AbiWord Weekly News #107, (2002, week 35, released 2002.09.05 for the week ending 2002.09.02)

Welcome to issue 107 of the AbiWord Weekly News.

Site down, hacking not.   Two downings of abisource since my first day!   I'm beginning to feel like I'm bad luck!   NYORP, the AbiServer, had run out of SWAP space, or that's what I can get from phearbear; hub didn't respond before the power cut out.   The AWN has received some uniformity changes, plus what I thought was going to be easier code to look through for when I need to go back and clean something up.... My scrolling finger is tired!   There's a special notice in Special Interests for those involved in other projects, and you'll find a brand-spankin'-new POW!

Luckily, NYORP going down happened this week, so, I don't make the foolish mistake of mentioning it last week (belating the AWN really confuses me!).   As you can guess by the Discussions, this has been a big week on the list and in the CVS!   Many have committed some great work, code clean ups, module functionality; the CVS listing is a small treasure trove.

Just a quick listing of things you'll find in this issue: mentions of 1.0.3, MergeCells, Font Preview, AbiWord in foreign lands, sensationalism, panic, MacDinkery, Nicolas Mercier, easiest POW yet, no lengthy article in tribute to a total lack of graph, Special Notice to other project developers and, YOUR FAVOURITE--screenshots (leaked earlier).

In this issue:

Editor(s) of this issue: E. A. Zen


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. commit: Merge Cells :  Martin entices us with his new modeless dialogue for MergeCells.   Alan begs for more toys!

  2. print preview screenshot :  Alan, still drooling, pours on the extra slobber when pointing out Marc's "Yet Another Big Secret Project; Don't Tell Zen!"   This is same secret project mentioned last week, but now, a big debate is sparked over the best way to utilize it.

  3. cvs graph, mozilla, infamy :  Alan finds an interesting project for "graphing CVS", and if you've got an idea how I could utilize it in conjunction with the AWN, feel free to drop me a line.   Then, he points out someone's anti-abi whine at Mozilla (WHO PUTS WHINES IN COMMENTS ANYHOW!?)*.   Dom points out many such things are going away with XFT and FontConfig.

  4. AbiWord Font Usability question :  Dom asks for suggestions from our Human Interface Guidelines friends in reference to the font preview and combo boxes. They never bothered to submit their suggestions to the list, and we ended up arguing over our favourite ideas (READ: small holy war).

  5. Version of the future? :  I asked what you wanted to know...when's 1.0.3 coming out.   Dom nudged, hinted (in his never-all-that-sublte way) for one this week.   Stable maintainer Hub says, "Soon," and Mark emailed me, "But not too soon."   With the sites recent instability, you may want to dampen your expectations a couple more weeks ;-)

  6. Commit (HEAD): Remove background transparency (bug 3888) :  Simply stated by Marc, "remove the transparency option from the background color dialog."   Simply stated by us, "Ho No You Didn't!"   Panic sets in as the Nederlandse explained in more carefully selected Engrish, "I removed the *alpha level* slider, since we don't support alpha levels for the background color."

  7. why RTF (not ABW) is our primary clipboard format :  This started in August and continues into September.   This is a very interesting point and important to anyone interested in application development.   Basically put, "Using RTF as a clipboard base allows for the function to be useful on most office and operating system platforms."

* (WHO PUTS WHINES IN COMMENTS ANYHOW!?): This may just be a case of sensationalism, and it may not have been in the sourcecode per se....


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 2002.08.27 - 2002.09.02
Who Commits In summary
hub 240 import & finish libiconv 1.8
dom  81 iconv prep, Cocoa fix (quit>NIB), Clipboard (X/HTML, UTF8, KDE)*, menu, dialogue & widget fixes, setlocale fixes, tables (XHTML)
plam  42 diving make, MergeCells, code beautification
Remember, don't pollute; help keep code clean & green!
msevior  38 Tables (Merge Cells modeless dialogue & screenshot plus fixes for MergeCells and word count works for tables)
jordimas  33 Win32 menu-icons
phearbear  19 Tables(size 0 error, QNX/Photon MergeCells dialogue), Non-editable comboboxes now non-editable (for your protection), Layout untis (No & Single), FontPreview bug for closing comboboxes
fjfranklin  16 Always add ABI_BUILD_VERSION to cflags,
Nicolas Mercier: XML import (filename), DocBook(paragraphs, chapters, sections, images, programlistings, titles, bold/italic, links, anchors, beginpage)
uwog  13 Font Preview(show font name), find&replace(no crashy), spinners do actual work of some mystical sort plus widget code cleanup, removed alpha (notice, uwog: alpha; don't panic us next time), merge cell icons (MacDinkery, but it's nicer), removed XFT2 include (unused)
hippietrail  10 Marshallese language support (Only in OpenSource, kids!) & Hawaiian
mgilbert   3 Memory leaks (Speil chacker en Save As)
rms   1 Added missing include for XFT (hmm, sounds suspiciously related to uwog's)
jeremyd   1 Added back building for fribidi
* Clipboard (X/HTML, UTF8, KDE): I forgot what I was going to mention here, and for once, it wasn't about AbiWord II: The Wrath of Dom.   Perhaps it was about the rewrite of the Unix Clipboard?


The concept of a "Project Of the Week" is to single out tasks of major interest that outside developers might be interested in providing assistance to.   Until a "best way" of listing POWs come to mind, they shall be listed in a short description.   Any user interested is welcome to assist in tackling these POWs.   If you know someone who's interested, you can link directly to a POW, in order, they're pow1 through pow4.

Name:  Convert Aiksaurus to GTK+2
Description:  Step by step move old Aiksaurus to GTK+2 for HEAD (2.0...some day)
Advertisement:  It would be really good of you to be good and do a good porting of this good plugin so I would have good words for good instead of just good; I hope you understand that good.
Recommended Outline:
1)  Update aiksaurus's configure checks for GTK2.   AbiWord's configure scripts and ac-helpers have this code already, so hopefully it's a cut&paste job.   We have some auto* gurus and helpful folks on IRC if you need help.
2)  Update aiksaurus's GTK+ dialog to use GTK+2 widgets and functions.   This will probably not be too difficult, but I will shut my mouth lest I use it to shoot myself in the foot.   Mostly, this should be:
    a) Use g_signal_connect instead of gtk_signal_connect
    b) Use a GtkDialog instead of a GtkWindow
3)  If necessary, update AbiWord's plugin (abiword-plugins/tools/aiksaurus) to work with any changes made in #2.
Comments:  If you want, you can email dom for help, or even better - stop by on IRC so we can work in real-time: irc.gnome.org#abiword
System:  Linux (GTK+2)
Challenge level:  **... 2 stars out of 5

Name:  Style and/or Diction Plugins (bug 3281) (do either/or or both!)
Description:  build a plugin to allow Abiword to check style and diction
Advertisement:  me got no grammer fixer, help mes can't you?
Recommended Outline:  Create a plugin for AbiWord that allows the checking of style and diction.  The source code for the gnu style and diction tools is available here: http://www.gnu.org/software/diction/diction.html
      As a prototype you might be able to hack something using the AbiCmd plugin to wrap the style and diction tools.  The AikSaurus (Thesaurus) plugin should also be a helpful guide.
      When you get the basics working you could try to get Abiword to display green squiggle underlines to mark errors, or otherwise work on a good user interface.
Comments:  A great way to start playing with the AbiSource
System:  Any OS will be fine.
Challenge level:  ***.. 3 stars out of 5

Name:  Fix Windows printing boogs (bug 3239)
Description:  build a plugin to allow Abiword to check style and diction
Advertisement:  ????????????????????????????? (no, that's really the ad!)
Recommended Outline:  You must become magical to know how to fix this.
Comments:  "The problem is that printing on Windows is broken with several brand of printer drivers (see dependent bugs). It appears that with standard PostScript driver it does not happen. It appears also that version 0.9.6 had less problems than 1.0.1 so we might find out where the regression is bu diffing.
    "Please, be sure to read all the bug reports. Even partial fix are accepted.
    "Fixes must be done against STABLE tree and possibly ported to HEAD (the later can be done as a second step)."
      This comes from Hub
Notice:  This may already have been fixed with the libiconv upgrade, stay tuned!
System:  Windows
Challenge level:  ****. 4 stars out of 5

Name:  More Windows Maintainers
Description:  Jordi 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

Bug Update

Bug Statistics

Bug stats graph

I'm leaving the link, guys, you put it up!

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.

Top 20 Problems
ID Votes Milestone Summary
3269 120 --- Crashing on printing
3171 115 1.0.x rtf sets top and bottom margins to 0
3525  90 --- font incorrectly printed and spaced
376  80 1.2 File assosciate problems for all file types with Win32Slu......
1406  61 1.0.x xhtml documents fail to open: "Bogus html document" msg
1747  42 1.2 background colour of text selection is always grey
1194  39 1.2 alt+xxxx does not insert special symbols
2362  30 --- AbiWord only prints across half of page
3778  29 --- Hanging indent setting ignores units
2868  25 1.2 character widths are not calculated correctly for some fonts...
2421  20 1.2 TM, Bullet, Euro, Smart Quotes and other symbols originat......
3808  20 Future Microsoft Word .doc files may crash Abiword
1394  17 1.2 on-screen landscape actually prints portrait in Win95
3393  17 --- Table of Contents, Table of Images, Table of Index genera......
3216  16 1.0.x tabstops can't be set in second (or third) column
2299  15 1.0.x Prints incorrect margins with split page.
2924  15 --- printing abw documents defaults to black pages
3083  15 Future [META] Redesign smart quote system
428  13 Future Hitting return at the beginning of a paragraph produces i......
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement
ID Votes Milestone Summary
1261 528 1.2 Need to support footnotes and endnotes
2321 245 Future [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
2183 199 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
2365  90 Future AbiWord needs 'view codes'
1950  87 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
1374  66 Future [RFE] print odd and/or even pages only (for front & back ...
2463  51 Future support embedded objects
1929  41 Future Hyphenation is missing in Abiword
2565  41 Future Add true MS Word .doc export capability
1144  37 Future Improve KWord import/export filters
 808  32 1.2 Tables not imported from RTF
2186  30 Future The insert page break setting is lost for custom styles
3657  30 Future Rapid Document Production, Insert File
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
 515  25 Future columns change should only affect selected text
2296  25 Future doc import: footnotes
2169  24 Future Line numbering
2360  23 Future Resizing bitmap images
3419  20 Future [RFE] Add microspacing feature (tracking) for characters

Verified Bugs

In the past week, the following Bugs have been verified as fixed.   The listed Bugs have all been put in RESOLVED mode as either FIXED or WORKSFORME and have then been verified by the people listed below.   Other causes of resolving a Bug (e.g. as INVALID) are not tracked since they usually do not represent a fixed problem.   However, knowing who found INVALID and DUPLICATE bugs will be trackable in the future, so, hold out hope, Alan; I'm commin' for ya!

Bugs Verified This Week
Bug ID Description
1319 Increasing indent off page causes Invalid Page Fault
3362 Bad grammar? Minor modification
3561 Crash on embedded AbiWord in Evolution
3562 Could not load the Dictionary for the en-us language
This Week's 5 Most Active QA Helpers
Verified Name
2 cbthomas@uiuc.edu
1 Mark Gilbert
1 pyattk@venzia.com

To get your name in neon, help QA the Bugs.   It's also great experience if you're working your way to a POW!   If you want your name rather than your email address to appear, drop me a line.

Latest Releases

This section to remain until 1.0.3 has been released.   Additionally, I'm lazy.

Here are links to the latest official releases of AbiWord for various architectures and operating systems.

AbiWord 1.0.2- Release Notes
HPUX 10.20pa-riscabiword-1.0.2-sa-10.20.depot.gz
AbiWord 1.0.1- Release Notes
AbiWord 1.0.0- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.99.5- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.99.3- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.99.2- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.99.1- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.9.6- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.9.5- Release Notes
AbiWord 0.9.4- Release Notes

These are links to snapshot builds of AbiWord for a subset of the supported architectures/operating systems.

Note that the snapshot builds may not work (at all!), but are likely to include more features and have fewer bugs than (older) official releases. Use the official releases for "production systems" and the snapshot builds for testing and when you want to help with Bug triaging.

AbiWord Snapshots
Linux (GNOME+GTK)i386http://pino.frontisterion.nl/uwog/abiword/Provided by Marc Maurer, aka WonderBoy! These are updated daily. Plugins, clip art, fonts and help files are available too.
Linux (GTK)i386http:// Gilbert's GCC3 tinderbox builds. Do not require libstdc++-libc6.2
Win32i386http://abiword.pchasm.org/Provided by Jeremy Davis. These are updated twice a day. Plugins are available too.
Win32i386http://www.niksbiks.dk/Software/Abi/Provided by Nikolaj Brandt Jensen. These are updated about once a week. BiDi builds are available too.

Special Interest --

From time to time, this section will contain essay-style text about various special interests of the AbiWord development.

SPECIAL NOTICE:   If you're working on a project that is related to, affects the development of or is affected by AbiWord, feel free to contact me

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.