOffice (without TheKompany's products) has 95 Mb!
Who says StarOffice is bloated ;-)
I'll stick with KOffice, just hoping that KOffice developers will stick with it too :)

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

I just installed the 60 days demo of Hancom, and tried to play with it. The word processor is still a wine port and even points you to a c:=\d rive to save your work.

Hancom office feels strange, alien even, compared to StarOffice or KOffice. I feel ther eviewer from LinuxPlanet was quite right when hed ismissed the suite for now.( http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/opinions/3274/4/), but quite probably a new version, based on Qt 3.0 would be worth the money.

by LMCBoy (not verified)

"The Word/Sheet/Presenter applications are
advertised as outstanding at both importing
and exporting the corresponding MS Office

Any chance that the Kompany will share their I/O filters with the KOffice crew?

That would be nice...

by ik (not verified)

The koffice filters are coming along nice. The msoffice filter in kword works really nice over here, an rtf import filter by edwald snel featuring tables/styles will be comitted to cvs soon, and a wordperfect input filter was comitted yesterday or so.

by LMCBoy (not verified)

Good to hear. I actually haven't tried importing MS formats myself, I was just going on the KOffice announcement, which stated that filters were now the big hurdle...

I agree with the poster who is confused and troubled as to why the Kompany would release a product in direct competition with a KDE product (and perhaps their flagship product at that!)


by bambi (not verified)

Monday: KOffice
Tuesday: OpenOffice
Wednesday: StarOffice
Thursday: Abiword
Friday: WordPerfect
Saturday: ApplixWare
Sunday: Lyx

If I knew a little more English, I could even make a poem about it ...


by Krame (not verified)

I'm afraid that it will not be integrated with KDE. The KParts are KDE-only solution, so probably those programs will live its own life - something like a next ( lightweight probably ) StarOffice. I've heard something about COM capabilities of Qt - but I was able to find only something about generating uuid's and a single pure virtual class. If we have got a simple interface like QOleDocument ( which, implemented, should result in a cross-platform embeddable component ) we would be able to write a real cross-platform applications - but now they have to follow a StarOffice path. I think that a very few people will use it on Linux. What a pity !

by Kevin Krammer (not verified)

Thats the "universal component" thing the Trolls work on.
There is a presentation by Mathias Ettrich somewhere on the web.
This is real cool stuff. Took the ideas behind COM some steps further.


by larryw (not verified)

This seems a little odd to me. I'm not very familiar with Hancom's products, but they look pretty mature. ReKall and Aethera are not yet ready for prime time. Last time I tried Aethera (maybe a month ago) I'm not sure it did much of anything (I remember it crashing, if that counts). I had high hopes for Rekall because I had done some work with KDB and found it to be pretty feature-complete, but when I installed it, I discovered that it had a ways to go, especially WRT the UI. I know it's early in the game, but it seems a little premature to be slapping these partially finished products in with the mature ones (Quanta is very nice) and call it an office suite.

Just my $.05...

by William Wise (not verified)

What happens if, say, I'm using a GPL app called kdegplapp version 2.1 and the original author and copyright holder decides to relicense to a proprietary license? Can I branch the code at 2.1 and continue to develop the codebase? Can the author retroactively decide that I can't use the application? I'm confused as to what the implications are...


yes you can take the last GPL version and fork it and do what you want with it

... except relicense it, naturally... :)

by Neil Conway (not verified)

No, you can fork the project at any point you like. License changes cannot be retroactively applied: if I release version 0.0.1 under the GPL, that version is permanently under that license (of course, I can release 0.0.1a which is exactly the same, only under a different license -- but that has no effect on the licensing or distribution terms of version 0.0.1). This has happened before -- for example, OpenSSH is based off a (very) old version of SSH, before the license changed to become commercial. A copy of the old version was still available so the OpenBSD people used that -- and SSH Inc. couldn't stop them.

by Gregory W. Brubaker (not verified)

I see no harm that can come from this...
I'm an Open Racer developer ( a very small one on a very great and much more talented team ), and our goal is to keep the Tux Racer (turning Comercial) code base alive... We do not damn Tux Racer, we wish it success!

If we have life our way, we will replace Tux Racer on all Distros (especialy the GPL'd release), while Tux Racer will grow and offer a serious, and cool, comercial offering for those who are willing to pay for it...
I think Open Source and Comercial can live together... Until any comercial product overly dominates and gets Greedy... Then, and only then, is it important that all comercial and Open operations come together and bring an open standard...

If you are fighting Microsoft, you would see that Open Source and Comercial offerings are a good thing... (However, this might be a distorted view)

If you are fighting all comercial operations, and really believe this product will enslave the world... You are even wronger, because Open Source alternatives will not slow...

by Rob (not verified)

I will buy a commercial office suite if its good. Bring it on...

by Gregory W. Brubaker (not verified)

Exactly... Its a question of Time, Price, and quality...

Comercial products like this may be better for, say, the city of Largo, or others large groups looking to use linux... than the individual; however, it can only be a good thing... And hopefully any comercial effort that fails will release Open Source...

by anonymous (not verified)

Why was this article not marked with '[Ed: commercial software]' or something, like similiar previous articles? And what's the direct relation to KDE for a pure Qt based office suite that ships software that is no more maintained inside KDE (kivio...) ? I for one don't think this article belongs to the dot. It's a commercial advertisement of a non-KDE software.

by Bryan Feeney (not verified)

Because it benefits KDE, and uses the Qt libraries, which are inextricably linked with KDE on the news-wires. Frankly, I think this is a _good_ thing. It'll help two outstanding Linux companies stay above water. It also provides a nice easy migration path to Linux. It's been said before, once you get people used to the applications, what platform they run on is immaterial.

To be honest, I wish theKompany all the best in this effort. The suite of apps they've lined up looks outstanding for $99 - the Painter app looks like it has all the features of many art apps that are sold for $99 on their own (e.g. Paint Shop Pro). I'd say they should chase the OEM market, particularly the smaller ones, with a vengence. They could really do well out of this.

by Alain (not verified)

One month ago, I said that I didn't feel that the strategy of the Kompany was clear. Now, it is...

There is a good size and a bad size. I prefer look at the good size : a new challenge for the KOffice team is to build the best KDE Office. Even, it has to be the first challenge now...

And it would not be easy. The Hancom Office page is pretty and some things are very in advance, comparing to KOffice.

There is a big work to do for enhancing the existing good young apps, for reactiving some sleeping apps (Krayon, Kivio, Quanta Plus...) and for creating some new apps (Katabase...). What an exciting challenge ! I hope that new developpers will be interested and involved !

And I hope that it will be a fair challenge, that easy and efficient filters will be built between the two offices...

My best encouragments for the KOffice team !

by Anonymous Troll (not verified)

Word?? Their word processor is called Word?? Obviously these guys weren't paying attention when KIllustrator got sued for violating Adobe's trademark..

by Bryan Feeney (not verified)

The art app could run into trouble too, there's a Corel Painter already out for Windows. And, of course, lets not forget KWord and KPresenter - clearly Hancom's just violated their trademarks ;-)