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AbiWord Weekly News (5/31/2000)

Development News

This week saw lots of development, with 21 patches by 10 different authors go into the tree. We had one new developer this week. Congratulations, Kenny.

The most significant patch this week came from Martin, who made the Word Count dialog modeless. He also added an auto-updater, among other nifty features. Finally, Martin added support for superscripted fields. The other big commit came from Bruce, who fixed bugs 260, 452, and 565. Bruce also engaged in some code cleanup, fixed bug 431 and contributed to the fix of the Windows build.

Additionally, Alexey fixed several errors in the ruler, making AbiWord significantly less crash-prone. For this work, he receives this week's Patch Prize. Congratulations, Alexey. Enjoy the $299! Other patches came from Joaquin, who added Unix mouse wheel support, moving part way toward zapping a recent POW. Joaquin also fixed the GNOME Word Count dialog. Sam added a new Makefile target, and fixed a few potential problems. Jesper fixed some cursor size problems and improved the debugging functions. Kenny MacDonald fixed some color printing problems. Eric Sink, in his first commit in seven months, fixed the Windows build, and added the help files to the distribution. Finally, Marco Innocenti added even more Italian strings.

On The List

The abiword-dev list saw lots of traffic this month, with 150 messages on a wide variety of topics. Here is a sampling:

  1. Piece Table Restructuring - Sam proposed an addition to the piece table accessor functions that would make his XHTML easier to write. While initial comments suggested that this was a good idea, it soon became clear that far deeper structural changes were needed.
  2. Run Implementaion - Continued from last week, Jesper proposed a significant modification to fl_BlockLayout, which elicited lots of discussion.
  3. Unicode and XIM - Petr Tesarik continued to have font difficulty, and the state of PostScript support in X was discussed. Elsewhere, improvements seem on the horizon for AbiWord's support of non-Latin encodings.
  4. Modeless dialogs and Usability - Martin's posting on modeless dialogs drew criticism from Jef Raskin, one of the designers of the Mac. He claimed that AbiWord, to be more usable, needed radical interface changes. Naturally, this precipited debate.
  5. Color Printing Bugs - After Kenny Macdonald posted a patch, some bug hunting ensued between him, Martin and Sam. The bug was found, and Kenny's patch fixed it.
  6. Tables - Tables are perhaps the great missing feature in AbiWord. This week, a few early implementation ideas were sketched and discussed.
  7. Insertion Point and Fields - Some insertion point bugs were brought up, discussed, and Jesper committed a patch to fix them.
  8. AbiWord Status - Aaron inquired about whether SourceGear employees were still working on the projects, and several responded.

Bugzilla Status

Currently, Bugzilla lists 215 bugs outstanding, with 20 of those still in SUBMIT state. Last week, we closed 7 bugs, 6 of which were fixes, and 8 new bugs were opened.

Other News

This week's cool post award goes to Martin, for his extremely useful discussion of how to write a modeless dialog.

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