AbiWord Weekly News #125, (2003, week 01, released 2003.01.05)

Welcome to this issue 125 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      Jeremy has some functional NSIS 2 work in place and ready for abuse...well, not real heavy abuse, unless you want to fix stuff yourself, in which case, that's ok too!   Hub has located a project that would allow for current stable to be ported to Mac OS X -- that being GTK+ on OS X.

This week in development

      The NSIS 2 branch is in place, all thanks to that Win-devotee, Jeremy.   A security bug was found in the wv library that has had a workaround put into place immediately.   And, Andrew's attempt at bloodless coup against UCS-2 results in an extensive on list and in chat discussion.

Silliness of the Week

  John Montgomery, the director of Microsoft's Product Management, Developer Platform and Evangelism Division has just switched his home office to SuSE and Ximian, save for two Windows machines.

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: fix security bug in wv :   David Endler found a buffer overrun from a piece of the wv library that uses strcat.   For those who don't know, strcat is a somewhat antiquated means of managing strings, lines of characters like A-z, and the wv library is public utility for reading and writing Microsoft Word documents.   Dom has uploaded a functional workaround and is open to suggestions for a better means of executing the necessary function.

  2. commit: nsis 2.0beta (Win32, NSIS_20 branch on HEAD) :   Jeremy officially announces the availability of NSIS 2.0 BETA to those using HEAD and gives a look ahead at where he's going next

  3. Battle of the Offices :   As some slashdot users know, Microsoft had not bothered with a translation of their office suite to Nynorsk.   Not only has AbiWord moved ahead of Microsoft, but most of GNOME as well, as Jordi explains in a Microsoft Tale of Woe.   Just a reminder that those of you who that use Nynorsk, ither now or in the future, should have much thanks towards Karl Ove Hufthammer.

  4. OT: GTK+ on MacOS X without X11 :   In news that hurts to report, Hub sends us a link to GTK+ on OS X.   It would appear that, whenever 1.0.4 is released, you may see Mac OS X included.

  5. Commit: string classes rearranged and Re: Commit: string classes rearranged :   Andrew does the "Hippietrail String Shuffle" in the strange hopes of deprecating UCS-2.   Marc cries, "Bloody Murder!"   And, after some discussion in chat, Dom restores some UCS-2 methods, which appeases the li'l Nederfreak.   Anti-Debite....   Oh, and an alternative function is mentioned, and Andrew explains what he was really doing.

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. UI language and default 'save as' option :   Charlotte Stevens asks two questions that might be of use for you.   First, there's the "Can I change the default 'save as' to .doc?"   In case you missed it some months ago, Abi doesn't technically "do" .doc, but rtf is able to be done.   Dom gives instructions on doing just that.   Second, Charlotte wishes to change the UI language without changing the system locale.   Though not answered, I thought I'd mention it, because it's a burn on that Anti-Debite who does the Nederland translation.


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 2002.12.29 - 2003.01.04
Who Commits In summary
phearbear* 90 compile fixups, frame refactoring work, and by popular request
Remember, don't pollute; help keep code clean & green!
jskov 27 added UT_UCS4_strncpy_to_char, made wctomb take (optional) max output length, taught UT_UCS2/4_isSentenceSeparator that exclamation points and question marks seperate senetences too, warning fixes, created class fl_BlockSpellIterator for spell checking with the functions of its two predecessors (text/fl_BlockLayout and wp/ap_Dialog_Spell), the spelling refactoring worked continued for all except BeOS (and if any of those BeOS developers want to prove they really care, search for the FIXME's), sped up UT_isWordSeperator, improved word/sentence scanning for block layout, checkin unsaved changes from emacs buffer, and bug 2406
jordimas* 16 reworked options dialogue box, keyboard fixes, meta & options dialogue fixes, and bugs ( 2481 and 3286
jeremyd 13 NSIS 2 support (plugins included), added initial support for download additional components during install, switch from unzip.exe to untgz nsis plugin, compile work around, added "unique" dictionaries to download list, MAKEFILE setup for NSIS2 and option of crt lib
msevior 11 Footnote fixes (especially for moving the cursor past the reference)
dom  9 typo fixery, wv security issue pseudo-resolution, fix compile error, fix ucs2/ucs4 problems with xsl-fo exporter, frame build fix for xap, some tidying up (a new form of wrath, apparently)
Remember, don't pollute; help keep code clean & green!
uwog  6 some warning fixes, extensive cleaning and function-adding to the format table dialogue
mpritchett  4 Win32 {updates to HTMLOptions as requested by Frank, added dialog resources}
mgilbert  3 Battled the horrific UnixEncodingMangager through desert lands, lush forests and multiple compilers. Still owed $20
phma  2 Amharic update by Daniel Yacob

*jordimas:  system-related work is Windows unless stated otherwise.
*phearbear:  system-related work is QNX unless stated otherwise.

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:

No one!

Not one person received the prize between the 29th and the 5th.


      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 (you know, if there were prizes anymore...)!

Description:  This bug contains a compilation of numerous spelling-related bugs.   Interested parties can do simple work, like Q&A to see what's still there, to more complex work, like dialogue fixin' and locale conversion   If you have a current Abi and some time, you, too, can help
Advertisement:  My spelring dilog isn nt ther
Recommended Outline:  Whatever's easiest for you
Comments:  All in all, there's something for everyone in there.
System:  Any and every OS.
AbiVersion:  Current (1.0.3, I would guess, dev and cvs releases may occur as well)
Challenge level:  Variable
Current Heros:  First week available

NameProject Blue Ant.
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 Cooper, Tom Purl and Eric Blom."

^_^ More People find More Bugs ^_^
        Back to normal POW status.   However, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, and we'd love to see you help!   After the hyperbolizing this POW, interest has been dwindling, and there really is a lot left to get done.   Personally, I think it's the holidays; however, you can't go by me, because I was going to add ASCII breasts to get more attention.   On that subject, if any cute geekettes want to pose nekkid with an Abi the Ant tattoo, contact Mark Gilbert.
^_^ 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
3550  60 --- Mouse wheel still bugged in documents >59 pages
4057  60 --- Thesaurus Shift+F7 keybindings shortcuts consistancey
 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
3970  30 --- changing layouts can lead to showing other location than ......
4049  30 --- Crash on open file from floppy or network drive.
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
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  31 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
1270  18 Future Abiword should graphical columns ala wordperfect 8/9

      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 10
Verified 31
Closed 3
This Week's Bug Squishers:
Verified Name
12 Sam TH
10 Dave Null
 6 Dom Lachowicz
 4 Martin Sevior
 3 Jordi Mas
 2 Matthew Craig
 2 Frank Franklin
 2 Jesper Skov
 1 Hubert Figuiere
 1 David Chart
 1 tomabi

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 11
Duplicate 22
Won't Fix  0
This Week's Most Active Bug Flushers:
Verified Name
23 Dave Null
8 No one
2 Matthew Craig

Caught Bugs

      Bug spotters, beware, we're watching you!

Bugs Found this Week
Caught Number
Unconfirmed  0
New 10
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.