I was going to tag KOffice 1.5 alpha today, but I cannot do that because I haven’t got the hardware at the moment. And in any case, development on KOffice is now going at such a fast and furious pace that it’s hardly opportune at the moment. A little more time will make the alpha (which isn’t intended to be feature complete, but to give interested people something to test) a lot better.
For instance, Thomas Zander, David Faure and Gary Cramblitt have been hacking on KWord a lot. Yes — after a long period of stagnation, KWord is moving forward. Lots of bugfixes, a complete refactoring of the page layout code, a redesign of the document creation panel, much work on the document structure pane and a speech interface. And while multi-page tables are still a problem, the table code has been reworked and is now much more robust. Also nice: in the normal view the page is centered in the window, instead of bunched up to the left window margin. We should fix that for Krita, too.
Sebastian Sauer and Cyrille Berger have been working on scripting for KOffice (for now only Kexi and Krita use the scripting library, but it’s useful for every KOffice application), and Cyrille has added Ruby support to the existing Python support.
Casper Boemann has added a 16-bit L*a*b colorspace to Krita and thoroughly reviewed the color management path, making it very dependable. And now that Adobe allows anyone to download and package a set of high quality icc profiles with their application, the results are good, too. Casper has also added autoscroll to KPresenter and Krita, and the code is generic, so it can spread to other KOffice apps.
Casper and Zagge have been working on a new guides implementation that is really slick and very usable. It’s used in KPresenter at the moment, but Zagge has promised me he’d re-use the generic library in Krita. And of course, Kivio and Karbon could profit, too.
Nikolaus is working in a special branch on making discontinuous selections in KSpread a reality, and we hope to get his work into 1.5. Ariya Hidayat has started on a much more effficient class for loading xml-based files, which should help with loading times for big spreadsheets, and there’s also work being done on making KSpread more memory efficient, so those big spreadsheets will also work once loaded.
Dag Andersen has picked up KPlato — the integrated planner application for KOffice which is going to be included in our release for the first time with 1.5.
And Peter Simonssen has together with Thomas worked on resolving one of the biggest KOffice problems: the startup dialog that gives you a choice between templates, recent files and existing files. The new solution has received a thorough usability test with real life usability testers on OpenUsability and that has resulted in more fixes and polish.
My fingers ache… If only my new laptop will be delivered today!
(I know I must have forgotten something, but I’m typing this on the train and haven’t got access to my mailbox.)