AbiWord Weekly News #203,
      (For the week ending July 3rd, the 27th week of 2004)

Welcome to this issue #203 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      I'm not following up on raw data.   I blame Microsoft for no good reason.

This week in development

      Tables now have the ability to summarise rows & columns.   The AbiMath handler has just been branched to be incorporated with 2.3/2.4.   And, naturally, we have GUADEC information (no one posted picture this time :*( )

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

      Welcome to what would have been my 100th issue, had I not nearly three months worth of scattered AWNs missing.   With that introduction, I thought I'd give you the heads up on what's going with the AWN.   In the first week of August, I will have my second anniversary of managing, or mismanaging the AWNs, depending on how you look at it.   A month after that, AbiWord 2.2 is optimistically schedualed for release with the next GOffice, which does not actually have a remade website up, nor am I sure what the number will be (1.2?); however it is an important for all of us, especially me.   After announcing one, the other or both, I intend to discontinue maintaining the AWN.   Time, projects and life have made it difficult to keep; I suppose, considering that I haven't, "impossible" would be a more accurate term.

      On my second anniversary, by which I do hope to have caught up, I intend to solicit for another editor; one whom I will be happy to take on in the capacity of co-editor until they're used to the work.   Doing it sooner would be pointless, as commits could drop out by then.   If no one is interested by Septemeber, there will be little left of the AWN but archive history.   To make life easier for me and the future editor, I will write the scripts of my pre-debian life/dream.   I am also considering a “make life easier for the machine-translator” style guide.   It seems late, sure, but it could make life easier for SO many people.

      On an ironic note, I came in with the graph missing, and it appears, I will go out with it missing as well.

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. [Fwd: abiword build on MacOs X] :
    →   MacOSs X users should note that the 2.0 branch is not meant to build on the MacOS X platform anymore; if you wish to use AbiWord, you will need to use 2.2
  2. ATTN: tree branched :
    →   Marc Maurer returns and creates a new branch called ABIMATH.   This is where will on the future math editing capabilities of AbiWord will be developed, with help from Luca of MathView.
  3. Re: 2.1.3 uploaded :
    →   SUSE users who have been reading that 2.1 series requires GTK 2.4 may have been mislead;   The actual dependency is GTK 2.2, but James Ogley, our SUSE builder/maintainer, will look into an issues that my crop up from his building against GTK 2.4.   If no problems arise, future binaries will be corrected.   If they do appear, however, users will still be able to compile AbiWord from source to get an dependency satisfied GTK 2.2 build.
  4. Very short GUADEC overview :
    →   Some of you wondering what fun could be had at GUADEC or what we do with all those “loads” of cash, feel free to visit this thread, where you will learn more about the source of the ABIMATH branch.
  5. commit: Lots of good stuff.
    commit: Sum Table rows, sum table columns work. :
    →   Martin, with lots of encouragment and request, has broken the feature freeze...ever so mildly, to make table rows summarisable.

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

  1. How to change AbiWord default font? :
    →   Andrew Palmer, like many an AbiWord user, would like to change one of the various default settings to AbiWord's documents.   Thankfully an explanation on how to use the template files, or at least the normal.awt which is the default template, is readily available here.
  2. RE: Likes :
    →   Just a note to Windows users from Mark Gilbert; if you are using the nightly downloader and have noticed the no updates status, this is a normal part of the building problems that happen in development.   When those issues are fixed, you will start getting new binaries.
    §   And thank you for helping to test AbiWord.
  3. MAC OS 8.1
    Re: MAC OS 8.1 :
    →   For legacy MacOS users, I have some unfortunate news for you.   Only the 1.x series was ever pushed in the direction of building on pre-Darwin version of the MacOS.   When 1.1 branched, all effort went into keeping up with MacOS X.   AbiWord will never release again for the older platforms.
    §   Three cats later, I can tell you, Hub has put in a lot of effort.   There were relatively little changes that cropped up which proved to be one glorious pain the c++ object classes.
  4. Red cursor with text deletion below ... :
    →   AbiWord uses the very nice Insert|Overwrite functionality; unfortunately, many users have no clue what that means.   It seems that “freaky red cursor” problems aren't going away.   It is now being discusses as to change the morphology and not just the colour, and in addition, to make it reversable by causing the cursor to switch back when a user clicks on the status flag (INS or OVR).


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 June 27th to the 3rd of 2004
Who Commits In summary
Marc Maurer 2
Windows:   Limit the number of rows and columns in the insert table dialog to 1-9999 as opposed to 0-9999 [ ed. he started writing something else here, but it got cut off.]
5150:   (From “sum1”) —

Developments for 2.1 from June 27th to the 3rd of 2004
Who Commits In summary
Martin Sevior 21
Cross Platform:   fix off by one pixel bug, fix Lines clearing the wrong part of the screen when changing page, enable scrolling while visual drag of text, enable scrolling while dragging textboxes, initial work to support summing of rows and cols, sorting tables and text to table
AbiCommand:   fix dumb mistake, initialize a loop variable

Mark Gilbert  6
Cross Platform:   trivial cleanup
Unix:   fix build by undefinition
English, U.S.:   update for 2.2 on Unix, edit a little in Unix instructions, update Win32 instructions with respect to MSVC, update Win32 instructions with respect to new nsis and zlib handling From Ryan Pavlik, merge divergences from various commits, the docs should be in sync now
7007:   : NB: “which is yet another manifestation of problems with abi's use of --enable-debug (ABI_OPT_DEBUG) which I've complained about for ages (but about which I'm still forcefully disagreed with) Woo, fun, I love spending all my time fixing totally unnecessary bugs /-:”

Mikey Cooper  5
Cross Platfrom:   remove MAC-style EOL characters
5150:   (From “sum1”) —

Marc Maurer  1
Windows:   Limit the number of rows and columns in the insert table dialog to 1-9999 as opposed to 0-9999 [ ed. he started writing something else here, but it got cut off.]



      It's happening Really Soon Now™!

Bug Update

Bug Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +8 (8 : 0), VeriNew -5 (2 : 7), ClosAssi unch (0 : 0),


      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 June 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
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...
4896  25 2.0.x the very last character can't be selected
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
4968  15 --- "Fit to Width" slightly broken
5931  15 --- un-breakable space show and print as degree sign
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement as of June 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
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
3083  15 Future [META] Redesign smart quote system
1270  13 Future Should support graphical columns ala wordperfect 8/9

      Data loss. Issue....

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.


      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.


      1.1.3 to be released December, 2004; as opposed to Conglomerate, which had a secret release in December 2003.


      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.


      Gnumeric 1.2.13 aka ”Implicit Operator Iteration“ is now available.   For details on this medium-priority release (and the backporting of the last of the implicit iteration support for operators), read this.   Also worth noting, by the way, is the support for all known of Ms Excel's evaluation techniques; naturally, of course, as in all such cases, they are demanding more abuse from all users.   Jody's too proud, so, get out there and break that puppy!


      Mail: libgda/libgnomedb 1.1.3 released


      Next week!   A new release!   Same Sven Time!   Same Sven Section!


      Dave did something funny again.   He's added some basic spell-checking support.   Based on some of the bugs, however, I'm sensing it's not using Enchant.   For more information, read “Spellchecking.”


      Look, a place to talk about the AWN

Abiword Weekly News

      You would think, without Angel, I would have fewer distractions.   Work started early for an end-of-summer release (funny, stupid people I work with these days).   Anyhow, I had hoped to get this addition out on time.   I now have to gaps to fill up on, and I intend to have only the month of April left at my second anniversary; which means the AWN should be all caught up for retirement.   Go me!


      I'm still bummed about Angel, but I did wake up long enough to notice one thing: Martin has added row/column summarisation support.   More interesting, AbiMath looks to be incorporated, and currently, appears to go back into plugin mode, with some necessary object handling work to be done to AbiWord itself, first.   More on that next week.


      I'll harrass Dom at the end of the month; I do wonder where we stand post-GUADEC.


      I still love our users, especially me.   My sympathies go out to our legacy Mac user...I know exactly how it feels being a Mac user.   If it helps any better, you guys still have more private commercial apps than we do, and we'd kill for some of those nifty After Dark™ screensavers.

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.