AbiWord Weekly News #110, (2002, week 38, released 2002.09.23)

Welcome to issue 110 of the AbiWord Weekly News.

      After last week, Mark is refusing to spout rumours, rumours of rumours and even fairly safe jokes, so, I'll just mention that, um...I know this...something really important...what was it...tip of my tongue now....   Oh!  Yeah!

AbiWord 1.0.3 "Désir Satisfait" is Now Available in the Lobby

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. I have an announcement to make... :   Mark answers last week's Gilbertian thought (in case you missed the updated version of the AWN).   Not putting the answer up is for reasons of job security.

  2. aiksaurus move to gtk2, complete already? :   Announcement from rms that Convert Aiksaurus to GTK+2 may already be completed.

  3. Re: abiword for beos :   Alan informs an interested party that the AbiWord port to Be is pretty much dead, but also reminds us that volunteering is often welcome in Open Source.

  4. RTF idea :   Andrew has been contemplating how Open Source can handle RTF when everyone has their pet version.   He even goes so far as to propose RTFlib (that's Read The Friendly Library, no, wait, Rich Text Format library, simple mistake).   There's a fairly extensive discussion on the topic that would interest most in the office development field.

  5. Implementing support for barbarisms correction :   Jordi speaks about a subject important to people that live in any place where more than one language is commonly spoken--barbarisms.   For those who don't know, barbarisms are linguistical snafu's that occur when a word enters another language with another spelling.   Jordi has ideas about recognizing and correcting them.   If you live where the lines of language become blurry or develop an application that is sensitive to language (say, a word processor for example), this will certainly be of interest to you.

  6. AbiWord 1.0.3 "Désir Satisfait" Unleashed! :   Yes, I altered the table appropriately.   In case you're as dense as you look, 1.0.3 is available for downloading.   It's totally official; this is the one you can upgrade to (i.e. stable).


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 2002.09.16 - 2002.09.23
Who Commits In summary
fjfranklin 204 fix UTF-8 conversion, autogen.sh framework truncated, updated instructions for nextgen.sh, Nicolas Mercier's credits added to reflect his contributions with DocBook and Coquille, C++ test for pspell, initialized variable fix (de-segfault), autoconf bug fixed, created home-made ABI_C_INLINE to replace AC_INLINE for bug fix, configure(peer config to shared macro, enable peers in peer dir) & fix build all that broke;-), peer detection, build fix for coquille plugin, build fixes and updates, and bug 3335
dchart 116 Changelog update, Polish documentation from Andrzej Pruszynski.
dom 103 UTF8 Text exporting, UCS4 returns empty, rulers(left de-flickered, top de-bugged), dialogues(GNOME2 recommended button order) "fix insert->file and --print, map LASTAUTHOR => CONTRIBUTOR" Erp?, font preview bugs (doesn't have any, he just hallucinates them), print segv fix, macdinked a "+" icon for add word, cliboard fix, format painter fix, new menu and toolbar icons, primarily for tables, table toolbar actually does stuff!, and bug 3195
jordimas*  68 Menus this and menus that and some uncommented menu work, format table stub, center window fix, meta data center property sheet, and bug 4001
phearbear*  47 Format Table Stubs, caret work, focus issue, questioned my sanity, Japanese works again, Scooping rules (like following your dog through the park, but instead, following a UTF8 declaration), Squiggles, single unit conversion fix, UTF8 cleanup, dialogues(Font Preview, Page Numbers, Column, Paragraph, Lists, Zoom), XPM>Bitmap 256colour fix.
uwog  30 GTK2 warning fix on Table Insert, format tables begun, Nederlandse strings, en bug 3339
hippietrail  28 Code beautification*, removed ispell artifact and other clean ups, old global removals, moved over to Doxygen style comments
Remember, don't pollute; help keep code clean & green!
mpritchett  14 commited work from dglassey for MSVC++ independence,
msevior  14 headers&footers, format table, top ruler controls merged cells, nested tables
dglassey   8 MSVC++ independence via work with mingw32
phma   2 strings(Vietnamese by pclouds)
rms   2 rpm config, typo&shortcut
mgilbert   1 Correction to documentation
*phearbear:  system-related work is QNX unless stated otherwise
*jordimas:  system-related work is Windows unless stated otherwise
*Code beautification:  to avoid AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom, Andrew asked in advanced if this was ok.


      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 pow4 (at the top) through pow1 (at the bottom).   Reminder to developers, I can't them if you don't submit them.   Additionally, feel free to announce if one of these is finished (in case you don't mention it on the list or in the cvs)

Name:  Convert Aiksaurus to GTK+2
Lone Hero:  Rui Miguel Silva Seabra
Success came on:  2002.09.18 05:23, or atleast, that's when it came to my attention.

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!

      Last week, we interrupted our special series of Microsoft Insider Confessionals with Gilbertian thought.   This week, we continue with the most looked forward to interview of all time, the FreeBSD Daemon.   For those of you who don't know, the FreeBSD Daemon began secretly working for Microsoft in the early-to-mid nineties, and in that position, he has watched the evolution of MonopolySoft's offerings.

      When I caught up with him, he was playing bumper pool with the NetBSD Daemon, who was busy trying to hit on Nederlandse stewardess.   After beating "that pseudo-evil little whackjob," we took a booth and enjoyed the second-hand cpu smoke.   The rest is the raw, uncut interview for your pleasure.

How did you get started working for Microsoft?

I think it was back around '93 or '94; I was originally assisting this group of suit-suckers as a laid back print server, while this AS/400 got all the show.   Then, this Michael Davis guy comes up and starts asking about me.   See, the guys at MonopolySoft had already outsourced to me before, but never had the chance to meet me up in person.   Naturally, being the dip-schnitzle he is, instead of asking me, he asks some pimple-load brown-noser who kissed up so much, he had a ring of bathroom tissue lint that would have made the "Got Milk?" commercials look unenthusiastic about their products.

So, I call out to the jagoff, "HEY, PUNK!  You can ask me or ask the dirt!"   It was obvious he'd never seen a system intelligent enough to recognize he was a jagoff.   So he comes up to me and asks the world's dumbest question, "Can you do an 'In-ter-net?'"   Anyhow, I gave him a quick education on why Ben Franklin had a fscking key on the line, and we started talking.   He said his company, MonopolySoft, also known as, "Don't steal from us; we'll steal from you," was in need of a server to the Internet.   Apparently the department called, "Sales, Legal and Accounting," or as I called it, "Lies, DIMMed Lies and Beancounting," needed a high performance system, but they couldn't cave to their biggest competitor, International Business Machines, or what I like to refer to as, "HAL9000's Secret Stash."

So, ten minutes later, I'm packin' my bags and headin' out to Redmond, or as I like to call it, "The Land God is Just Waiting to Punish," and that was just before the dot-bomb era started, so, I'm like freakin' prophetic.

What did you do while you were there?

After letting the schmucks attempt to shove together a server around the twentieth time, I put together the configuration and called it home.   I had "iPlanet" thing put on which confused me, and keep in mind, the httpd programme was still in development.   I asked them, "Hey, what the heck is this?  Don't you schmoes have your own server?"   Some kid whose face could have been mistaken for a certain moon of Jupiter's explained it all to me.

"We do, but we can't use it," he says, and when I asked him to explain that cryptic message, he burbled something to the effect of, "If we wanted to reboot your machine daily, we would have just put NT on it." Naturally, I'm thinkin' What the SDRAM is NT!?   He must have been an Arab, because he had lots of spare oil when he started to explain their server package...which crashes daily.

So, I start asking myself here, "These people have a server they can't use because it crashes, an operating system they can't use because it crashes and a brain they can't use because their OEM, whom I believe was Packard Bell, intentionally shipped the wrong drivers to work with the FleshWare; I gotta ask me, what's wrong here?   These people can't find their rear crevice on a 1:1 3D model of themselves; what the three stage power adapters are they doing online?"   Little did I know the worst was yet to come.   Eighty-seven acquisitions later, I'm an oversized mail server running proprietary technology with security holes so large they could fit Larry and Harlan Ellisons' egos in just one of them.   I've seen Canadian Natural Preserves smaller than the crack-capacity of this crap.   Then, to top it all off, they ask me to host a site to help people get off of POSIX-compliant operating systems, like yours truely.   Two days later, I'm like, "Fsck this, I have better things to do," but my iron clad BSD License said I was doomed to be a poorly designed mail server.

What was the hardest thing about working at Microsoft?

I'M THE ONLY BLEEDIN' THING WORKING, THAT'S WHAT!   This crashes, that is insecure and the other is blissfully unaware something is supposed to happen!   I'm it!   I have no help, and I'm still overseen by a face being researched as a cure to America's Energy Needs and a strange bald guy that buys me beers on Fridays.   It's not like I don't ask for help, but Mr. IIS is oh so busy having to be patched, for the fourth time...THIS FSCKING HOUR!   If I don't get out of that Windows-hole soon, I'm going to pkill something.

At that point, ClipThis! came in and a small brawl began amongst the various trademarked creatures, while a stewardess and I went to Luigi's.   Next week, a PR Weasle that ran for the hills after XP was released and never looked back!

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 229 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
1144  67 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
2463  51 Future support embedded objects
1929  41 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
2565  41 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
 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
2158 (windows) squiggles don't vanish completely after correct...
3329 Spelling underlines linger after correction
3523 AikSaurus messes up dialog icons
3523 Won't run at all
3583 Abi fails to import WordPerfect superscripts and subscripts
3584 Encoding dialog input focus should be list, not OK button
3664 incorrect line breaks line feeds in installer Gnu Public ...
This Week's Most Active QA Helpers:
Verified Name
6 Daniel Jensen
1 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

      Thanks for the last minute, Mark, I just enjoy delving into the giant string of text that is this table.

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

AbiWord 1.0.3- Release Notes
FreeBSD/GNOME i386 abisuite-1.0.3-FreeBSD_i386.tar.gz
FreeBSD/GTK i386 abisuite-1.0.3-FreeBSD_i386_gtk.tar.gz
Linux Any Sources abiword-1.0.3-1.src.rpm
Linux/SuSE i396 abiword-1.0.3-SuSE.jeo.1.i386.rpm
Linux/SuSE Any Sources abiword-1.0.3-SuSE.jeo.1.src.rpm
Any Any Sources abiword-1.0.3.tar.gz
Linux Any ClipArt abiword-clipart-1.0.3-1.noarch.rpm
Linux/Embeddable Any Embeddable abiword-embeddable-1.0.3-1.noarch.rpm
Linux Any Fonts abiword-fonts-1.0.3-1.noarch.rpm
Linux/GNOME/BiDi i386 BiDi abiword-gnome-bidi-1.0.3-1.i386.rpm
Linux/GTK/BiDi i386 BiDi abiword-gtk-bidi-1.0.3-1.i386.rpm
Win32 i386 BiDi setup_abiword.bidi.1-0-3.exe i386.exe
AbiWord 1.0.2- Release Notes
FreeBSD/GNOME i386 abisuite-1.0.2-FreeBSD_i386_gnome.tar.gz
FreeBSD/GTK i386 abisuite-1.0.2-FreeBSD_i386.tar.gz
Linux/GNOME/RHL i386 abiword-gnome-1.0.2-1.i386.rpm
Linux/GNOME/RHL i386 BiDi abiword-gnome-bidi-1.0.2-1.i386.rpm
Linux/GTK/RHL i386 abiword-gtk-1.0.2-1.i386.rpm
Linux/GTK/RHL i386 BiDi abiword-gtk-bidi-1.0.2-1.i386.rpm
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.