AbiWord Weekly News #177,
(Released January 4th, the first week of 2004)
Welcome to this issue 177 of the AbiWord Weekly News.
NSIS2 continues in development. Bluespan makes an A* of himself ;o)
This week in development
It's been a fairly generic week: a mention in the NYTimes, more NSIS2 development, a brand-spanking-new developer and some minor feature-enrichment for our features. It's the post-holiday hangover/soberfication.
New! Attention Indic and Arabic users! We need more of you to attempt to use and report bugs on CVS Head. As we continue to improve the glyph-shaping engine, we will need to know what is working and what is not. You, our users, are an essential part of our community development. Please participate in helping us improve the application all of us are using.
In case you haven't guessed, the fact that the plea below, languages, has remained unchanged is because no-one has even told us they're trying to help. However, we were told that two were not that different (if at all) from a close linguistic relative. That said, please-oh-please give us assistance.
Hi there. We're looking for people who can help keep AbiWord accurate and uptodate in a number of languages. Please look over them and see if ither you or someone you know might be able to assist us. Remember, your contribution is not only welcomed or encouraged but is also documented, for an easier-to-brag experience. The languages we are looking for are listed below:
- Chinese (Singapore)[zh-SG]
- Flemish (Belgium)[nl-BE]
- Hausa (Niger)[ha-NE]
- Hausa (Nigeria)[ha-NG]
- Marshallese (Nauru)[mh-NR]
Due to the traffick of people who are trying to help with picked up languages, those who are interested in helping us are encouraged to join ither mailing list. Please read the instructions for the list you are most interested in joining to get the correct address. Joining, as you'll find out, is a simple three step process. First, send a letter to one email address; second confirm you sent the letter by sending a reply, and third...oops, there is no step three. Ok, so, excluding all the minor steps of what to click and/or type, it's really a simple two-step process.
There are just two important reminders in using the mailing lists which all users are expected to do. If you want your message to even make it to the list, you message will need to be in plain text only. Due to an insurgence of a certain virus a while back, all HTML email is rejected for reasons of sanity. Webmail users will have to figure out how to turn on plain-text only before sending email. Second, you are required to send the language in Engrish or English. For those of you who don't speak English well enough to send Engrish, it is recommended that you send the letter in both your native language (identify your language please) and after that, in the same message, send it in a machine-translated version of your message, like BabelFish, in case no-one who speaks your language is available to translate your message for the list. Failure to follow these proceedures in the past have led to frustration and resentment. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience these two requests may cause you.
Silliness of the Week
One of the advantages to Sometime Sunday is the avoidance of the NFL playoffs. International readers may be unaware, but this has not been the best of seasons for the Packers, and right now, they're going into overtime against their old Superbowl-winning coach. The OT's a bit of a shock, as seeing a number of us thought that after the first half, the end would be near. I feel like I've been hosting “The Linux Show” during the Cubbies' victory streak - - all of this shouting in the background...and you don't know this, but Packer fans...in Wisconsin...are, to say the least, very passionate folk. I think I heard something break shortly into the third quarter. I hope it wasn't expensive.
Addendum: Touchdown for the Pack with 10:35 left on the clock. Dog barked. Something broke. Reviewing re-financing to restore crystal dinner-ware collection, just in case. Is it wrong for me to enjoy seeing Mike double-over in emotional pain?
- Bug Update
- Windows World:
-   - Nullsoft Scriptable Install System
- GNOME Office:
-   - Gnumeric
-   - Gnome Database
-   - Criawips/AbiShow
-   - Conglomerate
- Other Inter-Abi Things
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:
commit: Complete Styles Dialog fixes.
→ Martin's latest fix, which is to be replicated on all platforms by their maintainers, ensures that working within the Styles dialogue will cause the changes to iterate throughout the document, like most users would expect. Some related fixes have also gone into work with the Is-Based-On styles.
§ Remember when the latest and greatest thing involved dot-commie phrases like, “Interactively update your document, In Real Time!” So...where are the VC's who loved phrases like that?
commit: Enable Table line widths to be set via the Dialog.
commit: Line thickness for Frames. :
→ Martin advances the features of tables and frames with line thickness functionality, or more to it, advances their dialogues to include the ability to change it.
§ Remember in typing class where you could change the “style” of the table, and it just be various shades of grey creating various effects? We probably won't do that, but if you send patch...stuff happens.
Quick hello and a patch? if you want it.
→ Nathan Bullock, user-turned-developer, has sent to the list his first patch for AbiWord! Now, not only is that always nifty (and we'll talk more on that process later), the functionality it provides is equally full of nift! The print dialogue, thanks to Nathan, now acknowledges ranges when you write them into the text boxes. Now, for those of you who might one day make a patch for us, just couple of requests: A) Create it using the cvs diff -u format, and B) In your message to the list, include it as an attachment
§ Many of you probably don't know this, but this how core developers are created. One day, some almost perfectly normal user says, “Hmm, that's not right...I bet I can fix this....” A year later, they're managing a module, and cross-porting other people's commits. Be warned, developing is so addictive that it falls between Beer and Marijuana on the top reasons people drop out of various levels of education. For reasons best not explained, that is not by coincidence.
Retrieved the source code from CVS, now what?
→ And...Nathan's hooked. Now, for those of you who are considering keeping a copy of CVS, here's a rule to live by, once you've gotten all 18-odd megs of files, building involves information freely available...in the document called BUILD. Thankfully, Alan has explained this, I believe, his third time 'round, so, I'll just re-iterate: You shall almost certainly begin by entering the abi/ directory and running autogen.sh. After that, it's exactly like at traditional source building. If you are keeping up CVS HEAD, please build with the option --enable-debug If you don't know, you can get cvs instructions from here.
§ Now, should I include information about Doxygen-ation next week?
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, e.g. solutions to problems in a preceeding thread. Happily, the user list is becoming more active! This week, interesting topics on the user list included:
→ For those of you waiting to use AbiWord's MailMerge with the Evolution's Contact Manager, you have a long wait. Though there is currently work in progress for this very task via a small GDA&Evolution project, it is using the latest in development features and has a long trip before it can be called stable.
§ Good news...at least it's happening.
Re: AbiWord-2.0 does not start (fwd)
→ Users who are experiencing a crash at start-up/splash-screen may have a solution, thanks to Alan. For now, at least, consider removing the file titled Abiword.Profile in the .AbiSuite folder in your home directory.
§ It is nice to get a prompt reply sometimes than to wonder if the developers don't like you anymore.
New (unanswered) FAQ: Installing Additional Dictionaries
→ New TWiki question! WinFaqInstallMoreDictionaries. For those who would like to know how to add unlisted dictionaries for spell-checking, the information is now available there. For those who'd like to know when stuff is happening in AbiTwikiLandia, view this page. Personally, I keep track by waiting for Randy to tell me/the-list what's happening.
§ Has anyone noticed a Randy's sex change? 'Bout right for a chap named Randy, I suppose ;o)
clipart w/ black background
→ Users experiencing problems with their clipart, specifically with transparent backgrounds showing up as black when added, should know that this is a known bug.
§ You have to give pros to someone who tests a bug on two platforms and checks to see if it's the data or the application.
Abiword in the New York Times
→ Yes, for the first time in three or four years, Abi gets a big name to mention it. In “Opening Word Files on a PC With Linux,” a writer for the New York Times answers the once eternal question, “How can I work with files from Microsoft's Office when I'm using Linux?” OpenOffice.Org gets a little more acknowledgment than AbiWord, even though I like to think we're better than they are at .doc issue (the only thing mentioned). Ryan learns that Abiword.com works as well as Abisource.com (.org also works, btw), and also re-introduces his offer to take screenshots for all Windows dialogues.
§ Asside from GNOME Office versus OpenOffice.Org, what you really need to know is this: Free Registration Required, but Beware of Spam -- FR2BS.
→ Windows users interested in building AbiWord from source using MSys and MinGW should read this thread. Due to Jeremy's unintentional use of using the 2.1's wv library for building 2.0 binaries, you will have to write in alter two lines, one in wv/libole2/ms-ole.h and the other in winuser.h.
§ Instructions are clear when read within the thread, you don't need to be a big time “#4XX0R” like “|\|3D3RFR34k” to understand what to write in which files. You won't even have to know a single programming language; in fact, you can copy and paste where appropriate.
greyed out preferences
→ If you've noticed massive sections of unconditionally greyed-out bits, it's not your fault. This is simply stuff that needs to be ither repaired or connected. Widgets only come in active or inactive form (there is no try...ing to get there), and though it would make sense to remove them when they can't be activated at all in that build, we, um, err, well, you see...have you ever managed thousands of lines of cross-platform, gui-rich code? I didn't think so.
§ That's binary code, you cheating web-heads. Anyone who can get used to abusing less-than and greater-than signs can do what you do. Face it, you could be replaced by a monkey...with FrontPage...obviously, the latter assumes the former. To be honest, a person with AbiWord can replace you, thanks to Frank's (and other's) work on the X/HTML plugin. Look at that, you went to being replaced by a monkey with expensive software to being replaced by an ant with free software. I hope you locked your clients in with high prices.
Keep track of the latest developments, from bug fixes to requested enhancements. You'll find it easy to watch the progress made by the developers or individual developers involved. Perhaps you'll even be encouraged to try a development build of either branch.
|Developments for 2.0.x from December 28th, 2003, to January 3rd, 2004|
Backporting various fixes.
→ Cross Platforms: All “style” fixes From Martin Sevior, fixes absent value From Jordi Mas, memory leak and resource fixes From Jordi Mas
→ Windows: memory leak and resource fixes From Jordi Mas
→ Unix: All “style” fixes From Martin Sevior
→ 5738: (From Jordi Mas) — Wrong toolbar icon for bullets with fi-FI locale (win)
→ 6234: (From Martin Sevior) — Abiword crashes when manipulating endnotes
Backporting of bug fixes plus some Cross Platform work.
→ Cross Platform: GR_Graphics::setLineProperties receive layout units--do the conversion, small code optimization, match return value of fl_BlockLayout::getPosition to declaration From Robert Wilhelm
→ 4733: (From Robert Wilhelm) — File paths with ampersands kill preferences
→ 6143: (From Martin Sevior) — pasting - textparts exchanged for strange signs
→ 6247: stylesheet names are not converted (cf. Hub's Peers/WvLib commit in 2.1)
Generic fix to graphic class.
→ Cross Platform: fix to graphic class
|Developments for 2.1.x from December 28th, 2003, to January 3rd, 2004|
Primary work toward extending feature functionality.
→ Cross Platform: lots more fixes to the styles dialog, complete fixes to Styles Dialog
→ Win32: set line widths for tables via the GUI, line thickness for frames
→ MacOS X: set line widths for tables via the GUI, line thickness for frames
→ Unix: lots more fixes to the styles dialog, complete fixes to Styles Dialog, set line widths for tables via the GUI, line thickness for frames
→ QNX: set line widths for tables via the GUI, line thickness for frames
→ InstaZoom: keep Full justification after zooming
→ Tables: set line widths via the GUI
→ TextBoxes: line thickness
→ 6143: pasting - textparts exchanged for strange signs
|Kenneth “Jeremy” Davis||32||
Mostly focused on the next generation of NSIS building.
→ Cross Platform: slide semicolon over to hopefully fix build problem Building:
→ NSIS2: pull some more stuff into separate file and shorten comment displayed in add/remove support options, snippets pulled into seperate files for easier reuse and updates, change so StartMenu entry for local help page installs (or not) as expected, initial modify (add/remove) support, start of more selective uninstall, support of command line overrides to autodetected settings, more work towards add/remove (modify install)
→ MinGW: support and adjustments for MinGW build (does not build completely, yet)
→ Cross Platform: memory leak and resource fixes, absent value
→ Windows: memory leak and resource fixes, graphic fix
→ 5738: Wrong toolbar icon for bullets with fi-FI locale (win)
MacOS X and Wv fixing.
→ MacOS X: fix rounding errors
→ WvLib: convert stylesheet names from UCS-2 to UTF-8
A lone bug.
→ 6262: Abiword fails to link
Cross platform fix and application of Unix printing patch from Nathan Bullock.
→ Cross Platform: fix debug msg from fp_TextRun.cpp
→ Unix: assume you want to print a range of pages when editing the ranges From Nathan Bullock
Cross platform fix and a bug.
→ Cross Platform: match return value of fl_BlockLayout::getPosition to declaration
→ 4733: File paths with ampersands kill preferences
It's happening Really Soon Now™!
The markets are, for the most part, moving into an upswing, despite holiday predictions to the contrary. Louis Bugkeyser was pleased to report that this holds good signs for the 2.1 series; while Alan Bluespan, however, warned that too much of such concentration could be costly to the 2.0 series.
For information about how to view the chart, please read 142's Special Interest.
These are the week's Top 20 Bugs in the categories misfeatures 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 MisFeatures™ as of January 3rd, 2004|
|376||82||2.0.x||File associate problems for all file types with Win32Slu......|
|3778||46||---||Hanging indent setting ignores units|
|5059||41||2.2||Recent Files breaks with international file names|
|5815||35||---||Variable-width font issue|
|4745||31||Future||Change colour of foreground text for screen only|
|2362||30||2.2||AbiWord only prints across half of page|
|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 ......|
|5794||30||---||Horizontal space and distortion at print page break in We......|
|6181||30||---||cursor position is not updated when changing paragraph style...|
|2868||26||2.0.x||character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...|
|4896||25||2.0.x||the very last character can't be selected|
|6011||25||---||Spelling check provides bad suggestions and improperly pl......|
|2421||24||2.0.x||TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......|
|6112||24||---||Win32 Windows Accumulate Dirt from Windows Objects||1679||17||---||List changes should keep selection|
|3216||15||2.2||[Tabstops Cannot be Set in Second (or Third) Column|
|3801||15||Future||[META] Seems to struggle with large files|
|Top 20 Requests For Enhancement as of January 3rd, 2004|
|2183||458||Future||Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format|
|2321||145||2.2||[RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?|
|3668||136||Future||Support for window tabs instead of separate windows|
|4038||136||---||Outline View Support|
|2490||126||2.2||Finish Cocoa Frontend|
|1950||121||Future||Wish for automatic Table of Contents|
|1374||108||Future||[RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...|
|4057||70||---||Thesaurus Shift+F7 keybindings shortcuts consistency|
|1144||68||Future||Improve KWord import/export filters|
|1929||50||Future||Hyphenation is missing in Abiword|
|2365||43||---||AbiWord needs 'view codes'|
|515||41||2.0.x||columns change should only affect selected text|
|1851||36||Future||[rfe] Ability to create an ALL CAPS style, and Small Caps......|
|2164||36||2.2||Ability to set default print command anywhere|
|2473||35||2.0.x||[rfe] Support move & resize of images anchored to a page...|
|2186||30||Future||The insert page break setting is lost for custom styles|
|2219||27||Future||AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu|
|3233||23||2.0.x||New Language preference menu|
MisFeatures™ got some action, as Robert bonked, 4733, File paths with ampersands kill preferences, leaving room for 3801, [META] Seems to struggle with large files, to edge in. [Ed. Well, Eric actually: Only when spellchecking this section (as bonked got highlighted) did I realise that this had a nicely ambiguous meaning. D* I'm good!]
To return the moment there's a meta bug for (I'm assuming) 2.0.3 or otherwise 2.2.0. In the meantime, Dom has a thingy for 2.2.
Though not technically available, it will be scripted in by searching for 2.2 scheduled bugs. Works For Me!
Several projects are used by, use or synchronise with AbiWord. Some of the most noteworthy libraries and applications will be summarised here. Some may be added under guise of the GNOME Office Suite.; others may be added because it's really just a plug by request. Want your project plugged? Send money to Dom. I'm offering rates of $10 per plug, $25 for a month-long plug, $50 for a quartly plug and $200 to go all year. P*ing us off or the discontinuation of this section does not result in a refund.
AbiWord uses several libraries, and other sub-applications, to give it that extra bit of polish. Here, you will learn whatever news I scrape together or has been sent to me in relation to them. I wanted to do more this week, but not so much.
Considering Nadav's absence this week, I do not believe there is anything to report.
Though nothing new technically happened this week,
Marc sent out an email that I just read half an hour ago-ish, so, I thought I'd share the news with you, anyhow,
because I love you,
the nutjob the stalker the reader.
Yeah, that's it, love.
In the eternal effort to re-use and not duplicate code, especially when it's in the very same project, Marc commits a major patch to reduce the duplication among the WP4.2/5.x/6 parsers. If you live in a fantasy world, or the Netherlands, there's even a chance WP4.2/5.x support might actually work for OpenOffice.Org users. Either way, it's a long way (and some abuse-the-code help) before you see 0.7.0 with these improvements.
Those of you who would like to know how LibWPd works, or what the goes into the latest developments, Marc created a system using the CVS comments to track those goings on. He freely invites curious parties to track them here or, for those who prefer to avoid the frames, here.
Thanks to Hub, stylesheet names generated are now UTF-8. Sure, it's not much, but it's something.
Nothing big, per se, but it was the coolest thing ever not too long ago.
AbiWord is crucial to the use of, coordinates development with, or to some extent relies upon a number of applications. Only one two of these applications make it easy for me to steal information from them, so, we're talking about a lot of blog reading.Windows World
Here, we'll explore our Windows associates more. Well...it's currently only the one, but it's a very important one.
Last week was a big enough news week...and I'm not going to dig beyond the news page, unless Jeremy emails me and says, “OMG! Did you see what they (or specific individual) just said in the mailing list (or other section of site).” As any good community report knows, all OMG!'s warrant investigation.GNOME Office Suite
Since I don't know of applications outside of AbiWord that use AbiWord, I'll be doing this Gnome Office business. These people should have newsletters, so, I can steal crap from them.
For those of you currently enjoying the recently release 1.2.4, I have a question for you, “Where did 1.2.3 go?” Well, it was finished and ready for release, until bug 128524 finally got some confirmation. Jody battled that bug long an hard, to ensure that it wouldn't viciously attack another user again. Then, lo and behold, 1.2.4 came out. And that's the story of how GChistmas was saved...or something like that.
Meantime, the long awaited branching occurred, and 1.3.0 was born. Gnumeric 1.3.0 will see a lot of major changes, especially to the HIGrrrification™ and usability of the interface. Jody's big thing right now is to convert to GtkAction before the gtk API freeze sets in. “Why?” you might ask? Apparently, there's quite the deal of niftiness involved, including, “Speedups in the form of the SAX import/export by default and plans for scripting and a11y,” and did anyone tell you about the Win32 port? Oh? Well, I just wanted to make sure.
Your editor would like to take the time to thank Jody and/or future sock puppet, for the ever valuable news source of New Year's Resolution #3. Thank you; thank you and send money.
Laurent sent in a patch of note to HIGrrrify&trade the gnome-database-properties tool of libgnomedb. Something to look forward to in the next release...when was that expected Rodri?
The roadmap still mentions Criawips...I think someone should review the roadmap.
Dave wrestles with GConf in an attempt to ensure that installation doesn't create itsown problems, among other fun things, like GConf's own backwards compatibility, or lack thereof. Returning to the world of Conglomerate is our long lost comrad, Sean Wheller, whose arrival came in time to help with some schema issues, but don't let that throw you off of his own Seecrut Proojuct. Sean is happy to announce the beginning of (brace yourself) documentation! Yes, a user's manual has begun! Currently, it's outline is in place and the “Getting Started” section is ready for reading. However, due to SUSE technical issues, Sean wrote the documentation based on version 0.5.4. Of course, it wasn't the greatest introduction, as Sean eventually comes off just a little pushy with lines like, “If support from devel is not forth coming, then the shame is on devel.” Of course, when the developer comes off somewhat, shall we say, “Nolo me tangere,” there might be some level of counter-soap-opera-esk-hauteur. This kind of dramatic language isn't entirely new to the world development, and it tends to be unappreciated. But, when someone sincerely wants to help a project, it can be tolerated.
Look, a place to talk about the AWN
I've dedicated 2004 as “I get it right.” I'm going to avoid many of the mistakes I've made in the past while attempting to improve the AWN. That's my resolution for you.
A nice week for AbiWord in general. We had a nice “also ran” comment from the NYTimes, but more interestingly, we've possibly gained a new addict^H^H^H^H^H^H^H developer in our dear Mr. Bullock. Let's be honest, once you've gone to the bandwidth of getting CVS source, you're not going to just let it lie there, now are you?
I intend to harass him this very week.
Holy Poo! You have actually read this far. A number of you. Some of you Happy. Some of you Guy. Some a possible combination thereof, but the AWN cannot afford the trademark and/or copyright licensing. Everyone who received a reply with a, “Wow,” in it may rest assured, it was spoken, both, reserved and monotoned immediately after being typed.
Open Source, Open Books.Last Updated: December 6th, 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: $2144.20
Interest earned: $19.34
$210 to feed 12 people at GUADEC
$100 to pay for Marc's work on the new server
$700 to pay for the new server
$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
- - note: Pat and Dom went to an Italian restaurant named Dom's on Boston's North End. Neither Pat or Dom seem to recommend visiting Dom's anytime soon. Actually, I didn't ask Pat, but I'm pretty sure he'd agree. Personally, I recommend avoiding Dom altogether. Hmm, typo, what?
Unique contributors: 61*
check : 3
cash : 1
*61: plusse 3 repeat offenders whom we love dearly
Less paypal and other banking fees: $167.64
|PLEASE! Help promote AbiWord development by donating money. The money go to a general AbiWord "fund", presently hosted by Dom Lachowicz (firstname.lastname@example.org).|
|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 email@example.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.|