# Running Latex over a PDA/handheld - Handheld

This is a discussion on Running Latex over a PDA/handheld - Handheld ; Hi there, Has anyone tried (and succeded...)in runing LaTeX on a PDA/handheld? I am looking for as complete as possible support for this option, i.e. writing the text (o.k... this we know how...but is there a LaTex text editor for ...

# Thread: Running Latex over a PDA/handheld

1. ## Running Latex over a PDA/handheld

Hi there,

Has anyone tried (and succeded...)in runing LaTeX on a PDA/handheld?
I am looking for as complete as possible support for this option, i.e.
writing the text (o.k... this we know how...but is there a LaTex text
editor for PDA/handhelds, like a WinEdt version), compiling the LaTeX
file AND viewing it in a PDF format.

I thought of purchasing a PDA/handheld and an external folding
keyboard.
If I understand correctly (for I do not own YET a PDA),
1. There are varius operation systems each has its own
drawbacks/benefits, which will determine the answer to the
following...
2. I should look for (if there is any) a software which can do the
writing
3. I should look for (if there is any) a software which can do the
compilation
4. I should look for a way to view PDF file decently.

So, If someone did it, and can recommend on a specific hardware model
+ softwares, I'll be happy if he/she can share his/her knowledge on
the matter. If not, are there any advices which you can donate on the
matter?

Liranuous

B.T.W

I currently own a compaq EVO N800V which I am very happy with (got it
a year ago, great purchase I still think after using it for a year),
it weights ~2.5kg. I was looking for a < 3 pounds (1.35kg) 2nd laptop,
but the cost...
I figured that with current PDA displays they might suite my needs
better,
also in terms of continuous operation without external power.

L.

2. ## Re: Running Latex over a PDA/handheld

Liranuous wrote:

> ...
> 1. There are varius operation systems each has its own
> drawbacks/benefits, which will determine the answer to the
> following...

If you get a PDA that can run Linux (see
http://www.linuxdevices.com/articles/AT8728350077.html) then you can use TeX,
LaTeX, ...

As for editors, all your standard Linux editors will work.

--
+--------------------------------+---------------------------------------+
| Gerald W. Lester | "The man who fights for his ideals is |
| Gerald.Lester@cox.net | the man who is alive." -- Cervantes |
+--------------------------------+---------------------------------------+

3. ## Re: Running Latex over a PDA/handheld

liranuous@hotmail.com (Liranuous) aszonygya:
:Has anyone tried (and succeded...)in runing LaTeX on a PDA/handheld?
:I am looking for as complete as possible support for this option, i.e.
:writing the text (o.k... this we know how...but is there a LaTex text
:editor for PDA/handhelds, like a WinEdt version), compiling the LaTeX
:file AND viewing it in a PDF format.

Well, TeX is in the public domain so nothing should prevent you from
compiling it. Wouldn't it be nice if you could compile it right on the Palm
with, say, OnBoardC? Don't forget to compile dvips as well. What about
MetaFont? That should be a trivial exercise. Then comes emacs or vi. Gawk and
sed would be great too. /Paul [pedit - LapTopHack - pToolSet -
superFinderHack]

4. ## Re: Running Latex over a PDA/handheld

On 13 Nov 2003 04:38:35 -0800, liranuous@hotmail.com (Liranuous)
wrote:

>Has anyone tried (and succeded...)in runing LaTeX on a PDA/handheld?

[...]

Take a look at: http://www.rainer-keuchel.de/software.html

Regards
--
Wojtek ---(___C'>

5. ## Re: Running Latex over a PDA/handheld

On 13 Nov 2003 04:38:35 -0800, liranuous@hotmail.com (Liranuous)
wrote:

>Has anyone tried (and succeded...)in runing LaTeX on a PDA/handheld?
>I am looking for as complete as possible support for this option, i.e.
>writing the text (o.k... this we know how...but is there a LaTex text
>editor for PDA/handhelds, like a WinEdt version), compiling the LaTeX
>file AND viewing it in a PDF format.

I've heard of several people interested in this LaTeX option,
however so far I haven't heard of anyone actually managing it.
PDAs until recently have been rather short of both CPU power and
memory space. I'd be delighted to hear of someone actually doing
it.

Breaking down the various steps you need:

1) Text editor. Probably available on almost every PDA, either
built in or from a third party. Palm OS 3.x and Psion SIBO may
have file length limits (4k and 42k) that make them unsuitable.

Availability of a LaTeX aware editor seems much more
problematical, but shouldn't be essential. Any editor with
facilities for say color syntax marking should do fine (vim?)
but a straight text editor is all you really need.

2) Port of TeX to PDA OS. Source code is freely available, so I
suspect that if it hasn't been done, there are resource
implications still.

3) PDF viewer. There are a couple of PDF viewers for PDAs on the
Adobe site. I gather that the version for the Palm OS is
actually a Windows resident PDF to Palm converter, rather than a
PDF viewer as such. I'm unsure whether the PocketPC version is
the same, or whether it displays PDF without conversion on the
PocketPC. Sander van der Wal has written a native PDF viewer
(and also a print to PDF converter) for Psion Epoc OS. I think
there may also be conversions to Symbian based phones.

I decided the LaTeX approach was probably too memory intensive
for my PDA (Psion 7), so instead I used a similar free, but far
less complex, markup language, namely Graham Freeman's
QuikScript. This is going direct to Postscript. This usage was
possible because I have always used a Postscript based printer.
Those who lack a Postscript printer may need to transfer work via
a PC or Mac or Linux machine that had GhostScript and GhostView
installed.

1) Symbian Editor. A free text editor variation of the Psion
Word processor (it would be less convenient, although plausible,
to have continued to use Psion Word). You just include text
markup in your file, in a similar manner to LaTeX or HTML.

2) Prepend the QuikScript code to the markup file. The
QuikScript code is a 40k slab of Postscript that tells the
Postscript printer how to handle the markup elements, so the
resulting file can be considered standard Postscript. Like
LaTeX, it has the great advantage of just being a text file, and
can be used from any sort of computer that can handle a text
file.

3) Preview. This is entirely missing, since I don't know of a
Postscript viewer capable of running on a PDA. Ghostscript and
Ghostview seem to me too large. It is possible to get source
code for older versions of a small Postscript viewer called RoPS,
and I have hopes for this approach eventually. One dirty
alternative is to use the PDA to send the Postscript to the Adobe
web site Postscript to PDF converter. You can then view the PDF
on the PDA using Sander's PDF+ viewer. Of course, when at home
or at the office, you can always use Windows, a Mac or a Linux
system to do the Postscript to PDF conversion, using either
Ghostscript or Adobe Acrobat. This at least lets you carry
around formatted versions of previous documents. Of course, you
printing direct from the Postscript gives superior results to any
of the Psion printer drivers. I haven't tried the Psion via
Windows printer routine, because I feel that rather defeats the
advantage of having a PDA that can print.

4) Printing. Since the PDA printer drivers (just like the
Windows or Mac ones) will attempt to treat the Postscript as a
text file to be formatted, you have to bypass the built in
printer drivers. The easiest way I've found is to use the Comms
application to send the Postscript file to the printer. This can
be done via either the serial port if the printer has a serial
port as older Postscript printers did (or if you have a Psion
serial to parallel cable, to a parallel printer port), or if the
printer has an IrDA port, just beam the Postscript file to the
printer. I'm afraid I do rather a lot of my "previewing" by just
printing it out! These days I'm pretty used to how a document
will turn out, and I have templates for things I do often.

--
Eric Lindsay http://www.ericlindsay.com/guff
Airlie Beach Qld Australia - Great Barrier Reef entry
Psion & Epoc site http://www.ericlindsay.com/epoc
Bait for spammers: root@localhost postmaster@localhost

6. ## Re: Running Latex over a PDA/handheld

Wojciech Myszka wrote:
> liranuous@hotmail.com (Liranuous) wrote:
>>Has anyone tried (and succeded...)in runing LaTeX on a PDA/handheld?

> [...]
> Take a look at: http://www.rainer-keuchel.de/software.html

Also there is this:

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~univ0103/z-tex/

#Paul

7. ## Re: Running Latex over a PDA/handheld

Eric Lindsay's spam trap wrote:

(Hello Eric - I'm on-topic this time :-) )

> On 13 Nov 2003 04:38:35 -0800, liranuous@hotmail.com (Liranuous)
> wrote:
>
> >Has anyone tried (and succeded...)in runing LaTeX on a PDA/handheld?
> >I am looking for as complete as possible support for this option, i.e.
> >writing the text (o.k... this we know how...but is there a LaTex text
> >editor for PDA/handhelds, like a WinEdt version), compiling the LaTeX
> >file AND viewing it in a PDF format.

[snip]

> 1) Text editor. Probably available on almost every PDA, either
> built in or from a third party. Palm OS 3.x and Psion SIBO may
> have file length limits (4k and 42k) that make them unsuitable.

4k is too small for anything much, but a 42k file size limit shouldn't
be a problem - you can get plenty of text in a 42k file, and you can
always split things up using \input files if you're writing anything
substantial. This can be a pain, mind.

[snip]

Rowland.

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