This represent my view of the events, and of what I expect will happen. And not in any case, the KDE community or Calligra project views. I also hope it gives some answers to a few questions and comments.
The triggering reason of the new name is indeed the consequence long time disputes in the community. We tried hard to solve them. But it was two visions of how the project should be conducted, and of its aims, that could not be conciliated, so at the end we concluded that it would be best to part and follow different paths. Unlike what I have seen on identi.ca, it is not exactly true that we hide that in last night announcement. It might have been the trigger but it is not the driving reason. I think that when the discussions around the split started, the majority was in favor of keeping the KOffice name, but slowly, the idea of changing took over in our mind.
First of all, the KOffice name itself has a lower value that it might seems, it is often associated to the office suite that has potential but does not deliver, it is hardly known outside the KDE world, it is not such a good name, and above all, KOffice includes applications that are not traditionally associated with office applications. Also a new name is a good opportunity to get a new start, and from what I have seen, it has boost energy inside the project, and it is fueling the enthusiasm of many people, and I am confident that it has helped us to leave the past behind, and focusing on making the future of Calligra. And I am thankful to Jos Poortvliet for advising us for a new name.
After long discussions, we have settled for a new name, Calligra, based on the word Calligraphy. It might not be my favorite of our choices, but I think it is a good name, it refers to “Writing” and “Beauty”, which are two main aspects of our suite of applications, meaning that it makes all our applications feel at home.
Actually our present is to work on the release of the version 2.3 of KOffice. In my view, the renaming was poorly timed, since it happens slightly before a new release, and quiet far away from our first release. But we did not have full control of the agenda either, especially since last week-end the project moved to git, and it is simply more convenient to point people to a repository that will stay for a long time than to ask everybody to switch in six months. And also the split precipitated the events.
There is a lot of speculation about the future, between Mobile and Desktop. Several person have presented Calligra as being mobile oriented. Lets be clear, it is not true. Calligra is focused on developing technologies related to office and creativity applications, on top of those technologies, the Calligra project is delivering a set of desktop applications and mobile applications (and maybe tablet, in the future). All of it is build over the KDE technologies, using the Qt toolkit, which makes it potentially available to an incredible range of devices and operating system: Linux, Windows (desktop and mobile), Mac OSX, Symbian, Meego, Haiku (and maybe Android, iPhone, WebOS…), using a desktop computer, a laptop, a mobile phone, a tablet, your TV… And all with an user interface that is most suitable for your form factor.
Well of course, Qt and KDE being available on a platform is not sufficient to make Calligra available, it needs more work. The majority of the volunteers are working on linux and targeting the desktop, Nokia is supporting the mobile phone and Meego efforts. And anyone is welcome to come and give us a hand with their favorite platform and form factor.
Personally, I find those goals very exciting. Since it pretty much in line with my vision of where computing should be in 10 years, I do not believe in web applications, or thin clients, I believe in web servers as a storage space, while the intelligence remains on the actual device, and collaborations goes through peer-to-peer solutions, using open standards such as ODF.
On the organization level, we want to build a community where every contribution is regarded equally, where people’s work is properly acknowledge, where discussions remains friendly. Where maintainers are facilitators.
I hope this answer a few question, we are also preparing a FAQ, so if you have more questions, you can ask them on this blog, on our irc channel (#calligra on freenode), on the calligra-devel mailing list or in the calligra forum.