Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Friday 31 December 2004

AbiWord unit testing (in progress)

I have been working on AbiWord unit test framework. I went with ripping WvTest off WvStreams for integration into the source tree. It is pretty straightforward and quite simple to use; all that I wanted. If it is too complicated people won't use it, like it is with the use of Doxygen for our own internal documentation.

Here is a little overview on how it works:

#include "tf_test.h"
#include "my_source.h"

TFTEST_MAIN("test decription")
	my_class c;

It is all integrated in the build system and even use valgrind APIs as a bonus. I need to put some more polish before committing it. No problem, 2.2 is still not branched. Stuff left to do is:

  • create the test make target
  • wrap to run valgrind if found
  • change configure to detect valgrind APIs (used by the test)
  • finish the documentation
  • write more unit test

Unit testing is probably really boring, but it is really really useful. You can find a breakage on the core of the code with it, you can even use it to develop your code. I did that for a few weeks, because either I couldn't run the whole beast or because it is was simplier. I did wrote my C++ code and write the unit test at the same time (required by internal company policy) and then just test everything with a make test. When I finally ran the whole program it was working by itself. Writing unit test does not take a long time if you do it at the same time and use them for immediate testing.

Tuesday 28 December 2004

When to not use a word processor

Newsforge has an interesting article about When to not use a word processor. Insightful.

Tuesday 21 December 2004

No more MacOS X development

Since I no longer do MacOS X development, for AbiWord, I unsubscribed from the MacOS X development mailing lists to free up some e-mail reading time and mailbox cluttering.

Let's make a brief history. In September 2000 I was no longer really believing in Mac, even though I have been a real Mac freak, advocating with more and less pragmatism Mac as the best computing solution. But there was that thing, MacOS X, about to be released as a public beta, that raised my interest. At that time I was already using Linux on the company provided IBM ThinkPad 600E, and it was working great for me. But I decided to go ahead, and bought an Apple PowerBook G3/400 FireWire. I bought this machine because it was a laptop, did run MacOS X Public Beta about to be released, and did run Linux correctly already. My main goal was to port AbiWord on MacOS X. That is what I mostly did, in too much time.

Today, my PowerBook is running Linux and it is my fastest Linux machine. It is running Linux bacause I needed a faster Linux machine, because MacOS X development on that machine, despite the 384MB of RAM has been far too painful, and because at that time I had an iMac G4 1.25GHz available to me. I currently don't have any longer another Mac capable of running MacOS X, that's why I'm no longer developing on MacOS X. AbiWord now has a running version 2.2.2 for MacOS X, thanks to Frank who took over a couple of month ago after the code stalled because of my lack of hardware resource. I consider my goal achieved, even though I did not finish it. Such is life. Of course, I'd have such machine, I'd happily spend time work on it.

Monday 20 December 2004

Unit testing

I started this week-end to implement unit testing in AbiWord. For now, I use WvTest class from WvStreams. I must do that before I start to work on rewritting the core framework. Perhaps should I look into cppunit and depend on that.

I also started using arch to have revision control on my own branch of AbiWord off the CVS tree.

Monday 13 December 2004

AbiWord 2.2.2

AbiWord 2.2.2 has been tagged in CVS and source tarball released. More bug fixes. Binaries and announcements to come.

Friday 10 December 2004

AbiWord news room

Some articles about AbiWord:

  • MacGeneration follows MacNN by announcing AbiWord 2.2.1 for MacOS X. Again we (the AbiWord team) still haven't done any official announcement for Mac sites.
  • A few weeks ago PCWorld published an article about Open Source software at work. Abisource's free AbiWord word processor lets you create, open, and save files in Microsoft Word's .doc format, as well as in RTF, HTML, WordPerfect, and other standard formats. It includes a spell checker and supports more than 30 languages, including Hebrew and Arabic.. They link to the download page for 2.0.11 on Windows.
  • Framasoft (fr) updated their article (english version) about AbiWord. Framasoft is dedicated to migrating to Open Source and Free Software.

Thursday 9 December 2004

At last

At last, Mac news sites notice the new release of AbiWord WITH the MacOS X port. MacNN is the first one (at least that I follow). It took almost a week, which is slower than for gossips (no links provided). Better late than never.

Who will be next ?

Tuesday 7 December 2004

AbiWord 2.2.1

AbiWord 2.2.1 has been released last week. Read the changelog or download it. Works on Linux (and the other UNIX), MacOS X, Windows and other platforms.

Why 2.2.1 and not 2.2 ? Because we released 2.2 and found a couple of bugs that required fixing.

We also got slashdotted with the announcement. Nothing serious, just visibility, and comments for never happy MacOS X users. Nevermind. The MacOS X version is finally available, thanks to FJF for the great work and for taking over this task.

Gnumeric got its 1.4 release too, and is now available on Windows. When will there be a X11 less version on MacOS X ? When someone ports Gtk+ 2...