First Beta Version of the Calligra Suite

The Calligra team is proud and excited to release the first beta version of the Calligra Suite. Since the start of the Calligra effort, we have had a long and very productive development phase. In the mean time we have released four snapshot versions, also known as alphas, to give the users a chance to see what we are doing.

These alpha versions have been work in progress. This beta marks the beginning of a new phase. The time has come to start polishing the features that we have, and make them production quality.

Karbon showing a file from OpenClipart

Karbon showing a file from OpenClipart

News in This Release

As usual the release has a number of new or improved features. The most important of them will be highlighted here.

Productivity Applications

For the productivity part of the suite (word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program) the target user of version 2.4 is the student or academic user. This version has a number of new features that will make it more suitable for these users.

Words, the word processor has improved support for table of contents, improved support for text tables and new support for citations and bibliographies. There is also a new search bar much like the one found in web browsers that will let the users quickly find text anywhere.

Tables, the spreadsheet application, has improved support for large tables and much faster loading.

Stage, the presentation program, has a new view for slide sorting. This is a result of a Google Summer of Code project by Paul Mendez. This new slide sorter is also used in the dialog for creating custom presentations. Editing of slide notes has also been much improved.

Kexi, the database application, has a new modern menu and startup screen. This change is start of the move to a more modern look, and will be introduced into other parts of Kexi as well.

Startup dialog for a new Kexi project

Startup dialog for a new Kexi project

Plan, the project management application, has improved support for printing of many types of charts. There is also improved support for scripting that allows better import of data from external sources.

Flow, the diagram application which is a new application in the suite, now has support for downloading new stencils via the KNewStuff system. This makes it possible for users to make their own stencil sets available for other users in an easy way.

Braindump, the new application , is a tool to dump and organize the content of your brain, such as ideas, drawings, images, texts, etc. This application will be first released in Calligra version 2.4 final.

Artistic Applications

The artistic applications of the Calligra Suite are the most mature ones and are already used by professional users everywhere.

Krita, the drawing application, has a much improved brush editor and management of brush presets. Brushes can now be tagged with semantic markup. There is also a new selection popup palette that makes it very efficient to use while drawing. These improvements are direct results of a well developed dialog between the users and the development team.

Screenshot of the Krita brush editor

the new Krita brush editor

Karbon, the vector drawing application, has improved support for the standard SVG format, making it more suited as an advanced vector graphics editor. There is also a new color bar to let the user select colors from a palette. There are also some very nice improvements to the so called artistic text.

Common Improvements

The architecture of the Calligra Suite lets the applications share much of the functionality of the suite with each other. Many common parts have seen improvements since the last alpha release. Here are a few of them.

Images can now be dragged & dropped into the applications from many different sources, including web browsers. This makes it much easier to create documents containing pictures, especially text documents and presentations.

The whole Calligra Suite has gained support for images in the SVG format.

The native file format of Calligra is the Open Document Format, ODF. Compatibility with other suites and formats has always been a priority and as usual all the import filters for Microsoft formats have received attention and improvements. At this time, the Calligra import filters for docx/xlsx/pptx are the best free translations tools available anywhere.

Other Than the Desktop

At the same time as the desktop version, the community also release two other interfaces: Calligra Mobile and Calligra Active.

Calligra Mobile is the classic UI for mobile phones. The most well-known platform for this one is the Nokia N900. There are no new features for Calligra Mobile in this release.

Calligra Active is a newer and flashier document viewer for touch based tablets especially tailored for the Plasma Active platform. Calligra Active has a new search easy-to-use interface for spreadsheets and presentations.

Try It Out

The source code of the snapshot is available for download: calligra-2.3.81.tar.bz2

Ubuntu

Users of Ubuntu and Kubuntu are urged to try the daily snapshots prepared by Project Neon. Paste the following in a terminal window and you’ll find Calligra installed in /opt:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:neon/ppa \
&& sudo apt-get update\
&& sudo apt-get install project-neon-base \
   project-neon-calligra \
   project-neon-calligra-dbg

You can run these packages by adding /opt/project-neon/bin to your PATH.

Arch Linux

Arch Linux provides Calligra packages in the [kde-unstable] repository.

Fedora

Fedora is working on packages and expects them to be available within the next two weeks.

OpenSuse

There are OpenSUSE Calligra packages in the unstable playground repository.

FreeBSD

Calligra ports are available in Area51.

Windows and OSX

Work has started on a Windows package of the Calligra Application Suite but we are not done yet, so for a Windows build, you will have to wait. We would welcome volunteers who want to build the Calligra Suite on OSX.

About the Calligra Suite

The Calligra Suite is part of the applications from the KDE community. See more information at the website http://www.calligra-suite-org/.

 

 

The project management application

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22 Responses to First Beta Version of the Calligra Suite

  1. rogerc says:

    Congratulations and thanks to everyone that has made that to be possible.

  2. Bob says:

    Hey great work so far, finally a good free office is on the way. right now, libre office and open office suck when compared to microsoft office. Calligra is turning up prettty good, though there are still quite a few missing features. One thing, in words beta1 i do not see any search bar?

    • Inge Wallin says:

      Bob: Thanks for the nice words. Regarding search bar, just press Ctrl-F and it will appear.
      Update: Argh! made a mistake in the name. fixed now.

      • Bob says:

        Ok thanks. And one major thing that will probably prevent any student from using calligra is the fact that it cannot save in the doc or docx format and it doesn’t always open it right, and it cannot open recorded changes/comments made (it doesnt show it)

        i’m not sure how to submit bug stuff for that, so that’s why i’m saying it here

        • Inge Wallin says:

          Yeah, not being able to save in Microsoft formats is a weakness. But I think that many students will be able to get their work done using the OpenDocument format.

          Reporting bugs is done on http://bugs.kde.org/. Unfortunately you have to register a user the first time (I think), but hopefully that will not be a too big obstacle. We need the support of helpful and dedicated users.

          • bob says:

            Well, I really think you should fix the doc saving problem by the time the final release. Me being a student, i know that the standard format is doc. So if i want to share, send, collaborate, etc. all has to be in doc format which will automatically alienate students from choosing calligra. Just my two cents. Good luck

        • Marcos says:

          I’m not sure because I don’t use it, but doesn’t MS Office open .odt documents since Office 2007? If I’m correct you shouldn’t have any problem when exchanging documents with Office users.

          • mythus says:

            It does, but with diminished support. This is especially the case when trying to open Calc or Tables files in Excel 2010. It doesn’t always import all of the table/formula functions. It is safe to say that you’d have an easier time opening a doc file on Calligra than a odt file in Office.

            Add to that, many colleges (at least around here) require files to be in doc or docx format and won’t accept files in other formats. The online “DesiretoLearn” dropbox feature won’t even let you submit files that aren’t in doc or docx format. So the ability to save in those formats, unfortunately, is a must. It is indeed sad when the big Redmond giant has such a lockdown on everything that you have to use its proprietary format.

            Regardless, if you are going to want to attract many students, they have to be able to save their work in doc or docx format. If they have to save it in odt format, then fire-up libreoffice to save it in doc or docx, why should they bother with Calligra? If they have to open it in office 2010, and try to fix all the un-imported functions, then save it in doc or docx, why bother with either? So if you want students, fix saving as doc and docx.

  3. Inge Wallin says:

    Seems that wordpress won’t let me reply to the last comment. Maybe there is a limit on how deep it can nest comments.

    Anyway, regarding saving as doc or docx: I agree that it would be very nice to have it. But unfortunately that would take many 100s of hours of work and we just don’t have that until the release.

    And while apparently you don’t have the option to use doc I know many other places, including my own old university, where it’s perfectly fine to use ODF.

    • Alex says:

      I think most serious publicly funded universities do not require you to use doc. One reason being that they cannot require you to purchase software when there are free alternatives.

      • Cyrille Berger says:

        Given that most university give access to computer with MS Word installed, and many of them give you access to it through the MSDNA program, I am not sure that the purchase software requirement is that valid.

        That said, even the most stupid universities, you can usually hand over assignment in PDF. So you really have to be in the worst than stupid university to be in the .doc only world (or apply to job positions… at universities or companies). But then you might have the social pressure if you work with other students.

  4. Ulises says:

    Exelente Trabajo!!!! por eso KDE es lo mejor!!!!

  5. Alejandro says:

    Installed the PPAs. Changed the PATH according to http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1047668. Finally I can’t run Calligra and the terminal opens with “bash: /opt/project-neon/bin: It’s a directory” (in Spanish).

  6. Luke says:

    I am a noob so go easy one me. I installed this in ubuntu to run kexi; when i go to opt/project-neon/bin, launch kexi, and create a new database it says [could not find database driver "".] Did I miss a step?

  7. Marcos says:

    Do ya’ll have anything against Gentoo? hehe. Ya’ll also missed it in your former announcements.
    Ok, just wanted to say that Calligra 2.3.81 is in Portage, tagged as unstable, but there it is.

  8. Marcos says:

    Oh, so that all the other distros are in the announcements because Calligra devs use them? Well, I didn’t know, I thought someone in your team was in touch with packagers and them would informe (s)he, hence my joke about the “discrimination” to Gentoo.
    Gentoo doesn’t package (normally), it pulls directly the source code trough ebuilds. I’m not the author of the Gentoo ebuild, so I can’t do much, but in case you think it’d be nice to talk with the “ebuilder” to ask him to communicate when he uploads an ebuild for Calligra you can try here: http://packages.gentoo.org/package/app-office/calligra

    Cheers

    • Marcos says:

      Damn, I forgot to reply in the right place. Sorry.

    • Boemann says:

      Well we don’t package. We just announce it to the kde packaging group. If the “ebuilder” doesn’t contact us with info it doesn’t get added to the list above.

      It’s not about us ignoring any distibution at all. We just can’t be asked to check every distro out there. I’m sure you would prefer we spend our time coding, fixing bugs etc. So if you, as a gentoo user, think that gentoo information should be added then I suggest you contact your “ebuilder” asking him to supply us with info about the work he did.

  9. Kevin says:

    Installed PPA’s and only Braindump and projectplanwork work when running the executable files in /opt/project-neon/bin directory. Added PATH to my bash according to http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1047668 and got an error message asking me to add a prefix to /etc/kde4rc file. I followed the directions in the error message and then my whole system crashed. I’m on stand-by mode until I get more specific directions. I’m running Kubuntu Natty 11.04.

  10. David says:

    I tried to install to Ubuntu 10.4 LTS and the following was returned:

    david@david-linux-1:~$ sudo apt-get install project-neon-base \
    > project-neon-calligra \
    > project-neon-calligra-dbg
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    E: Couldn’t find package project-neon-base

    And, sure enough, when I looked through the listing available at this address https://launchpad.net/~neon/+archive/ppa/+index?batch=75
    I didn’t find it either.

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