AbiWord Weekly News #194,
      (For the week ending May 1st, the 18th week of 2004)

Welcome to this issue #194 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      Who knows!?   Being a sneaky bastard, I'll shove stuff here when I do 193.   Being a sneaky bastard with no memory, I will forget I shoved crap here when I do 193....

This week in development

      A new MacOS X release, pictures from the London Expo and Nyorp, the primary AbiServer, is blocked off for traffick reasons.   Thankfully, we did have a server at the University of Twente, who were kind enough to let us steal some bandwidth.   We thank everyone who put in money for a new server when we asked for help.   Thank you AbiUsers with disposable income and a sense of community support.

Request for User Assistance

      Attention Indic and Arabic users!   We need more of you to attempt to use and report bugs on CVS Head.   As we continue to improve the glyph-shaping engine, we will need to know what is working and what is not.   You, our users, are an essential part of our community development.   Please participate in helping us improve the application all of us are using.

      In case you haven't guessed, the fact that the plea below, languages, has remained unchanged is because no-one has even told us they're trying to help.   However, we were told that two were not that different (if at all) from a close linguistic relative.   That said, please-oh-please give us 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

      Needless to say, the Nyorp-outage dragged the release of AWN194 and AWN181 out for some time.   Some of it was made up for with the help of Marc Maurer, for whom dns percipitation came much sooner.   Unfortunately, the phrase, "sorted by name," means to a tulip-eater!

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 50-100 postings per week.   This week, interesting topics on the developer list included:

  1. New 2.1.2 build for MacOS X (fix bug 6709) :
    →   A new MacOS X binary is available with a fix to ensure that the binary works as expected.
    §   Don't mind the fact AbiWord 2.1 series is a development testing series, or that the GPL only states that you've just received a bunch of 1's and 0's, as that might change your expectations ;o)
  2. Slides from AbiWord talk at Libr'East conference (in French) ,
    Pictures from Ludex :
    →   Confrence fun!   Here are the bits you actually want to see.   For those interested in the AbiShow (nyarp) from Libr'East, you can view the slides, en françias, from here.
      Now, for those of you who like the English (nyarp), Gaël Chamoulaud (frenchy gnomer) has taken pictures of the LUDEX event, found here, and if you want something really AbiSpecific, you'll find, Tomas left, Hub right, right here (nyarp).
    §   I'd like to thank Johan for giving me uml practice.
  3. FOX Cancels 'AWN' :
    →   After gearing towards a finalé work and so forth, I the took a month off to go stare at the wallpaper with my cat.   However, unlike the cat, I did need “medical” assistance to do so.   So, as one, particularly evil, developer put it, I kinda slacked off.   The rule, now, to enforce actually doing the AWN, is to do one new one and one old one, and maybe catch up by the end of summer.   Then...um...find work?
    §   Anyone in need of script editor, ghost writer and/or someone who does a better “The Voice” than, say, a daring fearless leader-type?
  4. [OOfftopic} Re: Gnumeric vs. OOCalc :
    →   Alan introduces us to Google Fight.   It turns out that AbiWord kicks OOWriter in the dangly bits.
    §   And now, for some interesting fights that you just have to see!:
          Linux versus Kernal32
          Spangel versus Spuffy
          Angel versus Spike
          Joss versus Tim
      This concludes the proof that Internet users prefer an underdog.   Additional note; apparently 15% of all Joss's have a last name that starts with a “W.”
  5. Current list of Bad bugs. :
    →   Mark Gilbert, Weirdie in Charge of Quality Assurance (wicoqa), has assembled a list of bugs which number not too far from 100 before being winnoed down by Martin and a number of other kind folk.   Now there exists a list of delegated bugs that could give users an idea of what they're waiting for regarding AbiWord 2.2.   Also a note for people testing AbiWord:   Crash it.   Destroy it!   Make it blow up your computer!   The more crashes we can find now means the greater stability when 2.2 is released.
    §   Oh, if you do blow up your computer, please make sure to take care of the ram, and have a professional recover the data, so that we can get the backtrace.

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. Is it possible to have a single page in landscape and the rest in portrait :
    →   Noel Faux wants to change page layout in mid-document.   Martin explains how this might be coded, but since 2.1 is in Feature Freeze, it won't be done for some time.   Luckily, if Noel really wants to participate, one of the best teachers just happens to live on the otherside of town.   ISN'T THAT JUST THE FREAKIEST $#!7!?
    §   No.   You'll have to leave a blank page for that space, and then, do your alternate layout pages seperately in another document.   Or, turn it into a picture and insert that way.   Also, filing an RFE in bugzilla works fairly well at getting stuff done.   (NB: This was the original summary).
  2. How do I create a table in Abiword 1.0.7 ,
    Abiword 2.0 and Polish spell checking :
    →   Now, for those of you who haven't been paying attention for the past two years, the 1.x series of Abiword does not have the ability to create tables.   Derek has some unanswered question about spelling, many of which could probably be fixed by checking up on Enchant.
    §   I get disappointed when stuff gets answered offlist.


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 from April 25th through May 1st of 2004
Who Commits In summary
Hubert Figuière 19 Backporting of many bug fixes among some other general weirdness.
Windows:   remove title-bar during full-screen mode From Mikey Cooper
Redhat Package Manager:   don't install AbiWord.exe.MANIFEST (Win file)
1576:   (From Mikey Cooper) —
6223:   (From Mikey Cooper) —
6272:   (From Martin Sevior) —
6565:   (From Martin Sevior) —
6666:   (From Mikey Cooper) —
6699:   (From Martin Sevior & Tomas Frydrych) —

Marc Maurer 15 Preparations for the next release are made while also applying/backporting several bugfixes.
Windows:   fix Left Ruler from disapearing PageWidth zoom From Michael D. Pritchett
Configurations:   2.0.6 → 2.0.7
5529:   (From Tomas Frydrych) —
6208:   (From Mikey Cooper) —
6285:   (From Tomas Frydrych) —
6559:   (From Mikey Cooper) —
6587:   (From Tomas Frydrych) —
6724:   (From Tomas Frydrych) —

Martin Sevior  1 Backport too big new line after image fix.
Cross Platform:   backport too big new line after image fix

Developments for 2.1 from April 25th through May 1st of 2004
Who Commits In summary
Martin Sevior 56 Fixing up the new features of the 2.1 series, some RTF management and an odd image bug.
Table of Contents:   fix export to text
Text Boxes:   fix a number of bugs which made text boxes appear transparent
Cross Platform:   no caret after an image resize, new line after an image isn't the height of the image on the prev line, lots of fixes for toggling auto-spell on and off
Windows:   revert nasty CR/LF cruft from a previous checkin
File Types:
Rich Text Format:   some robustness fixes for docs with extra “}” at the end of valid RTF, handles arbitary numbers of extra “}” at the end of a rtf doc, fix import/export of headrer and footer margins
Text, ASCII:   fix export with TOC

Hubert Figuière 31 TOC hits MacOS X and RTF receives a couple of fixes.
Table of Contents:   initial release of dialog on MacOS X
MacOS X:   fix doxygen comment, fix a few design issues in the Option dialog since UI change, initial release of TOC dialog,
Unix:   fix some cosmetic when displaying the dialogs (not visible when loading), refactored a little by moving stuff to XP land
File Types:
Rich Text Format:   fix a bug where image where imported twice but was hidden by a bug where image hex was dumped in the text (due to wrong \shp handling), import MetaData
Project Builder:   new files for TOC dialog

Mikey Cooper  8 Fixing up some Windows issues...a crack team, on crack, tracking cracks: AbiWinDevs.
Windows:   revert nasty CR/LF cruft from a previous checkin, remove title-bar during full-screen mode
MSVC6:   update project files to fix build, include new RTF Parser files and dependency for fribidi

Tomas Frydrych  7 General bug fixing getting done, including one in Wv.
Cross Platform:   fix the right arrow bug
Perl:   partially revert yesterday’s changes

Marc Maurer  4 Preparations for the next 2.0.x release and a graphics bug.
Cross Platform:   add missing return statement
Configurations:   2.0.6 → 2.0.7

Kenneth “Jeremy” Davis  1 Maintain default build version information separate from main defines makefile.
Configurations:   maintain default build version information separate from main defines makefile



      It's happening Really Soon Now™!

Bug Update

Bug Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +34 (34 : 0), VeriNew +11 (28 : 17), ClosAssi unch (0 : 0),

      While a small upswing has kicked into the markets, it has not made up for the market expectations of last week's surprise decline.   Alan Bluespan noted that a major self-righting has yet to occur, and he went further to state suspicions regarding that a major increase will probably occur in bug management in the next couple of weeks.   Louis Bugkeyser, however, believes that, though the bug traffick is certain to increase, filed bugs would be fixed at an even more rapid rate.   After the server outage, he appended his statement with the pharse, “In the next couple of weeks, a major increase in bug management will occur.”   Martin Sevior, a major trader in the bug markets stated, “I wanna commit something!   [I'm] getting withdrawal...hands start shaking....”

      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 May 1st, 2004
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
5252  30 2.2 Contrast between cursor (caret) and background is ruined ......
5782  30 --- Abiword hangs opening attached Word document
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...
2421  24 2.0.x TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......
6011  21 --- Spelling check provides bad suggestions and improperly pl......
6354  20 --- --merge=FILE command line option does not work in abiword...
1679  17 --- List changes should keep selection
3216  15 2.2 Tabstops Cannot be Set in Second (or Third) Column
3801  15 Future [META] Seems to struggle with large files
4896  15 2.0.x the very last character can't be selected
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement as of May 1st, 2004
ID Votes Milestone Summary
2183 458 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
3668 166 Future Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
4038 146 --- Outline View Support
2321 145 2.2 [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
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
2365  51 --- AbiWord needs 'view codes'
1929  50 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
 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......
2473  35 2.0.x [rfe] Support move & resize of images anchored to a page...
1235  30 Future [RFE] Not possible to change zoom and font size on toolba...
2463  30 --- support embedded objects
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
2169  24 Future Line numbering
3233  23 2.0.x New Language preference menu
3419  20 Future [RFE] Add microspacing feature (tracking) for characters
2136  15 Future A Latex importer would be nice and useful

      Due to inaccessibility, this data should be consider bullsh*.

Release HackDown

      When I'm caught up again....

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

      Nadav...how you doin' out there, Buddy?   You, uh...you still alive out there, Man?


      Nothing since February.


      I'm guessinnnn'...squat.




      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

      Since 2.0 was released, there really has been much news to report.

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's pet sock-puppet died, thus leaving the blog without any recent updates for sometime.   I heard it was raped¹.


      Good News!   Hot off the servers, it's Version 1.1.2!   Read more there.   And, if you like reading, Murray has many shiney happy words to say about Gnome-DB!   His participation is expected to result in an even better application set for everyone!


      Two points of view on this front, and lots of important information.   First off, Criawips is alive and releasing from time to time.   It is, however, nolonger based on the AbiWord source, and it is being written in Java, which makes three different techniques for cross-platform compliance from three different Gnome Office applications.   Yup...solidarity.   To use a word Dom would appreciate, we're [expletive deleted]ed.

      Now, another possibility, and a possible future AbiShow, at that, Colin JN Breame proposed the possibility that he and a friend would like to make a PowerPoint clone.   Lots of discussion off and on list, and you'll probably find it very educational, even if you're a little curious about politics and project development and whatever else.   Don't worry, I'll keep an eye on 'er for ya for awhile ;o)


      Nickolay V. Shmyrev has fixed a major Find and Replace bug.   Dave has approved the patch via proxy of Geert.   Geert also announces that version 0.8.0 of Conglomerate was secretly released in December of 2003.   For more information, see thread “Find and Replace.”


      Look, a place to talk about the AWN

Abiword Weekly News








¹ I heard it was raped:   Jody probably won't be talking to me for awhile, but this joke was so worth it.   I was originally not going to have anything after the raped part, but I felt I should say sorry to Jody for the induendo.   Sorry, Jody, for the induendo.

Open Source, Open Books.

Last Updated: December 13th, 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.

      These are numbers from all of time!   Everything since the paypal AbiFund has been setup is in here, not just this month or just this week.   Just in case you didn't figure that out, I'm restating it since the PayPal incident first incited interest in this.

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.