[sugar] A few more toolbar buttons for AbiWord?

Ivan Krstić krstic
Mon Nov 20 08:45:29 EST 2006

Hi folks,

msevior at physics.unimelb.edu.au wrote:
> 1. A font combo button.
> 2. Collaboration.
> 3. Insert Table widget. [...]
> Please let us know what else is needed and if you think any of the extra
> buttons I mentioned are needed.

let me try to bring everyone to the same page. As I've discussed with
several of you before, we'll be shipping a web-based e-book reader and
wiki notebook activity on the production machines. The notebook will be
the primary "writing" activity, as it will tightly integrate with the
rest of the information platform, and support real-time collaboration;
we'll be able to do things like desktop-wide annotations and saving
snippets directly into it.

The UI for this activity is currently being implemented, and you can see
the notes from the design review here:


The 'editing' section is of most interest to the AbiWord crowd. Some of
the more interesting choices we've made: there is no standard toolbar,
but after one selects any text, a small contextual "toolbar" pops up
right above it, offering styling and other commonly-needed options.

Furthermore, the editing is WYSIWYG just like in a word processor, but
if one enters raw Crossmark into the WYSIWYG editor, it gets transformed
to rich text on the fly. For instance, hitting a tab at the beginning of
the line will automatically start blockquote mode, writing === ... ===
on a line will automatically turn it into a heading, **word** will
automatically get turned bold, and the same goes for lists. An undo
button undoes the automatic conversion, leaving instead the raw text entry.

Now for production plans: I'd like to ship AbiWord without an editing
mode, supporting instead viewing, copy to clipboard, and possibly Save
As Crossmark. This would let us retain the ability to view the
unfortunately popular closed .doc files, while moving new document
creation into the notebook where it logically fits.

That said, the rich editing UI that we're developing for the notebook is
 Javascript-based, and thus isn't usable by regular GTK apps. This is
where you, the AbiWord folks, come in. If you can shrink Abi to an
embeddable GTK widget that speaks Crossmark, that would rock a whole
lot, because it would let us do rich text everywhere -- file
descriptions, e-mails, general annotations, you name it. We could
encourage application developers to make almost every textbox where it
makes any sense be an Abi textbox.

And that's where I think we have a great place for Abi on the OLPC
desktop. So if this sounds interesting, I wouldn't focus too much on the
standalone Abi app; I'd love to see you folks shell out the widget, and
have us integrate it right away.


Ivan Krsti? <krstic at solarsail.hcs.harvard.edu> | GPG: 0x147C722D

More information about the Sugar-devel mailing list