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02.Feb.2022



Text viewer: NEXT 4.1
In 2002 Jürgen Klawitter reported us for the last time a new version of his text viewer NEXT (version 3.5), the last public version 4.0 was from May 31, 2011. But as the author writes, NEXT is much more than a pure text viewer: it is also Amigaguide replacement, HTML offline browser, DataTypes viewer, uncruncher, unpacker of archives, file converter, print utility and some more. This versatility is also the reason why the program was installed from the beginning on my Amiga 1200, integrated via ToolsMenu. Next also has a very powerful search function, which marks all occurrences of a searched term at the same time and allows searching with wildcards and in binary files.

As the author explains to us when asked, he has not been involved with programming and the Amiga since 2011 and has devoted himself to other hobbies. His Amiga hardware, an A3000 and a second floppy drive, were given away. Only a Zip drive, which was never used before, is in the depot. His turning away from the Amiga at that time had among other things to do with the fact that he couldn't read or use PDFs and other files that were common in the PC world.

The return to programming, Jürgen Klawitter continues, came in this winter of 2021/22, which also limited him in his leisure activities and caused boredom. So he came up with the idea to install WinUAE on his laptop:

"After this was successful, I tried out how much of my former programming knowledge was still left. Surprisingly much, actually everything was still there! Nevertheless, there were difficulties to understand the source code of the more extensive programs again. Next has about 20000 lines, Anno (calendar) and OMon (system monitor) about 6000 lines each.

Parts of it are quite complicated. I then started to implement small improvements, first with Anno, later with Next. With Next, I was particularly annoyed by the fact that I had not managed to get the converted text from docx files into a reasonable form. I finally found details of the format on the internet and a tag () that was responsible for the outline in paragraphs. That was the breakthrough."

NEXT formats loaded text before it is displayed. In the process, lines that are too long are wrapped at word boundaries and characters that cannot be displayed are replaced by spaces. Color, style, and print control sequences are preserved.

Finally, a small test shall show how Word files are loaded, for which the following example poem - written and saved in Word 2010 - shall serve us:


To load a Word document either UnZip is needed or the XAD system. For the use of the latter one goes either over the menu option "Use XAD" or creates itself a "next.prefs" text file under Prefs/Env-Archive with the contents "XAD". In this configuration file you can also define window dimensions, font and colors for the text display.

As Jürgen Klawitter writes, from files of the Microsoft word processors Word and Write (extensions .doc or .docx and .wri) the plain text is extracted and formatted. For Word documents with the extension .doc, references to footnotes and the footnotes themselves are numbered ([1],[2]...). The same applies to annotations, recognizable by the preceding "A"([A1],[A2]...). Since a docx file is always a zip archive, it takes two steps to get to the text: Next, after selecting a docx file, presents the contents in a small window. Each archive contains 10 or more xml files, which contain stylesheets, images, comments and footnotes, but only one of them contains the text:


By selecting "word/document.xml" you can now see the text:


As you can see, the conversion of .docx files results in pure continuous text, without styles. The information about them is in stylesheets, which are hidden in the other files. As the author writes, "taking stylesheets into account would require a disproportionate amount of extra work, which I do not want to do – if at all possible." (dr)

[News message: 02. Feb. 2022, 07:49] [Comments: 0]
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