AbiWord Weekly News #185,
      (For the week ending February 28th, the 9th week of 2004)

Welcome to this issue #185 of the AbiWord Weekly News.


      Nothing really to follow up on; who wants to get nekkid!?

This week in development


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

      I have this theory that states I can get away with stuff if no-one tells Hub.   So far, this theory has tested positive.

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. rtf2xml conversion :
    →   Barnabas Davoti wishes to create a stand-alone application to convert Rich Text Format documents into some general form of eXtendable Markup Language documents.   Naturally, he appeals to the masters of this concept, the AbiWord developers.   Though AbiWord is perfectly capable of performing much of the functionality at the command-line, its API is not separated for this kind of functionality.   However, Barnabas remains excited about its capabilities and has some unanswered questions on the list (hint, hint).
    §   I feel the onset of spooky music coming from the cliffs of Collinwood!
  2. commit: Basic Ground Work for the Format Table of Contents dialog.
    WordPerfect table of contents dialog
    commit: updates to Format TOC dialog.
    [Fwd: Re: Re: WordPerfect table of contents dialog]
    The TOC Dialogue :
    →   Table of Contents remain the hot topic!   There was much discussion regarding the dialogue layout, with all the functionality our Table of Contents possesses, concepts of the layout travelled from Martin's Original to Hub's Conception, but, in the end, the best idea came from Peter Lundqvist (see ASCII art in “commit: Basic Ground Work for the Format Table of Contents dialog.”   As a comparison in functionality, Will sent in a screenshot of WordPerfect's TOC dialogue.
      And that brings us up to the SECOND half of this discussion, where Charlie's offers up his own dialogue mockup.   This began a give and take discussion about simplicity versus power, inspired by a farm girl who taught Charlie how to use MSOffice.   Other screenshots have since been lost in the void that is web decay.
    §   Billy the Luck!   You can't help but love that name!

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. parse error: illegal token :
    →   Hello, Deutschen users, are you experiencing unexplained errors?   Ja?   This could be related to AbiWord's handling of “u mit umlaut” in “ueberschrift” styles.   The relating error has since been fixed; upgrading to the latest AbiWord should work on re-importing the source document.
    §   Improper use of UTF8 by a word processor makes me sick...or just a li'l angry.   Let's not go off about the details....
  2. Crash when opening .SXW files under 2.0.3/win2k :
    →   Some of you, especially Windows users, may have noticed an issue with our Star/OpenOffice writer plugin.   Specifically, you may not be able to actually open Star/OpenOffice files.   Please query and confirm, or file related bugs.   Even better, however, would be to get a few more people willing to improve the functionality of the plugin.
    §   People reading this thread should keep these developer-to-user translations in mind: “[it] needs a lot of love” means, “[it] is under-developed and/or damaged beyond repair and requires intensive care;” “[it] looks too fun to compile” means, “So, I was reading the BUILD documentation or the README, and I was thinking, ‘Gee, that looks like it's looking for an excuse to blow up and take me with it,’ so, I've decided that the manual thing isn't for me in this case.”
  3. No delete capability :
    →   Michael (Coady?) wishes to know why AbiWord's file-chooser does not include the “X delete file” function.   To clarify the logic to this, it was decided by people who know better (read: HIGsters), that built-in delete functionality in the file-chooser was A Bad Idea™, and it appears that this will officially be stripped out soon.   For more information, read this entry.
    §   Isn't nice to know stuff you like will disappear someday?


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 22nd through the 28th, 2004
Who Commits In summary
Hubert Figuière 4 A fix for bookmarks in .doc plusse some bug squishing.
File Types:
Microsoft Word Document:   fix problem of encoding with bookmark import
6434:   styles with non ASCII char are NOT correctly exported to RTF

Developments for 2.1 from February 22nd through the 28th of 2004
Who Commits In summary
Tomas Frydrych 121 BiDi refactoring and some related graphics bits.
Bidirectional Text:   refactoring
All Platforms:   graphics factory work, graphics factory turned on, portable #pragma warning
Unix:   graphics factory

Martin Sevior  65 Table of Contents rocks more....
Table of Contents:   more nice fixes, basic ground work and Glade file, updates -- now the Labels ItemLists are filled, change the API of mapXYToPosition to handle selecting

Hubert Figuière  29 MacOS X gets some fixes, a fix for bookmarks in .doc, Project Builder work and l'bug.
MacOS X:   fix typo, fix warnings, fix order of properties
Unix:   fix syntax errors
File Types:
Microsoft Word Document:   fix problem of encoding with bookmark import
Project Builder:   change the way to create the disk image From Frank J. Franklin, new files
6434:   styles with non ASCII char are NOT correctly exported to RTF

Marc Maurer  13 Building, and lots of it
MSVC6:   update project files, fix debug build
GNU Make:   remove ut_contextGlyph from makefile, diving make build fixes, more diving make build fixes, fix diving make [ed.: Do you sense a theme?   NASA says you're actually sensing a trick of light and shadow]

Frodo Looijaard   8 A big thing with the Psion plugin, for more information, click the cvs commits link at the top of the table.
Psion:   update of the Psion plugin

Johan Björk   4 QNX-fix-i-ness and implementations.
QNX:   compilation fix, compilation fixes, implementation of UT_gettimeofday, a stub for the getEthernetaddress

Kenneth “Jeremy” Davis   1 A build fix for the TOC on Windows.
Windows:   build fix for the Format Table of Contents dialogue

      A jolly good time had by all, and I know there's something wrong now....


      It's happening Really Soon Now™!

Bug Update

Bug Market


      This week's activity: ResoUnconf +7 (7 : 0), VeriNew +5 (6 : 1), ClosAssi -2 (0 : 2),

      Despite a general rise in the markets, ClosAssi has begun to drop.   Alan BlueSpan noted that this drop would probably continue until the next release; however, Louis Bugkeyser, on the other hand, feels that there's little room for ClosAssi to drop further, and furthermore, believes that the market rise will continue until the next release.

      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 28th, 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 28th, 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
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
2136  15 Future A Latex importer would be nice and useful

      It should be quite clear by now that, 1950, Wish for Automatic Table of Contents, is technically satisfied.   Users waiting for a stable release, however, still have four or more months to wait.   As a result, we introduce 2136, A Latex importer would be nice and useful.

Release HackDown

      Real Soon Now™

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



      “Integrated OpenOffice.org filter (‘WriterPerfect’) released.   Precompiled RPM binaries are now available for Ximian OpenOffice.org 1.1”.   “Precompiled Fedora and Windows WriterPerfect binaries now on the download page.”


      What could you expect beyond squat?


      It's cute that you looked here.


      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 new since 2.0, but the ToDo list looked promising.

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.


      That's a very good question.   I didn't think of those pesky mailing lists....


      Nothin' here.


      Next week, NEWS!


      I missed all sorts of things last week (not sure why).   Since there's nothing new this week, I'll mention the other half of last week's discussions.   There was repetitive discussions regarding a command-line interface for Conglomerate, last week.   Starting back in the new-site era, with the reply “ Conglomerate Command Line (Was: RecipeML)” and continuing through to “ Supported Document Types.”   Both times, the discussion regarding the command-line functionality was started by the local Master of XSL Voodoo, Jeff Martin.   Dave pointed out that he was interested in shifting towards Gnome Office's plugin management code (we have specialised code for that?), which may mean that this is just the development release away!


      Look, a place to talk about the AWN

Abiword Weekly News

      I intend to get caught up when I'm finished mourning “Angel.”


      Your mama, that's what up!


      Raise your hand if you think we should donate our $2000-odd dollars to SavingAngel!


      I hope to read from Barnabas Davoti soon with good news.   I love our users....

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.