AbiWord Weekly News #138, (2003, week 14, released 2003.04.06)

Welcome to this issue 138 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      Martin's Abi-View for Nautilus has caused quite a stir; however, most of it was over the concept of view controllers and little to do with the niftiness of the module.   Your editor was accused of being slanted toward GNU/Linux GNOME users when reporting development news.   He is, but that's just because it is the only platform he uses.   To make up for a major indiscretion last week, I would like to show off something Jordi did that I literally, just missed: Win32's Font Preview.   I would also like to remind Win32 users and friends of Win32 users that testers for the developers' builds are still very needed.   Also, if you happen to find yourself diddling about a site that Win32 users happen to download from heavily, feel free to mention or list Abi's development release.   Uploading the binary as "Kill The Purple Dinosaur.mp3" to KaZaA is also acceptable.

This week in development

      Johan moves the QNX dialogues to the Photon Application Builder set, but the screenshots are still slated for "later."   And, in this only slightly updated of the AWN, later is now.   But if it's screenshots you want, there's been an update to the Nautilus View Controller from Dom, who followed a topic at Footnotes.   Jordi also would like to show off the page number dialogue, thus proving that your editor cares about Windows too.   All in all, this has really been about squishing bugs for the advent of AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom.

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

<EAZen> I've just created, and gave to my self, the first Development News Editor of the Year Award.
<EAZen> The Zenny

      Want to stop unjust things from happening in chat?   Join!   It's #abiword at irc.gimp.org

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

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. AbiWord Weekly News #137 (2003, week 13) released and, in April, Re: AbiWord Weekly News #137 (2003, week 13) released :   If you follow the first thread, you'll read, once again, why the mailing lists don't appear in the reply to lines.   In case you don't subscribe to such mailing lists, I'll explain.   Some person sends mail to a specific address on a server, and everyone whose address is in that server's database receives a copy of that letter.   In many cases, like ours, the receipient has the original sender in the reply-to line.   To understand why, the original re-commentator has created, for you perusing pleasure, a nice Twiki FAQ article, FaqMailingLists.
      In the latter, you'll find a discussion about my evil oppression of Win32 development information.   Jordi notices that I failed to include some very nifty GUI work he's put in, and I send many regrets for this one.   As I explained at one point, due to the size of the main text compared to the size of my screen, I didn't even notice the attachment.   So, in case I don't mention it in the editorial bit, I present to you:

    Win32's Font Preview

  2. dead-key problem and Fwd: Re: dead-key problem :   Hey there, GNOME user, need that funny character, but your deadkeys just aren't working?   Gatis Spats learns from Dom how to get the input method you want most:

    " You may wish to right-click in the document window, go
    to "Input Methods" and select "X Input Method" from
    the list. This *might* work for you

  3. Downloads page :   James Ogley notices an issue with the SuSE download links.   A) The package is of 1.0.4 and B) The site should say SuSE8.1.   Hub has taken care of this; however, your editor would like to remind you about the Latest Release page, which had correctly linked to 1.0.5.   Due to SuSE's poor GNOME support, I'm sure you won't mind the, umm, poor GNOME-ability for right now....

  4. Re: [Bug 4744] - RFE: Configure fix for fribidi-dev :   Thanks a lot, Dom, just tell the DEA why don't you.   And to think, Martin said you wouldn't be a big blabber mouth.   You've been cut off.

  5. QNX Dialogs uses PhAB. :   Johan, making Marc look lazy, moves 21 QNX dialogues over to using the Photon Application Builder.   Screenshots were not available upon release of this AWN.

  6. commit: win32 page number dialog enhancements :   I'm happy to present some Win32 eye-candy from Jordi:

    Win32 Page Number Dialogue

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 Weekly News #137 (2003, week 13) released :   Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the only discussion that guarantees users will respond to the list: Why doesn't the mailing list set the reply-to line to itself?
      Some discussion crops up about putting something in the footer.   Balsa crashed after a spell check, so, my recommendation included a misspelling.   I stole Hub's favourite position and acted very immutable on the subject.   That was my favourite part.

  2. abiword, problems with tab stopps... :   Now, in case you missed this, Chris Joelly and other users, the developers' builds are not stable.   The older, the less stable!   Additionally, Abiword does come with columns, so, you can separate text, even on one line!   When using a richly featured word processor, try to use the best technique of organising your work.   If you do want to try out the developers' builds, remember to use the latest and file bug reports with Bugzilla.   Thank you, and have wing-dingy day.

Traffic outside of the AbiDomain is tracked and occasionally reported.   This weeks includes selections from: FootNotes and The Nautilus Mailing List Archives

  1. Re: AbiWord Weekly News #137 :   Hey, wouldn't it be cool if your file manager, say Explorer or Nautilus, allowed you to view a document without having to load the whole application that would be used to edit it?   Many in AbiLand and in the world of Nautilus think so, but others think it's the worst gorram idea ever!   Just a reminder, this is neither bloat to Abiword or Nautilus, nor does it affect, by default, the traditional open-in-application reaction.   So, complaints about bloat and usability may be ignored.   If you don't like seeing a spread sheet in a word document, file a bug against us; if you don't like seeing a word document in a file viewer, complain to Nautilus.   In the mean time,
    Welcome to [Expletive Deleted]ing Bonobo Country!

  2. I'd use AbiWord if... :   Some users are still blissfully unaware that the Developers' Builds have two key distinct features:   A) They're unstable, and B) development occurs very fast.   Believe the tulip eater when he tells you that, by developers' standards, 1.1.3 IS old.   Do not believe that it is older than the Ancient Greeks, however, as that is used to describe most releases from the Debian community by anti-Debites, like Mark $20 Gilbert and said tulip eater.

  3. commit: AbiWord is now a Nautilus View. :   Same as last week's, this is Martin's happy announcement of the AbiWidget for Nautilus View Control.   And, for your drooling pleasure, the updated view:

    Dom's Toolbar Fix for Abiword's Nautilus View


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 2003.03.30 - 2003.04.06
Who Commits In summary
phearbear* 68 QNX dialogues converted to the Photon Application Builder, screenshots missing in action.
msevior 48 corrections to the Nautilus view, regression fixes, return Abi to it's almost mind-blowing speed*, caret stays visible during motion, fix the backspace bug, creditted Egmont Koblingen for bug fix.
Bugs: 4400, 4717(partial), 4768, 4782(from Egmont Koblingen), and 4795
fjfranklin 11 support "px" sanely (100ppi) as a measure of border width, set correct defaults for border properties in pp_Property.cpp, export table/cell properties to HTML, bump wv version number to 0.7.5, fix wv build instructions from Niall Brown, doesn't believe I use the x in xhtml, so, he's dropped it. Punk.
jordimas*  9 added missing rc file, small fixes to headerfooter & lists & MergeCells, page number dialogue box changes.
Bugs: 4651 and 4742
dom  4 remove menu from bonobo/nautilus view, better icon handling, added some mime types, made the text more coherent, ran xmllint --format on the results.
Bug: 4740
dchart  2 updated changelog of 1.1.4 up to 2 February 2003, updated changelog of 1.1.5 up to 30 March 2003
mpritchett  2 Win32 build fixes
hippietrail  1 Bug: 4784
hub  1 added pp_PropertyMap.cpp
uwog  1 fix up some anti-gcc 2.96 compiler issues and promises to send, "martin a whole box of gcc 2.96 compilers!"

*phearbear:  system-related work is QNX unless stated otherwise.
*mind-blowing speed:  doubters are welcomed to compare it to more bloated word processors, like OpenOffice or MSOffice.
*jordimas:  system-related work is Win32 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 twenty-third of March and fifth of April.


      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 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 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
 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
3778  30 --- Hanging indent setting ignores units
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
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 330 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
3668 111 --- Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
1374  96 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
1950  94 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
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
1235  21 Future [RFE] Not possible to change zoom and font size on toolba......


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 14
Verified 51
Closed  3
This Week's Bug Squishers:
Verified Name
15 Dave "I fit iron dick!" Null
13 Dom "FRICKIN' IDIOT!" Lachowicz
12 Sam "with a frick frick here" TH
 8 Jord "and a frick fick there" Mas
 8 Martin "here a frick" Sevior
 6 Frank "there a frick" Franklin
 2 Hubert "everywhere a frick fick" Figuiere
 2 tomabi
 1 Matthew "Dr. Evil owned a sub..." Craig
 1 frodol

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 34
Duplicate 20
Won't Fix  0
This Week's Most Active Bug Flushers:
Verified Name
42 Mark "I finally beat Dave!" Gilbert
11 Dave "He's cheatin'...I knows it..." Null
 1 No One "Beats Dave at his own game!"

Caught Bugs

      Bug spotters, beware, we're watching you!

Bugs Found this Week
Caught Number
Unconfirmed 2
New 3
ReOpened 2
This Week's New Bug Owners:
Verified Name
6 Dave "I'll remember to spade or neuter my bugs" Null
1 No One "Really owns a bug, per se..."

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  4 of  5 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 10 of 13 [META] Find/Replace bugs and enhancements
4488  2 of 13 [META] Help System Bugs
4627 12 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 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.