Re: Encoding in cyrillic .abw documents

Subject: Re: Encoding in cyrillic .abw documents
From: Paul Rohr (
Date: Fri Aug 31 2001 - 13:14:18 CDT

At 07:13 PM 8/30/01 +0400, Dmitriy Kostiuk wrote:
>Hello All,
> I have both Linux (static) and Windows versions
>of Abi 0.9.2.
> And it was just noticed that they produce
>Cyrillic documents in
> different encoding. Linux version saves KOI8-R -
>the most
> widely spread one for *nix systems - and that's
>OK. But Windows
> version saves Russian words in some fantastic
>encoding which is
> recognized by nothing but Win-Abi itself.
> The worst thing is that .abw document saved
>under Windows is
> unreadable under Linux and vice versa.
> Some inner voice says to me that such situation
>is not normal :)
> and that there is some faultness in one of my
> Am I right?


Thanks for raising this issue.

One of our design goals is that anyone *should* be able to move AbiWord
documents between platforms seamlessly. If not, please file a bug in
Bugzilla with a detailed description of the problems you're seeing
(including test documents).

I'm not an expert on our encoding support, but I believe that we had to
choose between two approaches:

  1. store in platform-specific "plain text" encoding
  2. store in a single cross-platform (XP) encoding, such as Unicode

The advantage of #1 is that it makes it easier to edit our documents on that
platform using other text editors (which often have horrible encoding
support). The advantage of #2 is that it maximizes the chances that our
documents will be portable across platforms.

If you'd like to discuss how to make #1 or #2 work better, feel free to ask
over on the abiword-dev list, where the folks who *are* experts on this
(Tomas Frydrych, Andrew Dunbar, Vlad Harchev, et al) will give you much
better answers.

One other wrinkle here is that some fonts are mis-encoded using the "wrong"
encoding (ie, 8859-2 glyphs are labelled using 8859-1 codepoints), and
earlier versions of AbiWord didn't detect and deal with such problems
appropriately. This may still be a problem, so again, please ask over on

bottom line
A cross-platform (XP) word processor doesn't Just Work if the documents it
produces get garbled when switching platforms.


To unsubscribe from this list, send a message to with the word
unsubscribe in the message body.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b25 : Fri Aug 31 2001 - 13:06:34 CDT