Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Friday 14 October 2005


Wednesday I spent my NDF working on removing various memory leaks for AbiWord 2.4.2.

It all started with a Unit Test that was leaking memory because the class UT_Map had a bug. Since only a couple of plugins use that class(1) I had to test, and the StarWriter (.sdw) importer looked like a good candidate. So I installed the whole set of plug-ins to debug and noticed and opened a file, running under valgrind to make sure I was not trashing memory, leaking or other nastiness that that Unit Test did not reveal.

That's how I found other leaks. Some of these involving bad API design. So I had no choice but fix them. There are still few left and probably more to discover.

(1) actually we have several hash classes that I plan on removing to only use one.

Sunday 9 October 2005

Packaging Madness

AbiWord 2.4.1 has hit Ubuntu Breezy today, thanks to Mark Shuttleworth for pushing it, joshk packaging it for Debian and seb128 integrating it to Ubuntu. Thanks guys, so close to the release, for putting AbiWord in it.

My Ubuntu package for Enblend finally got uploaded into Breezy Universe. w00t.

Monday 3 October 2005

AbiWord 2.4

AbiWord 2.4 is out.

And yes, there are known issues with text rendering on Mac.

Report bugs here. Read the release notes and download

Sunday 2 October 2005

Welcome Open Office, seriously.

Welcome Open Office, seriously. Welcome to what? Welcome to the world of native applications on MacOS X. I'm glad to see that you saw the light, that you realised that for your users, you had to get rid of X11 on MacOS X, because they deserve it.

When I started the AbiWord port on MacOS X back in 2001 (I bought that PowerBook G3/400 for that sole purpose), it was because I believed that the GTK based port of AbiWord runing on X11 wouldn't be a gift to our users. The experience showed that integration is really important. Freedesktop.org has been created in order to allow desktop interoperability between KDE and GNOME (and other X based free desktop software), because developer realised that runing an application designed for one desktop one another desktop was a much better user experience if it did integrate properly. That is also that same reason why some distributions insist on having a UI theme that is the same on both GTK and Qt, to make this difference even less obvious, to blends the frontiers.

I'm proud to see Sun finally realising that we all were in the right. And that announcement of abandoning X11 and going on with Cocoa is the right thing to do. Good luck for that, but at least you have some people paidmotivated to do it, unlike AbiWord. And do yourself a favor, don't use Java.

Update (2005/10/03): apparently I was mistaken. The Mac port is not sponsored by anyone. Even more "good luck".