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AbiWord Weekly News #45, (2001, week 21, released 2001.05.27)

Welcome to issue 45 of the AbiWord Weekly News.

Appears we're back in sync with this issue. Hopefully we'll keep it that way for at least one or two issues :) And appologies for any pains this may have caused you news junkies.

Of special interest this week was Dom's addition of template support to AbiWord. I'm sure a lot of people will find this useful.

In this issue:

Editor(s) of this issue: Jesper Skov

CVS Stats

2001.05.19 - 2001.05.25
WhoCommitsIn summary
dom 176 AbiWord template support and template dialog, memory leak fixes, hash table changes, introduced AbiObjects (for reference counting), field and section handling for MSWord importer, span-level style support for HTML exporter.
phma 79 German documentation (from Ralf Müller) and French locale changes (from Gilles Saint-Denis).
msevior 38 List export/import for RTF, hacks on style support.
hub 16 Many doxygen comments added, some Mac changes, Chinese support in RTF importer, file extension fixes (from Andrew Dunbar), more Applix importer improvements, RTF importer fixes (from Andrew Dunbar).
sam 9 XHTML importer fixes and UCS-2 importer - both from Andrew Dunbar.
tamlin 8 MSVC build system updates, bug fixes.
thomasf 6 Template dialog for QNX, fixes to printing on QNX.
plam 4 xpm2bmp converter changes.
mpritchett 4 Win32 Encoding Manager support (from Andrew Dunbar), fix for A4 page selection problem on Windows.
rms 4 pt_PT locale updates.
jskov 3 AWN #42 release

Patch of the week is again shared, this week between Dom and Andrew. Dom for his template work. Andrew Dunbar, not for one particular patch, but for appearing to be all over the place without actually having CVS write access. Something to be fixed shortly, I'm sure.

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:
2001.05.04   28 ( +21%)     49 ( -15%)   293 ( +28%)
2001.05.11   48 ( +71%)     51 (  +4%)   295 (  +0%)
2001.05.18   50 (  +4%)     58 ( +13%)   306 (  +3%)
2001.05.25   55 ( +10%)     89 ( +53%)   287 (  -6%)

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

On the Mailing List

Traffic on the developer mailing list has been increasing again this week. People getting tired of preparing for their exams, by any chance? :) This week, interesting topics included:

  1. doxygenation: Hubert asked if the doxygen documentation is updated automatically on the web site from the sources, which Sam answered yes to - after which Hubert quickly added a lot of comments and a small overview for the importers. If you've not seen the doxygen comments before, you should definitely have a look.
  2. New modules in CVS: Sam made it a bit easier to access the sources in functional lumps as required for the various platforms by adding CVS modules.
  3. standalone import/export: Stuart D. Gathman asked for the wide variety of AbiWord importers and exporters to be made available in standalone form. But as Sam pointed out, they actually work with the AbiWord backend as an intermediate representation, so it's not really possible (or at least easy) to make those available in smaller packages. In any event, it's already possible to use AbiWord to convert between formats in batch mode, so except for the memory overhead, the functionality is available.
  4. Feature request: Brad posted a request for simple numerical calculation in fields. It apparently gave Martin a rather large itch, and he eagerly promised to make the work. The thread got rather long though (by AbiWord dev list standards anyway), since quite a few people didn't feel the feature was suited for a word processor. So here's one of those situations where the wish for a lean and mean word processor conflicts with the features hackers may want to add because it's fun. Fortunately, we now have a plugin architecture, so I'm sure a compromise will be worked out in the end. We'll see.
  5. Patch: Fix for Bug 1164, 2nd try: Talking about long threads, this one wins the price of the week. Appears that there was a lot of corner cases to sort out when dealing with RTF import, so Andrew Dunbar ended up revising his patch a great many times with feedback from Vlad, Dom, Hubert and Ha Shao. All worked out in the end though.
  6. german translation finished: Ralf Müller completed his major feat, translating all of the help files to German. Awesome!
  7. I'm back - sort of: Your fearless editor returns to the land of the living after having had his appendix removed. Cannot be advised to do just for fun. This probably makes it clear that having just a single editor for AbiWord Weekly News is a bad idea - we should have two, like the newly reborn GNOME summaries. If you'd like to help, please let me know (and please don't volunteer if you're a developer! :)
  8. Applix import!: Hubert "officially" announced his Applix importer as it now imports raw text. Good stuff!
  9. Me and my Purify: As has happened a few times before in the past, Mike went on the hunt for memory problems. We still need fixes for (some of) the leaks he found. Incidenly, this started a small thread on the availability of free tools to track down leaks. Seems we're still waiting for the support to go gold in GCC - I seem to remember to hear about a Purify-killer feature for GCC more than a year ago. We'll see.

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