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KOffice 1.5 Released 296

ingwa writes to tell us that the KOffice team has released version 1.5 which offers, among other things, default OpenDocument file format, new project planning tool KPlato, professional color support and adjustment layers in Krita and the long awaited Kexi 1.0. From the announcement: "KOffice was the first office suite that announced support for OpenDocument and now the second to announce it as the default file format after OpenOffice.org. This makes KOffice a member of a very select group and will lead to new deployment opportunities. Great care has been taken to ensure interoperability with other office software that also use OpenDocument."
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KOffice 1.5 Released

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  • KPlato (Score:5, Funny)

    by Svenne ( 117693 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:09PM (#15108884) Homepage
    I bet that's klingon for something.

  • by PurpleMonkeyKing ( 944900 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:12PM (#15108910)
    This is great news. More choices is always better. This might even convince a few people to use KOffice as their Office Suite of choice, as it is native to KDE, and it'll be easier than ever to share documents with others.
    • by runningduck ( 810975 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @07:11PM (#15109727)
      What I find odd is that KOffice now uses ODF which is native to OpenOffice.org. But according to the KOffice 1.5 import/export filters the support for the format is not quite there yet. http://www.koffice.org/filters/1.5/ [koffice.org]

      OpenOffice Writer Import: The filter generally works well, however some features might be missing or might not work correctly yet.

      OpenOffice Writer Export: The filter generally works although it is not finished, and it may suffer from some instability.

      This certianly raises some questions.
      • In addition to OpenDocument, OpenOffice still supports its previous native document format, sxw. Perhaps the "filters" page refers to sxw compatibility?
      • by archen ( 447353 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @09:27PM (#15110367)
        Keep in mind that ODF is a spec not a law. By supporting ODF you are not required to support all features the format is capable of. Simplistic example: I create a text reader for blind people, I can probably ignore 80% of the ODF spec and be compliant in reading (and writing) it for my needs. I'm sure Open Office will support everything including the kitchen sink, while Koffice will support mostly a subset of that - so I would expect some features may be missing. ODF is also pretty flexible so it can support stuff we haven't even thought of yet.

        I've moved away from Open Office because of the bloat, so if Koffice skips some of the more obscure parts of the format that Open Office supports, that's okay by me.
        • I'm sure Open Office will support everything including the kitchen sink, while Koffice will support mostly a subset of that

          There are various little things that KWord does support that OOo does not (yet) support. The ODF standard was created by both office suits and KOffice people did request features like Frames and some numbering-types , as a fast example, that made it into the spec but that OOo still does not support. I'm sure there is more.

      • OpenOffice format is different from OpenDocument format (confusing, I know). I presume the filter on that page refers to the old-style OpenOffice formats which used extensions like .sxw, .sxc, etc. The new OpenDocument format, which OpenOffice has now switched to, uses extensions like .odt, .ods, etc.

        Since KOffice saves in OpenDocument format by default now, I would guess they don't list it as an "import/export filter."
  • Mixed Bag (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nursegirl ( 914509 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:13PM (#15108927) Journal
    I'm very excited about Kexi. We've needed an open standards equivalent to Access/Filemaker Pro for businesses who want something small and don't want to hire a database programmer for MySQL or something. Not so excited about KPlato. Most project management software is inherently broken - not in terms of the technology, but in terms of the essential vocabulary of projects and project management. It's one of those times that I wish the Linux world felt more comfortable about innovating. Thank goodness there's basecamp, at least.
    • Re:Mixed Bag (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If you use similar programs, why don't you make suggestions on what you would expect them to have? I'm sure the KPlato team would love to hear what actual users would like their program to do. You do have a say. If you need more or more flexible functionality, try to explain to the team what you want. Innovation is not generated in a vacuum. Necessity is the mother of invention. In the cases where the one feeling the need and the one having the tools to fulfill it are different people, then they need
  • Congrats... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ecko7889 ( 882690 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:16PM (#15108952)
    Congrats on the release, but I have to say that OO.o still is the leader in OSS office suites.

    ODF has pushed a long way since I first heard about it, but without support from the industry, their will be no pressure against Microsoft to implement it into MSOffice.

    Hopefully Google and Writely will tip the edge toward ODF.
    • Re:Congrats... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ostsol ( 960323 )
      I found myself really disappointed by OO.o -- at least the Windows version. For all its faults, I found MS Office cleaner and much more responsive. Basically: as far as Windows office products go, I'm shafted.
    • Re:Congrats... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:37PM (#15109116) Homepage
      Congrats on the release, but I have to say that OO.o still is the leader in OSS office suites.

      Well, as long as they're properly compatible - pick the one that suits your personal preference. Or even the right tool for the right task, if one does something well that the other doesn't (or not at all). I'm perfectly happy that Firefox is more popular than Opera (my preference), because if you've built a site to work in one it's 99% sure to work in the other.

      If we see competition on features rather than on format and compatibility, nothing is better than that in my opinion. If it isn't clear what I mean by that, let's for the moment assume that one of them offered regex search & replace, and the other did not. The results, before and after are both valid ODF documents - the difference is how you get there. Same with layout, which offers good layout management? Spell check and grammar?

      Besides, I think the only way to have a format implemented according to spec is to have at least two implementations. They're sure to run into many of the other's bugs resulting in better standards compliance to benefit all. In short, I don't care if OpenOffice is "leading", I think "local competition" is just as excellent as motivator as the big competition against MS Office.
  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:28PM (#15109061) Homepage Journal
    I like KWord - really, I do - but I can't use it because the printed results are awful. Basically, no matter how good the documents look on my screen, the kerning of their printed versions is completely broken (under both Gentoo and FreeBSD with two different laser printers). The problem supposedly lies with QT3, or so I've read, but that doesn't change the fact that I currently cannot use KWord for anything that will end in a hardcopy.

    I know this sounds like a troll but I don't mean it that way. I'd switch from OpenOffice to KOffice in a heartbeat if I could, but I just can't do it right now. Please, please! make printing work right and I'll be eternally grateful.

    • If you prefer KOffice to OpenOffice for everything but printing, why don't you edit your documents in KOffice, and print them from OpenOffice? Isn't that the whole point of using open file formats?

  • Large documents (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MagerValp ( 246718 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:34PM (#15109095) Homepage
    How does KWord compare to MS Word when it comes to writing large documents? Our PhD students always run into problems with MS Word when they work on their dissertations. As the document grows larger, more and more weird things happen: footnotes jump around, images move to other pages, tables get resized for no apparent reason, and so on. We're mostly a Mac shop, so when Adobe decided not to make an OS X version of FrameMaker we kind of ran out of a decent alternative, but since there seems to be a native Mac port of KOffice I guess we should take a closer look.
    • LaTeX? (Score:5, Informative)

      by rmcd ( 53236 ) * on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:54PM (#15109251)
      This is off-topic but may be a help to you. I don't know what academic area your ph.d students are in, but in the sciences, math, and economics, the use of LaTeX [tug.org] is very common. (I'm guessing if you were in one of those areas you would already know about it.) LaTeX performs wonderfully with arbitrarily huge documents --- I published a 900-page book using it. On the other hand, if you need to do a lot of fine-grained page-by-page formatting, it probably isn't for you. There are LaTeX solutions for the Mac, but I haven't used them.

      To be honest I find Word to be a mess. I know some people love it but I find it unusable.
    • Re:Large documents (Score:3, Informative)

      by wrong un ( 552249 )
      Trust me, If you are writing a PhD thesis then a word processor is last thing you want to use. Open up a text editor and use LateX. [latex-project.org]
      It will save you loads of time and grief in the long run. Word documents are fine for 1 page memo's and the like, but if you want a beautiful looking manuscript there is only one option.
      I've seen people literally go mad trying to write their thesis in Word once the page count gets high.
    • Re:Large documents (Score:4, Informative)

      by alexhs ( 877055 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @06:01PM (#15109313) Homepage Journal
      I agree with the sibling AC : LaTeX [latex-project.org] is the perfect tool to write scientific publications.
      And if you don't like the "coding style" of LaTeX, you can use LyX [lyx.org].
    • Re:Large documents (Score:3, Insightful)

      by andersa ( 687550 )
      I tried to write my bachelor thesis in KWord, but I had to give it up after 10 pages or so. Page breaks would happen inconsistently, so paragraphs would jump from page to page in an unpredictable manor. Also inline math looked increasingly bad as more formulas were added to the document. It also slowed down considerably.

      I went to Lyx instead. I didn't want to learn pure latex, and lyx worked like a charm, once you got the hang of it's little qirks.
    • If you're in science, LaTeX is the way to go. On the Mac, you can use Aquamacs Emacs [aquamacs.org] which is easy to use and comes with the AUCTeX environment to edit LaTeX comfortably. TeXShop is a good alternative.

      However, if you're in the humanities or so, your students will likely be unable to learn LaTeX in reasonable time. In that case, I'd recommend Papyrus from ROM Logicware, which is a very fast text processor that can deal with large documents. (Their web site is crap, but try the Papyrus demo!). There are alt

    • I've had decent success with Pages from iWork '06. I haven't done any *huge* documents with it, but it does a very good job of dealing with images, tables, etc. The Styles system is what I wish Word had. It also lets you control breaks in a very easy way, with options to prevent hanging lines and so on. The only problem I've had with it is that performance gets very slow, especially with tables or images (this is on a G4 867/640 Mb RAM). However, performance on a G4 1.5 eMac was fine so if your labs are rea
    • One way out of this is to split the document into chunks while working on drafts.

      Apart from making it less likely to break the word processor it can make collaboration easier for when people are reading your drafts (you don't need your professor to check things in and out of CVS for instance).

      When you are done with the major revisions you mark the document up in Latex. I have found this gives the best of all worlds, 'wiggly underlining' spell checking for my tpying, change tracking when people are helpi

  • Krita (Score:5, Informative)

    by psocccer ( 105399 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @05:52PM (#15109228) Homepage

    Anyone who's ever complained about the gimp needs to check out Krita [koffice.org], the paint application in KOffice. As of 1.5, it now has support for adjustment layers and layer groups, 2 of the things I missed most in the gimp. It also has CMYK support and does not have separate windows for all the tools (something that never bothered me but soooo many people complain about it). The difference between 1.4 and 1.5 of Krita is absolutely amazing, I figure give them 6 more months and they will have passed gimp in functionality. Too bad Krita is KDE only though, so no help for windows users looking for a good free photo editing suite.

    • Well ! maybe it's support 16bits, but it doesn't support RAW pictures! It's like transfering CD to a 4track tape ans using this tape to encore the music in MP3 !
    • Re:Krita (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @06:24PM (#15109452) Homepage
      Too bad Krita is KDE only though, so no help for windows users looking for a good free photo editing suite.

      Yet. Qt4 for Windows is GPL, KDE is moving to Qt4 which means it'll run on Windows eventually. You can still make it happen today with Cygwin, but that's not a consumer-friendly solution. Give it 12 months and you can probably run Krita on Windows.
    • It will work on windows as soon as the windows port of kdelibs is done
  • Poor table support (Score:2, Informative)

    by GeekBoy ( 10877 )
    I'd love to use it, but the table support is sooooo bad compared to OOW or MS Office that I just can't use it.
  • Forgive my ignorance, but (running OOfice 1.1.5 (binary due to AMD64, blah blah)), I don't have an ODF option? Or is it the native OpenOffice document formats?
    (I know this is a KOffice thread, but maybe some knowledgable people are reading).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @06:36PM (#15109522)
    I'm running Debian Sarge, so my version of KOffice is a bit dated compared to the bleeding edge out there. But the version that made it into Sarge is good enough.

    I had previously shied away from KOffice/Kword because although the earlier versions offered the ability to save/print to pdf file, the pdf file it created sometimes wasn't compatible with Acroread or Windows or even OO.org. So when creating docs with earlier versions of KWord, just to be sure, I'd save the file as ps, then open a shell and use ps2pdf to convert, and everything worked ok. In order to avoid that, as OO.org hit 1.1.x then 1.2.x then 1.3.x, I started using OO.org more and more, especially because its export to pdf button worked flawlessly every time. Still does. But events have conspired to bring me back into the KOffice fold.

    OO.org is just too resource intensive. When I need to create a short document, if kword/kate or vim aren't good enough for lack of features, I found myself trying to think of alternatives rather than fire up OO.org and watch it eat up memory and slow everything down. So I apt-get installed KOffice again after purging it, and installed all the KOffice related recommends/suggests, and found that it had advanced enough to the point of my liking it. That's a change because just a few versions back I was really disappointed in the pdf problem, the limited number of other file formats it was capable of saving to with those formats being compatible with the same formats on other applications, etc.

    Now, the number one reason I'm using KOffice almost exclusively is because I can't print from OO.org, Mozilla/Firefox, or some other applications. I have an HP4+ printer plugged via parallel port into a knoppix desktop running from the CD drive. It's running cupsd, and I'm printing either directly from the knoppix desktop, or printing from other desktops logged into the file server via ssh, using the identities on the file server. Previously, I had an Epson ink jet printer plugged into the knoppix via cupsd, but changed the printer to the HP a while back. Changed the configurations in cupsd and cups in /etc on the knoppix acting as the print server, plus the desktop cups clients. KWord, and all the KDE apps picked up the change, correctly showing the HP and being able to print to the HP after I added the HP via the cups administration interface and checking the config files as needed. But OO.org and Mozilla and Firefox all show the old setup and I'm unable to print from them because they aren't showing/connecting to HP printer via cups. They show the old Epson printer, and the settings that I added for another printer (just testing) when the Epson was still hooked up.

    I went to the OO.org site and followed the how-to for setting up a printer, but I still couldn't get it to work. It was a while ago, but I think I also went to the Firefox site to look for help, and went through the Mozilla/Firefox help menus to try and find help, but I still can't print from OO.org, Firefox, and now that I think about it, Acroread and possibly xpdf as well.

    So I think I'm missing an entry in another config file where OO.org and Firefox and Xpdf and other non-kde apps look for info on what printers are available. Luckily, kde apps are using some other method to list available printers, so if I need to create something in OO.org, I reopen it in Kword or create a pdf and print it through kword or kpdf. If I have a web page opened in Firefox or Mozilla that I need to print, I have to re-open the page in Konqueror before I can print it.

    As long as my situation lasts, I'm hoping that KOffice gets better and better before Etch hits stable, and continues to get better after that. I'm semi-hooked and getting in deeper as time passes.
    • Google "openoffice kprinter". You can print from those apps, using the KDE print manager. I just don't like doing it that way. But I feel your pain.
  • A question for those of you that use KWord heavily - How does the MS Word import compare to open office? About the same? More limited? Better perhaps?

    I have been using Open Office, and would like to ditch it, in part because it is too resource intensive (even with java disabled), but also because the .doc import feature is less exact than I need. Don't get me wrong, it does import just about every part of every document I read, and renders it pretty close to the way that MS does, which is very impressive gi
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Sounds like you're using OpenOffice.org 1 or don't have the MS Core Fonts installed. Try OO.o2 and install the MS Core Fonts (Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, blahblah).
  • why kspread sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Arthur B. ( 806360 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:09PM (#15110548)
    experiment: A0 = 0 An+1 = An + normsinv(rand()) plot A0 to A1000, go get a cup of koffee gnumeric is the only decent excel competitor in that area

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?