AbiWord Weekly News #171,
      (2003, week 47, released November 24th, 2003)

Welcome to this issue 171 of the AbiWord Weekly News.



This week in development

      MS can't screw us over big; textboxes now include formattability, and Iomega reminds us that the only x86 operating system in the world is MS Windows.   Also this week, BeOS gets closer to buildability, Win32 users can try out the latest Stable 2.0.x, and AbiWord saves someone between $100-$450.

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

      I think there should be an international ThanksGiving Day!   The whole world could take a day off and celebrate.   How about Victory Europe day!?   No, no, too western-centric.   How about Victory Japan day?   No, wait, who wants to celebrate the atom bomb?   How about December 2nd!?   Ok, first, think “Month of Fasting” conflicts.   Second, Alexis probably doesn't want his anniversary on an International Holiday.   But Ally would like it!   Besides, they could always post-pone their weirdly placed wedding-to-be.   (Should have gone with the beach wedding!)

      Ok, scratch all that.   How about we pick a day we can all like...maybe when Linus first published his kernel?   Yes!   That's perfect!   Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you September 17th, International ThanksGiving 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.   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: Enable tables in Frames, some top ruler fixes. ,
    commit: Tables in Frame fixes. ,
    ommit: Visual text drag copies first. Left ruler table in frame fixes and
    commit: Split Cells, Format Frame Dialogs, table fixes. :
    →   You can now place tables inside of the frames, well, in theory.   There's probably a bit work yet to be done.   And, now that the ruler-frame bugs are becoming reproducible for Martin, many ruler fixes are going into effect.   Martin has begun work on making it possible to format frames, via dialogue, which currently allows for changes to their border, i.e. being visible or not and their inherent colour, but there's more to come, or, as Martin put it, “More properties soon :-)”   Visual Text DraggingNEATO has received some attention, as well.   However, because the new functionality conflicted with MSWord, it was reverted.   If it were still in effect, dragging would copy rather than simply move the selection.   This was reasoned out based on Martin's own experience using the feature, “I changed to make copy the ‘easiest’ option because when I actually started to use the feature, I found I was copying a lot more than cutting.”
    §   For those of you interested in making AbiWord easier for yourself but lack programming expertise, Martin has an affordable pricing scheme and will accept payment plans if you want larger or more complex features implemented.   Rest assured, most Free Software programmers have no qualms about pimping their services.   Other developers with pricing schemes and payment plans at the ready, and they are flexible, by the way, include Dom, Marc, Frank, Jordi and Rui1.

  2. 2.1.0 this week? and
    Release 2.1.0 :
    →   Martin was ready for releasing the first developers' version of AbiWord since the 1.1 series.   However, some poking around has shown a couple of areas that need improvement.   First are a few notable Windows bugs plaguing the post 1.99 releases.   Second, Tomas wants to put in more work on the code for shaping Arabic glyphs.
    §   Here's another reminder that we could really use more Win32 developers.

  3. beos patch3 ,
    beos patch4, 5 and
    beos patch 6, 7 :
    →   Daniel Furrer with some help from ”Dan“ continues work on bring BeOS to buildable levels.   This restoration has already enforced the value of multi-platform implementation, as Daniel ”fixed a static_cast that was casting away constness.“
    §   When BeOS is buildable, I'll announce it to the world, or AWN readers, some of whom follow those BeOS communities quite closely; I think that's how we got Daniel.

  4. [Fwd: [Patents] MS Office 2003 XML patented] :
    →   As many of you fabulous readers know, I'm sure, there's this whole thing about the MS Office XML patent and how it will affect alternatives and competitors.   The following is Dom's current stance on how the situation will affect AbiWord in the future:
    “I think that we could get away with writing an implementation that reads/writes this format, provided we add the MSFT disclaimer (similar to our WordPerfect disclaimer).   This may require me to dual-license any such plugin (or license it under something like the BSD license), but I'd be willing to do so.”
    →   Fairly shortly after asking Dom for follow-up, he has since sent the following message: “I think that my opinion should hold water, though I don't want to be the crash-test-dummy that tries this out in court.   I'll re-evaluate my thinking when someone steps up to attempt one of these filters.”
    §   That's up-to-the-minute Dom-ness until someone finally makes the MSXML plugin.   MSXML feels unnatural to type.

  5. Win32 Stable testing build? :
    →   Ryan Pavlik would like to test the latest developments to 2.0 since the release of 2.0.1, specifically for the Windows system.   Jeremy does, indeed, make executables for 2.0.   For those of you who care about which compiler it was built in, you'll find options for Minimum GNU for Window (MinGW), Visual Compiler (MSVC) 5-3, 6-5 and 7.   For those of you who have no clue about compilers and building, I believe Jeremy would recommend the directory VC6SP5.
    §   Nightly Downloaders for 2.0 to be available before November 28th, 2006, if at all.

  6. Portable AbiWord with Iomega Active Disk technology ,
    RFC: iomega active disk and
    more info on the Iomega Active Disk SDK :
    →   Jeff Rifleman of Iomega Corporation is interested in seeing Abiword on the archive of software available for Active Disk (warning: unnecessary JavaScript required).   Active Disk pseudo-installs applications, making them available while the source disk is in use.   This is done via ”[packaging] the executable inside of a standard zip archive together with some other files provided by Iomega and a Jscript (or VBScript) you write that allows you set up the system before the application is run and clean it up afterwards.“
    §   If Tomas' description is accurate, that sort of makes their SDK seem very little like an actual SDK.

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.   Happily, the user list is becoming more active!   This week, interesting topics on the user list included:

  1. Czech characters in .txt on English system? :
    →   Charlotte Blank is trying to save documents in another character set than the rest of the Windows environment.   This is helpful information from Dom for people who need encoding for these and similar reasons.   In the dialogues for Opening and Saving documents, you'll find the ”Encoded Text“ option.   Select the character set you need, as in Charlotte's case, who need Czech characters, Central European (ISO-8859-2).
    §   AbiWord: So you don't have to pay for yet another version of Windows.

  2. abiword2 and gnome-vfs-1.0.5 :
    →   Marcel Pol would like to know if anyone has problems with AbiWord when Gnome VFS is not installed on their system.   If so, let him know, so he is what we like to say, “clue-adjacent.”
    §   Currently, no response has come in.

1Rui:   Morality clause and legal indemnification required.


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 16th to November 22nd, 2003
Who Commits In summary
Martin Sevior 74 swap names of windows formatFrame and formatTable!
Frames:   table fixes, copy Visual with simple left mouse drag, left ruler fixes for tables in text boxes, Format Frame dialoge (unfinished)
Tables:   in frame fixes, Split Cells dialogue, fixes

Hubert Figuiere 52 safely return NULL when looking up for NULL
BeOS:    included two more necessary header files From Daneil Furrer,  implemented BeOSFont::measureUnremappedCharForCache From Daneil Furrer,  now uses UT_convertToPoints instead of convertDimension From Daneil Furrer,  fixed a static_cast that was casting away constness From Daneil Furrer,  thread implementations (status: uncertain) From Daneil Furrer,  fixed an ambiguous function-call From Daneil Furrer 1
MaOS X:   ok and cancel keybindings, change the layout a little bit to be nicer, show window before using GC to get rid of CG errors (is that right?), fix a mem leak and a FoundationKit exception, signedess issues (Tomas' fault), fix a bug when drawing and the window was not here - - all NSWindow that contains a XAP_CocoaNSView are “deferred”, check lockFocusIfCanDraw and assert, revert showWindow in paragraph and font chooser dialogs, fix a crasher, New Header/Footer dialogue, New Spellcheck dialogue, New Page Numbers dialogue, copyright, disable NSZombie, cvsignore ~.nib
Project Builder:   new dialogs

Tomas Frydrych 27 fix number of sign issues, fixes to non-joining data tables, fixed return value of renderString(), use return value of UT_contextGlyph::renderString() to avoid unnecessary shaping, fix _evalContext(), smart draw buffer refreshing, more smart glyphs shaping work
Win32:   remove incorrect assert , fix a paste bug, fix saveRectangle()

Dom Lachowicz 13 merge some iconv changes in preparation for glib-2.0 usage
Win32:   unbreak build
Unix:   fix gnome build
4128: abiword crashes on truetype fonts which don't provide an italic typeface

Marc Maurer2 10 clean up Insert Graphic menu icon
Win32:   fix build
Unix:   HIGrrification™ of the MetaData dialogue
MSVC6:   update files with the new PT iterator
6057: printing show paragraph marks (if visible during edit)
6074: (from Jordi Mas)-- Quits spell checker

Jordi Mas  8 .
Windows:   fixes uninit var
5994: Maximize at start

Frank J. Franklin  2 .
6077: make fails due to undeclared function rindex
6078: make fails due to missing setenv()

Rui Miguel Silva Seabra  2 .
Castellan:   update from Francisco Fernandez

Nadav Rotem  1 .
OTS:   some grader work

CVS checkins for STABLE from November 16th to November 23rd, 2003
Who Commits In summary
Jordi Mas  8 .
5994: Maximize at start
6074: Quits spell checker

Hubert Figuiere  6 .
Unix:   Glade/HIGrrrify the MetaData dialog
4128: (from Dom Lachowicz)-- abiword crashes on truetype fonts which don't provide an italic typeface

Frank J. Franklin  2 .
6077: make fails due to undeclared function rindex
6078: make fails due to missing setenv()

Marc Maurer  1 clean up Insert Graphic menu icon

1Daniel Furrer:   I'm the first to admit mis-calling this before, but Daniel really seems committed, so, why not just have him do the commits himself?   Afterall, he's not developing for stable!
2Marc Maurer:   Please note that Uwog™®© is a trademark of Uwog Corp®© which is registered to WonderBoy!© which is copyright property of Marc Maurer.


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

Bug Update

Bug Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +12 (13 : 1), VeriNew +1 (3 : 2), ClosAssi -1 (0 : 1),

      The markets are all quite assy.   I blame the Right Wing Conspiracy of 97.   Clenis.   Louis Bugkeyser would like to request a GNOME Office Bug Day next week.

      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 16th, 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
5059  41 2.2 Recent Files breaks with international file names
5815  35 --- Variable-width font issue
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......
6011  30 --- Spelling check provides bad suggestions and improperly pl......
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 16th, 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?
3668 136 Future Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
4038 136 --- Outline View Support
2490 126 2.2 Finish Cocoa Frontend
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
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
2473  35 2.0.x [rfe] Support move & resize of images anchored to a page...
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

      Sorry!   Me no pay attention!   Me lost it!   But, according to diff, 6044, Text size on printout is too small (but readable), has been removed, while 2473, [rfe] Support move & resize of images anchored to a page.., has been added.   Good Diff.

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

      I just realised this part actually changed from the first time it was put up.   So, I'm going to copy and paste this bit:

Redhat: users can find OTS in Fedora 1
Gentoo: users can now merge app-text/ots.
Debian: users can find OTS in the unstable tree.
Mandrake: ots is in the contrib section of 9.2


      Nothin'!   At least, nothing I can find, or even have been told.


      Not a diddly-darn thing.   Ever, really.


      Not one thing all month.   Enchant is now perfect.


      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.


      1.2.2 is coming...I can feel it!


      Nothing new to report about Gnome-DB, but Rodrigo was showing off some GTK/GNOME programming recently, and some guys may be releasing a fast-user-switching applet.   We'll knock off Microsoft for once...who knocked off Sun...who knocked off IBM, who supports Linux....   “The wheels on the bus go....”


      To be replaced.   An AbiShow page should be put up soon.


      In a similar note to something mentioned in the AWN, Robert Vagra wrote, “It seems that conglomerate still uses GnomeVFS for file loading, and it can't open URIs.   This patch corrects this, for local URIs (starting with ‘file:’).”   Not much else, this week, as David has been out enjoying the New York and Brooklyn GNOME Summit.


      Look, a place to talk about the AWN

Abiword Weekly News

      When I wrote last week, I was smoking some sweet stuff.   Deer hunting, Thanksgiving, Bhokertom; it's just not a month to work in.   I do have a plan for the order things are to be done in.   First, I'm going to really really go at those CVS summaries; I'm sick of those miscellaneous-esk bits at the very very beginning.   Second, I'm going to re-link those Top X bugs by creating a page that just passes you some cookies and moves you along.   Third, I'm going back to work on the References and Definitions page; I should remember to add all the developers and their nicks in there already-- Uwog: See Marc Maurer, Marc Maurer: See WonderBoy!, WonderBoy!: See NederFreak...I think I have $20 in there already.   Then! I will finally work out that darned POW page.


      Barring a few more bug fixes, I believe 2.1.0 is on the way.


      Should this section be here?   Who knows!?


      Are you a single female hippie of legal age in the Madison area?   ...

Open Source, Open Books.

Last Updated: November 16th, 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: $2809.18
Interest earned: $17.70

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: 61*
paypal: 66
check :  3
cash  :  1
*61: plusse 3 repeat offenders whom we love dearly

Contributions: $2975.20
Less paypal and other banking fees: $166.02

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.