20 Mar 2008

Abiword 2.6.0 released!

After more than 2 years of no releases, Abiword 2.6.0 has finally been released.

I have sort of a love-hate relationship with it.

On the one hand, it’s a fantastically fast, stable word program. It also integrates perfectly into the gnome environment. It has all the features that most of us need (lets face it, Office 2007 and OpenOffice have billions of features we never use).

The problem?

It doesn’t have native support for ODF, the Open Document Format, for OSS is a bit of a disgrace. You are able to get ODF support through plugin filters, but it isn’t perfect

it’s a pain to compile, but i eventually figured it all out

download it here

if you want the plugins, download that first, and compile it with the command

./configure --with-abiword=/(location of abiword source code)
sudo make install

then do the following:
sudo apt-get build-dep abiword
sudo apt-get install libwxgtk2.6-dev wx-common libboost-{graph,thread}-dev libgtk2.0-dev g++

then download wv from and install that (./configure && make && sudo make install)

extract the abiword tar, browse to it, and do the following

./configure --prefix=/usr/local/abiword/ --enable-gnome
sudo make install

That wasn’t too bad, was it?

It’s unfortunate that the timing is too late for inclusion in Ubuntu 8.04, but it should be in 8.10 if you want to just wait till then.

All in all, I can say providing you don’t care about native ODF support, this is a great program for people who don’t need all the features of OpenOffice, or have a slower machine (the performance of it is really great)

It’s available for MAC, Windows, Linux and BSD. so try it out

Next up will be a look at OpenOffice 3.0 which is scheduled to be released in September of this year.

I wouldn’t be too surprised if it got delayed though.

I installed build M3 yesterday, and most of the improvements don’t seem like they’ll be too noticeable to most of us (unless you use a MAC, where they finally have a native AQUA interface).

It’s supposed to start up quicker, have a nicer interface (which i doubt will end up making the cut) and support the revised ODF 1.2