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OnTap Translation Server Guide

 

 

What is OnTap?

OnTap makes it easy to create and distribute content for the PalmPilot. You create and save your documents in text or standard HTML format using your favorite desktop application. Use our public OnTap Server to translate your documents. View them with the OnTap Reader on your handheld device.

Gather your favorite reference materials, web pages, and important emails. Use OnTap to translate them into an OnTap collection that you can take with you on your PalmOS device.

OnTap extends the existing capabilities of the PalmOS device and lets you control text formatting such as bold, italics, underline and alignment.

OnTap even supports hypertext links to allow navigation within a document, making it a powerful authoring tool for many personal, business and professional applications.

The OnTap Reader gives the PalmPilot the means to carry information that doesn't fit in the address, to do, schedule, and memo formats. With the OnTap Reader, you can:

 

Terminology

OnTap Database or OnTap Collection

The official PalmPilot name is database. We prefer collection but you'll find that we use the word database and collection interchangeably. The OnTap Collection is opened when you tap on the OnTap application icon in the applications area of your PalmPilot.

Database Record or OnTap Document

An OnTap Database or OnTap Collection is made up of any number of individual database records or OnTap Documents, as we prefer to call them. Each individual document in your OnTap Collection has a name or a document title. When you open an OnTap Collection, you tap on one of the document titles to read the document.

 

OnTap Components and How they work

The OnTap Reader resides on the handheld. If you want to read documents created with OnTap, the OnTap Reader must be installed on your Palm OS handheld. Install it using the standard Palm Install Application on your desktop system. Once it is installed on your handheld, you will see the OnTap application icon under applications.

The Palm OS database (OnTap Collection) is also installed on the handheld. Install it using the standard Palm Install Application on your desktop system. Once an OnTap Collection is installed on your handheld, it is accessible by tapping on the OnTap application icon under applications.

The OnTap Collection is created with the OnTap Server. To create your own OnTap Collection, you can log into the 24-hour server at www.ontaptech.com or e-mail your raw text or HTML files to the OnTap Server at:

pilot-server@ontaptech.com.

You do not have to install anything on your desktop system -- all translation takes place on the server.

The OnTap Server translates your documents into an OnTap Collection and e-mails it back to you or to several email addreses that you can specify. You will need an OnTap Author account to use the server. Turnaround time is typically fairly short, usually within a few minutes.

Current Limitations

  1. Hypertext links work within one OnTap document only.

  2. Images may be no greater than 158 x 140 pixels.

  3. Only simple HTML tables are supported.

  4. (unregistered versions only) Only one OnTap Collection at a time on the handheld is supported; installing a new Collection on the handheld will replace the previous Collection.

  5. (unregistered versions only) To add documents to your Collection, send the source files to the OnTap Server. However, an unregistered OnTap Reader will only add the first document of the new Collection.

  6. (public server only) Distribution list feature of the OnTap Server is turned off.

OnTap Reader Guide

The OnTap Reader gives the Palm OS handheld the means to carry and organize information that doesn't fit in the address, to do, schedule, and memo formats.

With the OnTap Reader, you can:

Installing an OnTap Collection

Use your standard Palm install application to indicate that the databaseshould be installed on the Palm OS handheld during your next HotSync.

Using the OnTap Reader

When you activate the OnTap Reader, the program presents a list of documents from your OnTap Collection. The list includes those Documents filed under the category shown in the upper right corner of the display. Select the "All" category to see all of the documents in your OnTap Collection.

Change Order: You can change the position of a document in the list by dragging the document's icon to the desired position.

View: To view an OnTap Document, select the document (tap the title of the document) from the list. The document will appear along with the "Done" and "i" buttons. If the document extends beyond the screen, the scroll arrows will also be visible.

Scroll: The scroll arrows enable you to scroll up or down to view the entire contents of the document. With OnTap 1.09 you can also use the Graffiti space and backspace characters to scroll up and donw. Also note that the plastic up and down scroll buttons on the front panel of your handheld can also be used to scroll through an OnTap Document. While the onscreen arrows move the document up or down one line at a time, the front panel buttons and the Graffiti strokes move the document an entire screen or page at a time.

Navigate: Some OnTap Documents may include hypertext links. Hypertext links appear in an OnTap Document as text with a dotted underline. Tap on a link to bring the link's destination to first line on the screen. You can return to link's source by tapping on the return arrow button that appears at the bottom of the screen.

Delete Items: Tap the "i" button to bring up a dialog box concerning some details about the OnTap Document. This dialog displays the document's full title, its category, and whether the document is marked as private. Use this dialog to change the document's category, to mark the document as private or not, and to delete the document from the Collection. Tap the "Done" button to return to the OnTap collection's list of documents.

Shortcuts:Within the OnTap Reader are also a number of menu commands and shortcuts which can be used to quickly navigate in a document. Tap menu to see how to go to the first and last pages of the Document.

 


OnTap Server Guide

The OnTap Server accepts your .gif graphic files, text, and HTML input and translates and distributes the resulting pocket publication as an OnTap Collection. The OnTap Collection is downloaded into the handheld using the standard Palm OS install application for transfer at the next HotSync.

The OnTap Server:

The OnTap Server accepts your source documents in either simple text or HTML format. If you are including graphics, make sure to attach all of your .gif files at the beginning of your submission to the OnTap Server. Your documents are individually converted, and then combined into an OnTap Collection. A single OnTap Collection may contain any number of both types of documents. The server returns an OnTap Collection to you as a MIME attachment, or forwards it to others on your distribution list (see note).

Simple text is easy to generate and lets you quickly convert the most basic desktop document to Pilot OnTap format. HTML may be more time consuming to generate, but HTML permits much greater flexibility over the document's format and allows you to include hypertext links to navigate through your document.

Your documents are individually converted, and then combined into an OnTap Collection. This OnTap Collection is returned to you as a MIME attachment, or forwarded to others on your distribution list.

You can control the translation process and distribution list with simple OnTap document controls and settings.

Installing an OnTap Collection

Use your standard Palm install application to indicate that the database should be installed on the handheld during your next HotSync.

Using the OnTap Server

Send documents to the OnTap Server by logging in directly to www.ontaptech.com or send your content to pilot-server@ontaptech.com. Follow these step by step instructions to create your own OnTap Collections.

To create your own OnTap Collection:


  1. Save your desktop documents as standard text or HTML files. Follow the guidelines outlined here and in the OnTap HTML Reference. Graphics must be in .gif format.

  2. Log into the ontaptech web site or attach and send the documents you want to translate as MIME attachments to the OnTap Server: pilot-server@ontaptech.com.

  3. Within a few minutes, the OnTap Server replies with an e-mail containing the Palm OS-ready database (OnTap Collection) as a MIME attachment to you or to the distribution list you specify as outlined under OnTap Document Controls.

    The OnTap Server combines your documents into a Collection in the same order that you used to attach them to your email. Pictures must be .gif images no greater than 140 x 140 pixels. These will be incorporated into your pocket publications according to your specifications in your HTML source. Make sure you submit them first, before the HTML documents that make reference to the files. To change this order, you can rearrange the document order once you install the Collection on your handheld or you can recreate it by submitting it to the server in another order. Refer to the OnTap Reader Guide for details on changing the order of OnTap documents on your Palm OS device.

  4. When the new OnTap Collection arrives, use your standard Palm install application to indicate that the database should be downloaded on the next HotSync (see note).

OnTap Document Controls

Once you have attached the file(s) you wish to translate and are ready to send your email to the OnTap Server, use the body of the email message to override the OnTap Server translation defaults as follows (NOTE: applies to private, onsite servers only. This capability is turned off on the OnTap public server)

DISTRIBUTION KEYWORD (note)
Format: distribution list

Use the "DISTRIBUTION" keyword in the body of the email to specify where to send your OnTap Collection when translation is complete.

Example:

distribution demitrios@aegean.com  martello@ee.pitt.edu  madeleine@palmtoppublishing.com


Pocketgram is a trademark and OnTap is a registered trademark of Aegean Associates, Inc. All other brands and product names may be the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

Copyright © 2000 Aegean Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.