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back to article KOffice 2.0 available for early adopters

KOffice, the often overlooked challenger in a productivity suite rivalry championed by Microsoft Office and OpenOffice, rolled out version 2.0 Thursday. The release is intended for developers, testers and early adopters the development team warns, and shouldn't be used in production. While it adds a sizable pack of improvements …

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KWhy?

Sure I understand everyone has an itch they want to scratch, but I often wonder what the point is in yet-another-word processor etc when there's a perfectly good one out there.

For some things alternatives make sense (a reason why there are about 40 or so file systems for Linux), but for word processors?

Having tried to get my head around the strange and unwelcoming beast that is KDE4 I'm not at all included to give KWord etc a try.

Kids, there's lots of valuable software that still needs writing. Why waste your time on a "me too" app like a word processor?

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KDE on a path to self-destruction

@Charles - alternatives are useful even for office packages - I have always preferred Koffice 1.x to Openoffice.

I have tried Koffice 2.0 and I got the same impression from it that I got when I tried KDE 4.x:

it's a big step backward.

I don't understand why the KDE team, after creating the best and arguably most successful Linux DE ever (KDE 3.x), which was sophisticated enough to make even an average Windows user look up and at the same time intuitive and easy to get acquainted to, decided to throw it all out of the window and create a nightmarish, unintuitive and overcomplicated DE like KDE4.

KOffice 2.0 has lost it's purpose too, now I much prefer Openoffice to it.

It's a shame that so much good coding effort that had been put into KDE 3.x and Koffice 1.x has been simply thrown away.

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Re: KWhy?

If the KOffice guys manage to create an office suite that does all that OpenOffice.org does, but works faster and with less memory, and with a more consistent user interface, then the project would be well justified, and not just yet another case of itch-scratching. It is also the case that for most users, the office suite one of the most important apps and the source of most frustrations. I think there is still room for innovation in making it more usable. It is nice that with the free office projects standardizing on ODF, they can concentrate on features benefiting users, instead of fiddling with the on-disk format.

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@Charles Manning

"Kids, there's lots of valuable software that still needs writing. Why waste your time on a "me too" app like a word processor?"

I agree.

On the other hand, why not try to move "obvious" stuff that people need to FOSS?

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KWhynot?

You criticise KOffice based on your side swipe at KDE. Your side swipe at KDE is unargued, merely stated. (And I sit here using KDE 4.2.3 I clearly do not understand your point)

KOffice is a modern approach to office, with each component fully integrated with each other, facilitating ongoing development and expansion of the core and enabling less main stream use (not my cup-of-tea but e.g., mixed text and music manuscripts is easily done in KOffice 2).

I have not met anyone in the FOSS world who is not grateful to Sun for giving OOo to the community, but my understanding is that it is an old fashioned code base and it is difficult to keep up development.

Another implementation of ODF strengthens that standard too, especially as, no doubt, it will be through an easily adaptable library for others to re-use and develop.

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KWhy-Mk2

Dear Mr. Manning,

You seem to have missed the fact that Open Source comes free as in free beer, and as free speech.

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KWhynot?

I think KOffice may have been around longer than Openoffice, at least on linux. OO started back in the nineties as Staroffice, a German company, and only ran on windows. It's eventual take over by Sun then morphing into open source and linux took a few years. I would be surprised if KOffice was not already on linux by then, but I could be wrong.

I think KOffice has a good future as an alternative to most MS Office users, at home or many admin workers, who simply want to get the basics, and a bit more, done. OpenOffice, despite me using it as Staroffice since 1998 just does not hang together for me. It is a great piece of software, but given all the masses of people working on it I think they could have focused more on the real needs of professional business people not just scientists, academics. Yes, it suits many business people to use it, but if cost were no constraint at all, they would not jump to choose it over MS Office, at least Office 2003 version.

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@KWhy

Yeah why jump into a highly profitable market when there are zillions of niche products to be made with no customers in sight.

There's a businessplan!

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Excellent

KDE4 is a big step forward for KDE/Qt, and it is only natural that key KDE applications embrace the new interface. Another independent ODF word processor is good news. While OpenOffice is good, it's also slow as treacle and looks ugly on a KDE system.

There is a fine line between splitting your resources into too many pots and concentrating them all in one basket. In this case given Oracle's imminent purchase of Sun I think it's important to have another ODF office suite at hand.

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@Charles

'Kids, there's lots of valuable software that still needs writing. Why waste your time on a "me too" app like a word processor?'

Ooh, I dunno. The competition for Microsoft that everyone here sees as the most important thing about Linux? The freedom of choice so often bandied about? The sheer hell/fun of it? (Actually the last one is acceptable in my book.) Maybe it has a grammar checker that can catch things like 'I'm not at all included to give KWord etc a try.' Failing that, ask a kid for help with your next post.

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Paris Hilton

@Charles

"when there's a perfectly good one out there."

which *one* are you referring to there? KOffice has always been rather impressive, and quite often a more *interesting* approach to the UI than openoffice which has tended to just be an MSOffice clone. Also KWord includes a text mode akin to the MSOffice draft mode. where's that in openoffice?

"Kids, there's lots of valuable software that still needs writing"

you think kids are the only ones writing open source software? which *valuable* software do you think still needs writing anyway?

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@Charles

What is this perfectly good word processor? I'd love to use it. I haven't ever used a half-decent one.

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re: KWhy?

The multiplicity of apps is much less of a problem than the multiplicity of file formats.

As long as open source alternatives are not up to speed with MS Office, I find a little competition more than welcome to boost the envelope.

I share your disappointment with KDE4 (which is gradually getting much better), but if I was to switch back to KDE, I would certainly give KOffice a try.

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Anonymous Coward

Is it better tha OpenOffice?

Does it look like it was designed by a 2 year old like OOo does?

Does it randomly screw your fonts and formatting like OOo does?

Does it randomly reposition the elements in your drawings like OOo does?

There are reasons that MS Office is dominant.

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RE: KWhy?

You're talking about one of the most important pieces of software in the corporate world and a cornerstone of Microsoft's dominance. I don't know what valuable software still needs writing, but if anything heavyweight office software is one of the most under-represented categories in the field.

OpenOffice is a big slow suite of software that's reportedly a nightmare to develop for. It's improving slowly, but it hasn't got all the features of MS Office and looks like it's going to remain conservative and "old-school MS Office" for the forseeable future. That's good - that's exactly what many businesses want.

KOffice 2 looks extremely polished, willing to take it's own route (as Apple has with iWork) and I think could overtake OpenOffice. As a Mac user I'm particularly looking foward to something classier and more native feeling than the Mac version of OpenOffice.

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@Rik Hemsley

"What is this perfectly good word processor? I'd love to use it. I haven't ever used a half-decent one."

I think it's called WordPerfect 7.0

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Boffin

It would be nice if...

...I could get Koffice 1.x to install on my Kumbuntu install, but it always hangs there looking for dependencies, I've left it trying for 2 hours with no result. If it won't install, then it is useless, end of story. KO2 might install, will give it a go when I have a spare 2 hours...

OpenOffice works nicely and is fine if you don't need 100% compatibility with other people's MSOffice files. If you do, then I'm afraid that MSOffice is the only way to go. It might be big, lumpy, have strange new user interfaces and expensive for the person on the street (but M$ sell legal copies for as little as £20 if you are in the right job) but it works.

Wordperfect 7. Now that was a wordprocessor. Anyone remember Displaywrite 4?

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Linux

Contribution

I'd love to know what, if anything, all the critics of FOSS projects contribute apart from negative criticism.

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The problem is

All new KDE apps need a full KDE4 installation to run. Before KDE4 you could just install the kdelibs, and run most K* stuff under any WM. I happen to use a bunch of it under FreeBSD /E17. With KDE4, this is no longer possible. Koffice 2.0 might be better than 1.6, but I'm not going to rebuild 50% of my userland to find out.

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Windows 3.1 called, it wants its technology back

"For instance Kword can embed bitmap graphics, Krita can embed vector graphics and Karbon can embed charts"

Great, so you've invented OLE, then. Welcome to 1990.

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@DirkGently

Well that's the funny thing about the world, isn't it? If you want me to care about your project enough to contribute, you better give me a reason why I care in the first place. I'm not going to contribute out of pity.

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