AbiWord Weekly News #81, (2001, week 5, released 2002.02.04)

Welcome to issue 81 of the AbiWord Weekly News, sponsored by Red Hat.

A few new features this week (improved color support and multi-threaded document loading) as well as a slew of bug fixes, including many memory leak fixes. Also this week the AbiWord changes made by OEone were released.

Starting this week, I've added titles to the links in the Closed Bugs section, so you can see the Bug's summary string in the tooltip (supported by Mozilla and IE at least). Thanks to Hakon for suggesting that improvement. I could do the same for the Bug numbers mentioned in the CVS summaries, but instead of spending time on that, I encourage you to help QA the Bugs so they get Closed and show up in the section where I can automate the process.

The Bug count in the QA To Verify category is climbing. Please help us close them by downloading the 0.99.1 release and verify that the problems have been fixed. Some AbiWord 0.99.1 binaries are already available now at http://sourceforge.net/projects/abiword.

Also, if you want to help with the QA process during the 0.99.x cycle, you can find nightly builds for Windows here: http://www.darklogic.org/abiword/ and less frequent (but more stable builds) here: http://www.niksbiks.dk/Abi/. For Linux/GNOME you can find nightly builds here: http://pinohuis.dhs.org:8081/. Thanks!

In this issue:

Editor(s) of this issue: Jesper Skov

CVS Stats

2002.01.28 - 2002.02.03
WhoCommitsIn summary
msevior 62 Fixed segv caused by drag'n'drop of icons in the toolbar, fixed some screen flicker, fixed segfault when changing zoom in show paragraphs mode, multi-threaded loaded, character dirt fixes, and field fixes.
tomas_f 58 Fixed Win32 page setup unit problem, fixed Bugs 2547, 2548, 2615, 2640, 2660, 2670. bz2abw importer patch (from Jeremy Davis), unit patch (from Robert Altenburg), fixed memory leaks, changes to field update mechanism, fixed Bug 2591 (from Robert Altenburg), fixes to the multi-threaded loaded, some BiDi fixes, handle empty properties, added compile_dbg target (from Pavel Roskin), cursor movement fix, hyperlink fixes, and removed a bad assertion.
frodo 56 Psiconv update, psi importer tweak, psi autoconf tweaks. Also some automake 1.5 fixes.
fjfranklin 46 Fix psiconv building, some autoconf plugin work, HTML importer improvements, color name support, RPM spec file update (from Gabriel Gerhardsson), and a MacOSX make tweak.
phma 24 German update (from Damon Allen Davidson), fixed some string typos, Greek update (from Nikos Niktaris), and Swedish update (from Per Larsson).
mpritchett 21 Added Win32 installer support for plugins, Win32 Zoom dialog updated, some Win32 Dialog layout tweaks, plugin build structure work.
dom 15 ui-backport patch (from J.Travnik), BeOS patch (from biesi), patch for RTF importer segv (from Jesper Skov), screen/paper fixes, minor exporter class fix, grayscale colorspace support, improved normal and web-view modes. CMYK color support and HTML/SVG color name support (with Frank), and fix for Bug 2600 (from Pavel Roskin).
jskov 4 AWN #80
hub 2 Fixed some C++ scope errors.
rms 1 RPM spec file tweak for BiDi builds.
dchart 1 ChangeLog update.

Project Of the Week

POW (Project Of the Week) and the new uPOW (User Project Of the Week) is an attempt at attracting new developers and entice help from users by lowering the bar of entry to doing something constructive for AbiWord. A POW will describe a goal and often outline how to get there.

Presently we have a few unclaimed POWs. Please see the POW status page for more details.

POW2002.04 Integrate the new help system
uPOW2001.17Where to send AbiWord announcements
uPOW2001.09Determining Locale Status
uPOW2001.07Host for AbiWord BugDay
uPOW2001.06Update Feature and UI matrices
POW1999.47Make translated dialogs fit
uPOW1999.37CS folks wanted...

Bug Update

Here's the AbiWord bug update for the last week. If you can spare some time, please help us triage the bugs - you don't need to be able to program to do this.

Bug Counts

These are the bug counts for the past 4 weeks:

Date:       Submitted:     QA:           Open:
2002.01.14  100 (  +8%)    157 ( +23%)   398 (  +0%)
2002.01.21   97 (  -3%)    195 ( +24%)   395 (  +0%)
2002.01.28  108 ( +11%)    129 ( -33%)   402 (  +1%)
2002.02.04  120 ( +11%)    147 ( +13%)   395 (  -1%)

Bug Votes

As a user of AbiWord, you are able to vote on bugs you'd like to see closed. The process is quite simple:

  1. Create yourself an account if you don't already have one.

  2. Bring up the bug list.

  3. Click on Bug IDs to read bug details.

  4. If you find an interesting bug you'd like to have fixed, cast your vote by clicking on the "Vote for this bug" link on the bug description page.

  5. You have 30 voting points that can be cast in units of 1 to 30. But please only use votes in 5, 10, or 15-unit blocks (on a single Bug) and avoid casting votes on Bugs you have reported yourself.

From the sorted list of votes, we found the current Top 10 Bugs to be:

1030259Future Installing AbiWord messes up fonts in other applications (e.g. Netscape)
376741.0 File assosciate problems for all file types with Win32Slurp
1406471.0 xhtml documents fail to open: "Bogus html document" msg
140241Future Can not use other than original type1 fonts
1747371.2 background colour of text selection is always grey
1046331.0 Some localized strings truncated in Windows version
1781321.2 Toolbars do not remember position
2598261.0 Abiword installs bogus fonts of dubious heritage
231720--- Added words to the custom.dic are not used to make suggestions
1525201.0 Preferences -> Toolbars, Button Style, Both

And the Top 10 Requests For Enhancements to be:

12766001.2 Table support
1261268future Need to support footnotes and endnotes
1016130Future PDF output would be nice
232197Future Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
192930Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
195023Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
1270231.2 Abiword should graphical columns ala wordperfect 8/9
218320--- Compatibility with StarOffice XML
1262181.2 [RFE] need to rewrite RTF import
187518Future Import of StarOffice Writer documents (*.sdw)

Target Milestones

We are nominating bugs for the next two big releases. Users as well as developers, can have their say on which bugs to nominate by casting votes on bugs as described above. The current milestone distribution is as follows:

MilestoneBug count
Without Nomination197

Closed Bugs

Note that there are many many bugs just waiting for QA before they can be closed. Please help!

In the past week, the following 7 bugs have been closed (i.e., closed (FIXED/WORKSFORME) and verified):

1142, 1189, 1896, 2573, 2591, 2655, 2676,

On the Mailing List

Traffic on the developer mailing list has settled on about 200 postings per week.

You may also find interesting threads on the user and documentation lists (unfortunately the archive for the latter is broken at the moment).

This week, interesting topics on the developer list included:

  1. Commit: much improved color support: Dom and Frank have been improving AbiWord's color support to also handle HTML/SVG named colors, and CMYK color codes. Support for grayscale color space was announced seperately a little later.

  2. POW: integrate the new help system: Dom posted a new POW on integration of the new documentation in the run-time help system.

  3. parsons down: Parsons died (again!) on Tuesday. It remained down for a good while, and the web server was not restarted before Sunday. While staying on parsons is likely to cost occasional downtime like this, the consensus seems to be to stay on parsons until after the 1.0 release. We have too few hands as it is, so there's not much sense in trying to undertake a host move and delay the release further.

  4. Intention to commit a major change.: During this week, Martin committed his changes to make the loading of documents a multi-threaded operation. That means the first pages of a document will be rendered on the screen before loading completes. Very nice!

  5. a few notes on memory leaks: Tomas has been fixing a lot of memory leaks this week, and posted this guide on things to be aware of in that regard.

  6. OEone update: Wheee! We (finally!) got the changes OEone has made to AbiWord, as required by the GPL. Folding the changes into the current AbiWord will be no mean feat (they based their work on 0.7.14) but should add some nice embedding support some time after the 1.0 release.

  7. A new draw on XP refactoring: Frank started this long thread on (long term) plans for refactoring some of the backend code to better support graphics - and maybe start work on AbiDraw in the process. A few people pointed out that our resources are stretched thin enough as it is - but may I humbly refer those people to this article; don't expect to have a say over what anyone else spends their personal time on.

  8. What Hath God Wrought: Interesting little thread on the use of language specific "magic strings" in the Style Dialog layout box.