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Sat Dec 4 21:46:45 1999 UTC (19 years, 11 months ago) by frodo
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(Frodo) Final commit for 0.6.1

New formats files

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

frodo@frodo.looijaard.name
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