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KOffice 2.0.0 Now Open For Firefox-Like Extensions

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the i-got-yer-extension-right-here dept.

KDE 165

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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Color me not impressed (1, Troll)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123123)

An online repository of extensions, templates, and content for KOffice? I like the sound of that."

OMG!!! An online repository of extensions?!?!?! It's not like OpenOffice.org hasn't had that for ages. Oh wait... [openoffice.org]

Re:Color me not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28123159)

I am a linux user for a while, but this is confusing to me. How OpenOffice, KOffice, and Gnome Office different (or related)? Are the latter just OpenOffice ported to KDE and Gnome respectively? Or they are based on a different codebase altogether?

Re:Color me not impressed (0, Flamebait)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123287)

OpenOffice is from StarOffice, owned by Sun.
Gnome Office is for Gnome
KOffice is for KDE.

All are different code bases. KOffice is based off KDE4 libraries, which are now ported to Windows.

Re:Color me not impressed (5, Informative)

ingwa (958475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123361)

> KOffice is for KDE

Sorry, this is wrong. KOffice is *from* KDE (i.e. the KDE community). It's for all major desktops, including Gnome.

But yes, it is a different code base than the others.

Re:Color me not impressed (3, Informative)

Xabraxas (654195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123291)

They are all completely different. Gnome Office isn't really even a suite. It's just Abiword and Gnumeric. OpenOffice doesn't need to be "ported" to Gnome or KDE. It doesn't use QT or GTK but that doesn't make it inoperable on a KDE or Gnome desktop.

Re:Color me not impressed (4, Informative)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123677)

Open Office is a large, very feature completeness attempt at replacing MS Office. It does very good import/export and is very cross platform, making it a good general solution if you have lots of RAM (512 MB +). OO.Org has fairly good Gnome integration, not sure on KDE.

KOffice is done by the KDE team, it is designed around the KDE libraries and as such it integrates very well. KOffice2 makes very good use of KDE4 allowing for a very nice interface of docking/floating toolbars and widget manipulation boxes (don't know a better word for it). I actually REALLY like the interface for KWord2.

GNOME Office is simply a collection of applications that use the GNOME libraries (or used to be anyway). It is Gnumeric (my favorite Linux spreadsheet, and Abiword, the best truly lightweight word processor I have used, maybe Dia (diagramming counts as a part too?). It does not feel at all like an Office suite, just some nicely done programs.

I personally use Open Office in GNOME, and KOffice on KDE, occasionally using Gnumeric on either because I like it.

Gnome Office?!? What Gnome Office?? (1)

krischik (781389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123697)

A I see (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNOME_Office) a couple of independent program jumbled together. Typical GNOME...

Re:Gnome Office?!? What Gnome Office?? (2, Informative)

rtbyte (1523785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124481)

Not exactly, they all use goffice libs which links them together and if You check http://live.gnome.org/GnomeOffice [gnome.org] You will see that it's not just abiword and gnumeric. And why do You expect all the "office suites" to be just like M$ counterpart ?

Re:Color me not impressed (1)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123231)

Yes, but what OpenOffice also has, that Koffice currently lacks, is bloat. Lots and lots of bloat.

Re:Color me not impressed (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123251)

Yes, but what OpenOffice also has, that Koffice currently lacks, is bloat. Lots and lots of bloat.

Except that wasn't what the marketing was saying was going to propel it past all the other office suites. It was touting an online repository of extensions as if it was some novel feature that KOffice just invented.

Re:Color me not impressed (4, Insightful)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123423)

I don't think anyone is expecting KOffice to take over the world. That's really not the point. What the KOffice team has accomplished is creating a set of tools that some people will use and others will extend, and the extensions will bring more users. Making creating useful extensions easy is critical for an open source application - it's how you allow the community to implement needed features without central planning and control. That the KOffice team gets it doesn't need to be derided, they should be congratulated, and now that I have a word processor & spreadsheet I can extend, I'm going to have some real fun. Oh, and saying there is nothing novel here, well, you need to go read up a little. The KOffice team has done a yeoman's job on this one.

Re:Color me not impressed (1)

troubalex (1553091) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123511)

Thanks for this excellent comment. :)

Fun extending a text editor?? (1)

alexandre_ganso (1227152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123789)

That's weird, man.

Re:Fun extending a text editor?? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28125931)

Having the possibility to implement easily, in another app, those few small ideas that I have for my perfect writing app sounds like fun.

Re:Color me not impressed (3, Funny)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123893)

The KOffice team has done a yeoman's job on this one.

Dammit. Now you've got me thinking about Janice Rand again !

Re:Color me not impressed (3, Funny)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124273)

Right. I can see her now. Short uniform, cut low on top, exposing her cleavage as she leans over her walker.

Re:Color me not impressed (2, Funny)

not-my-real-name (193518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28126059)

Dammit. Now you've got me thinking about Janice Rand again !

--
Why yes, I am an MS shill - I earned US$10 for this post alone !

OK Mr. (or Ms.) MS shill, how do you get Microsoft to pay you $10 for posting about Janice Rand? Do they need any more posters?

Re:Color me not impressed (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124299)

Whats a yeoman?

Re:Color me not impressed (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124087)

Even I, jaded as I am against all things marketing, can't honestly say they're trying to tout it as if they invented it when they said "This is very much like the Firefox extensions system"! That's so far removed from "we invented it" that it's just laughable to claim it. If anything, this is their marketing saying, "We get it, people. Extending things without having to actually modify our source code has value to our users, and we're providing it." This should be applauded, not lauded.

Re:Color me not impressed (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124145)

This should be applauded, not lauded.

So I should praise it but also not praise it? Huh?

Re:Color me not impressed (4, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123609)

Bloat for you and me is a necessary feature for someone else, and vice-versa. The real issue is this: is the interface intuitive enough to not overwhelm the user, and is it spaghetti code or modular enough that unneeded/unused parts do not have to be loaded into RAM at run time?

Re:Color me not impressed (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124149)

Unless bloat translates to slow and unresponsive, I don't care if it eats another 100MB of memory or not. Dead code that's not actually called unless you use the function has nearly zero performance hit, but running stuff through a dozen enterpricy layers does. The worst user experience I get is still from the applications that still haven't worked out how to use a worker threat for anything non-trivial to keep it responsive, but it has nearly no impact on code size.

Re:Color me not impressed (2, Informative)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123619)

Bloat? == Functionality.

I will give you a specific example, from among thousands.

Open/Star Office handles - easily - RTL languages and the alternative typefaces and ligatures used with them. It has a fantastic facility for mixed, RTL/LTR documents. The toolbar icons even dynamically swap orientation for indenting, justifying, etc., when switching text direction.

As someone who has struggled with the crap support for this in MS Word on Windows NT through 7, and the NONEXISTANT RTL capability of Word on OS X, I am very happy that OOo can do this handily, with consistant functionality - regardless of OS.

OOo has been a superior tool for at least 3 years. MS has given up polishing the core turd, and is adding business/technology value in collaborative computing and advanced document management, rather than refining core text handling capability. They know where the Enterprise dollar will come from.

So, whinge about bloat as you will, with your Terabyte-sized SATA drive!

Re:Color me not impressed (2, Insightful)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124157)

One person's bloat is another's core functionality. At least I think that's what the old saying is... anyway, handling RTL languages is "bloat" to me as I'm unilingual (and not always even that many). That said, I'm not decrying it - I recognise that it's core for others (at $work, we get to support 30 languages, including RTL's and double-byte languages). Honestly, I only buy the "bloat" argument from those who have Pentium III's with 128MB of RAM and 50-100GB of disk space where this starts to get significant. My box is large enough that I can merely concern myself with "does it do the job I need it to do?" and ignore the cruft. i.e., it's almost big enough to run Vista.

Re:Color me not impressed (1)

zander (2684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123253)

Plugins and extensions as used by openoffice are quite less powerful than what firefox and koffice have. For example this is cool usecase that someone hacked already before we released; http://www.valdyas.org/fading/index.cgi/hacking/musicflake1.html [valdyas.org]

Re:Color me not impressed (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123615)

I'm not going to install Java (and most OO.o extensions are in Java) just to have some fancy bit of extra functionality.

Neither KOffice nor FireFox require me to install 250MB of Java bloat (in addition to one already packaged with OO.o) to simply access the functionality.

Re:Color me not impressed (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123715)

I'm not going to install Java (and most OO.o extensions are in Java) just to have some fancy bit of extra functionality.

Did you miss the part where the KOffice extensions can be written in Java?

Neither KOffice nor FireFox require me to install 250MB of Java bloat (in addition to one already packaged with OO.o) to simply access the functionality.

250 megs? Lie much? I have 2 versions of the JRE on my machine and they only clock in barely at 100 megs combined. Unless you are installing the full JDK (and why would you be installing the JDK if you only need the JRE?) there is no way you are installing an extra 250 megs.

Re:Color me not impressed (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124141)

What is this complaint about bloat. It absolutely boggles my mind. I have a 12" laptop that packs 180GB harddrive. Said "Bloat" for me, even assuming numbers are correct would be on the order of 1/10% of my harddisk capacity. I mean honestly!

Re:Color me not impressed (1)

alexandre_ganso (1227152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123837)

So, what are the dependencies for it on, say, windows, mac or the default ubuntu install?

I assume some stuff from kde must come too.

Re:Color me not impressed (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124079)

Only some of the libraries are required. The rest of the KDE applications are not.

Re:Color me not impressed (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28123737)

KOffice will not succeed as long at it only runs on Linsux. Where's the support for good, highly secure operating systems like Windows Vista?

Where is the novelty? (1)

grounded_roamer (794712) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123161)

OpenOffice.org also have point and (couple of) clicks extensions. Extensions can also be written in Java and Python. So where are the news here?

Asking for a Mile (1, Insightful)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123165)

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:Asking for a Mile (2, Informative)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123267)

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.

Re:Asking for a Mile (1)

robot_love (1089921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124055)

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.

Re:Asking for a Mile (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124229)

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.

Re:Asking for a Mile (1)

Tom9729 (1134127) | more than 5 years ago | (#28125619)

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

Re:Asking for a Mile (1)

robot_love (1089921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28125745)

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."

Re:Asking for a Mile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28125317)

I'm sorry, I mistook it for a Java program because of the way it runs slowly, uses up all my memory, and looks ugly as hell.

Re:Asking for a Mile (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28125413)

I'm sorry that you're too idiotic to know what you're talking about as anyone with even a shred of knowledge about the program knows it's written in C++. There is nothing about C++ that means that you can't run slow, memory hogging programs. In fact, such things features that enable this are usually touted as it's greatest strengths.

Re:Asking for a Mile (3, Informative)

ingwa (958475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123405)

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.

Wait for KOffice 2.2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28123839)

I can see a problem.

The website says It is not aimed at end users, and we do not recommend Linux distributions to package it as the default office suite yet.

Clearly learning from the KDE4 debacle, they've named this release "KOffice 2.0".

More comes ... It is noteworthy that KOffice 2.0 does not have all the features that KOffice 1.6 had. These features will return in the upcoming versions 2.1 and 2.2

I.e., like KDE4, don't use the first two releases, wait for the .2 release.

"aiming to be ... cross-platform" (2, Interesting)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:"aiming to be ... cross-platform" (2, Interesting)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123319)

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 working Windows version, because on the desktop, getting 1% of the Windows market is better than getting 50% of the linux market.

Re:"aiming to be ... cross-platform" (2)

zander (2684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123433)

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.

Re:"aiming to be ... cross-platform" (3, Informative)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123489)

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:"aiming to be ... cross-platform" (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123849)

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.

KDE 4.0 once again... (4, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123209)

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

Re:KDE 4.0 once again... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:KDE 4.0 once again... (1)

zander (2684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123321)

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.

Re:KDE 4.0 once again... (3, Insightful)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:KDE 4.0 once again... (2, Insightful)

zander (2684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123515)

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:KDE 4.0 once again... (2, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123743)

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...

Re:KDE 4.0 once again... (-1, Flamebait)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123505)

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.

Huh. Sorry, that's complete bullshit. While everyone knows that a .0 version may have bugs, it's also expected that a .0 version *will* be ready for prime time. If it's not, it should have an alpha or beta moniker.

It's simple: KDE fucked up. Big time. And KOffice seems to be doing the exact same god damned thing. Thanks a lot KDE. Thank you very much. Way to ensure that no user will be able to tell if a given version of a product is actually a version they can trust.

Re:KDE 4.0 once again... (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123595)

It's simple: KDE fucked up. Big time. And KOffice seems to be doing the exact same god damned thing. Thanks a lot KDE. Thank you very much. Way to ensure that no user will be able to tell if a given version of a product is actually a version they can trust.

Not that KDE are the only one to do that... I remember when I used to use RedHat (around versions 5 to 7) and as a rule of thumb you would have to wait to .1 or .2 to actually have a not so broken, usable version.

Re:KDE 4.0 once again... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28123693)

People might also remember a little project called "GNOME" whose 2.0.0 had a mass of feature regressions (and not deliberately removed features, either), stability regressions, performance regressions etc:

http://www.osnews.com/thread?304220

As someone who has followed KDE development from afar, I have to say that I am utterly, heartily sick of people implying that KDE is the only project (or even the first!) to have a terrible .0.0 release. Lambasting developers based on your own lack of knowledge of history is a pretty dick move, and discourages future developers from making the "big breakages" that are often necessary to keep your project vital and non-stagnant.

Re:KDE 4.0 once again... (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#28125197)

Not that KDE are the only one to do that... I remember when I used to use RedHat (around versions 5 to 7) and as a rule of thumb you would have to wait to .1 or .2 to actually have a not so broken, usable version.

Yes, *but*... RedHat didn't put their .0 version out there with the caveat that, oh, by the way, this thing will be unstable, so normal users probably shouldn't actually use it.

Again, should you expect a few bugs in .0 releases? Yes, of course. But a .0 release says to the world that the product is ready for the masses. If that ain't true (as was the case with KDE4), *don't stick a fucking .0 release out there*. Call it what it is, a beta, or a release candidate.

Re:KDE 4.0 once again... (1, Insightful)

zander (2684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123683)

Huh. Sorry, that's complete bullshit. While everyone knows that a .0 version may have bugs, it's also expected that a .0 version *will* be ready for prime time. If it's not, it should have an alpha or beta moniker.

I appreciate your opinion, and I even understand your point of view. Do you understand that releasing software may be something that is not just for your benefit? There are integrators, developers and others that need this release. And you should try it, you might even like it. Depending on how many features you actually use from an office suite.

Re: KDE 4.0 once again... (1)

Fantom42 (174630) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124741)

I appreciate your opinion, and I even understand your point of view. Do you understand that releasing software may be something that is not just for your benefit? There are integrators, developers and others that need this release. And you should try it, you might even like it. Depending on how many features you actually use from an office suite.

*DISCLAIMER*
I haven't really been following KOffice development, but did live through the KDE 4.0 debaucle. Therefore, the following post is really about KDE more than KOffice, and assumes that KOffice is headed in a similar direction. If they aren't, then I applaud the KOffice developers' restraint.
*DISCLAIMER*

I am a huge fan of KDE and a contributor who has frequently run the 4.0 HEAD. But, I disagree with KDE's philosophy here. Perhaps this ".0 release is for integrators" is fine for open source and software enthusiasts who follow the development cycle and can keep track of these kinds of norms between projects. I am willing to concede this is fine for the traditional OSS community of hackers. But, it is my opinion that if the goal is to get more widespread adoption, (and the nice things that come with it, like better hardware support) *anything* called a RELEASE should be as free of bugs as possible and one that developers feel they can stand behind. The API can be locked for developers on RC1!

The justification for this practice of putting out an overly "green" .0 release has been that not enough people try RC software. So, the reality developers fight with is that the RC releases don't generate enough bug reports to make this kind of assurance happen. The .0 release is needed to do this. I am sympathetic with this point of view. That is a serious problem, especially for ambitious and integrated software products like office suites and desktop environments. But I also think its a little disengenuous to release things this way. After all, those who are downloading the .0 that didn't download the RC before are essentially being bait-and-switched. Their change in behavior (they download the .0, not the RC) demonstrates that.

So it is not surprising to me that this harms KDE's reputation a bit. And I think KDE leadership would be well-served to face up to that reality instead of deny it. I am willing to accept that this practice may be a neccessary evil to get useful bug reports so the .1 product is good. I am willing to accept that the large body of OSS end-users should change their attitudes and be willing to try RC software. After all, there is no such thing as a free lunch. The devs need help! Help them, freeloaders! I am willing even to accept that the decision to do this might be better for the project as a whole as a stop-gap measure. But I think what KDE leaders seem to refuse to acknowledge is that such a practice does come at a cost, and is at best a patch/hack to an underlying problem that will has a limited half-life of effectiveness. People will quickly learn to just skip the .0 release.

One could argue that Microsoft did this same thing with Vista and they were widely panned for doing so. And OSS advocates were among the loud voices of criticism. Other posts here talk about the prevalence of Windows 3.1 vice 3.0. Do we really want a 15 year old Microsoft project to be our gold standard? We open source application developers should try to play by the same rules as commercial software application developers. And our aim should be to, as a community, exceed their performance. Can/should we really be deferring the responsibility for quality releases (for end-users) to the distribution maintainers?

In summary, I believe this practice of having a .0 release that is _not ready_ for end-users is huge error in judgment. If this becomes the standard for OSS projects, I think it will harm our reputation. These are businesses that are already nervous about abandoning what they view as a proven process of using guaranteed, centralized, commercial support for a more distributed OSS model. They will see this when their computers break and the explanation for why just has an amateurish smell to it. The managers who make decisions regarding OSS adoption are NOT going to react well when they end up accidentally using RELEASED software that wasn't ready. Its not that these managers are all stupid. They just don't have time to keep track of weird OSS piccadillos, like using RELEASED software that was apparently for testing.

Re:KDE 4.0 once again... (2, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#28125165)

I appreciate your opinion, and I even understand your point of view. Do you understand that releasing software may be something that is not just for your benefit? There are integrators, developers and others that need this release.

What the hell do you think alpha and beta releases are for, exactly?

Denial... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28125455)

Huh. Sorry, that's complete bullshit. While everyone knows that a .0 version may have bugs, it's also expected that a .0 version *will* be ready for prime time. If it's not, it should have an alpha or beta moniker.

I appreciate your opinion, and I even understand your point of view. Do you understand that releasing software may be something that is not just for your benefit? There are integrators, developers and others that need this release. And you should try it, you might even like it. Depending on how many features you actually use from an office suite.

What? No one is saying that it shouldn't be released... Why are you warping things to make it seem like that? What they are trying to pound into your tiny head is that the version should be properly labeled as what it is, and you are in such denial that you will never admit that they are right...

Re:KDE 4.0 once again... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123539)

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?

Re:KDE 4.0 once again... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123651)

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

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

Re:KDE 4.0 once again... (0, Troll)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124203)

Meh, it just goes to show how far Aaron Seigo's madness has spread. It boggles my mind that you would consider releasing a .0 release yet still recommend that users use the previous vesion. I can get releasing a .0 release that may have a couple of regressions, but I would think that on balance, you would have released something that is better and users would want to use. But no, apparently its better to just release something 3/4ths finished, then have furious 6 month release cycles for 1 - 2 years all the while the "Ooooooh! Shiney! New!" crowd bitches at you across the interwebs about how the new version is garbage. KDE/Amarok/KOffice devs must secretely be e-masochists.

Re:KDE 4.0 once again... (4, Funny)

jbengt (874751) | more than 5 years ago | (#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

AdBlock Plus (4, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123243)

Sweet! Now I can block ads in documents!

Re:AdBlock Plus (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123409)

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

Re:AdBlock Plus (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123543)

Ha!
For me the most important extension will be the FTP and IRC ones, or what about the one to spoof sender or receiver of the document (krespoof?)

Re:AdBlock Plus (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28123587)

I'm waiting for the Comic Sans MS blocker.

Re:AdBlock Plus (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123661)

Hmmm. I wonder if I could get someone to sponsor my weekly status reports...

Begin distributing it as RSS feed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28125559)

You can put google ads in RSS feeds, too. So if you can distribute something in that format...

Re:AdBlock Plus (1)

sckeener (137243) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123953)

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:AdBlock Plus (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28124165)

Sweet! Now I can block ads in documents!

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

Koffice (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123339)

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.

Re:Koffice (1)

spitzak (4019) | more than 5 years ago | (#28125567)

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 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").

Pointing out that there are alternative implementations that all agree would help a lot in blocking that incredible deluge of wordy lies from those Microsoft engineers. Though I have to admit they apparently have no shame, I really don't think I could literally lie like that in a phony technical argument on a public web page with my name on it, no matter what I was paid.

Anybody got RPMs for Fedora? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28123345)

I'd love to try it out.

Anybody got functional debs for Jaunty? (2, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123519)

I went ahead and installed it (160 mb for the entire kde runtime... lightweight, right) and it wouldn't run.

kword(4657) KServiceFactory::findServiceByDesktopPath: "findServiceByDesktopPath: Office/kword.desktop not found"

That's enough screwing around with KDE, at least until I get a new computer. I swear the devs are all running 4+ gb of Ram on multicore machines. Granted, this old thing is a 4-year-old celeron 2.8ghz, but still. Abiword runs fine. Granted, Abiword doesn't faithfully reproduce the full bloated complexity of the modern .doc, but I really don't want to.

Re:Anybody got functional debs for Jaunty? (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123841)

Why the hell do you think that's a system requirements issue, not bad packaging (or installing it wrong/unmet dependencies, if you did it yourself for some reason)? A file is missing because you don't have 4GB of RAM?

Re:Anybody got functional debs for Jaunty? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124349)

KDE 4 added a lot of eye candy. They are slow on old hardware because they have lots of UI polish activated by default. Try to set some simpler theme, for example.

P.S. The error message looks to me more like an error find a shortcut to the application. Try starting "kword" from Katapult or terminal.

Oh FSM more extensions (3, Interesting)

squoozer (730327) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Oh FSM more extensions (2, Insightful)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123761)

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.

Re:Oh FSM more extensions (1)

OG (15008) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123857)

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 office suite much more appealing. And there are many niches, such as integrating a word processor with a citation manager, that don't belong at all in the core product.

Re:Oh FSM more extensions (2, Insightful)

squoozer (730327) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124117)

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 load of text with a floating image? I wouldn't have written it if I wanted it hidden.

Re:Oh FSM more extensions (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124257)

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 installed and providing a simple list of extensions to install on first execution.

If you run Debian, you can install noscript and adblock among others through apt. Then it's just one command to install firefox and your extensions, and they're automatically updated whenever you update your system.

It's because of MS Office (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124407)

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.

unreadable hidden comments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28123633)

finally, a method of censorship that we can all live comfortably with? robbIE? remember, your patentdead PostBlock devise is STILL not wwworking.

more alternatives (0, Flamebait)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123635)

I'm glad to see that we have so many software options for even the most basic computer functions that Average Joe User needs to hire a personal assistant to make intelligent decisions about what software packages to install. Oh, but Average Joe User doesn't use Linux so we don't need to worry about that. Correct, and this is one big reason why.

I'm so glad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28123903)

that there's only one pattern of trouser: business suit. It would be terrible to have different cuts, materials and even colours, since you'd need a team of fashion designers to work out what clothes to buy...

Re:more alternatives (2, Funny)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124249)

I'm glad to see that we have so many software options for even the most basic computer functions that Average Joe User needs to hire a personal assistant to make intelligent decisions about what software packages to install.

Most of us here genuinely are, or should be. The more ICT jobs there are, the better.

FailzoDrs (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28123701)

little-known Not any3more. It's

cross-platform? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28123755)

"aiming to be a lightweight, cross-platform office suite

No offense, but where is the windows version? Or a version for any other *n*x, all i see is 3 popular linux distributions listed.. If it wants to take over the world, real cross-platform support would be a pre. Sorry for being pragmatic.

Kriminy Kill the Kiddie K!!! (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124377)

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.

Re:Kriminy Kill the Kiddie K!!! (1)

digsbo (1292334) | more than 5 years ago | (#28125211)

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

Like iApple?

Gn44 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28124427)

If *BSD is to mod points and Would take 4bout 2 On my Pentium Pro of businees and THEORISTS - OUTER SPACE THE to this. For

Their strong point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28124447)

I think the main point they've got going for them isn't the featureset, but the fact that the developers don't appear to hate their users with a passion, as opposed to two other major office suites that I won't mention here. Maybe they can use that to listen to their users better and swim faster to perfection, or maybe they're too far behind already. I don't know. But I still like their devs better.

Finally! (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Finally! (2, Informative)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28125051)

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!

What? (1)

moronikos (595352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28125167)

You mean it wasn't available in 2.0.0.0.0.0.0?

Make Kross Plugins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28125429)

Hope, the Kross Plugin architecture get's implemented in all KDE in a way plug in are developed? Konqueror has implemented Kross extension architecture but has any user ever downloaded and install a plug in other than that come in by default ????

an example of SVG also showing up in office suites (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28126039)

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