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AbiWord Weekly News (3/01/2000)

AbiWord development continues to move faster, higher, further . . .

1. Development News

Since the last edition of this newsletter, we have had 24 new patches go into the tree and have added 5(!) new names to our list of contributors, which is now 79 names long. Congratulations to Johnny, Rasmus, Harald, Jim and Aaron.

The largest checkin was from Sam Tobin-Hochstadt, who added a Word Count dialog. While it doesn't have quite as many features and statistics as those in some of those other programs, it is a good beginning. Paul almost immediately ported it to the Win32 platform.

In the fastest turnaround since the OK Corral, Thomas Fletcher fixed the BeOS build and ZAPPED the POW less than 24 hours after it was sent out to the list.

Aaron Lehmann, a new developer, contributed a big patch to move lots of code from XAP to XP, making maintaining our multitude of supported platforms even easier.

Sam Tobin-Hochstadt, by creating a Word Count dialog, ZAPPED the POW from October 17th of last year. Work is still needed to port it across other platforms.

Other development effort fixed ruler initialization (Aaron Lehmann), fixed an RTF bug with CR/LF (Harald Fernengel), created an option to turn the F12 key (which cycles keybindings to vi and emacs modes) on or off, and fixed some word selection problems (Sam Tobin-Hochstadt).

Although it has not been checked in yet, progress has been made on Luke Jordan's list patch. Bob has identified the problems in it currently, and we hope to get them resolved so that we can add this important piece of functionality soon.

This week was also platform compatibility week, as we added builds on Linux/ARM (Jim Studt), NetBSD (Johnny Lam) and fixed the BeOS build. AbiWord now runs on more platforms than I care to count, and almost certainly more than any other word processor.

On the i18n front, we added a new Danish translator, Rasmus Olesen and updated several other languages.

2. On The List

There continues to be lots of traffic on the lists, with 179 messages posted to abiword-dev this last week. Important discussion ranged among the following.

  1. International encoding - There have been a multitude of discussion on this, ranging from new open source tools to input methods.
  2. UI Design - This has been much talked-about, mostly in relation to the options dialog box.
  3. New Dialogs - There has been discussion of both the Insert Symbol and Word Count dialogs.
  4. Display Issues - Several display problem, ranging from the splash screen to the window display were discussed and resolved.
  5. Mac Port - At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Macintosh port of AbiWord continues to make headway.
  6. AbiWord DTD - The status of this additional piece of documentation seems to have been resolved, with Sam Tobin-Hochstadt maintaining it currently.

3. Project of the Week

People like to be able to adjust the margins on their documents, and most major word processors let them. Unfortunately, AbiWord is slightly deficient in this area. Hence the current Project of the Week. The assignment is to get the rulers to work as well for margins as they do for tab stops. Bruce Pearson has already volunteered to work on this, but I suspect there's plenty to be done for all.

4. Bugzilla Status

Currently, Bugzilla lists 196 bugs outstanding, with 30 of those still in SUBMIT state. Last week, we closed 10 bugs, 9 of which were fixes, and 6 new bugs were opened. We are making progress. At this rate, AbiWord will be bug free in less than a year. :-) Bob, our loyal QA guy, claims that he is swamped testing all the patches people are submitting, so many bugs are languishing in submission status. Help on this is always welcome.

5. Other News

This week's cool patch award goes to Thomas Fletcher, for finding and fixing the BeOS build problem in record time. As Tinderbox tells us, "Green trees make for nice trophies."

This week's cool post award goes to Paul, for his extensive research into the history of equation editors on the AbiWord mailing list. (Thanks to Bob for the nomination)

6. February Wrap-Up

February was an eventful month for AbiWord development.

  • We released AbiWord 0.7.8, which was a major step forward for us, with lots of new features.

  • We won Best of Show at LinuxWorld Expo, for the second consecutive year.

  • We ZAPPED 4 of our outstanding POWs, and made progress on at least one other.

  • There was lots of traffic on the list. The most prolific writer was Paul, with 107 messages posted.

  • There was lots of development, with 91 different patches.

  • And last but not least, we started publishing a newsletter!

Sam TH

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