AbiWord Weekly News #105, (2002, week 33, released 2002.08.19)

Welcome to issue 105 of the AbiWord Weekly News.

A week of interesting news worth repeating!   First, as most people who are interested in AbiWord probably know, gobeProductive™ will move over (eventually, someday, we're told) to the GPL.   Does this affect Abi?   No.   AbiWord is geared toward being purely a word processor.   "That doesn't sound competitive, who'd want just that?"   Well, Son, neither your mother or I need all that fancy UML, a graphics editor, a spreadsheet or a small patch for nuking Irac.   AbiWord's direct design is the brilliant part...of course, other stuff might occur too.

Second, most recently, Juliusz Chroboczek pointed out a small faux pas, the likes of which are unheard of in the world of Free Software and Open Source... more than once a day.   The TTF tool appears to come from ttfps.   We found out recently, by confession, no priest jokes please, that Tomas was the core cause of the stripping of the copyright.   He explained thus:

re: ttftool violates the Berne convention

I am the culprit who removed the copyright notice from the files from ttfps which are used in ttftool, I have done so without a malicious intent, after some deliberation in the light of the "licence" with which the program comes. The readme file from the package contains the following statement:


This software is provided with no guarantee, not even of any kind.

Feel free to do whatever you wish with it as long as you don't ask me to maintain it.

I understood this as implying two things: (1) the code was placed into a public domain; the statement effectively renders the copyright notices meaningless, because "whatever" includes the removal of them. (2) the author wanted to pretty much disassociate himself from any responsibility for code once released.

Having extended the code, I assumed that the author would not want to be associated with any new bugs, and felt it appropriate to remove the copyright notices; without this step the author would have been likely receiving numerous bug reports and requests for enhacement.

Not having included the author in AW credits list was a _bad_ oversight, for which I appologize. I am also more than happy to have the (c) lines included back in the files. However, I would like to point out, without trying to excuse bad error of judgement on my part, that if a persons wishes to maintain intellectual rights on software they write and distribute, they do have to include meaningful licence; the statement in the ttfps readme does not fall into that category.

Tomas Frydrych

Finally, some news in relation to the AWN.   The graph isn't present, yet.   I've decided to leave the link and see if it's lacking annoys hub or jesper.   I don't think a broken picture could possibly be more annoying than anything I type to replace it, but I'm open-minded and hopeful.   Closing bugs came back in style with a few biggies and blockers.   If you're lucky enough, a 1.0.3 with a lot of nice clean ups and added features may not be too far away!   Naturally, this will come with the un-ant-ed version of the Abi-Art;   I know Alan and Martin are looking forward to a debugging of the remaining WinArt.   Also, after a forwarded request,   I've been considering changes to the AWN, which will be noticeable next week.   If you want to get your thoughts in, you may want to do it quickly.   Requesting a change in editor, taste or sense of humour will result in immediate disclosure of your address to the RIAA as a "D.M.C.A. Violator." Jokes about Nederlandse will be forwarded to the proper address.   To stop me altogether, please jump to the bottom of the AWN and follow the instructions; donations over USD$5000 might stop me!   I will advertise any "Stop E. A. Zen" funds I hear about.

In this issue:

Editor(s) of this issue: E. A. Zen

CVS Stats

CVS checkins 2002.08.12 - 2002.08.18
WhoCommitsIn summary
fjfranklin 172 Configure fix, Cocoa, UTF fix, abicommand, gdict & AbiGdkPixbuf, experimental XAP_Resource & XAP_ResourceManager, "spring cleaning" and #include obsession, AND completed the Resource Manager...though, it remains untested
tomas_f 46 Single-Units: The OnGoing Quest, increasing the IQ of smart quotes, GR_Transform, homer simpson's guide to "donut fixes"
jordimas 25 dialogue fixes, toolbar repairation, Catalan string updates and property sheet class
dom 20 An Image Magick obsession becomes useful, ping the Blob (the Thing is next), UTF-8 support in hopes of better multi-frame image support
msevior 14 Much on the work of nesting tables, and hatching them soon with .abw support. Additionally, the top ruler can control the table columns, plus a super-hero-like ability to insert rows!
gg 13 Moving threads from option to compile, #ifndef code was asked to politely bugger off, and tarbar handling was moved and given extended memory-buffer capabilities. A special "hidey-ho, neighbour" to jeremy for contributing the zlib/contrib based code!
uwog 11 Localization repairs, Nederland translation is complete (at this time, atleast), cell gap to ruler cleaning and improved ruler consitency
mgilbert 10 Berne Convention Cleanup giving credit to Juliusz Chroboczek, some build fixing and, gah, Digital Unix repairs (snprintf)
jeremyd 10 Win32 build fixes (still needs work for fribidi) plus a typo!
wlach 3 Incorporated Ariya Hidayat's charitable work allowing AbiWord to support all WordPerfect extended characters...on import...in theory. Plus, some nice cleanup to the Unix Menu base.
phma 1 added corrections to the Romanian strings thanks to Mugurel Tudor

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.

POW2002.27 fix windows printing bugs

Jordi Mas is a great windows maintainer, but I'm sure he wouldn't mind a little help.

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 a programmer to do this.

Bug Statistics

Bug stats graph

I'm leaving the link, guys, you put it up!

I'm under the belief that users of POSIX-compliant operating systems, like myself, need their own channel.   Current technology-based cable channels are godawful and should be shot.   Sorry guys, a penguin in the background and claiming you like some GNU/Linux distro doesn't cut it.   Yes, I'm talking to you, yes you, Leo and Patrick: The Windows ScreenSavers.   Now, for the rest of us, this is what I'm seeing:   Shows that cover business and enterprise in free software, open source and even the commercial stuff, shows that cover the X11-beginners experience, like, how to make a shortcut to AbiWord from your GNOME desktop, shows that discuss specific areas of programming-- picture a nightly programme called, "The O'Reilly Hour" (not to be mistaken for a show of similar name), a daily block of shows from OSDN...Rob as a reporter... the closed captioning will have to make up for the misspellings that won't occur when Taco speaks, shows dedicated to humour (naturally) and maybe some of our favourite comic strips for Saturday mornings, one super two hour long show every Sunday evening that follows the development news, and finally, a political show, because politik has been of interest for longer than "recently," and if you don't believe me, visit Dickie's site...visit the archives....oh yeah.   Um, this idea is technically copyright, so, if someone starts pooling money for this...screw it, I don't want to steal money for a good cause, so, who wants to open an IPO with me?

Bug Votes

These are the week's Top 20 Bugs in the categories problems and requests for enhancements. Influence next week's results by casting your own votes.

Top 20 Problems
3269120---Crashing on printing
3171851.0.xrtf sets top and bottom margins to 0
376801.2File assosciate problems for all file types with Win32Slu......
352570---font incorrectly printed and spaced
1406611.0.xxhtml documents fail to open: "Bogus html document" msg
1747421.2background colour of text selection is always grey
1194391.2alt+xxxx does not insert special symbols
236230---AbiWord only prints across half of page
377829---Hanging indent setting ignores units
181825---Font reverts to Times New Roman when it shouldn't
2868251.2character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...
2421201.2TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......
380820FutureMicrosoft Word .doc files may crash Abiword
1394171.2on-screen landscape actually prints portrait in Win95
3216161.0.xtabstops can't be set in second (or third) column
376816---Hebrew diacritics misplaced
2299151.0.xPrints incorrect margins with split page.
292415---printing abw documents defaults to black pages
308315---[META] Redesign smart quote system
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement
12614981.2Need to support footnotes and endnotes
2321245Future[RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
2183189FutureFully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
236590FutureAbiWord needs 'view codes'
137467Future[RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
195062FutureWish for automatic Table of Contents
246351Futuresupport embedded objects
192941FutureHyphenation is missing in Abiword
256541FutureAdd true MS Word .doc export capability
114437FutureImprove KWord import/export filters
218630FutureThe insert page break setting is lost for custom styles
365730FutureRapid Document Production, Insert File
221927FutureAUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
51525Futurecolumns change should only affect selected text
1762251.2.0import html
229625Futuredoc import: footnotes
216924FutureLine numbering
236023FutureResizing bitmap images
341920---[RFE] Add microspacing feature for characters

Verified Bugs

In the past week, the following Bugs have been verified as fixed. The listed Bugs have all been put in RESOLVED mode as either FIXED or WORKSFORME and have then been verified by the people listed below. Other causes of resolving a Bug (e.g. as INVALID) are not tracked since they usually do not represent a fixed problem.

Bugs Verified This Week
Bug IDDescription
1276Table support
This Week's 5 Most Active QA Helpers
1Mark Gilbert

To get your name in neon, help QA the Bugs. If you want your name rather than your email address to appear, drop me a line.

Note: This script didn't get everything; this will be repaired in the future AWN. Oh, and congrats mg, I know you were quite proud of one of the bugs....

Latest Releases

Here are links to the latest official releases of AbiWord for various architectures and operating systems.

AbiWord 1.0.2- Release Notes
HPUX 10.20pa-riscabiword-1.0.2-sa-10.20.depot.gz
AbiWord 1.0.1- Release Notes
AbiWord 1.0.0- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.99.5- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.99.3- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.99.2- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.99.1- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.9.6- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.9.5- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.9.4- Release Notes

These are links to snapshot builds of AbiWord for a subset of the supported architectures/operating systems.

Note that the snapshot builds may not work (at all!), but are likely to include more features and have fewer bugs than (older) official releases. Use the official releases for "production systems" and the snapshot builds for testing and when you want to help with Bug triaging.

AbiWord Snapshots
Linux (GNOME+GTK)i386http://pino.frontisterion.nl/uwog/abiword/Provided by Marc Maurer, aka Wonder Boy! These are updated daily. Plugins, clip art, fonts and help files are available too.
Linux (GTK)i386http:// Gilbert's GCC3 tinderbox builds. Do not require libstdc++-libc6.2
Win32i386http://abiword.pchasm.org/Provided by Jeremy Davis. These are updated twice a day. Plugins are available too.
Win32i386http://www.niksbiks.dk/Software/Abi/Provided by Nikolaj Brandt Jensen. These are updated about once a week. BiDi builds are available too.

On the Mailing List

Traffic on the developer mailing list has settled at about 200-400 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. AWN thoughts, questions, suggestions: As mentioned, I open up the ideas for consideration in relation to AWN.

  2. feasible smart quote solution: Tomas dialogues with the hackers about his perception of how to improve smart quotes, likening them to arabic glyphs. If you were paying attention to the CVS, you know this extensive discussion lead to an interesting commit.  From the doomed to fail "smart quotes should already know if they're right" where Karl suggests an online document about how our predecessors and competitors deal with the concept to Thomas' abnormal concept of usability when he suggests what to do when you don't want them but want the feature on. Think "Control+Alt+Tab+Shift+T+O+M+A+S+spacebar+I+S+spacebar+G+O+D+!"

  3. Sourceforge statistics: Alan sends along some information that may make it to the future AWN or, if nothing else, a future related page.  Unlike most "interesting topics" of the developer's list, this one doesn't have many responses, but it is indeed interesting, so, I have added it.

  4. Commit: AbiMagick graphics class sort-of works: As mentioned in the CVS, Dom has taken on bringing ImageMagick (the display command;-) into AbiWord.  Thanks to his mind-blowing capability of getting bored quite easily, it's become incredibly extensive for something that's only three days old!

  5. re: ttftool violates the Berne convention: Tomas confesses to being the evil copyright stripper!  I'm not sure to go with an exotic dancer joke, another D.M.C.A. gag or just call him an evil MS-hating pirate!  You really should get an overview of the Berne Convention.

Special Interest --

From time to time, this section will contain essay-style text about various special interests of the AbiWord development.

Help promote AbiWord development by donating money. The money go to a general AbiWord "fund", presently hosted by Dom Lachowicz (cinamod@hotmail.com).
In order to donate money, you must have a PayPal account. If you do not already have one, the links above will allow you to open one. Please consider putting cinamod@hotmail.com in the "Referral ID" field, which results in a one-time $5 donation from PayPal to AbiWord development if you verify your account. Note that only donations of $3 or more are of interest. Sorry, this is due to the fees imposed by credit card companies and PayPal.