AbiWord Weekly News #164, (2003, week 40, released 2003.10.05)

Welcome to this issue 164 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      Dependable.   Reliable.   All those funny li'l words that end in -ible.   These...I am not.

      Additionally, BeOS port is nolonger dead.   Despite a couple of offers, however, no one has submitted any code yet :o(

This week in development

      This week's concept is flow control, specifically, writing over images and around tables, gold stars if you can guess how that affects the development our favourite presentation programme, criawips!   Win32 still suffers without aide.   Marc brings us the fine world sweet, sweet SVG rendering (with screenshot!).   And, why you should worry about Fedora (unless your an archeologist).   Plusse, have you ever seen me write in another linguie?   Well, here's proof that you're hallucinating!

Request for User Assitance

      If you, or someone you know, could assist in the following languages, it would be greatly appreciated:

Hausa (Niger)[ha-NE]
Hausa (Nigeria)[ha-NG]
Marshallese (Nauru)[mh-NR]
Flemish (Belgium)[nl-BE]
Chinese (Singapore)[zh-SG]
  If you can help, please contact either Jordi Mas or Pierre Abbat.

Silliness of the Week

      A couple weeks or so ago, when scripts weren't used to speed things along, I described Hub as having "mo'a" cvs commits.   For those of you who don't get American dialect humour, that was actually meant as more.   Tonight, I've learned from Pierre that "mo'a" in Lojban actually translates as "too few."   I found this so entertaining that I told him that I was going to place it in the SOTW.   I've learned three words of Lojban, which far exceeds the lexicon of the average American ;o)   Mo'a mlatu ki'a?   Grammatical syntax not guaranteed ;o)

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. commit: Fix flicker on rulers. Various speed ups for big docs. ,
    commit: Infrastructure for drawing on top of images. ,
    commit: Refactor fp_Run, start of fg_FillType implementation. ,
    commit: Complete background drawing region code. ,
    commit: Background images for pages. and
    commit: Lots of fixes for typing text over images. :   This specific selection focuses on the generic new AbiBilityneatm* to write on top of images, but further discussion also covers the specific ability to use images for the background of whole pages.   Not only is this great for AbiUsersneatm, but it is crucial for that future presentation application, criawips.   Common, Sven, Gnome Deutschland can go without you for a few hours ever week, huh?   Jus' a li'l bit*?

  2. Wanted: Abiword on Red Hat 9 HOWTO :   Marco Fioretti would like to know how to install rpm's of AbiWord onto the Red Hat 9 GNU/Linux distribution.   If installed from source with defaults, AbiWord and Red Hat get along nicely.   If you use Rui's absolutely wonderful RPM's, you'll need the additional packages available at the Savannah site; under the specific version, you'll find the /misc directory with all the bits RH doesn't ship with by default.   Had I already done the Latest Releases page, perhaps Marco would have known that :o(

  3. window resizing issues Commit: fix the window sizing bug :   Simon Bowden has been investigating some of the reports claiming AbiWord refuses to resize under some conditions.   This has resulted in a commit to HEAD from Dom and a backport to the 2.0 branch by Hub.

  4. fi ligature :   Dom has turned off the Latin1 ligature mapping bits for characters that already exist, thus ending a few bug reports.   This may also include the problems with Spanish spell check reported in one or more previous AWN's recently.

  5. future of RPMS? :   While businesses may have gained more faith in Red Hat in relation to the Fedora news, some developers are losing it.   Rui, current master of the RPM spec, is considering jumping ship (package-wise) and heading to more dependable distribution...like Debian.   With this announcement, Marc stopped suggesting that Debian was build by the Ancient Greeks....   Well, no he didn't, but no-one cares.   The world of GNU/Linux may very well goto SuSE, erp, I mean, SUSE.   Well...at least they maintain their own stuff....*

  6. Commit: improved SVG rendering :   Brought up before as an issue (quite recently at FootNotes, I might add), Marc finally fixes Abi's SVG handling...sorta.   The tactical issue here is that SVG's can't yet be embedded in the AbiWord document...unless you do it by hand.   This leads us to wonder...why didn't this get secretly developed under the code name "Sercet Project #4?"   "Blah, blah, blah; do you ever shut up!?   Show us the screenshots already!"   FINE!   Pretty....

  7. Commit: lots of spell checking changes :   Dom does a big overhaul on the spell checking system.   Enchant and Ispell are now the only spelling systems supported.

  8. More 5291 speedups :   Johnny Lee does it again!   In an effort to match Word 2000's load time, he adds several suggestions, which can potentially drop building time to 15 seconds from 23 seconds as opposed to Word 2000's 8 seconds*.   To stay up to the latest on changes and statistics, please visit Johnny's 5291 Page.

  9. What's the status of bug [Bug 5748] - Char widths are not properly calculated?
    What's the status of bug [Bug 5748] - Char widths are not properly calculated?] :   Unfortunately, attempts at fixing the big Windows hold back continues to be a burden.   With two new features and great loading speedups, 2.0.1 is held back by this lone and powerful bug.   Did I mention that we'd really LOVE to have more Windows developers?   I almost feel like I left that up as static text for some time....

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, e.g. solutions to problems in a preceeding thread..   This week, interesting topics on the user list included:

  1. Text along side tables :   Jonathan (Drews?) has learned that abiword lacks a certain amount of flow control.   At this time, if you would like text to be capable of going along side a table, Martin recommends creating a two column table, then remove lines around the section that is to have the text while working with the other half for building your table.   Something similar can be done for better flow control around images as well ^_^

  2. Building Abiword 2.0 from source on Solaris without Gnome :   For non-gnome users that would like to use Abiword, the first thing you should do is avoid using a gnome-enabled build.   As Pete Young learned, if you go this simpler route, your only requirements are: gmodule-2.0, fontconfig, libglade, GTK2 and either libxml2 or expat (we recommend libxml2 over expat).

*NEATM:   Non-Existent Associated Trademark™, a trademark of the AWN.
*Jus' a li'l bit?:   Oh, com'on, I know ya wanna!   Puhlease!?
*Developer's List Item #2:   All operating systems are distribution of the GNU/Linux operating system base.*
*seconds:   All times are approximate and only reflect results specific to Johnny's setup.   In GypSay,that is expressed as, "Sec's in ish on' up on John-John's box."
*All operating systems...operating system base.:   Because Rui would want me to say that ;o)


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 2003.09.28 - 2003.10.04
Who Commits In summary
Martin Sevior 99 infrastructure for drawing on top of images, refactor fp_Run so that it is now a subclass of fp_ContainerObject, first implementation of the new recursive fillType class, complete transition to new background region drawing, set background images to pages, can type on top of images, this new class will eventually enable all our importers to be used to paste into a document, lots of fixes for typing text over images, make lines in tables after the first page print again, use a single image in fl_DocSectionLayout for background page images, Jonny Lee's latest speedups, enable saving of background images in *.abw files
Dom Lachowicz 56 fix the window sizing bug, disable latin1 ligatures, Johnny Lee PT speedup, canCopy and canPaste methods, move ignoring words to the spellchecker class
Enchant: some uspell fixes, bump version #, add ignore word capabilities
Bugs: 5862, 5881 and 5882
Kenneth "Jeremy" Davis* 27 fix EOLs for DevStudio's parsability
psiconv: adjust style list count to match number of styles instead of hotkeys during a mismatch (truncate possibly empty hotkeys), update Make build (for use by Psion importer/exporter plugin), change application ID string compare to be case insentive, parse embedded objects
plugins: update to build (on Windows via Makefile), correct Makefile, change so expects Link as abi peer instead of plugin peer
Hubert Figuiere 10 fix build
Cocoa: styles dialog (but does he append screenshots? NO!...french, can't live with them, can declare unjust wars without them)
Pierre Abbat  4 Russian update by Nikolai Shmyrev, Lojban update
Raphael Finkel  3 American English dictionary and source documentation.
row  3 Bug: 5921 (incomplete)
Marc Maurer  2 fix mismatched new[]/delete, improve SVG rendering

*Kenneth "Jeremy" Davis:  system-related work is Win32 unless stated otherwise.


      It's happening...right after the bug thing....

Bug Update

Bug Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +26 (27 : 1), VeriNew unch (1 : 1), ClosAssi -2 (4 : 2),

      Despite ResoUnconf reaching strong positive grounds, the remainder of the markets have stagnated.   Alan Bluespan blames the current trend on Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial race.   When Louis Bugkeyser prodded for any level of logic to this explanation, Alan promptly threw a book at him.   Mr. Bluespan than requested that Mr. Horkan be escourted out before causing a further scene.   Alan then threw a book at Alan, resulting in a headache for the reader.

      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.x File associate problems for all file types with Win32Slu......
3778  46 --- Hanging indent setting ignores units
4745  31 Future Change colour of foreground text for screen only
2362  30 2.2 AbiWord only prints across half of page
4031  30 Future Hebrew status line message is not displayed correctly
4722  30 --- When using -p or --print the output isn't usable
5252  30 2.2 Contrast between cursor (caret) and background is ruined ......
5794  30 --- Horizontal space and distortion at print page break in We......
5815  30 --- Variable-width font issue
2868  25 2.0.x character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...
4020  24 --- UTF8 strings not shown in list of spelling alternatives
2421  23 2.0.x TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......
4733  20 --- File paths with ampersands kill preferences
5061  20 --- Cursor and letters overlap
1679  17 --- List changes should keep selection
3216  15 2.2 [Tabstops Cannot be Set in Second (or Third) Column
3801  15 Future Incremental loader seems to struggle with large files
1865  13 --- Header/footer not loaded properly from .doc
3635  12 --- Format/Document/Margin/Units doesn't respect locale
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement
ID Votes Milestone Summary
2183 451 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
3668 126 Future Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
1950 121 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
1374 109 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
4038 106 --- Outline View Support
2321 105 --- [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
2490  99 2.2 Finish Cocoa Frontend
2565  82 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
1144  72 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
4057  70 --- Thesaurus Shift+F7 keybindings shortcuts consistency
1929  50 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
2366  44 2.2 implement floating frame
2365  43 --- AbiWord needs 'view codes'
 515  41 2.0.x columns change should only affect selected text
2164  36 2.2 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
5852  30 Future Help making Labels/bussiness cards
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu


Release HackDown

      To return the moment there's a meta bug for (I'm assuming) 2.0.2 or otherwise 2.2.0.   In the meantime, Dom has a thingy for 2.2.

Abi's Relatives

      I had hoped to actually receive news by, oh, I don't know, people actually keeping pages uptodate or emailing me or starting their own newsletters.   Bastards.


      AbiWord uses several libraries, and other sub-applications, to give it that extra bit of polish.   Here, you will learn whatever news I scrape together or has been sent to me in relation to them.   I wanted to do more this week, but not so much.

Open Text Summariser

      Nadav had a great a time experimenting with RealityWare™, but now he'll be looking back at the term frequency bit and implementing that.






      Dom and news ;o)   But we do know it has ignore-words capabilities!


      AbiWord is crucial to the use of or coordinates with a number of full blown applications.   Ok, I only know of, like, two.   Well, there was that screen play thing, but that went straight out the window.   And there was AbiMoz, but some other application has taken its place.   I'm sure, once AbiWord 2.0 is seen to all, there will be more to see.   Screw the Ant, it's AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom!!!

GNOME Office Suite

      Since I don't know of applications outside of AbiWord that use AbiWord, I'll be doing this Gnome Office business.   These people should have newsletters, so, I can steal crap from them.


      Flipping through the mailing list, I know that the framework for the charting engine is in place.   Go me!


      Version 1.3.0 of the libgda C++ bindings, libgdamm, has been released.   This is an initial tarball version, to try to get some attention from interested hackers.   See more information here.


      Martin notes that the "complete background drawing region code" committed this week will be useful for the presentation programme.   Another related commit also mentioned this.


      Though Dave never wrote back, I'll mention Conglomerate, anyhow.   Described as a user-friendly XML editor with a focus towards DocBook, Conglomerate appears to do quite a bit more.   With noteworthy functionality to boot.   You can find some screenshots here.   And, based purely on a picture I found somewhere (as news is foreign to these people as well), it appears that Conglomerate is at version 0.8.2.


      Look, a place to talk about the AWN

Abiword Weekly News

      I'm home.   I'm expecting a change to the Top20-XXX soon.   As has been known for eons, the link in it doesn't actually work unless you have the right cookies from previously visiting bugzilla.   I look forward to seeing what I do with this.   After I get that going, I may be looking at getting to that POW business.

      The above paragraph is still true ;o)

Latest Releases

      I'm doing this tomorrow.   I've it pencilled in and everything!


      AbiWord?   Marc is currently working on that whole "Table of Contents" thing that you would all love to have.   However, until Dom has gotten to working out the C API the way he wants it for 2.2, it may not happen :o(


      Dom and I worked something out before the release of 2.0 to make sure the section below (Open Source, Open Books) stays updated.   I don't think I've harrassed him since, but I'm sure to do so eventually.

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.