AbiWord Weekly News #184,
      (For the week ending February 21st, the 8th week of 2004)

Welcome to this issue #184 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      Last week was a purple haze.

This week in development

      Lots of MacOS X work and the beginning of BiDi refactoring.   Also, it's official, AbiWord 2.0/2.2 will only require GTK2.2.   This is the shiznit.

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

      Captain Reynolds turns to Zoey, as time passed more slowly than ever before.   Her gun raised, she fired.   Zoey looks over at the Prince and asks, “How's that for loyalty?”   The Prince approaches the Captain's body.   When he kneeled down, a sudden burst of thunder crosses the desolate rock, and Inara's shuttle lands so close, that the sudden drop of the nose deals a fatal blow to the Prince.

      “Damn, woman!   Don't you think that was a little close!?”   Mal seemed...upset.

      Inara exited, explaining, “ I had to be sure, and weren't you supposed to be dead, anyways?”


      “A little.”

      That would have been so much better if I had not just written gibberish off the top of my head.

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: abiword-plugins (BOTH): integrate coquille and docbook plugins
    commit: abiword-plugins (BOTH): psion plugin build fix for Darwin :
    →   Frank rises to the occasion for AbiUsers on MacOS X and Darwin in general.   Coquille and psion are now up and running for our Apple Audience.
    §   Apple™®© should neato “Apple Audience.”
  2. Commit (HEAD): 3 new MacOS X dialog + menu layout fixes
    Commit (HEAD): List documents dialog for Gtk + fix DocComparison :
    →   Hub also takes the time to make MacOS X more fun to use by adding the Document Comparison dialogue, List Documents dialogue and the History dialogue.   And more on the joy of proper cross platform programming, as Hub's magic fingers fix the Document Comparison dialogue.
    §   It would be a tragedy if an application's portability was toolkit dependant.   That's the kind of poor designing and evil sock puppet would come up with.
  3. DocBook <-> AbiWord conversions :
    →   Dave Malcolm asks a question that may be of interest for those of you interested in building your own project, one that may work with the AbiWord XML format; he asks, “How do you feel about 3rd parties writing code that generates AbiWord documents?”   To paraphrase the answer(s), “If it's valid and Just Works™, we would like to encourage that!   In fact, we love it so much that we (Martin) are doing it ourselves.”
    §   Is Martin working on a secret GNOME Office-based project!?   Will it be to the rest of us!?   How Soon!?   Stay tuned, same ant-time, same ant-letter!
  4. commit (HEAD): bidi and shaping
    commit (HEAD): bidi refactoring :
    →   Tomas has begun work to abstract the BiDirectional text control and glyph-shaping.   He hopes to achieve to goals: make it possible to use optional third party controls via plugin, like, pango or SIL graphite, and to conform to the Unicode bidi algorithm.   Visit the two message for more technical details.
    §   Yes, that's right, you'll nolonger see wheel-abi.so.1.
  5. Commit (HEAD): MacOS X X-Code projects
    Commit (HEAD): build_all.sh / MacOS X
    Problems building on Panther 10.2.3 with XCode 1.1. :
    →   Hub has announced that he shall nolonger develop the project under Project Builder, but instead, will be using XCode.   This resulted from switching a MacOS X 10.2, Jaguar, system to some form of GNU/Linux.   Jaguar users will still have the ability to build AbiWord via the ever-lovable autoconf build system.
    §   Pretty interface, code completion and symbol browsing...the only thing to ask is, “Why did he take so long!?”
  6. Commit (STABLE): require GTK >= 2.2.0
    ATN: Tree branched
    Commit (GTK24): require gtk+-2.0 >= 2.3.0
    Commit (GTK24): GtkFileSelection -> GtkFileChooser :
    →   Stable is now officially locked into GTK2.2, and HEAD has been branched to create a GTK2.4-to-be tree.   Anoncvs users may try the new branch out under module name ABI-GSFGTK24-PORT.   To encourage testing, you'll find a real purty 2.3-style File Chooser screenshot here.
    §   ME ABC: Minor Errors Already Been Cleaned-up.
  7. commit: Rework TOC layout.
    commit: New fp_DummyRun class for TOC's
    commit: ewritten backend for TOC with lots more features.
    commit: More TOC fixes. :
    →   Martin developer Table of Contents at a blinding rate.   New features include the ability to create arbitrary labels to be placed before each heading (including the overall name for the Table of Contents), the ability to alter the normal configuration of the headings numerical layout (roman/arabic numerals, alphabetical characters, use of parentheses), and optional and configurable text before and after the numbering, plusse the numbering may also be nested.
    §   Cool!

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. ??? SOS :
    →   Ladislav Cetkovsky found a wonderful multi-lingual-spell-checking word processor.   Unfortunately, there was some difficulty finding a Romanian dictionary, especially as seeing AbiWord/Enchant defaults to ispell dictionaries.   Thankfully, Alberto Cabello Sánchez did find a very relevant project here.
    §   More users helping users; who doesn't love that!?
  2. Problem :
    →   If you're a Windows user, and, like Loran, abiword files do not automatically open for you when double-clicked, there is a simple remedy.   During the AbiWord install, there is one point where possible file types may be associated with the AbiWord application, this also include abiword files, those with the extension .abw.   You only need associate the .abw file extension with AbiWord; this can be done by re-installing AbiWord.
    §   I wish I knew how to do that in Windows; unfortunately, my not using it prevents me from knowing more with regard to this.


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 15th through the 21st, 2004
Who Commits In summary
Frank J. Franklin 21 Much work focused towards the Darwin platform.
Cross Platform:   stop _UT_OutputMessage() from getting stripped (linker hack)
MacOS X:   psion plugin build fix for Darwin
File Types:
Psion:   plugin build fix for Darwin
Coquille:   integrate into the docbook plugin to avoid build problems
:   integrate coquille plugin avoid build problems
Automake:   autoconf macro updates to handle changes in automake-1.8

Marc Maurer 15 Backports and building requirments.
Cross Platform:   unbreak build (includes improved input methods support)
Windows:   typo.pl changes From Johnny Lee
General:   require GTK >= 2.2.0, require gucharmap < 1.3.0 (yes, lt)
6388:   (From Dom Lachowicz) — Incorrect print command crashes abiword
6397:   (From Dom Lachowicz) — Enabling Retrieve Surrounding code for text edit

Rui Miguel Silva Seabra  2 RPM updates
Redhat Package Manager:   update dependency to gtk-2.2.0 and glib-2.2.0, revert to requiring glib-2.0

Developments for 2.1 from February 15th through the 21st of 2004
Who Commits In summary
Tomas Frydrych 69 Bidi refactoring.
BiDirectional text:   move ContextGlyph to graphics, refactoring, extracted new shaping-related classes from gr_Graphics.h/cpp, extensive refactoring
Windows:   input modes related build fix, separate build fix

Hubert Figuière 51 Lots of work on MacOS X, including THREE new dialogues.
History and Revision:   New Dialogues: Document Comparison, List Documents, History; added ellipsis for 2 menu commands that triggers [List Documents dialogue]
MacOS X:   remove dead code, New Dialogues: Document Comparison, List Documents, History; added ellipsis for 2 menu commands that triggers [List Documents dialogue], implemented XCode building, handle leftright and updown cursors, warning squashing
Unix:   fix DocComparison dialog that was crashing upon display, implements ListDocuments dialog, don't set the Document Comparison dialog as visible,
XCode:   project file transfer/building, update of build_all.sh to work with XCode, remove Info_xxxx_.plis from project, finally fix the Info.plist problem
GNUMake:   update for the latest platform files,

Martin Sevior 38 Tables and Table of Contents!
Table of Contents:   rework the layout to allow arbitary labels to be placed before each heading, new fp_DummyRun class to remove unwanted Listlabels, rewritten backend allows lots more flexibility and features, fix a tab bug with indented lines
Tables:   single click column selection
6323:   Selecting a column and changing formatting only changes cells above
6414:   there should be some visual clue for autogenerated parts of the document

Marc Maurer 24 Building updates and plugged Linus' book.
General, Unix:   require gtk >= 2.2.0 instead of 2.2 ... >Just for Fun: The Story of the Accidental Revolutionary< in stores now!, require gucharmap < 1.3.0 and GTK 1.3.x deprecated build fixes
MSVC6:   update projects files and README

Francis J. Franklin 18 Much work focused towards the Darwin platform.
Cross Platform:   stop _UT_OutputMessage() from getting stripped (linker hack)
MacOS X:   psion plugin build fix for Darwin
File Types:
Psion:   plugin build fix for Darwin
Coquille:   integrate into the docbook plugin to avoid build problems
:   integrate coquille plugin avoid build problems
Automake:   autoconf macro updates to handle changes in automake-1.8

Pierre Abbat  4 Welsh translation from Rhoslyn Prys
Welsh, Great Britian:   update and corrections From Rhoslyn Prys

Mark Gilbert  4 use correct type when available for 64bit int instead of strange gnuc ext.
General:   use correct type when available for 64bit int instead of strange gnuc ext.

      I think I broke something because Frank has the same output to both trees.


      It's happening Really Soon Now™!

Bug Update

Bug Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +5 (5 : 0), VeriNew +2 (4 : 2), ClosAssi unch (0 : 0),

      The market has dropped from its record high last week, but has not entered the negative.   Alan Bluespan, unsurprised, explained that it would have been difficult to maintain last week's numbers at even 10% for much longer than a month, due entirely to the concentrated effort made by the limited number of market players.   Louis Bugkeyser, however, went on to note that anyone can participate in the market; for more details, see this guide.

      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 21st, 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 ......
5782  30 --- Abiword hangs opening attached Word document
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
Top 20 Requests For Enhancement as of February 21st, 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

      Once caught up....

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

      Nadav died of a massive heart failure at the age twelve.


      “Integrated OpenOffice.org filter ("WriterPerfect") released.   Precompiled RPM binaries are now available for Ximian OpenOffice.org 1.1.   RedHat Fedora and Windows binaries are right around the corner.”


      Maybe I should only put up categories where stuff actually happened.


      In December of 2004...there shall be a new Enchant...yes....


      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

      I wonder if I will ever hear from these people again.

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.


      This week, the only non-gtk requirement for Gnumeric is gconf.   Of course, if you don't care about the details and would rather see the general pretty bits, the charting engine is officially under the “smooth running” phase of development.   Also worth noting for the drool worth is SamuraiMike's radar plot implementation, which is expected to be incorporated relatively soon.   Watch out for 1.2.6 Real Soon Now™.


      Nnnothin', I hope.   I may have missed somethin'.


      Nothing YET in Criawips, but keep watching!


      A new website kicks off the beginning of the changes in how Conglomerate presents itself.   While everyone with access begins playing with the new site, Dave asks, based on how people are using it now, “What is Conglomerate?”   Dave considered stepping away from CMS-like functionality and pushing client-type end user concept.   However, the idea of using a version control system for an xml-like-based website, as discussed last week in Sean Wheeler's thread “Save a Copy?,“ appears to be a relatively common, making Conglomerate still useful in this direction to many people.   That thread begins here.


      Look, a place to talk about the AWN

Abiword Weekly News

      Trying real hard with limited time.


      2.0.whatever is coming soon!


      Once I'm all caught up.


      Alberto Cabello Sánchez has proven a helpful user this week, and therefore, gets the BlueAnt Award for Exemplary Competence.   Congratulations, Alberto!

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.