Abiword 2.4.1 for Mac: now sucks less

Remember my entry a few days ago about the sorry state of Abiword on the Mac?

Well, apparently Hubert Figuire optimized the hell out of Abiword the last few days (still slow, but much faster than before), and he fixed the rendering bugs. The font engine is still below par, but it’s definitely more usable now. Thank Hub.

Where it becomes funny is that the 2.4.1 public announcement now has a disclaimer!

“Note to Mac OSX users: please aware that the font rendering in 2.4.1 is still a work-in-progress. Depending on the fonts used the quality of the
rendering may be sub-optimal. We are working hard to address this issue.

You see, I made it clear to Hub and others that Abiword for Mac is obviously a beta product and should be marked as such. And now, they do!

What I don’t understand, is why do I have to become a real bitch, make all these people hate me and think that I am evil (Hub does), and at the end, they DO what I am asking for (which usually is a no-brainer fix or feature)! The same thing happened with a number of projects and products. With Gnome for example, many times I would push for something, they would piss me off and I would go overboard, and at the end, they implement my request or fix like nothing happened and like that it was a logical fix/implementation. But not before I become a bitch! Same goes not only for other OSS projects, but also for commercial ones: I have been into ugly shouting with Yellowtab, eComStation and Red Hat. At the end — after I was forced to become a bitch — they fix all the problems I reported, problems that are NOT simple bugs, but usually *mistakes* (I don’t expect people to fix my bugs before anyone else’s — but when it comes to obvious *mistakes* they should step in immediately because a ‘mistake’ can have worse consequences than a ‘bug’). Here is what I mean when I say ‘mistakes’:

For example, Yellowtab was expecting people to go to bebits.com and download a new firefox build, and overwrite the yellowtab official release, instead of sitting down their asses and provide their own official firefox package — I had to fight for it, and now Yellowtab is preparing an official release. Please note that Firefox is the main browser of ZetaOS. This is a lot like Apple releasing OSX with Safari, and then they stop updating it, and when you ask about a new release, they tell you “go download OmniWeb or another KHTML browser, they are the same anyway”. Sorry guys, but this strategy doesn’t fly and it’s not appropriate for a commercial company. Bernd was pissed off at me for 2 days. But I know I was right. And at the end I think he understood it too.

Same kind of ‘strategy’ problems (not just “bugs”) have pushed me over the edge with many OSS and commercial companies. I win most of them. But not before they ruin my reputation and my well-intentioned suggestions that turn sour.

Ah, I guess it’s the price I have to pay. 🙁

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