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AbiWord Weekly News (3/08/2000)

Dispatches from the AbiWord front lines . . .

1. Development News

Since the last edition of this newsletter, we have had 23 new patches go into the tree and have added 3 new names to our list of contributors, which is now 82 names long. Congratulations to Tamas, Owen and Danny.

The most significant development on the, well, development front is the new translation matrix, updated daily using a script written by Owen Stenseth as the first step of the final POW from last November. This matrix details every dialog string in AbiWord, what strings have been translated for each language, and which languages need work. Humorously, English is in 7th place, with the Finnish translation in the lead.

The biggest patch this week was a mass of improvements to the QNX port, mostly in the area of dialogs, but also including some important drawing routines.

Joaquin Abela also contributed a number of significant improvements. He added a large patch to give the GNOME port its own menu bar. Also, his patch to add command-line file format conversion support, which has been floating around for about six weeks, finally has been integrated.

Other patches moved a significant amount of code into the XP realm (Aaron Lehmann), fixed bug 302 (Aaron Lehmann), fixed bug 782 (which was submitted along with a patch by Danny Faught), and plugged some memory leaks (Paul). Paul also created stubs for unimplemented dialogs and fixed some BeOS build problems. Thomas Fletcher ported the Word Count dialog to QNX. Sam Tobin-Hochstadt updated the file format documentation, fixed some word selection problems and made some minor error handling improvements.

AbiWord has again added another language to its arsenal, this time Hungarian, courtesy of Tamas Desci. His translation brought up some character set issues that are currently limiting our further expansion. This translation brings the total to 16. Jarmo Karvonen also updated the Finnish translation.

2. On The List

Despite a lull over the weekend, there has been lots of interesting discussion on the abiword-dev list this week, with 146 messages posted. Significant topics included:

  1. Graphics Support - This was easily the most discussed topic on the list, with people debating libraries, formats, conversion and everything else.
  2. Microsoft Word Exporter - In keeping with our round-trip philosophy, there was lots of discussion of exporting Word format, but no definitive conclusion.
  3. Infinite Undo - Paul sent a note outlining the design implications for supporting infinite undo in new editing features.
  4. Running AbiWord on AIX - Just because you use Big Iron doesn't mean you don't need a word processor. This week, AbiWord ran on AIX.
  5. Ruler Initialization - After both discussion and coding, several bugs with the ruler code were ironed out.
  6. Macintosh Libraries - Several people discussed the feasibility of including a number of files for improved Mac support.
  7. Spell Checking - Kevin Atkinson, aspell developer, provided us with his development API for spell checkers, hopefully leading us toward greater flexibility.
  8. Insert Symbol - Martin Sevior has continued his efforts to finish off this important dialog.

3. Project of the Week

A couple months ago, Joaquin Abela wrote an exporter for the LaTeX markup format. However, it has not yet been comprehensively tested. Hence the Project for this Week. Bob has created a series of 28 test documents that cover the vast majority of AbiWord's various features. The task for the ZAPPER is to convert each of these documents into LaTeX format, and see what formatting features are preserved, which are mangled, and which are unsupported. This will help keep our feature matrix up to date.

4. Bugzilla Status

Currently, Bugzilla lists 200 bugs outstanding, with 29 of those still in SUBMIT state. Last week, we closed 6 bugs, 4 of which were fixes, and 6 new bugs were opened. We continue to progress to 'zarro boogs.'

5. Other News

This week's cool patch award goes to Owen Stenseth for his work with string translation. Owen has created the script that generated our translation matrix.

This week's cool post award goes to Kevin Atkinson for his proposed spelling interface API. Hopefully, this impressive piece of work will have impact even beyond AbiWord.

Sam TH

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