PsiWin for the 3C / OVAL SDK

PsiWin for the 3C / OVAL SDK

Post by Geac NZ Limit » Sat, 28 Sep 1996 04:00:00

: Just went into The Link for a drool over the 2Mb 3C.  The nice
: enthusiastic salesman in there said I'd need a new version of PsiWin,
: but couldn't say when it would be available.  Does anyone know a) if
: this is true and b) if so when it will be available ??

According to the Psion distributors in New Zealand, Psi-Win v 1.1 will
not be compatible with Psi-Win 1.0? or with Psions before the 3c.

[these same suppliers in NZ told me that they had some customers who had
been in the UK who have come back to NZ with 3cs (admittedly the UK model),
which makes it * them as they won't be getting much until late November
probably! - and the NZ model will not have the backlight ==:-O & :-((
So if someone can buy their 3c in the UK and then turn up in NZ with it
a few days later, then they must have been on sale in the UK  for a few days
at least!]

So what you were told probably makes sense! - you need a new version
of Psi-win - so this is why they are probably selling the serial cable with
Psi-win, as until you get both (serial cable and Psi-WIn), you won't be able
use the older Psi-win to Xfer files etc anyway.

If Psion have implemented a TCP/IP stack in the 3c as seems almost certain
given the recent announcement made by Psion about the link in with Oracle
Mobile Agents clients for the 3c/Workabout then I have to conclude that the
serial link protocol may well be PPP [a form of TCP/IP that runs over slower
serial/modem links] rather than whatever the protocol that Psion use now.

This would perhaps explain the incompatibility between 3c and 3a and the need for
a new version of PsiWin.??!!

If any of you are interested, there is a news release about the OVAL
SDK dated Monday this week on url
and then follow your nose.

There are also details of the Oracle/Psion announcement in a related news
release under this same url, Which may in itself be of interest to some.

I have seen the screen shots of the OVAL SDK at the above url and being a
Visual Basic programmer, I can see that it will
be a big advance over the OPL approach to application design.

The controls that come built in include editboxes, image/picture
tools and about 25 others, including a latitude/longitude edit box?!

[there are also IPC - Inter Process Communication - Server and Client
controls! so that implementing IPC should be a bit simpler, and may allow
fully co-operating apps to be developed].

A lot of the controls in OVAL support the existing objects (e.g. dialogs,
(such as date edit, time edit, float edit, string edit, file and drive
etc dialogs), menus, pictures, sound etc), plus some newer ones,
like a grid control for presenting data in a grid form like the new data app
can, and a timer control, for regular timed events.
There are a couple of odd ones there too, like the Cradle control, one
assume this is for the Workabout, and can be used to manage communications
and battery etc management when the Workabout is placed in a cradle.

OVAL looks Visual Basic like in the way it looks, but requires a 3c etc
to run the apps on - these apps are uploaded to the 3c over a serial link
during the compilation/project rebuild phase on the PC.

The release makes mention of OVALS database handling statements are Dbase 3 and
IV compatible (as well being based on the data handling statements in Visual Basic)
[as well as the usual dbf file format], this may mean that
OVAL programs can read/write Dbase and DBF files - whether this also applies
to the in-built Data app remains to be seen, but it may well be.
Such a feature would be useful I am sure!

I for one have already placed my order for the OVAL SDK! - which is shipping
in 30 days according to the press release. I only hope the price isn't too

It appears that to write/create OVAL controls you will need to OO C
compiler - which obviously costs a lost more than the OVAL SDK, still
at least thats useful too - being able to create 3rd party Visual Basic
controls created a whole new market in itself, so Psion may find the same
with the OVAL controls! - Psion appear to have created a fairly rich set
of controls to start with - about 35 in all, so there probably won't be
too much need 1st off for new ones, but I am sure someone will find a gap
in the market and release some addons, - I can think of a good one to add
would be a control that allows use of the spelling dictionary - for either
spell checking or for word games etc, still perhaps one day!

The other news I have is that the IR port may be not be able to
work at the same time as the Serial port, probably due to the fact that they
share the same async hardware down deep inside.

So, there you have it, the more I hear about the 3c, the more I think
I might want one, still there is always that 32 version of EPOC in Q2
1997 - that must mean a high-end Psion 4? is about 6-9 months away.
But I figure the existing feature in the 3c may well plug the gap.

Greg Nikoloff