How is support for ODF and OOXML going? Could the latter be added easily using an existing open source converter?
ODF is the native file format and will be supported better and better the more features are added.
There is at this time no support for OOXML in KOffice, but that's true for every other office suite in the world. Not even Microsoft itself implements the OOXML standard, but implements a variation of it.
There is a proof of concept implementation of a filter that uses OpenOffice.org as the converter, but that is not shipped with KOffice 2.0.
It is possible that somebody will start to work on OOXML (or rather Microsoft Office 2007) import and/or export filters, but we have seen no such activity yet.
KOffice 2.0.0 has been labelled by some developers as a "platform" for future development and not really aimed at production use. Is this the wider view of the project? How long before it will be considered production ready for most office app users?
In short: yes. We are aware of the bugs that always creep into .0 releases, and this is the first release of the new platform for a very long time. There is also a number of key features missing in 2.0, such as tables for KWord.
Version 2.1 will cover most of the missing features from 2.0 as well as also reintroduce some of the missing applications. Most notable of these is Kexi, the database manager. This version will be usable by most non-professional users.
Version 2.2 will be released within a year [and] will be the first version that will be usable for serious professional work.
As a further to to the previous question, how is the KOffice extension ecosystem going? The community has stated recently: "This makes KOffice one of the most extensible office suites. We expect many third-party extensions to appear, given the ease of use of the Flake plug-in API." Do you think the project can be like "the Firefox of office suites" in having a large repository of extensions that can be searched on a web portal and installed at the click of a button?
It's funny that you mention Firefox, since I was just making the same analogy. So the answer is, basically, yes.
But I would also like to point out that with our scripting system Kross, which lets the developer create scripts in a number of languages like Python and Java will also be easy to embed KOffice components into other production systems.
Could the third-party, "app store" idea be extended to include content (presentations, document templates, clip art, etc) for KOffice?
Definitely. And since we work with OpenDocument, we can reuse templates from, say, OpenOffice.org.
Please add anything you would like to mention about the KOffice 2.0.0 release and where the project is headed.
The third major point that we mention in our announcement, but I didn't mention is our new GUI paradigm. KOffice 2 uses a system of dockers that is somewhat like Adobe's Photoshop.
The default arrangement is adapted to today's wider screens, with controls to the left and right of the document rather than above and below. These dockers and toolboxes can be rearranged by the user to any configuration, and can also be torn off to be used as stand-alone windows.