Sunday, 23 September 2007

Trying to Convert the Symbian Python API from PDF to Text

I'm still determined to boot-strap my python development environment on my Nokia E61 phone. By boot-strap I mean use only the phone itself to set-up the environment and not resort to an intermediate PC. Somewhat surprisingly the thing that is currently blocking my path is that the API doc for the Nokia python environment is in PDF format and I can't read it on my phone. I've tried to find a PDF reader for the phone with no luck. Now I'm trying to convert the PDF to something I can read.

My first stop was the adobe web page where I found their on-line tools page . This gave me two promising looking options. Either I could give them a URL to the PDF and they would convert it into text for me, or I could email in the PDF file and they would mail me back the text.

The paste-a-URL option highlights a problem that I commonly have when browsing on my phone: there is no option to view the source of a page. The Adobe form needed a URL. The URL was hidden in sourceforge's download system. My preferred browser on the E61 is Opera. Opera lets you cut and paste the URL of the page that you are currently on, but there is no way to get the address of other links on the page. The phone's built-in browser doesn't even let you cut and paste the current URL,

I was beaten by the URL option so on to the email. I had successfully downloaded the PDF so emailing it off should be straightforward. I would have to use the built-in email client as the Google mobile mail client that I prefer doesn't let you add attachments. I'd done that before so my settings were still available. I fired off the email to as directed. I closed the Nokia mail client and jumped back to the Google mail app. With baited breath I pressed refresh. The reply was already there...but it was just an email bounce with "unknown user". Hmph! I mailed Adobe for help but I'm not holding my breath.

Time for a new approach. Here's my thinking: the PDF must have been created from some source code

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