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AbiWord Weekly News (2/16/2000)

Well, it appears that I am the new editor of the AbiWord Weekly News. While we mysteriously seem not to have released any major new versions or won any awards this week, that doesn't mean that nothing has happened in the AbiWord community.

1. Development News

Since the last edition of this newsletter, we have had 23 new patches go into the tree, and have added 2 new names to the list in CREDITS.TXT. Congratulations to Kevin and Giovanni.

The biggest new code is from Henrik Berg, who checked in lots of all-new support for fields, including a GUI interface. All of this code was added behind debugging flags, though, so if you're hankering to check it out, debug builds will be in order. As can be seen from the traffic on the list, we are still determining the final shape of field support to come.

The other big checkin came from Kevin Vajk, who added much-needed file sniffing type detection. As someone who has written bad code to try to avoid this problem, I thank him on behalf of all Abi developers.

The POW from the week of November 28 has been begun by Owen Stenseth, who has posted all the strings on his web page. This POW isn't done yet, though. The next step is for our various translators to see what they can trim from the very long strings.

Other significant developments ;-) include various improvements as Thomas Fletcher to the QNX port, which seems to be progressing nicely, at least from the perspective of an outsider. We also have a new translation to Brazilian, provided by Giovanni dos Reis Nunes.

Also on the i18n front, improved translations include Finnish, courtesy of Jarmo Karvonen and Italian, from our new translator, Marco Innocenti. Currently, AbiWord is translated into 13 languages other than English.

Finally, Shaw added a quick fix for bug 522, and Sam Tobin-Hochstadt added CSS/HTML export to preserve display consistency.

2. On The List

With 154 messages on abiword-dev since the last edition, the list is on pace to have more messages than ever before. Additionally, traffic on abiword-user has been picking up, indicating growing interest in our product on the part of the outside world (as if we didn't know that already :-) This week's major topics included:

  1. Fields - There has been lots of discussion on this point, both as to code and file-format implementations.

  2. Mac Port - This continues to be a hot topic, as developers discuss everything from resource files to build environments to toolkits.

  3. Our Focus Model - As we try to squash infamous bug 522, the underlying issues with the way we (and our toolkits) handle focus bubbles upward.

  4. List Implementation - Although it hasn't been committed yet, Luke Jordan submitted a patch to implement numbered lists in AbiWord. This is a feature that lots of people want, so we should see it in the official code soon.

3. Cross-Platform Application Development

At LinuxWorld Expo, our very own Paul Rohr gave a talk with the above title. A set of HTML slides, along with the ABW format source, is now available on the AbiWord site. Visit and discover how our model works to keep all our platforms working and happy.

4. Project of the Week

For all of you hankering to get going on a new project, Shaw has issued a new Project of the Week. This week, the POW tackles printing on Unix, with regard to non-ASCII characters. For a word processor, and especially one that is internationalized as much as AbiWord, this is an important issue.

5. Other News

This week's cool patch award goes to Kevin Vajk, for his file sniffing code.

This week's cool post award goes to Keith Stribley, for his treatise on fields. Not only does he provide a mountain of information (including lots of file format implementation) but this was his first post to the list. Welcome aboard, Keith.

Sam TH

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