AbiWord Weekly News #137, (2003, week 13, released 2003.03.30)

Welcome to this issue 137 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      Builds for 1.0.5 and 1.1.4 still being made; however, Windows users can dive right in, right now.   More HIGrrrfication continues from our favourite Nederlander.   Finally, no new bug to track a hackdown of 1.0.6, but...donuts, so, there may not be a need for one until we're tracking 1.0.7.

This week in development

      Bonobo work is progressing so rapidly, that I swear I just saw it inside of Nautilus the other day...actually, I did.   SuSE in, SuSE out, SuSE's back on again if you're looking for packages for that dangerous distribution, thanks to James Ogley.   More HIGrrrification™ under development with three screenshots hidden in their own section of the developers' list.   GNOME-enable'ers, fear not, it's not you, it's that French guy...Hub declares a great owing of donuts.

Request for user assistance

      Windows users, your help is doubly requested.   We would like to see more bug reports coming from the Windows crowd, so, if you're feeling more daring, please download and try out the Win32 binaries when they're available.   If you want some sweet functionality in AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom, you will have to participate.   You could also consider joining Project Blue Ant.

      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

      "Sanctity of Life" is a concept only the living believe in.

*financial donation:  I now have whined at Dom for an update; however, it was not available before uploading this week's AWN.

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. Success - Thanks! (was) Re: Sample bonobo2 container. , commit: bonobo2 server file for embedding abiword. , commit: Bonobo component has some working features. commit: Changed "AbiWord::" to "AbiWidget--" and commit: AbiWord is now a Nautilus View. :   Last week's Success... is included to sum up the bonobo work that has been put in most recently.   The .server file replaces the .oaf file in modern GNOMEstry, and Martin has included the latest and greatest technology for your favourite word processor.   It's not the absolute most killer thing yet, but more of a display of where this cute li'l embeddable component may go, especially after being bonobo corrected in the Changed....   "Where might it go?" you ask?   Last week, you saw a basic anywhere type of component.   This week, Martin's happy to show you it's latest home...Nautilus.   In commit: AbiWord is now a Nautilus View, Martin also discusses some of his problems.   If you're knowledgeable in either Nautilus or Bonobo, give it a look over and maybe extend some of your thoughts to Martin.

  2. ATTN: Tree closed for 1.1.4 and 1.1.4 release on SF.net :   In case you missed the warning last week and the update to the AWN last week AND! the big announcement*, Dom has released the latest Developers' Build, 1.1.4.   If you know someone on Windows or are using it yourself, please help track down bugs by giving this a test drive.   For everyone else, binaries are being built slowly, but the latest releases page gets updated whenever I'm doing nothing and something's actually changed.

  3. SuSE packages , SuSE packages (again) and SuSE 1.0.5 packages :   In the first SuSE packages thread, James believes issues with expat will cause Abi-Users to have to wait until SuSE8.2   It is also discussed that the site should say SuSE8.1, due to the jump in from GCC 2.x to GCC 3.x.   The second thread is about an error discovered in the SuSE packages, resulting in James requesting they be removed from Source Forge.   The final thread is the final SuSE packages having been added (yes, the Latest Releases pages shows only these).

  4. Commit: Field dialog HIG/Gladification and Commit: Format Table dialog Gladification :   Our favourite tulip eater has hooked us up with our latest screenshot fix for his HIGrrrification™'.   Witness, if you dare, the before and after screenshots of the field dialogue.   And the not-entirely-HIGgy-but-atleast-GLADE2 screenshot of the Format Table dialogue.

  5. download linking (Latest Releases) :   What's the fastest way to get a developer to put their binaries up on Source Forge?   Threatening to link to their current location.   Hmm...he still taking too long....

  6. commit: fix bug 4756 - number of columns in tables no longer insane. :   GLADE2's mightiness becomes official with this commit from Martin.   MSWord only allows for 63 columns...we can safely allow for 64; however, other more eager playful types have decided to push the limits to some frightening degree.   And just as surpassing gnumeric in spreadsheet-capability gets joked with (if you don't mind working slower than carving it in cuneiform), Alan offers this view of Open Office with 700+ columns.   It should be noted, however, that Martin anticipates passing OpenWriter in functionality within the coming year.

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. abiword-1.0.5 build failed :   Albert Wagner is having a somewhat common problem in AbiWord that many near-experimental compilers tend to run into.   Mark explains it for many.   You may recall early explanations of "users of platform x, don't use library a" type of discussions.   Well, to condense Mark's explanation (though, you should read it), here's why:
      The peer projects included in the AbiSource, those that aren't under the /abi directory, aren't there for your use!   They're mostly present for developers on platforms that would normally lack libraries like expat and wv, such Win32.   If you don't have a library but do want it, download it from the official source; don't use ours!   Then, feel happy to use   --with-<library>

  2. some troubles about 1.1.4 :   With every release, I seem to post one of these examples.   Please don't use the list(s) to file bug reports.   It gets you nowhere and it can't be tracked.   Only post to the list with issues if you're having trouble when compiling, and then, that would best be the developers' list, and that would only be if you couldn't get help while in chat at #abiword on irc.gimp.org

  3. Cannot build 1.0.5 on Mandrake 9.0 :   DONUTS!  F*CKING DONUTS!
      Hub accidentally screwed over gnome-enabled building for 1.0.5.   Mark uses this time to announce that 1.0.6 will be well out very shortly.   It's going to be called, um, FrooDoo or Ganderdork or some such.   *check* Oh, Legolas.   I knew it had something to do with plastic bricks.   I would have called it "French Chocolate Glaze."

  4. no configure script ? :   Parrenin Frédéric was apparently awake.   Visitors to the Latest Releases page will also find the option of "with config" available.   If you're willing to try something new, try running   ./autogen.sh which is explained in the build documentation for CVS users (which is where the developers' builds are extracted from)*.

Traffic outside of the AbiDomain is tracked and occasionally reported.   This weeks includes selection(s) from: FootNotes

  1. font support?! wtf :   Still unhappy with AbiWord's font support?   Try 1.1.4!

  2. AbiWord 1.1.4 released. :   There are many happy users...of AbiWord here...happy, happy users.

*the big announcement: You really shouldn't read the release notes too carefully.
*extracted from: All builds come from there, but I'm over simplifying to increase my jag-off points.


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 2003.03.23 - 2003.03.29
Who Commits In summary
msevior 36 GNOME_AbiWord_Control_2_0.server, AbiWidget updating, lots of juicy bug fixes, IDL file to enable AbiWord to be used as Nautilus view., AbiWord can be used as a nautilus view, fix to allow gtk-only to compile, fix bonobo-crash on right click
Bug: 4756
uwog 24 nl-NL fixes, gcc 2.96 cast fix, patch to make the Table Toolbar widget work on some obscure GTK/GLIB configurations by dom, field dialog HIG/Gladification, remove bogus line of code, indentation fixes, planned big surprise for Martin's birthday and fixed the build again, small alignment fix, Format Table dialog Gladification
fjfranklin 21 new signed-integer to UT_UTF8String map (untested atm) UT_IntStrMap, ap_Dialog_FormatTable: awareness of background-color/bg-style/bgcolor, fp_Run: comment out updateHighlightColor method, fp_TextRun: don't assume page color is white -- draw page background first then highlight color (if any) -- "pNext->_getColorHL() != _getColorHL()" doesn't check transparency, default background-color to "transparent", fv_View_cmd: when inserting a table, set style="Normal" for paragraphs, on failure to find property, pSectionAP->getProperty() doesn't reset pointer to NULL so old value gets propagated through checks, was called a n00-B by someone who lives in a windmill.
PP_PropertyMap, fl_TableLayout: table/cell background/border property handling, border color defaults to value of "color" property, use of new PP_PropertyMap subclasses for property handling, lots of code-tidying as a result;
fp_TableContainer: handle linestyles & colors in _drawLine method, always clear solid (if clearing at all);
dom 20 removed the antiquities of yester-code, add comment about mac osx for the --with-fink option, bump down resolution to 72, remove unnecessary includes (for schurro to build abicommand), allow gucharmap to work in non-gnome builds, make some glade spinbuttons numeric-only.
Bugs: 4741, 4750 and 4764
hub 18 fixing some trivial warning + some -Weffc++ warnings, updating README and doc
jordimas* 15 font preview, context menu fix, format table dlgbox
phearbear* 11 fixed a compilation problem, normal viewmode fix, fixed args parsing, single units fix, fontpreview fix, began a religious vow to attack printing as it is an avatis of evil, fixed the back and foreground color selectors. Bug: 4756
dchart  2 changelog updates for 1.1.4 only
hippietrail  1 Sardinian strings from Francesco Cheratzu
mgilbert  1 removed recheck for glade2
phma  1 Italian string update by Marco Innocenti
rms  1 build changes

*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 comes 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 Plugin(s) (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 Heroes:  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
 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.
4745  30 Future Change colour of foreground text for screen only
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
3216  15 1.0.x Tabstops Cannot be Set in Second (or Third) Column
3801  15 --- Incremental loader seems to struggle with large files
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
2584  11 1.0.x MS Word Rendering problem.
1333  10 Future Inserting a word is O(n) in the number of words in the do......
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement
ID Votes Milestone Summary
2183 320 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
2365  39 --- AbiWord needs 'view codes'
2366  39 Future implement floating frame
1929  37 Future Hyphenation is missing in AbiWord
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

      I'm guessing Dom knock off the crash on pasting bug while more of you buggers have shown your interest in Open Office's XML format.   I don't know if I've explained this to you enough, but that's a big and twisty format.   If you want to see this before 3.0, you might want to help this along with more than just voting...and cloning Martin is not allowed!   Sending money to Martin is, however ;o)

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 15
Verified 18
Closed 2
This Week's Bug Squishers:
Verified Name
14 Dave Null
 4 Frank Franklin
 4 Dom Lachowicz
 4 Jordi Mas
 3 Martin Sevior
 3 Sam TH
 1 Andrew Dunbar
 1 Hubert Figuiere
 1 Marc Maurer

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 9
Won't Fix 2
This Week's Most Active Bug Flushers:
Verified Name
13 Dave Null
 2 No One

Caught Bugs

      Bug spotters, beware, we're watching you!

Bugs Found this Week
Caught Number
Unconfirmed 0
New 7
ReOpened 0

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!?"


      Until I catch wind (read: search for) a hackdown until 1.0.6, this is just floating here.

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  3 of  4 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  16 [META] Copy/Paste bugs


      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 goes 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.