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Revision 200 - (show annotations)
Wed Feb 4 15:28:56 2004 UTC (15 years, 10 months ago) by frodo
File size: 4824 byte(s)
(Frodo) Documentation updates. Removed fatals.

1 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 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 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
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 application. It allows you to read and write Psion 5 files. Note that
45 it comes under the GNU General Public License; that means that you can
46 only link it to programs which are also covered by that license. You can
47 contact me if you need other license terms.
48
49 The following formats are supported at this moment:
50 Word (R+W) Word processor files
51 TextEd (R+W) OPL editor files
52 Sketch (R+W) Picture files
53 MBM (R+W) Alternate picture format; can contain several pictures
54 ClipArt (R+W) Internal picture format; can contain several pictures
55 Sheet (R) Spreadsheet files
56
57 Documentation is scarce; please examine the source code or the example
58 psiconv program. Some things may also be found in the doc subdirectory.
59
60
61 THE PROGRAM
62 ===========
63
64 Psiconv is a command-line converter that reads Psiconv files and outputs
65 more commonly used formats. It is linked against libpsiconv, and can
66 handle anything that it can.
67
68 Please enter `psiconv --help' if you want to know about its syntax.
69
70 The current HTML4 target is not very ideal. HTML is just not made to
71 represent detailed layout considerations: it is a document description
72 language. Still, the output is quite readable already. Of course, headers
73 and footers are not displayed, because there is no notion of pages in
74 HTML. Tabs are also difficult; they are not supported yet. This can be
75 solved using tables, but it is quite hard to do it correctly. Some other
76 things are just approximated too.
77
78 The XHTML target uses cascading style sheets (CSS). You need a not-too-old
79 browser for this to display correctly. Generally, the output of this
80 generator is of higher quality than the normal HTML generator's.
81
82 A plain TEXT target just grabs all text, without any futher conversions.
83
84 All ImageMagick graphic output formats are supported; depending on how
85 you compiled ImageMagick, this is betwee 20 and 50 different formats.
86 Your favorite one should be somewhere in there...
87
88 In the past, my focus was on extending the number of output targets for
89 this program; at the moment, I belief more in import/export filters for
90 office applications like AbiWord, Gnumeric and the Gimp.
91
92 Psiconv is licensed under the GPL. Please read the included file COPYING
93 for exact licensing information. Please contact me if you need some other
94 licensing terms.
95
96
97 NEWS AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
98 ============================
99
100 Starting with version 0.2, psiconv should keep all namespaces unpoluted.
101 Starting with version 0.4, the conversion routines are linked into a
102 (static or shared) library. Version 0.5 has autoconf and libtool support,
103 and should run on many more platforms. Version 0.6 has support for
104 graphics. Version 0.8 can generate files and add Sheet support. Version
105 0.9 uses Unicode inside, add the psiconv.conf file and has many more
106 enhancements.
107
108 High on the TODO list are input routines for Record files.
109 Sheet files will be next. I am running into some trouble understanding
110 Data and Agenda files, but with a little luck, I'll figure it out after
111 all. This is more long-term though.
112
113
114 INSTALLATION
115 ============
116
117 Please read the file INSTALL for installation instructions.

frodo@frodo.looijaard.name
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