March 30, 2011

Calligra Suite: the first three months

It’s been eerily silent around Calligra… I know that. We went public with a bang – and then nothing apart from regular hints at the commit digest! But that’s because everyone is having so much fun hacking! There’s lots and lots happening in the calligra git repo, there’s a sprint with a record attendence coming up, there are tantalizing hints about Calligra being put to use around the globe…

Code!

About 3500 commits since we moved to the Calligra git repo… That’s a heck of a lot of work! There are about sixty feature branches, where people develop their cool ideas until they are ready to go into master. This development strategy means that master generally speaking is much more stable than it used to be in the old KOffice subversion days.

I’ll skip the cool Krita work for now, since those get described on Krita’s own website, and focus on some of the development highlights for the other apps:

And of course, the ongoing work to improve our import filters, fix bugs, optimize the libraries and so on didn’t flag. Soon we’ll have the first snapshot release of Calligra Master, which will make it possible to test and give feedback on all the improvements and work that has gone into Calligra. We intend to continue releasing snapshots until at least Calligra Words is ready for end users. That means the new text layout engine must have landed, and the gui for selecting styles will have been rewritten.

Sprint!

This weekend a large number of Calligra hackers from all over the world will come to Berlin to meet up. Many of them for the first time, others were out of development for some time during the last KOffice days, but are now happily hacking again. Over thirty attendees… It’s getting to be a sort of mini conference, as Sven Langkamp said!

We’ll be discussing the new release cycle, smoothing out the loading of plugins, fixing the UI mistakes we made in the early KOffice days, the balance between depending on Qt and on KDE, more separation between UI and engine. Hard, heavy duty topics, and we only have a couple of days!

And there will be workshops, on the new text layout engine, marketing, qgraphicsview/qml integration and more.

Calligra everywhere

At Fosdem 2011, I gave a main track presentation on how Calligra can be used as a flexible component in many kinds of applications to provide support for office documents. Ranging from report writers to custom tablet gui’s, Calligra can go pretty much anywhere where there’s Qt. Many of these projects are still under wraps, others are being developed out in the open, like Calligra Mobile, formerly FreOffice. Jaroslaw Staniek made a nice abstraction on top of Calligra Mobile, which makes it really easy to create new QWidget-based calligra applications. And I and Inge demonstrated a prototype of a QML based tablet gui for Calligra at the Mobile World congress.