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AbiWord Weekly News #44, (2001, week 20, released 2001.05.27)

Welcome to issue 44 of the AbiWord Weekly News.

Again a belated issue of AbiWord Weekly News due to illness. I'm getting closer to sync though...

This week's issue (and last week's, actually) fix some inconsistencies in the CVS commit counts (now spans 7 days instead of 8), and also now counts files affected by checkins rather than number of functional changes. This makes it possible to automate the counting - oh, and bloats the numbers to make us look like busy beavers :)

Look below for what happened this week - I only want to emphasize one thing here: the German on-line help was greatly updated by Ralf Müller who also got patch of the week for that feat (yes, really, and it didn't even involve any programming! :) I'm really pleased to see the documentation side of AbiWord getting some attention now - after all, it's a tool used for writing, so it would be weird if we couldn't find writers to help us on that front.

In this issue:

Editor(s) of this issue: Jesper Skov

CVS Stats

2001.05.12 - 2001.05.18
WhoCommitsIn summary
phma 111 German on-line help updated (from Ralf Müller).
dom 33 HTML and BiDi hacking, fix some memory leaks, export styles in HTML (with John Clark).
sam 25 Work on the various matrices we use to keep track of progress.
cuenca 19 Mouse wheel changes, more work on dynamic menus.
hub 16 Work on Applix importer, updated UI matrix for Mac OS X, added some doxygen comments.
thomasf 14 Fix a nasty crasher bug, updated UI matrix for QNX, QNX menus cleanups, ispell support cleanup.
msevior 14 Styles cleanups, character style support.
mpritchett 9 Windows font dialog.
plam 3 Some crasher fixes (with Mike)
rms 1 Added bar tab to tab square in ruler.

Patch of the week goes to Ralf Müller for an amazing chunk of work to provide docs in German. Goes to show that good patches don't necessarily have to involve code!

Project Of the Week

POW (Project Of the Week) and the new uPOW (User Project Of the Week) is an attempt at attracting new developers and entice help from users by lowering the bar of entry to doing something constructive for AbiWord. A POW will describe a goal and often outline how to get there.

Presently we have a few unclaimed POWs. Please see the POW status page for more details.

POW2001.18ImageMagick multipurpose graphic importer
uPOW2001.17Where to send AbiWord announcements
uPOW2001.9Determining Locale Status
POW2001.9Speed up bulk spell checking
uPOW2001.7Host for AbiWord BugDay
uPOW2001.6Update Feature and UI matrices
POW2001.5Bug-buddy support for AbiWord
POW1999.47Make translated dialogs fit
uPOW1999.42Usability Test #1
uPOW1999.37CS folks wanted...

Bug Update

Here's the AbiWord bug update for the last week. If you can spare some time, please help us triage the bugs - you don't need to be able to program to do this.

Bug Counts

These are the bug counts for the past 4 weeks:

Date:        Submitted:    QA:           Open:
2001.04.27   23 (+109%)     58 (  +1%)   228 (  -1%)
2001.05.04   28 ( +21%)     49 ( -15%)   293 ( +28%)
2001.05.11   48 ( +71%)     51 (  +4%)   295 (  +0%)
2001.05.18   50 (  +4%)     58 ( +13%)   306 (  +3%)

Bug Votes

As a user of AbiWord, you are able to vote on bugs you'd like to see closed. The process is quite simple:

  1. Create yourself an account if you don't already have one.

  2. Bring up the bug list.

  3. Click on Bug IDs to read bug details.

  4. If you find an interesting bug you'd like to have fixed, cast your vote by clicking on the "Vote for this bug" link on the bug description page.

  5. You have 30 voting points you can cast in whatever proportions you'd like on anything between 1 and 30 bugs. But note that developers will likely prioritize a bug with 30 single votes than a bug with a single 30-unit vote. So vote with lower unit counts (5 or so) to make your voice heard!

From the sorted list of votes, we found the current Top 10 Bugs to be:

10301230.9.0 Font substitution table
141031future Please add .doc Save As file type in future releases
1182270.9.0 Cursor Disappears
127626future Handle tables
1408230.9.0 Automatic spellcheck splits words on accented characters (and specials, other languages, non ASCII symbols)
1445150.9.0 Documents saved as .abw are sometimes flagged as bogus document
1381100.9.0 I want an install fonts option
1046100.9.0 Some localized strings truncated in Windows version
105610Future Redraw performance is dog slow. Sometimes unacceptably slow.
133310Future Inserting a word is O(n) in the number of words in the document

Target Milestones

We have just started nominating bugs for the next two big releases. You (as a user or developer) can have your say on which bugs to nominate by casting your vote on bugs as described above. The current milestone distribution is as follows:

MilestoneBug count
Without Nomination166

Closed Bugs

In the past week, the following 2 bugs have been closed (i.e., closed and verified fixed):

1414 and 1435

On the Mailing List

Traffic on the developer mailing list has been slow this week. Presumably hinting at the fact that many of the developers are students and are busy preparing for exams. Hopefully traffic, and development, will pick up again in the summer break. This week, interesting topics included:

  1. commit/HALF ZAP: Fix ispell stuff: Thomas Fletcher took a stab at cleaning up the ispell support code. All the developers hate the ispell code and wish it could be flushed from the tree, but it's unfortunately not possible until someone helps get pspell and aspell working on all of our supported platforms.
  2. Styles again: Martin keeps pushing the issue of styles, and this thread contains some good stuff: both desired behavior and some insight into the design of properties support in the existing backend.
  3. Status matrices: Sam made it possible to autogenerate the status matrices on the web pages from XML sources in the code tree. This caused QNX and Mac OS X entries to be updated swiftly.
  4. Unicode UCS-2 importer: Andrew Dunbar proposed extending the previous Unicode (UTF-8) importer to handle UCS-2 formatted documents as well. UTF-8 is the de-facto standard on Unix, and UCS-2 is more common on Windows. It took a few iterations before everybody was happy, but it's in the tree now.
  5. bar tab: Making the over/underline tables was a bit tedious due to some missing UI details. This was addressed pretty quickly by rms (no, not The RMS :) with some help from Paul and Martin.
  6. Commit: more Applix import: This was the second of two commits from Hubert, adding an Applix importer.
  7. Commit: MsWord Bidi support: Dom improved the MS Word importer to also deal with Bidirectional text (eg, Hebrew or Arabic).

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