AbiWord Weekly News #109, (2002, week 37, released 2002.09.16)

Welcome to issue 109 of the AbiWord Weekly News.

      Less Cute Maintainer of All Stable Things (Mark Gilbert) declares 1.0.3, Désir satisfait, "worst release, EVER!"*   Delayed by several binaries and couple of bugs, 1.0.3 is practically on it's way out the door!*

      Eye-Candy included in here, plus, for those of you that can't make it to chat:   "I have a fever 107...CELSIUS!, but I was inspired."*   Of course we worry about Marc's health, but you can't beat this with a cue stick!

      Oh, and if you'd like to know what's in this week's AWN, we have: more eye-candy, 1.0.3 on a roll, a POW in midZAP, Gilbertian thought, oh, and did anyone tell you today about 1.0.3 being tagged and tarballs already available?  The name is Prussian for "worst release, EVER!"*  I believe it to be an innuenduous reference*.

*"worst release, EVER!":  He may have been joking and didn't honestly think I'd put it up; this shows him how yellow journalistic I can be!
*out the door!:  Well, like I said, the pre-release tarballs are available; last minute bugs and waiting for binaries could still take a couple of weeks.
*"I have a fever 107...CELSIUS!, but I was inspired.":  Marc may never have technically said that; in fact, technically, I could have just made it up.
*The name is Prussian for "worst release, EVER!":  I don't speak Prussian, so don't quote me--see first footnote.
*I believe it to be an innuenduous reference:  There is a notable chance I'm just making Mark look bad for our amusement, and therefore, I may already know better, so, it may be totally non-sexual sensationalism used for your, no, my amusement.
*Footnotes:  After pitying poor Mark, I've decided to tag these on before Linux Today places the link up.   As you Windows users may have noticed, I switched to the primary *.com address, so, you needn't go, "Aww, RAMmit!"   Those of you who have gotten used to my, um, "unique" sense of humour don't need these, but hey, that's life.

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. commit - Move Toolbar Strings into .string files :  Michael announces that he's moved the toolbar strings into the rest of the string files.   He explains that this is in preparation of moving to gettext mode, which shall shrink the executable by approximately 150Kb.   More intriguing is Andrew's look at how languages will need specific localisation, which touches on icons and bidi.   If you're interested in seeing the challenges of trying to build an international programme that lacks too many assumptions, this will be of greatest interest to you.

  2. I18N and L10N pages on abisource.com :  Andrew voices his interest in addressing internationalisation issues, which, by the smell of things, may mean yet another top20 table, so, you better get your votes in now, before the Nederlandse bloat the vote ;-)

  3. Coding standards :  Hey, Kids!   Anyone interested in adding code to the AbiSource may feel free to check out the doc directory (as in documentation).

  4. Commit: SVG PLUGIN IMPORT :  Dom brings SVG to AbiWord, but if you want the screenshot, you'll have to move one down:   Re: SVG PLUGIN IMPORT

  5. release-1-0-3 "Désir satisfait" tagged :  It's a pre-release source code only last minute check type of thing.   Read:  Not ready for primetime.   So, don't go about replacing your very comparable 1.0.2 yet.   Besides, this is, and I do quote the man, himself, "worst release, EVER!"

  6. commit: 1st step on POW: Convert Aiksaurus to GTK+2 , commit: second step of making AiksaurusGTK+2 and commit: step 2 of AIksaurus -> gtk2 is complete :  rms (Rui not Dickie) is ZAPping a POW!   Convert Aiksaurus to GTK+2 is almost complete, and therefore, in grey.   The Force is strong on this one....

  7. commit: Improvements to RTF table export. :  Microsoft's documentation leaves Martin wanting.   This is resulting in discussion what can and can't be supported, and how some of Monopolysoft's handling in both applications and documentation could result in a "postal" response.   Open Office's solution was, and this is loosely paraphrased with my inborn sense of sensationalism, "Screw this, we'll just work on .doc and let .rtf smoke itself to death."   In response to Dom's paraphrasing of my paraphrase, Caolan McNamara has decided to maintain OO's RTF branchlet.


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
mpritchett 115 Strings(Toolbar to primary strings file), MSVC(Compiler warnings and MG error), GCC(compiler warnings),
dom  78 tables(import wml), toolbar labels (with mpritchett), paragraph reveal/hide button, iconv fixes (including Solaris), QNX (unit detection made case insensitive, file/open bug, units bug, image bug), virtual image handling, SVG! WAY TO GO, DOM!, other graphical happiness, fix a "shed-load" of compiler warnings (Unix and XP?), UTF-8 (for Jordi?), Single Units work (incomplete) and bugs ( 3609, 3610, 3612, 3615, 3616 and 3617 )
phearbear  20 Apparently phearbear has become insane, goofy or both, as the bugs involve being silly or stupid or infinite, but here it goes:   Caret disabler, work around, warnings, removed debug missives, and XP commit.   Intentionally avoiding my clean & green phrase!  I see you!  I know what you're really doing!
hippietrail  18 Strings(Hebrew: Omer Zak, Polish: Andrzej Pruszynski), Code Page repairations, removed experimental source files (ooh, 'sperimentin' with dangerous chemicals!), Code Guidline conformation (same as in mailinglist), Languages (Hausa & Hawaiian language entry & support)
rms  17 pt-PT strings update, duplicate case fix, clean after build, UTF=8 correction (text went back to ye ol' UTF), line to check for clippart and Aiksaurus plugin (ZAP!).
uwog   9 snprintf>g_snprintf (why?), remove duplicate PTX_SectionHdrFtr case statement, MacDink-port the Colour-picker widget from GNOME2 to purely GTK2 (and the crowd goes wild?)
msevior   9 RTF tables (hmm, RTFT, no, people would get the wrong idea), verticle merged cells en all that, delete table, And!, in his own words, "Anyway, Word 2000 recognizes our tables now."
jordimas   5 Menu & menu icon fixes
mgilbert   5 updates to BUILD.TXT, "Should not run autoconf or automake in a .spec file," and got a (rejected) entry in the MIT dic server for the definition of Abbit:
"Gilbertian theorum referring to whatever is in the mind of a non-present person."
plam   4 Caret(10ms delay & fixes shadow, removed unnecessary reference in fv_View)
chrisime   1 Updated German translation.
wlach   1 A Dom-Approved™ Compile-time syntax error fix
*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
Current Hero:  Rui Miguel Silva Seabra

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
Current Hero:  The mastery of Kung Fu has yet to appear.

Name:  Fix Windows printing boogs (bug 3239)
Description:  Tackle some or more of the various bugs that cause issues in attempting to print under Windows
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
Current Hero: Not one MoFo yet has had the Huevos for this POW

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
Current Hero:  Jordi Mas

Bug Update

Bug Statistics

Bug stats graph

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

      This week, readers were anticipating my interview with the FreeBSD Daemon; however, breaking events, i.e. sensationalistic rumour going on in chat (irc.gnome.org#abiword if you're interested), have resulted in a quickie on the concept of "Gilbertian Thought."

      You might be thinking, "What is Gilbertian Thought?"   Well, let's go through the basics to get you started.   One day, AbiHacker Mark Gilbert was born; on that day, he had a thought that he remembered for all time:   What the #*@% is going on!?   This began an entire series of concept and philosophies, borrowing heavily from Anti-Solipsism, Neitzche and variations on Murphy's Law, and it all ends with Open Source, Meta-Humour and the Internet.

      Just to go through these in ways you can understand:

  • Anti-Solipsism:  I am a generated interface of other people's thoughts, and do not exist on my own.
  • Neitzche:  God gave up and went home; we're screwed.
  • Murphy's Law variations:  It nolonger matters, all things will go wrong.
  • Open Source:  Darwinian theory, put into algorhythmic thought.
  • Meta-Humour:  So this guy walks into a bar. Sits down, bartender says "what'll ya have?", guy says " a punchline." get it? get it? he wants a punchline, because there really is none, but that _is_ the punchline! ha ha <-- also, an mg original
  • The Internet:  FREE DATA!  Who wants some Intellectual Property?  Warez and Porn, Warez and Porn, Warez and Porn, Spam!
  • Darwinian Theory:  Due to errors that make things better, things keep getting better (this contradicts variants on Murphy's Law, but F*'em)
  • Intellectual Property:  Things that should be under a copyright, but some wiseguy at the USPTO decided it can have a patent instead.
  • Warez:  Intellectual property you should pay for but don't.
  • Spam:  Pre-Canned crap distributed in bulk. (see how ambiguous that was?)
  •       Now, after having gone through all of that, let's combine them in groups.   When you combine variations on Murphy's Law, Neitzche and Anti-Solipsism, you get:   All things were doomed, so God went on permanent holiday, and you are only sustained by everyone else already being there.   Now, when you combine the Internet, Meta-Humour and Open Source, you get:   So, this guy emails everyone in the world with the promise of the most well known comedy routine of all time; it's punchline.vbs, which emails everyone else in the world.   Now, we combine the two thoughts and we get:   Without God, the Universe can only continue to exist on the Internet, and the more it is available, the better its chances for survival.

    Now you're ready for your first Gilbertian exercise:   If a tree falls in a woods and nobody is around to see it, will you stream the sound in MP3 or Real Media?

    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
    1374  96 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
    2365  90 Future AbiWord needs 'view codes'
    1950  87 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
    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
    3940 Can't build with Perl 5.8.0
    3991 Crashes at opening
    This Week's Most Active QA Helper: Mark Gilbert
    Verified Name
    2 Mark Gilbert

          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 thinking...next week.

    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.