On the Desktop
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See also: last week's On the Desktop page.
HancomLinux merges with theKompany.
Hancom announced the merger of its product line with long time KDE stalwart theKompany. Shawn Gordon, CEO and founder of theKompany, was appointed the CEO of the U.S. division of the combined operations, to be known as HancomLinux, USA. Gordon is currently staffing the new Orange County offices of HancomLinux USA.
"The word processor started out as a Windows application which was ported via Wine initially," said Gordon during a LinuxWorld interview with LWN.net. "The other applications, as I understand it, were written directly for Qt. The word processor has now been ported to Qt, though it's still beta quality right now." All of theKompany's products, which include the Visio-like Kivio and the PIM application Aethera, have been ported to the new Qt3 windowing toolkit. That makes them readily portable to Windows and the Mac, along with Linux. But Hancom's products still require porting to the new widget set. "We plan on starting that process next week with the completion scheduled for a November release," said Gordon.
HancomOffice 2.0 will include the standard word processor, spreadsheet, presentation graphics and raster graphics tools along with a flowcharting tool, database management package, web page designer and PIM (Personal Information Manager). theKompany brings their Aethera PIM product, renamed as QuickSilver in HancomOffice 2.0, to the table in this deal, along with Kivio (flowchart tool). With a complete package like this, KDE becomes more attractive to desktop solutions providers. Despite GNOME's strong design and energetic development effort, it still lacks production level applications of this nature.
HancomLinux, which has approximately 80 employees in 3 locations, was formed in 1999 to take the Linux product line from Korean software company Haansoft. Haansoft has been the reported market leader in the word processing market in Korea with an estimated 83% share in 2000.
We'll be posting the full interview with Shawn Gordon later, after some of the post LinuxWorld dust has had a chance to settle here.
KDE wins 'Best Open Source Project' at LinuxWorld. KDE dot News reported that the KDE project won the "Best Open Source Project" award at LinuxWorld. KDE was well represented by both developers and the KDE League, which helps promote the environment. A summary of the event for KDE has been posted, along with a fair number of related images.
KMail 1.0.x, 1.1 billionth second problems. KMail users take note: versions prior to 1.0.29.x of this email package will stop working and cause mail folder corruptions on September 9th! Users of version 1.0.29.x will only lose functionality, but no folders will be damaged. The problem stems from improper handling of the billionth second of Unix time, which started officially on January 1st, 1970. It is, essentially, a minor Y2K of Unix time, though this is the first instance of a known problem stemming from this magic date.
Interview With KDE's Konqueror Team (OSNews). OSNews is running an interview with the Konqueror development team. "No, the goal is to make Konqueror as fast as Galeon, and preferably even faster, without stripping it down. Any stripping down would have to happen in Konqueror (which provides the user-interface) because KHTML only provides the rendering engine, there is little that can be stripped from the rendering engine without sacrificing standards compliance." (Thanks to Stéfane Fermigier).
KC KDE Issue #21. The latest Kernel Cousin KDE is out. This issue is devoted to the events surrounding the start of KDE3 development and the Qt3 porting efforts.
This week's GNOME Summary. The GNOME Summary for September 1 is available. It covers the GNOME Accessibility Framework release, Sun's desktop division, and more.
GNOME 1.4.1 Beta 2. Another beta of the upcoming 1.4.1 point release for GNOME has been announced.
GNUstep Community site. The GNUstep project has a new web site. The site is expected to have a new user oriented editorial each Friday helping end users make use of the evolving environment.
Xfce news. A new release of XFce was announced last week. The new version, 3.8.7 adds a few new features like disabling user configuration options (for use in kiosks and set top boxes, for example) and fixes numerous bugs.
Sun shows new version of StarOffice (News.com). News.com looks forward to StarOffice 6.0. "But the current version, 5.2, has been roundly criticized as a large and sluggish product. By default, the program tries to take over many desktop functions, coming with its own 'Start' button and file browser, and all its programs load at once. Version 6.0 will break these programs into individual applications that can run independently, said software demonstrators at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo where the software has been demonstrated this week."
Is StarOffice ready to take on Microsoft Office? (ZDNet). This article on StarOffice is mostly targeted at the Windows platforms but is still relevant to users of StarOffice on Linux. "China views Microsoft's desktop dominance with suspicion, raising the possibility that it will adopt Linux or even StarOffice on Windows. Microsoft's recent increase in licensing fees has inadvertently helped make StarOffice more attractive to Latin America and also to extremely budget-conscious organizations."
MacGIMP reviewed. GIMP for MacOS X was reviewed this week by MacWrite.com. "As possibly the first packaged application for Mac OS X, MacGIMP opens up a new chapter in OS X's fresh history. It may well usher in a host of X11 applications meant to run locally on your Mac. This one also uses the X Window System very effectively, and sets a benchmark for other applications to reach for." (Thanks to GIMP News)
Appgen, Macmillan to launch Moneydance 3.0 and MyBooks 5.1 for Retail Vision. Are these Linux based retail editions? Yes, they are. Review them a little.
GNOME applets 22.214.171.124. A new release of the GNOME Applets package was announced this past week. The GNOME Applets are a series of small applications such as clocks, file browsers and sound mixers that can be embedded in GNOME Panels. This is mostly a bug fix release.
And in other news...
Another new Linux-based Korean PDA expected soon (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices.com previews an upcoming Linux PDA, complete with picture. "The new PDA's application software includes PDA PIM (Personal Information Management) applications, Internet functions (web browsing, email, etc), and extensive multimedia capabilities (players for MPEG, MP3, etc.). A Korean-English dictionary and several games are also included with the device."
gdkxft 1.1 released - Anti-Aliased fonts for GTK+ 1.2. Within days of the 1.0 release, a 1.1 release of gdkxft has been announced. This package permits existing GTK+ 1.2 applications to incorporate anti-aliased text rendering in their widgets without recompiling the application. This works only with dynamically linked applications, of course. There are varied reports of success with this and the primary web site for the project presents an ominous disclaimer:
A botched install of gdkxft has the potential to make your X configuration unworkable.
Note that gdkxft only works with XFree86 4.x, with 4.1 recommended.
GTK+ 1.3.7. Owen Taylor posted a note for the release of GTK+ 1.3.7, a developers version of the pre-GTK+ 2.0 series. This one still has lots of bugs, so only developers wishing to learn more about what 2.0 will be like or who are interested in working on GTK+ itself should take the plunge.
Section Editor: Michael J. Hammel
September 6, 2001