AbiWord Weekly News #155, (2003, week 31, released 2003.08.03)

Welcome to this issue 155 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      Now, 1.99.3 has been released and one of the OS X problems have been conquered.   Criawips trickie screenshot by popular-esk request.

This week in development

      In this week's episode, Nadav's relaunches a far more advanced version of the Open Text Summarizer, OTS: Stemming the Tide.   Dom releases 1.99.3 to the world, which is already available on Latest Releases page.   We learn that we cannot --enable-gnome due to header issues from GNOME 2.2.   Most interesting of all, Dom releases the AbiWord 2.2: TSWMRCAUSSWVLSD RoadMap.   Lots of discussion and a criawips screenshot waiting within.

Request for user assistance

      If you want an equally rich and powerful Windows release, we really, really could use some Windows developers.   A whole mess of people with even just an hour a week could help.   Of course, the "three with only two hours a week" model hasn't been helping!   We're desperate!   We'll take a line a day if there's enough of you!   Please help...please!   Doesn't a platform like yours deserve a chance?

      Windows users, your help is doubly requested*.   We would like to see more bug reports coming from the Windows crowd, so, if you're feeling more daring, please download and try out the Win32 binaries when they're available.   If you want some sweet functionality in AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom, you will have to participate.   You could also consider joining Project Blue Ant.

Silliness of the Week

  Happy Anniversary, Me!
  Why thank you, Me; that's very sweet of you!
  You're welcome, Me....  Oh, and I got you something?
  Really!?   For me!?
  Yes, here!
  OMG!   A George Foreman USB iGrill.
  Look closer!
  What's that!?   No!   It can't be!
  Yup, I refitted it with a firewire adaption, so, you can cook your goose in half the time!
  You Bastard!   How will I ever be able to correct the software!?
  You don't have to!   I signed their NDA and did it for you!
  Not really.
  They're violating SCO's intellectual property; I read many int main()'s, printf's and return (0); statements in there.
  Wow...look, it's a weasel in a three piece suit...you should run now.

      And now, for your drooling pleasure, the Criawips ScreenShot

      Final Note: Jan, do contact me.   Joss, don't contact me.

      Want to stop unjust things from happening in chat?   Join!   It's #abiword at irc.gimp.org

*requested: Danger, a recent incident suggests that this may cause anxiety, anger and/or mood shifts.   Windows users not taking MAOI's should have some level of alcohol within their bloodstream.

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.   Actually, everything I say is purely editorial.   You kind of get used to it.


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. 1.99.3 soon? ,
    ATTN: 1.99.3 tomorrow ,
    ATTN: tree closed for 1.99.3 ,
    ATTN: tree open ,
    "Updated" 1-99-3   and
    1.99.3 released! :   over a week ago, Martin wanted to release 1.99.3, and one week ago, Dom actuall did it, though, without a co-release with Jody (Gnumeric).   After the first sourcage, Marc found missing tags for wv, popt and psiconv, which had James Ogley (Lord High SuSE Builder) ask, "Where Have All the Plugins Gone?"   Shortly thereafter, everything was new was buildable again (^_^).   For those of you that somehow missed it, the Latest Releases page was updated (though somewhat late).   Additionally, despite rumours to the contrary, David Glassey has not replaced Daniel Glassey in the AbiWord Project.

  2. GNU libiconv 1.9.1 :   In case you missed it, or you just need a reminder, Dom would really love a somewhat less antiquated version of GNU libiconv (link corrected).

  3. ATTN: 2.2 roadmap :   Eons ago, an honest-to-bob roadmap was released detailing the development upto 2.0.   Now, Dom has created a new roadmap to take us to AbiWord 2.2: The Scene Where Martin Realises that the Crashed Application is the USS WV Library...the Ship of Dom.   That was just a bit laboured.   I don't think Dom likes the idea of wv crashing....   Anyhow, you might actually want to see the AbiWord 2.2: TSWMRCAUSSWVLSD* RoadMap.   Everything from layout restructuring, version management and there are some things a user might actually notice....

  4. Commit: enchant work, 0.1.1 release :   Though not mind blowing in and of itself, it is worth to note that Dom intends to support Microsoft's Common Spell API.   "By ('supporting MS CSAPI'), I mean I'm interested in exporting Enchant's various functions via the CSAPI."   When that gets done, I think we'll see 0.2.0, but what do I know?   If you ever had the nickname "$20," you are not allowed to answer that.

  5. problem buildling current cvs with --gnome   and
    Re: problem buildling current cvs with --gnome :   For GNOME lovers out there having issues enabling their gnome extended functionality, there appears to be issues with GNOME bits and bobs themselves.   Have a look at 118850 and 118851* to see if you're having these problems before reporting them to AbiLand.   Thank GNU, Mike Martin, for catching and a reporting this bug.

  6. Open Text Summarizer - new file format translations. :   Compared to various AI's that do similar things, Nadav's summarisation technique verges on brute force, but there's something to be said about stemming, grouping(synonymns) and re-shivving(ripping out the old, adding a new) the parser.   People interested in advancing OTS's capabilities in their own language (read: translation) should download The New OTS File Format Tutorial.   Naturally, assisting OTS automatically ensures that you rock.

  7. Why the strings are not updated in 2.0beta? :   Funda Wang asks a question that I believe might be in the twiki somewhere.   As seeing that there's been some translation to Chinese over time, I believe this is a case of not scripting po2string before committing.   Anyhow, if it's otherwise, believe it or not, if your language hasn't been updated (or doesn't exist) in AbiWord, feel free to fix it, so it can be committed, and everyone of your language can look at the credits file and go, "Gumbui, gumbui, neetoa <Your Name Here> desa ena CREDITS.TXT!"   Of course, depending on language, your mileage may vary.*

  8. Open Text Summarizer - 0.4.0 released :   OTS: Stemming the Tide has been release, as promised.   To learn more about OTS, you read its project page, and to download it, you can, of course, head to its download page.

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. Re: Installing TrueType Fonts   and
    reasons to stick with stable (was: Installing TrueType Fonts) :   Hub, maintainer of the 1.x series, states something that has been a long time coming: "BTW, as the STABLE (ie 1.0.x) branch maintainer, I recommend to jump to 1.99.x."   No, it's not an August Fool's Day Joke either; he really did say that.   This is practically a whole new thread from what the title of the original suggests.   Dom's primary goal for releasing 2.0, introduce no bugs not already present in 1.x, seems to have come into reach (unless you're on BeOS).   Dom goes into detail in the wrong list, including the three reasons to continue using 1.x.   So...What's stopping you?

  2. Using 2 different versions of AbiWord :   Hanxue Lee asks a relatively common question regarding whether a person can install two different versions of Abi on the same system (Windows here).   The answer, in short, is yes.   For more details, read Alan's reply.

  3. 1.99.3 missing abi_plugin_builtin.h :   Geoff was daring to test Frank's 40-day old -built-in option for the plugins.   Actually, Geoff seems to be unaware of its experimentality.   However, if Frank had taken the time usually reserved for ST:VOY reruns to put in some documentation, issues like this would be reduced ;o)   Elsewhere, there are some quickie notes here, there and elsewhere.   Geoff decided to forego the -built-in option and installed the plugins in the normal fashion and some fixes occurred.   Life is good.

  4. Tables wish list. :   Greg Madden sends an RFE to the wrong place, but it is generously accepted by Martin.   It is also the first time I noticed that AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom doesn't allow you to split cells.

  5. Solved: Mac OS X AbiWord not showing file :   Ed Rush announces the solution to this li'l bugger in AbiWord.   If you have this problem, you may be using the 1.0.6 from May instead of from June (1.0.6-2).   If you don't have it, you can get it here.

Traffic outside of the AbiDomain is tracked and occasionally reported.   This weeks includes selection(s) from: FootNotes

  1. Re: AbiWord Weekly News #154 :   CRIAWIPS!   I can't believe I didn't even mention this in 154.   Even worse, I actually asked Sven about the source of the name...12 hours before finding it out for myself...my bad!   Rightfully, he ignored me...li'l git.   If he wants to avoid putting a 'G' in the name, like GStringOfSlides, GSpotLight, GSlideOutOfYourPants or GShowUsYourBoobies, I don't think we can talk him into calling it an 'Abi'SomethingNaughty.   "Criawips" is properly pronounced as "teht-ees'."

  2. Re: AbiWord Weekly News #154 :   Can OTS make into becoming a FreeDestkop.Org standard?   Derr, of course, but the real question here is, "How long until Red Hat includes it into their distro?"

  3. Weird. Very weird :   You're right!   Lashing out at young projects is much better than giving them positive feedback!   Screw the open model of development where everyone starts off as equal!   "Let's leave innovation to the professionals."   Anyhow...more importantly, Dom defends his project in an extensive post (where he mildly seems pro-OTS).   The funny thing is, it's only just large enough to warrant a "read the rest of this comment..." link.   But really, read this if you haven't already.   And, as a personal note to the coward who considers me the grand embarrassment of the development reporting community, which I am but just for different reason:   Go wank off onto an electric fence!*

  4. Re: AbiWord 1.99.3 released! :   Another no one in particular noticed that, for the most part, AbiWord's importing capabilities rock, except for OLE handling.   Back in the day, before Microsoft could afford to buy great idea, Object Linking and Embedding was a brilliant concept.   Unfortunately, it was executed and crufted over so bad, that not even Microsoft is quick to alter much in the way of its functionality.   In reality, the technique needs to be scrapped and replaced, but that a whole article, if not a freaking thesis, with freaking laser guns!

  5. Presentation software? :   Sri catches the criawips notice in this release note.   Unfortunately for some speculators, criawips is not known to be "just some internal 'code-name'" no matter if you think it is "is really retarded name for anything that is not just some hobby project."   For more about renaming criawips, see this earlier discussion.

  6. Re: AbiWord 1.99.3 released! (Improving all the time) :   What could I say that beats the conclusion of this message:   "If anyone tried the pre gtk2 version and was disappointed, they must try this one, its improved 100% 

  7. Screw that :   I'm still working very hard to get the message of my Latest Releases page out there.   I'm just blown away that one of the most consistent links in the AWN is scrolled over ;o)   Alan started this...I should have seen it all coming!

  8. Couple of problems :   Every release, we go through this, don't we?   Ok, average user, I got a question for you.   The best place for bug reporting when Abi compiles successfully is which of the following:
    A) FootNotes
    B) Developer Mailing List
    C) Bugzilla
      Now, I'm certain we all love knowing what going on, so, it can be fixed, and all these are great ways of being heard, but the correct answer is, in fact, C.   We thank you for all reports (positive and negative LISP(especially positive ones, or factually-based ones) ^_^ ), but keep the bugs under the bugzilla jar, so they maybe squished.

  9. Re: AbiWord 1.99.3 released! :   Do you want to play with LibGDA?   Do ya?   Huh?   I bet you do!   Yes you do!   Dom explains the simplicity that will be brought to AbiWord though this powerful plugin, thank you and kudos to Rodrigo Moya and the LibGDA team.

*TSWMRCAUSSWVLSD:   Taking a page from Sven, I think I'll just call it CAUSS...wait, it ends in LSD...tough call....   I'll make decision later.   Weave acid...woven acid...ooh, I like that.   AbiWord 2.2: Woven Acid Trip   AbiWord 2.2: Woven Heuristic Acid Trip...AbiWord 2.2: WHAT   AbiWord 2.2: WHAT THE F* YOU LOOKING AT!?   Too wordy?   AbiWord 2.2: Woven Acid Trip it is, then.
*118851:   Christophe Fergeau reports that this is already fixed in HEAD and may get time to backport it to 2.2.
*your mileage may vary:   For some odd reason, people don't seem to check the credits of most things, usually.   In fact, some people think "Jesper" has spent the last year on drugs ;o)
*electric fence:   I'm not really that offended. but I've been looking for a place to say that for awhile, so...Congratulations!   If I don't end up deleting that, then I mean it!   Take pictures; Marc knows this fetish site that'll pay $25 a shot and $250 for a video....


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 2003.07.27 - 2003.08.02
Who Commits In summary
Nadav "Floyd Forever!" Rotem 159 OTS: make all functions of form ots_lalal(Document), made all functions members of Doc, typed a list of irregular verbs to the english dic, engrish tweaks (hey, he really put that there!), don...is now a word, remove debug comment I made, Engrish tweak--things are starting to look good (again, really there!), get it to compile with cvs version, xml stuff I guess (it's scary when they're not sure what they just did ;o), and for my 21st birthday I got me a new parser for OTS (and I thought it was for my anniversary), remove comments, rethought everything--gave up and went to Vegas, XML changes colon to |,* added step1_pre and post so we can format the new parser, added a new functions. ots_stem_format and more, a few bugfixes in the replace functions, new parser implementation polish, bug fixes. en.dic polish, parser bugfix, cursed the creation of the copyright (©) character, remove debug statements, time to start hacking on them dic files, changes to a few dictionaries (all dictionaries need to be corrected!), added a bunch of synonyms words to Engrish (that's mine), grader tuneup, updated TODO, dictionary tuneup, english tune-up (weasled out of it this time...:o{ ), enable papsrsing rules in all .xml files -- restoring the ots-0.3 func that were lost when moved to the new parser (read: unbroked it), added the tutorial README fix, en.xml tune-up I think (I hope think!), parser / formatter in all dic file, last minute polish, add score to html as commen, Jeremy and Dom configure fix, unlike myself...ots now is leak free (I refuse to interpret that), bug fixes, Dude, I got ots-0:4:0 releases with that fix...reverted back line 23 in configure.in (ok, Cartman), warning fixes, Yiddish dictionary by Raphael Finkel, clean (the floor?), fix to let ots build with gcc 2.95 and 2.96
Dom "The Doors r0xx0rs all" Lachowicz  62 bump version #, fix plugin manager dialog
Enchant: session support for myspell, better dictionary loading support for myspell, massive work on 'test_exists' types of functions, myspell now handles language tags well, add this file, fix up the license clause, further win32-registry proof some directory getting functions, myspell fixes, enchant is now win32 (and possibly soon gconf) registry ready, fix C compiling on win32, s/char/BYTE, implement front-level session and personal dictionary handling, fix some memory leaks, improve test suite, rethink logic (this far into enchant, and you're going to reconsider your logic!? ;o)
OTS: fix libtool bug, fix build warnings, fix mem leaks, fix build
Bugs: 5000, 5488 and 5522
Frank "Judas Priest rocks more, Man" Franklin  34 OpenWriter: remove weird \% escape sequences, XSL-FO: (maybe) fix cast build-bug, update plugin build docs, update build docs, fix Paragraph Styles dialogs so that check-box options not lost, Text Exporter now prepends/appends blank lines to paragraph if top/bottom margin is non-zero, there was only one fallback script and we no longer need that one, remove old gnome autoconf macros, remove more unnecessary junk from ac-helpers/, some minor stylistic changes to build docs, set Title & Subject metadata in BUILD doc, update HTML version
Bugs: 5410 and 5412
Martin "WHO LIVES!" Sevior  13 fix a bug importing RTF fields and a flicker bug, don't allow cell markers to be dragged past the next one, non-wysiwyg fixed
Bugs: 5416, 5420 and 5497
Andrew "Joplin any day" Dunbar   2 Spanish update from Fco. Javier F. Serrador, Malay update from Sharuzzaman Ahmat Raslan
Mikey "Green Day every day" Cooper   1 new URL for freetran service
Hubert "Anything but KoRn..." Figuiere   1 fix interface change in AP_StatusBarField_TextInfo
Will "I concur; KoRn sucks it, Dude!" Lachance   1 Bug: 5478
Jordi "Down with KoRn" Mas*   1 Bug: 5396

*XML changes colon to |:  If there EVER was a reason not to use XML, it's that, Man!   I don't want my colon to turn into a straight line (which is, possibly, a depiction of a pipe).   People shove things in pipes.   Can you picture a pipe bomb!?   You people are sick!
*Jordi Mas:  system-related work is Win32 unless stated otherwise.


      Current pows are here. This will probably be replaced next week if not this very week.

Name:  More Windows Maintainers
Description:  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 Heros:  Jordi Mas, Jeremy Davis

Bug Update

Bug Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +30 (33 : 3), VeriNew +19 (27 : 8), ClosAssi -1 (0 : 1),

      Staying somewhere between the predictions of Louis Bugkeyser, who suggested the markets would return to their old trends, and Alan Bluespan, who said that the growth would remain positive, only ClosedAssi went into the negative and only minorly.   In other news, an advanced AI was programmed to recognise how code is constructed over a long time.   When fed information on AbiWord of the past four years, it gave an unanticipated final extrapolation of what to expect in the next two years:   "I SHALL RULE ALL OF YOU, YOU PATHETIC BIOLOGICAL THINGS OF DISGUST!"   It is believed that the presence of KoRn music on a local P2P connection my have caused this problem.

      For information about how to view the chart, please read 142's Special Interest.

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
 376  82 2.0 File associate problems for all file types with Win32Slu......
3778  40 --- Hanging indent setting ignores units
3970  31 --- changing layouts can lead to showing other location than ......
4031  30 Future Hebrew status line message is not displayed correctly
4722  30 --- When using -p or --print the output isn't usable
4745  30 Future Change colour of foreground text for screen only
2868  25 2.0 character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...
2421  22 2.0 TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......
5198  18 --- Justification doesn't work
1679  16 --- List changes should keep selection
3216  15 1.0.x [Tabstops Cannot be Set in Second (or Third) Column
3801  15 --- Incremental loader seems to struggle with large files
4020  15 --- UTF8 strings not shown in list of spelling alternatives
1865  13 --- Header/footer not loaded properly from .doc
4360  13 Future Spelling squiggle erases half of bullet or number
2362  12 1.0.x AbiWord only prints across half of page
3671  12 --- Page header and footer are incorrectly exported to RTF
1613  11 1.0.x undo does not know about replacing
4071  11 --- Abiword is crashing during importing word document
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement
ID Votes Milestone Summary
2183 391 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
3668 121 --- Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
1950 116 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
1374 108 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
2321 100 --- [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
2490  98 2.0 Finish Cocoa Frontend
1144  72 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
2565  72 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
4057  60 --- Thesaurus Shift+F7 keybindings shortcuts consistency
4038  51 --- Outline View Support
2366  44 Future implement floating frame
 515  41 Future columns change should only affect selected text
1929  40 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
2365  39 --- AbiWord needs 'view codes'
2164  35 Future Ability to set default print command anywhere
1851  31 Future [rfe] Ability to create an ALL CAPS style, and Small Caps......
2186  30 Future The insert page break setting is lost for custom styles
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
2169  24 Future Line numbering

      Back on the Bug Ranch, with 4031, Hebrew status line message is not displayed correctly, sudden return to the list, 1333, Inserting a word is O(n) in the number of words in the do, has been pushed off once again :o(

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!?"


      There is not stable tracker bug, so, I'm chopping it out until told otherwise.


      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  9 of 39 [META] Windows printing bugs
4142  3 of 12 make AbiWord comply with GNOME HIG
4425  0 of  0 squash all warnings
4465 17 of 38 [META] Spelling bugs
4466 10 of 22 [META] "Motion" Bugs
4488  1 of 13 [META] Help System Bugs
4627  8 of 16 [META] Copy/Paste bugs
5007  0 of  0 bidi in tables
5023  0 of  0 format footnote dialogue needs 'do not restart' option
5080  0 of  0 Abiword doesn't print arabic texts with vovels properly.
5232  4 of  6 [META] Win32 Blocker bugs for 2.0 Release
5308  0 of  0 Zooming changes # of pages and page layout gets buggier!!
5411  0 of  0 Crash when choosing a font in toolbar

      Windows Printing Bugs (3932) takes two more beatings, bringing the total down under ten!   A new bug was added to spelling bugs, notching up the yet-to-be-squashed by one, as well.

      See Announce: 2.0 release plan for more details on the intended route towards Abiword II: The Wrath of Dom.

Open Source, Open Books.

Last Updated: April 10, 2003

      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.

      Word of caution, numbers lightly fudged due to (hopefully) temporarily incomplete data.   Like a consultant's suggested price, you'll find hidden meaning in the data if you stare long and hard.   Surgeon's General's Warning:  Staring long and hard may have psychotropic affects; keep out of reach of people who like that sort of thing.

      I cannot promise the time of de-fudging, nor can I promise there will be de-fudging any time soon. However, I feel confident that there will be some de-fudging going on.

Current Balance: $1604.34
Interest earned: $8.64

Expenditures: $950
$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
$225 Patch Prize (those already successfully awarded)
-   $ 45 Will Lachance
-   $ 45 Marc Maurer
-   $ 45 Ruud Vring
-   $ 45 Patrick Lam
-   $ 45 Dom Lachowicz

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.