AbiWord Weekly News #129, (2003, week 05, released 2003.02.02)
Welcome to this issue 129 of the AbiWord Weekly News.
Alan Horkan is recovering in St. Pacman's hospital after having gone into coronary arrest upon reading that someone actually WANTED to use the over-write mode. More documentation to AbiWord is becoming possible (and we thank each and every one of you). Last week, I told you that AbiWord can handle MSWord documents with tables. Thanks to Mark, I did clarify that it was specifically in HEAD-based builds; however, I can see that my corrections did not show up in last week's AWN (despite going up in less than ten minutes before it was published). Anyway, for those that didn't understand, that was specifically in reference to the developers' builds and cvs HEAD. Finally, there was no prize patch, yet, this week either, but keep praying, who knows who's next...(tomas if I had to vote, but luckily, I don't get a say...).
This week in development
IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you are having problems with your fonts in the development builds, read fontproblems.txt or get the latest CVS version of AbiWord.
Gabriel Gerhardsson declares the hash downloader bloat, ironic the maintainer would come out and say that after a long absence. Dom starts adding HELP! buttons everywhere, while I recommend altering them to "Don't Panic" buttons. The 1.0.5 HackDown displays that Hub has no belief that historical record is a sign of future performance, as he dares to add even more bugs and features to the new HackDown. Hey, he's French. AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom will break an incredible historical record that no one would have anticipated: It shall be the most fully documented word processor, the most fully documented any application for that matter, before it even comes out. Well, it is heading that way with two (or is it three) new people interested in building our documentation stockpile. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate Frank (he may not be in Wisconsin), so, the follow-up interview about the e-monk application will have to wait for next week. This means if you still have questions you want asked, you still have time to ask them!
Silliness of the Week
In lack of anything to get all up about, I'm going to ask you, the zany li'l reader, to get all up about it for me. As you may have read last week, this will be the year that AbiWord becomes a killer application with the release of AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom. Well, I think it's time to see what you silly li'l people can create to commemorate this occasion. Parodies of Bob Peak's Star Trek II movie posters, though predictable, will be acceptable, but only eight people in the world actually know what Dom looks like! A gallery may be started so your glorious work may be ooh'd an ahh'd at. Submissions made after AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom is released will be laughed at...then accepted ^_^
The first submission came in early from Marc, a.k.a. uwog: wrath_of_dom.png
And remember, I give you an email address so you can talk to me, in case you're not on either 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 up-to-date 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:
The hash downloader : Gabriel Gerhardsson, original maintainer of the dictionary hash downloader for AbiWord, has announced a disinterest in continuing effort on this sub-project. Gabriel begins with the concept that said feature bloats the word processor. For those not entirely familiar, when you wish to switch languages and the desired dictionary is not available on your system, the hash downloader fetches a copy from SourceForge. Marc points out that he has never encountered anything but positive feedback on the subject of this feature. The idea of a word processor fetching data from (and exposing itself to) the Internet may seem undesirable, but this small added feature does appear to be a crowd pleaser, even if it does put off the occasional developer. Perhaps Gabriel and Michael will start their own fork: AbiWord III: The Search for Fewer Features.
Commit: Add help button to all dialogs that support Help : Who said AbiWord isn't newbie-friendly? Well, no one, yet, but AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom certainly won't be an option! Dom's popping in help-buttons wherever available, thus making life easier for Granny Clampett while giving AbiWord an even more GNOME-like feel.
commit: Fix for 4549,4550, FormatFootnotes : After fixing a crash and connecting footnotes dialogue to (otherwise non-functional) code, Martin announces that he has poofed in a puff of logic for a few days.
1.0.4 binaries needed : Hub requests that binaries be made for RH and Windows for the latest STABLE release. Rui begins build RH8 rpms.
Win32 build 126.96.36.1994 : Omer Zak's inability to install a CVS-based build of AbiWord results in the need to register a bug. However, Omer is unable to reach bugzilla. Just a reminder that abisource.com/bugzilla works just as well. If you don't try that first, you will receive the following remark from Hub: It works here™ On rare occasions, you'll also be informed of the current IP address for the server.
AbiWord 1.0.4 binaries for FreeBSD : Paul Anguiano announces the 1.0.4 binaries for FreeBSD are now ready. He goes on to point out that 1.1.3 can not be built do to issues with freebidi. Hub uploads the new binaries to SourceForge.
GNOME Fifth Toe : James Ogley blows some time at GNOME Fifth Toe, only to learn that the antiquated version of AbiWord lacks a proper description or acknowledgment of the maintainers. For your information, "AbiWord is a free, fully featured, cross platform word processor which runs light and fast," and "It is currently maintained by Dom Lachowicz (Head Maintainer), Hubert Figuiere (Maintainer), Mark [ed. $20] Gilbert (Maintainer)." Additionally, Marc (mARC) points out that the current version should be upped to 1.0.4. This occurs in February, so, tough nuggets.
crash on exit : Joaquin's patch seems to be causing XFT-related issues. The anti-Debite had hoped otherwise, simply because Rui uses his tag to signify the last functioning code. This has no other purpose than to go on about the anti-Debite one last time.
How to write a plugin? : Raphael Finkel wants to begin the grand quest of building an AbiPlugin. Raphael may not have gotten the memo that plugins need to be for the same version with the same options. Dom and Frank are quick to volunteer for any information needed in creating a plugin, as Dom is the master maintainer of all things (plugins included) and Frank created the plugin system for AbiWord. This is also a good time to remind you that some questions you may have along these lines, or others, can also be answered in chat at irc.gimp.org #abiword .
Subject Happens Just Before It Hits the Fan and Re: (Documentation ) : Mary Corder (and not Merry Coder, as I misread) expressed an interest in using her expertise to write documentation for AbiWord. Mary is reminded that documentation is generally headed up by David Chart, with whom, she is now in contact. Just another thank you to howto writers, twiki contributors and other e-monks that do that nasty thing that others only take care of after 8 bugs have been filed, an RFC has been issued and a project impact statement has been filled out, and that's just the bureaucracy to get Mark to acknowledge it! Forget Dom! Just forget him! Concentrate on Alan; he notices things faster. He even notices things if they're not there! He wears tinfoil hats.
Updated Chinese translation for AbiWord 1.1.3 : Anthony Fok appears to have problems similar to Masayuki Hatta. Not all forms of zh (Chinese) work in all places of AbiWord. Much of the sporadic behavior seems similar to a discussion some months ago about the inefficiencies of using ISO (or any other popular standard) for categorizing languages.
Re: Fwd: from email@example.com : Rajiv encounters a make problem that Christian (probably quite rightly) pins on the make used. Just a word of advice that if you encounter such problems, try using gmake before reporting them.
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 importance or points of great interest. This week, interesting topics on the user list included:
How to switch to overtype mode? : Well, the day was destined to come. Bo Parker actually WANTS over-write (or over-type) mode! This is an essential piece of his ASCII-style guitar tablature. After recovering from a heart attack, Alan is one of two people that assist in creating a pseudo-insert key. Why? Because the insert key (which isn't a mac-esk feature) is used to switch between INS/OVR modes. Lee Harr (you remember him, right?) asks how Bo was doing it before in MSWord, but this goes unanswered. For a mini-howto-et, see Re: How to switch to overtype mode?
Re: Abiword on linux : Rajiv has difficulty installing AbiWord on the local SuSE box. This results in small discussion as to what makes Linux different from other operating systems, and Mark explains how statically linked binaries have often simplified many installations while minimizing dependency issues.
Can't Install AbiWord on RedHat 8.0 : "4 Eyes" finds a bad signature attached to the abi-fonts rpm. More of a heads up to the user than anything else, right now, but more may develop later, so, keep watching.
math equation editor yet? : Paul Milligan would greatly appreciate an equations editor for AbiWord. Descending from a cloud of Olympus (or just a puff of logic), Martin, another scholastic egghead, suggests that he intends to integrate a particular equations editor after AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom is released. He also promised to create tables after AbiWord: The Application was released, and CVS-based builds have proven that he kept that word, so, I have faith in this concept.
How to document for html and Word : It seems that, as more people try the CVS-based versions of Abi, the more they really like it. Jeremiah Foster becomes another future documentor. AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom will be the most documented editor upon its release (probably even before it!). Though lacking a "contact David Chart" comment, this discussion is revealing for one point. AbiDocumentation shall be in AbiNativeFormat (.abw). R Coyne gives some very good advice that Jeremiah will generalize later on, but what you'll really want to know is this: "Where do people get their email addresses from?" I mean, yes, the domain's obvious, but really, sponge bob square pants and ducking's no fair really don't spring to mind as quickly as Zaphod Beeblebrox can't count to six on all four ear lobes.
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 2003.01.25 - 2003.02.01|
|hippietrail||66||masters *.h.in for MSVC6, more work towards his getNonUnicodeEncodingName including fixes and comment improvements and a bit of C to C++ casting work and back for MSVC6, TOOLBAR_* transferred from EUC-JP to UTF-8 thanks to Masayuki Hatta's update, corrected incorrect references to UTF-8 because, "The Unicode community is pedantic about the name," and bug 4503|
|tomas_f||59||added comments for text work, Win32 preferences work, bidi fixes, memory optimatisation in glyphs, added handling for mirroring characters (removed for MSWord importer), added debug messages for block layout, fixed drawing of justified RTL runs, shrank more memory leaks in xp, added getColorSelForeground() and implemented getColorSelBackground(), simplify justification handling, created new wvIsBidiDocument() and began integration work for handling bidi documents, wv memory leaks, and bug 4473|
|dom||31||Add help button to all dialogs that support Help, added a leader after the "format cells or table" menu option, implemented recognition of the wm's colour scheme during text selection, improved POSIX focus handling (including maintaining an out-of-focus selection), get foreground selected color (didn't tom just do that?), cleanup memory leaks in the rulers, fix ruler segv, highlight color fixed, and bug 4565|
|plam||13||changed MyMin/Max to UT_MIN/MAX (I have no clue why, and it's not a localized concept, but I'm supposed to report these things and let you figure it out, I suppose)|
much smaller warning rampage, did the thing plam did (except for Cocoa LISP(Plam did POSIX, Windows, QNX and BeOS LISP(Yes, BeOS) ) ),
Cocoa caret now blinks (goodie!), untypoed, fixed build and un-double-freed.
|jeremyd||10||Win32 Toolbar free-fix, "finish INPROGRESS stuff"|
|phma||6||Yiddish string update by Raphael Finkel, Welsh update by Rhoslyn Prys, Japanese update by Masayuki Hatta|
|msevior||4||see also bugs ( 4500 4549 )|
|fjfranklin||3||make --enable-xft the default, use PKG_CHECK_MODULES for Xft2/fontconfig detection|
|rms||3||helped help fit within some dialogues, flags added for .desktop file, pt-PT update|
|cuenca||2||fixed Xft version of searchFont|
|mpritchett||2||expat build fix (suckas?)|
|phearbear*||2||added a if(m_pView) on the destructors, explained how silly QNX really is|
|sam||2||added a disgustingly massive footnote example (more than a page long) and added some files to cvsignore|
|gg||1||changed email address in credits|
|mcooper||1||Win32 _openURL error handling work|
*jordimas: system-related work is Windows unless stated otherwise.
*phearbear: system-related work is QNX unless stated otherwise.
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.
No one was awarded the prize between the 26th of January and 1st of February.
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).
Description: This bug contains a compilation of numerous spelling-related bugs. Interested parties can do simple work, like Q&A to see what's still there, to more complex work, like dialogue fixin' and locale conversion If you have a current Abi and some time, you, too, can help
Advertisement: My spelring dilog isn nt ther
Recommended Outline: Whatever's easiest for you
Comments: All in all, there's something for everyone in there.
System: Any and every OS.
AbiVersion: Current (1.0.3, I would guess, dev and cvs releases may occur as well)
Challenge level: Variable
Current Heros: First week available
Name: Project Blue Ant.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: 1.0.5 only (for now at least)
Challenge level: *.... 1 star out of 5
Current Heros: "Some of the most active were Mikey Cooper, Tom Purl and Eric Blom."
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!
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: Mike, Jordi and Jeremy 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...
Challenge level: ****. 4 stars out of 5
Current Hero: Jordi Mas
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|
|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......|
|3550||60||---||Mouse wheel still bugged in documents >59 pages|
|4057||60||---||Thesaurus Shift+F7 keybindings shortcuts consistancey|
|428||54||2.0||Hitting return at the beginning of a paragraph changes fo......|
|3457||51||---||Crash under GNOME when printing|
|2362||30||1.0.x||AbiWord only prints across half of page|
|3970||30||---||changing layouts can lead to showing other location than ......|
|4049||30||---||Crash on open file from floppy or network drive.|
|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...|
|2421||20||2.0||TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......|
|3488||20||---||Weird crash when editing|
|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|
|3083||15||Future||[META] Redesign smart quote system|
|Top 20 Requests For Enhancement|
|2183||279||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|
|2321||70||---||[RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?|
|1144||67||Future||Improve KWord import/export filters|
|515||41||Future||columns change should only affect selected text|
|2490||41||2.0||Finish Cocoa Frontend|
|1929||37||Future||Hyphenation is missing in Abiword|
|2365||36||---||AbiWord needs 'view codes'|
|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|
|1935||22||Future||inconsistecy re "units" selection in 3 different places|
|3233||21||2.0||New Language preference menu|
|3419||20||Future||[RFE] Add microspacing feature (tracking) for characters|
Now that the background of text selection isn't always grey (CVS), many of you have concentrated on OpenOffice's XML file format. Have you really looked at their XML file format? As Dom pointed out when I was going on about MS Office going to XML, just because it's open doesn't mean it's either easy or simple. Documentation for Open Office's XML file format outweighs a hard cover, large print edition of Tolstory's War and Peace by four and one quarter ounces.
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. Can you believe I said QA will return next week when it's been here (or not been here) for three weeks? Final reminder, owners are the squishers and qa are the flushers (in case there's some question).
One other note, and this will apply across the bug area when the idea of credit comes up,
|Bugs Resolved This Week|
|This Week's Bug Squishers:|
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|
|This Week's Most Active Bug Flushers:|
Bug spotters, beware, we're watching you!
|Bugs Found this Week|
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!?"
This documents the progress of various bugs and features Hub hopes to have ironed out by 1.0.5. May the source be with him, always.
|HackDown to 1.0.5|
|2223||cannot open psiWord files (re-opened)|
|3239||[META] Windows printing bugs|
|3453||Crashes repeatably while attempting to edit header|
|3488||Weird crash when editing|
|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|
|3697||[crash] blank abiword document viewed as text (View Source)|
|3755||AbiWord crashes during import of this MS Word document|
|3858||export wrong content when choosing export to "Simplified Chinese GB_2312-80" encoded text|
|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|
|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|
|4481||Format > Tabs dialog box completly broken|
|4531||Page breaks ignored in RTF|
|4559||section break handling is broken|
*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.
On our way to two-point-oh, affectionately referred to as, AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom.
|HackDown to AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom|
|Bug ID||Open of Total||Description|
|2921||2 of 2||abi can leak memory [tracker bug]|
|3064||6 of 7||[TRACKER] AbiWord Performance|
|3239||30 of 37||[META] Windows printing bugs|
|4425||0 of 0||squash all warnings|
|4465||21 of 29||[META] Spelling bugs|
|4466||16 of 22||[META] "Motion" Bugs|
|4467||10 of 11||[META] Find/Replace bugs and enhancements|
|4488||4 of 12||[META] Help System Bugs|
|4489||2 of 2||[META] Accessibility bugs|
Hub, not appearing to have learned his lesson from 1.0.4, still seems to be biting off more than he can chew, while Dom makes little progress that is actually visible via the HackDown (good thing commits are tracked, or I'd wonder if he'd gone to the hospital).
See Announce: 2.0 release plan for more details on the intended route towards AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom.
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
Unique contributors: 58*
|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 email@example.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.|