AbiWord Weekly News #127, (2003, week 03, released 2003.01.22)

Welcome to this issue 127 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      My New Year's resolution was to get a life, and I guess it must be working, 'cause this is pretty late.   The new piece table dallied on peacefully, while Martin Sevior shows of why there's only one Martin Sevior.   A Footnotes reader reads about the XFT GTK+2 Abi and gives it a fly, and lots of users ask questions answered numerous times.   Ooh, and, a new Hackdown was added for AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom.   Also up, Dom announces Patch Prizes again, including one for last week!

This week in development

      Martin has improved footnote functionality to the point that they're more intelligent than Microsoft's attempts.   As I type this, 1.1.3 is now released, and 1.0.4 is almost out, leaving Mark with a US$20 bill to foot.   Jeremy's ready to show off his screen shot of his spunky new wallpaper, I mean, NSIS2 development.   Finally, a friend of Andrew's may soon be appearing in the credits of other people's commits.   GO...um, WHOMEVER YOU ARE!  Woo-hoo!

Silliness of the Week

      Look for the bug :

      textAttributeBit = WPX_SUPERSCRIPT_BIT;

View the results

      Oh God, Marc!  What did you do!?

All Better with LibWpd2

      Pics added to the servers so as not to anger Marc's room mates, who have become fond of the phrases "Hessian Death Squad" and "Kill the Editor!"   Maybe I should have said something to Hub about the 200-odd K of imagery....

This Issue

      And remember, I give you an email address so you can talk to me, in case you're not on either 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. Please help with crashed file :   Andrzej asks how he get the content out of a file that crashes Abiword.   Assuming the file is abi-native (awml), Pierre suggests using a web browser, and that removal of the <abiword> tags may need to be removed.   The fall back option is to use a text editor, with using some form of mime-decoding utility for images inserted.   Which only begs the question, "What about Bonobo components?"   Later, due to using these messages as a reply to, David Buddrige asks where to get various versions of Abiword.   David would like to write a training manual for Abiword.   Dom recommends coordinating his efforts with David Chart, who handles much of the documentational effort.   After which, he recommends downloading the requested files from AbiWord's SourceForge Page.   Also, Dom points to CVS builds from Jeremy's Nightly Win32 binaries or Uwog's Nightly RPMS

  2. commit: Footnotes placement perfect :-) was (Almost work). :   This originates from commit: Footnotes. (Almost work).   Martin is proud to announce a simple means of tracking where a footnotes are located during editing and properly updating their location (marker & footnote).   One would think a "Trump" should occur in these circumstances, as not even MS got this going quite right.

  3. Announce: Intent to release 1.1.3 next Wednesday :   Dom announces the nearing arrival of the next Developers' build of Abiword.   Due to the fact I'm releasing this on Wednesday, it is already be available; furthermore, you may now get a tarball off of SourceForge ;-)   Additionally, Dom informs us that he plans on doing a decent roadmap for between 1.1.3 and the final arrival of AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom.   On that note, new hackdown for 2.0 available.

  4. Announce: Intent to release 1.0.4 next Wednesday :   Hub's all like <elvis>"Hey man, I got this thing going on; who thinks it's time?"</elvis>   An' Jordi's all, <elvis>"I'll do that Win-thing for you, man,"</elvis> while Jimmy's all, <elvis>"I got that whole SuSE-thing goin' on when all y'all ready."</elvis>   Durin' all that, $20's like, <elvis>"Don't forget about Jeremy, man, and I got a whole cygwin thing goin' on, tell ya what."</elvis>
      Meantime, Andrew's experiencing life in the word with 1.1.3 and may get to registering that bug someday.

  5. win32 nsis2 based setup screenshots :   Jeremy links to his screenshots of the very pretty Alyson Hannigan, I mean, NSIS interface.   Now we know what's keeping him on Windows...NSIS...yeah....

  6. File format typo :   Matthew Kirkwood finds a simple little typo that could have horrifying effects.   OK, not utterly horrifying, but Dom corrects it anyhow (most only read the homo part, if anything at all).

  7. Windows build documentation :   One of Andrew's friends wants to hack and build Abiword while "inbetween jobs."   Funny thing, he being on Windows, as he doesn't have MSVC (nor wants to lend his wallet to Billy G.).   Andrew's been on the hunt for non MSVC build documentation.   Dom tells Andrew it's in abi/docs/build/* , while Jeremy links directly to individual files on his site.

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. Hello all, I got a little problem with Abiword (also applies to Gnumeric). The space between two letters is too much. I checked all preferences, and honestly can't find anything. I woudn't mind that not all fonts seem to get regognized, I (would) use Abiword for letters and Openoffice for the real big (20 pages +) stuff, so I don't mind the fonts. But right now, I can't use the programm at all for the space problem above. I use Abiword 1.0.2, the packages provided with my RedHat 8.0 Thanks for any help :   Truth be told, I only put it up for the title.   Anyhow, if you have the same problem, Dom found the solution for you in the mailing list: Re: AW on RedHat 8.0 problems-resolved.   I still ping this back to RH, they're evil.

  2. HTML :   Bernard learns that Abi's XHTML is, err, experimental.   After a good discussion about this, Hub brings us to the interesting part.   xhtml documents fail to open: "Bogus html document" msg is a great example of A Bug's Life: The Text-imated Series;.

  3. MSWord tables? :   Bruce Bowler wants to know why tables come out all funky on the stable version of AbiWord.   Hub brings the clue, with an alternate phrasing to my "[Abiword 1.0.x doesn't] 'do' tables" remark.   Just a reminder, everyone, tables are a feature of the development version at this time, and will never be backported.   That said, Peter Jacobi pointed out that if there were more prominent links to the Developers' builds on the site, we just might get more testers.   If you agree, write your concurrences...now!

  4. Gnome 2 :   While I'm reminding you of what many of you already know (hence the remind), AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom will be in GTK+2 (i.e. GNOME 2), but not GTK+, nor will AbiWord 1.0.x ever be in GTK+2.

  5. Placing digital photos in a document :   Dr. Dick* learns something many of you might still need to know.   If you want images other than PNG* in Abiword, you will need the ImageMagick plugin.   Plugins are available among the SourceForge downloads

  6. Different Profiles for different uses? :   Different Abi-Interfaces for different purposes, now that's inspirin'.   John Mellor asks and Martin theorizes, while Alan finds the bug.   Want to vote for it?   It's 4017, ya'll.

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

  1. Wow, AbiWord is coming along! :   No one in particular tries one of Marc's XFT enabled CVS builds and declares the greatest thing since POSIX Threading went GPL.   Ok, maybe not that great an exclamation, but certainly something that makes a developer blush ^_^

*Dr. Dick:  Cybill Shepard fans rejoice:  Maryanne is free because Dr. Dick lives!
*PNG:  Unrelated, .GIF patents are up sometime this year ^_^


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 2003.01.12 - 2003.01.18
Who Commits In summary
hub 75 updated to libpng1.2.5,
msevior 52 bug fixes for footnotes, proper footnote ordering, footnote work sint vs int casts from Tomas, footnote placement perfected, made possible to load files containing footnotes, insertion point stay on screen and crash fix
phearbear* 40 updated the measureUnRemappedChar, removed last Photon 1.14'isms, removed useless QNX selection functions, small fix when dialogtab shows wrong label, added support for other types of toolbar types (text,image and both), removed superclass widget drawing which isn't necessary, QNX rulers now use the clipping data when being exposed, safe status bar & toolbar enable/disabling, refactoring fixes, made some combo-boxes uneditable, changed the packagescript so it'll show the GPL license when installing, menu entry now displays abi-icon (abicon), Dom's caret unbreak patch, removed clip rectangle in rulers for now, cleanups:
Remember, don't pollute; help keep code clean & green!

removed clipping, made the drawbuffer bigger
tomas_f 27 fixed faulty comparison, added virtual UT_uint32 getDroppedWidth(), changed control/dropped list sizes, fix bidi caret, bidi work, partial on-screen logic, caret fix
dom 22 created widgets w/o double buffering, fix flicker and refresh problems, 2 memory corruption bugs/segvs fixes in PAP.C from Pablo Calamera, fixed bidi caret build, fix problem caused by an unrelenting sea of ifdefs, fix typo, save words to custom dictionary, fixed build, only use the AbiWord custom dict for ispell builds--use the aspell one otherwise, work on barbarisms, asked Jordi for more documentation, and bug 4524
phma  4 Mexican localization by Nikolai Vladychevski, Amharic update by Daniel Yacob
jordimas*  2 build fixes
fjfranklin  1 remembered to initialize variables from last week (frank's a quick one)
uwog  1 disabled double buffering on the font preview (speed!)

*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:

Announce: This Week's Patch Prize

This patch prize winner is no footnote in AbiWord
history. He's the driving force behind most
development, and a teriffic friend of mine. Plus he's
managed to get all of this work done lately without
being distracted by all of those hot Canadian girls
this past month or so.

I'm no Martin Sevior, but he sure is. Martin, thanks
for your tireless work on Abi in general, and most
recently footnotes. It's definitely appreciated.

Cheers mate,

And the award went to:

Announce: Last Week's Patch Prize

Yes, I'm a complete slacker and deserve to be beaten
with reeds.
We've had one exceptionally busy bee in the Win32
community in the past few weeks. For all of his dialog
and keyboard fixes, Jordi, I'm proud to announce that
you are last week's patch prize winner.


Just some thoughts:   If Dom deserves to get beaten with rods...what's coming to me!?   Also, "Cbeers?"   That's copyright infringement!   I'm suing Dom under the DMCA!


      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).

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 and Jeremy 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......
3550  60 --- Mouse wheel still bugged in documents >59 pages
4057  60 --- Thesaurus Shift+F7 keybindings shortcuts consistancey
 428  54 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
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...
2421  20 2.0 TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......
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
3083  15 Future [META] Redesign smart quote system
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
2321  70 --- [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
1144  67 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
2490  41 2.0 Finish Cocoa Frontend
1929  37 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
 515  36 Future columns change should only affect selected text
2365  31 --- AbiWord needs 'view codes'
2186  30 Future The insert page break setting is lost for custom styles
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
3233  21 2.0 New Language preference menu
1762  20 2.0 import html
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  8
Verified 28
Closed 15
This Week's Bug Squishers:
Verified Name
14 Dave "EgoBloat" Null
 9 Martin "I am...Martin Sevior!" Sevior
 6 Hubert "DEAL!" Figuiere
 6 Sam "Terribly Happy" TH
 3 Dom "I Freeze Trees in My Spare Time" Lachowicz
 3 Jordi "My Prize Better Not be Late!" Mas
 2 Andrew "Shaw" Dunbar
 2 Frank "Mind Like a Steel and Sapphire Trap" Franklin
 1 Joaquin Cuenca Abela
 1 John L. Clark "Kent"
 1 David "Phear the Phrog, Don't Watch WB" Chart
 1 Johan "I Own Every Album by" Björk
 1 Patrick Lam "bert"
 1 Will "The Luck" Lachance

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  3
Duplicate 12
Won't Fix  2
This Week's Most Active Bug Flushers:
Verified Name
10 Dave "Never Dead" Null
 6 No One "Caught Me"
 1 Frank "Better Late than Never!" Franklin

Caught Bugs

      Bug spotters, beware, we're watching you!

Bugs Found this Week
Caught Number
Unconfirmed 0
New 0
ReOpened 4

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!?"


      As Hub just froze the tree, this hackdown really stands for Mark owing $20

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
4481 Format > Tabs dialog box completly broken
4487 Build error on ap_UnixApp.cpp

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.


      On our way to two-point-oh, affectionately referred to as, AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom

HackDown to AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom
Bug ID Open of Total Description
2921  2 of  2 abi can leak memory [tracker bug]
3064  6 of  6 [TRACKER] AbiWord Performance
3239 30 of 37 [META] Windows printing bugs
4425  0 of  0 squash all warnings
4465 21 of 29 [META] Spelling bugs
4466 16 of 22 [META] "Motion" Bugs
4467 11 of 11 [META] Find/Replace bugs and enhancements
4488  4 of 12 [META] Help System Bugs
4489  2 of  2 [META] Accessibility bugs

      Added 4481 and 4487 to stable, the latter being taken care of already.   Mark...guess what.

      Other than the Accessibility bugs not appearing to have anything to do with accessibility, I present the screenplay to Abiword II: The Wrath of Dom.

      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.