AbiWord Weekly News #122, (2002, week 50, released 2002.12.22)

Welcome to this issue 122 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      This is two days later than I wanted it out (obviously); however, it looks like I'll be caught for the end of the year!   The Debian fanatics have a much stronger sense of humour than I anticipated (or they know me to well), but the Mandrake-lovers made up for it...this week.   Additionally, I'll have uploaded this before going into chat, just so Mikey doesn't have to hit reload more than once.

This week in development

      A couple of chunks of eye-candy just waiting for you in this issue--the greatest of these is the OS X font clean ups.   Frank does quite a bit of work in html, xhtml, phtml...one might say, award winning work, but I don't get to say that.   And, a database plugin fresh from Dom and a PERL fix that's illuded developers due to it limited reproducibility because the issue is caused by specific build-types and revisions (often distro specific).   Plus, Mandrake users learn how to build a binary!   This is good fun!

Quote of the Week

      "Is C++ just trying to make my life impossible?   I swear, there's just no right way to do anything in C++, just three kinda-sucky ways."
      -- Will LaChance, during a re-implementation of a WordPerfect variant, before a prayer to Linus.   Yes, I really prayed (emailed) Linus.   Last I heard...it apparently worked.

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. Commit (HEAD): MacOS X fonts :   Hub's latest on the land of Aqua includes improving font appearance in line spacing plus some potential speed improvements.   "What's that?   Fonts?   Hey, Eric, shouldn't that require a screenshot?"   Well...Hub thought so; begin your  drooling!

  2. commit: abi: new dialog for HTML export options :   Frank adds a dialogue (off by default) for placing PHP script in an html/xhtml document.   Hint to Dickie:  This is related to the work I was telling you about last time.   For the rest of you thinking, "New dialogues require a screenshot," I present to you Frank's screenshot.

  3. Copy, Paste, and Styles :   David has an issue trying to connect to bugzilla.   Since most people use http://bugzilla.abisource.com, there is the freakish moment when the domain (anything before abisource.com) won't resolve.   Hub informs David that one may also connect via http://www.abisource.com/bugzilla/

  4. AbiWord Weekly News #119 (2002, week 47) released :   Your AWN editor returned for the first time in three weeks.   I forwarded هن؟، 's (dunno how that'll come out in ASCII/whatever-encoding) abi-ant ascii art at Alan's request.   And, Jeremy and Andrzej sent in some corrections which I made pretty quickly.   Note:  Jeremy's correction sent offlist was just a message informing that only the nightly tinderbox builds are nolonger available, and that nightly builds for Win32 would continue to be available soon-ish....

  5. Re: How to include hindi in abiword, translation :   Andrew replies to the list on some information that maybe of interest for Linux users whose native language is not available for AbiWord.   It's pretty minimalistic in simply stating for Windows users how to get the native encoding while informing Linux users that some googling may be necessary to find a keymap.

  6. Patch for build of perl bindings :   Chris Winne has had some issues with the magical world of PERL, and after some reproducibility, was able to get help from Shane Mason of PerlBox.

  7. Commit: GDA Database plugin :   Far beyond plain, old mail-merge, Dom creates a plugin to allow users to connect to a database for related functions.   Though it is, as he puts it, "not the most user-friendly thing in the universe," it is functional and ready, so long as you know a bit of SQL.

  8. E-mail change in Bugzilla :   Karl needs to change his email address, which the version of Bugzilla that AbiSource is using doesn't allow.   Hub not only adjusts Karl's email but gives an approximate on the next upgrade of AbiSource's Bugzilla.   For those interested, Hub anticipates the chance to upgrade may occur in early (read: first nine months of) 2002.

  9. Proposed Patch: bug 4419 :   Mikey, the same as in Project Blue Ant, sent up a patch to fix a Win32 issue with improperly labeled text boxes in the list dialogue (bug 4419).

Traffic on the  user mailing list is sporadic at best.   Often, a good topic comes up, but users tend to only respond to the original poster rather than the list (as well), which limits what I would add, as the only lone threads I post are announcements of great interest or importance.   This week, interesting topics on the user list included:

  1. problem installing on Mandrake 9.0 :   Dern it!   A near PR disaster not caused by me!   I mean....   Luis Hurtiz asks why the RPM on the site isn't working on his Mandrake system.   Hub's quick response of, "The RPM that we provide is NOT meant to be installed on Mandrake," is interpreted by a couple of users as anti-Mandrakian.   As Dom explains, the binaries provided by AbiSource, whether on AbiSource or SourceForge, are provided in turn by developers and users alike; therefore, if a Mandrake binary isn't provided by AbiSource, it wasn't provided by a Mandrake user or developer.   Dom also give explicit instructions, here, on how to build an RPM for your system.

  2. Language (still!) :   An ironic title from Bernard Lambey, as it might make more sense if he just used his native French (warning: assumption).   From what I can extract, this appears to be another Abiword.Profile issue, where hand editing is required and retention fails.   I still stick to blaming RH, but no distro/OS is listed (though it appears POSIX-y).   Note to Bernard:  Really, if a developer may speak your language (say Hub), the occasional non-English post will be fine; also, there's the option of coming to chat to clear up your problem, irc.gimp.org #abiword .

  3. 1.0.3 crashes/weird fonts on Windows XP Professional :   Richard Thomas appears to be having various character, encoding and formatting issues under Windows XP.   Concurring with much of the given list is Chris Stovall using Windows Millennium Edition.   Perhaps either/or may have added a bug report to reproduce, triage and track....

Traffic outside of AbiSource is monitored and occasionally reported.   Today includes a selection from FootNotes.

  1. Re: AbiWord Weekly News #121 :   No one in particular is pleased to see the progression of AbiWord and appreciates how it has stuck with WordProcessor roots.'   The development of Abiword has focused purely on the wp-functionality and 2.0's only exception will be the included necessities, which includes tables, more x/html functionality, true .doc and improved .rtf import and export, and much nicer font functionality.


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 2002.12.08 - 2002.12.14
Who Commits In summary
fjfranklin 40 Pango consistency, ttfutils fix for Solaris/GCC, new P/X/HTML exporter options (new dialogue, external file support, multi-part documents, MIME-embedding LISP(images in particular)), add am-ET "Amharic (Ethiopia)" )(probably Daniel Yacob's, though not mentioned in commit), add MHT sniffer if eps found, specialize ABI_ROOT (ABI_XX_ROOT) for fribidi builds on Win32
msevior 34 fix mergecell undo/redo, return race detection to refactored frames, cut/undo for whole tables, fix numerous crashes, begin work on verticle row sizes
dom 32 fix Unix font breakage (remove constness), re-arrange loader closing/getting pixbuf order, improve WMF-size handling, update requirement libwmf2 ≥ 0.2.8, print ps image fix, gda plugin functional framework plusse later mail-merge field inclusion, 4406 patch from Mark Gilbert, UT/UTF8 string assertion fix, pseudo-MSWord export removed, image scale/import fix and bugs ( 1225, 4353, 4391 and 4394 )
uwog 15 image dragging more intelligent plusse some code cleanup,
Remember, don't pollute; help keep code clean & green!
fix gcc 2.96 build error in XAP_UnixFontManager...maybe, possibly, there are worse probabilities, don't put money on it though, complete nederland translation (en an update, a fix en " more work," so, maybe not utterly perfect, ja), make the down-spinners in Unix Image Dialogue work again.
jeremyd  9 fix previous refactoring work
mpritchett  9 Added HTMLOptions Stub to get build to work again, updated project files for MSVC6 for HEAD
hub  6 Commit (HEAD): MacOS X fonts, invert mouse coordination events to correct ruler reference.
phma  4 Amharic string update, system profile, and add to list of languages by Daniel Yacob
rms  3 RPM work: launcher for AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom and template correction to build plugins correctly; Polish update by Adrzej
plam  2 cleanup of fp_VerticalContainer::draw, add dropped negation, apologized to Marc for secret and unexplained reasons

*jordimas:  system-related work is Windows unless stated otherwise.
*phearbear:  Johan is missing in action
*hippietrail:  Andrew is missing in action

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:

Patch Prize Winner

This week, the Apple of my eye, it's Hub!

The MacOSX port has grown by leaps and bounds in the
past week or two. And for his outstanding work, Hub,
you are this week's prize winner. Congratulations, and
thank you.



      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."
^_^ More People find More Bugs ^_^
        As far as I know, more people are welcome to help them!   And, as a user, it's practically your duty!  Refusing to do so is a terrorist act and will be treated as such!!!   Don't make us force you to use...DOS!   No..not DRDOS...MSDOS!   UNDER EULA 6.0, EVEN!
^_^ More People find More Bugs ^_^

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
 428  57 2.0 Hitting return at the beginning of a paragraph changes fo......
3457  51 --- Crash under GNOME when printing
1747  42 2.0 background colour of text selection is always grey
4432  36 --- GTK2 Input Methods Unavailable
2362  30 1.0.x AbiWord only prints across half of page
3845  30 --- Scroll wheel reversed when a Windows XP setting selected
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
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...
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 573 2.0 Need to support footnotes and endnotes
2183 248 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
1374  96 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
1950  88 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
2565  72 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
1144  67 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
2490  41 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
2365  30 --- AbiWord needs 'view codes'
3668  28 --- 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
1935  22 Future inconsistecy re "units" selection in 3 different places
1762  20 2.0 import html
3233  20 2.0 New Language preference menu
3419  20 Future [RFE] Add microspacing feature (tracking) for characters

      This shouldn't be here.

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.   Can you believe I said QA will return next week when it's been here (or not been here) for three weeks?   Final reminder, owners are the squishers and qa are the flushers (in case there's some question).

      One other note, and this will apply across the bug area when the idea of credit comes up,

Bugs Resolved This Week
Resolution Number
Resolved 32
Verified 16
Closed 11
This Week's Bug Squishers:
Verified Name
22 Dave "Still Kickin' Class" Null
10 Sam "I am...bloody well not a Dr. Seuss character" TH
 8 Dom "Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth" Lachowicz
 7 Martin "There's a newsletter?" Sevior
 5 Frank "No more jokes about committing in my sleep!" Franklin
 4 Jordi "This is just a practice spiking of the Eggnog" Mas
 2 Hubert "CRT's are PERFECT Holiday decorations!" Figuiere
 1 Matthew "Maybe you should make the POW flash" Craig

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  7
Duplicate 16
Won't Fix  2
This Week's Most Active Bug Flushers:
Verified Name
21 Dave "No one really takes me seriously" Null
 2 Mark "Another reason to mention the $20" Gilbert
 2 No One "I take Dave seriously"

Caught Bugs

      Bug spotters, beware, we're watching you!

Bugs Found this Week
Caught Number
Unconfirmed 0, as in, still nothing (bug?)
New 7
ReOpened 1

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
1225 down arrow on last line must goto EOL
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
4449 EV_EditBindingMap::removeBinding() leaks

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.

      By the way, 4449 is assigned...I'll mark it as such now.

      Open Source, Open Books.   Approximately once a month, don't hedge bets, I'll get this updated by asking (read: whining at) dom.   In the meantime, whenever you want to see how much is in and where it gets diverted, just peek down here.

Current Balance: $1616.00
Interest earned: $7.00

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
$135 Patch Prize (those already successfully awarded)
-   $ 45 Will Lachance
-   $ 45 Marc Maurer
-   $ 45 Ruud Vring

Unique contributors: 58*
paypal: 57
check :  3
cash  :  1
*58: plusse 3 repeat offenders whom we love dearly

Contributions: $2723.00
Less paypal and other banking fees: $115.00

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.