AbiWord Weekly News #158, (2003, week 33, released 2003.08.24)

Welcome to this issue 158 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      Windows isn't for me, but I'm having serious doubts about GNOME 1.4, too.

This week in development

      Enchant releases 0.2.0 (with special request to HSpell fans) during the viral storm of naught-three, while the call for binary builders screams over all the noise.   If you like a platform and want AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom to have a binary release for it, now would be a good time to jump in (whatever happened to our AIX binary ;o).   Also, a note about documentation and some help for Gentoo users.

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

      I was, indeed able to remember two of my thoughts, one of which was aided by a freshmeat article.   I'm talking, of course, about the near and dear point close to all of our hearts, Spam.

      Now, I remember reading that about 1 out of 2000 people actually take notice of any given spam message, except Nigerian spam, because caps lock is SO last decade and not worthy of a Net Hipster around forty-ish and beer-gutty.   Anyhow, I now pronounce the possibility that an inversion may very well be true:   You will actually like 1 out of 2000 messages sent to you.

      Well, maybe that is just me, but I've grown mighty fond of the spam I like.   For example, I got a message a year or so back about a company that helps people transition from Windows systems to Linux systems, one software solution at a time.   It turns out that software solution, unlike laundry solution, is similar to an alternative answer, like higher level math or anything occurring in "real life," like when your cousin turns to you and says, "I know I can jump your car with my hog."   Knowledge suggests that, "Yes, I can jump over your slightly-longer-than-a-vw-beetle car much akin to Peter Pan," would be the correct answer, but the alternative answer actually ends up being, "No, I can't clear your practically vertical hood where the gerbils and hamsters run the li'l wheels that make the whole thing go when you push a pellet in front of them by inserting your key."   It turns out that the Free Software and Open Source communities have lots of reality-biting answers like that.   And when my cousin can answer to his name, he'll be answering to my insurance company's lawyer; though, it's the hamsters' lawyers that he should worry about most.

      Today, I was informed that I had the oppourtunity to gain power and wealth by moving to California.   Apparently, with Governor Davis expected to only take home 35% of the vote, that makes it a whole shootin' match for anyone interested.   Normally, I'd leap at the chance for an "easy" government position, much as I would leap away from anything dangerous, like a snake or a hamster's lawyer or a drunk guy on a Harley.   But today, I was looking around Casa de Dave^H^H^H^H^H Eric and thought to myself, "I betchya the governor of Loonyfornia, um, California," no, I wouldn't have really corrected myself, "I betchya the governor of Loonyfornia doesn't need a monkey on a stick to change his living room light.   Yeah, I betchya he's got someone specifically dedicated to genetically engineering flying monkeys to change his living room light.   And you know, it'd be kind of cool to have a flying monkey...."

      After that, my mind filled with visions of green skin, pointy hats and flying monkeys, but purple ones though because purple is the colour of nobility, yeah.   So, I, Whichever Name Here, assert that I am running for Governor, or Cheif Governor or Flying Monkey Rancher or whatever you've got in Loonyfornia, of Loonyfornia, by which, I mean California.   Write in "Dave Ba^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Eric Zen, Flying Monkey Rancher" wherever there's room on the card.   That'll teach bastards for spamming me.

      Green Acres fans know this song by heart:   Loonyfornia is the place to be.   Flying Monkey Rancher is the job for me!   How I'd love a red-butted view.   But, Darling, and I love you, I want feathers in there too!

      Bang.   Bang.

      As for my other thought, I've decided to let it fester for another week.   Ironically, the only time it would have been fresh was if I had remembered it last week (and then, I could have beaten out a lot of people to that one).   Don't worry, if I remember it, I'll write it down, but I need to talk to a lawyer about a hamster.   "Hampster has no p in it; please keep it that way" --Aleta1 about Cranky Hamster ?

*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. Announce: Enchant 0.2.0 released :   Dom is pleased to announce the 0.2.0 release of Enchant.   He also states that, should someone be interested, the building of an HSpell backend would be a very appreciated assist, as many Hebrew speakers (well, writers, at least) seem to have a preference for it.   With such shorter undertaking (as opposed to squashing Win32 printing bugs, at least), isn't about time you participated in something?

  2. Viruses in email ,
    Re: Re: My details ,
    [ADMIN] New list policy and
    [OT]: Information about the worm we are suffering :   "It's ironic that in the one week I ask for a virus, I get five, and not a single one is the right one."   Yes, Eric, that is ironic, but you only got two, not five!   As this one sent messages to emails that "knew" each other, this lead to many a "THAT'S NOT ME, I SWEAR!"   For more information about the SoBig virus, please check the numerous links in "[OT]: Information about...".   Hub lays down some semi-new rules* that you, the abi-mailing-list user, must know in "[ADMIN] New list policy".   The short of it is: HTML email is permanently blocked (learn about the plain text function now).   Don't be confused on the numerous interpretations about the reply-to; Hub added that to mess with our heads.

  3. What happened to justified paragraphs? :   Jordi, in an attempt to fix bug 4593 accidentally booboo'd Justified text.   If CVS HEAD users have this issue, update.   If it persists, contact Jordi.

  4. Could someone briefly test this RTF? :   Seth catches some funky rendering issues in AbiWord that affect people who use both Japanese and English in rich text format.   When Japanese is specified second in the RTF, the rendering engine will produce gibberish.   A but has since been filed.

  5. Binary Builders please volenteer for 2.0! :   Martin and Dom are in need of Binary Builders for the release of AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom on September 8th.   It would also be nice for people to make GNOME Office 1.0 release as well; however, emphasis is added on Win32, Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake and Debian.   Additional platforms that would be appreciated would be OS X and QNX (though, those platforms may not be fully ready at that time).   Notice, though, that Jordi points out that the Win32 metabug remains unsquishéd.

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. displaying help in abiword ? :   Gerald Hein is trying to find the AbiDocumentation, which has to be out there somewhere.   It turns out that, despite being otherwise heavily documented, AbiWord's primary help isn't completed for addition within the AbiSource.   Jonathan, your friendly neighbourhood FreeBSD user did point out that, for the time being, Gerald could use The Online Manual for AbiWord.

  2. Please help with abiword 2 and wordperfect files and
    Re: Please help with abiword 2 and wordperfect files :   Michael Braun is trying to use the WordPerfect importer for AbiWord under Gentoo.   Here's a note from Mark to Gentoo users:   You need to merge libwpd and then abiword to get the WordPerfect plugin.   Then, from Dom, for cvs-building of AbiWord's WordPerfect import:   Enter abiword-plugins/wp/impexp/wordperfect/ and execute: ./configure --disable-all --enable-wordperfect
      Finally a notice from Martin:   Your problem was not with abiword but with the fact that Gentoo did not provide all the source tarballs and build magic you need to build abiword....   [One] Day later Gentoo is updated. [Michael] get's word perfect import, [and] Gentoo is fixed for everyone else.

  3. Re: Crashing when I open .abw and .doc files (only when they include text) :   Michael, what were you thinking?   Who puts text into a word document!?   You silly li'l punk!   AbiWord is having various issues when used on KDE, specifically known in Gentoo.   I believe the fix Martin refers to is this SuSE solution,   which was to make sure you have installed and running the gnome-sessions-daemon.

  4. Operating problem. :   Hoyt Bailey brings us another reminder that bears repeating:   When upgrade AbiWord, always upgrade your plugins, too, as inter-version compatability is non-existent.   There once was chatter about fixing this, but think more along the lines of 2.2 to 2.4 before expecting that to happen, as current, the way they all interact, that's literally impossible.   Maybe Dom's CSAPI work will bring forth some improvements.

*semi-new rules: the no-html rule has existed as a matter of etiquette until now.


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 2003.08.17 - 2003.08.23
Who Commits In summary
Dom Lachowicz 37 some docs crash when trying to do summary stream stuff. shortcut - don't import metadata, document 9-10 new dialogs,
Enchant: fix dllimport/export thing for schurro, remove reseved funcs, replace with generic array of reserved pointer space, bump version #, define dllmain, more win32 work, improve c++ api (introduce ability to describe a dictionary:language tag, provider, et c), bump version #, fix justified paragraphs
Bugs: 4788 (partial) and 5626
Marc Maurer  8 make debug message less intrusive, fix fsckup up special characters, update nl_NL to include all missing translations en other fixes
Bug: 5624
Martin Sevior  7 crash after delete table
Bug: 5595
Patrick Lam  5 commit robert wilhelm's patch, plus some refactoring of _getStruxFromPositionSkip/_getStruxFromPosition, prevent memory error w/bookmarks and and another (thanks to valgrind) in 5506
Jordi Mas*  5 fix print crash bug
Bugs: 4593 and 5636
Andrew Dunbar  4 Albanian update from Besnik Bleta, Brand new Latvian po file from Gustavs, Spanish update from Francisco Javier F. Serrador, Gustavs Galdins added to CREDITS.TXT for Latvian translation work
Nadav Rotem  4 OTS: added some more charts to "How It Works", two api functions to make the plugin building easier: is_selected(line) and get_text(line)
Frank Jimmy Franklin*  3 update libots-1 detection/config, use PKG_CHECK_MODULES to detect libpng - - falls back to previous method (pseudo-fix for 4007), install bonobo server files in $(libdir)/bonobo/servers
Pierre Abbat  2 Spanish update by Francisco Javier Serrador
row  2 wv: avoid invalid read in trace message (reported by valgrind in doc from 4788), fix harmless off by one error resulting in a bad diagnostic and remove unreacheable code
Michael D. Pritchett*  1 fix elusive bug that caused MingW Win98 builds to crash on start-up
Rui Miguel Silva Seabra  1 duplicate line in spec template

*Jordi Mas:  system-related work is Win32 unless stated otherwise.
*Frank Jimmy Franklin:  If Ken Davis can by Jeremy....
*Michael D. Pritchett:  system-related work is Win32 unless stated otherwise.


      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, Michael Pritchett

Bug Update

Bug Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +10 (11 : 1), VeriNew +2 (4 : 2), ClosAssi -1 (0 : 1),

      ResoUnconf seems lower, but is concentrated on more difficult bugs; more interestingly, VeriNew has stayed (lightly) in the positive, while ClosedAssi stays ever so slightly in the negative.   Louis Bugkeyser suggested that with the onset of 2.0 release candidates, it is possible that all three markets may swing into the positive.   Alan Bluespan, however, suggests that the markets shall stay right where they're at until over flooded with the final release of AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom.   NIGERIAN DELEGATE IMHO IANAL suggests that my personal economic state in life will change if I can loan him US$40,000 to free up US$4 million that is hiding in a secret government bank account that originally belonged to THE EVIL POTATOEEE CHARLES TAYLOR OF LIBERIA.   If you would like to assist in this venture, send money to the AbiFund today!

      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  41 --- Hanging indent setting ignores units
4745  31 Future Change colour of foreground text for screen only
5293  31 --- Delete a selected multiline text leaves part of the text ......
4031  30 Future Hebrew status line message is not displayed correctly
4722  30 --- When using -p or --print the output isn't usable
5252  30 2.2 Contrast between cursor (caret) and background is ruined ......
2868  25 2.0 character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...
4020  24 --- UTF8 strings not shown in list of spelling alternatives
2421  23 2.0 TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......
1679  17 --- 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
1865  13 --- Header/footer not loaded properly from .doc
2362  12 1.0.x AbiWord only prints across half of page
3635  12 --- Format/Document/Margin/Units doesn't respect locale
3671  12 --- Page header and footer are incorrectly exported to RTF
4071  11 Future [w32] .doc falsely password protected
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 421 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
3668 121 --- Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
1950 117 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  99 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  40 --- 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

      A new bug jumps up in popularity, 5252, Contrast between cursor (caret) and background is ruined.   Combined with the usual puttering about of the bugs order, there was one disappearance, 4360, Spelling squiggle erases half of bullet or number.   Democracy is dangerous; leave innovation to the experts ;o)

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  1 of  3 abi can leak memory [tracker bug]
3064  5 of  7 [TRACKER] AbiWord Performance
3239  8 of 39 [META] Windows printing bugs
4142  3 of 12 make AbiWord comply with GNOME HIG
4425  0 of  0 squash all warnings
4465 17 of 38 [META] Spelling bugs
4466 10 of 22 [META] "Motion" Bugs
4488  1 of 13 [META] Help System Bugs
4627  7 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  7 of  9 [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

      Another Windows Printing Bug bites the dust, while two new bugs are added to the Windows Blocker 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.