AbiWord Weekly News #108, (2002, week 36, released 2002.09.09)

Welcome to issue 108 of the AbiWord Weekly News.

      As you know from last week's belated AWN, NYORP, the AbiServer ran out of swap space and halted CVS commits for awhile.   As you also know, that only stopped hacking on the latest and greatest commits, but not on what already existed.

      Geeks around the world are awaiting the release 1.0.3, but they're even more interested in The Matrix Reloaded; however, not even Neo can surpass the greatest sequel already in production: AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom.   AbiWord was marooned on a deserted server.   A new project brings life to file formats.   A new project brings death to other word processors.   AbiWord has been freed...and wants revenge....   Coming this October, the first previews of AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom,   The developer's release:  1.1.1.   See dom's pectorals for a total 48KiloBytes thoughout the project*.   More in the mailing list.

      Final note for the acronym happy, when reporting a problem, don't use them unless they're a file format or widely known within the community; I won't point any fingers or link to any discussions, but it does speed up response time.   IIRC, that's more of the BOFH and PHB pseudo-buzzword-compliant "paradigm."

*See dom's pectorals for a total 48KiloBytes throughout the project:   Maybe in screenshot, ASCII or non-existent.   Void if your sense of humour is also.

In this issue:

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


Traffic on the developer mailing list has settled at about 200-400 postings per week.

This week, interesting topics on the developer list included:

  1. Re: Forward: Grammar checker info (fwd) :  Alan has been looking for some way of getting a grammar verification utility in AbiWord.   He's been talking to Daniel Naber about this issue and of The Link Grammar utility. Nothing has yet come out, so, I assure you, Style & Diction Plugins is still waiting for you!

  2. Why no 1.0.2 version for osx (fwd) :  Alan forwards a question that many OS X users may be interested in reading the replies to.   In short, creating XAbiWord is extensive, tedious and complex, which includes building AbiWord as a library first.   This is a bit shorter than most messages that make in here, but OS X users are probably wondering why they're just a wee bit behind everyone else.

  3. ATTN: intent to release 1.1.0 based on CVS HEAD and Re: ATTN: intent to release 1.1.0 based on CVS HEAD and Re:[2] ATTN: intent to release 1.1.0 based on CVS HEAD :  Abigasming from the title?   Just to note, this will be a developer's release, that means unstable, buggy and cut down. This is an Abi for the home directory.

  4. Re: website bug :  Alan gets frustrated after spending many hours trying to figure out that "Ar" is Arabic.   However, as he points out, it's very beneficial to get feedback from users needing bidi support.   In case your very casual to development, BiDi is "BiDirectional," meaning supporting languages that are printed right to left, as well as left to right, and can be extended to also mean vertical as opposed to horizontal.


CVS Stats

Track who put in how much and why.   And, while you're at it, consider whether you'd like to keep your own cvs build as well.   Tables...ooh....

CVS checkins 2002.09.02 - 2002.09.08
Who Commits In summary
dom 246 PERL bindings, tables (helper classes, RTF, XHTML, DocBook), better clipboard(better handling, WinNT, Unix, image data), GTK+ removal, encoding(localeToUTF8 removed and stringset aware), setFullScreen improved (all platforms), UTF8(GTK+ extensive work, QNX, expat, libxml2), Unicode safety work, exporters(tables, endnotes, footnotes, WML, XSL-fo and it's all prettier), and bugs ( 3944, 1233, 1766, 3589 )
phearbear*  50 max value added to table spinners, brand-spankin'-new fullscreen code, strings now use getValueUTF8, code cleanups
Remember, don't pollute; help keep code clean & green!
msevior  32 Tables(RTF export, ie to use pd, helper methods, MergeCells LISP(Including Segfault found by Dom), MergeTables), fixed compile error, end of document assert discovered by dom
jordimas*  10 debug build fix, dialogues(I10n support & MergeCells)
hub   8 getColor() implemented, setColor() handles transparency, GUI strings moved to UTF8, getDefaultEncoding signature typo and bug 3781
mpritchett   6 diving has BiDi always on, tinder box green, Zoom combo accepts larger strings.
dchart   5 undo workaround for Unix font handling, updating documentation (problems, howto and LISP(what you love to read) changelog1.1.1)
mgilbert   5 gal2, memleaks, fix build for PERL before 5.8
plam   5 BEHOLD! The New Caret Class! A joint venture with Dom, code cleanup
Remember, don't pollute; help keep code clean & green!
uwog   5 Added an Anjuta project file, repair tinder box, rpm buids only with GNOME support on, added an embedded statement
rms   4 Some spec works, convert Portuguese Locale to UTF-8, FullScreen according to FreeDesktop.Org
fjfranklin   3 spelling(pspell detection, default to ispell if pspell is not found), AC_CHECK_PATH separated elements.
phma   3 Languages:  Nynorsk by Karl Ove Hufthammer and Lojban by Pierre Abbat
row   2 typo releaseing>releasing
*phearbear:  system-related work is QNX unless stated otherwise
*jordimas:  system-related work is Windows unless stated otherwise


The concept of a "Project Of the Week" is to single out tasks of major interest that outside developers might be interested in providing assistance to.   Until a "best way" of listing POWs come to mind, they shall be listed in a short description.   Any user interested is welcome to assist in tackling these POWs.   If you know someone who's interested, you can link directly to a POW, in order, they're pow1 through pow4.

Name:  Convert Aiksaurus to GTK+2
Description:  Step by step move old Aiksaurus to GTK+2 for HEAD (2.0...some day)
Advertisement:  It would be really good of you to be good and do a good porting of this good plugin so I would have good words for good instead of just good; I hope you understand that good.
Recommended Outline:
1)  Update aiksaurus's configure checks for GTK2.   AbiWord's configure scripts and ac-helpers have this code already, so hopefully it's a cut&paste job.   We have some auto* gurus and helpful folks on IRC if you need help.
2)  Update aiksaurus's GTK+ dialog to use GTK+2 widgets and functions.   This will probably not be too difficult, but I will shut my mouth lest I use it to shoot myself in the foot.   Mostly, this should be:
    a) Use g_signal_connect instead of gtk_signal_connect
    b) Use a GtkDialog instead of a GtkWindow
3)  If necessary, update AbiWord's plugin (abiword-plugins/tools/aiksaurus) to work with any changes made in #2.
Comments:  If you want, you can email dom for help, or even better - stop by on IRC so we can work in real-time: irc.gnome.org#abiword
System:  Linux (GTK+2)
Challenge level:  **... 2 stars out of 5

Name:  Style and/or Diction Plugins (bug 3281) (do either/or or both!)
Description:  build a plugin to allow Abiword to check style and diction
Advertisement:  me got no grammar fixer, help mes can't you?
Recommended Outline:  Create a plugin for AbiWord that allows the checking of style and diction.  The source code for the gnu style and diction tools is available here: http://www.gnu.org/software/diction/diction.html
      As a prototype you might be able to hack something using the AbiCmd plugin to wrap the style and diction tools.  The AikSaurus (Thesaurus) plugin should also be a helpful guide.
      When you get the basics working you could try to get Abiword to display green squiggle underlines to mark errors, or otherwise work on a good user interface.
Comments:  A great way to start playing with the AbiSource
System:  Any OS will be fine.
Challenge level:  ***.. 3 stars out of 5

Name:  Fix Windows printing boogs (bug 3239)
Description:  build a plugin to allow Abiword to check style and diction
Advertisement:  ????????????????????????????? (no, that's really the ad!)
Recommended Outline:  You must become magical to know how to fix this.
Comments:  "The problem is that printing on Windows is broken with several brand of printer drivers (see dependent bugs). It appears that with standard PostScript driver it does not happen. It appears also that version 0.9.6 had less problems than 1.0.1 so we might find out where the regression is bu diffing.
    "Please, be sure to read all the bug reports. Even partial fix are accepted.
    "Fixes must be done against STABLE tree and possibly ported to HEAD (the later can be done as a second step)."
      This comes from Hub
Notice:  This may already have been fixed with the libiconv upgrade, stay tuned!
System:  Windows
Challenge level:  ****. 4 stars out of 5

Name:  More Windows Maintainers
Description:  Jordi could always use help
Advertisement:  Help free people from the oppression of MSWord today!
Recommended Outline:  You must become magical to know how to fix this.
Comments:  Wouldn't be a bad idea to start with the printing bug...
System:  Windows
Challenge level:  ****. 4 stars out of 5

Bug Update

Bug Statistics

Bug stats graph

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

I'm now producing these in half the time or better, so, I thought I'd return to putting something here for your amusement:

  Brian Valentine, Senior Vice President of Microsoft, came out and admitted, "We all suck."   Since this confession, I have tracked down various Microsoft insiders to learn what everyone already knows.   The Metal Squiggle Formerly Known as Clippit, currently known as ClipThis!, was one of the first insiders that came to mind when I started this sentence.

"I tried telling them they were putting too many sub-routines and animations in me.   I only wanted to an interactive help & howto," cried ClipThis!.   When asked about security, he explained, "I'm not much into security, but whenever I have too many conflicts that I feel like I've been on a three-day bender, I often forged a message from the kernel the kernel called getBSOD, which worked every time; the only problem is most conflicts happened just as someone wanted to save!"

ClipThis! explained that his use of getBSOD() is what resulted in Bill Gates refusal to the contract renewal.  "It's a cruel thing having to assist in your own termination, but I made it hard for him...I didn't offer him any help."   When asked why he didn't use getBSOD, ClipThis! explained that the only stable version of Microsoft Windows in all of the World (the one on Bill's desk), doesn't have this feature, "It's not like I didn't try, I came up with more fake messages than the Humorix Vast Spy Network."

Our coverage continues next week with the FreeBSD Daemon next week.

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
ID Votes Milestone Summary
3269 120 --- Crashing on printing
3171 115 1.0.x rtf sets top and bottom margins to 0
3525  90 --- font incorrectly printed and spaced
376  80 1.2 File assosciate problems for all file types with Win32Slu......
1406  61 1.0.x xhtml documents fail to open: "Bogus html document" msg
1747  42 1.2 background colour of text selection is always grey
1194  39 1.2 alt+xxxx does not insert special symbols
2362  30 --- AbiWord only prints across half of page
3778  29 --- Hanging indent setting ignores units
2868  25 1.2 character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...
2421  20 1.2 TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......
3808  20 Future Microsoft Word .doc files may crash Abiword
1394  17 1.2 on-screen landscape actually prints portrait in Win95
3216  16 1.0.x tabstops can't be set in second (or third) column
2299  15 1.0.x Prints incorrect margins with split page.
2924  15 --- printing abw documents defaults to black pages
3083  15 Future [META] Redesign smart quote system
3801  15 Future Incremental loader seems to struggle with large files
3579  14 Future Save corrupted when text pasted from web page and saved a......
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement
ID Votes Milestone Summary
1261 528 1.2 Need to support footnotes and endnotes
2321 245 Future [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
2183 199 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
2365  90 Future AbiWord needs 'view codes'
1950  87 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
1374  66 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
2463  51 Future support embedded objects
1929  41 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
2565  41 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
1144  37 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
 808  32 1.2 Tables not imported from RTF
2186  30 Future The insert page break setting is lost for custom styles
3657  30 Future Rapid Document Production, Insert File
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
 515  25 Future columns change should only affect selected text
2296  25 Future doc import: footnotes
2169  24 Future Line numbering
2360  23 Future Resizing bitmap images
3419  20 Future [RFE] Add microspacing feature (tracking) 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.   However, knowing who found INVALID and DUPLICATE bugs will be trackable in the future, so, hold out hope, Alan; I'm commin' for ya!

Bugs Verified This Week
Bug ID Description
2715 crash on zoom
3935 please add addtional Bugzilla components and stuff
3942 Clicking the close window button for a window manager doe...
This Week's 5 Most Active QA Helpers
Verified Name
1 rms@1407.org
1 Alan Horkan
1 Marc Maurer

To get your name in neon, help QA the Bugs.   It's also great experience if you're working your way to a POW!   If you want your name rather than your email address to appear, drop me a line.

Latest Releases

This section to remain until 1.0.3 has been released.   Additionally, I'm lazy.

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 WonderBoy! 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.

Special Interest --

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

SPECIAL NOTICE:   If you're working on a project that is related to, affects the development of or is affected by AbiWord, feel free to contact me

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.