AbiWord v2.6.0 Released

March 24, 2008

AbiWord 2.6 is a multi-platform word processor that combines state-of-the-art usability, powerful features, and excellent interoperability. Furthermore, it features a powerful framework for supporting custom extensions. AbiWord 2.6 is the most stable and capable AbiWord release ever. In addition to fixing hundreds of bugs reported by our users, it contains several exciting new features.

This release includes the following changes (and more!):

  • Greatly-improved support for languages like Thai and Arabic using a new Pango based renderer (Unix platforms)
  • We've included a new GNOME Office plugin that allows embedding Gnumeric charts into your documents (Unix platforms)
  • Ability to open files on remote shares, ie. samba, ftp or ssh shares (Unix platforms)
  • A new experimental collaboration plugin, allowing users to collaboratively work on the same document in real-time. There are currently 3 communication backends supported: an XMPP based one (only available on Unix systems, and it could use some love), a pure TCP/IP based one and one that integrates with the One Laptop Per Child Sugar interface. Please note that we consider this collaboration feature experimental, as it hasn't seen a lot of testing outside the One Laptop Per Child deployments. Also, we are not sure yet that we won't need to make slight protocol changes to accommodate some new features. This means that the current version of the plugin might not be able to communicate with future versions of the plugin. Finally, this feature is not yet available on Windows. It will be available in v2.6.1 for that platform.
  • A massive amount of work on all of our popular import and export filters, most notably the OpenDocument filter
  • The addition of a new experimental Office Open XML import filter
  • Support for native Windows Vista menus
  • Various drag & drop and clipboard handling improvements
  • Allow dragging and dropping images in and out of AbiWord (Unix platforms)
  • Fast image previews in the Image dialog, even for huge images (Unix platforms)
  • Various toolbar improvements, most notably the improvements to make them work better on small screens (Unix platforms)
  • Lots of updates to our translations
  • Lots of small fixes in our GTK+ frontend, such as fixing those pesky tooltips that just wouldn't go away (Unix platforms)
  • Automatic font substitution using fontconfig when a specific font is not available (Unix platforms)
  • Improved support for running AbiWord in non-UI mode (sometimes also referred to as "server" mode, as offered by the AbiCommand plugin); most notably AbiWord no longer requires an X server on Unix systems in non-UI mode.
  • Improved command line handling, allowing input from standard input, and output to be directed to standard output.
  • Improved printing from the command line, deprecating our previously used custom postscript driver
  • Improved modularisations for resource constrained devices, such as optional printing and spelling support
  • For application developers we've made available an experimental AbiWord GTK+ widget; accompanying Python bindings will follow soon.
  • For distributors we've improved the build system to be more standards conformant (for example, "make dist" and "make distcheck" now work)
  • Note: The equation plugin on Windows systems is currently unavailable. If you require equation support in your documents, then please continue using AbiWord 2.4.6. Future AbiWord releases will include equation support again on Windows systems.

    Availability: http://www.abisource.com/download/.

    More information: http://www.abisource.com/.

    Getting involved: The AbiWord community is participating in Google's Summer of Code 2008. Students can find more information on how to participate here. Sign up to get paid to work on AbiWord this summer!


       The AbiWord Development Team