AbiWord Weekly News #131, (2003, week 07, released 2003.02.18)

Welcome to this issue 131 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      Me and my excitement:  I got all up on Johnny and 3269 (Win32:Crash on print) that I actually reported 3239 (Win32: Meta: Printing bugs) as being fixed.   I stand by my w00t none the less.   Dom would like me to blink my w00t; however, that looks bad on some gecko mutants.   If anyone comes up with a better fix to 3239, I will create ASCII breasts or something to that liking.   Also, apologies for the removal of Daniel and his work around.   I've placed both names and their works in plaque-like form.   Final note to Christian, and others who wonder about how the HackDowns get updated; HackDowns are extracted directly from the referred to meta-bugs (hence the links).


      Last week, Daniel Jensen gave a work around for crash on print issues, but this week...JOHNNY LEE SQUASHED 3269!   Frank has added the patch (for the auto* build system only) for the location of binaries and executables, but the big thing now is getting rid of the wrapper script, thus calling the binaries directly.   Also, there is indeed a prize patch issued, I won't say who, because I don't want to spoil it despite how bloody obvious it is, and I would like to remind you that I've told you before that POW's are a great way to get money from Dom.

This week in development

      Raphael Finkel pops in with a HowTo on translating AbiWord into other languages.   Sam tells us a fix for people experiencing weird fonts where they weren't expected.   The wrapper script used in POSIX compliant operating systems may finally be on its way to retirement.   On a unixy note, Frank's put together a special package OS X users might be interested (you could help take over for Hub and his busted laptop if you prove your worth), and....

Johnny Lee whoops some buggy A*

Silliness of the Week

      I'm just apologizing for the lateness of this AWN; I know how many of you find this to be important and all that, and this is a very special AWN, in case you haven't noticed.

      You want something funny?   Well, Frank's not on this continent, but I did hear this funny story:
Pieces of the AWN have been out of date for some eons and need correcting.
      Ok, not funny, but something that's been making me consider going back to previous issues and begin corrections (nothing new, just nothing older than the issue).
  Have a wingdingy day,

This Issue

      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:

  1. Download source code ? :   Hornbill Dellson is interested in translating AbiWord into his native Indonesian Kelabit, for which, he would like to know where to get the latest sources.   What will interest many Windows users is the extensive discussion on getting cvs and compiling under cygwin.   The point of interest for those that like to follow the world of linguistics comes up when we quickly realize that ISO/SIL (the means AbiDevelopment has used to separate languages et cetera) has no code for Kelabit/Kalabit/Kerabit in either Malaysia or Indonesia

  2. po/TRANSLATE.HOWTO :   Raphael Finkel, after some help from the developers, has put together a nice howto for translating AbiWord into other languages, including Klingon, Andrew's favourite exclusion of ISO ;o)   You'll find the plain text version available within the thread.

  3. size changes in dialog boxes :   Raphael believes that the font alteration in a particular dialogue box is wrong and, rightly so, attempts to patch the relating problem.   However, Sam explains that it's the fault of not setting the alternative format fonts (bold/italic/pica) in .gtkrc.

  4. gtk+ input method with Bengali :   Tavis Barr believes AbiWord has a problem in rendering Bengali (and other Devanagari-based languages).   The problem, as Dom explains, comes from XFT2's limited functionality in some multi-phonic-glyph languages.   Dom went on to tell us that AbiWord will probably switch to Pango in the future (think AbiWord III: The Grep for Dom), as currently, Pango is too difficult to integrate for the cross over of functionality and the loss of some features.

  5. Wrapper script , Question -- installation methods and commit: abi: build "fix" :   Christian wants to remove the wrapper script that initializes AbiWord's home variable via hardcoding this function into the application itself.   Sam attempts this, but runs into problems with breaking automated building utilities (like tinderboxen).   Frank jumps in with a build fix for the auto* build system.   This ensures that ABISUITE_HOME is set to, um, ABISUITE_HOME...yeah, I'm good with that, ABISUITE_HOME.

  6. Fwd: Maybe that is worth to appear in AWN :   Maybe it is, Alberto.   Ice-walkers, a site with an unholy affinity for Debian above all things else, has marked AbiWord as 100% super-loved.   Actually, it'd average out below that, but, apparently, not close enough to 80% to knock off a foot.   Note:  That'll make sense when you get there.

  7. commit: abi: enable HTML Options dialog :   All of Frank's hard work with HTML is now accessible via pretty dialogue (no screenshot, that punk!).   He also succeeded at not blowing everything else up.

  8. [PATCH] Fix bug 3269 - Crashing on printing (win) :   Johnny Lee has become a super hero in Abidom.   Johnny has done what no AbiHacker has previously succeeded in.   His Kung Fu is strong.   Windows users shall be pleased at the fall of bug 3269.   I've been reserving this for a very special occasion:


  9. XAbiWord-2.0 on Mac OS X :   NO!   YES!   THE DEVIL, YOU SAY!   REALLY!   Frank, aka SuperFreak, has put together a super package to get the future AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom to work on Mac OS X.   Frank points out what OS X users already know, this system doesn't function in bundles.   He explains the steps he took to get it to work and explains that if you're interested in your own, he'll send you a copy.   You'll need nearly 100MB of space (tar+sources+dependencies), but if you remember any of Hub's screenshots, I'm sure you, or perhaps an OS X user you almost like, will appreciate it (even with the occasional instability--it'll be just like having MS Office, without the soul & slavery thing going on).

  10. Impending commit: ubiquitous layout units and commit: huge layout patch :   Patrick, with help from Dom, has put together a new layout technique to save time on processing and remove potential WYSIWYG bugs.   His commit description incorrectly describes getDeviceResolution's new functionality.   For those interested in how AbiWord functions, or WYSIWYG work, you should probably read Dom's correction before the second thread.

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:

  1. Web front end -- crazy? :   Colin Mattoon asks a question some of you on heterogeneous networks might wonder about, "What's the probability of creating a web front end for AbiWord?"   Hub sends a snowball to Hell as a nice example.   As it is a specialty request, i.e. limited interest, it does not appear that anyone is interested in doing so...without sponsorship, that is -- yes, bribing a hacker to work on an application he or she loves is not considered selling out and is therefore an acceptable means of making money.   Of course, a web-document could include JavaScript to send text back to the server, which could use PHP to translate that to Abi, which could output a PostScript document, which a simplified GIMP-based engine could translate into a png, which PHP could embed into the document, which the server could send back to client might be an acceptable solution for those of you currently interested playing with this idea; though, I'm not exactly an expert on these things....

  2. phantom characters :   Chris Lee has brought to us a reminder of all the bugs posing as number 4183.   If you have this problem, avoid builds with BiDi (both current stable and developers' builds are bidi only, so, if this is an issue, you will need a pre-1.0.3 build until a proper fix is available)-:.

  3. Why I cannot print!?!?!?!?!??! :   Stefano Zanelli learns why CVS HEAD isn't meant for day to day use; in this case, the latest developers' build won't print on Red Hat 8.0.   Martin confirms he, too, is having this problem, but reminds Stefano that is why such versions are considered unstable.

  4. How do I respond to Mailing List messages or threads :   Alan Rowan asks a question only three or four dozen people on user list should read up on.   Alan's on a webmail account (Yahoo), for which, he cannot find any reply rules (which would normally be attached to the filter rules).   For the rest of you, if you don't have the feature to reply to list (control+L in most cases) or a filter with such rules, you should do as Alan is doing and add abiword-user@abisource.com to the "CC" or "To" fields.


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 2003.02.09 - 2003.02.15
Who Commits In summary
plam 110 unbreak build via removing Jordi's last changes, commit: huge layout patch (with Dom) plusse warnings and compile fix, de-üdgen a pango-related issue
dom  42 GNOME: print work including graphics, build fixes, use native app to display help, clipart dialogue works again, ; other build fixes, gave someone a chance to win US$0.25 if you can guess how abi/src/af/xap/xp/xap_Prefs.cpp actually worked, radio menu items (I think because they're cool, but he says they're "the correct thing to use for Alignment and for View modes"),
In the past, I've said some things in the AWN we all know I shouldn't have, but some of Dom's comments...not for the rated=G crowd
fix modeless dialog bug for gtk2.2, hack around combo "changed" signal for now in gtk 2.2, and! the Johnny Lee Patch (plusse a typo found with typo.pl also to be credited to Johnny).
fjfranklin  42 read the AWN, changed installation directory of AbiWord_binaries to $(libexecdir) (and $(libdir)/AbiWord-2.0/plugins for plugins) for the auto* build system (but didn't do diving make!!!) while making configure require -prefix or --libdir to be set explicitly, (^_^), new install checks for pre-installed plugins, fixed some casts to add constness to clipboard's paste data, removed unimplemented method in clipboard stream class in text importer, disabled almost ingenious resource manager with extreme prejudice and befouled the good name of Debian (another anti-Debite!), fl_BlockLayout & fv_View to mark styles in use, ie_exp_HTML: implemented a new s_StyleTree class for tracking styles, enabled the HTML options dialog; ut_string_class now has more != and == operators to UT_UTF8String, use pkg-config for fribidi detection, build fixes, build defaults to Xft, gave a bad review to Hackinator III: Rise of the PLATFORM_CFLAGS (he also didn't like the mini-feature @*_CFLAGS@), commit: abi: build "fix", never got around to that diving make...
hippietrail  41 C to C++ casting work with improved const-correctness due to changing casts, also included some warning fixes
msevior  34 Ahh...back to Tables: drag horizontal table lines to set specific table heights, backend for defined table heights, bugs fixed in set row heights, double-click a line resets table to auto row height [ed. eww no]; refactored endnotes without affecting footnotes
sam  20 removed the fun ability to place a footnote within a footnote and an endnote within an endnote [ed. something I do a lot of :o(], work towards killing wrapper script
mgilbert   6 corrected deprecated gtk_idle_add to current g_idle_add, added comments
jordimas*   5 fixes for that whole ABISUITE_HOME thing as well as for pluggins and the tinderboxen (reverted later by sam)
jeremyd   2 tested how Unix tinderbox reacted MSVC casts, returned compile date to being only compile date and not build id
phearbear*   1 changed a static_cast to a const_cast for PageSize

*jordimas:  system-related work is Windows unless stated otherwise.
*phearbear:  system-related work is QNX unless stated otherwise.

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:

Johnny Lee

-- Mark Gilbert wrote:
> Will you be my valentine?

Even better, will you be this week's patch prize

Get in touch with me please about this off-list,



      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 pow5 (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).   Oh, and in case you didn't notice, they're a great way to get money from Dom, really!

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 (1.0.4, I would guess, dev and cvs releases may occur as well)
Challenge level:  Variable
Current Heros:  You must be magical to know how to fix this

NameProject 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 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:  1.0.4 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."

^_^ More People find More Bugs ^_^
        Back to normal POW status.   However, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, and we'd love to see you help!   After the hyperbolizing this POW, interest has been dwindling, and there really is a lot left to get done.   Personally, I think it's the holidays; however, you can't go by me, because I was going to add ASCII breasts to get more attention.   On that subject, if any cute geekettes want to pose nekkid with an Abi the Ant tattoo, contact Mark Gilbert.
^_^ 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
The MoFos who had the Huevos for this POW:
Johnny Lee
(crash on print)

Daniel Jensen
(text work around)

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...
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
3525  90 --- font incorrectly printed and spaced
 376  80 2.0 File assosiate 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......
2715  20 1.0.x crash on zoom
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
ID Votes Milestone Summary
2183 289 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
1374  96 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
1950  94 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
2565  72 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
2490  71 2.0 Finish Cocoa Frontend
2321  70 --- [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
1144  67 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
3668  46 --- Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
 515  41 Future columns change should only affect selected text
2365  41 --- AbiWord needs 'view codes'
1929  37 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
2186  30 Future The insert page break setting is lost for custom styles
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
2164  25 Future Ability to set default print command anywhere
2296  25 Future doc import: footnotes
2169  24 Future Line numbering
1935  22 Future inconsistency re "units" selection in 3 different places
3233  21 2.0 New Language preference menu
1762  20 2.0 import html

      Has anyone noticed that...JOHNNY LEE SQUASHED 3269!!!

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.   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
Resolution Number
Resolved 12
Verified  4
Closed  0
This Week's Bug Squishers:
Verified Name
6 Sam TH
4 Dave Null
3 Hubert Figuiere
1 Frank Franklin
1 Patrick Lam
1 Jordi Mas

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 equivalent 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 1
Duplicate 3
Won't Fix 2
This Week's Most Active Bug Flushers:
Verified Name
4 Dave Null
2 No One

Caught Bugs

      Bug spotters, beware, we're watching you!

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

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!?"


      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
Bug ID Description
2223 cannot open psiWord files (re-opened)
2715 crash on zoom
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
3766 Dvorak Keyboard
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
4449 EV_EditBindingMap::removeBinding() leaks
4481 Format > Tabs dialog box completely 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 28 of 37 [META] Windows printing bugs
4425  0 of  0 squash all warnings
4465 26 of 34 [META] Spelling bugs
4466 15 of 22 [META] "Motion" Bugs
4467 10 of 11 [META] Find/Replace bugs and enhancements
4488  3 of 12 [META] Help System Bugs
4489  2 of  2 [META] Accessibility bugs
4627  8 of  8 [META] Copy/Paste bugs

      Hub appears to have eliminated 2715: crash on zoom, while Dom removes a few bugs from 4466: the motion bugs, while also adding 4627: the copy & paste bugs.

      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
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.