Calligra Words is not a fork of KWord

Pretty often I hear people say that Calligra Words is a fork of KWord. As a maintainer I tell you this not true. Sure we have ripped about 20% of the code from KWord but even that has been dismantled and reassemble in a new way.

That doesn't constitute a fork. Calligra Words is effectively a new word processor. We have more in common with Stage than we do with KWord. We even started the development of Words by disabling what was KWord, and then we built Words by slowly adding functionality .


wow, that is interesting to know

By shaforostoff at Thu, 02/16/2012 - 13:31

If it is not a fork then what it is?
Just suddenly it looks and works more or less like KWord?

Fork isn't a bad thing, forking is that someone takes the code and then rips off off the code OR adds code so that original and forked version are incompatible with each other from developer side.

If you take off 80% of code, and keep 20% and then build new features from ground up, that is still forking.

If Words would be a totally new application, it would have started without any code or guidelines etc from existing application.

Forking isn't a negative thing, it is just a happening.

By fri13 at Thu, 02/16/2012 - 19:32

At some point calling things a fork becomes wrong. In the opensource world we use snippets from other opensource project frequently.

And since we took all the code from the wv2 library, would you call us a fork of that too. It amounts to more lines of code than what we took from KWord.

I'm not hiding the fact that we have taken code from KWord. Not reusing what could be reused would be stupid. But it's mostly boilerplate and some dialogs.

Calling it a fork would be misleading to say the least. A fork in my book is starting with a copy of the code and then taking it in a new direction, but at least initially keeping it's inheritance. What we did was create an application that borrows (admittedly quite) some code from another application.

Oh and obviously being a wordprocessor like KWord and using the suite libraries it will look similar.

By boemann at Fri, 02/17/2012 - 09:37

Well written. Personally I even doubt it's 20% but more something like 5-10% or so. We got right of most of the code by replacing the old previous in KWord hardcoded text-layouting with the reusable (and in Stage and Tables reused) new textlayout library making layouting by a few hundred *factors* faster on the way [1].

[1] And making it (more) debug-able by removing all those QTimer:singleShot ping-pongs, getting the overall lines of code significant down (also by proper splitting logic which belongs into Words vs which is reused in e.g. Stage and Tables), introduce a proper design so things like nested tables could be done (the previous code was so hacky that proper nesting of content was not possible at all - what tells a lot about it's "design") and cause of all of that way easier to maintain.

p.s. For the "look and work more or less like KWord" case; Yes, the KDE desktop-version does cause a) it's a word-processor and b) follows the overall Calligra KDE-desktop design (dockers, dialogs, style-guide, etc). Keeping that path and improving it successive is even a goal. If you look for something that looks and feels different try one of our alternate UI's like Calligra Active, Calligra Mobile or the Documents-application at your N9 which do implement very different UI concepts on top of Calligra frameworks.

By Sebastian Sauer at Fri, 02/17/2012 - 11:48

Sometime ago I tried to import some old kwd files with Calligra Words and I couldn't. It is supposed to support it or I was missing something?

Kudos for your great work,


By jfebrer at Thu, 02/16/2012 - 23:30

In line with the fact that we are not a fork, we don't have any support for kwd files.
It was part of the KWord code and we just havn't copied those parts and are not going to either.

By boemann at Fri, 02/17/2012 - 09:07

So, is it based on the attractive design of Kword?

By ‘design’ I refer to a whole slew of potential users who are former Framemaker experts. We’d been hoping Kword would mature to be a useful replacement. This is something that no other open source project code do, and what set Kword apart,

I don’t care how much code you reused. But did you adopt the goals to be the ONLY word processor out there that is frame-based, or are you aspiring to just be a word processor?

By tedg at Sun, 03/04/2012 - 22:59