AbiWord Weekly News #111, (2002, week 39, released 2002.09.30)

Welcome to issue 111 of the AbiWord Weekly News.

This has certainly been a mixed week!   With the new release of 1.0.3, a new meta-bug has been put in place.   One example of things most recently caught, 4046, where something went horribly wrong, and now spelling is all just fizzley if you're using the dialogue (right clicking individual words still works).  The good news, however, is that Mark has already promised that 1.0.4 will come out much sooner compared to 1.0.3; preferably within a month.

As I'm writing this, MPrit is telling uwog that, despite being Nederlandse, uwog is not 1337.   I, however, feel quite differently, as uwog has proven time and time again that he is, at a minimum, able to code, which places him far above a script kiddie, which is apparently the opening level for 1337-ness.   This somehow relates to today being the first day of RedHat's BlueCurve release, which continues to muffled KDE feathers.   I've noticed that since Corel announced they would be developing a Linux product, KDE has been the default "alter to fix" desktop for many anti-windows Linux OS's.   However, BlueCurve is the first time KDE developers got together to whine about someone changing the interface.   It seems to me that they've failed to realize that GNOME also underwent alterations, and that both desktops were altered to fit with Human Interface Guidelines, but why pick on that?

You may have noticed the AWN is twelve hours late; that'll happen.   Why don't you adopt a hacker; it's a great way to get what you want when you want it.   Next week, more changes to the AWN.

In this issue:

Editor(s) of this issue: E. A. Zen


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. internationalization: I can't get it to work :   Raphael Finkel, the cutest little abi-user you could ever meet, has issues getting Yiddish to work in AbiWord.   Andrew and Frank, after much time of considering the issue, learn the problem stems from Yiddish lacking a nation of origin; though Frank recommends IL (Israeli), Raphael prefers the commonly accepted YIVO convention, which, obviously, is not a country code (YI).

  2. Will the new beta version be installable along with 1.0.3? :   Petr Tomasek, another abi-user, brings a question to the list I'm sure many of you are dying to know:   Can 1.1.1 and 1.0.3 co-exist?
      The answer is a resound, "Err...um, sure, I've got nothin' better to do, who likes 'Abiword-2.0' for a binary name?"   Sure, it's a quick fix, but life is easier for the rest of us.   Meantime, after Frank adjusts the upcoming Beta, Alan requests the name become changed to AbiWord2.   Said request went unanswered, and no-one got a free pitcher of beer.

  3. Re: logos? :   Alan forwards his reply for Adam Scheinberg to the developer list.   Adam asks for one of those cute logo things, you know, like "This site running on Apache" or "Best viewed with non-monopolistic nor insecure web-browser, like Mozilla 1.0" except along the lines of "This document written in AbiWord."   Realizing the hackers were temporarily clue-impared, Martin Willemoes Hansen steps up and shows off his logo.   Thereafter, a small argument ensues involving compression, base-64 and xml inline MIME content.

  4. Barbarism implementation proposal :   Continuing a discussion from last week, Implementing support for barbarisms correction, Jordi proposes a basic technique for handling barbarisms with XML as his weapon of choice.   Said XML, however, is corrected by Dom and later by Karl, but the suggestion develops in an intriguing way.   As I said last week, this thread should interest people who work with or on anything requiring internationalization.

  5. Forward: Abiword on OSDir.com (new O'Reilly site) :   Our bad friends at O'Reilly have created a new site, The Open Source Directory (no, really, a different one!).   Steve Mallett, conqueror of small planets, has added AbiWord to the list, and Dom forwards that information to the rest of us.   Naturally, you're encouraged to go there and rate Abiword really, really high!

  6. Notes on first-time building :   Andrew has a few questions about the eventual beta for 2.0.   Dom points out that he is already working on a new BUILD document, and he mentions that comments, i.e. whines, may result in AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom, mostly the wrath part.

  7. Trying to start hacking AbiWord :   Omer's new to the CVS of AbiWord and has a few questions for the group.   If you want to keep your own cvs, but don't know how to get started, this thread will answer many questions you may possess.


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 2002.09.23 - 2002.09.29
Who Commits In summary
gg  32 removed -encoding (and adjusted mkpkgs.pl), included SpellHashDownloaderURL to override default.
dom  29 More image formats for the Unix clipboard, export metadata to rtf, Tables(4x5 default & sane resizing, widget bug), UTF8 XML output work, fix segvs in the applix importer, add const & get rid of pointers, remove snprintf from sdw, Ispell(new dictionary list, list in external XML file) & make auto* install the word list.
dglassey  26 Mingw(part2 in a series of build changes to support mingw, fixes, definitions for mouse and commctrl, S_?GRP defines and final required file for mingw)
fjfranklin  24 build fixing, AbiSuite-2.0 preparations, "how to kill two birds with one hack," double-tab+dnl causing intermittent problems with autoconf (patch by gallium a.k.a. Karl Szwed), -lcurl made explicit
msevior  18 Joaquin's insert table widget added, helper functions and classes to ease import of RTF tables
phearbear*  15 fixes for strings, removed a few insignificant modifications, restore tabbing function, return true FullScreen capability, ComboBox adheres to largest item (toolbars), Dialogues(Columns, meta-data, InsertTable, UTF8, rewrote InsertHyperLink, Header/Footer, List Revisions, Page Setup)
uwog   7 nl-NL updated, return to Format Table (he's doing as much as he can!)
jordimas*   4 added platform maintainers to CREDITS.TXT, build fix, merge dialogue fixes.
mpritchett   2 Daniel Glassey's nsis patch for Mingw build
hub   2 removed malloc.h, fixed array size
rms   2 Vietnamese update from pclouds
hippietrail   1 hashnames: francias.hash -> francais.hash, added yi-, comments on Marshallese and "internal encodings"
*phearbear:  system-related work is QNX unless stated otherwise
*jordimas:  system-related work is Windows unless stated otherwise


      The concept of a "Project Of the Week" is to single out tasks of major interest that outside developers might be interested in providing assistance to.   Until a "best way" of listing POWs come to mind, they shall be listed in a short description.   Any user interested is welcome to assist in tackling these POWs.   If you know someone who's interested, you can link directly to a POW, in order, they're pow3 (at the top) through pow1 (at the bottom).   Reminder to developers, I can't post them if you don't submit them.   Additionally, feel free to announce if one of these is finished (in case you don't mention it on the list or in the cvs)

Name:  Style and/or Diction Plugins (bug 3281) (do either/or or both!)
Description:  build a plugin to allow Abiword to check style and diction
Advertisement:  me got no grammar fixer, help mes can't you?
Recommended Outline:  Create a plugin for AbiWord that allows the checking of style and diction.  The source code for the gnu style and diction tools is available here: http://www.gnu.org/software/diction/diction.html
      As a prototype you might be able to hack something using the AbiCmd plugin to wrap the style and diction tools.  The AikSaurus (Thesaurus) plugin should also be a helpful guide.
      When you get the basics working you could try to get Abiword to display green squiggle underlines to mark errors, or otherwise work on a good user interface.
Comments:  A great way to start playing with the AbiSource
System:  Any OS will be fine.
Challenge level:  ***.. 3 stars out of 5
Current Hero:  The mastery of Kung Fu has yet to appear.

Name:  Fix Windows printing boogs (bug 3239)
Description:  Tackle some or more of the various bugs that cause issues in attempting to print under Windows
Advertisement:  ????????????????????????????? (no, that's really the ad!)
Recommended Outline:  You must become magical to know how to fix this.
Comments:  "The problem is that printing on Windows is broken with several brand of printer drivers (see dependent bugs). It appears that with standard PostScript driver it does not happen. It appears also that version 0.9.6 had less problems than 1.0.1 so we might find out where the regression is bu diffing.
    "Please, be sure to read all the bug reports. Even partial fix are accepted.
    "Fixes must be done against STABLE tree and possibly ported to HEAD (the later can be done as a second step)."
      This comes from Hub
Notice:  This may already have been fixed with the libiconv upgrade, stay tuned!
System:  Windows
Challenge level:  ****. 4 stars out of 5
Current Hero: Not one MoFo yet has had the Huevos for this POW

Name:  More Windows Maintainers
Description:  Jordi 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 Hero:  Jordi Mas

Bug Update

Bug Statistics

Bug stats graph

I'm leaving the link, guys, you put it up!

      Last week, I brought you the most looked-forward to interview of all time, The FreeBSD Daemon.   This week, The PR Weasel speaks.

About six months before XP was to be released to the public, information leaked about its registration and licensing scheme.   On top of the worries that came with EULA 6.6.6, there was also information leaking that MS would be capable of "hijacking" an individual computer.   People who didn't use Windows complained the loudest, followed quickly by corporations who believe all computers require Windows.   I could point out how free GNU/Linux is, or how far more mature GNU/Linux is; however, that's best left to the pseudo-professional.

Could you tell us what you were doing when all of this was being discussed?

Sure, I was in the third circle of Legal, Marketing and PR, you know, where people walk around with AS/400's on their backs and beg for coffee. I had been asked to put a positive spin on the requirements Microsoft had for the eXPrivacy product.

What exactly did all of that involve?

Well, first, I had to conjure a small miracle about why Windows should decide what can and can't be installed.   This seemed easy, as we keep a small book around with standard kvetches, answers and that like, so, I just went with the Piracy issue.

Then, there was the issue of Microsoft getting direct access to the harddrive.   I started to wonder, "Why would MonopolySoft need access to the harddrive?" I called Ballmer and asked what he knew about it.   After twenty minutes of maniacal laughter, I came to realize Steve is more of a mascot than anything else.   So, I picked up...the red phone.   After listening to the EULA and pressing #44873838293848472838494 to continue, Bill Gates picked up after six or seven rings.   He explained that the reasoning came from the fifth level of Legal, Marketing and PR.   Shortly after which, the phone turned blue and I was disconnected.

I then called Rick James, he's in charge of the burning off of flesh in the fifth level.   He told me that Microsoft owns Windows, and therefore co-owns the totality of the computer, and as a result, if any member of Microsoft wishes to upload porn for safe keeping on that computer, they have a right to do so.

I'm down with that, and write it up as technical support.

At what point did you decide that Microsoft was playing a dangerous game?

It was the EULA 6.6.6.   Microsoft has priced itself out of the market!   When people buy a pre-packaged computer for USD$500, USD$100 is for the operating system.   There's a rumour out there about FREE operating systems!   It's bad enough there are more secure and more stable operating systems, but imagine if it were free!   I couldn't justify USD$100, and I sure can't justify USD$2000 for server software!   It's not that this is normally a problem, as the buck can get passed to the janitor, but that's not what was going to happen!   I received a copy of an internal memo from Eric Raymond explaining that I was to be left with all the blame of this fiasco.   Apparently they needed a sufficiently high-up droid to setup as the pyrrha, and the EULA was named after me: LMPR666.   Nuts to that!   I sent myself a pink slip and got out of that nut-farm.

Truely, a sad and loathsome tale.  What do you do now?

I've moved to the Netherlands and pie people for a living.   Ah, that reminds me....

This interview ended with banana cream on my face and tazer burns on his stomach.

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
3269 120 --- Crashing on printing
3171 115 1.0.x rtf sets top and bottom margins to 0
3525  90 --- font incorrectly printed and spaced
376  80 1.2 File assosciate problems for all file types with Win32Slu......
1406  61 1.0.x xhtml documents fail to open: "Bogus html document" msg
1747  42 1.2 background colour of text selection is always grey
1194  39 1.2 alt+xxxx does not insert special symbols
2362  30 --- AbiWord only prints across half of page
4046  30 1.0.4 The spellchecker has gone gonzo since upgrading from 1.0.......
4049  30 --- Crash on open file from floppy or network drive.
4057  30 --- Thesaurus Shift+F7 keybindings shortcuts consistancey
3778  29 --- Hanging indent setting ignores units
2868  25 1.2 character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...
2421  20 1.2 TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......
3808  20 Future Microsoft Word .doc files may crash Abiword
1394  17 1.2 on-screen landscape actually prints portrait in Win95
3216  16 1.0.x tabstops can't be set in second (or third) column
2299  15 1.0.x Prints incorrect margins with split page.
2924  15 --- printing abw documents defaults to black pages
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement
ID Votes Milestone Summary
1261 528 1.2 Need to support footnotes and endnotes
2321 275 Future [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
2183 229 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
1374  96 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
2365  90 Future AbiWord needs 'view codes'
1950  87 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
1144  67 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
2463  51 Future support embedded objects
1929  41 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
2565  41 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
 808  32 1.2 Tables not imported from RTF
2186  30 Future The insert page break setting is lost for custom styles
3657  30 Future Rapid Document Production, Insert File
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
 515  25 Future columns change should only affect selected text
2296  25 Future doc import: footnotes
2169  24 Future Line numbering
2360  23 Future Resizing bitmap images
3419  20 Future [RFE] Add microspacing feature (tracking) for characters

Verified Bugs

      In the past week, the following Bugs have been verified as fixed.   The listed Bugs have all been put in RESOLVED mode as either FIXED or WORKSFORME and have then been verified by the people listed below.   Other causes of resolving a Bug (e.g. as INVALID) are not tracked since they usually do not represent a fixed problem.   INVALID and DUPLICATE bugs will be tracked separately starting next week.

Bug Verified This Week
Bug ID Description
3552 wpd document crashes abiword
This Week's Most Active QA Helper: abi@matthewcraig.com
Verified Name
1 abi@matthewcraig.com

      To get your name in neon, help QA the Bugs.   It's also great experience if you're working your way to a POW!   If you want your name rather than your email address to appear, drop me a line.

Latest Releases

      Next week, "Latest Releases" will be moved to a static page.

Here are links to the latest official releases of AbiWord for various architectures and operating systems.

AbiWord 1.0.3- Release Notes
FreeBSD/GNOME i386 abisuite-1.0.3-FreeBSD_i386.tar.gz
FreeBSD/GTK i386 abisuite-1.0.3-FreeBSD_i386_gtk.tar.gz
Linux Any Sources abiword-1.0.3-1.src.rpm
Linux/SuSE i396 abiword-1.0.3-SuSE.jeo.1.i386.rpm
Linux/SuSE Any Sources abiword-1.0.3-SuSE.jeo.1.src.rpm
Any Any Sources abiword-1.0.3.tar.gz
Linux Any ClipArt abiword-clipart-1.0.3-1.noarch.rpm
Linux/Embeddable Any Embeddable abiword-embeddable-1.0.3-1.noarch.rpm
Linux Any Fonts abiword-fonts-1.0.3-1.noarch.rpm
Linux/GNOME/BiDi i386 BiDi abiword-gnome-bidi-1.0.3-1.i386.rpm
Linux/GTK/BiDi i386 BiDi abiword-gtk-bidi-1.0.3-1.i386.rpm
Win32 i386 BiDi setup_abiword.bidi.1-0-3.exe i386.exe
AbiWord 1.0.2- Release Notes
FreeBSD/GNOME i386 abisuite-1.0.2-FreeBSD_i386_gnome.tar.gz
FreeBSD/GTK i386 abisuite-1.0.2-FreeBSD_i386.tar.gz
Linux/GNOME/RHL i386 abiword-gnome-1.0.2-1.i386.rpm
Linux/GNOME/RHL i386 BiDi abiword-gnome-bidi-1.0.2-1.i386.rpm
Linux/GTK/RHL i386 abiword-gtk-1.0.2-1.i386.rpm
Linux/GTK/RHL i386 BiDi abiword-gtk-bidi-1.0.2-1.i386.rpm
HPUX 10.20pa-riscabiword-1.0.2-sa-10.20.depot.gz
AbiWord 1.0.1- Release Notes
AbiWord 1.0.0- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.99.5- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.99.3- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.99.2- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.99.1- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.9.6- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.9.5- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.9.4- Release Notes

These are links to snapshot builds of AbiWord for a subset of the supported architectures/operating systems.

Note that the snapshot builds may not work (at all!), but are likely to include more features and have fewer bugs than (older) official releases. Use the official releases for "production systems" and the snapshot builds for testing and when you want to help with Bug triaging.

AbiWord Snapshots
Linux (GNOME+GTK)i386http://pino.frontisterion.nl/uwog/abiword/Provided by Marc Maurer, aka WonderBoy! These are updated daily. Plugins, clip art, fonts and help files are available too.
Linux (GTK)i386http:// Gilbert's GCC3 tinderbox builds. Do not require libstdc++-libc6.2
Win32i386http://abiword.pchasm.org/Provided by Jeremy Davis. These are updated twice a day. Plugins are available too.
Win32i386http://www.niksbiks.dk/Software/Abi/Provided by Nikolaj Brandt Jensen. These are updated about once a week. BiDi builds are available too.

Special Interest --

From time to time, this section will contain essay-style text about various special interests of the AbiWord development.

SPECIAL NOTICE:   If you're working on a project that is related to, affects the development of or is affected by AbiWord, feel free to contact me

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.