Re: Abiword

Subject: Re: Abiword
From: Stephen Hack (
Date: Thu Dec 09 1999 - 17:19:11 CST

On Thu, Dec 09, 1999 at 04:52:50PM -0000, John S. Dey wrote:
> Stephen:
> Not necessarily complete but the following is a wish list:
> Header/Footers

We have header/footer support for the formatter, but no method in the UI to
enter them yet.

> Showing non-printable characters while editing

This is a feature that I personall like, but I don't know the timetable for
this one.

> Better control of sizing --
> 100% Too Big
> 75% Too Small
> 90% would be about right for me
> Couldn't this be generalized?

There has been a zoom dialog written that will allow an arbitrary zooming
factor. The toolbar doesn't accept keyboard input quite yet, but it is
possible via the zoom dialog.

> Yes -- Tables

That's a post-1.0 feature

> Bullets

The plan is to have lists and bullets added before version 1.0, but I don't
know if any work has been done in it yet.

> Page Numbers

I think the formatter supports page numbers (Paul?), but I'm not positive. I
know that the UI doesn't support them, yet.

Both page numbers (if indeed currently supported) and headers/footers can be
added via hand editing the .abw code. If've you're interested, I can put a
link to an example (which is in the CVS tree).

> Questions: How will your AbiWord work with gnumeric. Will you be able to
> cut and paste between other Gnome applications?

I think the plan with gnumeric was to use their code and turn it into a
library. Then to use our cross platform UI framework to handle all of the

There is a gnome version of abiword, but I don't know the cut and paste side
of things. I know that the Xserver's cut and paste methods work, along w/
middle-button clicking.

> Will the same extensibility
> languages be available as other Gnome applications.

Like what? If gnumeric has extensibility languages, then they should be

> How about ORBit. Will it be possible to use DTD in the future?

I would like to see it work as an ORBit embeddable object, but I don't know
the official plan. I would expect down the road a ways, for a "Personal
Abiword" that was embeddable, but as of yet, I don't know of anybody looking
at it.

If you were interested, any insight/help would be appreciated. For the most
part, every piece of "working code" submitted has been incorporated into
abiword, even if it was not planned or supported. To examples that come to
mind are vi keybindings (hit F12), and compressible abiword (.gabw, .abw.gz).

> The work that has been done with AbiWord is impressive. I take my hat off
> to you and the others. My expectations were raised too high a year and a
> half ago when I entered the Linux world. I had expected that some of the
> applications would have matured quicker. It does look like your project has
> been making headway even if your goals are even more ambitious (with cross
> platform capabilities) then the Gnome applications. I would offer my time
> to assist but right now I am just trying to get up on the learning curve.
> I have played around with some of the building blocks such as GTK+. I have
> gotten ORBit to work with some small applications I have fooled around with.
> Its all very impressive to me.

Well, you know more about ORBit than I. If you're interested in getting your
hands wet...
> I look forward to using the efforts of your work. Just before I began
> written this email I took a proposal doc in Word 97 with objects (33 pages).
> I inputted it to Abi. The objects seemed to be stripped off but the doc
> converted better than any other that I have tried.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Stephen Hack <>
> To: John S. Dey <>
> Sent: Thursday, December 09, 1999 7:32 PM
> Subject: Re: Abiword



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