During the first day of the
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
2.0", 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!
Hancom/theKompany.com Merge Product Lines, Announce Qt-3.0 Office Suite
During the first day of the
Hancom has had these products out for a while already. I think at least for a couple years.
One cannot trademark the use of the word "Word" as it's been in existance since the birth of the English language; and throughout history has been applied to more uses than you can shake a stick at.
You're getting over paranoid.
HancomOffice is installable and executable stably based on the Red Hat and Red Hat compatible Linux distributions such as RedHat 7.0/7.1, Mandrake Linux 7.0/8.0, SuSE Linux 7.0.
Libraries: same as libraries in the Red Hat and the compatible libraries
RPM: the latest 4.0.2 rpm version or previous rpm
/me hmmmz ... Redhat 7.0/7.1 and Mandrake 8.0 are using gcc-2.96 and this ABI is NOT compatible with gcc-2.95 or gcc-3.0. Problems ...
What happened to ftp.kde.org, I just can't get there it always asks for authorization and also I can't login as an anonymous user
Probably overloaded. Use mirrors.
Let me take an opportunity to try and answer all the questions at once, so this might be a rather long email.
1. it is "Rekall" and not "ReKall" :)
2. All theKompany products will continue to exist in the stand alone form.
3. We will continue to maintain Kivio in KOffice. Waldo Bastian and I had a nice chat around the end of LinuxWorld on the topic and I think he understands what we are doing.
4. Since Kivio is the only application currently in KOffice that is affected by this, it doesn't have any major impact.
5. We will statically link Qt3 to the application. We are doing this with DataArchitect currently, and with Kivio MP in our labs. Works great, barely adds any size and doesn't mess with your system.
6. I had about 3 days to come up with new names for theKompany products for the show, some I like, some I don't - consider them code names for now.
7. Hancom can call their application HancomWord because it is MicrosoftWord. This is a common way to avoid trademark problems in the US to put your company name in front of the application.
8. We had never decided to put Rekall into KOffice, and now that it will be Qt only it will never be in KOffice. If you think about it, there isn't really an advantage to embedding a database app inside a KWord document.
9. The current HancomOffice applications have been around for 10 years, they are very mature. Hancom has a very large number of programmers as well. HancomWord has run on Linux under Wine until now, the Qt port is almost complete and will be part of HancomOffice 2.0
10. theKompany holds the license on all of the applications we are using. In the case of Kivio and Quanta, these have gone through a total rewrite in any case to turn them into Qt specific apps.
11. Apparently Quanta development has been stalled for some time. I wasn't aware of this fact when the programmers asked us to take it on. I had been using them as contractors for work and they are great programmers, but I guess they had to make some money so couldn't work on Quanta. In any case we have hired them as employees now. I'm not sure if there will be a free version of Quanta, we've talked about it but just haven't had any time to figure it out yet.
12. Yes that is Kivio running on WinXP. Using Qt it is a very easy matter to make the application run on different platforms.
13. I really am impressed with the work that has gone into KOffice over the years, but you have to be realistic about it. There is only a couple of people working on it part time. KOffice is so far behind HancomOffice it will never catch up. That isn't to say that KOffice isn't what some people will want or need. KDE is interested in the desktop more than the office space, they want to see applications that people will use on the desktop. Our focus on Linux is always going to be advocates for KDE and making sure our Qt apps behave and interact properly under KDE. All of our materials at the LinuxWorld show talked about KDE on Linux.
14. I'm running HancomOffice on a 200Mhz machine at home. I'm not sure why the requirements are listed so large.
15. HancomOffice has an enormous amount of clipart, like 900 pieces, which contributes to its size. As stand alone applications they aren't that large.
16. The MS filters are Hancom intellectual property and are very unlikely to be given away. They do an *excellent* job of import *and* export of MS file formats. I was very impressed.
17. Kparts can't be used because of the cross platform nature, so we will sadly be building a lightweight in-process OLE type model on Qt3 to support embedding (sorry if I got some of that wrong, I don't code much anymore).
18. There is work to do on some of theKompany applications to get ready and now we have the needed resources to accelerate their work. We should hit our November release target.
19. Since we will be statically linked to Qt3 there aren't going to be any distribution specific problems.
Let me say in closing that the interest at LinuxWorld was nothing short of astounding. We had virtually every major player want to partner with us, people wanting to put it in their companies. I had to do 5 interviews while I was there after our press release. The booth was busy the entire time, really busy, which couldn't be said for a lot of the booths. We had people up to the final minutes. There is a tremendous amount of excitment over this. As you all know, I stay involved in these talkbacks and in emails. I'll be glad to answer questions if you have them.
Not everything can be free "as in beer" forever. If there is no money to be made in Linux, no one will be interested in developing software for it, outside of open-source enthusiasts...and let's face it, realistically how much work can one get done while working part-time on a project?
Simply put, there is not enough open-source programmers to fulfill ALL the needs of Linux, so there will be niches here and there where commercial companies can fill in.
The only issue in this matter that theKompany might hit is the status of Kivio (seems like the free Koffice version will still be maintained) and the demise of free Quanta might cause some bad publicity as well...but if the Hancom suite is really so good, well then let it be....plus someone can always take the last GPL-ed version of Quanta and fork it.
The bottom line is that it runs on both Mac, Linux and Windows. If it achieves some reasonable penetration on Windows, then moving people to Linux later on becomes much less of an issue, since they can keep their fav office suite.
So, I guess in the long run, things might even out..
Regardless of how things turn out, kudos to Shawn for pulling a real rabbit out of a hat.
I wanted to buy MS Office for my wife but at $450 Cdn I said "forget it" and got here the beta build of OpenOffice for her spreadsheet and she's quite happy with it. MS software is just so overpriced, that it has a real soft underbelly to it...hit it with a lower price and equal features and compatibility and this could have some success on Windows...with an obvious spillover for Linux as well...
i wish you all the best with your newfound home at Hancom, Shawn (and all the other theKompany devs, too)
i think that there currently is room for a quality commercial office suite in the linux market place. many require such a product for work, and are therefore willing to pay for it.
this marks the end of the "pat on the back" part of my message =) i do take issue with two statements you make in your 19 point posting, Shawn:
10. "In the case of Kivio and Quanta, these have gone through a total rewrite in any case to turn them into Qt specific apps."
For Kivio I really don't think it matters as all the work was obviously sponsered by theKompany, but I would be highly surprised if it was true that Quanta was completely rewritten from scratch. A derivitive work is a derivitive work, even if the result is a very different code base. This doesn't matter if everyone who contributed to Quanta was cool with the switch in license (or their code was removed and replaced, e.g. that part regressed to a CVS patch where their code didn't exist and new code written on that). The claim that it was totally rewritten seems a little .. dubious. even if it is fine because all the developers agreed to the licensing change, there is no reason to misrepresent, right?
13. "I really am impressed with the work that has gone into KOffice over the years, but you have to be realistic about it. There is only a couple of people working on it part time. KOffice is so far behind HancomOffice it will never catch up."
this may have been true before, but i've noticed a marked change in pace. the koffice email list used to be very quiet. progress was slow, but steady. these days there is a lot of development discussion and many more developers working on the various applications. the two that are getting the most attention are kword and kpresenter, and they show it. the graphics apps and kspread have recently gained attention as well.
be careful when you say an open source project "will never catch up". often times that is all they need for inspiration.
honestly, i think point #13 is wishful thinking. Hancom office will have a window in which it will be better, but that window will not exist forever since the end goal is a well known set of features, not a quickly moving target. Unless, of course, Hancom starts inventing completely new office suite technologies.
WRT to Quanta. It is being rewritten, and the two developers are on our staff and are the full license holders.
I'm on the koffice devel lists too, and there is work going on, this is true, but when you are doing something in your spare time, it is usually done in fits and starts for as long as it interests you. I don't want to bad mouth KOffice, because I have nothing bad to say, but I have watched this over the last couple of years and the cycles are pretty easy to predict now.
If you think that KOffice will never catch up, then why so much work is going behind KOffice? If KOffice can't catch up Hancom office, then how can it catch up MSOffice ever? Why anyone will ever switch to KOffice? If KOffice can't get ground then what is the point on developing it further or goal of KOfice is to just provide a alternate inferior office suites? It's better to be involved in a propritary project like hancomoffice than doing hardwork in vain.
I don't think it is because any one wants a free office suite. There are already free office suites more mature than KOffice.
I didn't really express myself well on this point. I've been swamped since the show and I've done my best to keep up on these talkbacks, but I haven't always had the time to articulate things properly.
KOffice is an impressive piece of work for what it is. The sad truth is that there are just hardly any programmers working on it at the moment, and I don't know if that is likely to change any time soon. When you are working on a project in your spare time because you find it fun or interesting, you will probably stop working on it when it ceases to be fun or interesting so work proceeds in fits and starts. Given this kind of development model it would be very hard for KOffice to reach the same level of functionality as any commercial suite. The upside however is that it isn't likely to end up with a lot of bloat and meaningless features to try and justify upgrades.
I say these things with all respect and support for KDE and KOffice, and it is very likely that the feature set in KOffice currently will satisfy a good number of users, but not likely to satisfy power users at this stage (you wouldn't believe the things I've seen people do with a spreadsheet).
Hopefully that is a better explanation
the past is only an indicator of the future when conditions are similar. in its early days koffice had the extreme disadvantage of working against a fluctuating, unstable set of libraries whose user base was small. side effects of this included fewer developers available, more work required just to keep up with the libraries, core KDE developers were concentrating on the core (surprise) ... and i'm sure there are others. look what happens when even just one of the core developers jumps on an application in the case of David Faure and KWord.
don't bank on KOffice not making it out of the shoots as a serious suite; instead i would plan on competing with them on the KDE desktop, much as Hancom will with Open/Star Office. though that one is even trickier IMO: more mature, corporate backing, multiplatform, existing user base.
hrm, here's a question for you Shawn: assuming Open/Star Office manages to trim their binary size down to not be a huge whale of a suite, what would you site as the advantages of Hancom vs Star Office?
Easy to predict, hum? Well, people like you predicted that since Linux was developed in people's spare time it wouldn't go far and now look at it... Same goes for the KDE project.
It's funny how after you "contributed" to KOffice you now say "let's be realistic". What makes you think that Hancom can beat it? That it can beat Microsoft?
If you think it's the simple fact it's not free software than you should forget about it. Much larger and more complex software (go write a kernel, a C library and a C compiler) than an office suite has been developed and so will KOffice.
In the meantime the community can use OpenOffice.
I agree, but I'll use Koffice instead, I tried it an I love it. I don't think enough people used it until now to allow for the very fast bug fixing/development that goes on in KDE.
I can't believe it was only 9Mb...
Will you permit improvements into Kivio in KDE CVS that makes the GPL version somehow better than the commercial version by adding some new stencils or functions?
We can't really control that can we. Other people have already added some stencils, well one anyway.
>I really am impressed with the work that has gone into KOffice over the years, but you have to be realistic about it. There is only a couple of people working on it part time. KOffice is so far behind HancomOffice it will never catch up.<
Some contradictions here Shawn. How can you be "impressed with the work gone into KOffice over the years" and then, at the same time say "it will never catch up". You know that KOffice have make tremendous progress in last 8 moths (se here: 8 months) since David Faure came to KOffice project and helped other KOffice developers. Kword, for example, was totally unusable when it was released with KDE 2.0.
At the other hand, HancomOffice has been around for about 10 years (see here: 10 years) and how come that it has never been accepted as an reliable office-suite. Something is rotten here.
If it is true that HancomWord runs through Wine I can just imagine why it has never been widely accepted by Linux users. I doubt it also that it will ever be accepted on windows platform because there are some free office-suites which are totally free there: StarOffice and 602-Office suite. BTW, 602-Office suite is very small and very good.
It sounds a little bit arrogant when you say that KOffice will never catch up. We'll see.
>KDE is interested in the desktop more than the office space, they want to see applications that people will use on the desktop.<
KDE is desktop environment which is IMHO more than pure desktop. Otherwise KDE would ship without Konqueror, Kmail, Knode & other network apps, Games, Multimedia (Music Graphics & Video), KOffice, Utilities etc. etc. What are they if not applications?
So, I don't see that KDE is only "interested in desktop".
What you don't know or realize is that HancomWord is enormously popular in Asia and has been for a long time, but it was always a Windows application. Hancom made the decision a year or two ago to go to Linux and the word processor was the last piece to move away from Windows. Hancom has never made any serious attempt to penetrate outside of Asia until now, the Korean, Japanese and Chinese markets are very large. They only made an office suite of it 1 year ago, and it has been selling very well with large contracts signed in all of the above mentioned countries.
I can be impressed with KOffice and respect the work that went in to it and still be honost enough to realize it doesn't have the resources to really go hard core forward. It will continue to slowly evolve and will certainly be adequate for many uses.
KDE is primarily interested in having the desktop complete and then getting applications on there. The goal is to have people using KDE. No one gets KDE so they can use Kmail for example.
> No one gets KDE so they can use Kmail for example.
you are quite wrong on that one. i know many people who do not run the KDE desktop but run the KDE applications. as a great example, a good friend and developer buddy of mine runs blackbox but keeps up with KDE CVS specifically for 3 applications: konsole, kmail and konqueror. he doesn't care for nor use the rest of the software in kdebase.
I can confirm this. A LOT of users here in Estonia are using KMail, Konqueror and sometimes Koffice apps and Konsole. Mostly they are using Windowmaker or Blackbox as windowmanager.
you guys are missing the point that I made, but that's fine.
I thihk Shawn's point was misunderstood...
The point is simple - no one installs KDE just to run for example Konsole, or kate, or kvim.
I'm not making it up - go see people complain why when they want to run Konqueror - it loads the memory with all the services - it is because Konqueror needs every one of them - so it loads them - and people complain about it..
Lets be realistic on a specific part - if you use Konqueror, konsole and kmail, then there is no point of running Window Maker or gnome as your primary Window management - does it?
Yes, you are wrong. Couple of my friends do just that. They download KDE so they can use konqueror and kmail. Actually, for one of them Kmail was THE reason to leave Windows.
They prefer iceWM as window manager and they are not ready to give it up just because they like some KDE programs. They also don't feel the need for other things like kicker.
I don't know what Shawn's point was, but I know what mine is. You have all kinds of people who use software for all kinds of things in all kinds of ways. We might guess what majority of them likes, but we certainly can't say what no one does.
You are right about it - but I was talking about the majority ones..
Back at my previous job 2 years ago - I wish I had a program like Konsole under windows...
see name & subject
I actually DID get KDE just for Kmail - the vanilla MUAs for Gnome were a pain to set up for POP access. The fact that other nifty stuff also comes with KDE was a happy coincidence.
Ahhh, thank you Shawn. Very informative as always.
> Let me say in closing that the interest at LinuxWorld was nothing short of astounding.
> We had virtually every major player want to partner with us, people wanting to put it
> in their companies. [...] There is a tremendous amount of excitment over this.
Congrats! Sounds like you made a very wise business decision! Good luck; I can tell that theKompany is really going places :-)
While I can see all the applications are generally owned by you all, the Email client comes into question. This was a spin off of Magellan code, and while I have to admit there is very little of it that looks or acts the same now, it was still based on this code. Therefore, while you could GPL the code, the original copyright owner is still the originator of Magellan code, so can you now relicense it under a closed source license?
Yes I do understand that the original Magellan code was BSD, however once you moved from BSD to GPL you lost the right to simply say we can just relicense to our hearts content. For all the other stuff I wish you all well, but this one thing has me wondering. It is a dangerous road you are on with the email client, as there was already some infighting between your team in the original author.
Beyond that, I hope you all define the status of Quanta fairly soon, I am actually considering doing some work with it going forward but want to know if it makes sense to work with the current stuff or to just spin it off to play with until I know what will happen. I feel strongly that KDE needs a free HTML editor as part of its bag of tricks.
Good luck, and the screen shots look good, I will definitely be watching for this to go live (oh and I am still waiting on some features for your financial software before I purchase).
As the GPL license holder we can dual license or change the license as much as we want, but we can't take back what is out there. There is very little of the original Magellan code left in Aethera at this stage, it probably would have been easier to start from scratch. In any case we haven't decided to change the license of Aethera/Quicksilver at this point anyway.
Thank you for responding. I was wondering what the whole Hancom thing was when I saw it at Linuxworld. Is there a feature list of the office suite anywhere? I saw the one on the Hancom website, but it just had a few highlights. Also, it may help to have a comparison between Hancom office and the other office suites available for Linux. This would really help people know what the advantages are versus the collective Linux community rolling its eyes about yet another office suite.
Let me add some words to this.
First of all I would like to congratulate Hancom and theKompany with their product line-up. It looks very impressive.
As far as the relation between KDE and Hancom/theKompany goes I guess it is important for people to understand that KDE is basically three things:
1) A desktop runtime environment (kdesktop, kwin, kicker, ksmserver)
2) A development platform (qt/kdelibs)
3) Appplications (konqueror, kmail, kdevelop, koffice, etc...)
I expect to see an increase in the near future of commercial companies like Hancom and theKompany who will support KDE when it comes to point 1) and possibly 2) but who will compete on point 3) because selling commercial applications is their business with which they want to make a living.
If you look e.g. at Linux word processors you will see koffice, star/openoffice, abiword, Hancom Word and WordPerfect. That's the kind of competition that a healthy market needs and that is so much missing on the MSWindows platform.
For KDE I can see three major points that we should work on:
*) Advocate KDE as the desktop solution of the future.
*) Make it attractive for commercial software vendors to use the KDE development framework, not only Qt, but kdelibs as well.
*) Keep commercial companies on the tip of their toes by making free applications that kick ass.
Commercial software companies might not like that last point and some of us might not like to see commercial applications competing with our own brain-childs, but instead of wasting time on the differences in interests, we are better of focussing on the things we have in common and work together in those areas.
Just like we can work together on konqueror with some of us preferring vi and some others emacs, with some of us working for SuSE and some others for Mandrake, we can also work together on kivio with some of us preferring KWord and others Hancom Word.
Everyone has its own reasons for working on KDE, it are the things that we have in common that have made KDE successfull.
Well said, Waldo...way to go, Shawn!!
8) As I recall you said that there would be a cut down GPL version of Rekall in KOfiice, is this canceled as well?
16)If the filters are as good as you say then you may be going somewhere :-). Should i be right to expect that since their apps have been very popular in asia that international language support (Greek in my case :-) ) will be excelent too?
17) How about a wrapper (in the linux version)0arts/Bonobo, so that your suite could communicate with everything?. Some standards would be nice you know...
I wish you good luck, since you already helped KDE an Linux a lot.
8. We had been trying to think of a way to put Rekall in KOffice, but had never really solved the problems before deciding to make it Qt based, so as a pure Qt application it doesn't make sense in KOffice anymore.
17. Hadn't thought about greek yet, but there shouldn't be any reason why we can't support it. Does it have any odd requirements like BiDi or anything? I would be interested in support it.
After reading your explanations I haven't really understood what you are exactly planning with Rekall...
You said there will be a "stand alone" version.
Will it, to use the terms of your website, remain a "project" or will it become a "product"? In other words: do we have to pay for the final version?
(who thinks your decision is a good one for your company *and* the Linux World)
The plan for Rekall was always to have a commercial product at the end of the day.
OK, then I got something wrong.
I thought your plan was to provide a base version of Rekall for free, while selling commercial plugins for it (I thought I read this somewhere before I started using it).
But of course you are free to change your strategies. I just wanted to be enlightened, for I'm using Rekall beta for my PhD and therefore want to know if I can count on it in the future.
The idea was to have a free basic version that didn't include nested forms or reports, something like that. And then sell the 'pro' version for about $80 USD. That might well still be the case, we just have been focused on finishing the app first.
That's what I meant.
I am very pleased to hear that you still think about it.
I think it's a good way to get a widespread userbase (and helpful feedback).
And believe me, I am the least who wouldn't pay $80 for a good, stable product (after having the chance to try it out) ;-)
Will it be possible to buy HanComPainter only?
It looks nice.
we haven't really discussed it, but I've always thought that making each piece available stand alone would be a good idea.
Good, then my personal needs will probably be satisfied with KOffice, complemented with a basic Rekall and HanComPainter.
One question missed ;)
Will the Hancom file formats be documented and open to use? Will HancomOffice be friendly and have import/export filters for open source application (KWord, KSpread, AbiWord, gnumeric, etc.. )?
actually this topic hasn't come up yet so I don't have an answer for you.
Not "KDE is coming to Main Street", but QT is. And I don't think any KDE fan should like that. Not that QT is bad, of course it's great and all. But it's not a KDE product these guys are planning. Why don't they use all those wonderfull features KDE adds to QT (such as KPrinter etc.)??
I think QT going mainstream is better for KDE in the long run. Why?
Well, As windows developers start coding with QT, when/if apps like Hancom Office become more popular, they'll realize that porting to linux/mac is easy, thus bringing more developers into the fold:
Making QT a popular choice can do nothing but help KDE. Hell, most open source developers are either dedicated to coding for either KDE or GNOME, or something else. Windows programmers learning QT will be able to transition easily to KDE, and that's important, because there are still TONS of Windows guys out there than can benefit by having their code work on ALL platforms. I can't tell you how many windows apps that I use in windows are still "working on linux versions", with QT, it's relatively easy to write (almost)once, run (almost)anywhere.
As great a work as the KDE guys have been doing so far with the core desktop, getting the thousands of Windows programmers out there to develop in QT will only help us where we need it most, end user desktop application development for linux/bsd/whatever. I can't tell you how many programmers that I run into dont even KNOW that such a powerful cross-platform toolkit exists, I have to prove it to them! This is a market where the Trolls need to be pushing! QT for everyone, that's what I say! :)
Good luck theKompany!
Maybe "the Qompany" is a better name :-)
It is hard this times to get money. Venture capital is over now.
I think Ximian and VA Linux are trying to make money from Open Source. I readed carefully the ESR letter about Source Forge Enterprise Edition and I agree with his point of view.
Some people are willing to pay a check in order to have the right to blasfem when things go wrong, even when they arent getting real support (Microsoft fixing bugs? He).
Heh. Isn't Shawn Gordon a bit like Q? He keeps popping up everywhere... :)
I didn't switch to GNU/Linux and KDE merely to see organisations like the Kompany transform it into a propriatory Microsoft Lite environment. For some, including me, the move was more philosophically driven than practically. As such, I have to say that I see the Kompany more as a kind of leech, particularly in the latest announcement, than a userful contributor to everything behind the spirits of the projects they supposedly emerged as supporting.
I wish KOffice the best of luck, because our and our children's intellectual freedom is only assured through a freely developed infrastructure upon which it may be expressed.