AbiWord Weekly News #154, (2003, week 30, released 2003.07.27)

Welcome to this issue 154 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      Enchant went 0.1.0, OTS received some major make overs and Release Hackdown gets another set of corrections.

This week in development

      A possible standard for spell checking management, Enchant, is finally released after last week's announcement.   The Open Text Summarizer reaches a level of complexity that will blow other summarisers out of the water.   More GNOME HIGrrrification™, help with OSX X11 and more we enter the week that will bring us 1.99.3.

Request for user assistance

      If you want an equally rich and powerful Windows release, we really, really could use some Windows developers.   A whole mess of people with even just an hour a week could help.   Of course, the "three with only two hours a week" model hasn't been helping!   We're desperate!   We'll take a line a day if there's enough of you!   Please help...please!   Doesn't a platform like yours deserve a chance?

      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.

Silliness of the Week


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

*requested: Danger, a recent incident suggests that this may cause anxiety, anger and/or mood shifts.   Windows users not taking MAOI's should have some level of alcohol within their bloodstream.

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.   Actually, everything I say is purely editorial.   You kind of get used to it.


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. recent OTS changes and
    Tutorial: writing stemming rules in Open Text Summarizer :   Nadav got a little daring in his latest feature.   The feature is designed to recognise words that are extension of an original word, e.g. running to run, in process called "stemming."   Committed with a basic concept of rules, the new xml-based format is, obviously, not able to use the list of words dictionary of its predecessor.   Luckily, he's also created a nice script to update the older dictionaries to the new format, dic2xml.sh.   He encourages dictionary makers to attempt to create/update the dictionaries to use the new function, and, he includes a sample format in the thread.   I hope the translators have patience...or scripting practice.   The second one, obviously, is a tutorial, but to understand it, you'll need to know this:   When you see â[][], replace them with a double quote(").   I believe this comes from copying and pasting from Abi with SmartQuotes™* turned on.

  2. Enchant 0.1.0 released :   After a hard week's worth of work (and then some, really), Enchant is ready for its initial release.   For those of you that missed last week's announcement about Enchant's creation, see here.   Those interested in checking out, extending or applying Enchant should visit its official AbiPage here.   To see Dom's go at making Enchant an official standard at FreeDesktop, head over to this thread.

  3. Commit: pre-refactoring code removal :   Long ago, Will starred in the movie Frame Refactoring, episode II: Attack of the Strings.   In it, the Old Frame Implementation was weakening the WYSIWYG of the Source on all platforms.   Will's character, wlach, bravely battles the crumbling Old Frame Implementation to create the New Frame Implementation.   Unfortunately, not all platforms were on board for the the New Frame Implementation.   Because of that, today, Hub's final devastation of the Old Frame Implementation has destroyed AbiFunctionality on BeOS.   BeOS users that actually try to keep up on the latest and greatest of these things, both of you, are probably experiencing some build breakage.   Use the Source, Jun; use the Source.

  4. Load plugin libraries on demand. :   Anyone using AbiWord with an extensive number of libraries and plugins (like Debian SID users) probably have noticed that the light footprint disappeared.   Martin requests loading many of the extending libraries on demand, in the same way that one can opt to do with plugins.   Though this desirable functionality exists within the libgnomeoffice thanks to Rodrigo, Dom considers this a little late in the release cycle to implement this for 2.0

  5. A few weeks off :   Jordi's going on holiday...well until after the intended 2.0 release!   This puts the amount of dev time a week from Jeremy, Jordi and Michael for Windows down to an unbelievable minimum.   If there EVER was a time for budding Win32 developers to consider contributing, this is IT!

  6. commit: Fix nesting of tables past 2 levels, cut on GUADEC document no longer hangs. :   Just in case you've been dying for some table updates, Martin's gotten nesting down to an art.   Other issues still exist in reference to the Guadec 4 Document.   Soon, Martin...soon....

  7. 1.99.3 soon? :   What's on Martin's mind?   The next beta, of course.   You can't go for two weeks in an Open Source project and pretend to be following Release Early, Release Often™ standard guidelines.   Dom would like to shoot for Today-ish after two-ish, EST.   As is standard around here,   WE PROMISE NOTHING!   HA HA HA!
      Anything on SourceForge and Savannah on Monday evening will get into the Latest Releases page.   That's the one I link to at the top of every AWN since around the beginning of the year (if not, in fact, earlier!).   That's just in case you didn't know such a thing existed....   Not that I'm referring to anyone in particular, this is more of a hypothetical example of a person who might exists; right, Alan? ;o)

  8. Commit: Change Abisource's copyright in about dialog and
    Commit: More AbiSource copyright corrections :   AbiSource last copyright protected in 2000...!?   Will catches some of the less thought of bits of AbiDom, the about dialogue's copyright notice.   Outside of the sheer entertainment factor this provided, there's no real reason to even mention this.   What's more entertaining than fixing one copyright misappropriation?   Sedding up a fix for 2003 more, of course!

  9. Commit: HIGified Unix List Revisions dialog and
    commit: HIGified UNIX Plugin Manager dialog :   Minor updates have gone into the Gnome Revisions Dialogue and the Gnome Plugin Manager.   Needless to say, the HIG was involved somewhere or another....

  10. GNU libiconv 1.9.1 :   In case you missed it, or you just need a reminder, Dom would really love a somewhat less antiquated version of GNU libiconv.

  11. Commit: Myspell enchant provider :   With the inclusion of MySpell (hence the topic), which comes from Joan Moratinos (thank you, by the way), Enchant now handles: Aspell, Ispell, Myspell, and Uspell.   Once Hspell is included, Enchant will officially rock!

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. Dead alphanumeric keys :   It appears that "Steven" has troubles with his 1.0.2 Abi on Slackware.   Apparently, no one was made aware that this problem, an actual bug, was fixed with the, then, next version of AbiWord.   So, make note, the current stable version of AbiWord is 1.0.6, where, this problem (among others) is not known to exist.

  2. Mac OS X AbiWord not showing file :   If you've installed XAbiWord on your OS X box and are unable to get it to function quite right, this might be the thread for you.   The reason currently remains unknown, but the more people looking at a bug, the sooner it can go away.

  3. fonts in Abiword 2 (osx gtk) :   While on the subject of OS X, if you're unable to use your favourite fonts with Abi, this is officially Apple's fault.   Their delay in releasing their X11 server (which verges on intentional) is preventing the integrated FontConfig functionality from being used.   Patience is something you'll need in abundance.

*SmartQuotes™:   Does not gaurantee that the routine is, in any way whatsoever, actually competent.   Let's just call it "functional."


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 2003.07.20 - 2003.07.26
Who Commits In summary
Nadav Rotem 120 OTS: Stemming, bug fixes, campaign promises ;o), ReadMe updated for stemming, dic2xml.sh to turn old dictionaries into new ones, word->ru;l->rule in stemmer tags, converted all .dic files to .xml (even those not yet committed), completed todo, support for synonyms words (he didn't even mention this cool feature), new manual tags, engrish dictionary tweakage, update ReadMe, indent to all files, added free_rule() (according to the GNU Foundation, Free does, indeed, Rule), to compile with the new xml format in ots-cvs
William Lachance  78 Extensive copyright correction
Bug: 5209
Dom Lachowicz  78 fix the build for wlach, perl bindings
Enchant: make hebrew work, fix uspell provider bug, drop libenchant in favor of enchant, fix bug for jmo - g_get_home_dir can return NULL, some work toward win32 registry usage, remove big binary documentation, implement and use new win32 'registry-ready' functions, c++ test program, 100% c++ binding coverage, c++ bindings work, finalize some c++ bindings, change c++ api, dom now officially rocks, uspell personal dictionary support, fix include, hopefully fix some mingw build errors, don't try to install a dll that doesn't get built (win32), fix bug - passing wrong length, uspell now honors the size arguments, cleanups, win32 mingw improvements, MySpell from Joan Moratinos
Bug: 5443
Martin Sevior  36 fix resize race bug on unix if the zoom is set to page width, removed asserts, make the default distance from the left edge of a table to text something reasonable when importing tables from MSWord, fix for undo delete footnotes, delete fixes, fix nesting past 2 levels of tables, handle more corner cases deleting and inserting text -- particularly in blocks with footnotes and endnotes, lose the cell selection after deleting something in a table
Bugs: 4945, 5346, 5420 and 5456
Andrew Dunbar  34 Spanish update from Javier Fernandez Serrador, Chinese (PRC) update from Funda Wang, Vietnamese PO file update from pclouds, Spanish PO file update from Francisco Javier F., added pclouds's real name to the credits for doing Vietnamese translations (I'd love to include it here, but based on the signature, I don't think I could without a UTF-8 reference table)
OTS: dictionaries added: Basque, Bulgarian, English (updated), Estonian, Galician (updated by Ramón Flores), German, Greek, Indonesian, Interlingua, Latvian, Maori, Maltese, Polish, Turkish and Tagalog (Pilipino),
Michael D. Pritchett  34 minor fixes to some Win32 Debugger memory problems, Win32 Dialog Refactoring (still no screen shots, but upto 20%), bug in dialogproc, removing the msys libAbiWord.dll requirement, fixes for mingw build, fix for Toolbar Zooming for Win32
Sven Herzberg*  18 Cria: starting to create build system, extending build system, autogen and configure are working now
Marc Maurer   9 fix the continuous updating of the character & paragraph previews in the Styles dialog, fix the not-updating of the character preview in the Styles dialog after window exposed events, fix the invalid size requests for widgets in the Modify Styles dialog, fix quite some asserts (not all) in the Modify Styles dialog caused by braindead assert clauses in fp_Line, fix the continuous updating of the list preview in the Lists dialog, fix neighbourhood pets for €500 a pop, fix bad footer placement, fix typo in nl dictionary: duch->dutch*, fix broken cast in Edit Methods
Bug: 3650
Christian Neumair   5 updated .cvsignore and po/.cvsignore, HIGrrrified™ Revisions and Plugin Manager dialogues, changed some plugin manager strings
Raphael Finkel   4 changed API for assimilateFile: we now pass the file name instead of passing an open-file descriptor
Pierre Abbat   3 Spanish translation update by Francisco Javier F. Serrador and added Francisco Javier F. Serrador to credits
Hubert Figuiere   3 removing pre-refactoring code
Bug: 4816
Jordi Mas*   2 not use icons for menu items that have a state

*Sven Herzberg:  What are all these commits to "cria!?"   Oh Dear, what could that be!?   Certainly...not the future of...criawips!?   There is officially some mutual app rocking going on.   Ladies and Gentlemen, a real presentation application for Linux....
*dutch:  And guess who put that there....   What is an English word doing in a Nederland dictionary?   I guess that depends on what the mean of is is!*
*Jordi Mas:  system-related work is Win32 unless stated otherwise.   Unrelated, but the weasle had me look through the email to get a summary...those are Dom's words, I think.
*is!:   Lookie, multi-lingual joke!


      Current pows are here. This will probably be replaced next week if not this very week.

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 Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +16 (16 : 0), VeriNew +1 (9 : 8), ClosAssi +1 (2 : 1),

      For the first time in four weeks, all the indices closed at a positive, with ResoUnconf leading with a stunning 16 above.   Louis Bugkeiser has noted that this trend will probably evaporate next week when 1.99.3 is released.   Alan Bluespan, however, disagrees, and notes that, for the most part, these will stay in the positive due to the aggressive effort to balance the bug-get.   Either way, it is certainly an Ant market.

      For information about how to view the chart, please read 142's Special Interest.

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  82 2.0 File associate problems for all file types with Win32Slu......
3778  40 --- Hanging indent setting ignores units
3970  31 --- changing layouts can lead to showing other location than ......
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...
2421  22 2.0 TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......
5198  18 --- Justification doesn't work
1679  16 --- List changes should keep selection
3216  15 1.0.x [Tabstops Cannot be Set in Second (or Third) Column
3801  15 --- Incremental loader seems to struggle with large files
4020  15 --- UTF8 strings not shown in list of spelling alternatives
1865  13 --- Header/footer not loaded properly from .doc
4360  13 Future Spelling squiggle erases half of bullet or number
2362  12 1.0.x AbiWord only prints across half of page
3671  12 --- Page header and footer are incorrectly exported to RTF
1613  11 1.0.x undo does not know about replacing
4071  11 --- Abiword is crashing during importing word document
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 391 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
3668 121 --- Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
1950 116 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
1374 108 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
2321 100 --- [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
2490  98 2.0 Finish Cocoa Frontend
1144  72 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
2565  72 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
4057  60 --- Thesaurus Shift+F7 keybindings shortcuts consistency
4038  51 --- Outline View Support
2366  44 Future implement floating frame
 515  41 Future columns change should only affect selected text
1929  40 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
2365  39 --- AbiWord needs 'view codes'
2164  35 Future Ability to set default print command anywhere
1851  31 Future [rfe] Ability to create an ALL CAPS style, and Small Caps......
2186  30 Future The insert page break setting is lost for custom styles
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
2169  24 Future Line numbering


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!?"


      There is not stable tracker bug, so, I'm chopping it out until told otherwise.


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

HackDown to AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom
Bug ID Open of Total Description
2921  2 of  2 abi can leak memory [tracker bug]
3064  6 of  7 [TRACKER] AbiWord Performance
3239 11 of 39 [META] Windows printing bugs
4142  3 of 12 make AbiWord comply with GNOME HIG
4425  0 of  0 squash all warnings
4465 16 of 37 [META] Spelling bugs
4466 10 of 22 [META] "Motion" Bugs
4488  1 of 13 [META] Help System Bugs
4627  8 of 16 [META] Copy/Paste bugs
5007  0 of  0 bidi in tables
5023  0 of  0 format footnote dialogue needs 'do not restart' option
5080  0 of  0 Abiword doesn't print arabic texts with vovels properly.
5232  4 of  6 [META] Win32 Blocker bugs for 2.0 Release
5308  0 of  0 Zooming changes # of pages and page layout gets buggier!!
5411  0 of  0 Crash when choosing a font in toolbar

      Removed this week was 5119--setting meta-data does not dirty the document and 5346--Removing headers overly ambitious.   Added this week was 5308--Zooming changes # of pages and page layout gets buggier!!, which already includes some hard work put into it from Oliver "shurro" Schurr.

      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.