Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Friday 17 June 2005

AbiWord on Maemo

AbiWord has been ported on Maemo. I have a patch to commit to CVS HEAD for version 2.4

Gnumeric has been ported too. That is good news for Gnome-Office.

Wednesday 15 June 2005

Annoying XCode

XCode is really annoying me. I think I'll switch back to autoconf for building AbiWord on MacOS X. At least I will have the flexibility I need.

Sunday 12 June 2005

OOo vs Word performance comparison

I don't know how serious and valid the study is, but there is a study about OpenOffice being faster than MS-Office. AbiWord is already faster on several point than OOo, but not on opening and handling big documents. If we target beating OOo, then we my win a lot. Definitely optimizeing our Piece Table (a slight redesign of the bottlenecks) might help a lot.

Friday 10 June 2005

Demotivation

I feel like completely demotivated by Apple and MacOS X. First they make barely possible to support older OS release with newer hardware. Then I realize that lot of core APIs are only available in newer OS release, like CoreGraphics. I'm not talking about new features, but APIs of existing things.

But then some people, including some Apple engineers, come and say "why do you want to support AbiWord on 10.2 while the current version is 10.4 ?".

  • First I don't have 10.4 because I don't have that much money to throw into an OS upgrade. And despite having had that machine in February, I haven't had any discount offer to upgrade. Not really incentive.
  • Second, I'm not alone, there are a lot of people that still use 10.2 or even before. I'd love to support 10.1, but technically it is not possible. 10.2 however is OK, API-wise. Then come the problem of building for 10.2. We have older fink, that work for the dependencies, but when you try to use the SDK for 10.2 as XCode allow, then you are out of luck as it fails (see bug 8971).
  • Third, I don't want to sponsor the upgrade push made by Apple towards MacOS X.

Some Anynoymous Coward also proposed the "compatibility lab" from Apple. Sure thing, if he want to pay for the access and the trip, because the closest location is Cupertino, California, and one need be ADC Select of ADC Premier member to access, or to get an asset from someone else (see info page). Remember, AbiWord is run by volunteers. But that is slightly overkill as all I need is a machine to load 10.2. Someone else suggested PearPC, I must say I tried that, but it was no fast on my PIII 1GHz.

Perhaps should I just follow Ulrich Drepper advice and focus on Linux (and GNOME) instead of trying to satisfy a minority. Yes, for me MacOS X become a minority. Its users seems to not care at all about Free Software, and its developers are not into the philosophy as we haven't had any developer on AbiWord beside FJF and I (and I must note one simple patch I got once from someone else). With Apple not helping, because they consider you have to pay big bucks to be a developer, as the ADC Online does provide virtually nothing, it is not encouraging.

So now what shall I do ? Continue the 2 Mac centric project I'm working on: AbiWord and Gtk for MacOS X ? Pass on and focus on other GNOME centric code ? I don't know. Perhaps I'm just having a moment of grumpiness. I was happy to see Apple releasing WebCore, but the more I think, the more I suspect it to be a smoke screen to appease developers, as nothing towards providing help to support open source project has been done, at least in the case of AbiWord, and given the state of OpenOffice, they probably don't care (but since Sun is behind I can eventually get the reason).

I see some objections like "Apple ported FireFox to Intel". Sure thing, they needed a demo and a major application for that purpose, so they couldn't have a better candidate than a big open source application that runs on Mac. They could have selection AbiWord, but it is not that popular, and in fact I don't care. It is all smoke and mirrors.

And like my rant is not finished, there are some people that ask me to drop my work on the port of Gtk on MacOS X because they want to do it. I'm just about to commit what I have done in GNOME CVS for sharing... that's what I prefer.

No AbiWord 2.3.1 for MacOS X

Due to a bad change in the cross-platform code, there won't be a 2.3.1 build for MacOS X of AbiWord. 2.3.1 is schedule for today.

Nothing to see, move along.

PS: Apple, you are really nice with your developers, not allowing them to use an older OS release on more recent hardware. I can't install 10.2 to debug AbiWord on 10.2 because it does not work on MacMini.

Tuesday 7 June 2005

Summer of Code

There is not prize for AbiWord in Google summer of code. What a shame. There is plenty of things to take, and we'd love to have someone sponsoring that. Perhaps because the is no AbiWord Foundation.