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KDE GUI Upgrades

KOffice 2.0.0 Now Open For Firefox-Like Extensions 165

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-got-yer-extension-right-here dept.
jakeb writes "After a massive three-year development effort KOffice 2.0.0 has been released (packages for Kubuntu are available) aiming to be a lightweight, cross-platform office suite that supports third-party apps and extensions. With its new design (everything, including the core components, is a module) and bindings, you don't need to know C++ to hack on KOffice, as extensions can be written in Python or Java, among others. TechWorld has an interview with KOffice marketing coordinator Inge Wallin about the vision for an easy-to-use office suite that supports click-to-install extensions like Firefox. Will this be the key to KOffice rising above all other free office suites? The KOffice devs think so. An online repository of extensions, templates, and content for KOffice? I like the sound of that."
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KOffice 2.0.0 Now Open For Firefox-Like Extensions

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  • Asking for a Mile (Score:2, Insightful)

    by scorp1us (235526)

    What, no windows packages??

    Or is this available via the KDE for Windows installer?

    Congrats to the KOffice team! I refuse t use OO (too much Java) so I'll finally have a decent free office suite!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      I refuse t use OO (too much Java)

      You can use OO.o just fine without any JRE. The very few parts that are written in Java are features most people don't need. You're must either be a troll or stupid since OO.o is a C++ application.

      • I would think he is either a troll or stupid because he makes decisions about software not based on suitability but on whether or not they contain some arbitrary computer language.
        • That is true especially since the small amount of Java isn't necessary for any of the core functionality of the office suite since all that is written in C++. My post was mostly because people still try to claim after so many years that OO.o is a Java app or it's slow because of Java when the fact of the matter is the slowness and bloat is due to poorly written C++ code.
        • by Tom9729 (1134127)

          It's more likely that his gripe is with the runtime than with the language.

          • That may well be true. Please allow me to rephrase my original comment.

            "I would think he is either a troll or stupid because he makes decisions about software not based on suitability but on whether or not they contain some arbitrary computer runtime."
            • by Tom9729 (1134127)

              I'm not making any claims about OOo, but most applications that use the Java runtime seem to eat up a lot of memory. Whether this is because they are poorly written or because the Java virtual machine itself is just bloated I do not know. Just saying that I think it's a perfectly valid complaint.

        • I would think he is either a troll or stupid because he makes decisions about software not based on suitability but on whether or not they contain some arbitrary computer language.

          It does help startup time quite a bit (well, it did for me) to disable Java though. I haven't noticed anything missing. Normally I agree with the language thing, but the JVM is so horrible that I, too, actively avoid anything written in Java. Does anyone know what it is doing during startup? Or why it cannot just use the system's memory allocation system, instead of allocating huge blocks?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ingwa (958475)
      The KOffice developers don't package KOffice binaries. That's done by either the distros in the Linux case or the KDE-on-Windows team for Windows. I'm sure they will package KOffice 2.0.0 soon.

      Then, on the other hand, it may take some time because the KDE windows installer is not 100% ready yet. We'll see.

  • by Thornburg (264444) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @10:08AM (#28123199)

    Don't bother saying anything about KOffice or any other Office product becoming popular until it can be installed on Windows with a setup.exe or an MSI.

    Most of us here love Linux and/or BSD, but no office suite is going anywhere without a fully functional, easy to use Windows version.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Thornburg (264444)

      Replying to myself as I went searching after noticing that article claims that the KDE team has a windows installer that includes KOffice. It would be nice if the KOffice site mentioned this.

      Even on the KDE site, it looks like they are pretty far from making this into something that's truly cross-platform. All Windows versions are considered "unstable" and very little work is being done on a Mac version.

      Good luck to them in their efforts.

      If they really want to take off, they NEED to focus on a good workin

      • by zander (2684)

        Thornnburg wrote;It would be nice if the KOffice site mentioned this.

        Maybe you missed this in your quick reading of the linked article;
        It is possible that the release of binaries for Windows and Macintosh will occur after some time if other packages that KOffice depend on need more time.

      • by scorp1us (235526) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @10:30AM (#28123489) Journal

        Sorry to disturb the conversation you're having with yourself. But the Windows stuff is pretty good. There is a special windows installer utility that is like a package manager. The Windows stuff can't be 100% because of things like DBUS are lacking, but there may have been some work done to make it close to work. But it's all based on Qt which does a very good job of maintaining compatibility. It's going to be those platform-specifics that get you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Kjella (173770)

        Everything that relies on Qt4 as the underlying library should work just as well on Windows as on Linux. But over time a lot of Linux-isms have gotten into KDE that they need to get out before it'll be equal on Windows, Mac and Linux. Also you have to use the platform-changing button boxes consistantly to get Win/Mac/Linux button layouts etc. so it's close but not completely there.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by PiSkyHi (1049584)
          My experience with cross platform dev so far between KDE and Windows, is that the functionality of widgets works well, but you have a lot more flexibility with KDE to change the look and feel. Its a great solution really, I can make something on my enjoyable-to-use Linux box and then spend as little time as possible getting something to work on Windows for those who don't know what dev is short for.
      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        Easy joke : Windows users are used to unstable softwares
        Serious version : think about it a second
    • by Risen888 (306092)

      Yawn. I'm not interested in whether or not KOffice is now or ever becomes popular. I'd rather it be good.

  • by xtracto (837672) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @10:09AM (#28123209) Journal

    From TFA:

    Our goal for now is to release a first preview of what we have accomplished. This release is mainly aimed at developers, testers and early adopters. It is not aimed at end users, and we do not recommend Linux distributions to package it as the default office suite yet.

    Why don't they release this version as KOffice 2.0 BETA? Funny that they put the 0.0 number to kind of "inform" that it is the very very first version...

    It seems to me that it is official, Open Source .0 versions = beta

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @10:15AM (#28123303)

      It seems to me that it is official, Open Source .0 versions = beta

      It varies from project to project. KDE/Qt and GNOME/Gtk tend to use .0.0 to designate the initial release following a major break in compatibility (in the case of the aforementioned projects, this refers to API/ABI compatibility). Generally, the larger the breakage, the rougher the .0.0 release will be. The x.0.0 means "Ok, from now on, we'll maintain compatibility until x+1.0.0" and carries little information with regard to actual quality.

      With other projects - Firefox for example - the major version seems to get bumped pretty often and I'm not really sure what the criteria are, but generally with Firefox one can assume that x.0.0 will be "better" than x-1.a.b.

    • by zander (2684)
      Not sure where you got the impression that a .0 version is a final "please use this for your mission critical work". That has never been true and nobody every claimed it to be the case. Remember Windows 3.0 ? I don't. I do remember 3.1

      Anyway; this is a *platform* release. Distro's, integrators and developers can now get this and use it. There will be users that like it, but TFA is being brutally honest that its not for end users.
      I don't understand why you seem to be upset.

      • by Thornburg (264444) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @10:27AM (#28123449)

        Not sure where you got the impression that a .0 version is a final "please use this for your mission critical work". That has never been true and nobody every claimed it to be the case. Remember Windows 3.0 ? I don't. I do remember 3.1

        Unless you use a special versioning system (like the Linux kernel), any release that isn't marked "Beta" or "Release candidate" should be ready for prime-time... unless the first number is a 0 (i.e. version 0.6.5 is understood to be "Beta" or "unstable"). OTOH, 2.0.0 should be ready for regular use, unless it's 2.0.0 BETA or 2.0.0 RC1.

        I agree with the GP, labeling a release 2.0.0 (without saying "Beta" or "RC") and then saying it's not ready for daily use by end users is kind of stupid.

        You give Win 3.0 as an example... OK, Win 3.0 wasn't around much, but what DOS versions do you remember? I mostly remember 5.0 and 6.0. How about Firefox, IE, Opera, and Safari? Sure, they had "minor" versions, but Firefox 2.0.0 and 3.0.0 were both considered "ready for use", likewise with IE 6.0, 7.0, 8.0. Opera 9.0, etc. A .0 release DOES NOT signify a "BETA", it signifies a milestone. If it isn't ready for public consumption, it should be market beta, release candidate, testing, or unstable.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by zander (2684)

          I agree with the GP, labeling a release 2.0.0 (without saying "Beta" or "RC") and then saying it's not ready for daily use by end users is kind of stupid.

          Its a platform release. For developers and integrators. They want a release too, you know :)

          End users are not the only reason to release software.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Kjella (173770)

            Its a platform release. For developers and integrators. They want a release too, you know :)

            Right, I'll just wait for the KOffice 2.0 End User release then. Oh, right...

          • Its a platform release. For developers and integrators. They want a release too, you know :)

            End users are not the only reason to release software.

            That's not a problem at all. Just give it a number that reflects what you want it to be. Say perhaps 1.9.0. Everybody knows what that means without explanation. People will even assume it has most or all the functionality of 2.0.0 but without the misleading assumption that it is ready for end users. Then those that want to try it and use it can, and those that don't want some thing for devs only don't need to bother.

          • by pbhj (607776)

            I agree with the GP, labeling a release 2.0.0 (without saying "Beta" or "RC") and then saying it's not ready for daily use by end users is kind of stupid.

            Its a platform release. For developers and integrators. They want a release too, you know :)

            End users are not the only reason to release software.

            2.0.0-dev then ... I have to agree with the parent post - this was incredibly annoying with KDE4.0 why did they then decide to annoy everyone again with their development non-release worthy code labelled as a release.

      • Remember Windows 3.0 ? I don't. I do remember 3.1

        And what about Windows NT 1.0 - or 2.0 or even 3.0 for that matter?

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          What about Windows NT 4.0. Er, wait...

          Okay, what about Windows NT 5.0? Possibly the least lame Windows EVAR.

    • by jbengt (874751) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @12:37PM (#28125253)
      There is no versioning standard.
      Ubuntu uses year.month.
      Linux doesn't seem to ever change the major or minor version, using 2.6.x, seemingly for values of .x up to infinity
      KDE/KOffice apparently uses:
      x.0 for alpha
      x.1 for beta
      x.2 for release candidate
      x.3 for useable
      x.4 for deprecated, only working on y.0 now
  • by sootman (158191) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @10:10AM (#28123243) Homepage Journal

    Sweet! Now I can block ads in documents!

    • And using KnoScript I can stop those pesky macros from running whenever I bring up a new spreadsheet.

    • Hmmm. I wonder if I could get someone to sponsor my weekly status reports...
    • by sckeener (137243)

      funny, but I can see addins that give a right click option to preform some standard spreadsheet function or an addin for firefox that shoots the contents of a webpage to koffice that then runs an addin to massage the data.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sweet! Now I can block ads in documents!

      I see the day coming when this will no longer be funny.

  • KOffice 2.0 is just great, brilliant software. The same done right. But I wonder how KOffice can be moved towards the cloud?

    What happens when Microsoft plays foul with ODF?

    etc.

    • by spitzak (4019)

      What happens when Microsoft plays foul with ODF?

      This actually may help some, if the news can be gotten to the right people.

      Although I'm sure they would have found another excuse, it was in fact a bug in OpenOffice that they turned into the reason they had to be incompatible (OpenOffice does something really stupid when a string is used in an expression, it turns it into zero, rather than either producing an error or seeing if the contents of the string look like a number [Excel and every other ODF program d

      • by jbengt (874751)

        Although I'm sure they would have found another excuse, it was in fact a bug in OpenOffice that they turned into the reason they had to be incompatible (OpenOffice does something really stupid when a string is used in an expression, it turns it into zero, rather than either producing an error or seeing if the contents of the string look like a number [Excel and every other ODF program do the second one]). They used this as a reason that Excel had "different" formulas, or that the formulas were "undefined" (they are in fact defined by "do what is obvious, if not obvious then copy Excel").

        While I agree that showing an error may be the best in that situation, I think that automagically changing a string into a number is a far worse error than assigning no value to the cell. (I believe that a cell in OOo has text and number value attirbutes; if you type text into the cell, the default 0.0 value is not changed)

        In reality, the issue was that ODF 1.1 did not specify formulas and ODF 2.2 is not yet finalized; so rather than making the obvious choice of following the 2.2 spec and allowing for som

        • by spitzak (4019)

          That explanation makes no sense. What Microsoft decided to do is be incompatible with both current ODF files and with the 2.2 spec, as (unless they are idiots) the 2.2 spec will use the same namespace everybody (except Microsoft) is using right now, since otherwise it would be impossible to read/write these files in an upwardly compatible way (of course that is the goal of Microsoft so that is what they did).

  • by squoozer (730327) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @10:42AM (#28123629)

    What's with this obsession people seem to have with extensions all of a suddenly. I don't want to manage a pile of extensions all the time I want all the core functionality built in. I don't care too much about bloat, memory is dirt cheap and even the lowest spec (desktop) machine I would ever use now is more than a match for a full on office suite. I can't help feeling this is yet another situation where choice and configurability is being touted as a good thing when actually it's a problem because there is simply too much of it.

    IMHO the worst feature of Firefox is extensions. It's great that you can tailor it to your own needs but the constant updates (colourful tabs I'm looking at you) drive me round the bend and a fresh install on a machine means half an hour finding and downloading all those extensions again. Perhaps it would be more acceptable if there was a way of just indicating that updates should be automatically installed and providing a simple list of extensions to install on first execution.

    The other problem I find with extensions is the way they break package managers. Hopefully as KOffice is a core package there will be some common sense applied. If you look at the Eclipse packages some extensions are packaged but most aren't pretty much defeating the whole point of using the distro package repository (and they are horribly out of date).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tweenk (1274968)

      The other problem I find with extensions is the way they break package managers.

      This is one of the areas the package managers can improve. I think of something like one big base repository, and several sub-repositories for each program that has extension support, where each item can be installed system-wide (requires admin) or per-user. APT could even connect to the official extension sites and create packages on the fly. That would be cool.

    • by OG (15008)

      I think extensions for office suites make quite a bit of sense, actually. If you're deploying in an enterprise, extensions can make it much easier to integrate the suite with current applications and workflow. Say you've got some kind of accounting or auditing system that you want your spreadsheet to interface with. With KOffice you now have a couple of options, scripting or writing an extension. The better solution depends on the particular case, of course, but that kind of customization makes an offic

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by squoozer (730327)

        I agree that something as complex as an office suite needs some sort of API which third parties can use to interact with it but making core features extensions doesn't, to me, feel like the correct way forward.

        Anyway, having stuck the boot into one idea I'd like to say that the way KWord handles images in documents is fantastic - why can't all word processors work this way? Or more to the point why, when I insert an image into an MS Word document (and OOo) does it immediately think that I want to obscure a

    • by Hatta (162192)

      IMHO the worst feature of Firefox is extensions. It's great that you can tailor it to your own needs but the constant updates (colourful tabs I'm looking at you) drive me round the bend and a fresh install on a machine means half an hour finding and downloading all those extensions again

      Would you rather not have the extensions? Or would you rather have extensions you don't want forced on you?

      Perhaps it would be more acceptable if there was a way of just indicating that updates should be automatically insta

    • Having MS Office and IE objects be scriptable via COM is one of the great success stories in Windows. It's funny though, now that everyone in the Windows world has moved on from Office scripting, everyone in the Linux world, who used to mock interpreted language bindings, suddenly now has to have it.

    • by gnud (934243)
      Extensions doesn't break _my_ package manager - they install in my ~/.mozilla, as they should (except that it should be $XDG_DATA_DIR/mozilla).
    • In some programs extensions can modify the behavior of other extensions; programs often don't provide impenetrable barriers between extensions. In my experience writing and using extensions for various programs, it's best never to develop strong dependencies on extensions because they often aren't upgraded to work with the latest version of the base application (when the extensions no longer work with the latest base software, the features those extensions provided will vanish. This is particularly true i

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Windows doesn't have a package manager. That's why. Otherwise I agree with you. I like extensions but extension managers and auto-updates should not happen in a sane world.
    • by owlstead (636356)

      First of all, you want all the core functionality build in, but what core functionality is depends per user. Try any forum on any important software package and you notice people fighting to get "core features" integrated in a product. For me a good download manager is a must, but I know for sure that my aunt would be lost within the functionality.

      Which brings me to the second point. Memory is cheap yes, but if you have more functionality your GUI may take a beating as well. It might do the same when too mu

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Eil (82413)

      What's with this obsession people seem to have with extensions all of a suddenly. I don't want to manage a pile of extensions all the time I want all the core functionality built in.

      The problem is what happens when you and I have a completely different view of what constitutes "core functionality"? Should we just build every concept and feature directly into the application? Somehow I think your tune would be a lot different if Firefox came with its 1000+ extensions built right into the browser and enabled

  • This whole "K" thing has gone on too far. Sounds like a "K" iddie Mar"K"eting effort, and undermines everything they do.

    I wish they would do something with KDevelop.

  • Finally! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@@@slashdot...org> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @12:20PM (#28125001)

    I've been waiting for the Firefox extensions idea to spread to other software since it came out!

    Sadly I have no time, to realize my dream, of re-implementing the coolest UI features of Lotus WordPro in KOffice. (Eg. InfoBox, but with keyboard-only control. [To minimize the keyboard-mouse switches, but maximize the usability trough showing what's available.])

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hurricane78 (562437)

      Oh. I'm sorry for not RTFA. Seems they already are *very* close to that. Man, *finally* an office suite with an UI that makes sense!

  • Klippy! (Score:4, Funny)

    by joib (70841) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:18PM (#28129455)

    Allow plugins, and somebody is bound to do it, plunging the FOSS world into a deep and evil darkness.

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken

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