Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Monday 30 May 2005

Live from Guadec, day 2

Yesterday, I met Hans Ulrich Niedermann from gphoto and we discussed a bit about new feature and architecture. I brought in my idea and he raised some question for which we found a solution or have some thought. I'll talk more about that, as I have everthing noted down in my notebook (dead tree version).

This morning was Ubuntu funder Mark Shuttleworth's keynote. He talked about Ubuntu, and distributed developement including Rosetta, Malone, etc. That would be nice to see more collaboration, and I'm thinking about malone, the meta bug reporter, to handle distribution bugs vs upstream. And he seems really interested in that collaborative editing we have been thinking about for AbiWord. Actually re-reading the mail, I suspect he may have originated the idea with jdub as a messenger.

Wednesday 25 May 2005

GNOME powered Linux device by Nokia

Nokia released the Nokia 770, a tablet PC based on Linux, GNOME and GStreamer. The software platform is called Maemo and is Open Source Software (but with a few exceptions).

I am wondering the opportunity of "porting" AbiWord to it.

BTW, it is not a phone.

Update: this has already been done with the Maemo Word Processor

Tuesday 17 May 2005

AbiWord 2.3.0

AbiWord 2.3.0 has been released a last week. It is the first development version for our upcoming 2.4.0 release.

There won't be a MacOS X build for that release. Wait for 2.3.1 as we have been lagging behind a bit.

Thursday 5 May 2005


AbiWord to the rescue to save people with proprietary formats. Lesson #1 lack of interoperability with other format even when you are the de-facto monopoly will screw you up one day. That is what happens with Word that do not install file format converter... (that is why importing WinWord 2 or Word 5.0 for Mac documents would rock in AbiWord)

Wednesday 4 May 2005

Major AbiWord MacOS X fixes

AbiWord on MacOS X had broken justified text display for a few month, and that is really bad. See bug 8384 and all its duplicates. I hadn't used AbiWord on Mac for some time, and I wanted to update some document I had on a CD that the crappry CD-ROM drive in my PC is unable to read. So I did read it on the MacMini and used AbiWord for that. That is what made me fix that bug. Not that I wouldn't have, but I was not really aware of that as it was working when I left the code last year.

It appears that a change in December to support Bi-directional languages removed the code to draw word by word justified text and use the inter-word gap as specified to the GR_Graphics::drawChars(). The UNIX code use Xft to draw chars one by one, but MacOS X is not very fast to do that.

So I reimplemented that with the new code, but broke the bi-directional languages support (programming by side effects). That will be fixed differently as since Tomas has added hooks to tell whether we support that or not. At the same time I commented that part to explain why I do that. I expect to have simplier code by then. Ultimately I may rewrite this using ATSUI.