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AbiWord Weekly News (5/17/2000)

A witty saying proves nothing . . .

Development News

This week was a busy one for AbiWord development. Although we saw no new faces in the list of contributors this week, there were still some 17 new patches in the tree, authored by 7 different developers.

Without question, the most significant patch of the week came from hj, with significant help from Mike and Martin, who combined to fix significant focus problems, squashing the POW from March 29th. This leaves AbiWord in the enviable situation of having all but one of the proposed POWs either finished or partially so.

The other big checkin this week came from Pierre Abbat and Ash Gordon, who completed their translation of the French documentation into English. It still remains to be seen how we will handle the large, but very useful, videos created to help people learn AbiWord.

Other checkins included continued code cleanup from Mike and some warning squashing from Sam. Bob also added a few new QA test cases.

With regard to this week's patch prize, Bob had this to say "From our point of view, this week was a dead heat between Sam and Mike Nordell for their code cleanup. We couldn't decide, so I reached into my pocket and pulled out one of those new gold dollars. I called heads Sam, tails Mike. It came up heads. Congratulations Sam.". Enjoy your $299.

On The List

This week saw lots of traffic on the abiword-dev list, with 106 messages posted. Some of the significant topics included

  1. Show Paragraphs - Alexey Sintutin posted a patch to put this POW to rest, but also had a number of intriguing questions, ranging from graphics primitives to selection rectangles. Lots of people had something to say about this.

  2. Cursors - Mike Nordell has made significant progress in his quest to vastly improve the design of our cursors, and while he's at it, views in general too. However, he doesn't want to do it alone, and has asked for some assistance.

  3. Non-Modal Dialogs - Martin Sevior has made enormous progress toward implementing these oft-asked for constructs. So far he has succeeded in providing a patch that make his own Insert Symbol a modeless dialog.

  4. Cut and Paste - The X clipboard received continued scrutiny this week, and while it did not look much better, it seems like the AbiWord code to deal with it soon will.

  5. XIM in GNOME - Petr Tesarik submitted a patch to give GNOME AbiWord XIM support, and Joaquin lamented his lack of time to test it, on account of his cruel professors.

  6. English Help - The English help translation was much-discussed, with bugs being pointed out, and eventually the whole lot being committed to the tree.

Project of the Week

One of the things that makes AbiWord great is attention to detail. And that is what this week's POW is about. The task this week is to fix the assorted problems that the Microsoft Intellimouse has, on both Linux and Windows. The cross-platform nature of the this POW means that it could easily be a vehicle for collaboration. When you have finished this POW, AbiWord will be a little closer to the ideal of Just Working.

It is this sort of attention to detail that proprietary software is unable to provide. If AbiWord was a proprietary product, its administrators would not reward people for fixing compiler warnings or adding asserts, which is what the code cleaning that Mike and I did was. They would not make compatibility with a single piece of hardware an important goal. But with open source, we all have the freedom to be perfectionists, and AbiWord is the better for it.

Bugzilla Status

Currently, Bugzilla lists 210 bugs outstanding, with 15 of those still in SUBMIT state. Last week, we closed 32 bugs, 25 of which were fixes, and 9 new bugs were opened.

Other News

Following up on his creation last week of a repository for pending patches, Sam this week created a CVS archive for patches, and provided a web interface. He hopes lots of people will use it.

The quote at the beginning of this week's AWN is from Voltaire.

Sam TH
sytobinh@uchicago.edu

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