Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Two updates, of a sort: First, Maria Ramos has been kind enough to translate the makeztxt usage page into Spanish. The translation is available at Webhostinghub .

The second point is that it should be readily apparent at this point that there is no Android version of Weasel. Unfortunately, I just haven't had any time to work on it. As a good substitute, I would suggest using FBReader. It is also Free Software and has support for both many different document formats and many different platforms including, of course, Android. It lacks some of the display options available in Weasel, but it has nearly every other feature you could want. One feature that is noticably missing is support for reading zTXT or PalmDOC format documents.

I should like to mention that most Palm OS devices, even those with color and higher resolution screens, typically have much longer battery run-times than even the best smart phones. Because of this, a used PDA put together with Weasel Reader still make an excellent combination, not to mention being much less expensive than either phones or dedicated ebook hardware. Keep it in mind.

Monday, May 31, 2010
"Oh the times, they are a changin'"

Okay, so I finally have a Droid phone. It's really nice, especially as I am upgrading from a Motorola Razr. I suppose... this means I really have no more reasons to procrastinate in making Weasel Reader for Android. I shall not insult you by giving out some sort of date when I think it will be ready for testing, or even just looking at. But I'll be starting on it. Really. Now that this new phone has replaced both has replaced both my old phone and my Clie TH-55, I don't have Weasel Reader in my pocket anymore. :(
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sadly, the death of Palm OS is a virtual certainty at this point. And so, from this point forward, future versions of Weasel Reader will be directed at the Android platform (such as the T-Mobile/Google G1 phone). It is a system more open than Palm OS ever was, has a very nice open-source friendly development environment, and should have a user base which is actually growing over time.

Currently, I have a set of Java classes which allow reading both zTXT and PalmDoc files which will be made available for others to use as well. These classes are not tied directly to Android and are available at the new PalmIO page.

I have made a post to the Weasel forum to discuss the future of Weasel Reader and what users might like to see in an Android version since it will be on a device far more capable than current Palm PDAs. At a minimum, the next version will be able to read zTXT and PalmDoc documents as well as plain text files (compressed or not). I will almost certainly add support for the FictionBook (fb2) format and possibly also the Open eBook (epub) format, though the latter may be a bit complex for the platform's capabilities.

Please let your thoughts be heard on the Weasel Forum Android topic, or, if you prefer, email me at
July 21, 2008
Weasel Reader 1.61 has been released! Currently, only the English translation is available, but the Spanish and Catalan translations should be up shortly. Many of the original translators are no longer available. If you would like to translate Weasel Reader into a new language or if you would like to maintain one of the out of date translations (It's really not hard. Honest.), please send an email or post to the Weasel forum. Please go to the download page for links and information on the new release.
July 4, 2008
The "Independence Day Beta" for Weasel Reader 1.61 is now available. There are many new features and bugfixes, including user customizable keys/buttons in the document display and a "Most Recently Read" list of the last ten documents you have opened. Please test and report any problems. This will likely be the last beta before the 1.61 release. Also, a number of broken links in the sidebar have been fixed, mostly for zTXT converter programs. For more information and a download link, see the latest post:
Weasel Forum
June 27, 2007
Weasel Reader 1.60, the first stable version in too long a time, has been released. There are no real changes over the 1.59.6 test version, but it does have a nice new even release number. The Spanish translation has also been updated for the new release. Visit the download page for more information.
June 21, 2007
Once again it's been a long time since an update. But, just like last time there is a new version. Weasel Reader 1.59.6 is now available for testing. If all goes well this will likely become the 1.60 release (at last!). The changes in this new version are numerous. For more information and a download link, see the latest post:
Weasel Forum
March 6, 2006
Yikes, it's been quite a while. But, fear not, for there is a new Weasel Reader beta version available for download on the forum. This new version is working quite well with just a few (hopefully) minor issues. Hi-res support is working well on most devices. Rotation support may or may not. If you have a pre-OS5 device, Weasel should be pretty solid for you. For OS5 devices, please test and report! See the forum topic for more information including a download link:
Weasel Forum
August 15, 2004
The first test release of the vastly updated and improved Weasel is available for download. Please test and report! You can read about the changes/fixes/bugs in the forum post about the release:
Weasel Forum
July 29, 2004
I've had some free time lately and I've been spending it working on a vastly updated version of Weasel. It will take some time, but it should be worth it. In the mean time, expect CVS code to be frequently broken as I add new things.

As a start, I've done a major overhaul of the website. The site source is now new and valid XHTML with spiffy CSS. It's now more logical and maintainable. I've tested it in Mozilla and IE, but it's likely that older Netscape versions will choke.

I've also added an awards page. The only award right now is the super nice Trophée du Libre. Unfortunately, SIL-CETRIL, the company who hosted the awards, never did post any photos of the actual ceremony. Too bad.
August 14, 2003
The pages documenting the zTXT format and libztxt have been updated to account for the changes in makeztxt 1.60 and libztxt 2.00.
August 12, 2003
makeztxt 1.60 released. This new version of makeztxt contains a host of new mostly user requested features. makeztxt can now deconstruct zTXT databases into their component pieces (text, bookmarks, annotations) and store them in separate files. At last users can make use of the annotations made within Weasel. makeztxt can now also create new zTXT files containing user supplied lists of bookmarks and annotations (in the same format that makeztxt emits through deconstruction). The documentation in the README has also had a major overhaul and should be much more useful. This same documentation can also be found at the makeztxt link in the sidebar. Updates to the zTXT format reference and libztxt reference will follow very shortly.
August 11, 2003
A new version of pdaConverter has been released. The new version now supports using regular expressions for generating document bookmarks. A link to pdaConverter is on the sidebar.
June 25, 2003
I have found another very nice file converter for you Windows users. It is called pdaConverter. It looks to have a very nice GUI and quite a few features. Like txt2palm it can output zTXT and PalmDOC, but it can also output Plucker files in case you really need formatting or images (as for some web pages). Unlike txt2palm, however, it does not appear to support regex for bookmark creation. You can find pdaConverter here. I've also put it on the sidebar.
June 24, 2003
Weasel user "AIM" has created a very nice Windows application for converting various document formats into zTXT format (or PalmDoc) databases for use with Weasel. It has a large number of features to format your files just right and can be used on more than just plain text files. You can find this program at his La Reblujiña website. There is also a link on the sidebar.
May 24, 2003
Huzzah for Weasel! Weasel Reader has won a Trophée du Libre in the General Public category, beating both the VideoLAN and LinuxConsole projects. As an award, I now have a very nice trophy as well as a Sun LX 50 server. I'm not sure yet what to do with the computer, but I'll think of something. At the Tophees du Libre website you can see a roundup of the awards and winners. The site is only in French and they don't seem to have any pictures of the ceremony. Unfortunately, American Airlines (arrrgh!!) lost my luggage for four days and I was also without a camera for the event. Thanks to all developers and translators! Weasel wouldn't have gone this far without you.
May 1, 2003
Weasel Reader has been nominated for an award at the First International Free Software Awards in Soissons, France! I will be travelling there for the ceremony on May 23. The website for the competition is at Trophées du Libre.
December 24, 2002
Weasel 1.59.3 finally released. This version should display properly on Sony devices. Weasel has an entirely new and much extended hyphenation system now. Preliminary support for Palm OS 5.0 hi-res devices is present, but it needs work. In particular, there are some minor graphical artifacts and rotation doesn't yet work.
December 5, 2002
Weasel user Angel Ivan Moreno has modified Weasel to support the AxxPac storage addon for Palm III devices. You can download his modified version from his Palm page.
December 5, 2002
New on the sidebar is a translations page. This page lists the currently available translations of Weasel as well as instructions on how you too can easily translate Weasel into your language. I'm now working on a FAQ/Manual thing for Weasel, so there will at last exist some inadaquate documentation. :) Also, v1.59.3 will be out just as soon as the last couple translations are updated.
September 29, 2002
Weasel 1.59.2 released. A bit delayed perhaps... but it's finally out! That's what happens when you lose the month of August to a hospital stay and recovery. This version should now read any normal PalmDoc files, removing the old 'non-uniform' record limitation. The DocInfo code has been rewritten, hopefully for the last time. This should solve some outstanding issues such as a limit on the number of docs for which prefs will be saved. Also, there is a new Russian translation available. Test and report, please!
July 27, 2002
Added a "donations" page. Don't worry, it's exceptionally benign. Do check it out. There's a link to it on the sidebar.
July 7, 2002
Weasel 1.59-test is released. There is a serious bug in 1.58 which can cause crashes at start-up, in the index, and when you try to read. Version 1.59 fixes this bug as well as a bug which causes a crash whenever you try to export an annotation. An upgrade is highly recommended.
June 29, 2002
Weasel 1.58-test is released at long last. Huzzah! Sure it took a while, but it's packed with goodies. Most notable are support for hi-res modes on Handera and Sony devices and new German and Spanish translations. New VFS prefs dialog and many speedups for program start, especially for users with many documents in VFS. If hardware buttons are enabled, the autoscroll button now also acts as a pause button if you hold it down. Many many bug fixes. Be sure to read the README for important information!
March 31, 2002
There is a new version of Pyrite Publisher available. See the link on the sidebar. This new version now includes a GUI. And for Windows users, there is now a self contained GUI Windows version. If you're having problem with jMakeztxt, give this a try.
March 1, 2002
Weasel v1.57-test is finally released! A bunch of bugfixes here. Some fixes/workarounds for broken PalmDoc files. Wout Mertens has added a progress bar which you can view in any display mode. Rotation no longer requires you to use fullscreen mode. Cseke Balazs has provided a Hungarian translation of Weasel. Please test some more!
January 14, 2002
Weasel v1.56-test is out. VFS support is improved. Weasel now looks in several standard directories for documents. Annotations can be exported to memo pad. Several bugfixes for Jmakeztxt related crashes and the last-line-wrong display bug. New compile time options to disable VFS or to remove help text to make a smaller binary. Also, the "Kill GutenPalm" utility has some added features to solve some problems experienced by those following the developement versions. Please test and report!
January 1, 2002
Version 1.55-test has been released. New features include category support, VFS support (expansion memory), and more display options. See the ChangeLog for more details. Please test and give feedback! Also, I have decided to make Rob Tillotson's Pyrite Publisher my choice for document conversion tool. I'll continue to update makeztxt and make sure it can always generate zTXT documents, but at this point, Pyrite does so much more, it's just a better choice. It's written in Python and should run on any system with Python installed.
December 22, 2001
Rob Tillotson has added zTXT support into his Pyrite Publisher. Pyrite is a Python program for converting a number of input formats (text, HTML, URLs, etc.) into either PalmDoc or zTXT format. It also supports generation of bookmarks from HTML header tags and generation of annotations from links on the source page. You can find Pyrite here and on the sidebar.
August 2, 2001
GutenPalm v1.41 is out! Fixes for some nasty crashes in GutenPalm, search progress indicator, interruptable searches, and rotation on color devices. And makeztxt now works on Windows machines. Really! See the changelog for all the details.
July 6, 2001
Geoff Reedy has made a Perl module that will read/write zTXTs. You'll also need Palm::PDB and Compress::Zlib for it to work. It includes everything that's in libztxt plus more. The package also includes perl-ztxt, a makeztxt replacement written in Perl. You can find it on the sidebar under "Perl zTXT Utils".
July 2, 2001
Corrected a nasty "bug" in the online documentation for the zTXT format. The 'size' field in record 0 stores the size of the uncompressed text, NOT the size of the compressed data. It is very important that it store the uncompressed size, as GutenPalm uses that value to make sure there is enough room for the data to be stored after decompression. Oops.
June 7, 2001
GutenPalm version 1.40 is finally released. Okay, the "beta" phase took a bit longer than normal... but there lots of improvements and a few extra features. Many thanks go to James Aspnes for his requests, bug reports, and, most of all, big patches. makeztxt 1.40 is also out now. It should compile on most systems again (oops).
May 27, 2001
For the past couple days, GutenPalm has been in the top 20 most active projects listed on Sourceforge's front page. I think this calls for a round of Huzzahs for everybody. Huzzah!
Apr 21, 2001
Brian Smith has created a page with ready-made zTXTs for users to download. The texts are from Project Gutenberg and have bookmarks already in them. See the "Pre-made zTXTs" link in the sidebar.
Apr 21, 2001
So... you REALLY like GutenPalm, but you can't help but destroy your Palm's memory regularly. Rob Johnson and Monica Chew have created Romeo, a tool which lets you create custom Palm OS ROMs. Take out the junk you don't want, and put in programs you want. Now you'll never have to face the dreadful possibility of losing GutenPalm.
Apr 11, 2001
Martin Smith has released a new version of jmakeztxt. Version 1.41 beta contains some major enhancements over 1.40 beta. Most notably is that you can now browse the Project Gutenberg database and download books via http/ftp from within the program. Give it a try. Also, what with the endless problems plaguing the Windows version of plain makeztxt, I highly suggest you use jmakeztxt instead. It's a lot better.
Apr 3, 2001
Version 1.40beta1 of GutenPalm has been released! Version 1.40beta1 of makeztxt is also out too. Mostly bugfixes. A few new features and some usability improvements including many more menu shortcuts and a few Palm button shortcuts. Best of all, the Windows command line version of makeztxt should actually function. Huzzah! See the ChangeLogs for a full list of what's new/different.
Mar 6, 2001
There is really excellent interview on Slashdot with the founder of Project Gutenberg, Michael Hart. It's long, but very informative, and he gives an excellent response to questions about copyright absurdity. Read it here.
Feb 14, 2001
Version 1.40beta has been released along with v1.40beta of makeztxt. Go now and download. And please report the bugs! See the ChangeLogs for a list of what's new/changed.
Feb 10, 2001
I've put a reference page documenting the zTXT format and what parts there are to one. Now everybody can make a reader without having to dig through the source.
Feb 8, 2001
At long last, on-demand decompression is here! No more will you have to decompress an entire book to read it. Now you get decompression as you read. You'll need to regenerate your zTXT files, and, as with anything good, there's a small price: about 10% - 15% less compression. This is new and involved a lot of new code, so I would greatly appreciate any and all reports, good or bad.
Feb 8, 2001
Martin Smith has created a Java port of makeztxt. You can give it a ZIP or a text file and covert it with all the makeztxt bells and whistles. See the documentation link on the sidebar.
Feb 8, 2001
Guido Socher, of LinuxFocus, has created a great script called 2ztxt which will covert a webpage into a zTXT for you, complete with bookmarks for headings. You can find it here.
Feb 6, 2001
The website has been reorganized a bit. But, if you're using Netscape 4, you may have noticed that the above horizontal bar looks horrible. Somebody, please help!
Jan 28, 2001
makeztxt now uses libztxt, a simple C library for zTXT manipulation. You can use it in your programs too. See the libztxt Reference for documentation.
Jan 21, 2001
GutenPalm version 1.2 is released. New features include far more error checking, lots of help added, full annotation support, beaming, searching, and translation support. Use and enjoy!
Jan 10, 2001
David Carley has begun work on a Windows port of makeztxt. This should really help make the whole package available to many more people.
Jan 3, 2001
I'm once again working on GutenPalm. The next version will come with a whole slew of improvements.
Sep 23, 2000
GutenPalm version 1.0 released. World rejoices!