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Revision 152 - (hide annotations)
Tue Nov 11 18:58:55 2003 UTC (15 years, 11 months ago) by frodo
File size: 5202 byte(s)
(Frodo) Many build updates:
  * Automake 1.6 and 1.7 support
  * Autoconf 2.5x support
  * ImageMagick 5.4.x and 5.5.x support
  * Format documentation will now be installed

1 frodo 2 INTRODUCTION
2     ============
3    
4     This package is meant to make the Psion 5 series of PDAs, as well as other
5     small computers running Epoc 32, more usable to non-Windows users. But even
6     they may profit from the data I collected.
7    
8     The package consists of several parts:
9     * Documentation about Psion 5 data formats;
10     * A library which can be linked against application that have to read
11 frodo 152 and write Psion 5 files;
12 frodo 2 * An example command-line program which reads Psion files and writes
13     more commonly used formats.
14    
15    
16     DATA FORMATS
17     ============
18    
19     As far as I know, and have gathered from the newsgroups, Psion does not want
20     or is not able to release the data formats of the saved files of their
21     internal applications. I am trying to reverse engineer these data formats
22     and to document them for general use. At this moment, I understand their
23 frodo 152 Word, Sheet, TextEd, Sketch, MBM, Clipart and Record files, as well as a
24     few other less important formats. I want this information to be available
25     to everyone, in order to write better file conversion utilities for popular
26     (non-)Windows programs.
27 frodo 2
28     All documentation is written in Psion 5 Word. Fortunately, the utilities
29     in this package can translate it to HTML and other formats.
30    
31     Unlike all other files in this package, the *.psi files in the directory
32     formats/psion are completely public domain. I ask anybody who reproduces
33     them, or uses their information in other programs, kindly to attribute
34     them to me.
35    
36     The documentation files are not installed on a `make install'; you can
37     find them in the subdirectories of the formats directory.
38    
39    
40     THE LIBRARY
41     ===========
42    
43     libpsiconv is a library of routines that you can link against your own
44 frodo 36 application. It allows you to read Psion 5 files. Note that it comes
45     under the GNU General Public License; that means that you can only link
46     it to programs which are also covered by that license. You can contact
47     me if you need other license terms.
48 frodo 2
49 frodo 46 The following formats can be read at this moment:
50     Word Word processor files
51     TextEd OPL editor files
52     Sketch Picture files
53     MBM Alternate picture format; several pictures can be combined in it
54     ClipArt Internal picture format; several pictures can be combined in it
55    
56 frodo 2 The parser is quite good at the moment. Page layout codes are not yet
57     read, but almost everything that is described in the documents in the
58 frodo 46 format directory is supported by it; but it can not yet cope with
59     inserted objects (ie. documents in some other format).
60 frodo 2
61 frodo 36 Documentation is scarce; please examine the source code or the example
62     psiconv program. Some things may also be found in the doc subdirectory.
63    
64    
65     THE PROGRAM
66     ===========
67    
68     Psiconv is a command-line converter that reads Psiconv files and outputs
69     more commonly used formats. It is linked against libpsiconv, and can
70     handle anything that it can.
71    
72     Please enter `psiconv --help' if you want to know about its syntax.
73    
74     The current HTML3 target is not very ideal. HTML is just not made to
75 frodo 2 represent detailed layout considerations: it is a document description
76     language. Still, the output is quite readable already. Of course, headers
77     and footers are not displayed, because there is no notion of pages in
78     HTML. Tabs are also difficult; they are not supported yet. This can be
79     solved using tables, but it is quite hard to do it correctly. Some other
80     things are just approximated too.
81    
82     The HTML4 target uses style sheets. You need a not-too-old browser for
83     this to display correctly. Generally, the output of this generator is
84     of higher quality than the normal HTML generator's.
85    
86     A plain TEXT target just grabs all text, without any futher conversions.
87    
88 frodo 36 The RTF target is not finished yet; in fact, it is no usable at all
89     right now.
90    
91     All ImageMagick graphic output formats are supported; depending on how
92     you compiled ImageMagick, this is betwee 20 and 50 different formats.
93 frodo 46 Your favorite one should be somewhere in there...
94 frodo 36
95 frodo 2 I would very much like to add other targets, like (La)TeX, RTF (Rich Text
96     Format) and XML (for AbiWord). If other people want to work on this, please
97     let me know! Of course, you could also write your own conversion applications
98     just using my data format description. Native import/export filters for
99     some word processors would be very welcome!
100    
101     Psiconv is licensed under the GPL. Please read the included file COPYING
102     for exact licensing information. Please contact me if you need some other
103     licensing terms.
104    
105    
106     NEWS AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
107     ============================
108    
109     Starting with version 0.2, psiconv should keep all namespaces unpoluted.
110     Starting with version 0.4, the conversion routines are linked into a
111     (static or shared) library. Version 0.5 has autoconf and libtool support,
112 frodo 36 and should run on many more platforms. Version 0.6 has support for
113     graphics.
114 frodo 2
115 frodo 36 High on the TODO list are input routines for Record files.
116 frodo 2 Sheet files will be next. I am running into some trouble understanding
117     Data and Agenda files, but with a little luck, I'll figure it out after
118     all. This is more long-term though.
119     On the output side, I hope RTF will soon be done. This will allow most
120     office tools to read the Psion files.
121    
122    
123     INSTALLATION
124     ============
125    
126     Please read the file INSTALL for installation instructions.

frodo@frodo.looijaard.name
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