Re: Bad publicity for AbiWord

Subject: Re: Bad publicity for AbiWord
From: Paul Warren (
Date: Sun Sep 03 2000 - 17:07:29 CDT

On Thu, Aug 31, 2000 at 10:26:50PM -0700, Jim Colvin wrote:
> The Andover News Network carried a column today titled: "Bring Me The Head
> of an AbiWord Developer!" I get a daily email from Andover with news
> highlights, and of course this one really shocked me. Read it at:
> Fortunately AbiWord doesn't get all the blame, but this is still bad
> publicity. Makes one wonder about putting preview releases into Linux
> distributions.

Indeed. A shame that AbiWord takes the force of this headline when the
article then lays the blame squarely at the feet of distributors. He
does actually make a good point. Having AbiWord in Linux distributions
means that it is readily available to newbies (and others), who may not
fully appreciate the words "preview release" and the < 1 version number.
One bad experience of AbiWord and it will take a lot of effort to get
them to try it again when it does reach a stable 1.0.

I myself lost some work in an AbiWord crash - about 45minutes work gone
with a deadline in 20minutes. I swore loudly, but then realised that I
had no-one to blame but myself...

I think it is a Good Thing to have previews of AbiWord in Linux
distributions - it can only help to have more eyes looking at and using
it - but perhaps if it is going to be in distributions it should carry a
bigger "This is preview software: it will lose your work, mangle your
disk and eat your cat". Evolution has such a message in a popup dialog
on startup. I would certainly appreciate such a thing to remind me to
hit save a bit more often when doing real work... This would also be a
very good place to advertise the document-recovery-on-crash feature, and
how to use it.


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