AbiWord Weekly News #176,
      (2003, week 52, released December 29th, 2003)

Welcome to this issue 176 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      Re-hash of some of the older stuff included for people who missed last week's.

This week in development

      Follow up on last week, Star/Open Office import/export gets some improvements, Enchant gets an hspell upgrade, Windows gets some installer improvements and a reminder that we need more people helping out with translations.   Oh, and some OZ rumour about 2.0.3 to come out possibly as soon as possible.

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

      Happy New Years!   Sorry I didn't wish Happy Holidays before, especially on Christmas Eve of all publishing days!   For those of you who find the AWN on your own, or via another site, I've taken to silly names for each addition.   I have no point in the names, and I'm not sure why I started that, but it's been fun!   My current one, thanks to a domestic importer of EuroGoodies, is Katzenzungen, which is 18 funny shaped stück of vollmilch-schokolade.   I bought it for the cute kitties on the cover (Weinrich's), but I've come to appreciate the....   Um, hello, my fellow American's, this is one of those times you should brace yourself for a translation....   convenient supply of milk-chocolate cat tongues.   I am now in the process of convincing their supplier to carry Jaffa cakes.

      Hey there, Windows users.   Have you heard about or actually used Star Office?   You're probably aware you can buy it for a few gobs of cash, but you probably would rather support/have OpenOffice.Org instead.   Well, great news for you!   OpenOffice.Org is now available for small gobs of cash too!   Best Buy shoppers will find it available in a silver box claiming to be the Perfect office solution.   Yeah...I giggled too.

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. Re: AbiWord-2.1.0 Released! :
    →   Indic speakers, or more to it, writers:  We need your help.   Ramanan Selvaratnam, a Tamil writer, queries the list to understand what it is AbiWord really needs.   As noted in our ongoing plea, we could, at minimum, go for various translators; though, you'll note no specific Indic dialect/scripts mentioned.   In reality, there's an even greater need, though, Tomas was unavailable to discuss it.   Indic glyph formation during composition is where AbiWord is having problems.   In order for AbiWord to improve, we need more native Indic readers/writers to, both, use and file bugs against this specific part against AbiWord.
    §   Naturally, if you just know someone who can/may write Indic, we'd love for you to pass our Indic-specific plea-for-use along.

  2. Commit: support importing tabstops from .sdw files ,
    Commit: support font sizes in .sdw files ,
    Commit: Import line spacing from sdw files :
    →   Christian Biesinger, whom I now know doesn't read the AWN, has been working at improving the Star/OpenOffice read&write capabilities.   Though Christian's work has been done in the 2.1.x tree, Marc has been backporting it to the 2.0.x tree for your convenience.
    §   Since the beginning of this year, 2183, Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format, has been at the very top of the Enhancements.   That's a whole year as of this week!   Whoa...I've been doing this for too long.

  3. Re: hspell-0.7 provider for enchant. ,
    Enchant 1.1.3 released :
    →   Thanks to Yaacov Zamir and the HSpell developers, Dan Kenigsberg and Nadav Har'El, Enchant 1.1.3 has been released with HSpell (0.7↑ required).   For those of you throws off by the second version number being one, let me put any doubts to rest with Dom's own words, “There's nothing unstable about enchant at all.   The 1.1.3 number is pretty meaningless.”
    §   And, another thank you to all those who have worked on and test driven Enchant.

  4. commit: Win32 installer work ,
    commit: win32 installer work ,
    commit: nsis stuff :
    →   Jeremy makes some advancements to the Windows installer.   On top of cleaning up and modernising the dated interface from the NSIS 1 era, he's included the ability to translate the interface to other languages and restoration of file-associations when uninstalling.
    §   However, as to why you would uninstall AbiWord is beyond me.

  5. AbiWord Weekly News #175 "You hallucinated that conspiracy." Released. :
    →   This AWN actually did come out!   In fact, it's the first in a long time to track events “Outside of AbiDomain.”   If you are on the mailing list, but did not receive an announcement, please read this discussion summary.   Also an oppourtunity for users to help users.
    §   Not included in that AWN, but should have been, was the warmest of Holiday Wishes.   Unless necessary, I tend say, “Feh,” after the :q.

  6. Trouble with printing :
    →   Losonc Gabor may have some issues with his print drivers, specifically in relation to the postscript output produced by AbiWord.   Though a work around is suggested, and Jordi awaits a bug report, Losonc has committed the mortal sin of not following up on the list.   Check to see if problems you have are similar and send your results in reference to this thread.
    §   Of course, Losonc is about to make up for that sin, but it's a very big sin.   As many AWN readers know, most because I harass you weekly, even without the user list, not following up on threads via the mailing list only creates long term problems.   Just another reminder for you.

  7. Translating the Manual :
    →   Ramanan and Losonc are interested in translation the AbiWord manual to their languages.   An extensive and educational thread that covers a variety of points.   First, to translate the manual, it is recommended you open up a language you are familiar with in the abiword-docs/ABW/ directory and start editing with our favourite word processor.   AbiWord's native format is among the most transparent format available, even thought dtd (not linked to for sanity) is woefully out of date.   This makes it possible to easily translate the .abw files to other formats, like HTML.
    §   More complete explanations as to the why's and wherefor's are available within the thread.   Here's also another reminder to at least CC the list, not that I'd specify any Tamil speakers, because I'm well above such childishness ;o)

  8. commit: Fix 6234 - Endnotes/Footnotes should be much better now. :
    →   Users experiencing seemingly random crashes from footnotes and/or endnotes rejoice:   Martin has made a few very important fixes and has recommended another 2.0.x release, as soon as possible.
    §   User/Developer QA abuse of these fixes will be needed first.   Also, Non-Existent Associated Trademark Obligation may be trademarked in the future to prevent misuse by adding the NEATO to the left side.   The Dutch:  You just can't teach them anything after University age.


CVS Stats

      Keep track of the latest developments, from bug fixes to requested enhancements.   You'll find it easy to watch the progress made by the developers or individual developers involved.   Perhaps you'll even be encouraged to try a development build of either branch.

Developments for 2.0.x from December 21st to December 27th, 2003
Who Commits In summary
Jordi Mas 13 A couple of problems, a couple of bugs and some dialogue work.
Cross Platform:   rtf importer indentifies metafiles and memory leak fix
Windows:   center devisions dialogue box
5673:   problem with tables
6158:   Abiword gets an exception when closing this document

Marc Maurer  6 Backports from Jordi, Christian and Martin.
Windows:    fixes utf-8 encoding problem and memory leak From Jordi Mas
Star/Open Office:    importer fixes From Christian Biesinger,  support importing line spacing From Christian Biesinger,   From Christian Biesinger,
4531:   (From Martin Sevior) — Page breaks ignored in RTF
5673:   (From Jordi Mas) — problem with tables
6234:   (From Martin Sevior) — Abiword crashes when manipulating endnotes

Kenneth “Jeremy” Davis  1 Plugin-related build fix.
Make:   correct include path for Image Magick plugin

Developments for 2.1.x from December 21st to Decemenber 27th, 2003
Who Commits In summary
Kenneth “Jeremy” Davis 46 Advancing the Windows installer.
NSIS2:   update installer script to work with NSIS ModernUI updates, add credits.txt to installer since referenced by help files (credits page), switch to lzma compression (same as in 7zip) and fix so uses smalldesc again, start of Win32 installer cleanup, remove supports for classic NSIS look, separate each section into their own file, more simplification and properly support fallback to default language for missing strings in translations, move component description location define before including mui.nsh again, more restructuring, add backup of prior file associations and restoration on uninstall, fix lang store code (move definition so should properly store installer language for future use), fixes

Martin Sevior 22 The end of the new server/preview feature and some fixing of the older endnotes feature.
Cross Platform:   fix mem leak (thanks to Jordi)
Server:   AbiCommand New feature previewpng, ConvertToPNG server implementation
Document-to-Graphic-Converter:   ConvertToPNG server implementation, AbiWord side of previewpng
4531:   Page breaks ignored in RTF
6158:   Abiword gets an exception when closing this document
6234:   Abiword crashes when manipulating endnotes

Marc Maurer 13 Forward porting of Jordi Mas' work.
Windows:    centers the list and mark revisions dialog boxes From Jordi Mas
Mingw:   fix
5673:   (From Jordi Mas) — problem with tables

Nadav Rotem 11 OTS-related building improvements.
OTS:   builds under icc8, less warnings and remarks, new: grader now builds on gcc

Hubert Figuiere  6 A little bit of a cross-platform work.
Cross Platform:   GR_Graphics::setLineProperties receive layout units: do the conversion, small code optimization

Christian Biesinger  5 A good size of work on the Star/Open Office importer.
Star/Open Office:   support importing tabstops from .sdw files, support font sizes from .sdw files print file offsets in debug output correctly, add missing break--so that text alignment still is imported correctly, don't set attributes without a value, support importing line spacing from sdw files, allow importing more than one tabstop in a paragraph

Dom Lachowicz  4 Enchanted by Enchanting Enchant's Enchantment.
Windows:   fix crash on splash screen startup
Enchant:    upgrade to hspell 0.7 From Yaacov Zamir (tidied by Dom),  patch for hspell From Yaacov Zamir

Raphael Finkel  2 Yiddish update.
Yiddish:   updated

Jordi Mas 1 Windows' fixes mentioned in 2.0.
Windows:   fixes utf-8 encoding problem and memory leak

      Question to the regular reader:   Should I go back to whole sentences for the pre-summary summaries?   Not much of difference, I just pounded these out thought, “Hey, would anybody actually mind?”   So, I'm just asking, for all -2 responses I might get about it over the course of 2004.


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

Bug Update

Bug Market


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

      Markets continue low as VeriNew drops into the negative.   Louis Bugkeyser suggests that this lull in activity is due almost entirely to the Holiday Season.   Alan Bluespan, however, believes that though activity will increase in the coming week, it will remain on the low side of the Index.

      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  misfeatures 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 December 27th, 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......
6181  30 --- cursor position is not updated when changing paragraph style...
2868  26 2.0.x character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...
4896  25 2.0.x the very last character can't be selected
6011  25 --- Spelling check provides bad suggestions and improperly pl......
2421  24 2.0.x TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......
6112  24 --- Win32 Windows Accumulate Dirt from Windows Objects
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
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement as of December 27th, 2003
ID Votes Milestone Summary
2183 458 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 ...
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
1851  36 Future [rfe] Ability to create an ALL CAPS style, and Small Caps......
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...
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
3233  23 2.0.x New Language preference menu

      The only sign of activity was the well time increase of votes for 2183, Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format, which gained three points during Christian's week of development for sdw.   Let's keep our eyes on this enhancement!

Release HackDown

      To return the moment there's a meta bug for (I'm assuming) 2.0.3 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

      Just some work towards building; otherwise, not much to report.


      Not a diddly darn thing as far as I know.


      Haha, I didn't even look; I was being psychic.


      Enchant 1.1.3 has been released with new hspell support, thanks to Yaacov Zamir and the HSpell developers, Dan Kenigsberg and Nadav Har'El.


      AbiWord is crucial to the use of, coordinates development with, or to some extent relies upon a number of applications.   Only one two of these applications make it easy for me to steal information from them, so, we're talking about a lot of blog reading.

Windows World

      Here, we'll explore our Windows associates more.   Well...it's currently only the one, but it's a very important one.

Nullsoft Scriptable Install System

      Huzzah!   Nullsoft has an Honest-to-Bob news section!   This week, in NSIS space:   NSIS 2's First Release Candidate reached availability on the 27th.   If you've been following Jeremy's work this week, then you can guess that includes, “a new Modern UI, supports multiple languages and features an easy plugin system.”   On top of that, it will also include LZMA compression, thanks to Igor Pavlov of 7-Zip Archiver fame.

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.


      Jody gave up blogging for Lent or something, and Miguel never really mentions Gnumeric much.


      Currently...no “news” per se, but there is a vicious rumour circulating about Rodrigo stalking Sean Hayes.


      I'd call it AbiShow, but we don't have a webpage for it.


      Michéle Garoche clarifies an intent, which is getting Conglomerate to build in Fink under MacOS 10.3.2.   There remains some issues trying to apply patches to the current Fink tarball of the current Conglomerate.


      Look, a place to talk about the AWN

Abiword Weekly News

      At Jeremy's request and via my “Ooh, that's good idea,” NSIS now has itsown section.   Since they have their own news section (and a really nice site in general), I am very ok with reporting on them, especially as seeing I may have to start reading other mailing lists, like I have been doing with Conglomerate.


      Though Martin is interested in another Stable release, I'd bet there's another week to go.


      After the first AWN of the year.


      Do you read this far?   I really want to know.   Just tell me.   If I get just one message (from someone who isn't checking to see if his commits came out right from issue to issue), I would just be tickled pink...or a mild beat red, maybe.   Well, I may just give a reserved, monotoned, “Wow.”   Basically, I want to know if Arthur Dent is sitting, ney, lying in front of his house, trying to prevent some nice chaps in bulldozers from giving it the flattening is sorely needs.   If that doesn't make sense to you, see AbiUsers section from two/three weeks ago, or read The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy.

Open Source, Open Books.

Last Updated: December 6th, 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: $2144.20
Interest earned: $19.34

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: $2311.84
Less paypal and other banking fees: $167.64

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.