AbiWord Weekly News #141, (2003, week 17, released 2003.04.27)

Welcome to this issue 141 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      1.9.0 has been placed on the Latest Releases page; note to red hat users, make sure you're downloading both your version and your architecture correctly.   Martin pops in with more work on the Nautilus View Control.   Hub gives Cocoa one last great hurrah, while a potential developer (maybe some eons away) considers taking up the call.   And, MingW work is still in progress from Sinitsyn Valentine.

This week in development

      I hope you like staring at pictures this week because there's a good and plenty lot of them.   Not only has the Support AbiWord button changed, but some mighty fun niftiness has also kicked up.   We've got a visual lock on the first reported appearance of Abiword on AIX.   Also, your favourite bug graph returns (not in the AWN, of course).   On top of that, libwpd, the WordPerfect module for the Open Source office utilities, has its own collection to show off.   Speaking of Open Source office utilities, a new one is headed to Mac OS X, and our own Seth Delackner (not really ours, he's more of a rental), is quite pleased to announce the public beta of AbiConvert and his employers nifty word processor (ooh, competition), the Nisus Writer Express.

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

      "If these 180 were somehow spirited off Internet - we'd be left with the Nigerians, and companies spamming by mistake. The spam problem would simply disappear." -- Steve Linford, of The Spamhaus Project
Florida Spammers Sue Anti-Spam Groups

      No changes to the AWN this week.   Time and all that rubbish.

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

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. Bug stats collected on www.abisource.com :   Jesper Skov, original creator of the bug graph, has uploaded the scripts et c. to the server.   People interested in a daily dose of graphage can head to his section of the site at http://www.abisource.com/~jskov/

  2. Commit: Improved Mail Merge Architecture :   Lots of improvements and more on the way!   Sources now include a native XML format, comma separated values and a tabbed deliminated text format.   Improvements to the GNOME GDA plugin along from Dom and OLE2 & ODBC from Jordi will make this one of the most interesting mail merge systems in some time.

  3. tips on getting nautilus view working and commit: Nautilus view says "View As Word Processor" now. :   "Mike" wants to know what he's missing to get the Bonobo component working.   Martin helps in the final steps that are very essential.   Later, Martin fixes one of the more bothersome problems mentioned.

  4. cocoa version :   Ben Huot, someone with quite the bit of patience, has offered up his help with continuing the MacOS X version of Abiword.   Right after he's learned a couple of languages, we just might look forward to a commit.   Bugger of a first time project, isn't it?

  5. Abiword as test of Wine :   Dan Kegel likes to play with Wine and Abiword.   The install's been working fine, but, apparently, the rendering isn't coming out right.   Just a note to Wine developers, as I'd figure Jordi would have noticed an issue if it was really a problem in Windows.

  6. List numbering.. and Commit: wordperfect lists fix :   Word Perfect seems to do the bloodiest oddest thing you've ever seen.   You can alter the values of an item of a list, essentially allowing you to restart half way down.   Martin, Open Office and your editor haven't a fagging clue why anyone would do such a thing.   Furthermore, Abiword uses start-value paragraph property that would allow for it...if the first item didn't set the global value for the whole list, regaurdless of what comes afterwards.   Martin suggests that Will will have to spoof it by creating a new list each time someone would otherwise wish to do such an odd thing.

  7. Meta-User problems :   Jesse Weinstein ventures into the developer world to explain problems non-technical users are having, most particularly--his mother.   Covering the problems mostly common with Win32's stable development, there also lies an explanation about issues with bugzilla.   Also to note are to documents: What to Expect from an Open Source Project and Dom's Bugzilla Kvetch.

  8. Cast-related Build Failure :   I love anything involving the phrase "owes donuts,"   Compiler version and options play a nice game of hide and seek with Andrew, but Hub pops in with his trustworthy Debian box to catch the li'l bugger.   If Hub, Dom and Andrew make it to GUADEC, drop by for the three dozen donuts....

  9. My public beta, thanks for all the help :   Seth Delackner is happy to announce the public beta of the AbiConvert tool, soon to be a part of the Nisus Writer Express public beta for OS X.   What could be cooler than that?   The beta release can be fetched here.

  10. libwpd 0.4.0 "the bestest libwpd ever!" and wpd2sxw 0.3.0 released :   Well, whooptee-S*!   Will, Will, Will, Marc and Will are very happy announce the latest and most desirable release of libwpd.   Soon, you too will be able to read and write WordPerfect documents from the comfort of your FreeSoftware application.   By soon, I suppose one could say "now."   I couldn't pick any single screenshot to show you (too many good ones were in OOo ;o), so, I thought I'd like directly to their seven niftty screenshots.

  11. Return: uPOW 2001.17 - Where to send AbiWord announcements :   Re-hashing an ages old email from Jesper (when he started taking over the AWN), I'm asking for anyone's help/suggestions as to non-Linux-y places to send out notices of the AWN.   The long term goal is to draw in more users from Windows, Macintosh and QNX.   It may not be immediately apparent, but there non-Linux & Gnome platforms out there....

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 meets AIX :   Martin Stenzel manages to get Abiword working on AIX.   If you don't believe it based on the details involved, maybe you'll believe the screenshot


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 2003.04.20 - 2003.04.26
Who Commits In summary
Andrew Dunbar 51 Credits include Justin McPherson, corrected email address, formatting corrections and correction to an encoding error; C casts -> C++ casts with comments, Czech .po update from Radek Vybiral
Hubert Figuiere 40 macro to release objects in vector (obj-c specific), fix warnings, wild const did not pass gcc 2.95.x, fix spurious cast warning, fix ruler interface change
project builder: bump to 1.9.0, added new files, removed unused files, fixed default path
Cocoa: use UTF8 whenever possible, fix unit change for mouse events, fixed a typo in mouse events, unit changes, new method to measure chars (uses NSTextLayout), new method to draw them, fix conversion problem beetween UCS-4 UCS-2, use UTF8 in localization, handle file types selection in open/save dialog, remove a few headers dependencies use UTF8 for localization, scrolling works, use UTF8 for localization, code cleanup, a few gr_* optimizations, getGR() => getGraphics() for consistency convert units to fix event handling, fixed a serious crasher while closing the dialog
Bug: 4988
Dom Lachowicz 32 improved mail merge architecture, classes for printing and saving from within a mail-merge driver, changed "abiword-2.0" to "AbiWord-2.0" to match our 2.0 naming scheme, default to the save and not cancel button
Bug: 4929
Jordi Mas* 16 keybiding alt+0,1,2 change, justin's keyboard fix, metadata fixes and others, optimisation, fix enconding bug in status bar
Bugs: 4815, 4865, 4871, 4873 and 4874
Frank J. Franklin 14 const/cast corrections (fun fun fun), remove "prefix/libdir undefined" nag (i.e., yield to overwhelming pressure from dom & schurro), (Frank, you should have demanded a bribe, you spineless wienie!), add Xft2 & fontconfig to pkg-config requirements, more random cast corrections from the makers of schurro (anyone want to buy a schurro for fifty pounds?),
Martin Sevior 12 fix more "blackhole" cases with insert column, fix hang loading loading docs in Nautilus view,
Bugs: 4180 (partial), 4887 and 4910
Marc Maurer  8 HIG fix, initialize some values, improve loading speed for documents containing base64 encoded data, temp fix for phearbears build problem, getGR() -> getGraphics(), use GDK_INTERP_BILINEAR for scaling, instead of GDK_INTERP_NEAREST
Bug: 4858
Jesper Skov  6 use stack variable--not heap object, fix debugging helper
Bugs: 2567, 4922, 4950 and 4960
Johan Björk*  5 added the FormatTable dialog for qnx/photon
Will Lachance  4 re-integrate support for lists (now with bonus feature: continued numbering across list boundaries!), bump libwpd version requirement to 0.4.0, fix bug which was preventing a corner case in the lists code from working properly (continuations on level > 0)
David Chart  3 completed 1.1.4 and 1.9.0 changelogs, started 1.9.1 (current to 20:00 BST 26/4/03)
Mikey Cooper  1 more getGR() -> getGraphics to fix win32 build with debug
Kenneth "Jeremy" Davis  1 Sinitsyn Valentine's DM_SPECVERSION patch
Daniel Glassey  1 bump diving make build version to 1.9.1 for next release
Rui Miguel Silva Seabra  1 add build dependencies to the rpm spec

*Jordi Mas:  system-related work is Win32 unless stated otherwise.
*Johan Björk:  system-related work is QNX unless stated otherwise.
*Kenneth "Jeremy" Davis:  system-related work is DOS and Win32 unless stated otherwise.   He has two first names, but never explained that part to me.

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 twentieth and twenty-sixth 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  49 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.
4722  30 --- When using -p or --print the output isn't usable
4745  30 Future Change colour of foreground text for screen only
2868  25 2.0 character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...
4266  23 --- Punctuation misplaced in bi-directional text (Arabic and ......
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
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.
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 ...
2490  96 2.0 Finish Cocoa Frontend
1950  94 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
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).

Bugs Resolved This Week
Resolution Number
Resolved 26
Verified 44
Closed 15
This Week's Bug Squishers:
Verified Name
31 David Null
13 Martin Sevior
11 Sam TH
 8 Jordi Mas
 7 Hubert Figuiere
 6 Dom Lachowicz
 4 Frank Franklin
 3 Jesper Skov
 1 Christian Biesinger
 1 David Chart

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 16
Duplicate 14
Won't Fix 10
This Week's Most Active Bug Flushers:
Verified Name
36 David Null
 3 No One
 1 Alan Horkan

Caught Bugs

      Bug spotters, beware, we're watching you!

Bugs Found this Week
Caught Number
Unconfirmed 4
New 8
ReOpened 2
This Week's New Bug Owners:
Verified Name
8 Dave Null
2 Hubert Figuiere
2 Martin Sevior
1 Patrick Lam
1 Jordi Mas

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!?"


      Yo, with 1.0.6 on the way, the 1.0.7 hackdown is only a few AWNs away.

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 20 of 38 [META] Windows printing bugs
4142  3 of 12 make AbiWord comply with GNOME HIG
4425  0 of  0 squash all warnings
4465 18 of 36 [META] Spelling bugs
4466 11 of 22 [META] "Motion" Bugs
4467  8 of 11 [META] Find/Replace bugs and enhancements
4488  1 of 13 [META] Help System Bugs
4627 11 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.

Last Updated: April 10, 2003

      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.

      Word of caution, numbers lightly fudged due to (hopefully) temporarily incomplete data.   Like a consultant's suggested price, you'll find hidden meaning in the data if you stare long and hard.   Surgeon's General's Warning:  Staring long and hard may have psychotropic affects; keep out of reach of people who like that sort of thing.

      I cannot promise the time of de-fudging, nor can I promise there will be de-fudging any time soon. However, I feel confident that there will be some de-fudging going on.

Current Balance: $1604.34
Interest earned: $8.64

Expenditures: $950
$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
$225 Patch Prize (those already successfully awarded)
-   $ 45 Will Lachance
-   $ 45 Marc Maurer
-   $ 45 Ruud Vring
-   $ 45 Patrick Lam
-   $ 45 Dom Lachowicz

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.