Kraft 0.32 was released a few days ago. Kraft is KDE software for people who operate a small business and want to generate documents like invoices or offers for their customers. Kraft helps to do that in a very efficient way with template texts and a calculation module and of course integration in KDE. Very important is an excellent print out (that’s the face to the customer) which Kraft does via an PDF export of the document.
I say ‘small business’ as a target group and I mean small shops doing crafts like carpenters or plumbers or landscaping working alone or with a few people. I think free software and especially KDE is very good for these kind of companies. Larger companies usually go for specialised software, which is available for nearly all kind of crafts in all levels of usefulness and quality.
When I talk in the community about Kraft (I am of course not as good as Tackat in his best Marble-times) I sometimes feel that the coolness factor of this kind of software is not so big. People seem to think “How can one do this kind of boring, already-there software?”. Well, yes. This kind of software exists. But as free software and on KDE, well integrated into the desktop? Not that I am aware of.
Here are some good reasons to work on Kraft for me personally:
- I think it is important that this kind of software is available. Not only Kraft, but other stuff people need for their business, for example financial software like KMyMoney. Well integrated in KDE this can enable another huge group of users which now uses other systems.
- It is serious. Kraft is software people use to get their money. If somebody has done work and wants to invoice it she loves a well working software that saves time for her. But if it does not work, it becomes a serious issue quickly because only written and sent out invoices are good invoices from that POV.
- Especially because there is much competition from the commercial side, it is fun to try to create free software that is even better from for example the usability perspective. It is real challenging.
- I am somehow addicted 😉 This year I work for twenty years on this kind f software. If you like you can check out an underground video which shows software running on an Atari ST, used for daily business in my brothers landscaping company. I released that version in 1991, I still have an earlier release from 1990 which I could not get to run anymore. I started to develop it in 1989.
But back to the new Kraft-release: Beside other things I did some change to the tax system which make Kraft now useable internationally (shame on me that the earlier versions where tied to german taxing too much).
So please, tomorrow first thing knock at the door of your handcrafter neighbor and ask him if he has thought about invoicing with Linux – Kraft is with you, when you support him. Chances to get very interesting insights on how non-geeks see the computer world.