AbiWord Weekly News #121, (2002, week 49, released 2002.12.19)

Welcome to this issue 121 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      The Open Source, Open Books concept returns as Dom gives us the latest on the AbiFund.   I'd like to re-thank the numerous AbiFans who've donated thus far.   Project Blue Ant must be getting along quite nicely as, two weeks into the future, Mikey is waiting with bated breath for this edition.   Andrew's back, just not in this edition, but I saw him chat, I swear it on my kernel!

This week in development

      Frame refactoring continues, especially with a concerted effort from Jeremy, who put in quite a bit for you Win32 users.   After Hub finds a problem caused by his repairs, Mike (tamlin) suggest an alternative means of controlling resources (popt), going from a difficult to maintain global to platform-based class.   Mauro Colorio has completed the official working interface of Gypsython, the Python plugin for AbiWord.   Most interesting of all, Martin gives us an outline of his schedule for the next few months and his plans for AbiDevelopment.

Quote of the Week

      "Who uses non-XFT anyway?   Must be those damned Debian users using software from the Ancient Greeks!"
      -- Read on to find out who said it!   Can you believe it...he didn't even call it GNU!

This Issue

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


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. question regarding STABLE development :   Frank's been putting in a lot of work on STABLE recently, and has some questions about back-porting some header work.   Hub explains that, though back-porting is more difficult, it's perfectly alright as the tree's not actually frozen or anything to that nature.   Granted, the STABLE branch is still called 1-0-0, but that's just to mess with you....

  2. Nice comment on IRC :   Marc witnesses one of the surreal moments when hacking is fully appreciated by a user.   If you want to know what it was, you're going to have to click there yourself!

  3. Re: Warning platform maintainers :   Hub warns that a fix from Mike, tamlin, has caused an issue with popt.   Mike apologizes and suggests moving resource control from a global, affecting all platforms, to a class, affecting individual platforms.   Hub considers it a good idea and makes and open request that someone look into implementing the idea.

  4. Win32 tinderbox :   " And now for some...sad news.   For the time being, Jeremy will not be maintaining the Win32 tinderbox build.   When I announced last week (or two weeks ago for you time travelers ;o) that I would update the statics page,   Jeremy wrote in explaining that the daily build would, hopefully soon, still be available (probably at this time, even); however, the hourly tinderbox builds would not still be available unless sufficient interest in them was to crystallize.

  5. commit: abi: ugly hack :   Frank attempts to repair an issue on Solaris in which two truncate()s clash (system and C++).   Mike proposes to #undef truncate, which is destined to cause compiler warnings (can't call off what isn't there, yet)   Can "out of two great evils...(arise a) lesser?"   Stay tuned, same AbiTime, same AbiList!

  6. new abiword-plugins (1.0.3) tar ball on SF :   Frank, fixing bug 4418, creates a 1.0.3 plugins tarball with the configure information included.

  7. Gypsython news :   Mauro Colorio reports on the latest efforts on Gypsython.   And that report is...'SUCCESS!'   "It's alive!  It's alive! "  "Excellent, Master!"   EYECANDY ATTACHED!

  8. Re: gypsthon patch (fwd) :   Martin forwards to the list a message exchange with Mauro as to how a user can use the gypsython plugin.   Mauro gives instruction on how to access the plugin once it has been included.

  9. My movements. :   Martin gives a quick summary of his life for the next few months (apparently there's some traveling involved LISP(you're welcome to stop by Madison, and we can talk about that nice juicy flavourful brain of yours...mmm...brain)).   He also explains what hacking he wishes to get done in that time; here's the quicklist: bug squishing, complete table implementation, return to bonobo to allow abi to work in Evolution and Nautilus as well as import other bonobo-ified components (specifically gnumeric), move AbiCommand to the main build (allows POSIX users to use Abi's functions on the commandline/stdio) and, most importantly, Get AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom out by the end of February!

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 great interest or importance.   This week, interesting topics on the user list included:

  1. is this list active :   Rodney D. Myers wants to know why there have been no messages since the first.   Dom blames the downing of NYORP, but I prefer Rich's reasoning, "I guess everyone's happy."


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 2002.12.01 - 2002.12.07
Who Commits In summary
jeremyd 138 Win32 Frame Refactoring, removed references to XAP_Win32Frame while watching a Star Trek: The Next Generation marathon, reported to the Associated Press files, moved Frame code to FrameImpl after successful compile of refactored Win32 build, did most steps of the total requirements for a complete Win32 frame refactoring.
hub  50 Unix frame refactoring fixes, Cocoa (mostly frame refactoring): leaks and double release, properly reset the graphic context when resizing, string updates correction, fix fontHeight(), implemented saveRectangle, fixed the "upside down problem," fixed dialog localization (shortcut stripping from labels), removed a double free of popt context, frame window displayed after resize, handle input from navigation keys and mouse, text and caret issues, moved away mouse handlers to view instead of window, handle en fixed toolbars option and events (data passing), font cleanup/optimization. removal of lot of dead code,
Remember, don't pollute; help keep code clean & green!
mouse events handled by rulers, added NSTable utilities
fjfranklin  47 diving make config update for HPUX (Martin Gansser), build instructions for MacOSX (with contribution from Manos Krokos), updated abi-spell.m4 to handle changes with GNU aspell 0.50.3, stricter curl detection, fixed ttftool for Solaris/gcc, sgi dialogue scandir exception, realized that C and C++ (or ++C) are not the same language, work-around for clash between system truncate() and C++ method name, added UnixFrameImpl to diving make, moved & updated frame geometry method, updated gypsython config to use python2.2, HTML export work from STABLE to HEAD, I'm definitely quoting this one: update from th' gypsy hi'sel' :that was quote--I swear bob, UT/UTF8 string and xml and magical things plus some new methods, some stuff involving mail merge, ooh, and code cleanup!
Remember, don't pollute; help keep code clean & green!
Mauro gets a new nickname--"the gypsy":really, and finally tonight, forward ported STABLE's XHTML importer
dom  29 cleaned up some templates, fixed up XML parser, export text to OpenWriter documents, use the close button instead of the cancel button, unix clipboard interaction fixed by adding pseudo-intelligent canPaste function, html table and meta work, added more image-types to clipboard, fix for changes in later versions of libxml2 (version>2.4.24), recognize the awml document tag in autodetect (anyone else thinks that may have taken just a wee-bit longer than it should have been?), removed resource wasting font assertions, OO Metadata fix (sure...blame Frank for everything...), unref pixbuf loaders as to not leak memory and bugs ( 4410 and 4416
uwog  21 Cutsey font caching for Unix (plus fixes for non-XFT builds LISP(You do this to get me to quote you, don't you?) "who uses non-XFT anyway? must be those damned debian users using software from the ancient greeks"), fixed build errors in UnixFrameImpl, defined wp6 MIME type, fixed gcc3.2 compile error, fixed "some little thingy in the html clipboard" (don't you hate it when developers get technical like that?)
mgilbert   9 Still owes US$20, fixed abicommand to build, using FrameImpl, FrameImpl fix, unliked efence in older build, undid the unlink, Another anti-frank comment involving unnecessary linkage from the abi-spell.m4 aspell 0.50.3 changes, mem-leaks plugged in UnixFontManagerThingie, realized HEAD is work towards gnome/gtk/glib2, ran away.
plam   8 some fixing and "hooking up" of delete_bookmark in Unix, fix non-xft crash on exit (to quote Marc, "who uses non-XFT anyway? must be those damned debian users using software from the ancient greeks"), deuglification and refactoring of header/footer to hftype in DocListener,
Remember, don't pollute; help keep code clean & green!
phma   3 Albanian string update by Besnik Bleta, Sardinian strings by Francesco Cheratzu
dchart   1 updated the 1.1.3 changelog
tamlin   1 plugged memory leak in tables
wlach   1 added a comment to give some context to Martin's disabling of the clipboard polling

*jordimas:  system-related work is Windows unless stated otherwise.
*phearbear:  Johan is missing in action
*hippietrail:  Andrew is missing in action

Weekly Prize Patch

      Dom, with the help of all those of you who donated to help keep AbiWord great, re-established the Weekly Prize Patch.   Established at $45 pre-charges (read: the financial companies cut), the prize is awarded by the decision of Martin and Dom, both of whom must agree on the winner.   Though neither Dom nor Martin may vote for themselves, they posses to "trumps" that allow them to vote for the other, therefore nullifying that other's vote.   Most importantly, winning is entirely dependent on how lagered-up Martin and Dom are at the time in question.

And the award goes to:

Patch prize winner is...

Hi everyone,
This week's patch prize is given for lots of cool work on image
resizing, image drag and drop and font caching. So it's no surprise that
Dom and I award the prize to:

Marc Maurier, much better known as uwog on IRC.

Congratulations Marc, contact Dom to work out details on receiving your

Enjoy :-)

Martin Sevior
University of Melbourne


      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 pow4 (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)   Also, what a great way to get money from Dom!

Name:  Regression tests for the front-end AbiWord components.
Description:  Perform component-specific tests, document procedural changes and open bugs as necessary.
Advertisement:  Play the game and get a hero credit; more recognition than QA!
Recommended Outline:  Email abiwordtesting@matthewcraig.com and include available system types, AbiVersions and previous testing experience.   Receive testing instructions which will take one to two hours to complete.
Comments:  No experience required.   A good way to be introduced to AbiWord contribution efforts.
System:  Any and every OS.
AbiVersion:  1.0.3 only (for now atleast)
Challenge level:  *.... 1 star out of 5
Current Heros:  "Some of the most active were "Mikey", Tom Purl and Eric Blom."
          As far as I know, more people are welcome to help them!   And, as a user, it's practically your duty!
^_^ More People find More Bugs ^_^

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 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 130 1.0.x Crashing on printing
3525  90 --- font incorrectly printed and spaced
 376  80 2.0 File assosciate problems for all file types with Win32Slu......
1406  61 1.0.x xhtml documents fail to open: "Bogus html document" msg
 428  57 2.0 Hitting return at the beginning of a paragraph changes fo......
3457  51 --- Crash under GNOME when printing
1747  42 2.0 background colour of text selection is always grey
4432  36 --- GTK2 Input Methods Unavailable
2362  30 1.0.x AbiWord only prints across half of page
3845  30 --- Scroll wheel reversed when a Windows XP setting selected
3970  30 --- changing layouts can lead to showing other location than ......
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
4216  29 --- Wrong line length, wont justify either...
2868  25 2.0 character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...
1394  17 2.0 on-screen landscape actually prints portrait in Win95
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 563 2.0 Need to support footnotes and endnotes
2183 232 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
1374  96 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
1950  88 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
2565  72 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
1144  67 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
2490  41 2.0 Finish Cocoa Frontend
1929  36 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
 515  35 Future columns change should only affect selected text
2186  30 Future The insert page break setting is lost for custom styles
3668  28 --- Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
2296  25 Future doc import: footnotes
2169  24 Future Line numbering
1762  20 2.0 import html
3233  20 2.0 New Language preference menu
3419  20 Future [RFE] Add microspacing feature (tracking) for characters
1270  18 Future Abiword should graphical columns ala wordperfect 8/9
3393  18 --- Table of Contents, Table of Images, Table of Index genera......

      This shouldn't be here.

Resolved Bugs

      In the past week, the following Bugs have been verified as fixed.   The listed Bugs have all been put in either CLOSED or RESOLVED mode as FIXED. and QA will return next week along with the Flushed bugs.   I'm sticking with this until we can all do that voting thing since so few of you wrote in on your thoughts of this methode eitherway.

Bugs Resolved This Week
Resolution Number
Resolved 16
Verified 10
Closed  2
This Week's Most Active QA Helpers:
Verified Name
7 Frank "SleepCoder" Franklin
3 Sam TH
2 Dom "Cheese Steak" Lachowicz
1 David Chart
1 Joaquin Cuenca Abela
1 Hub "Fear Root" Figuiere
1 Jordi "At least New Technology isn't from the 'Ancient Greeks'" Mas
1 Mark "$20" Gilbert
1 Matthew "I love Project Blue Ant" Craig

Flushed Bugs

      What you see here are either invalid bug reports or duplicates.   So, basically, I'm showing everyone else how doofy you are sometimes.   On average*, confirming duplication or non-validity takes four minutes and thirty-five seconds.   That's the equivelant of 8LLOC of time for Dom.   Any other questions why development isn't as fast as you want?

Non-Bugs Flushed this Week
Flushed Number
Invalid 5
Duplicate 5
Won't Fix 1
This Week's Most Active Bug Flushers:
Verified Name
9 David " I conquer all!" Null
1 Mark "You bet I'm going to obsess over that $20" Gilbert
1 No One "Hates Debian Here!"

Caught Bugs

      Bug spotters, beware, we're watching you!

Bugs Found this Week
Caught Number
Unconfirmed 0
New 1
ReOpened 1

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!?"

HackDown to 1.0.4
Bug ID Description
1225 down arrow on last line must goto EOL
2174 Can't import Cocoa RTF
2223 cannot open psiWord files (re-opened)
2715 crash on zoom
3008 Cursor not initially in hyperlink dialog
3109 Smart Insert Hyperlink, check to see if selected text is a hyperlink
3171 rtf sets top and bottom margins to 0 (re-opened)
3239 [META] Windows printing bugs
3453 Crashes repeatably while attempting to edit header
3488 Weird crash when editing
3489 Crash when deregistering plugins
3561 Crash on embedded AbiWord in Evolution
3625 Multi Substitution waste memory
3632 editing the numbering style of a roman numeral list hangs/crashes
3645 Page setup has a problem with margins in millimeters
3678 [STABLE]Crash when editing this Word document
3686 XAbiword version for bundle not properly set.
3697 [crash] blank abiword document viewed as text (View Source)
3755 AbiWord crashes during import of this MS Word document
3766 Dvorak Keyboard
3840 Loading World.abw crashes AbiWord"
3858 export wrong content when choosing export to "Simplified Chinese GB_2312-80" encoded text
4039 Too Many Curly Brackets in Exported LaTeX (duplicate)
4046 The spellchecker has gone gonzo since upgrading from 1.0.2 to 1.0.3
4068 Crash when mouse leaves selected header
4070 [META] crash on load bugs
4093 Program Terminates on Open
4097 Save dialog file extension weirdness
4125 .doc file does not import correctly (BiDi issues).
4183 Save/reload puts spurious characters in simple file in 1.0.3
4212 Phantom Text appears after loading file with custom tab settings
4283 // comments expose lots of bugs
4304 crash when changing font of certain text (e.g. page numbers)
4363 [STABLE] Abi crashes after document open/close if text selected
4449 EV_EditBindingMap::removeBinding() leaks

removed from list: 3324

*Strike-out bug numbers and greyed text are resolved.
*Bold bug numbers and bold text are assigned.
*Italicized bug numbers and italicized text are unconfirmed.
*Removed bugs are a sign you're being screwed.

      1225 is added and crossed off quickly, while 4449 is added and already assigned.   1225 relates to how pressing the down arrow should function when at the end of a line, and 4449 is a memory leak just waitin' for a fixin'.   If the numerous assigned don't get cleaned up, someone's gonna owe US$20.

      Open Source, Open Books.   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.

Current Balance: $1616.00
Interest earned: $7.00

Expenditures: $860
$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
$135 Patch Prize (those already successfully awarded)
-   $ 45 Will Lachance
-   $ 45 Marc Maurer
-   $ 45 Ruud Vring

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.