AbiWord Weekly News #74, (2001, week 50, released 2001.12.17)

Welcome to issue 74 of the AbiWord Weekly News.

AbiWord 0.9.6 was released this week (or rather Sunday). We've now entered feature freeze, and will do bug-fixes-only releases numbered 0.99.x until AbiWord is (considered by the developers to be) good enough for 1.0 (hopefully in late January 2002).

Due to the Xmas (and moving house), I'll be away for a couple of weeks at least. So don't expect to see the next issue of AbiWord Weekly News until in January sometime - as usual I expect to do AWN for the weeks I've missed, so while the news will be delayed, they will get to you...

In this issue:

Editor(s) of this issue: Jesper Skov

CVS Stats

2001.12.08 - 2001.12.14
WhoCommitsIn summary
tomas_f 58 BiDi work, Unix PS changes (from Anthony), _draw optimizations, smart-quote fixes, added opaque overlay property to backend, italic fixes, DGP_POSTSCRIPT added, fixed Bug 2339, selection color changes, and RGB color helpers.
dom 51 Fixed bugs 1279, 1613, 1855, 2337, 2376 and more. Lock styles work, work on nroff exporter, web hacking, Unix background color fix, HTML exporter fix, perl bindings BSD build fix, BSD spell-check bug fixed, and fixed wv iw-IL bug.
fjfranklin 39 Autoconf hacking, and changed AkiSaurus build system.
jskov 31 Added a FAQ entry for font warning, added text about expectations for AbiWord, AWN#73 released, and handle user aborts in drop-down menus (GTK). Fixed undo coalascing of an empty document, and page sizes cleanup.
hub 25 0.9.6 release notes updated, change Carbon/MacOS screenshot to XDarwin, web download tweaks, RTF importer fix (from Dom), fix build breakage, fix bug 2328, and strip DOS line endings from a file.
phma 4 Brazilian updates (from Gladiston Santana), label set fixes, and fix Turkish strings.
aiken 3 Web hacking.
rms 3 Updated pt-PT strings, and made RPM spec handle plugins.
msevior 1 Require GNOME-vfs for GNOME builds.

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.

uPOW2001.17Where to send AbiWord announcements
uPOW2001.09Determining Locale Status
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:
2001.11.27  172 (  -2%)     69 ( -58%)   350 (  +7%)
2001.12.04  151 ( -12%)    112 ( +62%)   352 (  +0%)
2001.12.11  141 (  -6%)    141 ( +25%)   348 (  -1%)
2001.12.17  133 ( -12%)    118 ( -16%)   358 (  +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:

10301781.0 Font substitution table
37674Future File assosciate problems for all file types with Win32Slurp
1360641.0 custom pagesizes can't be entered
1271501.0 Postscript print formatting incorrect and inconsistent
1406471.0 xhtml documents fail to open: "Bogus html document" msg
1104441.0 AbiWord crashes when trying to load MS Word file
1876421.0 some MS Word documents without password are treated as passw
140241--- Can not use other than original type1 fonts
1545341.0 Help only works for localizations en-US es-ES fr-FR
1046311.0 Some localized strings truncated in Windows version
178131--- Toolbars do not remember position

And the Top 10 Requests For Enhancements to be:

1276495future Table support
1410256future Please add .doc Microsoft Word Save As file type in future releases
1261224future Need to support footnotes
1016119Future PDF output would be nice
1747421.2 background colour of text selection is always grey
232136--- Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
148732--- Implementation of font "encoding"
187520--- Import of StarOffice Writer documents (*.sdw)
1427151.0 "Lock" styles - disable all formatting commands except throu
176212future import html as produced by Netscape Mozilla Composer

Target Milestones

We are nominating bugs for the next two big releases. Users as well as developers, can have their say on which bugs to nominate by casting votes on bugs as described above. The current milestone distribution is as follows:

MilestoneBug count
Without Nomination299

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 48 bugs have been closed (i.e., closed (FIXED/WORKSFORME) and verified):

638, 950, 975, 1017, 1132, 1139, 1158, 1164, 1279, 1314, 1423, 1431, 1749, 1840, 1863, 1869, 1885, 1907, 1917, 1919, 1943, 1971, 1984, 2031, 2035, 2060, 2070, 2073, 2108, 2121, 2139, 2143, 2185, 2201, 2227, 2236, 2240, 2243, 2244, 2245, 2265, 2266, 2285, 2314, 2328, 2330, 2339, 2363,

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. bidi status report: Tomas reported on the present status of BiDi support in AbiWord. There's a good chance we'll be switching to BiDi being the default mode after 1.0.

  2. Slashdot Article: My rant on user expectations reached Slashdot last week. Gave us a lot of good PR, I think. There were also several good ideas suggested in the discussion - I think we'll try to make it easier to make new users contribute to AbiWord.

  3. generating revenues: As a followup to the expectations text, there was a discussion of how to generate some revenue from AbiWord - to pay for support and development. I personally don't believe it'll happen now - but probably in a year or so, AbiWord will be good enough to make people willing to pay for support - i.e., so much that it will make a difference.

  4. positive review: Hub posted the link to a (very) short (realistic and postive) review of AbiWord.

  5. AbiWord 0.9.6 (we love the internet) released: Martin announced the availability of AbiWord 0.9.6.

  6. On the Road to version 1.0: Dom posted the plans for the work up till the release of AbiWord 1.0. You want to read this one!