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Thread: KDE's Calligra KOffice Fork Sees Its First Release

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfmanhalfamazing View Post
    This is just an initial reaction, but perhaps the KDE community should consider making Calligra the standard.
    KDE doesn't work that way. Only distributions decide what their standards/defaults are.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBlackCat View Post
    The article isn't very well-worded, since it wasn't really a "fork". Officially it was a "split", but when the split has one or two developers on one side and everyone else on the other, I would say it would make the side with one or two developers the fork (that would be KOffice). So the closest thing we have to the "official" KOffice is actually Calligra, but the two developers insisted on keeping the KOffice name for themselves and the Calligra developers, although initially opposed (I think in a large part to avoid this sort of confusion) eventually relented.
    Close. The names were part of a compromise. The Calligra team didn't want the KOffice name anyway but originally wanted to be allowed to be called the official KOffice successor (very early Calligra announcements called it that way) and therefore did not want the KWord maintainer (Thomas Zander, who was the other conflict party) to keep that name. Some KDE community work group was called to mediate in that conflict and the compromise was that Zander can keep the names KOffice and KWord and the Calligra team can keep the names Kexi, Krita and Karbon. The remaining applications must be renamed: https://mail.kde.org/pipermail/calli...ne/001663.html
    I think technically Zander broke the compromise by still claiming Kivio on http://koffice.org but since that's even more unmaintained than the rest of KOffice, in reality that does not matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by 89c51 View Post
    imagine if all those 87 devs were putting an effort in trying to make Libre integrate better with KDE
    And what would that accomplish? LO is still very bad software, rotten to its roots with its code base that extends back to the 1980s.

    Quote Originally Posted by crispy View Post
    Hope they will make it as feature complete as libreoffice, which also in my opinion is starting to seem quite heavy. Ive actually started to use gnumeric instead of calc because of that.
    Calligra and LO do not have exactly the same goals, so you won't ever see every LO feature replicated in Calligra (eg. there is no interest in working on export support for legacy file formats). OTOH there are features in Calligra you'll probably never see in LO: Painting, musical notation, project management,…

  2. #12
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    hopefully one of those mobile flavours will support the meego/harmattan Nokia N9 too....................?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Awesomeness View Post
    And what would that accomplish? LO is still very bad software, rotten to its roots with its code base that extends back to the 1980s.
    all those people can rewrite big parts of it and make it modern i assume

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    Quote Originally Posted by halfmanhalfamazing View Post
    This is just an initial reaction, but perhaps the KDE community should consider making Calligra the standard.

    Koffice is horrible. I've had it crash on me simply typing up a report, without changing fonts, font sizes, nothing. Just open application and start typing.

    At first glance, Calligra seems better maintained. According to: http://www.koffice.org/kivio/ Kivio needs a maintainer.

    To all the flamers: I'm not saying that Kivio is better than or worse than Flow. What I am saying is what's easily observable. An unmaintained program(or package within a suite) doesn't have a future, and does threaten the suite as a whole.
    Kvivo is no more. There was a split of the KOffice project, and virtuall all of the former KOffice developers ended up going with the Calligra Suite branch of the split rather than stay with the branch that kept the name KOffice.

    For several of the applications, this meant that ALL of the developers of that application ended up with Calligra Suite, and none stayed with KOffice. So now, kvivio has no developers, they all work on Calligra Flow.

    The same I think is true of Krita and several of the other applications as well.

    Calligra Suite is the only one viable, going forward. I think you will find that all KDE desktop distributions will ship with Calligra Suite in the future, rather than KOffice.

    This is not dissimilar to the situation with OpenOffice and LibreOffice. Just as of those two it is LibreOffice which now has the majority of the developers and all of the momentum, this is now the case with Calligra Suite and not KOffice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 89c51 View Post
    all those people can rewrite big parts of it and make it modern i assume
    Yes, they can. And it's much more complicated than to extend an easy maintainable code base like Calligra’s. LO is so immensely huge and messy, when Nokia was still on the MeeGo train, it chose to adopt Calligra for its Office Viewer app on the N9, even though at that time Calligra was still in alpha stage. LO is nowhere as feasible for that use case and on LO work quite a lot full-time employees whereas Calligra is a real community project.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Awesomeness View Post
    Yes, they can. And it's much more complicated than to extend an easy maintainable code base like Calligra’s. LO is so immensely huge and messy, when Nokia was still on the MeeGo train, it chose to adopt Calligra for its Office Viewer app on the N9, even though at that time Calligra was still in alpha stage. LO is nowhere as feasible for that use case and on LO work quite a lot full-time employees whereas Calligra is a real community project.
    just to make myself clear its not a LO vs Caligra thing.

    i just want 1 (one) suite that is feature complete, cross platform (including mobile) and can compete with the rest.

    i feel the same way for the million multimedia players, web browsers, email clients etc

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by 89c51 View Post
    just to make myself clear its not a LO vs Caligra thing.

    i just want 1 (one) suite that is feature complete, cross platform (including mobile) and can compete with the rest.

    i feel the same way for the million multimedia players, web browsers, email clients etc
    Different people, ideas, preferences, goals, skills, programming languages, desktop environments - it's not easy to convince someone to our preferences.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 89c51 View Post
    just to make myself clear its not a LO vs Caligra thing.

    i just want 1 (one) suite that is feature complete, cross platform (including mobile) and can compete with the rest.

    i feel the same way for the million multimedia players, web browsers, email clients etc
    Just wait for awhile. LO is working on a mobile version withstand the gtk Broadway backend. However, don't expect it in less than a year.
    I don't see the point of a KDE office unless it is simply a toolkit exercise. Building an office suite is crazy amounts of work. Having a code base that is 20 years old isn't necessarily a bad thing if, as LO is doing, unused functions are continuously searched for and pruned. LO has a very large and active community, and has excellent support for the major formats (which, I would imagine is the hardest thing to achieve), but even they don't have ideal format support. To my knowledge these libraries aren't shared between the two projects, and that is a huge shame since it is the absolute most important aspect of an office suite.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 89c51 View Post
    just to make myself clear its not a LO vs Caligra thing.

    i just want 1 (one) suite that is feature complete, cross platform (including mobile) and can compete with the rest.
    No such thing as “feature complete”. I have likely a very different definition of that than you. IMO the only missing feature of Calligra Words is RTF export, although vastly superior app load time compared to LO more than makes up for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by liam View Post
    Just wait for awhile. LO is working on a mobile version withstand the gtk Broadway backend. However, don't expect it in less than a year.
    I'd say a year is overly optimistic. To get an actual mobile version, real modularization is required: A task that already failed several times.


    Quote Originally Posted by liam View Post
    I don't see the point of a KDE office unless it is simply a toolkit exercise. Building an office suite is crazy amounts of work.
    So? Most work is already done. Calligra didn't start from scratch but – at least partially – dates back to 1997 (KPresenter was started then). KOffice was mostly held back by text rendering bugs in Qt. It took a motivated Nokia employee to finally fix that bug in Qt 4.8.

    Quote Originally Posted by liam View Post
    Having a code base that is 20 years old isn't necessarily a bad thing
    I don't know how your math skills make an 1980s code base 20 years old but whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by liam View Post
    as LO is doing, unused functions are continuously searched for and pruned.
    That’s a claim often repeated by LO devs but it only is a small fraction of the true story.
    LO’s biggest problem aren’t the unused functions, but the crappy functions that are actually used and not replaced! Its VCL toolkit needs to go ASAP but there are absolutely no attempts at all to completely rewrite the GUI using a modern non-buggy toolkit within the LO community.
    The funny thing is that Apache OpenOffice will get a completely new GUI IBM developed years ago for Lotus Symphony, although LO fans already declared OO dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by liam View Post
    LO has a very large and active community,
    …that achieved almost nothing. Where is the VCL-less GUI? Why are all LO components still in one huge “soffice.bin” process? Why is KDE integration still broken?
    Both projects – LO and Calligra – were initiated in late 2010. During pretty much exactly the same time LO devs were struggling removing unused code whereas Calligra devs built a completely new word processor from scratch!

    Quote Originally Posted by liam View Post
    and has excellent support for the major formats (which, I would imagine is the hardest thing to achieve), but even they don't have ideal format support.
    Fact is nonetheless that Calligra has better MS OOXML import support than LO – a feat achieved in a shorter time than LO even with Red Hat’s and SUSE’s full-time employees.


    IMO it’s a testament to the quality of the code base when a handful of mostly hobby developers achieve more in Calligra than the army of full-time devs achieve in LO during the same time.
    TDF will need to invest lots of development time in cleaning up LO’s rotten code base to make it easily extendable.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by liam View Post
    Just wait for awhile. LO is working on a mobile version withstand the gtk Broadway backend. However, don't expect it in less than a year.
    I don't see the point of a KDE office unless it is simply a toolkit exercise. Building an office suite is crazy amounts of work. Having a code base that is 20 years old isn't necessarily a bad thing if, as LO is doing, unused functions are continuously searched for and pruned. LO has a very large and active community, and has excellent support for the major formats (which, I would imagine is the hardest thing to achieve), but even they don't have ideal format support. To my knowledge these libraries aren't shared between the two projects, and that is a huge shame since it is the absolute most important aspect of an office suite.
    Calligra suite is written, I believe, in C++ using Qt and KDE libraries. It employs an interesting concept of "flakes" to share components between applications.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flake_%28KDE%29

    The functionality of Flake is divided up between Shapes which display content, and Tools which manipulate content or the user interface. Different Shapes can be created to support different kinds of content, for example the text-shape in KWord would support .txt and .odt formats while the Kchart shape would just support chart related document standard like .odc. Shapes are packaged with a set of tools to manipulate that kind of content and UI elements that expose the functionality to the user. This provides an application with all the features it needs and also allows for easy embedding of Shapes in other applications. Shapes can load other shapes when needed, for example when images are in text documents the image shape will be loaded to handle the images.
    This means that a "table", for example, in Calligra Words is the same thing, and uses the same code, as a "table" in Calligra Sheets, Stage and Kexi.

    Calligra has a "core" of functionality, and a few different GUI's are built using that same core. At this time there are three such GUI wrappers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calligra_Suite

    Desktops

    Calligra’s main platform are desktop PCs running Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and Windows, of which Linux is the best supported system.

    Smartphones

    Calligra Mobile is a version for smartphone-like formfactors. Its main purpose is to serve as document viewer for devices running Maemo or its successor MeeGo but simple editing features are also available.

    Tablets

    Calligra Active was launched after the Plasma Active initiative to provide a document viewer similar to Calligra Mobile but for tablet computers.
    This is obviously a case where a new codebase and saner, cleaner structure is far easier to maintain and extend to different versions.

    This is so important, in fact, that it DOES provide a "point" for the Calligra Suite. Very much so. Maintainability and portability of Calligra Office are streets ahead of OpenOffice and LibreOffice. It is not "crazy amounts of work", the development team is only about 87 members strong.
    Last edited by hal2k1; 04-13-2012 at 12:37 AM.

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