AbiWord Weekly News #183,
      (For the week ending February 14th, the 7th week of 2004)

Welcome to this issue #183 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      More history and revisions! More table of contents!

This week in development

      History and Revisions gets even more screenshots, BeOS lives again!

Request for User Assistance

      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:

  • Afrikaans[af-ZA]
  • Armenian[hy-AM]
  • Assamese[as-IN]
  • Chinese (Singapore)[zh-SG]
  • Cornish[kw-GB]
  • Corsican[co-FR]
  • Croatian[hr]
  • Esperanto[eo]
  • Estonian[et]
  • Farsi[fa-IR]
  • Flemish (Belgium)[nl-BE]
  • Frisian[fy-NL]
  • Georgian[ka-GE]
  • Hausa (Niger)[ha-NE]
  • Hausa (Nigeria)[ha-NG]
  • Hindi[hi-IN]
  • Icelandic[is-IS]
  • Korean[ko-KR]
  • Macedonian[mk]
  • Marshallese (Nauru)[mh-NR]
  • Occitan[oc-FR]
  • Thai[th-TH]
  • Urdu[ur-PK]

      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


This Issue

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 50-100 postings per week.   This week, interesting topics on the developer list included:

  1. commit (HEAD): more history work
    commit (HEAD): reversible history
    commit: Fix unix build. HIG DocComparison dialog for UNIX.
    commit: GLade file for the Unix History Dialog.
    commit: History Dialog for Unix. :
    →   Document history and revisions are moving on quite splendidly!   Full history tracking, as mentioned in “commit (HEAD): reversible history,” is implemented, allowing users to view a document at any point in its development.   To give you an idea of how far it's implemented to date, I present the following screenshots: the History Dialogue, the Compare Documents Dialogue and the List Documents Dialogue
  2. Why is abiword-dev plagued by viruses?
    Viruses and other unwanted messages (was Test) :
    →   Once every quarter, a major Microsoft worm results in our beloved users...SPAMMING THE F* OUT OF THE LIST BECAUSE THEY HAVE YET TO CONSIDER SOME ALTERNATIVE TO OUTLOOK, OR CONTINUE TO FORGET TO UPDATE THEIR PATCHES!   As a result procmail scripts try to compensate, but anyone who sent anything to the list receives lots of this virally-induced spam.   We love you, our blessed users, but you've got to stop screwing us.
    §   Especially the Nederlandse!   This is not just a poke at Marc, a lot of the reminant MyDooms were .nl addresses.   In fact, they surpassed aol domain addresses of generic garbage by 4:1.   I'm being honest!
  3. patch
    beos patch
    huge patch
    beos patch :
    →   BeOS lives again!
    §   Fast Forward two months and its dead again, but don't give up hope!
  4. How can I add support for that document? :
    →   Michael Rosenbruch would like his company to use AbiWord, but it must first be capable of opening a particular MSDocument.   Unlike other requests, his comes with the notion of doing the work himself.
    §   Once again, this would be great for the index, but no answers occur on list.   Grr...argh....
  5. commit: More TOC goodness.
    commit: TOC's have numbers, more TOC bug fixes.
    commit: Files to work from for Format TOC
    →   Martin speedily develops more Table of Contents glory.   Who isn't excited about this feature!?
    §   I intend to use it quite soonish, come to think about it.

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:

  1. abiword-2.1.0 crashes while loading an old abiword-file :
    →   Another reminder that bugs should be filed with bugzilla, and that guessing in the pull down menus is okay.   Will there be a mailable interface to work with AbiWord's Bugzilla?   They said, “No,” then, but with some mail implementation, who can say what is yet to come?
    §   It's funny how only a year ago, some of the developers were praising bugbuddy....
  2. Printing :
    →   For more adjustable printing commands, Dom recommends that Linux users try an GNOME-enabled build.   In this way, Gnome Print can handle additional complexities in printing.
    §   Carlos is geeky; I like that.
  3. (No subject) :
    →   Amharic users interested in making Linux (and therefore, AbiWord) to work with the language should first visit this unicode tip, and generally work their way around this google search.   Thanks to Peter Jacobi for the links.
    §   Or...maybe AbiWord has issues, but where are the filed bugs?
  4. Default directory :
    →   Can you change the default directory to which AbiWord saves its files?   No, honey, you can't even choose the default directory.   No matter how you edit Abiword.Profile file, you still don't have one!   On the other hand, if you point that “Documents” button in GTK2 somewhere useful, you just might have something....
    §   If you knew how to use bugzilla, you could vote for it right now!
  5. SunOS and xft/fontconfig :
    →   If you're on a non-XFree86 unix platform, you will find XFT and other libraries and related applications at http://freedesktop.org/~xlibs/release.   Thank you, Sam Halliday, for sharing your realisation with the list.
    §   I love it when users help users, even when they're just helping themselves.


CVS Stats

      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 from February 8th through the 14th, 2004
Who Commits In summary
Frank J. Franklin 8 Building fixes for the plugins
General, Building:   build fixes for AbiGdkPixbuf, bmp & jpeg plugins - add abi-libpng.m4, add --with-fink option to configure, fix nextgen.sh to use glibtoolize on Darwin

Marc Maurer 1 A lone bug...squashed in the night....
6373:   (From Dom Lachowicz) — default printer is lpr -P(null)

Developments for 2.1 from February 8th through the 14th of 2004
Who Commits In summary
Hubert Figuière 158 MacOS X sees more cleaning and Daniel's BeOS patches get committed
Cross Platform:   remove XAP_Frame dependency for bindings, fix a few crashers introduced by take #1, forgot this class moved away, fix wild casts and warnings From Daniel Furrer (mostly), fix a crash when quitting and no frame open (MacOS X--should not impact other platforms)
Windows:   remove XAP_Frame dependency for bindings, fix a few crashers introduced by take #1
MacOS X:   stylist dialog (90% functional), NSTableView now have alternated colors on 10.3, warning cosmetix, fix a crasher when there is no frame, remove XAP_Frame dependency for bindings, fix a few crashers introduced by take #1, fix a crash when quitting and no frame open (MacOS X--should not impact other platforms)
Unix:   remove XAP_Frame dependency for bindings, fix a few crashers introduced by take #1
QNX:   remove XAP_Frame dependency for bindings, fix a few crashers introduced by take #1
BeOS:   remove XAP_Frame dependency for bindings, fix a few crashers introduced by take #1, fixed lots of other small beos bugs From Daniel Furrer, commented out a lot of beos-code which needs more investigation/rewrite to get the thing to compile a bit further From Daniel Furrer, continued the seperation of .._BeOSFrame/BeOSFrameImpl From Daniel Furrer, casting madness fixes From Daniel Furrer, fixed some bugs From Daniel Furrer, moved some code around From Daniel Furrer, commented some not working things out From Daniel Furrer, added stub-implementations for some relatively new dialogues -- Namely FormatFootnotes, FormatFrame, FormatTable, InsertTable, MergeCells, SplitCells and Stylist From Daniel Furrer
Project Builder:   new files

Martin Sevior  29 Martin works on bringing the two hottest features to unix-land!
Table of Contents:   fixes, obedience school, Heading numbers, just some files to start with for Format TOC
History and Revisions:   implement DocComparison for Unix in HIG style, Glade file for Unix History dialog, History Dialog for Unix
Unix:   fix build, implement DocComparison in HIG style, Glade file for History dialog

Tomas Frydrych  21 History and Revision work progresses at a wonderful pace.
History and Revisions:   history work, full history tracking, tweaked ListDocuments dialogue
Windows:   dynamically load/unload dlls for UT_getEthernetAddress()

Francis J. Franklin  15 More fixes for plugins.
General, Building:   build fixes for AbiGdkPixbuf, bmp & jpeg plugins - add abi-libpng.m4, add --with-fink option to configure, fix nextgen.sh to use glibtoolize on Darwin
General, URLs:   open[Help]URL updates & build fix for babelfish, freetranslation, google, urldict and wikipedia
Unix:   fix typo & unix build (thanks to tomas frydrych)

Dom Lachowicz   6 Two bugs, one Dom, behold the Wrath!
6388:   Incorrect print command crashes abiword
6397:   Enabling Retrieve Surrounding code for text edit

Marc Maurer   3 BeOS work from Danial and a spec file fix from his nederself.
BeOS:   added xap_BeOSAppImpl to the makefile and fixed a bug From Daniel Furrer
Redhat Package Manager:   require fontconfig >= 2.0, instead of >= 2.1

Nadav Rotem   1 The English dictionary of OTS gets a quick fixing up.
OTS:   tune up of English dictionary



      It's happening Really Soon Now™!

Bug Update

Bug Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +9 (9 : 0), VeriNew +2 (3 : 1), ClosAssi +583 (585 : 2),

      A major market correction went into effect, causing a major upswing.   Abiword's Quality Assurance team, headed by Mark “$20” Gilbert, committed to winnowing out some of the 2000 floating bugs, resulting in the closing of a number of dated, forgotten and follow-up-free bugs.   Alan Bluespan is reported to have said, “Told you so.”   Louis Bugkeyser released a memo to the press, stating, “Told you so.”

      For information about how to view the chart, please read 142's Special Interest.

Bug Votes

      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 February 14th, 2004
ID Votes Milestone Summary
 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
6354  20 --- --merge=FILE command line option does not work in abiword...
1679  17 --- List changes should keep selection
3216  15 2.2 [Tabstops Cannot be Set in Second (or Third) Column
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement as of February 14th, 2004
ID Votes Milestone Summary
2183 458 Future Fully Support OpenOffice's XML file format
3668 166 Future Support for window tabs instead of separate windows
1950 161 Future Wish for automatic Table of Contents
2490 156 2.2 Finish Cocoa Frontend
2321 145 2.2 [RFE] Maths/Equation Editing, as a plugin maybe?
4038 136 --- Outline View Support
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  44 --- 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......
2473  35 2.0.x [rfe] Support move & resize of images anchored to a page...
1235  30 Future [RFE] Not possible to change zoom and font size on toolba...
2219  27 Future AUTONUM wanted in [ Insert/Field/Number ] menu
2169  24 Future Line numbering
3233  23 2.0.x New Language preference menu
3419  20 Future [RFE] Add microspacing feature (tracking) for characters

      This week's top bugs went untracked

Release HackDown

      Will be scripted in by the second week of February, barring currently unknown events.

Abi's Relatives

      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.

Open Text Summarizer

      There was a “tune up” made to the English dictionary.   That's something; right?








      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.

Nullsoft Scriptable Install System

      Nothing since the 2.0 release.

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.


      Nothing to report.


      Not a gorram thing.


      There will be a release a month...otherwise...nothin'.


      Dave is planning on switching the conglomerate site over to Apache Forrest, which does much of the same work as the makefiles that Dave created some ages ago, plusse some additional advantages but only after overcoming the creation requirements.   For the thread, go here; For the test sote. go here.

      Also this week, users who suddenly noticed numerous useless menu options are not hallucinating after taking that dare to drink the bong water.   Many of these were created early on, but commented out since they were not used yet.   It was the opening of the Edit→Find functionality that unintentionally unleashed the rest of the options to the unsuspecting public.   But, on the subject of additional functions, Sean Wheller proposed built-in versioning.   Consideration is still in progress.


      Look, a place to talk about the AWN

Abiword Weekly News

      More to Come!


      More Releasage to Come!




      Of those not spamming the list with MyDoom, Michael Rosenbruch seems most promising in the intent to assist both his company and us.   Kudos to Michael and his good intentions for everyone.

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.

      These are numbers from all of time!   Everything since the paypal AbiFund has been setup is in here, not just this month or just this week.   Just in case you didn't figure that out, I'm restating it since the PayPal incident first incited interest in this.

Current Balance: $2144.20
Interest earned: $19.34

Expenditures: $2185
$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*
paypal: 66
check :  3
cash  :  1
*61: plusse 3 repeat offenders whom we love dearly

Contributions: $2311.84
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 (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.