AbiWord Weekly News #120, (2002, week 48, released 2002.12.17)

Welcome to this issue 120 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      First off, I want to apologized for the unperceived lateness of the past three AWN's.   We're still in time traveling mode, but now, I'll be completely unoccupied this week!   So, I'm hoping to hand one of these out every day now, and be caught up for next week's.   Additionally, two points I'd like to bring up about last week's AWN.   One:  Though Dom's dead gnome is still dead, his libraries are well stacked.   Two:  I've come up with a name for the Regressions Test team, which you're welcome to join by the way.   Said team shall be known as "Project Blue Ant."   They'll debunk the hoaxes and file the real Unidentified Feature Outages.

This week in development

      Nyorp went down due to a familiar hardware problem (what...you thought Linux had a problem?).   This is the secret to why time travel is necessary, as I went on vacation by this point in time.   Some very nice MacDinkery has grown within Marc's latest Secret Project, while Will's frame refactoring has been the most productive event in sometime.   I'm informed that Project Blue Ant had been chugging along nicely upto three weeks into the future.   The biggest thing, due to Dom's recommendation last week (or was it two), those RFE's are getting tagged and taken.   You may want to jump down to the Top20 RFE's now to see where your next vote may go.

Inside Joke

      The French are mounting an assault on New Zealand.   I anticipate the rationing of cigarettes will anger native Parisians.

This Issue

      And remember, I give you an email address so you can talk to me, in case you're not on ither mailing list.

In this issue:

Editor(s) of this issue:  E. A. Zen

      If you're interested in using AbiWord for the first time, receiving a more uptodate version, any particular version or special release, feel free to visit the new  Latest Releases page.

DISCLAIMER:  It should be generally noted that anything said before the "In this issue:" line is purely editorial.


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. Nyorp back up, Scheduled to be down this Friday :   Dom informs everyone the reason NYORP (the AbiServer) went down was due to an over-heated 3Com switch, which sounds awfully familiar!   Also, in case you didn't find out, NYORP was also down this Friday (the one three weeks ago), for reasons that went unexplained but maybe related.   As your reporter, I probably should have asked....

  2. Commit: Default Open/Save directory :   Dom added a dialogue to allow Unix users to change their default save directory.   This is very nice, especially for those of us with a ./documents directory.

  3. Commit: Dragging images around works (sort-of) , Commit: Drag+Drop editing and Commit (HEAD): draw fancy image resize boxes :   Dom adds Marc's work for dragging images around (not resizing), with minimal alterations made by himself.   To use it in the latest CVS builds, just hold control and the left mouse button.   Later, Dom adds functionality to allow selection and dragging of both text and imagery.   Marc then returns to add nice li'l macdinky image resize boxes.

  4. Re: Compile error on Irix from cvs tree :   Part of Compile error on Irix from cvs tree, Martin MOKREJŠ points out the difficulty in acquiring an often forgotten library, popt.   Granted that maybe four of you at the most may possess an interest in this, but I like to share.

  5. commit: Drag table lines with mouse. Other stuff. :   Among additional fixes, and as you might guess from the name, Martin's latest commit allows the user to drag the lines of the tables.   In fact, I pretty much didn't even have to comment on that.   Yeah, life's good.

  6. Is anybody experiencing difficulties getting into the CVS source? :   Same question in the subject is brought to attention by besnik bleta, who, using the Tortoise CVS client, was unable to access the cvs tree for three days.   Marc experienced similar problems (which magically self-corrected LISP(possibly via the power of Hub)) and recommended using the IP.

  7. Mail Merge UI :   Martin wants to build a GUI for Dom's mail merge additions.   He has some outstanding (as in unanswered) questions before getting started.

This week, interesting topics on the user list included:

  1. Styles :   The default documentation's incompleteness rears its ugly head, as alastair searches for template help.   Dom points to a possibly existing howto here.

  2. discreapincy (sic) between ispell and aspell :   Chris Winne finds out that aspell is, as many already know, superior to its predecessor, ispell but remains curious as to the speed and efficiency of aspell in conjunction with larger documents.

      I have all sorts of bits and bobs of good possibilities here; however, it would appear that follow-ups were off-list, as no answers occur...either that or the users were abandoned, and after the whole thing about GNOME's death, who wants to go there?   I mean other than me.... ;o)

This week, interesting topics on the outside of abidom included:

  1. (FootNote:) Re: AbiWord Weekly News #119 :   The GNOME is dead thing was noticed by some readers...this goes to show, if you repeat something enough, even humans will start to take notice.

  2. (FootNote:) Re: AbiWord Weekly News #119 :   Dom clarifies the comment about his declaring GNOME dead.   Apparently, as Martin pointed out earlier, unfortunately, GNOME2 work continues on and the integration will come in time.   My favourite part being that a week before taking over as editor, Dom honestly told me I could sensationalize his words any way I want.   Too abusive...sometimes, but Hub seems entertained (or too busy to stop me from uploading).   You know...Dom's a closet QT-lover....


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 2002.11.24 - 2002.11.30
Who Commits In summary
wlach 118 P-POW!, Personal Project Of the Week, the frame refactoring-- Frame Refactoring, episode II: Attack of the Strings. Some quick notes while scrolling through the text (heh): Titlebar uses UT_string, unneeded scrollbars disappear (just like houdini!)...
Calling all users, calling all users:
Special request for Regression Testing
Join in; save the AbiWorld; be a hero!
Viva el Abi!

And returned the rulers to scrolling with the page.
Thank you, and have a nice day.
hub  85 new status bar, in-step refactoring for Cocoa, removed platform specific #includes, changed NSControllers to use frame impl, abipbx/abipbx.pbproj/project.pbxproj was updated in some magical way (I do summaries offline, so, I'm pretty lost) "removed dependency on cdump: splash.png and sidebar.png are now resource files loaded with NSImage,*" made some cocode (cocoa code) more concise.
msevior  39 Drag table lines with the mouse, MS Word import crash fixed, double clicking a table line now sets it to auto-format, another "make printing on unix work again" statement (you know, I see at least one of these a week; it's amazing there are periods of printing at all!)*
dom  24 Compile fixes, Some funny dataless comment about Abi's current SXW being readable by OpenOffice (even though it lacks any data behind it, mind you), default open/save directory, some GNOME HIG compliance, toolbars test for "null-ness," view modes crash fixed, "iMove iMages aRound,*" changed memcopy to memmove while freeing the slaves, drag+drop editing, fix irix compile errors, and bugs ( 4276, 4383 and 4383, )
jeremyd  21 In step frame refactoring for Win32
fjfranklin  14 Ut oh, someone's been messing with wv! Lessee what Frank did this week:
bump version number to, 0.7.4-ish (c. Gerben Wierda), initialize whole of parse struct (Corby), change wvFree() into a macro - set ptr to NULL (fjf LISP(The Minister of the Ministry of Redundant Redundancy called, Frank, he says you owe him $25 on royalties or remain in violation of the DMCA*)). free() memory*, clean-up for compiler warnings on Darwin (hub), don't include wvinternal.h (which doesn't get installed) (c. mg*), const-ness in scandir: use __sgi to select for IRIX - is this correct?*;
If wv's were bread and cheese, there'd be lots of room for pr0n
Removed the part of the XHTML import where courier got quotes around it thus breaking the AWML export.
uwog  12 removed TODO.TXT (obsolete), added function of single click to select image, added function of background colour of text, something about indentation, fixed diving build breakage, then reverted back thus breaking Win32,
Howdy, Marc; you know I have to quote you for this next part, so, you may want to duck out of chat for a bit ;o)
"well, actually, I don't care if I break win32, win32 is lame anyway :)"
really fancy image resize boxes and some other small thingies and bug 4255
tamlin  11 Memory fixery, delete font at destruction in Font Preview*, Win32 speed ups, Initialize this--delete that--you might think someone ran all this through Purify, AND fixed the setlocale issue.
phma   7 Amharic update by Daniel Yacob, Albanian update by Besnik Bleta, Lojban update by Pierre Abbat, Malaysian string update by Sharuzzaman Ahmat Raslan
mpritchett   2 Added Win32 cursors for martin's table resizing, Fixed location of #include "ap_Frame.h"
jordimas*   1 Something indescipable about the Win32 keyboard layout thingie maybe

*jordimas:  system-related work is Windows unless stated otherwise.
*phearbear:  Johan is missing in action
*cdump:  Quotes mean I'm utterly fcsking clueless, which happens often, but I should point it out.   Mark, you don't need to say anything.   Just sit there and be all freindly-like.
*all!):  No, it's not Martin, this just seems to be a pseudo-random occurrence.   Still, though, it is quite the bit amazing.
*aRound:  Not an exact quote, but an amusing one; don't you think?
*DMCA:  Speaking of violations, I'm literally copying and pasting most of this!
*free memory:  If only one could programme like in xml, and go </mem></mem></mem>...
*mg:  Mark owes the fund $20.
*correct?:  Yes.
*Font Preview:  That's Marc's first Secret Project I told many of you about back in the fall some time ago.

Weekly Prize Patch

      Dom, with the help of all those of you who donated to help keep AbiWord great, re-established the Weekly Prize Patch.   Established at $45 pre-charges (read: the financial companies cut), the prize is awarded by the decision of Martin and Dom, both of whom must agree on the winner.   Though neither Dom nor Martin may vote for themselves, they posses to "trumps" that allow them to vote for the other, therefore nullifying that other's vote.   Most importantly, winning is entirely dependent on how lagered-up Martin and Dom are at the time in question.

And the award goes to:

Announce: Patch Prize Winner

Well, this week, Martin and I thought it was a tie
between Marc (uwog, heads) and Will (wlach, tails). I
flipped a coin, and with Ruth as my witness, it landed
on tails.

So, Will, because of your great Frame refactoring
code, you're this week's prize winner! Great work.
Contact me to collect your $45 US if you're



      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 post 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)   Also, what a great way to get money from Dom!

Name:  Regression tests for the front-end AbiWord components.
Description:  Perform component-specific tests, document procedural changes and open bugs as necessary.
Advertisement:  Play the game and get a hero credit; more recognition than QA!
Recommended Outline:  Email abiwordtesting@matthewcraig.com and include available system types, AbiVersions and previous testing experience.   Receive testing instructions which will take one to two hours to complete.
Comments:  No experience required.   A good way to be introduced to AbiWord contribution efforts.
System:  Any and every OS.
AbiVersion:  1.0.3 only (for now atleast)
Challenge level:  *.... 1 star out of 5
Current Heros:  "Some of the most active were "Mikey", Tom Purl and Eric Blom."
          As far as I know, more people are welcome to help them!   And, as a user, it's practically your duty!

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 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.   Ah, another release, another change of what bugs are on the "Most Wanted" list.

Top 20 Problems
ID Votes Milestone Summary
3269 130 1.0.x Crashing on printing
3525  90 --- font incorrectly printed and spaced
 376  80 2.0 File assosciate problems for all file types with Win32Slu......
1406  61 1.0.x xhtml documents fail to open: "Bogus html document" msg
3457  51 --- Crash under GNOME when printing
 428  42 2.0 Hitting return at the beginning of a paragraph changes fo......
1747  42 2.0 background colour of text selection is always grey
2362  30 1.0.x AbiWord only prints across half of page
3970  30 --- changing layouts can lead to showing other location than ......
4049  30 --- Crash on open file from floppy or network drive.
4057  30 --- Thesaurus Shift+F7 keybindings shortcuts consistancey
4432  30 --- GTK2 Input Methods Unavailable
3778  29 --- Hanging indent setting ignores units
4216  29 --- Wrong line length, wont justify either...
2868  25 2.0 character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...
3579  20 --- Save corrupted when text pasted from web page and saved a......
1394  17 2.0 on-screen landscape actually prints portrait in Win95
2299  15 1.0.x Prints incorrect margins with split page.
2924  15 --- printing abw documents defaults to black pages
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement
ID Votes Milestone Summary
1261 562 2.0 Need to support footnotes and endnotes
2183 232 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
1374  96 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
1950  87 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
1144  67 --- Improve KWord import/export filters
2565  41 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
2490  40 2.0 Finish Cocoa Frontend
1929  36 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
 515  35 Future columns change should only affect selected text
2186  30 Future The insert page break setting is lost for custom styles
3668  26 --- Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
2296  25 Future doc import: footnotes
2169  24 Future Line numbering
1762  20 2.0 import html
3233  20 2.0 New Language preference menu
3419  20 Future [RFE] Add microspacing feature (tracking) for characters
1270  18 Future Abiword should graphical columns ala wordperfect 8/9
3393  18 --- Table of Contents, Table of Images, Table of Index genera......

      WOW!   Talk about taking Dom's message to heart.   Lots of big red highlights from my point of view.   Basic summary, many RFE's just vanished, among them are mail merge, math equations plugin, "view codes," automated table of contents, support for embedded objects, .doc export (i.e. not .rtf pretending to be .doc), LaTeX importer, save .doc option, window tabs (eww) and import .doc footnotes.

Resolved Bugs

      In the past week, the following Bugs have been verified as fixed.   The listed Bugs have all been put in either CLOSED or RESOLVED mode as FIXED. and QA will return next week along with the Flushed bugs.   I'm sticking with this until we can all do that voting thing since so few of you wrote in on your thoughts of this methode eitherway.

Bugs Resolved This Week
Resolution Number
Resolved 12
Verified  5
Closed  2
This Week's Most Active QA Helpers:
Verified Name
5 Martin "Miracle Worker" Sevior
4 Dom "My Wrath Soon Approaches" Lachowicz
3 David "Still Here" Null
3 Sam "What's the 'TH' again?" TH
2 Hubert "I...Am...Root" Figuiere
1 Frank "No one really golfs; it's just a practical joke on you" Franklin
1 Jordi "Uwog knows nothing of Win32" Mas

Flushed Bugs

      What you see here are either invalid bug reports or duplicates.   So, basically, I'm showing everyone else how doofy you are sometimes.   On average*, confirming duplication or non-validity takes four minutes and thirty-five seconds.   That's the equivelant of 8LLOC of time for Dom.   Any other questions why development isn't as fast as you want?

Non-Bugs Flushed this Week
Flushed Number
Invalid 2
Duplicate 2
Won't Fix 2
This Week's Most Active Bug Flushers:
Verified Name
3 Dave "Yup, I'm still here" Null
2 "Trust" No-one
1 Mark "$20" Gilbert

Caught Bugs

      Bug spotters, beware, we're watching you!

Bugs Found this Week
Caught Number
Unconfirmed 0, that's right, I said 0, zee-ee-arr-oh, zarro boogs found!
New 2
ReOpened 2

Release HackDown

      This is an AbiWord Weekly News original concept:  The Release Hackdown.   In the table below, you can watch what bugs are being fixed in preparation for the very next release.   Check the key at the bottom to understand formatting.

      No pressure, guys, I'm sure only 2000 or so people will be watching to see what you do weekly.   That breaks down to about 285 people daily and 12 people hourly, so, it's like being peeked at once every five minutes, literally.   "Isn't that veird!?"

HackDown to 1.0.4
Bug ID Description
2174 Can't import Cocoa RTF
2223 cannot open psiWord files (re-opened)
2715 crash on zoom
3008 Cursor not initially in hyperlink dialog
3109 Smart Insert Hyperlink, check to see if selected text is a hyperlink
3171 rtf sets top and bottom margins to 0 (re-opened)
3239 [META] Windows printing bugs
3453 Crashes repeatably while attempting to edit header
3488 Weird crash when editing
3489 Crash when deregistering plugins
3561 Crash on embedded AbiWord in Evolution
3625 Multi Substitution waste memory
3632 editing the numbering style of a roman numeral list hangs/crashes
3645 Page setup has a problem with margins in millimeters
3678 [STABLE]Crash when editing this Word document
3686 XAbiword version for bundle not properly set.
3697 [crash] blank abiword document viewed as text (View Source)
3755 AbiWord crashes during import of this MS Word document
3766 Dvorak Keyboard
3840 Loading World.abw crashes AbiWord"
3858 export wrong content when choosing export to "Simplified Chinese GB_2312-80" encoded text
4039 Too Many Curly Brackets in Exported LaTeX (duplicate)
4046 The spellchecker has gone gonzo since upgrading from 1.0.2 to 1.0.3
4068 Crash when mouse leaves selected header
4070 [META] crash on load bugs
4093 Program Terminates on Open
4097 Save dialog file extension weirdness
4125 .doc file does not import correctly (BiDi issues).
4183 Save/reload puts spurious characters in simple file in 1.0.3
4212 Phantom Text appears after loading file with custom tab settings
4283 // comments expose lots of bugs
4304 crash when changing font of certain text (e.g. page numbers)
4363 [STABLE] Abi crashes after document open/close if text selected

removed from list: 3324

*Strike-out bug numbers and greyed text are resolved.
*Bold bug numbers and bold text are assigned.
*Italicized bug numbers and italicized text are unconfirmed.
*Removed bugs are a sign you're being screwed.

      3489 gets crossed off and the rest of the world goes golfing.   This just in, Mark owes US$20, net after fees "and junk."

Betchya you thought you knew what went here, eh?

Current Balance: $1497.00
Interest earned: $4.00

Expenditures: $860
$400 to pay for Martin's Boston Gnome Summit Trip
$400 to buy Andrew Dunbar a new computer
$ 60 to misc./entertainment expenses at GNOME summit, GUAD3C, other, paid out of dom's pocket

Unique contributors: 44
paypal: 42
check :  1
cash  :  1

Contributions: $2477.00
Less paypal and other banking fees: $73.50

PLEASE!  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.