• Compiling text files

    From John Dovey@VERT/GATOFUEG to All on Sunday, June 06, 2021 23:16:08
    Hi,
    I know this is like putting a message in a bottle and expecting a return receipt but I figured I'd give it a go anyway.
    Here's the thing: Waaay back (in the 90s sometime) I used a nifty little utility called "David's Readme Compiler". What it did was to take a text file with some markup syntax that he invented and "Compile" that into an exe file. I'd like to do something similar now.
    Here are my thoughts/options, and any comment/help etc would be appreciated.

    1. I still have the 16 bit program which only runs in DosBox or equiv (If anyone is looking for it, the original file name is DRC20.ZIP. I have it in my file areas or could email/netmail to anyone who wants it
    2. I have tried reaching out to David in NZ on his 1992 listed email addresses, with no luck so far.
    3. If anyone has contact with David (Better known as the author of Pegasus Mail) and could pass me his current contact info, that would be fantastic.
    4. If anyone has any ideas about how to even start recreating what the program did, I'd appreciate it. My thoughts on that have included:
    4a. Using conio for the resulting interface.
    4b Writing a "shell" in vb.net and/or Gambas which is then a sort of reader app. Not ideal.

    I am looking at something like a compiled version of html or markup which stands alone. If anyone knows of anything similar, I'd love to hear about it.

    As another thought, this is sort of similar to the CHM (Compiled help) files that used to be included with windows software created in a piece of MS softare called something like "MS Helpdesk" which has since vanished from the Microsoft site.

    Help?

    Thanks
    John
    ---
    * El Gato de Fuego * 4:92/69 (FidoNet) * Pedasi, Panama


    John

    ... Confidence is the feeling you had before you knew better.
    ---
    ■ Synchronet ■ El Gato de Fuego - Pedasi, Panama - gatofueg.synchro.net
  • From MRO@VERT/BBSESINF to John Dovey on Monday, June 07, 2021 00:53:17
    Re: Compiling text files
    By: John Dovey to All on Sun Jun 06 2021 11:16 pm

    Hi,
    I am looking at something like a compiled version of html or markup which stands alone. If anyone knows of anything similar, I'd love to hear about it.

    As another thought, this is sort of similar to the CHM (Compiled help) files that used to be included with windows software created in a piece of MS softare called something like "MS Helpdesk" which has since vanished from the Microsoft site.


    West Wind Html Help Builder v5.10.0
    there's got to be like a thousand programs that do that.

    Help Builder is a documentation creation tool for end users and
    developers alike. Focused on easy content creation, Help Builder
    provides a productive work flow using a text optimized editor
    using the popular Markdown editing format. Help Builder can also
    be used for documentation for creating reference documentation
    FAQs and snippet repositories. If you need to store information
    in free form format for later lookup, Help Builder's search makes
    it easy to find tops later on


    Help & Manual Professional Edition 8.2.0 Build 5620

    Help And Manual makes producing help and documentation a pleasure. All the tools you need are at your fingertips in a single intuitive environment, and the
    program handles all the complex, technical aspects of the process for you. Instead of wasting countless hours "programming" your help you can focus all your energy
    on actually writing your documentation, so that all your working time is productive time.How Help & Manual works:

    All the output formats supported by Help & Manual are generated from the same project. This means you only have to edit your help and documentation once
    Forget about the nightmare of "converting" your documentation every time you change anything
    ---
    ■ Synchronet ■ ::: BBSES.info - free BBS services :::
  • From Ragnarok@VERT/DOCKSUD to John Dovey on Monday, June 07, 2021 13:24:44
    El 7/6/21 a las 01:16, John Dovey escribió:
    Hi,
    I know this is like putting a message in a bottle and expecting a return receipt but I figured I'd give it a go anyway.
    Here's the thing: Waaay back (in the 90s sometime) I used a nifty little utility called "David's Readme Compiler". What it did was to take a text file with some markup syntax that he invented and "Compile" that into an exe file. I'd like to do something similar now.
    Here are my thoughts/options, and any comment/help etc would be appreciated.

    1. I still have the 16 bit program which only runs in DosBox or equiv (If anyone is looking for it, the original file name is DRC20.ZIP. I have it in my file areas or could email/netmail to anyone who wants it
    2. I have tried reaching out to David in NZ on his 1992 listed email addresses, with no luck so far.
    3. If anyone has contact with David (Better known as the author of Pegasus Mail) and could pass me his current contact info, that would be fantastic.
    4. If anyone has any ideas about how to even start recreating what the program did, I'd appreciate it. My thoughts on that have included:
    4a. Using conio for the resulting interface.
    4b Writing a "shell" in vb.net and/or Gambas which is then a sort of reader app. Not ideal.

    I am looking at something like a compiled version of html or markup which stands alone. If anyone knows of anything similar, I'd love to hear about it.

    As another thought, this is sort of similar to the CHM (Compiled help) files that used to be included with windows software created in a piece of MS softare called something like "MS Helpdesk" which has since vanished from the Microsoft site.

    Help?

    Norton Guides?

    ---
    ■ Synchronet ■ Dock Sud BBS TLD 24 HS - bbs.docksud.com.ar
  • From Boondock@VERT/ELGATO to MRO on Monday, June 07, 2021 18:06:39
    Re: Compiling text files
    By: MRO to John Dovey on Mon Jun 07 2021 00:53:17

    West Wind Html Help Builder v5.10.0
    Even that needs the obsolete Windoes Helpdesk software. Fortunately I've found it on another site.

    John

    PS: My message in a bottle came back to me. The orig author, David Harris, just emailed me.
    ---
    BoonDock
    El Gato de Fuego - elgato.synchronetbbs.org 4:92/1 - Pedasi/Panama



    ... Eye witnesses were on the scene in minutes.
    ---
    ■ Synchronet ■ Sent from El Gato de Fuego * The Fire Cat * elgato.synchronetbbs.org
  • From MRO@VERT/BBSESINF to Boondock on Monday, June 07, 2021 13:30:09
    Re: Compiling text files
    By: Boondock to MRO on Mon Jun 07 2021 06:06 pm

    Re: Compiling text files
    By: MRO to John Dovey on Mon
    Jun 07 2021 00:53:17

    West Wind Html Help Builder v5.10.0
    Even that needs the obsolete Windoes Helpdesk software. Fortunately I've found it on another site.

    John

    there's tons of shit that does it.

    i wouldnt use a txt to exe program
    ---
    ■ Synchronet ■ ::: BBSES.info - free BBS services :::
  • From Boondock@VERT/ELGATO to MRO on Monday, June 07, 2021 19:50:03
    Re: Compiling text files
    By: MRO to Boondock on Mon Jun 07 2021 13:30:09

    i wouldnt use a txt to exe program

    <shrug> You do you.

    Why this came up for me is that there was a pretty remote village in the DRC where a collegue was working for an NGO/UN on De-mining and IDP issues.
    The local chieftan has an old PC, a 286 actually, that is his pride and joy. The issue was when he was provided with the various bits of documentation and information he was supposed to use in support of the issues there, he smugly insisted that *his* computer couldn't use any of this modern stuff. He further insisted that it wasn't is computer at fault, but that of the arrogant foreigners trying to tell him what to do. He insisted that if we couldn't give him the information in a format that he could read on his computer, in a friendly and easy way, then it was the foreigner's fault and not his.
    My mate sent me a frantic message asking for help. He sent me the info in French, English and Swahili, and I worked on it for about six hours before sending him back a single .EXE file which he could put onto a disk for the chief, who was gobsmacked when he ran it and it displayed perfectly, in colour, in a series of cascading windows. THAT'S what prompted my question; a real-world situation that is not that unusual once you are a few meters off the beaten path.
    In subsequent discussions, we decided to look around to see if there was a more modern equivelant that would hopefully work cross platform.
    We're looking to see if we can find something, hopefully that will accept something convertable by Pandoc, and preferably something that takes MarkDown as input (even if it needs a few extensions.

    Got any useful suggestions?

    JD
    ---
    BoonDock
    El Gato de Fuego - elgato.synchronetbbs.org 4:92/1 - Pedasi/Panama



    ... Two most common elements in the universe: Hydrogen & Stupidity.
    ---
    ■ Synchronet ■ Sent from El Gato de Fuego * The Fire Cat * elgato.synchronetbbs.org
  • From John Dovey@VERT/GATOFUEG to Ragnarok on Monday, June 07, 2021 13:27:47
    Re: Re: Compiling text files
    By: Ragnarok to John Dovey on Mon Jun 07 2021 13:24:44

    Norton Guides?
    Problem with all this stuff is it's windows based. I think I'll go for my original idea and write a shell.

    JD
    ---
    * El Gato de Fuego (The Fire Cat) 4:920/69 * Pedasi, Panama

    ... Interchangeable parts won't.
    ---
    ■ Synchronet ■ El Gato de Fuego - Pedasi, Panama - gatofueg.synchro.net
  • From Digital Man@VERT to Boondock on Monday, June 07, 2021 13:34:48
    Re: Compiling text files
    By: Boondock to MRO on Mon Jun 07 2021 07:50 pm

    Got any useful suggestions?

    I'm not clear what's wrong with a plain old ASCII text file. They're viewable on pretty much any computer from any era since 1970.
    --
    digital man

    Sling Blade quote #13:
    Karl: He lives inside of his own heart. That's an awful big place to live in. Norco, CA WX: 62.1°F, 77.0% humidity, 9 mph ENE wind, 0.00 inches rain/24hrs

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  • From MRO@VERT/BBSESINF to Boondock on Monday, June 07, 2021 22:24:56
    Re: Compiling text files
    By: Boondock to MRO on Mon Jun 07 2021 07:50 pm

    Re: Compiling text files
    By: MRO to Boondock on Mon Jun
    07 2021 13:30:09

    i wouldnt use a txt to exe program

    <shrug> You do you.

    Why this came up for me is that there was a pretty remote village in the DRC where a collegue was working for an NGO/UN on De-mining and IDP issues.
    The local chieftan has an old PC, a 286 actually, that is his pride and joy. The issue was when he was provided with the various bits of documentation and information he was supposed to use in support of the issues there, he smugly insisted that *his* computer couldn't use any of this modern stuff. He further insisted that it wasn't is computer at fault, but that of the arrogant foreigners trying to tell him what to do. He insisted that if we couldn't give him the information in a format that he could read on his computer, in a friendly and easy way, then it was the foreigner's fault and not his.
    My mate sent me a frantic message asking for help. He sent me the info in French, English and Swahili, and I worked on it for about six hours before sending him back a single .EXE file which he could put onto a disk for the chief, who was gobsmacked when he ran it and it displayed perfectly, in colour, in a series of cascading windows. THAT'S what prompted my question; a real-world situation that is not that unusual once you are a few meters off the beaten path.
    In subsequent discussions, we decided to look around to see if there was a more modern equivelant that would hopefully work cross platform.
    We're looking to see if we can find something, hopefully that will accept something convertable by Pandoc, and preferably something that takes MarkDown as input (even if it needs a few extensions.


    this shit reads like one of those nigerian prince emails.

    Got any useful suggestions?

    tell him to get his shit together.
    this is stupid.
    ---
    ■ Synchronet ■ ::: BBSES.info - free BBS services :::
  • From MRO@VERT/BBSESINF to John Dovey on Monday, June 07, 2021 22:26:51
    Re: Re: Compiling text files
    By: John Dovey to Ragnarok on Mon Jun 07 2021 01:27 pm

    Re: Re: Compiling text files
    By: Ragnarok to John Dovey on
    Mon Jun 07 2021 13:24:44

    Norton Guides?
    Problem with all this stuff is it's windows based. I think I'll go for my original idea and write a shell.


    if you need a dos program to display text files there's tons of them.

    you can use rtreader for example. sometimes they compile them into exes, sometimes not.

    i used to use one that compiled it into a fancy reader with search functions. ---
    ■ Synchronet ■ ::: BBSES.info - free BBS services :::
  • From Boondock@VERT/ELGATO to MRO on Tuesday, June 08, 2021 04:35:41
    Re: Compiling text files
    By: MRO to Boondock on Mon Jun 07 2021 22:24:56

    this shit reads like one of those nigerian prince emails.
    tell him to get his shit together.
    this is stupid.

    It's a fked up place. When wrote "The Heart of Darkness" this is literally where he was writing about. Literally and figuratively.

    I deployed there in 2013/14 as Combat Demolitions Team Leader as part of the UN Force Intervention Brigade. Some of the things we saw will live with me till the day I die. The casual brutality and lack of any consideration for the santity of life is breathtaking. I personally witnessed bunches of stuff, but one image that will live with me is that of a local strongman hacking open a young woman (15 or 16 yo) and plucking the unborn child out of her womb and throwing it into the river. Simply on a whim and as an intimidation tactic.
    I saw a father kill his own child to try to claim $100 compensation from the UN. This is nothing. Business as usual. In fact, this particular guy we suspet is one of the holdovers from the Rwandan Genocide (Go watch Hotel Rwanda for a bit of the horror that was) who fled across the border in the aftermath of the Hutu/Tutsi conflict and set himself up as a warlord ^h^h^h local chief. He's screwing with us. We know it and he KNOWS we know it. This was both a "gotcha" type situation and a neccesary evil to gain a foorhold in this area in order to address some of the issues there with IDPs and Landmines etc.
    That being said, the issue is a real one. I've seen the suggestions of plain text etc. Part of the issue is to make it non trivial to just change what the documents say so they can be passed off as bad information coming from the foreigners. This is a complex, multifaceted initiative and a truly fraught situation. Nothing is simple and nothing is easy.
    I don't know if it pinged on your radar, but Mount Niragongu (sp?) has just erupted again for the second time since 2009 about a week back. The lava was flowing within a couple of hunderd meters of his house when the guys were there...


    JD
    ---
    BoonDock
    aka John Dovey



    ... A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation.   ---
    ■ Synchronet ■ Sent from El Gato de Fuego * The Fire Cat * elgato.synchronetbbs.org
  • From Tracker1@VERT/TRN to Digital Man on Sunday, June 27, 2021 11:55:59
    On 6/7/2021 1:34 PM, Digital Man wrote:
    Got any useful suggestions?

    I'm not clear what's wrong with a plain old ASCII text file.
    They're viewable on pretty much any computer from any era
    since 1970.

    Agreed.

    These days, UTF8 (without BOM) is the norm for any extended
    characters. For that matter, just straight Markdown files
    themselves, since you can read them and they're pretty easy to
    understand as straight text and can use a markdown viewer/editor
    on whatever platform desired if so desired.
    --
    Michael J. Ryan - tracker1@roughneckbbs.com

    ---
    ■ Synchronet ■ Roughneck BBS - roughneckbbs.com
  • From hollowone@VERT/AMIGAC to John Dovey on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 20:29:00
    John Dovey wrote to All <=-

    I am looking at something like a compiled version of html or markup
    which stands alone. If anyone knows of anything similar, I'd love to
    hear about it.

    As another thought, this is sort of similar to the CHM (Compiled help) files that used to be included with windows software created in a piece
    of MS softare called something like "MS Helpdesk" which has since
    vanished from the Microsoft site.

    Help?

    As you're aware of CHM format then I won't suggest you check that direction. I would not either way as this is heavily obsolete and historic format these
    ays.

    Aside of the choice of technology, what is the goal you want to achieve.

    Do you want something more like bundled, media interactive and hyperlinks connected ebook or magazine experience that can be consumed as an app on various platforms?

    That's the idea?

    /h1

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