Re: Psion Born Again? - Scion

This is a discussion on Re: Psion Born Again? - Scion ; Eric Lindsay's spam trap wrote: > On Fri, 7 Nov 2003 20:57:57 +0000 (UTC), > real-address-in-sig@flur.blti gibbet (Rowland McDonnell) wrote: > > >> The Ghostscript/Ghostview combination are available for the Mac, > >> so QuikScript is a good method from ...

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Thread: Re: Psion Born Again?

  1. Re: Psion Born Again?

    Eric Lindsay's spam trap
    wrote:

    > On Fri, 7 Nov 2003 20:57:57 +0000 (UTC),
    > real-address-in-sig@flur.bltigibbet (Rowland McDonnell) wrote:
    >
    > >> The Ghostscript/Ghostview combination are available for the Mac,
    > >> so QuikScript is a good method from the Psion.

    > >
    > >Except that QuikScript isn't up to the job given what I want to do.

    >
    > What a pity. I was lucky in that the limits of QuikScript were
    > close enough to what I needed to do (infrequent changes to the
    > number of columns per page, fairly simple tables, not a lot of
    > math at all) that I could manage with it. I did use a couple of
    > very simple pieces of embedded Postscript as well, but they were
    > only for trivial illustrations.
    >
    > If you are doing something that pushes say LaTeX, then QuikScript
    > certainly won't be the right thing to use.


    I'm not doing things that push LaTeX. It's just that I want proper
    typesetting, and you don't get that with anything but TeX, Adobe's
    InDesign, or a few oddities around the edges.

    [snip]

    > >I would argue that LaTeX has so many advantages over things like
    > >QuikScript for anything remotely serious that there's no point in
    > >considering anything but LaTeX if you have anything substantial or
    > >important to do.

    >
    > Yes, if you are doing substantial work. I just didn't consider
    > 16-40 page documents sufficiently substantial for the extra
    > learning curve involved in coming to grips with TeX again.


    Umm. Modern LaTeX is surprisingly painless to use - questions on
    comp.text.tex tend to be rather esoteric, asking about how to include
    movie elements in pdfLaTeXed presentations for live projection, and
    things like that - graphics inclusion and use of colour, for example are
    generally reasonably trivial these days; and even adding new founts is
    no longer nearly impossible, and now merely annoyingly fiddly. I've not
    actually tried either of 'em myself, but there are a couple of tightly
    integrated pdfTeX setups for MacOS X that many people speak very highly
    of. For straight Unix and Windoze, there's the rather odd LyX, which
    uses a semi-wysiwyg approach and TeX as the final typesetting engine.

    The main things about LaTeX from my point of view are the robustness and
    stability of the file format - by `robust', I mean that even if LaTeX
    vanishes from the Earth in some strange interdimensional calamity out of
    a bad SF film, the data is still accessible because it's plain text
    markup. And on top of that, you get proper typesetting - which is not
    the case with QuikScript. Not to mention the enormous flexibility you
    have with LaTeX. Okay, so Postscript might well be a more useful
    programming language than anything on the TeX side, but it's a right sod
    to use directly and there isn't a huge library of code and a large user
    community to help you out with direct Postscript typesetting. LaTeX, on
    the other hand, has downloadable packages available for pretty much any
    sane job and a few insane ones - how about a Basic interpreter written
    in TeX? Okay, you've got to get 'em and learn how to use 'em, but
    there's a searchable catalogue on the Web and the rather informative
    comp.text.tex newsgroup.

    And once you know that this:

    % %plain
    \let~\catcode~`76~`A13~`F1~`j00~`P2jdefA71F~`7113j defPALLF
    PA''FwPA;;FPAZZFLaLPA//71F71iPAHHFLPAzzFenPASSFthP;A$$FevP
    A@@FfPARR717273F737271P;ADDFRgniPAWW71FPATTFvePA** FstRsamP
    AGGFRruoPAqq71.72.F717271PAYY7172F727171PA??Fi*LmP A&&71jfi
    Fjfi71PAVVFjbigskipRPWGAUU71727374 75,76Fjpar71727375Djifx
    :76jelse&U76jfiPLAKK7172F71l7271PAXX71FVLnOSeL71SLRyadR@oL
    RrhC?yLRurtKFeLPFovPgaTLtReRomL;PABB71 72,73:Fjif.73.jelse
    B73:jfiXF71PU71 72,73:PWs;AMM71F71diPAJJFRdriPAQQFRsreLPAI
    I71Fo71dPA!!FRgiePBt'el@ lTLqdrYmu.Q.,Ke;vz vzLqpip.Q.,tz;
    ;Lql.IrsZ.eap,qn.i. i.eLlMaesLdRcna,;!;h htLqm.MRasZ.ilk,%
    s$;z zLqs'.ansZ.Ymi,/sx ;LYegseZRyal,@i;@ TLRlogdLrDsW,@;G
    LcYlaDLbJsW,SWXJW ree @rzchLhzsW,;WERcesInW qt.'oL.Rtrul;e
    doTsW,Wk;Rri@stW aHAHHFndZPpqar.tridgeLinZpe.LtYer.W,:jbye

    gives you a beautifully typeset version of the full words to the song
    `The Twelve Days of Christmas' when thrown at any TeX installation, what
    more reason could one want for never using anything other than TeX for
    one's printed output?

    \end{salespitch}



    > This
    > was especially the case when you consider that by prepending the
    > 40k Postscript that makes up QuikScript, I could print directly
    > from the Psion to my laser printer (which has IrDA and
    > Postscript) without having to pass through another computer. For
    > me, that was an enormous advantage.


    That, I can relate to as being a Very Good Thing. Me? I suppose I'll
    have to wait until I can LaTeX on a hand-held.

    > At the time I started using
    > that method I had such printers available at home and at the
    > office - I got a lot of office memo crap and "cover your ass"
    > memos done on the train.
    >
    > >If you want proper typesetting, TeX is the way to go to. QuikScript
    > >can't do decent hyphenation and justification. TeX can.

    >
    > That is certainly true. Justification in QuikScript is only as
    > good as the standard Postscript routines. Unlike TeX, there are
    > no specialised hypenation facilities.


    If it weren't for that, I'd've been using something like QuikScript
    years ago on my Macs (there's something similar available for Macs, or
    always used to be, anyway).

    > Rowland, had you checked this web site?
    > LaTeX Jim Ottaway has Psion Word to LaTeX converter for Linux
    > written in C.
    > http://website.lineone.net/~j.ottaway/psi2latex.html
    > That is a pretty old note from my web site, but perhaps it is of
    > interest.


    Bigod. Well. Thanks for that - it looks interesting. I'll have to get
    the developer tools from Apple and work out how to use the Unix side of
    MacOS X properly before I can compile and use it - but... Well, what
    more can I say than coo gosh!

    Rowland.

    --
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    PGP pub key 0x62DCCA78 Sorry - the spam got to me
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    UK biker? Join MAG and help keep bureaucracy at bay

  2. Re: Psion Born Again?

    On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 03:27:25 +0000 (UTC),
    real-address-in-sig@flur.bltigibbet (Rowland McDonnell) wrote:

    >Umm. Modern LaTeX is surprisingly painless to use

    Well, if you say so. It has been a long time since I've used or
    supported LaTeX, so it is probably rather different to what I
    recall.

    >The main things about LaTeX from my point of view are the robustness and
    >stability of the file format - by `robust', I mean that even if LaTeX
    >vanishes from the Earth in some strange interdimensional calamity out of
    >a bad SF film, the data is still accessible because it's plain text
    >markup.

    Funny you should mention stability of file format. That was
    precisely why I moved to QuikScript. I was utterly fed up with
    word processor file formats changing and old files being hard to
    convert. I've lost count of how many formats MS Word went
    through from its original DOS days to now. As with LaTeX, my
    QuikScript files are all just plain ASCII text markup, and the
    ones from fifteen years ago still work fine. My markup is really
    plain. %P% for a new paragraph for example. Since it is always
    bounded by a set of % signs %, and since I have a list of the
    meanings of all the markup, removal of the markup is really easy,
    whether automated or in a text editor. As with LaTeX, the last
    Postscript printer and the last open source Postscript viewer has
    to disappear before I have printing and viewing problems.

    >% %plain

    Umm, yes, a fine example of obscure code. Cute however!

    While I could easily find obscure Postscript examples, I have to
    say that the actual QuikScript code is (mostly) pretty clear and
    clean Postscript. Makes it very easy to add routines (or change
    existing ones), if you are that sort of person.

    >If it weren't for that, I'd've been using something like QuikScript
    >years ago on my Macs (there's something similar available for Macs, or
    >always used to be, anyway).


    QuikScript itself should work just fine on a Mac actually, since
    you just add 40k of Postscript (itself plain text) to the front
    of your markup file. Given that I hear the latest OS X simply
    displays Postscript files correctly, this should mean that any
    marked up file with QuikScript in front of it should display
    straight up on a Mac. I leave changing the justification
    routines (which are not terrible, just not up to TeX) as an
    exercise for the reader :-)

    Oh, actually, what sort of Mac do you have? Maybe I should send
    you QuikScript (40k) plus an example file (say the QuikScript
    manual of 200k). It would be interesting to find out whether the
    Mac really does just display it. Let me know if interested.


    --
    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
    admin@localhost abuse@localhost postmaster@127.0.0.1

  3. Re: Psion Born Again?

    Eric Lindsay's spam trap wrote:

    > On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 03:27:25 +0000 (UTC),
    > real-address-in-sig@flur.bltigibbet (Rowland McDonnell) wrote:
    >
    > >Umm. Modern LaTeX is surprisingly painless to use

    > Well, if you say so. It has been a long time since I've used or
    > supported LaTeX, so it is probably rather different to what I
    > recall.


    If you last used LaTeX in the 2.09 days before about 1994 when 2e
    started to creep out, I can assure you it's an *entirely* different
    world these days. LaTeX is still LaTeX with all that implies, but 2e is
    so much less fiddly to use and so much easier to play around with, and
    there's a *huge* amount of support available via the Web and Usenet.
    The sheer number and variety of bolt-on packages is astonishing, never
    mind what they can actually do without the user having to invent any new
    code.

    > >The main things about LaTeX from my point of view are the robustness and
    > >stability of the file format - by `robust', I mean that even if LaTeX
    > >vanishes from the Earth in some strange interdimensional calamity out of
    > >a bad SF film, the data is still accessible because it's plain text
    > >markup.

    > Funny you should mention stability of file format. That was
    > precisely why I moved to QuikScript. I was utterly fed up with
    > word processor file formats changing and old files being hard to
    > convert.


    Me too - but way back when, I didn't have reliable access to PS
    rendering, so while I occasionally considered looking at direct PS
    typsetting which a lot of people seem to like, it wasn't really
    practical for me until I'd got a huge investement in LaTeX built up.

    > I've lost count of how many formats MS Word went
    > through from its original DOS days to now. As with LaTeX, my
    > QuikScript files are all just plain ASCII text markup, and the
    > ones from fifteen years ago still work fine. My markup is really
    > plain. %P% for a new paragraph for example. Since it is always
    > bounded by a set of % signs %, and since I have a list of the
    > meanings of all the markup, removal of the markup is really easy,
    > whether automated or in a text editor. As with LaTeX, the last
    > Postscript printer and the last open source Postscript viewer has
    > to disappear before I have printing and viewing problems.


    That is indeed a huge advantage.

    [snip]

    > >If it weren't for that, I'd've been using something like QuikScript
    > >years ago on my Macs (there's something similar available for Macs, or
    > >always used to be, anyway).

    >
    > QuikScript itself should work just fine on a Mac actually, since
    > you just add 40k of Postscript (itself plain text) to the front
    > of your markup file. Given that I hear the latest OS X simply
    > displays Postscript files correctly, this should mean that any
    > marked up file with QuikScript in front of it should display
    > straight up on a Mac.


    Very nearly. The latest MacOS X (10.3) has gimp built into it, and
    neatly integrated so that if you double-click on a PS file, the OS fires
    up gimp, converts it to pdf, and then uses the OS's Display PDF screen
    drawing routines to render it using a simple preview app (I have this
    from an OzTeX user with 10.3 who tried it). Oh yeah, and X Windows is a
    standard fitting. Wahey! Macs might have lost a bit of usability, but
    oh boy is Apple making up for it with power! Hehehehe. If only they
    could make it *reliable*...

    > I leave changing the justification
    > routines (which are not terrible, just not up to TeX) as an
    > exercise for the reader :-)




    > Oh, actually, what sort of Mac do you have?


    A 512Ke and a few others up to this 1.25GHz 2G4 running 10.2.6 (with a
    frankly obscene 1GB RAM and ridiculously huge 170GB disc space - which I
    most likely won't start moaning about being inadequate for at least 6
    more months).

    > Maybe I should send
    > you QuikScript (40k) plus an example file (say the QuikScript
    > manual of 200k). It would be interesting to find out whether the
    > Mac really does just display it. Let me know if interested.


    At the moment, my Mac won't - although I could install fink, fink
    commander, and then gimp and probably set things up to do an
    auto-conversion almost as MacOS 10.3 does - but that'd be a lot of work
    which I won't need when I get 10.3 installed. I'm on 10.2 at the
    moment, and I'm not shelling out for 10.3 until a few updates have come
    out to get rid of the inevitable bugs introduced by what is in some
    respects a massive re-write.

    But, erm, send it to me anyway (email address in sig) - and assuming I
    can put it somewhere that'll mean I remember, I'll take a closer look
    when I do get 10.3. Hey, my 5mx's Agenda program has a `todo'
    list, does it not? Might as well to have something on-topic in the
    post...

    Rowland.

    --
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    PGP pub key 0x62DCCA78 Sorry - the spam got to me
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