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AbiWord Weekly News #57, (2001, week 33, released 2001.08.23)

Welcome to issue 57 of the AbiWord Weekly News.

Interesting postings about both embedding and scripting this week. Also another release (0.9.2) out this week. Read all about it...

Seeing as we're now in the 0.9.x cycle, I'd like to (yet again) ask people (users, developers, lurkers - the whole shebang) to go to the bug list in BugZilla and cast your votes for bugs you'd like to see fixed. The present list of priorities has not really changed for a long time (other than the bugs on it that have been nailed recently). This is your chance to voice your (personal) direction of the bug fixing effort! See below for details...

In this issue:

Editor(s) of this issue: Jesper Skov

CVS Stats

2001.08.11 - 2001.08.17
WhoCommitsIn summary
hub 36 Fix transposition error (from Nils Barth), KWord exporter (from Nils Barth), web updates for releases, new splash screen, fix configure issues, fix for spell checked words with accents (with help from Tim LaDuca and Mantas Kriauciunas), NetBSD build fixes (from bunk@fs.tum.de), fix make install (from Alec Wolman), Italian local update (from Marco Innocenti), WP import fixes (from William Lachance),
dchart 11 Release notes and on-line help updates.
jskov 5 AWN #56
frodo 3 configure/make fixes.
msevior 2 Enable Styles dialog and removed some debug messages.

Patch of the week goes to David for his continued work on the documentation side of AbiWord. Good stuff!

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.

POW2001.22Sorting contents of combo boxes, and splash screen preference option
POW2001.18ImageMagick multipurpose graphic importer
uPOW2001.17Where to send AbiWord announcements
uPOW2001.09Determining Locale Status
POW2001.09Speed up bulk spell checking
uPOW2001.07Host for AbiWord BugDay
uPOW2001.06Update Feature and UI matrices
POW2001.05Bug-buddy support for AbiWord
POW1999.47Make translated dialogs fit
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:
2001.07.27   68 ( -11%)    108 ( +24%)   318 (  +0%)
2001.08.03   87 ( +27%)    118 (  +9%)   316 (  +0%)
2001.08.10  107 ( +22%)    133 ( +12%)   311 (  -1%)
2001.08.17  112 (  +4%)    119 ( -10%)   329 (  +5%)

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:

1276185future Table support
10301360.9.0 Font substitution table
1410119future Please add .doc Microsoft Word Save As file type in future releases
101683Future PDF output would be nice
141839--- File/Page Setup box hangs on using OK to exit
1545361.0 Help only works for localizations en-US es-ES fr-FR
37634Future File assosciate problems for all file types with Win32Slurp
150530Future It would be nice if the menu strings were dynamically loadable
1747301.0 background colour of text selection is always grey
1046290.9.0 Some localized strings truncated in Windows version
1104260.9.0 AbiWord crashes when trying to load a particular MS Word file

Target Milestones

We have just started nominating bugs for the next two big releases. You, developer and user, 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 Nomination218

Closed Bugs

Note that there are many many bugs just waiting for QA before they can be closed. Please help!

In the past week, the following 22 bugs have been closed (i.e., closed and verified fixed):

348, 412, 483, 685, 877, 884, 908, 937, 1408, 1472, 1479, 1533, 1574, 1575, 1644, 1675, 1736, 1737, 1755, 1782, 1786 and 1861

On the Mailing List

Traffic on the developer mailing list has settled on about 200 postings per week.

You may also find interesting threads on the user and documentation lists (unfortunately the archive for the latter is broken at the moment).

This week, interesting topics on the developer list included:

  1. feature request: instead of multiple windows - how about option for tabbed layout: I think this was the first posting commenting on the way AbiWord behaves on close/quit. It has resulted in an awful lot of postings and new threads, both on the developer and user lists.

  2. Palm Doc support and feature requests: Garry Lancaster had some comments to the way Palm Docs are handled by AbiWord. Obviously, he was directed at BugZilla, since feature requests and suggestions for alternative ways of handling things tend to get lost in the mail archive. Incidently, seeing as Garry is working for (owns?) a company that wants to use AbiWord, Dom was quick (and right) to point out that sponser money would go a long way to get the requested changes made in a timely manner. Maybe we're getting to a point where we want to describe how people can contract AbiWord hackers to solve specific tasks?

  3. [RELEASE] Tree closing and tagging: Hubert announced the 0.9.2 tag.

  4. New splash screen: Hubert announced the new splash screen (by Jakub Steiner). And very nice it is too!

  5. Fwd: OEone Introduction: Mike Potter from OEone announced that they have embedded AbiWord in Mozilla for an internet device environment (here's a nice picture). It'll be interesting to see how long it'll take for the changes to be contributed back and folded into the main source base - embedding has been on the wish list for a long time. However, it's a definite post-1.0 operation.

  6. BiDi: Hubert is pointing out that people are asking about our BiDi support. Hopefully we'll get some developers who work with BiDi systems on board to help keep this nice feature in working order. For most of the Western developers it's hard to do anything about.

  7. Scripting: Following Mike Potter's posting on embedding AbiWord comes a posting relating to another long standing feature wish: scripting. David Mandelin posted a patch for making AbiWord a COM server on Windows. Hopefully it'll be possible to merge this with Orbit support in a nice XP abstraction. Again, post-1.0 material.

  8. KWord export: Nils Barth announced the start of a KWord exporter. Nice!

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