first the good news; for the first time in years KWord is no longer in the top-20 of open bugs! :)
Over the last month I've picked up KWord again and started digging into the code. Lots of love was needed and I ended up writing a ton of unit tests to make it much easier to find regressions when something changes either in KWord itself or in parts it depends on.
Directly after this I started doing a big bug-triage of kword and found that my bugfixing spree allowed me to close about 40 bugs. Whee! I'm very happy to see that the last of the crasher bugs are going down quick and I have high hopes that with the upcoming beta I closed all the known crashers. Ready for new ones to be reported :P
I sometimes get questions about who KOffice2 is for and if users should take this release seriously.
KOffice2.0 is meant mostly as a base for the platform and while end users will certainly be able to play with it, I doubt it will be a replacement for their day-to-day tasks. To be more specific here an example; KWord is not going to have some of the features the previous version had; this is mostly about functionality that I think we will start re-adding as plugins. KWord and KOffice as a whole has an extensive plugin structure and just for the text-editing part (shared between all koffice apps) we have several types of plugins. Autocorrect, spell-checking and variables are all plugins in KOffice2. So the idea is to put less effort into the plugins for the 2.0 release and put all the effort into making the core stable and more complete. The plugins will then be something even people outside of the standard KOffice team can pick up and tweak. And, this is the fun part, they can ship a version of the plugins separately from a KOffice release.
Another group of people the upcoming KOffice2.0 release is going to be very interesting for is for integrators; the companies and communities that make a product for their specific audience. Distros are integrators, but not the most interesting ones. There is a growing business where open source products are customized for a paying customer to do exactly what that customer needs. Using open source is much cheaper and we hope that KOffice will prove to be a very useful platform for such integrators. Distros with specific needs, like SkoleLinux, will probably like KOffice as well and I have had some fruitful talks with members of that community.
Please do find the latest beta (new one every month!) and play around with it. And do report bugs and other issues you may find.
Final score is that I went from 300 open bugs a month ago to some 150 open bugs today.