Right now, this very weekend, the developers of KOffice, a free software office suite, are gathering at the KDAB offices in Berlin for a final meeting before their long anticipated 2.0 release. Among the attendants are both developers and marketing people. The meeting will have two tracks; one technical track for discussions about all the remaining technical issues with KOffice that needs to be solved before the release, and one marketing track for discussions about how to present the release and how to handle people’s expectations of it. Something that is very important after such a long and hard development cycle.
These people have been working relentlessly on this release, with a release cycle that spans years. Along the way much has happened. Endless design discussions have taken place on the mailing list and on IRC. There have been disagreements among developers, but also reconciliation. The developers are all motivated by different things, and they have all put in a tremendous amount of free time in making this release come out as good as possible. I’ve tried to help out a little bit by putting in a few patches here and there, but at the end of the day, I find the amount of work and the dedication shown by the core KOffice team simply amazing.
In my eyes the KOffice project is one of the more important ones within the KDE sphere. An office suite is something that almost any computer user have to use one day or another, and in the Free Software world the only real alternative at the moment is the OpenOffice.org suite. Other KDE projects such as Amarok, which are not near the size or scope of KOffice have gotten a huge amount of attention, and rightfully so, don’t get me wrong. However, KOffice haven’t really.
Anyway, to conclude this post; the KOffice developers are my heroes, and however the 2.0 release turns out, I think they deserve a big Thank You!