AbiWord Weekly News #182,
      (For the week ending February 7th, the 6th week of 2004)

Welcome to this issue #182 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      TOC continues to rock!

This week in development

      Help for AMD64 users, Table of Contents grows even faster, screenshots for the History and Revsions, GUADEC-5 paper available, and MacOS X fonts.

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. [Fwd: 2.1.0 patch for amd64] :
    →   If you are attempting to build AbiWord on 64bit processors and you get a lot of warnings, DON'T PANIC.   Unless AbiWord completely fails to compile, the programme should be fine.   There are some questionable assumptions in the code which will be cleared up; in the meantime, just compile and install as you would any programme, and report bugs in the normal way you have been doing.
    §   One of the last bugs before a minor-version release of many programmes has typically been the “remove all compiler warnings” bugs.   In the meantime, just smile and nod.
  2. commit: More steps towards a working TOC.
    commit: TOC's work to zero-th order.
    commit: Lots of TOC fixes.
    commit: Another TOC update.
    commit: Lots more TOC goodness.
    commit: TOC's now immediately show changes in the Headings. :
    →   New Feature!   Table of Contents freshly available from Martin Sevior!   Though it will be a solid month of development before any actual usability comes out of this experimentation, it's something that many AbiUsers have been looking forward to using for a long time.   In fact, it's currently holds 161 votes, placing it third, behind Multi-Document Interface with 166 votes and Total Support of the OASIS format with 458 votes.
    §   On the subject of the Star/Open Office plugin, anyone who can help is welcome to give us a hand.
  3. Updated SuSE libwpd packages :
    →   SUSE 9.0 users will find that libwpd has been updated; you will find it available for download from this page.
  4. AbiWord Weekly News #179 "FogHat had a great song for this" Released. :
    →   My first AWN since my absence!
    §   HTML links and I don't get along well; ask Marc!
  5. Re: We're removed from FC2 ?
    GNOME Office Web Site
    Re: gnome-office website (was Re: We're removed from FC2 ?)
    New GNOME-Office Web Site :
    →   I spent a long time looking for the explanation to what happened, but couldn't find the link, so, I'll tell you from memory.   If you recall last week, AbiWord was removed from Fedora Core 2, which resulted in a rebirth of Gnome Office interests.   Now, the actual reason it was removed was because one dependency or another didn't get into the tree in time, so, AbiWord had to be pulled until the developer in charge could get it back in.   Fedora Core maintainers have no malice for Gnome Office, so, freaking out is not a necessity.
    §   Now, about the Gnome Office website...Charlie and Ryan?
  6. Linux User & Developer Expo (LUDEX) :
    →   Tomas confirms that he can goto the expo!   While Tomas asked what logos and artwork he could use, we had the opportunity to see Ryan's AbiPage!
    §   Cutest pictures in quite awhile!
  7. commit (HEAD): history dialogue
    commit (HEAD): document cmp dialogue
    commit (HEAD): revisions :
    →   Revisions technology grows by leaps and bounds.   Though it is quite early, there are screenshots involved.   First, The first History Dialogue, second, the Version Comparison Dialogue.
    §   Yup, it's late, but you HAD to see the dialogues.
  8. FYI: AbiWord abstract for GUADEC-5 :
    →   June fast approaches!   You must see the first public version of our abstract for GUADEC 5!
    §   Martin got real anxious; he almost had a panick attack ;o)

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. How to setup abiword spell checker in SuSE 9?
    Commit: Enchant 1.1.4 work :
    →   We learn three things that can help answer question several users may posses.   First, all forms of manual spell-checking are disabled when the user activates automatic spell-checking; the developers made the automatic means the default, which may explain some of the crash on startups, so, try editing that in your AbiWord Profile file, before filing a bug.
      Next, users of ASpell dictionaries will need to compile Enchant to use them, as most binary builders typically provide only the MySpell/ISpell capabilities.
      Finally, if you possess HSpell and another spelling dictionary but only HSpell seems to be used, Dom fixed this bug for the next version of Enchant.
    §   That should fix a few issues.   Grep the AWN, lately?
  2. Help files :
    →   People speaking a language other than United States English will find it difficult to fetch the online help.   The address for the help, which AbiSource only presents in U.S. English, is http://www.abisource.com/help/en-US/ and the address for the online manual pages is http://www.abisource.com/support/manual/.   Also, a mirror for AbiWord's documentation was set up by Frank at http://www.crazy-wormhole.com/AlinaMeridon/AbiWord/abidocs/.
    §   You'd figure that documentation would be a nice, downloadable package.   Or...is it!?
  3. abiword 2.0 and fonts on Mac OSX 10.2.6 (X11) :
    →   Mac users with difficulties with regarding fonts should confirm that: A) Fontconfig is installed, and B) Fontconfig is properly configured.   Take note: Fink does not package Fontconfig for reasons of politics.
    §   I hate politics to, but I have no control on this one; it appears to be part of that Free Will/Human Nature thing.


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 2.1 from February 1st through the 7th of 2004
Who Commits In summary
Tomas Frydrych 98 More and more work towards the History and Revisions feature.
History and Revisions:   more work, history dialogue, document comparison dialogue
Cross Platform:   change hashing algorithm, history dialogue, document comparison dialogue, preference for not using MAC address
Windows:   call to setlocale(), history dialogue, document comparison dialogue, win32AppImpl related things
Unix:   history dialogue, document comparison dialogue
QNX:   history dialogue, document comparison dialogue
BeOS:   history dialogue, document comparison dialogue
File Types:
AbiWord:   more history/versioning work Microsoft Document:   more history/versioning work Extended Markup Language:   more history/versioning work

Hubert Figuière 68 Some refactoring and a MacOS X bug fix.
Cross Platform:   refactor XAP_App classes a little bit, make same editmethod have an option to be called without frame, make openURL() method of XAP_App instead of XAP_Frame Windows:   refactor XAP_App classes a little bit, make same editmethod have an option to be called without frame, make openURL() method of XAP_App instead of XAP_Frame, generic fix MacOS X:   fix a bug where toolbar was hidden after closing frame #2, refactor XAP_App classes a little bit, make same editmethod have an option to be called without frame, make openURL() method of XAP_App instead of XAP_Frame Unix:   refactor XAP_App classes a little bit, make same editmethod have an option to be called without frame, make openURL() method of XAP_App instead of XAP_Frame, fix build following previous refactoring QNX:   refactor XAP_App classes a little bit, make same editmethod have an option to be called without frame, make openURL() method of XAP_App instead of XAP_Frame BeOS:   refactor XAP_App classes a little bit, make same editmethod have an option to be called without frame, make openURL() method of XAP_App instead of XAP_Frame, generic fix
Project Builder:   new files, changed aboslute path

Martin Sevior 47 More work towards the Table of Contents feature.
Table of Contents:   yet more steps towards a working TOC (Real Soon Now™!), “Insert Table of Contents” works to zeroth order, lots of fixes, page number and TAB inserted, immediately reflect changes in the heading in the document
Cross Platform:   fix crash on open file
Unix:   fix build

Dom Lachowicz 12 Fixing Enchant, one bug at a time.
Enchant:   fix bug where hspell would always be used for any language, enchant 1.1.4 preparatory configuration, more system myspell stuff
6373:   default printer is lpr -P(null)
6385:   (as far as i can be bothered with it) Please support external (system) libmyspell

Jordi Mas  1 Build fixes for Windows.
Windows:   build fixes

Marc Maurer  1 Screenshot!
Screenshots:   forgot the lil' list screenshot a while back (Win32 List Dialogue)

      No commits to Stable this week.


      It's happening Really Soon Now™!

Bug Update

Bug Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +10 (11 : 1), VeriNew -2 (0 : 2), ClosAssi +5 (6 : 1),

      Despite the apparent drop in VeriNew, the market had done considerably well.   Alan Bluespan continues to warn of a major correction in the market; however, Lois Bugkeyser suggests that such a swing should result in a positive market flow.

      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 7th, 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
1679  17 --- List changes should keep selection
3216  15 2.2 [Tabstops Cannot be Set in Second (or Third) Column
3801  15 Future [META] Seems to struggle with large files
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement as of February 7th, 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



      The WordPerfect to Star/OpenOffice converter, wpd2sxw, has released version 0.6.0!   Furthermore, Fridrich has gotten the module to compile on Windows!   Anticipate that release Real Soon Now™.




      HSpell's ability to hijack spelling has been removed, and in good time, as it appears release 1.1.4 is just around the corner!


      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

      Tonight, the final, official version 2.0 of the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System was released to the world!   For more information, read the release announcement.

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.


      Speculation on Gnumeric's Windows port continues; however nothing definitive has been declared, like a speculatory alpha-release window.


      GDA Ruby bindings master, Laurent, has pushed GDA:Value class into obsolesence by making it possible to convert between GDA and Ruby, which may gain more popularity than DBI.   More information can be found this entry.


      No news on this weeks front.


      This week, conglomerate's bugzilla gained a new component, &ldqou;Document Types,” which have the following description:   Bugs and enhancements requests relating to specific XML document types go here.

      Additionally, Dave improved the dispspec recognition of non-dtd'd documents.   It now averages throughout the whole document rather than the first functional element it finds.   This means that users can more reliably open non-dtd'd xml documents and receive proper parsing for them.   Quite naturally, of course, Dave rocks.


      Look, a place to talk about the AWN

Abiword Weekly News

      Working my way there...


      Whatever rumours I've already said.


      When expected AWN releases per week is one....


      I love them...I love them all!

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.