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OESF Portables Forum > Everything Else > Archived Forums > Distros, Development, and Model Specific Forums > Zaurus - Everything Development > User Request for Applications
I'm looking for a wordprocessor for my C860.

Actually, there's a very specific set of features I need in a word processor which are not available in HancomWord, but for which I wouldn't use any commonly used office document package (and OpenOffice and Abiword are both office document editors) since they are developed in a completely wrong direction from what I need.

I'm writing a long piece of fiction, which is expected to be about 600k worth of text (assuming a 1-byte charset - since it's cyrillic, it's going to be twice as big when in UTF-8) when it's done. For this to be done comfortably, the amount of features I actually need is smal - while some markup is desirable at this stage, almost all of it is best left for when the book is done - but they are very specific features.

I don't need: Different fonts in the same document, printing or exporting to dvi/pdf, spellchecking, images, tables, page formatting, ability to read or write any document files beside pure text - all of that stuff that is necessary for an office document processor would just get in the way. Neither I need things I'd look for in a programmer's text editor like syntax highlighting or bracket matching.

I do need however, ability to handle newline-delimited paragraphs, ability to display them with indents, (recording them with indents is absolutely not essential and in fact would be detrimental) word-wrapping of these paragraphs to window width which would not consider cyrillic characters whitespace, search-replace. Since I frequently go back and change stuff, I'd like to have the whole thing in memory at once without this slowing me down. Ability to insert bold/italic markup, footnotes and possibly ability to read-write html or a simple xml-based document format which I could easily convert to html would be nice, but not essential.

When I used a Jornada 720, Pocket Word was more or less close enough to what I wanted, at least it was usable. But on the Zaurus, I still can't find anything, and console text editors will definitely not do. Not that I was able to find a linux console text editor that would work without being a pain in the posterior.

Lyx sounds closest to that description but a) it's not available yet, cool.gif people seem to concentrate on porting TeX which I wouldn't really need on my Zaurus for editing text, just for printing.

Can anyone suggest an alternative?
Writing your own or paying someone to write it, I'm afraid smile.gif Your desired feature set looks quite unusual to me. Kind of half-baked rich text editor. What you could use is something like Abiword but highly configurable - with every feature able to be turned off.

I once needed a diary app - something that would store plaintext in one file with separate pages with page creation timestamps as metadata. I ended up writing my own in Python. It's a regular Qtopia/Opie app in 161 lines of code and I use it virtually every day. Should you end up going for a custom app, I do recommend Python/PyQt as a platform.

QUOTE(zenyatta @ Nov 1 2004, 09:50 AM)
Should you end up going for a custom app, I do recommend Python/PyQt as a platform.

Is there a PyQt text editor I could start with somewhere though?
Hmm... I'm afraid I'll have to retract my suggestion. The QTextEdit widget which would be ideal for your purposes is only available in Qt 3.x whereas AFAIK both Qtopia and Opie use Qt 2.x. You could start from QTextView but it would be lots of work and IMHO it's not worth it (see for details). I'm afraid I can't think of another alternative at the moment.
Have you tried TextMaker? It's a commerical wordprocessor that has just been releashed for the Zaurus. I don't know if it has the features you're looking for, but I know they have a trial verision.
QUOTE(slapout @ Dec 3 2004, 03:40 PM)
Have you tried TextMaker?

No, but
1) Paying anything to anyone from Russia across the border is an exercise in juggling, mark my words. Which is one more reason for a free software platform, as they commonly come at no direct monetary charge.
2) I do not need a Word replacement. I need a slim word processor with a very certain amount of features - suitable for writing large fiction texts with a small amount of rich text features, not meant for duplicating office word processors - which are all meant to edit small but very rich documents like reports, letters and office memos.

If HancomWord wasn't so slow and could do proper first line indent, it would be just fine for my needs.

I wrote about it all in my first posting in this thread, really. sad.gif
I don't know of any Zaurus apps that will provide the features you're looking for so maybe a slightly different approach would be of interest. Have you considered using reStructuredText? reStructuredText is an ultra-lightweigh "markup" language for raw ASCII (or Unicode) text. Unlike heavyweight markup languages such as HTML, SGML, and even Latex, reStructuredText source remains completely readable in raw form. It draws from the techniques people have been unconsciously using in plain-text emails and newsgroup posts for years. For example, *this* would become italics and **this** would become bold. There are similarly simple formats for bulleted and numbered lists, headings, footnotes, etc.

When you want to publish your work, you run it through a processor that automatically generates HTML, DocBook, or Latex that you can then process down into final form. A good example is to view An Introduction to reStructuredText in raw form and then HTML form. Of course the raw document could also be turned into Latex instead of HTML by the tools and that would become beautifully typeset DVI, PDF, or Postscript.

It may sound "kludgy" at first, but the truth is that it works remarkably well ... expecially if you're writing a long manuscript that is mostly just paragraphs of text. The markup doesn't require a lot of memorization and stays completely out of the way. When you're done, you can get Latex quality typeset output without ever learning a single Latex markup command. And since it's just plain old text, you can use any text editor you like (and text editors for the Zaurus are more plentiful than word processors). Another benefit is that since your documents are really just plain text, they're completely portable to any machine and any operating system. And you can't get locked into a proprietary file format. And of course it's all 100% free open source tools.

I've tried this technique to write a fairly long (50+ pages) technical document on my Zaurus and now I use it for virtually all my technical writing. It's definitely a "think outside the box" kind of solution, but I think you'll find it's at least worth a look.
I think txt2tags will do the job. Easier syntax than reST (IMHO) and it has an .ipk (but it needs Python).

Well, just try both and see what you like most.
txt2tags is also a good option. It's markup is very similar to the MoinMoin Wiki markup so if you're used to that, txt2tags will feel pretty familiar. reStructuredText can be a bit more complicated but it also has more capabilities (footnotes and citations, internal hyperlinks, control over numbering start and format on enumerated lists, ability to control class attributes in generated HTML, etc.). I also find reStructuredText's table syntax far more readable in raw form (though it's also a lot more work to create). Depending on the user's needs, those features may or may not be desirable (I find them pretty valuable for technical writing).

But either way, I think both of these solutions are vastly superior to the WYSIWYG trap that lures in unsuspecting writers by disguising itself as a "user friendly" word processor that in reality treats processing words as little more than a single bullet in a feature list so long it makes War and Peace look like light reading.
QUOTE(KAShirow @ Oct 31 2004, 11:56 PM)
Lyx sounds closest to that description but a) it's not available yet, cool.gif people seem to concentrate on porting TeX which I wouldn't really need on my Zaurus for editing text, just for printing.

Can anyone suggest an alternative?

Lyx is available if you install pocketworkstation. It installed properly with apt-get install lyx.
It's certainly fast enough to use, although I have been careful to avoid filesystem bottlenecks with Pocketworkstation.
It may not be what you want, but I do want to state that TextMaker is an excellent program and highly recommended. It's a full graphical WYSIWYG word processor and, in over a year of heavy use, has yet to crash. Also, I don't know where the development was done, but I believe the company is German. . . .

-- Donald
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