KPresenter 2.3 screenshot
|Original author(s)||KDE, Reginald Stadlbauer|
|Developer(s)||KDE, Thomas Zander (maintainer)|
|Initial release||October 23, 2000|
|Final release||2.3.3 / March 1, 2011|
|Operating system||Unix-like, Windows|
|Platform||Qt, KDE Platform|
|Size||~70 MB (compressed source code)|
|Available in||27 languages|
|Website||koffice.org (Offline since September 2012)|
KOffice is a free and open source office suite and graphics suite by KDE for Unix-like systems and Windows. KOffice contains a word processor (KWord), a spreadsheet (KSpread), a presentation program (KPresenter), and a number of other components that fluctuated over the course of KOffice’s development.
After development began in 1997, two major versions of KOffice were released: Version 1.0 in the Year 2000 and 2.0 in 2009. Following internal conflicts, the majority of KOffice developers split off in 2010 – resulting in the creation of Calligra Suite. Two years later, in September 2012, the KOffice.org website went offline. Vendor-supported packages containing KOffice software are still available through at least 2015; as of September 2013, the git repo containing the KOffice code was last modified directly by a human in May 2013.
|2000||Erlangen, Germany||Sep, 23–25|
|2007||Berlin, Germany||Oct, 26–28|
|2008||Berlin, Germany||Nov, 7–9|
|2009||Berlin, Germany||Jun, 5–7|
|2009||Oslo, Norway||Nov, 27–29|
|2010||Essen, Germany||Jun, 11–13|
In 1999, KOffice was cited in testimony in the United States v. Microsoft anti-trust trial by then-Microsoft executive Paul Maritz as evidence of competition in the operating system and office suite arena.
The first official release of the KOffice suite was on October 23, 2000 when it was released as part of K Desktop Environment 2.0. Versions 1.1 followed in 2001, 1.2 in 2002, 1.3 in 2004, 1.4 in 2005, and 1.5 and 1.6 both in 2006.
KOffice underwent a major transition as part of the release of KDE Software Compilation 4 (SC4). Coinciding with the work on SC4, the KOffice team prepared a major new release – KOffice 2.0 – which used the new KDE Platform 4 libraries. Although version 2.0 was released in 2009, the release was labeled as a “platform release” which was recommended only for testers and developers, rather than production use, since the release was missing key features and applications from the previous stable release series – Kexi, Kivio, and Kugar were not included.
This continued with version 2.1 in November, 2009. Regular end-users requiring a stable environment are still recommended by developers to use the stable 1.6 release series. This version was also ported to Haiku but the port was later not updated for newer KOffice versions.
In May 2010, version 2.2.0 was released and brings an unprecedented number of new features and bugfixes. Kexi was integrated again. Kivio has not yet been migrated. A new framework for effects on shapes and a new import filters for the Microsoft Office Open XML formats that are used in MS Office 2007 and later got added.
In mid-2010, following disagreements between the core developers, the KOffice community split into two separate communities, KOffice and Calligra. Following arbitration with the community members several applications were renamed by both communities. KOffice forked the KSpread spreadsheet utility to KCells, also the KPresenter presentation tool to KOffice Showcase, and the Karbon14 drawing tool to KOffice Artwork.
The community split coincided with the move from KDE’s Subversion repository to git. The Krita painting application, the Kexi database manager, and dedicated mobile platform GUI files were not migrated into the KOffice git repository.
KOffice 2.3, released 31 December 2010, along with subsequent bugfix releases (2.3.1–2.3.3) was still a collaborative effort of both the KOffice and Calligra development teams. An interim release, KOffice 2.3.3, was released in 2011.
After the developer community split, it was unclear whether KOffice 2.4 or Calligra 2.4 would be the "100% official successor of the 2.3 series" of the original codebase.
Beginning with KOffice 2.4 the developers aimed to release new KOffice versions every six months in sync with SC4 releases but KOffice had seen no development activity since mid-March 2012. As of September 2013, Calligra has released 2.4 and 2.5 and 2.6 and 2.7, whereas KOffice 2.4 is still pending. After two minor commits in August 2012 the koffice.org website was replaced by a placeholder in early September 2012. On October 22, 2012 KDE removed KOffice from their Quality Website Tools.
Current status of KOffice packages
As of September 2013, at least two major Linux distros offer KOffice packages. Patches to the KOffice 2.2 suite are being maintained by Canonical Ltd. through April 2015 for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (aka Lucid). Red Hat's RHEL v5, and clones thereof including CentOS v5 and SciLin v5 and OraLin, offer KOffice 1.6; however, although RHEL5 (and clones) will receive security patches through 2020, the KOffice package is not in the official RHEL repo, but rather in a secondary EPEL repo for which continued maintenance is not guaranteed. Other distros also offer KOffice 2.2 or 2.3 packages[ftp.opensuse.org/update/12.1/x86_64/koffice2-2.3.1-12.4.1.x86_64.rpm][carroll.cac.psu.edu/pub/linux/distributions/mandrakelinux/official/2011/i586/media/contrib/release/koffice-core-2.3.3-6-mdv2011.0.i586.rpm][download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/updates/16/x86_64/koffice-core-2.3.3-22.fc16.x86_64.rpm], but without ongoing patches.
The last formally released version of KOffice included the following components:
|KWord||A word processor with style sheets and frame-support for DTP-style editing of complex layouts.|
|KSpread||A spreadsheet application with multiple sheet support, templates and more than 100 mathematical formulae.|
|KPresenter||A presentation program with image and effect support.|
|Kexi||An integrated data management application, designed as a Microsoft Access or FileMaker competitor. It can be used for designing and implementing databases, inserting and processing data and performing queries. It has limited compatibility with the MS Access file format.|
|Kivio||A programmable flowchart drawing program with dynamically loadable stencils. Developed by theKompany, which offered additional (non-free) stencils for sale.|
|Karbon14||A vector drawing application with a variety of drawing and editing tools – formerly known as Kontour and KIllustrator.|
|Krita||A digital painting program, with some image processing features – formerly known as Krayon and KImageshop.|
|Kugar and KChart||Integrated report and chart generators.|
|KFormula||An integrated mathematical formula editor.|
|KPlato||A project management application that can create Gantt-style charts.|
The main office suite in use today is Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office has been released for Windows and Mac OS but no version to date has been released for Linux. In addition, users of the open source operating system have typically expressed a preference for open source software.
In order to meet the demand for a Linux-based office suite, several projects have produced open source office suites for Linux including LibreOffice, Apache OpenOffice, Calligra Suite, and KOffice. LibreOffice is likely the most popular office suite for Linux as it ships in the default installs of many popular Linux distributions, like Debian, openSUSE, Ubuntu, and Fedora. However, as of 2005 Sun Microsystems OpenOffice (the ancestor of both LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice) had drawn criticism for its speed and memory usage.
KOffice applications are developed using Qt and KDE Platform. All its components are released under free software licenses and use OpenDocument as their native file format when possible. KOffice has been[when?] released separately from KDE SC 4 and can be downloaded from KDE’s FTP server.
- Archived copy of the official web site at the Wayback Machine (archived August 21, 2012)
- KOffice development home
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- Kross Scripting Framework