KOffice 2.2 Released
By Inge Wallin
The KOffice team is very happy to announce version 2.2.0, half a year after the release of KOffice 2.1. This release brings an unprecedented number of new features and bugfixes as can be seen in the full list of changes. There are two reasons for this very high development rate: People have started to notice KOffice again and the developer community is growing and the fact that Nokia is sponsoring development of KOffice for their office viewer. Here follows a list of the most important changes in this release.
Highlights of KOffice 2.2
Kexi is Back
The big news for this release is that Kexi, the data management application, is back. Kexi was last released in KOffice 1.6 and has seen a complete overhaul of the user interface. This means that Kexi has seen over 3 years of developement. Kexi should be ready for production work already.
The biggest enhancement that is available for all applications is a new framework for effects on shapes. From the start there are 11 effects. More effects will come in future releases.
New Import Filters for MS OOXML Formats
KOffice has received new import filters for the Microsoft XML based office formats that are used in MS Office 2007 and later. The filters are still pretty basic, but definitely usable for real documents. At this time there are no plans for export filters for these file formats.
Improvement in the Applications
We have improved compatibility with non-X11 platforms like Windows and OSX. There are also many performance improvements and improvements to OpenDocument handling. For the developers and integrators there has been a cleanup of the libraries and API’s.
KWord can now load and show many new formatting features. Spell checking works again. Change tracking has been improved and there is now a dialog for accepting or rejecting changes. The support for metadata using RDF has been brought up to OpenDocument 1.2 level. The import filter for the Microsoft doc format has been much improved and there is a new docx import filter.
KSpread, the spreadsheet application, has received a lot of work. Among the changes are a number of new functions, an improved default layout, rich text in cells. The import filter for Microsoft Excel has been much improved and there is a new import filter for the MS Office 2007 format xlsx.
The biggest improvement in KPresenter, the presentation application, is the new shape animation framework. There is also an improved support for Xinerama setups. Like the other productivity applications, KPresenter has received much work on the import filter for MS Powerpoint, and there is a new import filter for the xml based format pptx.
Karbon has gotten better compatibility with SVG, the Scalable Vector Graphics format. There is also new effect filters for shapes. Most of the improvements to Karbon has gone into the common components and libraries and are therefore available to all KOffice applications.
Krita has received the most changes of all. There are a number of new brush engines, a new brush settings preset system,a new core image handling system and a quick-acces popup palette for recently used colors and brushes. There are also new file filters for xcf, jpeg2000 and OpenEXR.
Krita has a separate announcement on Krita.org, where you can read a comprehensive list of what’s new in Krita 2.2.
As mentioned above, Kexi is back in KOffice. The biggest changes against the old 1.6 version is that there is a new user interface and a new reporting framework. This reporting framework is also used in KPlato.
KPlato has received a new project scheduler and improved reporting using KoReport (shared with Kexi).
Improvements in Plugins
The charts have received many bugfixes.
There are two new shape plugins: one for vector images, currently supporting WMF and EMF formats, and one for embedded videos.
Suitability for Use
This release should be much more stable and full-featured than 2.1. Version 2.2 has received many enhancements to the layout engine, the libraries and the filters. There are still areas in the user interface that we want to work on before stating that KOffice is fit for the general public. We are, however, at a stage where we think that KOffice can be used for real work by some users.
Sources and Binary Packages
The source code to KOffice 2.2.0 can be downloaded from download.kde.org. Binary packages of KOffice 2.2.0 will be available and announced separately as soon as the respective distribution provides them.
Bug Reports and User Feedback
The developers are very interested in user feedback and bug reports. Please report bugs that you find at bugs.kde.org. In particular, the KOffice Team is interested in bugs in the following areas:
- OpenDocument support
- Errors on non-X11 platforms since most developers run Linux and may overlook these.
Trademarks Notices. KDE, K Desktop Environment and KOffice are trademarks of KDE e.V. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Qt is a trademark of Nokia. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group. All other trademarks and copyrights referred to in this announcement are the property of their respective owners.
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