AbiWord Weekly News #151, (2003, week 27, released 2003.06.30)

Welcome to this issue 151 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      This is an important notice on reference to the Anti-Abi advertising.   Before saying or doing anything regaurding this (especially clicking the google ad to death), please read this specific reply: Re: [abiword-dev] Cheeky F***ers, Negative Advertising..   Alan informs us that we could end up hindering rather than helping our cause, with summarizing and relating specific links to Google Ad Policy and SourceGear trademark information.   Due to the recency of the posting, niether Dom or SourceGear have had any input to it yet.   Just remember, the real names are "AbiWord" and "AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom©" -- though...one of those is really just a me-thing....


      Anti-Abi ads still abound and the first 2.0 beta is about to be antiquated.

This week in development

      Tomas expands the clipboard capabilities, MailMerge to become a new animal, Windows gets several big boosts and Beta2 soon to arrive.   Also, one of the more productive weeks for the user discussions, on our mailing list and at FootNotes.

Request for user assistance

      If you want an equally rich and powerful Windows release, we really, really could use some Windows developers.   A whole mess of people with even just an hour a week could help.   Of course, the "three with only two hours a week" model hasn't been helping!   We're desperate!   We'll take a line a day if there's enough of you!   Please help...please!   Doesn't a platform like yours deserve a chance?

      Windows users, your help is doubly requested*.   We would like to see more bug reports coming from the Windows crowd, so, if you're feeling more daring, please download and try out the Win32 binaries when they're available.   If you want some sweet functionality in AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom, you will have to participate.   You could also consider joining Project Blue Ant.

      Attention users with spare change.   Marc ended up on the wrong end of a money conversion.   He's now 144 euros in debt for our CURRENT! alternative server at the University of Twente*.

Silliness of the Week

      What could possibly beat the menu comment from last week!?

      Well, since I can't, and I just saw the link in chat, I'll shove in...
Ahh, GUADEC, where a geek can be a geek.

      Want to stop unjust things from happening in chat?   Join!   It's #abiword at irc.gimp.org

*requested: Danger, a recent incident suggests that this may cause anxiety, anger and/or mood shifts.   Windows users not taking MAOI's should have some level of alcohol within their bloodstream.
*University of Twente: I believe "Twente" is nederland for "Porn."

This Issue

      And remember, I give you an email address so you can talk to me, in case you're not on either mailing list.

In this issue:

Editor(s) of this issue:  E. A. Zen

      If you're interested in using AbiWord for the first time, receiving a more up-to-date version, any particular version or special release, feel free to visit the new  Latest Releases page.

DISCLAIMER:  It should be generally noted that anything said before the "In this issue:" line is purely editorial.   Actually, everything I say is purely editorial.   You kind of get used to it.


Traffic on the  developer mailing list has settled at about 200-400 postings per week.   This week, interesting topics on the developer list included:

  1. commit (HEAD): win32 clipboard on demand and commit (HEAD): toward AW native clipboard :   Tomas is making it possible to post data to the Windows clipboard beyond the standard RTF.   The greatest plus to all of this is that less data will be lost or mangled (particularly bidi) by using proper Unicode (Abi) to \*t*char (RTF) or binary (DOC) markers.   Unfortunately, this will not be see until after the release of AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom.

  2. patch for libgnomedb headers , [Fwd: Re: patch for libgnomedb headers] and Re: patch for libgnomedb headers :   Rodrigo Moya gets back to work on the GDA plugin you've all come to know and love as "MailMerge."   Rodrigo's been snooping over at Open Office's Data Sources dialogue just to see what kind of system he might want to build up.   Windows users uninterested in Open Office can simply think of Data Sources as being an embedded Access clone; you can view the current Windows' version here.   Meantime, Dom wants to push for commandline functionality and limited application editability.   If you don't know, Abi's AbiCommand plugin allows for AbiWord to act as a document server, which can possess increased power if there's a text-only file that can be passed via standard in/out (text only) method.   The Mergeant format is considered to some extent for this.

  3. commit: google and free translation plugin fixes :   Jordi has made it possible to compile the google and free translation plugins for Windows.   If a complete binary for Windows gets built this week, you may have the chance to try them out!

  4. commit (HEAD): New toolbar customization system + slight fixes :   Christian, HIG's new best friend, has gone to the trouble to alter some of the toolbar options.   After some minor refactoring and a new API, you can now lock or reset the toolbar layout.   Sure, I could talk about the technicals, but you'd probably just want to see the end result.   Implemented only on the GNOME 2 platform (though, it is cross platform), I present Lock Layout.

  5. Collapsible Outlining and Bidi :   Randy Kramer, who's working on getting collapsible outlining to work on Abiword, has some unanswered question about how bidi would affect it.   Nudge, nudge; wink, wink.

  6. 1.99.2? aka Beta2? :   Martin has gotten release antsy while playing around in Nippon.   If things go well, you may see "Beta2" available by the end of Sunday.

Traffic on the  user mailing list is sporadic at best.   Often, a good topic comes up, but users tend to only respond to the original poster rather than the list (as well), which limits what I would add, as the only lone threads I post are announcements of importance or points of great interest.   This week, interesting topics on the user list included:

  1. Re: Abiword1.99 [Solved] :   Keith Powell, a SuSE user, and James Ogley, our SuSE builder, has figured out a problem that might be of issue for SuSE/KDE users.   If your highlighting gets all funky, the problem may be due to gnome-sessions-daemon, or more accurately, the lack of it.   For whatever odd reason this dependency cropped up, you can fix it by copying the gsd to your KDE Autostart folder.   Thank you, Keith, for bringing that useful information back to the list.

  2. pkgconfig and dependances... and Re: pkgconfig and dependances... :   Bernard Lambey seems to have run across and ldconfig-kind of problem, which has resulted in Jost Ammon making a Windows plug.   Jost's issue gets address last in this list.

  3. Testing latest Win32 builds and Re: Testing latest Win32 builds :   Boris Kortiak experiences a problem when using the Win32 nightly binaries (thanks to all of you who do test these).   It should be pointed out that the nightly builds from pchasm (Kenneth "Jeremy" Davis) should have any installer/downloader issues reported back there (to Jeremy).   All other Win32 issues can be reported to Bugzilla or the user list (if it's not particularly a bug).   And, remember, it's usually not you who has done something wrong ^_^

  4. installing the tar.gz :   Jost Ammon apologises for his beef back at pkgconfig and dependances....   For those of you who haven't read the instructions in BUILD, when compiling from source, if you don't see a configure script, try running autogen.sh

Traffic outside of the AbiDomain is tracked and occasionally reported.   This weeks includes selection(s) from: FootNotes

      Now, before I get into the FootNotes business, (capital F and N!) I would like to draw attention to readers and commentors a small point.   I would like a better idea as to whom a reply is being made for.   Seriously, I'm lining up a magazine to see where the threading is!   You can change the subject, so, please, do so!   Of course, FootNotes could implement something like ASE Forums have, and add a number to the "Re:".   That could help too....   Just the ramblings of an editor on decaf; pay no mind.

  1. Re: AbiWord Weekly News #150 :   Should you click your brains out on that anti-abi advertisement?   Yes, yes you should.   I should consult with my lawyer first, but from WIRIC (What I Read In Chat), I think you can.   It's a shame that TextMaker can't, as No One In Particular put it, "stand by the features of their product rather than badmouthing" their competitors.   Must be based on American campaign advertisements.   In other news, AbiPresents is a much better name than Criawips   As for FootNotes, I think Ryan put it best in the convoluted way of supporting FootNotes, however, he has under-estimated the size of the footprint of the Gecko rendering engine.   The Abi->Nautilus->Galeon->Gecko combo will at least octople the size of Abi's footprint.   Due to consistency requirements, Gedit will need to at a four meg blanket, but that would be the least of the problems, as the snowballing of Galeon* and Nautilus, Abi could grow indefinately.   As a result, I recommend viewing FootNotes via the wget http://www.gnomedesktop.org | less command.   Lynx is for weaklings who fear markup.

  2. Re: AbiWord Weekly News #150 :   Do people notice my Disclaimer?   Slashdot users may have heard of RTFA, but do I need to say RTFThread?   Before typing off in such a fury, make sure you have a really good reason to yell...yeah.   Dom clears up the discussion here, in case you, too, had worries or wonders about Dom's dead gnome dying after finding out it was dead.   You know what I've learned from all of this?   I've learned I should just post the AWN as comments, as certain quotes get me funny points ;o)

  3. Re: AbiWord Weekly News #150 :   "In the vastness of space, one lone voice in all of the universe..." actually pays attention.   So special, I gave this one it's own spot on the AWN.   This voice uses an extra "r", but I can accept this failing.

  4. Re: AbiWord Weekly News #150 :   RedHat users having issues with libgal dependencies?   After Beta2's release, that issue just disappears (if you don't mind a wait).   If you'd still like to try out daily builds of CVS HEAD RH9 or GTK2 rpm's, Marc has made them available here.

*Galeon: I hear Epiphany's what all the kids are using nowadays.


CVS Stats

      Track who put in how much and why.   And, while you're at it, consider whether you'd like to keep your own cvs build as well.   Tables...ooh....

CVS checkins 2003.06.29 - 2003.07.05
Who Commits In summary
Martin Sevior 31 lots of speed ups-especially scrolling through huge tables, more big table speeds (by big, he means 1000 rows...nutter), big improvements in selections--especially for tables, export footnote properties to RTF, fix a crash and hang bug merging cells with footnotes
Hubert Figuiere 26 Jun Suzki's BeOS Patch[fixes in File Open dialog, implemented background dialog, fixes in Insert Bookmark, fixes in Insert Hyperlink]
Cocoa: add a cast so that it builds on old gcc release, updated to match newer UNIX GUI, new tab dialog, update string data source class to provide "removeAllStrings" method, cut & paste works basicall
Andrew Dunbar 24 Belarusian translation from Vital Khilko (later added to CREDITS.TXT), a case statement ended in a "break" where it should've ended in "return" in Win32 Insert Table dialogue, Nederland translation from a forgotten source (read: write in!), make Windows use lstrcmp instead of strcoll since Windows's Posix locales are very weird, added define of HAVE_EXPAT to all project files, Windows gave code SP instead of SR for Serbian language (fixed), fixed bugs in Indonesian, Irish and Welsh strings files which prevented them from loading, Spanish update from Francisco Javier Fernández, Italian update from Marco Innocenti, Polish update from Andrzej Pruszynski, broken line fixed thanks to Pierre Abbat
Bug: 5320
Francis Juniper* Franklin 17 possibly broke the build in pursuit of bug squashing (Go Frank!), ots configuration for static plugin linkage, add some half-developed code for a new table-import helper class (marked as experimental and disabled) (that means things blow up), implement in XHTML importer, add optional return of new strux frag when inserting frag during import, minor build bug caught by schurro
Bug: 4667 (sort of, eventually)
Christian Neumair 10 added "lock layout" and "reset to default layout" to view->toolbars menu (UNIX build only, for now), reintended main menu header layout
Jordi Mas* 10 google & translation plugin fix, left ruler no longer shown in normal view, keyboard fixes, implements flush and solves cursor drawing problems
Bug: 5290
Marc Maurer  4 Rodrigo Moya's patch for libgnomedb headers, remove code duplication in findPrev code, remove code duplication in findNext code
Bug: 5275
Kenneth "Jeremy" Davis*  3 remove unicows.lib from library list (at least until it is needed again), don't show warning message about unicows until we rely on it again
Mark "$20" Gilbert  3 fix crash on revisions dialog, fix dialog height to a less silly level, fix dialog to not show malformed button when no prior revisions
Nadav Rotem  2 added a comment about releasing 0.2.0, dictionary Fix , "She'd" remove the 'd'
David Chart  1 completed 1.99.1 changelog
Rui GNU Silva Seabra  1 remove dependency on gal-PW* wasn't compiling...

*Juniper:  this is my new form of entertainment.  for those of you who need to know, I usually see the name James here.
*Kenneth "Jeremy" Davis:  He explained that going-by-th-middle-name-thing to me once, but I've since forgotten it.   Also, system-related work is Win32 unless stated otherwise.
*Jordi Mas:  system-related work is Win32 unless stated otherwise.
*PW:  I don't know what PW is, but I think the 'P' stands for Porn


      Current pows are here. This will probably be replaced next week if not this very week.

Name:  More Windows Maintainers
Description:  Jordi and Jeremy could always use help
Advertisement:  Help free people from the oppression of MSWord today!
Recommended Outline:  You must become magical to know how to fix this.
Comments:  Wouldn't be a bad idea to start with the printing bug...
System:  Windows
Challenge level:  ****. 4 stars out of 5
Current Heros:  Jordi Mas, Jeremy Davis

Bug Update

Bug Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +15 (16 : 1), VeriNew +213 (218 : 5), ClosAssi -1 (3 : 4),

      Few analysts notices ResoUnconf staying a steady medium and ClosedAssi slipping into the negative, as VeriNew reached and astounding number of 213!   You get enough dedicated and hardworking users willing to test things out, you'd be amazed at what can be accomplished!   What we're wonder now is, "Will Beta2 testers surpass that number!?"

      For information about how to view the chart, please read 142's Special Interest.

Bug Votes

      These are the week's Top 20 Bugs in the categories  problems and  requests for enhancements.   Influence next week's results by  casting your own votes.   Ah, another release, another change of what bugs are on the "Most Wanted" list.

Top 20 Problems
ID Votes Milestone Summary
 376  82 2.0 File associate problems for all file types with Win32Slu......
 3550  61 --- Mouse wheel still bugged in documents >59 pages
3778  40 --- Hanging indent setting ignores units
2362  32 1.0.x AbiWord only prints across half of page
3970  31 --- changing layouts can lead to showing other location than ......
4049  30 --- Crash on open file from floppy or network drive.
4722  30 --- When using -p or --print the output isn't usable
4745  30 Future Change colour of foreground text for screen only
2868  25 2.0 character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...
2421  22 2.0 TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......
5198  18 --- Justification doesn't work
3216  15 1.0.x [Tabstops Cannot be Set in Second (or Third) Column
3801  15 --- Incremental loader seems to struggle with large files
4360  15 Future Spelling squiggle erases half of bullet or number
1865  13 --- Header/footer not loaded properly from .doc
3671  12 --- Page header and footer are incorrectly exported to RTF
1613  11 1.0.x undo does not know about replacing
4062  11 1.0.x Abiword crashes when used with Acrobat Distiller
4071  11 --- Abiword is crashing during importing word document
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement
ID Votes Milestone Summary
2183 390 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
3668 121 --- Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
1950 110 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
1374 108 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
2321 100 --- [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
2490  98 2.0 Finish Cocoa Frontend
1144  72 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
2565  72 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
4057  60 --- Thesaurus Shift+F7 keybindings shortcuts consistency
 515  41 Future columns change should only affect selected text
2365  39 --- AbiWord needs 'view codes'
2366  39 Future implement floating frame
1929  37 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
1851  31 Future [rfe] Ability to create an ALL CAPS style, and Small Caps......
2186  30 Future The insert page break setting is lost for custom styles
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
2164  25 Future Ability to set default print command anywhere
2169  24 Future Line numbering
2663  23 2.0 Normal View mode

      Yes, we all like Open Offices format, but no one else wants to help do it...five votes there is the only change whatsoever to the lists.

Release HackDown

      This is an AbiWord Weekly News original concept:  The Release Hackdown.   In the table below, you can watch what bugs are being fixed in preparation for the very next release.   Check the key at the bottom to understand formatting.

      No pressure, guys, I'm sure only 2000 or so people will be watching to see what you do weekly.   That breaks down to about 285 people daily and 12 people hourly, so, it's like being peeked at once every five minutes, literally.   "Isn't that veird!?"


      There is not stable tracker bug, so, I'm chopping it out until told otherwise.


      On our way to two-point-oh, affectionately referred to as, AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom.

HackDown to AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom
Bug ID Open of Total Description
2145  4 of  5 FCC 508 accessibility regulation compliance
2921  2 of  2 abi can leak memory [tracker bug]
3064  6 of  7 [TRACKER] AbiWord Performance
3239 13 of 39 [META] Windows printing bugs
4142  3 of 12 make AbiWord comply with GNOME HIG
4425  0 of  0 squash all warnings
4465 17 of 37 [META] Spelling bugs
4466 10 of 22 [META] "Motion" Bugs
4467  6 of 11 [META] Find/Replace bugs and enhancements
4488  1 of 13 [META] Help System Bugs
4627 11 of 16 [META] Copy/Paste bugs
4734  0 of  0 RFE: Ability to link plugins statically
5007  0 of  0 bidi in tables
5023  0 of  0 format footnote dialogue needs 'do not restart' option
5080  0 of  0 Abiword doesn't print arabic texts with vovels properly.
5119  0 of  0 setting meta-data does not dirty the document
5232  5 of  6 [META] Win32 Blocker bugs for 2.0 Release
5266  0 of  0 Screen Colors other than white issues
5275  0 of  0 Tabs are white, even though background is a different color.

      Another windows printing bug bites the dust, and the first Windows blocker bug to be knocked off was Page-break pixeldirt when scrolling down.   Truly, a blue-letter day for the Windows crowd.

      See Announce: 2.0 release plan for more details on the intended route towards Abiword II: The Wrath of Dom.

Open Source, Open Books.

Last Updated: April 10, 2003

      Approximately once a month, don't hedge bets, I'll get this updated by asking (read: whining at) dom.   In the meantime, whenever you want to see how much is in and where it gets diverted, just peek down here.

      Word of caution, numbers lightly fudged due to (hopefully) temporarily incomplete data.   Like a consultant's suggested price, you'll find hidden meaning in the data if you stare long and hard.   Surgeon's General's Warning:  Staring long and hard may have psychotropic affects; keep out of reach of people who like that sort of thing.

      I cannot promise the time of de-fudging, nor can I promise there will be de-fudging any time soon. However, I feel confident that there will be some de-fudging going on.

Current Balance: $1604.34
Interest earned: $8.64

Expenditures: $950
$400 to pay for Martin's Boston Gnome Summit Trip
$400 to buy Andrew Dunbar a new computer
$ 60 to misc./entertainment expenses at GNOME summit, GUAD3C, other, paid out of dom's pocket
$225 Patch Prize (those already successfully awarded)
-   $ 45 Will Lachance
-   $ 45 Marc Maurer
-   $ 45 Ruud Vring
-   $ 45 Patrick Lam
-   $ 45 Dom Lachowicz

Unique contributors: 58*
paypal: 57
check :  3
cash  :  1
*58: plusse 3 repeat offenders whom we love dearly

Contributions: $2723.00
Less paypal and other banking fees: $115.00

PLEASE!  Help promote AbiWord development by donating money. The money go to a general AbiWord "fund", presently hosted by Dom Lachowicz (cinamod@hotmail.com).
In order to donate money, you must have a PayPal account. If you do not already have one, the links above will allow you to open one. Please consider putting cinamod@hotmail.com in the "Referral ID" field, which results in a one-time $5 donation from PayPal to AbiWord development if you verify your account. Note that only donations of $3 or more are of interest. Sorry, this is due to the fees imposed by credit card companies and PayPal.