AbiWord Weekly News #135, (2003, week 11, released 2003.03.16)

Welcome to this issue 135 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      The Stable HackDown was corrected (as necessary for something being done by hand), and, at the same time, the Head HackDown gains a new goal, one that's almost complete--HIG compliance.   This AWN removes a linking faux pas by request of Hub; target to blank is no longer used in the AWN.

This week in development

      Various issues come up for a word-processor that wants to support numerous languages.   It's a good thing that such things may one day have a Twiki page to cover them.   Have you noticed that to the left?   Yes, under the "Support" heading, you'll notice Twiki has gained its own page.

Request for user assistance

      Like those dedicated and good-hearted people on American Public Television, we would like to ask for a financial donation.*   We would like to pull out an extra $400 minimum for a "dedicated 19" 2U rack server, 2.4Ghz P4 (533 FSB) on a 100 Mbit full duplex connection.   That should fix all the speed issues for us European guys (and maybe it's even faster for you en_US guys)."   This was discussed in chat, and was never cleared for me to actually mention it in AWN, but, technically, it wasn't not cleared, either.   Under any circumstance, the money would certainly go to a good cause, and if we raise $13 Million USD, we could buy Microsoft's Corel stock.

Silliness of the Week

      To increase funding for AbiWord, all X/HTML documents will have a "Made in AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom" image attached at the bottom.   If you want a wrath-free one, either hack-it-yourself or send us money.   Yes, Free software can also be nag-ware!

      I asked you punks for images depicting Dom's wrath.   Only one of you has ever succeeded.   Now, the Nederlander has come up with something far more horrifying than Wrath of Dom... The Love of Dom -- Oh for the Love of Hub, I don't know why someone would want to know of such a terrifying and unnatural concept!

      But our favourite Abi-Artist didn't stop there.   The provider of 80% of our screen shots* has come up with something else you might want to drool over.   Stop!  In the name of HIG!  Before you see the dialogues!

Old Header/Footer Dialogue
New Header/Footer Dialogue

*financial donation:  I know I haven't gotten to whining at Dom for the latest update on the AbiFund, but I promise to send something Tuesday-ish, and when he responds, I'll put it in the next AWN.
*80% of our screen shots:  This number was taken from The Authority on Weather, Economy and Lotto Numbers...namely right out of my bottom.

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 up-to-date 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. Translation issues (see 4664 thread) :   Mark, after observing Commit: Bug 4664 and Translations problems in version 1.3.99, has appended the output from msgfmt, a tool for spotting formatting flaws.   AbiTranslators should review this, as well as see Raphael's response to Commit: Bug 4664 to check out their own...as msgfmt gives out with "msgfmt: too many errors, aborting."

  2. Win32 Hackers please help! :   Martin makes a plea to Win32 hackers to get Win32 up and on its feet again, particularly in regard to the new units & layout work.   Dom recommends those who wish to help review Tomas' comments in the thread commit: huge layout patch

  3. ClarisWorks Importer :   Larin Hennessy has been interested in picking up the work for the ClarisWorks plugin for Seth.   Larin points out some issues that seem to result from version changes, as Hub developed for version 5, while the problems occur in version 6 documents.   Hub suggests his young Claris/AppleWorks library at SourceForge.   It should also be pointed out that Hub never got as far as would be desirable with the plugin, and may not due to issues regarding his current employment.

  4. Reference TWiki Plugin Matrix on "Main" Web Site? :   Randy is as proud as a peacock to declare the great usefulness of the AbiTwikiPluginPageThingy.   Some quick here and there about the consistency of the plugins precede Dom's recommendation that a Twiki link appear on the sidebar.   Ladies and Gentlemen, if you look to your left (and all the way back up), you'll see the addition of Twiki to the Support section.   What few people know is that our own Tomas Frydrych played Twiki in "Buck Rogers", hence his early interest in the bidirection capabilities of Abiword, or as he put it, "Bidi, bidi, bidi, bidi."

  5. right-to-left translations :   Raphael Finkel's come across a deceptively simple solution for bidirection handling that he's added to his "notes to translators."   It involves a simple GTK setting that allows for simple switching in and out of the default language direction.

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 importance or points of great interest.   This week, interesting topics on the user list included:

  1. Euro key :   A continuation of Euro money sign , Bernard wants to know how to make the currency sign of the Euro.   Alan labours in obscurity to learn the secrets of the Alternative Graphics (Alt Gr) key, you can think of it as the second shift key on the calculator.   Alan posted a list of the Alt Gr that may produce the Euro (maybe?).   Hub explains the common conditions which, if met, will allow for the creation of the Euro key--those being keymap and character-set support.

  2. page numbering :   Landy Roman discovers problems with trying to get page numbers to print.   Dom reports that the problem has been fixed in CVS HEAD.   Now if only I could not number the first page, small Roman numerals for the next eight, no number for the next page and regular numbers starting at two from then on, I'd be a happy camper ;o)

  3. preserving magnification from session to session? :   Christopher Pinon has two questions, but is primarily interested in his magnification settings.   Though the development version allows for percentages to be set easily, Dom explains how to set the default to the current width in 1.0.x series.   Martin explains that the percentages option is not likely to be backported to 1.0.x.


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 2003.03.09 - 2003.03.15
Who Commits In summary
dom 38 print justified text again, correct some paper sizes and margins, janitorial stuff, fix field coloration when printing, some style inheritance and appending stuff. unfinished, but works as well as before this commit, fix gnome toolbar color selectors, fix few inconsistencies, few compile fixes on naughty platforms,
Bugs: 4481, 4692 and 4693
fjfranklin 19 build fixes, build fix in MHT importer, casting changes (c. Larin Hennessy), new UT_XML_ID_Generator class for, well, generating XML-compliant IDs, instantiate UT_XML_ID_Generator in (public) scope of PD_Document, development code for a proposed new AWML format and import/export helper (cut it down into distinct sections due to ridiculous size), saved ArVee from the Wrath of Dom by correcting the alphabetical order of abi/src/text/ptbl/xp/pp_Property.cpp
uwog 15 remove 2 lines of dead code, make the Insert Page Numbers preview a bit more fancy, nl_NL fix, Header/Footer dialog HIGrrrrifying, disable resizing of the HdrFtr dialog, fix a bug dragging cell markers in the top ruler
phma 10 Japanese update by Masayuki Hatta, Malay string update by Sharuzzaman Ahmat Raslan, German string update by Christian Neumair, Malay&German, Albanian update by Besnik Bleta, fix typos in German translation
hub  8 new files to build project builder, copy libole2 headers to framework, fix argument parsing due to changes in XP, shutup some warnings, fix expat bug, now get default lib path from NSBundle, more safety in the code when trying to access NULL m_pG
mgilbert  8 fix syntax to have flag overridden, don't cvs when we mean to tell the user how to cvs (add echo), more echoes, more build fixage for mingw32, better not have forgotten his explanation for win-fe and dist-particle, peer libiconv no longer required on win32, attempt to secure the defaulting part of prior commit
plam  5 don't draw offscreen carets, check caret onscreenness when we get a resize event
hippietrail  4 corrected .cvsignore for google plugin, added Slovak to dictionary list and added Slovak.hash, fixed erroneous > character, not legal XML as discussed in upgraded Galician translation. Please commit,
Bug: 3596
msevior  4 fix bug loading document, fix crash on zoom again,
Bugs: 2715 and 4111
phearbear*  2 fix for the problem when the caret wouldn't show on the first line in 'Normal' view mode. (m_yPoint == 0 on the first line), cmdSelect() return if posLeft and posRight is same (selectAll on a empty document)
jeremyd*  1 MSVC build fix so peer libiconv generates iconv.h for wv to use--ie build libiconv 1st
jordimas*  1 fixes win32 comboxes editing
rms  1 Galician strings by Ramon Flores

*jeremyd:  system-related work is Win32 unless stated otherwise.
*jordimas:  system-related work is Win32 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

No one received the Patch Prize between the ninth and fifteenth of March.


      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 pow5 (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).   Oh, and in case you didn't notice, they're a great way to get money from Dom, really!

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 (1.0.4, I would guess, dev and cvs releases may occur as well)
Challenge level:  Variable
Current Heroes:  You must be magical to know how to fix this

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:  1.0.4 only (for now at least)
Challenge level:  *.... 1 star out of 5
Current Heroes:  "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
The MoFos who had the Huevos for this POW:
Johnny Lee
(crash on print)

Daniel Jensen
(text work around)

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 Heros:  Jordi Mas, Jeremy Davis

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
3525  90 --- font incorrectly printed and spaced
 376  80 2.0 File associate problems for all file types with Win32Slu......
 428  44 2.0 Hitting return at the beginning of a paragraph changes fo......
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
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......
3488  20 --- Weird crash when editing
1394  17 2.0 on-screen landscape actually prints portrait in Win95
2924  15 --- printing abw documents defaults to black pages
3083  15 Future [META] Redesign smart quote system
3216  15 1.0.x [Tabstops Cannot be Set in Second (or Third) Column
3801  15 --- Incremental loader seems to struggle with large files
4538  15 2.0 Crash when cutting and pasting
1865  13 --- Header/footer not loaded properly from .doc
2962  13 2.0 Printer problems with Lexmark printers on Windows
1613  11 1.0.x undo does not know about replacing
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement
ID Votes Milestone Summary
2183 289 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
1374  96 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
1950  94 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
3668  76 --- Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
2565  72 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
2490  71 2.0 Finish Cocoa Frontend
2321  70 --- [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
1144  67 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
4057  60 --- Thesaurus Shift+F7 keybindings shortcuts consistency
 515  41 Future columns change should only affect selected text
2366  39 Future implement floating frame
1929  37 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
2365  36 --- AbiWord needs 'view codes'
2186  30 Future The insert page break setting is lost for custom styles
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
2164  25 Future Ability to set default print command anywhere
2296  25 Future doc import: footnotes
2169  24 Future Line numbering
3233  21 2.0 New Language preference menu


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 18
Verified  4
Closed  6
This Week's Bug Squishers:
Verified Name
9 Dave Null
5 Hubert "Oop, there goes happy hour" Figuiere
4 Martin "Microsoft is threatening to clone me" Sevior
4 Sam "HIGrrr-fying should be trademarked by Michael" TH
2 Dom "(Abiword) will be protected by my shovel, shotgun, and general distrust of carnies" Lachowicz
1 Andrew "DMCA is a heavy metal band, right?" Dunbar
1 Frank "I think it's a sexual harassment suit, someone with the initials D.M.C.A." Franklin
1 Patrick "Hey, I got one: Why did the DMCA cross the ocean?" Lam
1 Jordi "Because the American economy bottomed out?" 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 equivalent 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 4
Duplicate 6
Won't Fix 0
This Week's Most Active Bug Flushers:
Verified Name
6 Dave Null
4 No One

Caught Bugs

      Bug spotters, beware, we're watching you!

Bugs Found this Week
Caught Number
Unconfirmed 0
New 1
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!?"


      This documents the progress of various bugs and features Hub hopes to have ironed out by 1.0.5.   May the source be with him, always.

HackDown to 1.0.5
Bug ID Description
2223 cannot open psiWord files (re-opened)
2715 crash on zoom
3239 [META] Windows printing bugs
3453 Crashes repeatably while attempting to edit header
3488 Weird crash when editing
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
3697 [crash] blank AbiWord document viewed as text (View Source)
3755 AbiWord crashes during import of this MS Word document
3766 Dvorak Keyboard
3858 export wrong content when choosing export to "Simplified Chinese GB_2312-80" encoded text
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
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 completely broken
4531 Page breaks ignored in RTF
4559 section break handling is broken
4647 Abiword 1.0.4 crashes with zh_CN Chinese font locale
4650 Abiword.exe Entry Point Not Found
4656 AbiWord 1.0.4 does not compile with gcc-3.2.2 and perl-5.8.0

  1 Unconfirmed
12 Unapproached
10 Assigned
  7 Resolved

*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.
*Normal bug numbers and normal text have not yet been approached.


      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
2145  2 of  3 FCC 508 accessibility regulation compliance
2921  2 of  2 abi can leak memory [tracker bug]
3064  6 of  7 [TRACKER] AbiWord Performance
3239 27 of 38 [META] Windows printing bugs
4142  3 of 12 make AbiWord comply with GNOME HIG
4425  0 of  0 squash all warnings
4465 23 of 36 [META] Spelling bugs
4466 12 of 22 [META] "Motion" Bugs
4467  8 of 11 [META] Find/Replace bugs and enhancements
4488  2 of 13 [META] Help System Bugs
4627  14 of  15 [META] Copy/Paste bugs

      The tracking space for the Abiword 1.0.5 has been corrected, one new bug taken out by Hub.   Dom adds a HIG meta, and lots of thanks to Marc, who's GLADE-ing efforts make this easier, one dialogue at a time.

      See Announce: 2.0 release plan for more details on the intended route towards 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.