AbiWord 0.7.7

Subject: AbiWord 0.7.7
From: Paul Rohr (paul@abisource.com)
Date: Fri Dec 10 1999 - 00:10:03 CST

... is out.

This release is a doozy, with lots of new features and a few key bug fixes.
For more information on the implementation status of your favorite feature,


Selected highlights since 0.7.6 include:

1. LinuxPPC binaries. AbiWord has been known to run on LinuxPPC for quite
some time. Now, as of 0.7.7, we've begun releasing native LinuxPPC binaries
of AbiWord. Our thanks go to the good folks at LinuxPPC.com who provided a
machine to build them on.

2. Drastic BeOS improvements. For a long time now, Thomas Fletcher has
been the lone coder on the BeOS port, looking for help. Well for 0.7.7 he
got it, in spades. In addition to fixes from Thomas for scrolling and
international keyboards, Daniel Berlin <dan@cgsoftware.com> has gotten off
to a blazing start, making numerous improvements throughout the program,
such as:

  - menu accelerators,
  - timers (for spelling, autoscroll, cursor blink, etc.),
  - font rendering and other drawing (say bye-bye flicker!), and
  - new Font and Zoom dialogs.

There are certainly still some rough spots, but with several other BeOS
developers ready to join in, this port is *rapidly* catching up to the other
platforms. If you haven't tried the Be version in a while, it's definitely
time for another look.

3. First support for GNOME. Winning the massive-patch-of-the-month-club is
Cuenca Abela Joaquin <cuenca@ie2.u-psud.fr>, who single-handedly added
support for a host of GNOME UI features.

If you're interested in this feature, please download the sources, rebuild
with ABI_OPT_GNOME=1, and let us know how it works for you. To date we've
only had confirmation that it works on recent Debian systems, and we'd hate
to release binaries before confirming how well they work on various Red Hat
versions. ;-)

4. Spelling speedup. The interactive spell check logic is now fast and
smart like it should be, instead of woefully poky and dumb like it used to
be. The effect while editing on slow GTK machines is especially pronounced.
Fixes #131, 133, etc.

5. Profiles work again. We had many reports from 0.7.6 users that they
couldn't locate their AbiWord.profile for hand editing. It turns out that
this was a very long-standing bug (#587). All better now.

6. Subscript and superscript. Luke Jordan <ljordan@mweb.co.za> makes his
debut as an AbiWord developer by adding support for subscripts and
superscripts in a particularly thorough fashion.

7. View ruler. Stephen Hack <shack@uiuc.edu> implemented this menu item so
that you can hide or show the ruler on a per-window basis.

8. Compressed AbiWord files. The AbiWord file format (*.abw) was designed
from the get-go to be a highly-readable form of XML. However, for those of
you who care more about bloat than legibility, Richard Jefts
added import/export logic for a gzip-compressed variant (*.zabw).

9. Localization. The following translations have been added or updated:

  Catalan -- Jordi Mas <jmas@softcatala.org>
  Czech -- Zbynek Miksa <xmiksa@informatics.muni.cz>
  Danish -- Birger Langkjer <birger.langkjer@image.dk>
  Finnish -- Jarmo Karvonen <karvonen@dawn.joensuu.fi>
  Portuguese -- Rui Silva <rms@ssi.aaum.pt>

We're currently on a push to make sure that all translations are complete
and correct. If you notice that anything doesn't look right for your
translation of choice, then we could use your help on the following POW
(Project of the Week):


10. Word import improvements. Caolan continues to crank away on libwv,
recognizing more and more of the Word 97, 95, and 6.0 file formats. Most of
these aren't visible in the UI yet, but trust me -- he's cranking!

A recent milestone is that, for the first time, he's managed to get through
his entire test suite without any crashes. So, if you encounter any crashes
that seem to be related to Word files, be sure to save a copy of the
offending document to help track down the problem.

Also, thanks to help from from Brian.Ewins <brian.ewins@bt.com>, he's
started addressing speedup issues in the underlying libwv code. Expect more
progress on this in the future.

11. Options dialog started. Stephen Hack <shack@uiuc.edu> has begun
implementing a multi-pane preference dialog with lots of things to turn on
and off. There's still a lot of work to do here before we have a finished
dialog on all platforms, but this is a nice start.

If you're a talented GUI designer and have strong ideas about how this
dialog should work, by all means jump in and help out.

12. Miscellaneous. Copies of current screen shots (in PNG format) of
dialogs on each platform are now stored in the source tree.



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