Words (formerly KWord) is a free word processor, part of Calligra Suite and developed by KDE.
The text-layout scheme in Words is based on frames, making it similar to FrameMaker by Adobe. These can be placed anywhere on the page, and can incorporate text, graphics and embedded objects. Each new page is a new frame, but the text is able to flow through Words’s ability to link frames together. The use of frames means that complex graphical layouts can be achieved relatively easily in Words.
KWord was created as part of the KOffice project in 1998 using several ideas from FrameMaker, such as the use of frames. The original author confessed that the application and its code were not top notch since it was his first object-oriented application.
By 2000, the KWord codebase was poorly maintained and structured such that it was difficult to improve, but by 2001 new maintainers had come on board and began working on the architectural issues.
As of 2009, however, KWord is being actively developed along with the rest of the KOffice suite.
Many desktop publishing (DTP) applications use frames, much like Words does, but these DTP applications use a concept called 'master pages' which gives the power to the user to design the structure of the document. However, this concept does come at a huge usability price, since most users simply don't understand the concept behind master pages and end up working around them.
The Words developers designed the frames usage to be a usable variant of master pages, with intelligent copying of frames and their position when a new page is created, for example when there is too much text for a page.
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