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AbiWord Weekly News (1/31/2001)

The Return Of The Ant

Development News

This week was a busy one for AbiWord.  In CVS, there were a total of 66 commits, from 12 different developers.  Sadly, we haven’t added any new names to the credits file since January 11th. 

The most significant change this week was the addition of the Page Setup dialog.  This was implemented for GNOME and GTK by Dom, for Windows by Mike, and begun on QNX by Thomas.  This is one of the last dialogs that we need before we reach feature completeness, or the point that we can begin working on releasing AbiWord 1.0. 

Another big improvement this week was cutting and pasting lists, and a significant expansion of the capabilities of multi-level lists.  Additionally, we are now able to export lists to Rich Text Format.  This significant improvement comes from Martin, who gets the cool patch award for this week. 

Another big change this week was the upgrade to the newest version of expat, our default XML parsing library.  This change enabled a number of improvements, including use of expat as a shared library, and a simplification of our build system.  Finally, the new version of expat is significantly faster. 

Also this week, John Clark ZAPPED Martin’s POW from two weeks ago.  In doing this, he made sure that the cursor doesn’t move when it’s not supposed to. 

Also this week, Hubert contributed significant work on the Mac OS build of AbiWord, which is making significant progress.  Dom upgraded wv to version 0.6.4, which improves a number of aspects of that library.  Sam fixed bug 633, and Jesper fixed bug 1093. 

On The Lists

This week was a big one on abiword-dev, where 263 messages were posted.  Interesting topics included

  1. John’s ZAP - Everyone agreed this was an excellent patch, and discussion soon turned to comments.  There was discussion of where comments should be located, and encouragement of everyone modifying or adding functions to add Doxygen comments about them.
  2. Psiconv on Windows - The major difficulty of building AbiWord on Windows was then the new Psiconv library.  Tom described the current problems, related to linking, and then discussion on the best way to fix the problem continued for a while.  
  3. Doxygen Style - Continuing the earlier comments discussion, the merits of various locations of comments was hashed over.  Eventually it was decided to locate them in the code files, as opposed to the headers.  
  4. Scripting and Reliability - Mike posted a complaint that the AbiWord internal interfaces were not sufficient for adding scripting hooks.  Martin disagreed, and suggested a location where these interfaces were provided.  There was additional discussion, both about the particulars of this case, and the general need for structured interfaces in AbiWord.  
  5. Unicode fonts on Unix - Tomas supplied a patch to greatly improve our handling of different language input under X Windows.  This should be a significant boon to non-American users of AbiWord.  
  6. Unix Font Handling - Tomas again worked on our handling of Unicode, this time in the area of printing.  He wondered about a number of issues, and proposed several solutions.  This was discussed extensively between Tomas, Vlad and Leonard. 

Project Of The Week

This week, there’s lots of news on the POW front.  In addition to the ZAPPING of the POW from January 14th, several new Projects were issued.  Dom provided one of the Projects.  This is to provide a template system, similar to the one Microsoft Word has.  More details are available in his post.  Martin suggested the other, which is to implement tab leaders, giving users greater control over the formatting of their documents.  As always, details are available in his post

Other News

AbiWord now has nightly builds of the Debian GNU/Linux packages.  Get them from http://www.abisource.com/~sam/nightly, or add the following line to your sources.list file:

deb http://www.abisource.com/~sam/nightly/latest ./

Sam TH

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