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Abiword 3.0 released with GTK+ 3 support

Abiword is one of Gnome’s official parts, being a great text editing application with rich abilities in every sector. Although Abiword remains a great alternative to LibreOffice writer, its development inactivity drove it in relative desuetude. Characteristically, Abiword’s last stable release (2.8.6) was more than three years ago and even the latest development version (2.9.4) was released more than eight months ago!

Thankfully though, Hubert Figuière who seems to be one of the very few remaining developers who actually work on Abiword found some free time during the GNOME summit that was held in Montréal, and released the next stable version of Abiword that is the 3.0.0!


This new version looks almost the same as the previous 2.8.6 but the changelog is actually very large. The most important thing for the Gnome users is that version 3.0 now supports GTK+ 3! The weird thing though is that the planning suggests that Windows and Mac versions of Abiword 3 (not yet released) will most probably use Qt…

Other changes include RDF drag-and-drop, double-buffering of drawings to reduce screen flickering, and many code changes, cleanups and bug fixes.

You won’t find any related info on the homepage of the official website which is pathetic to say the least, but you can download and compile the latest version from source.

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  • Alex

    They should leave this project and concentrate the efforts on libreoffice, wich it’s the real text processor in Linux. With abiword you only can make child things

    • Mike

      LibreOffice and Firefox are on their own, they do not tend to integrate with any and all desktop environment, rather they try to be best Free MS Office and Explorer replacement. They created environment-in-environment, I would liked if they just used Qt for whole user interface, to not confuse people with real GNOME counterparts, like Abiword and Gnumeric.

      What I really want to see is GNOME Documents integration of what is now Abiword and Gedit to edit local documents with dynamic UI dependent on file extension. Online editing(can do in browser) not bought me at all.

      On a side note: It is just me or all GNOME apps written in JS as primary language experiences lags and bugs all over the place? And why just not adopt Vala, as truly GNOME language, to all GNOME Core Apps altogether? I heard it goes well with GNOME Games, so why not Core Apps?

      • Mario Daniel

        Because they think that by using JS, young hip web devs would run to join GNOME. Unfortunately, what makes JS useful in the web is the DOM, which of course is not present on GNOME, and real JS wizards prefer a more schemey approach for programming, something uncomfortable with GNOME, at least, at this moment. So not only they are not seeing the rise in workforce, they are also investing time and effort in documenting GJS on every GNOME lib, in detriment of proper documentation for Vala.

        tl;dr : They chose JS and fucked up hard

    • IsacDaavid

      Where do I begin?
      *Abiword has existed for many more years than Libreoffice, why should they quit developing Abiword? Who or what is forcing them to do so? Libreoffice itself was forked from Open Office, so why didn’t they just concentrate with Open Office? I know the answer: because they are free to do so.
      *Libreoffice is not a text processor, it’s a whole office suite.
      *Linux is a kernel, it doesn’t need, have or endorse any office suite.
      *Both Libreoffice and Abiword are multi-platform. They don’t focus on a specific OS

    • Ladislav Ezr

      They all should leave these dead projects and focus on Calligra because that’s the only real, fast, nice text editor in Linux world…………………..

  • Huns

    @Alex: Although I am an everyday LibreOffice user, I appreciate the diversity of OSS office applications very much. Since all projects center around the ODF document standard, I see more advantages than disadvantages. Altogether, the projects drive the innovation.

    Some examples:
    * Abiword had grammar check first, LibreOffice followed
    * Abiword is super innovative in terms of collaborative editing of documents. LibreOffice lacks behind here.
    * Gnumeric is necessary if someone wants to quickly crunch a matrix having more than 1024 columns. LibreOffice does not support this yet.
    * Abiword and Gnumeric were among the projects shaping the ODF standard which in its nascent stages was 100% based on OpenOffice XML (.sxw,sxc)… Gnumeric, for example had many functions/formulas not present in OpenOffice/LibreOffice that are now defined in the OpenFormula standard.

    * LibreOffice was spearheading the MS Publisher import/export and the DTP programme Scribus implemented it, too.
    * LibreOffice looks with its sidebar improvements in the direction of Calligra Office that already implemented it.

    In conclusion, the diversity is good, because new ideas will be implemented first somewhere and taken over in other OSS productivity applications

  • Eduard Gotwig

    Now give it a nice appmenu touch please :D I wonder how that would look =)

  • Ruben Miller

    RSS in is broken because of empty spaces before xml tag. I found a workaround using sed (sed ‘1,6d’) as a pre-filter for liferea.

    • mankou0

      +1 Please fix this. It’s broken since forever.

      • Bill_Toulas

        Sorry about that. Will fix soon
        Thanks Ruben :)

  • Chris

    I will take Kingsoft Office over any of these.

  • foobar

    I actually like abiword. I use it for quick documents when latex would be over the top and text files aren’t enough.

    However, there are alternatives. But this is not true for gnumeric, the best table calculation software out there. It easily beats excel and OO.

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