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KDE GUI Software Linux

KDE Readies KOffice 2.0 As OpenOffice Competitor 337

Posted by kdawson
from the another-country-heard-from dept.
Da Massive writes in with a link to a story on KOffice 2.0, the next generation of the KDE office suite due sometime next year. In an interview with KDE spokesman Sebastian Kugler, Computerworld reports that KOffice 2.0 will be leaner, faster, and enjoy a cleaner code base than OpenOffice. It will also feature more applications, including an Access-like database creator, a flowcharter, and an image manipulation tool. KOffice is not yet fully compatible with ODF but the claim is that 2.0 will be.
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KDE Readies KOffice 2.0 As OpenOffice Competitor

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  • KOffice 2.0 is FAST! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @08:03PM (#20919501)
    The main benefit KOffice 2.0 brings is that it's sleek and fast. Unlike OpenOffice.org, KOffice has a very sensible architecture. Now, part of that is because KOffice is a far newer application. It builds directly on top of Qt, rather than implementing its own UI layer (like OpenOffice.org does). It also has a far more sensible component model, that suffers from only a small fraction of the bloat of the OO.o model.

    While OpenOffice.org may have a larger feature set at this point, it just won't be able to compete with KOffice when it comes to being responsive and memory-efficient. Having built the KOffice source code from SVN just last week, I can tell you that you'll notice the difference immediately. OpenOffice.org just feels really damn sluggish, while KOffice is quick.
    • by Taxman415a (863020) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @08:50PM (#20919983) Homepage Journal
      You're not kidding. This article made me think to go install v 1.6. On a 1.8 Ghz processor running Gnome, Kword for ex opens extremely quickly and opens files quickly as well. This gives me hope that the rest of the codebase is that lean and clean and that it can eventually outdo oo.org. Hopefully it can start to hit critical mass to achieve greater developer mindshare. It's already got oo.org beat in code quality it seems, so hopefully soon in features.

      I can certainly say the formula editor is miles ahead of oo.org's in terms of ease of use. I get a font error right away though in starting the formula editor, so I guess I'm off to file a bug report.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aladrin (926209)
      I installed it when I learned of Krita because I wanted to try it out. I had some issues with opening a file (forget what kind now) and tried KOffice and was very surprised to learn it not only opened it, but did it fast.

      It has been my office app of choice since then.
    • by BRSloth (578824) * <julio@juliobiaso ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @09:10PM (#20920153) Homepage Journal
      As long as you run KDE, I guess. Otherwise, it will take a much longer startup just to put every single daemon KDE uses and load all other libraries.

      In the end, I guess it is fast for KDE users; people using other desktop environments will see no difference.

      [Just guessing here, from my experience with older KOffice parts running inside GNOME. Yes, they run and will still run.]
    • by theguyfromsaturn (802938) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @09:31PM (#20920331)
      And KOffice can open PDFs for editing. Awesome. Sure, the layout rendering is not always exact, but it does a tremendous job of converting the PDF to paragraphs, with the occasional embedded images. Scribus is also nice to import PostScript (why not PDFs?...) and respect the layout, but the text is usually broken down into individual characters. KWord does a great job with it. All in all, they each do their own job. It has allowed me to save some documents whose original editable copies got lost somehow... and for which I only had the PDF left. It's not as good as OOo at opening MS Office documents though, and the equations from ODF files aren't imported yet, but it's awesoooome.
      • by arth1 (260657)

        It's not as good as OOo at opening MS Office documents though

        This might be the biggest block, cause you usually can't demand that everyone sends you documents in other formats -- they will use Word, Excel and Powerpoint, (and have Outlook convert pictures to multi-megabyte BMP files too, for that matter).
      • And KOffice can open PDFs for editing. Awesome. Sure, the layout rendering is not always exact, but it does a tremendous job of converting the PDF to paragraphs, with the occasional embedded images.

        It would be nice would to have completely clean PDF to ODF conversion, preferable integrated with KOffice and OO.org of course, but even stand-alone version would be useful. Is ODF theoretically capable of exactly representing a PDF? Both specs are open, so there shouldn't be the undocumented proprietary fo

        • by bdubSOv1iKIJ403M (712039) <bizwrf7s.verizon@net> on Wednesday October 10, 2007 @03:10AM (#20923323) Journal
          Converting a PDF document into an editable form is like taking a screenshot of slashdot and trying to reconstruct what the HTML and CSS was.

          Postscript, the precurser to PDF, is basically a layout system; draw a string here, draw a string there, etc. It is very good at preserving layout. However, some information is lost. Consider an embedded table, for instance. In the original document, a table might be defined with

          -table
              -row
                  -Firstname
                  -Lastname
                -row
                    Jack
                    Bauer
                -row
                    Anonymous
                    Coward
          -endtable

          Once converted to pdf, it might be represented by

          Drawline(200,200,400,200)
          Drawline(200,300,400,300)
          Drawline(200,400,400,400)
          Drawline(200,500,400,500)

          Drawline(200,200,200,400)
          Drawline(300,200,300,400)
          Drawline(400,200,400,400)

          PaintString("Firstname", 200,400)
          PaintString("Lastname", 300,400)
          PaintString("Jack", 200, 300)
          PaintString("Bauer", 300, 300)
          PaintString("Anonymous", 200, 200)
          PaintString("Coward", 300, 200)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        $pdf2ps document.pdf

        (Part of ghostscript.)
    • by sumdumass (711423)
      Now if I could just get Koffice to work in windows....

      I like the Idea of lean and fast. Actually, I love it, both MS-office and open office are hogs of sorts. But I need to cross platforms more often then I would like. It does me little good to get used to something if I can't use it and take it with me so to speak.
    • by timeOday (582209)
      I think OpenOffice is the only program I've ever considered abandoning ONLY because it runs so slowly. On a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo I can watch each individual icon redraw (not a good thing). It goes well beyond typical bloat, it must be something with the widget set or how they are using it. Maybe it makes heavy use of some instruction that's horribly slow on my particular video card, I don't know. But for me, the performance of OpenOffice leaves a big gap open for KOffice.
  • by jpfed (1095443) <jerry.federspielNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @08:03PM (#20919507)

    Computerworld reports that KOffice 2.0 will be leaner, faster, and enjoy a cleaner code base than OpenOffice.
    I'm glad they're setting the bar high for themselves.
  • If it doesn't work in Windows, it will only see a fraction of the OO.o market.
    The point of the open source movement was to ensure people have a choice. make software better and open and hopefully that will make it common. If Koffice can do better than Openoffice then they'll have the attention of at least the /.ers here :)
    • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @08:09PM (#20919591) Homepage Journal

      The point of the open source movement was to ensure people have a choice.
      False.

      The point of the "open source" movement is to improve the way software is developed by opening it up and distributing it.

      The point of the "free software" movement is to ensure that software is freely redistributable, and modifiable by the users of the software.

      As for this "choice" thing you're talking about. That's the function of the market isn't it? Wouldn't just proprietary software give people "choice"?

      • Uh...he's right (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tjstork (137384)
        As for this "choice" thing you're talking about. That's the function of the market isn't it? Wouldn't just proprietary software give people "choice"?

        If open source didn't give people more choices, would there really be any point to it?
    • Choice between two or three broken apps is not as important as having at least one very good app that works well.

      Multi-platform is vital for helping a transition off MS and onto Linux or whatever. I use OO to edit docs and it just does not matter to me whether I use Windows or Linux. In essence all I care about is that it is an OO-capable machine.

  • by siddesu (698447) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @08:06PM (#20919563)
    i tried 1.6 some time ago -- mostly because i needed something access-like on Linux. the database app on the surface looks a lot better than the horror the ooo thingy, except that it didn't work with pre-existing sql databases. one has to create a database from scratch, and there wasn't an easy (UI) way to even hookup an existing database after one creates a custom one. since my needs were really simple, i gave up, and instead used knoda (http://www.knoda.org/) which is similar, and works nicely for the kind of thing I needed.

    the rest of the office implemenation seemed to almost work. of course, it wasn't completely compatible with OO, but i liked the interface better and would have used it if it had a useful PDF output. However the PDF i got out of it was really jagged (the letters jumping up and down around the line), and the opinion on the mailing list was at the time 'it isn't our problem', so I switched back to OO in the end.

    I hope 2.0 delivers. I'll give it a try anyway :)
    • by vandan (151516) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @08:57PM (#20920039) Homepage
      I've been working on my own Access-killer for a couple of years now. It's a suite of open-source, cross-platform Perl libraries, using Gtk2 for the GUI. The old website ( complete ) is at: http://entropy.homelinux.org/axis/ [homelinux.org]. I'm right now working on a revamped website ( incomplete, but with up-to-date download links and new screenshots ) is at: http://entropy.homelinux.org/axis_new/ [homelinux.org].

      There are 3 main components: a form object, a datasheet object, and a reporting module ( which exports to PDF via PDF::API2 ). I'm also working on a GUI object builder that exports XML for all 3 objects. Click on the 'future' link to see some screenshots of it in action. Note that I'm also looking for developers to help out, and maybe create a commercial project out of it ( I'm as-yet undecided whether to do this or not ).

      I've had a number of large, complex production systems built on these libraries in use for about 2 years now. Please try it out, comment, report bugs, help out ... :)
      • by siddesu (698447)
        yay perl. if it has DBIx::Class support (or one can be rigged easily) i'm sold. i'll look it over the weekend, thanks for the plug :-D
        • by vandan (151516)
          It doesn't current have DBIx::Class support ( as I've never used DBIx::Class ), but I'm open to using it as long as it doesn't break backwards compatibility. I'll investigate.
          • while i was mostly kidding, DBIx::Class is a neat ORM framework. you may want to take a look at how it is integrated into the Catalyst framework -- it is quite a pleasure to use the combination.
      • by Steauengeglase (512315) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @11:03PM (#20921395)
        "I've been working on my own Access-killer for a couple of years now."

        I think you are a little late to the party. Didn't Access commit suicide like 5 years ago?
        • by vandan (151516)

          Didn't Access commit suicide like 5 years ago?
          :)

          Actually, it was basically abandoned after Access 2.0. What's been added since then ( apart from Product Activation )?.
      • by caseih (160668)
        Excellent news. I wonder how hard it would be to write, say, FreeBASIC wrappers for the perl API. Most people coming from Access are not going to be very experienced with or keen on perl, but they are familiar with VBA, and FreeBASIC would be at least remotely familiar to them. I use python almost exclusively myself and would love to have libraries like yours for developing rapid database GUI apps. I remember a while back a Qt-based app that used python for RAD database development. It was commercial I
        • by vandan (151516)

          I wonder how hard it would be to write, say, FreeBASIC wrappers for the perl API. Most people coming from Access are not going to be very experienced with or keen on perl, but they are familiar with VBA, and FreeBASIC would be at least remotely familiar to them.

          Well ... um ... you can't mix Perl and FreeBASIC, as far as I know. Nor do I really want to, and I'm certainly not rewriting the whole thing in Basic ... certainly not ...

          You're correct that a lot of Access users want to continue using some form

      • by PCM2 (4486)

        I've been working on my own Access-killer for a couple of years now. It's a suite of open-source, cross-platform Perl libraries, using Gtk2 for the GUI.


        Hmmmm. Let's see ... implement my system in Access... or implement it in Perl. Implement it in Access ... or implement it in Perl. Access. Or Perl. Access. Perl. Damn, I'm going to need a couple beers to figure this one out.

  • I'm a Gnome user (after road-testing KDE for a good six months), but I've been infected with the hype about KDE 4, and in particular, Koffice. If it's really as good as they say, there's a good chance I'll switch over. My job uses Macs, and I've found NeoOffice too unstable to use (four crashes in two hours). Supposedly, there will be a Mac OS X-native version of Koffice, which would fit the bill to replace friggin' MS Office.

    My fallback -- and I'd just like to take this opportunity to veer off-topic, here -- is to put Ubuntu on a used CPU and run LTSP, with the Macs as thick clients. One way or another, I can't stand to see my office sink any more money into proprietary software.
    • Just run KOffice under Gnome. It's not like either the KDE nor Gnome libraries are particularly large or anything by today's standards; the resource requirements of a large app (or just the Java vm) is totally dominant by comparison.

      That said, for wp I much prefer Abiword; it's not nearly as full-featured, of course, but apart from the lack of real handling of Japanese fonts and input (it works but is a hassle since you need to switch to a capable font manually) it does everything I ever use. Gnumeric is th
    • What a lot of people miss is that you can run the kde apps on gnome and vice versa. You can run Koffice without changing anything else. Both gnome and KDE have good and bad points. I have a few people stuck on base RHEL3 at the insistance of the vendor of a commercial app that needs a lot of support and with that release gnome is very unstable so those users are on KDE. More recent versions of gnome are a lot better and people run a variety of kde applications on their gnome desktops.
      • by greenguy (162630)
        I haven't missed that (JanneM, take note). I've done it... I just wasn't that impressed with KOffice as it is currently. It isn't bad, it just isn't better than OOo, and it doesn't yet support ODF. That's why I have high hopes for 2.0, because I'd love to have a cross-platform suite that supports ODF.

        Heck, I hardly use an office suite at all. I spend most of my time in Firefox, Scribus, and Inkscape. My officemates, on the other hand, use Word and/or Excel all day, every day. It's really them I need to conv
  • There's still no "print selection" option in the printer gui interface. This leads me to believe that there will be more of the same gotchas littered all over koffice. Noble effort though. Keep up the good work.

    And while you are at it, please work on the print selection thingy sometime eh?
  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @08:13PM (#20919635)
    Why is it that Kontact does not have KOffice integration and Kerberos support. Kontact+eGroupware would be an Exchange Killer IF Kontact and eGroupware supported Kerberos so that I don't have to setup kwallet with Domain login and passwords for remote Calendars/Tasks/Address Book with XML-RPC.

    Why no love of Kerberos!
  • Native Mac Version (Score:4, Informative)

    by javacowboy (222023) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @08:39PM (#20919883)
    KOffice 2.0 will run natively on OS X:

    http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/01/02/1930232 [slashdot.org]

    This will benefit Mac users tremendously, as NeoOffice is too bloated (although making good progress at getting more efficient) and the native version of OpenOffice is probably several months away at best.

    There is no lean, simple free and/or open source spreadsheet app for Mac yet. When KOffice 2.0 comes out, cheap Mac users (like me) will have more choice. When MS Office 2007 comes out for Mac in January 2008 (sorry, had to poke fun at Microsoft :D ), and iWork 2008 out starting last month, Mac users willing to pay for a good office suite will have even more choice.

    This will also benefit the KDE team, as their installed based will expand by one (and possibly two) OS's, giving them more bug reports and feature requests.

    Everybody wins!
  • by tjstork (137384) <todd,bandrowsky&gmail,com> on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @09:19PM (#20920219) Homepage Journal
    In 2009, I will ship my office suite, Stork Office. It will be fully open source, be even leaner than koffice, and not have the stupid Access-like tools. Then, if KDE isn't finished their 4.0 desktop, and fix the register view in KDevelop, I may just write my own GUI and IDE to go with it, for release in 2009. Oh, and I'll have Duke Nukem Forever as a game that ships with my system!
  • by C3ntaur (642283) <centaur@netPASCA ... t minus language> on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @11:01PM (#20921365) Journal
    I don't care what bells and whistles are added, what shiny new GUI paint is applied, how much faster the app runs, etc, etc, etc. Office 2007 is on the street, and we are going to be hit with a barrage of OOXML files that can't be opened by anybody who's not running Microsoft. Any contender in this space needs to address this problem, and right now.
  • This is what standards are all about, [N] groups using 1 standard makes for *competition* may the best ideas win!!
  • I would use more KDE applications if they didn't insist on starting up half the KDE desktop environment, starting up slowly, and printing all that crap. I don't want "kio" or "ksycoca" or whatever running in the background just because I'm editing a text file. And often,

    Why the hell can't KDE (and Gnome, for that matter) do this stuff in-process?

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