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Revision 46 - (show annotations)
Sat Dec 4 21:46:45 1999 UTC (19 years, 11 months ago) by frodo
File size: 5174 byte(s)
(Frodo) Final commit for 0.6.1

New formats files

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 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 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
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 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
48 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 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 format directory is supported by it; but it can not yet cope with
58 inserted objects (ie. documents in some other format).
59
60 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 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 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 Your favorite one should be somewhere in there...
93
94 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 and should run on many more platforms. Version 0.6 has support for
112 graphics.
113
114 High on the TODO list are input routines for Record files.
115 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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