AbiWord Weekly News #169, (2003, week 45, released 2003.11.09)

Welcome to this issue 169 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      Still not too far with SCO and the bugs levels are still balanced

This week in development

      Quite a bit of work on our two new features while also discussing massive sweeps of changes in the tree-layout, the stillness of SCO and um...what was it now?   I know it was something you really would like, but I forgot.   Oh, yeah, we were discussing AbiShow.   This was a big week.

Request for User Assistance

      Hi there.   We're looking for people who can help keep AbiWord accurate and uptodate in a number of languages.   Please look over them and see if ither you or someone you know might be able to assist us.   Remember, your contribution is not only welcomed or encouraged but is also documented, for an easier-to-brag experience.   The languages we are looking for are listed below:

  • Afrikaans[af-ZA]
  • Armenian[hy-AM]
  • Assamese[as-IN]
  • Chinese (Singapore)[zh-SG]
  • Cornish[kw-GB]
  • Corsican[co-FR]
  • Croatian[hr]
  • Esperanto[eo]
  • Estonian[et]
  • Farsi[fa-IR]
  • Flemish (Belgium)[nl-BE]
  • Frisian[fy-NL]
  • Georgian[ka-GE]
  • Hausa (Niger)[ha-NE]
  • Hausa (Nigeria)[ha-NG]
  • Hindi[hi-IN]
  • Icelandic[is-IS]
  • Korean[ko-KR]
  • Macedonian[mk]
  • Marshallese (Nauru)[mh-NR]
  • Occitan[oc-FR]
  • Thai[th-TH]
  • Urdu[ur-PK]

      Due to the traffick of people who are trying to help with picked up languages, those who are interested in helping us are encouraged to join ither mailing list.   Please read the instructions for the list you are most interested in joining to get the correct address.   Joining, as you'll find out, is a simple three step process.   First, send a letter to one email address; second confirm you sent the letter by sending a reply, and third...oops, there is no step three.   Ok, so, excluding all the minor steps of what to click and/or type, it's really a simple two-step process.

      There are just two important reminders in using the mailing lists which all users are expected to do.   If you want your message to even make it to the list, you message will need to be in plain text only.   Due to an insurgence of a certain virus a while back, all HTML email is rejected for reasons of sanity.   Webmail users will have to figure out how to turn on plain-text only before sending email.   Second, you are required to send the language in Engrish or English.   For those of you who don't speak English well enough to send Engrish, it is recommended that you send the letter in both your native language (identify your language please) and after that, in the same message, send it in a machine-translated version of your message, like BabelFish, in case no-one who speaks your language is available to translate your message for the list.   Failure to follow these proceedures in the past have led to frustration and resentment.   We apologise in advance for any inconvenience these two requests may cause you.

Silliness of the Week

      Speaking of Big Weeks, what a way to end an incredible trilogy!   I won't say anything spoilery about Matrix: Revolutions, but I will say a few notes about its “fans.”   What is wrong with you people!?   That is the only believable way of ending the trilogy, and it's a D* good one, too.   Now, I don't fully understand that final bit about Agent Smith and what happened there, but I am willing to accept that was the only way for it to complete.   Anyone expecting something along the lines of an absolute no-possibilities ending wasn't being much of realist.   I consider these movies complete and incredible, and I will get the complete DVD set when available.   In the meantime, I've got just over a month to geek-up and self-hype Return of the King, so, I'm not going to continue to prattle on about what was really a great movie.   I think, however, someone should catalogue all the “this shot dedicated too” scenes, somewhere.   I saw, I'm guessing, something along the lines of around a dozen tributes to great movies before it.

      That's one nut's opinion; back to you, Bob.

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: Undo Visual cut and drag in 1 click. Click inside a selected loses it. ,
    commit: Use neat drag handles for inital insert of text boxes -undo work. ,
    commit: Undo/Redo works for Insert/Change Frames ,
    commit: Delete Spans containing frames works. ,
    commit: Frame Context Menu. Delete Text box implemented. ,
    commit: Caret follows text while visual dragging. and
    commit: Control-left copies for visual drag. :
    →   Visual DraggingNEATO1 is fast in development.   Currently, it has functional undo/redo-ability, the caret (I-beam thingy) follows the dragged text and can it be created by selecting text by holding the control button and pushing the left arrow (that's the [←] key).   Similarly, the text boxes also gained undo/redo-ability as well as a context menu, so far, however, it only possesses the delete option.
    §   The difference between Open Source and Proprietary is quite visible in that last bit.   AbiWord's first context help for frames was to delete it; MSWord's first context help for frames was the “clone-until-crash” feature.

  2. SCO and Abiword   a few leads :
    →   Richard sends us some follow up on what's going on with SCO and AbiWord.   We now know at least this much, in order for SCO to be breaking the GPL for AbiWord, they'll have to ship their GNU/Linux systems with a binary more recent than 0.7.14.   If you know, or someone you know might know, it would be nice to let us know.
    §   I'd like to thank Richard for what was probably the most amusing event this week, the manifestation of what SCO thinks about Free Software in general: SkunkWare.   I can feel the love already....

  3. RFC: Tree Changes :
    →   Discussed months ago, the tree (the lay out of the source code) may see some changes soon.   Discussions also included included bringing documentation into the main tree, forcing the developers to keep that up-to-date; also, some points about folding in the plugins, not as part of the main binary, but ultimately to encourage packaging them with the binary, as well as, some more talk about making them more version independent.   Windows users may look forward first to a single plugins package and maybe, down the line, they may just have a single setup.exe to install everything.   Other interesting points brought up were the possibility to include a configuration utility similar to the one used by the Linux Kernel, which would ensure against dependency issues, and some re-hinting at switching to the very like-able subversion; though, there's been some hinting that not everybody would be happy with that.
    §   I have this theory that people who don't like subversion are probably nut-jobs.

  4. More thoughts on AbiShow :
    →   Also brought up in “RFC: Tree Changes” was bootstrapping AbiShow.   You'll notice the name change from Criawips.   Unless Sven gets involved Real Soon Now™, AbiShow will be implemented on its own.   Martin's brain has been working hard on matching up the codebase of “How AbiWord Does x” with “How AbiShow Could Do x.”   Martin's primary goal is to mimic PowerPoint; PowerPoint's primary goal is to mimic Keynote; Keynote's primary goal was to create what university users would want most; Martin is studying particle physics; ergo, Martin is thinking for himself.
    §   If you would like the help Martin think for himself, so to speak, AbiShow will need lots of assistance to get going, so, join the dev-list and help us get started on the exciting new world of slideshows.

  5. RFC: UI images as external files :
    →   Hub plans to make all the images in AbiWord (icons, et c) into external files.   The time for commenting is certainly still open, and when Hub has something that works to show as an example, he will make that available as well.

  6. [ADMIN] antispam archive :
    →   Hub announces all messages from this one hence shall have their email addresses altered slightly to ward off basic spam crawlers.
    §   You know you're behind when GNU's already been doing it for awhile.

  7. Commit: start working on AbiCapi :
    →   Dom's number one project for the new AbiWord has begun.   AbiCapiNEATO will open up the C API for plugins, scripts, external applications and so forth to interact with AbiWord.
    §   This is good timing for AbiShow and tree changes, and when fully implemented, maybe that Table of Contents business can get going again.

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. How to attach file to bug report? :
    →   Just two notes for those of you who may be adding bugs to bugzilla in the future; specifically, those that may be adding attachments.   Attachments may not be bigger than 500K, but you are allowed to attached compressed files.   Also, it is preferred that you only include as much of a document (if applicable, that is) which actually causes the but in the first place.

  2. Is there a MAC or MACOS X build? :
    →   MacOS X users are understandably interested in breaking away from OfficeXP.   It should be noted, however, 2.0.x series will not have a MacOS X port.   Due to the limited time and developers, OS X will not receive a fully functional AbiWord until the release of the 2.2 series.   We apologise for the inconvenience and will report the moment some developmental builds are available for testing.

1Visual DraggingNEATO:   Martin used two new names, so, I picked the one I liked most.


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.   Textboxes...ooh....

CVS checkins for HEAD from November 2nd to November 9th, 2003
Who Commits In summary
Tomas Frydrych 182 removal of stale Pango code

Martin Sevior  22 .
Unix:   scrolling fixes (we still get 1 bit errors ocassionally on slow scrolls of small docs)
TextBoxes:   neat frame handle decorations for intial insert of text boxes, work towards complete undo support, undo/redo for Insert Frames works perfectly now :-), deleting spans containing frames works and undos/redos, Frame Context Menu, “delete Text Box” item implemented
Visual DraggingNEATO:   undo in one click, click in selection loses the selection, insertion point caret follows the changing insertion point as you drag text, control-left drag now correctly copies text

Dom Lachowicz  28 .
Win32:   unbreak stuff, version bump
Unix:   fix build after pango removal
wv:   wvDocbook fixes, wvText now can use the links browser
AbiCapi:   begin work to expose Abi as a C API, some imp/exp work
5786: “View > As web page” Confusing
5928: abiword crash when copying a line

Hubert Figuiere  20 .
Project Builder:   new MacOS X dialogues, new XP files
MacOS X:   password dialog, fix prototype change, uncomment over commented out code, goto dialogue, remove all popup menu item upon load, changed layout a little bit so that the preview is consistent, native importer for images (contributed my Seth Delackner1, Nisus Corp.)

Marc Maurer   9 .
MSVC6:   update the project files to include the latest file additions
Win32:   fixes internal leading font (jordi), fixes word count dlgbox number formatting (jordi)
WordPerfect:   update to work with the latest libwpd cvs (soon-to-be-0.7.0)
5022: Do not refresh the whole view when a selection is removed
5953: Zero Sized Microsoft Bitmap causes crash (0k Crasher) (Jordi)

Mark Gilbert   2 A grammer fix or two....\

Daniel Glassey   2 .
configure:   configure.in not wanted any more
next-gen:   don't produce configure.in any more\

Nadav Rotem   2 .
Open Text Summarizer:   term frequency todo list, comment

Rui Miguel Silva Seabra   2 .
rpm:   merged with the abiword.desktop on the root dir, abiword.spec-template to use .desktop file that's in the root directory

Johan Björk   1 .
QNX:   mini-fix to remove cursordirt

Kenneth “Jeremy” Davis   1 .
config:   adjust shared library rule to work better with MinGW (used by NSIS plugins)

Christian Neumair   1 remove useless comment, add German translation

CVS checkins for STABLE from November 2nd to November 9th, 2003
Who Commits In summary
Kenneth “Jeremy” Davis 5 .
config:   adjust shared library rule to work better with MinGW (used by NSIS plugins)
ImageMagick:   backport build fixes

Jordi Mas 5 .
Win32:   fix internal leading font, fix word count dlgbox number formatting
5928: abiword crash when copying a line (Dom)
5953: Zero Sized Microsoft Bitmap causes crash (0k Crasher)

Christian Neumair 3 updated German translation, remove useless comment, add German translation.

1Seth Delackner:   Nice to see you're still out there, Seth; keep up the good work.


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

Bug Update

Bug Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +23 (26 : 3), VeriNew +2 (5 : 3), ClosAssi 0 (2 : 2),

      Markets in the low positives with ClosAssi at 0.   Louis Bugkeyser suggests that the feature work will lead to a stronger market next week; however, Alan Bluespan suggests that the slow movement of the market will continue until 2.1.0 is released.

      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 MisFeatures™ as of November 1st, 2003
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
6011  32 --- Spelling check provides bad suggestions and improperly pl......
4745  31 Future Change colour of foreground text for screen only
5059  31 2.2 Recent Files breaks with international file names
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  25 --- 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
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
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement as of November 1st, 2003
ID Votes Milestone Summary
2183 455 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
2321 145 2.2 [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
4038 136 --- Outline View Support
2490 126 2.2 Finish Cocoa Frontend
3668 126 Future Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
1950 121 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
1374 108 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
2565  82 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
4057  70 --- Thesaurus Shift+F7 keybindings shortcuts consistency
1144  68 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
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
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
2169  24 Future Line numbering

      Some interesting developments this week.   In the world of bugs...er, MisFeatures™ number 6011, Spelling check provides bad suggestions and improperly pl.., jumped up on the list from almost nowhere, displacing 3635, Format/Document/Margin/Units doesn't respect locale.   An RFE met with satisfaction this week, with 5852, Help making Labels/bussiness cards, getting the stake for being a duplicate of 5728, Unable to print envelopes or labels.

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

      Several projects are used by, use or synchronise with AbiWord.   Some of the most noteworthy libraries and applications will be summarised here.   Some may be added under guise of the GNOME Office Suite.; others may be added because it's really just a plug by request.   Want your project plugged?   Send money to Dom.   I'm offering rates of $10 per plug, $25 for a month-long plug, $50 for a quartly plug and $200 to go all year.   P*ing us off or the discontinuation of this section does not result in a refund.


      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 Summarizer

      There's a term frequency todo list.   That's pretty much it.


      It appears there will be a release of 0.7.0 quite soon.


      WvText now can use the links browser in AbiWord.


      Nothing new in Enchant; possibly the end of the world is near?


      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.


      Gnumeric 1.2.2 is soon to arrive with numerous minor bug fixes and speed-ups.   Jody anticipates that this will be where the branching begins; here after, work will begin to make gnumeric a GOffice, Gnome Office, library.   Also of interest, Jean and Emmanuel have been putting in quite the amount of work for the new charting engine.


      Nothing new, unless you didn't hear about the Novell/SUSE thing.


      If Sven doesn't jump in soon, this section may be renamed AbiShow.   Martin is just chock-full of great ideas already, but someone else will have to step in once the foundation has been laid.


      Dave committed a new DTD for xds files.   Dispspec elements can now contain a list of key-value pairs, which get used by the DocBook admonition plugin to decide which icon it should use for each element; this means that the admonition plugin can be used by other document types - - just tell the plugin which icon to use.   He also started work on a generic set of macros for generating code that exchanges data between an xml tree and arbitrary data structures.

      If all that sounds familiar, it's because it's a total lift from “Dispspec work.”   Yeah, let's see OTS replace me now!


      Look, a place to talk about the AWN

Abiword Weekly News

      Well, Alteration A went off quite well, so, I've taken the time begin Alteration B.   Comments on the CVS would be appreciated; especially for technical errors in the layout.

Latest Releases

      The latest Latest Releases page, created by Marc Maurer, is indeed quite nifty.   The development-version is next on his list.   I have no idea if he'll be maintaining it, or everyone, or whomever, but I know I got a version off out of it ;o)


      Tree changes and sister app; I'm sure that'll be fun.   As long as bugs get fixed and tweaks keep being made, we'll all be happy.


      I'll ask for the next update Real Soon Now™

Open Source, Open Books.

Last Updated: October 26th, 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.

      Despite the last updated marker, these numbers are only accurate to something around the 19th.

Current Balance: $1051.38
Interest earned: $15.56

Expenditures: $2185
$210 to feed 12 people at GUADEC
$100 to pay for Marc's work on the new server
$700 to pay for the new server
$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
-   -   note: Pat and Dom went to an Italian restaurant named Dom's on Boston's North End.   Neither Pat or Dom seem to recommend visiting Dom's anytime soon.   Actually, I didn't ask Pat, but I'm pretty sure he'd agree.   Personally, I recommend avoiding Dom altogether.   Hmm, typo, what?

Unique contributors: 58*
paypal: 63
check :  3
cash  :  1
*58: plusse 3 repeat offenders whom we love dearly

Contributions: $2893.00
Less paypal and other banking fees: $797.00

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.