KOffice preps version 2.0 with first release candidate

Release brings together more than three years of work

KOffice 2 will include Krita, an image manipulation tool like PhotoShop or the Gimp

KOffice 2 will include Krita, an image manipulation tool like PhotoShop or the Gimp

The open source KOffice project has announced the availability of the first release candidate of the next generation, version 2.0, which may be the last release before the final 2.0.

According to its developers, the goal of the RC1 release is to determine whether the code “measures up” to the standards for a 2.0 release, but also say the final 2.0 is a foundation for “further releases and for experimental users” and not intended to replace KOffice 1.6 or other office suites for productive work.

“We are aware of many missing features, inconsistencies and problematic areas in the user experience,” according to the developers.

The final 2.0 release will include a Word processor (KWord), spreadsheet (KSpread), presentation manager (KPresenter), a project management app (KPlato), a vector graphics editor (Karbon), and a raster graphics editor and image manipulation tool (Krita).

KChart is available as a shape plugin so charts are available in all the KOffice applications in an integrated manner.

KOffice 2.0 includes Flake Shapes – something simple like a square or complex as a chart – as a central concept.

With Flake, any KOffice application can handle any shape. For instance, KWord can embed bitmap graphics, Krita can embed vector graphics and Karbon can embed charts.

All the applications of KOffice have a new layout better suited to today's wider screens and any tool can be ripped off to create its own window and later be re-docked.

KOffice began life as the native office suite for KDE and Linux, but KOffice 2.0 will be cross-platform and most of the applications will run on Windows and Mac OS X.

With this release candidate, Qt 4.5 has become a hard dependency, and, due to a security patch, lcms 1.18 is also a hard dependency.

Commenting on the release, KDE developer Jonathan Riddell said it may be the only release candidate and brings “more than three years of work to a temporary conclusion”.

“Compared to Beta 7, this release candidate brings a multitude of bug fixes and not a single new feature,” Riddell posted on the KDE news blog.

“While confident that the applications can be used for real work, we squarely aim the 2.0 release at the enthusiast, the tinkerer, the curious, the bold and the adventurous. For them, there is plenty to explore and investigate: this release contains many years of work.”

Upcoming will include Kivio for flowcharting, Kexi for report generation and KFormula will become a Flake Shape like KChart.

“We hope for strong testing from the user community, and if that testing uncovers new critical bugs, we will release another release candidate,” Riddell said.

See the RC1 changelog for all the changes made for the release.

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Rodney Gedda

Techworld Australia

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