KOffice 1.5 Released For Linux

    April 12, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The newest version of KOffice offers OpenDocument as the default file format and presents a new project planning tool, KPlato.

KDE announced the KOffice 1.5 release and noted it has native support for the OASIS OpenDocument File format (ODF). That native support includes productivity applications KWord (.odt), KSpread (.ods), and KPresenter (.odp).

The KChart (.odc) and KFormula (.odf) applications also support ODF, but not fully, KDE said in its statement. KOffice is freely available under Open Source licenses and can be downloaded from its website.

Project organizers noted how some of their work on the 1.5 release received some motivation from the battle over document formats between Massachusetts and Microsoft. The commonwealth plans to support OpenDocument format by January 2007.

However, there have been concerns raised by Microsoft that alternatives to the Office productivity suite would not permit handicapped people to effectively use a non-Microsoft solution:

The decision of the Commonwealth of Massachussetts to base its future document format on open standards started a great debate with many different people and organization taking part. The start of it was Microsoft’s assertion that programs using the OpenDocument file format could not be used by handicapped people.

The direct outcome of this debate was that OpenOffice.org, KOffice and vendors of other office software started to work hard on rectifying this situation. This version of KOffice has support for enhanced accessibility through the means of mouseless operation and text-to-speech functionality.

It is therefore our hope that KOffice can in future be used even by handicapped users, and we are very interested in feedback on this.

The project also disclosed how 1.5 contains the first major release of its data management application, Kexi 1.0. That gives KOffice an application similar to Microsoft Access.

In this version of KOffice, KPlato is offered as a technology preview; in version 2.0 it should be a fully functional release. The KPlato team is also involved in the OPMEF project, intended to create a standard file format for project management applications, KOffice said.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.