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Shadow-Developer mailing list
This mailing list is intended only for the technical -- for those who wish to know more than anyone wants to know about the inner workings of the Shadow software family. If you wish to read or write to the Shadow databases, for instance, heres the place to talk to others doing it.

Shadow XML specification
If you wish to read or write Shadow Desktop XML files (produced by the conduit), you'll want to read this.

Shadow DTD XML file
You may need this; thank Chris ("the Panther") for generating it!

Shadow Plan 3.0 Translation Plugin Kit

If you would like to build (or even to help test and play with one!) a language plugin for Shadow Plan 3.0, everything you need is right here. In essence, all you need is a base English plugin and Palm Constructor, a tool for editting Palm OS "resources" (forms, strings, icons, etc). (PalmSource builds Constructor, it is not a Codejedi tool). Simply install Constructor, open up the base language plugin, and edit it to be correct for your language. Then when you're done, zip it up and send me the plugin, and I'll do some magic to make it releasable. While you're editting it, you can fully test it by sending it to your handheld!

Mailing list requirement::
  • Sign up to Shadow-developer to avoid duplicating work with someone else! If your'e interested in working on a plugin, dive right in and get the tools, sign up to the list, and post that you're going to work on it; If someone else writes back that they're also doing it, perhaps you can work on half each or the like.
Tools::
  • Palm Constructor
  • Shadow Plan 3.0 Base (English) Plugin for editting
  • Don't forget to test as you go; make a few changes, double click on your plugin, hotsync, and see how it goes right in Shadow Plan 3.0 live!
Process:
  • You edit your plugin; for instance, download Shadow30_base.zip and unpack it; call yours Shadow30_foo01.prc, where 'foo' is your language in short. Like "Fr" or "Ger" or "Cz" or the like. "01" is for version 0.1 (to start with)
  • After you've changed it a bit, save it as Shadow30_foo02.prc, and so on, incrementing the 01 to 03, then 04, etc. This way if you break it by mucking up some dialog box, just go back to the last one that worked and redo the recent stuff, avoiding mucking it up.
  • You can test it all yourself; just upload your editted plugin to your PDA, and you can see it working *right away*! (very cool and rewarding to you!)
  • If you break it and can't go back for some reason, I can try and figure out why its broken. I have some debugging tools to test with. But lets be careful instead.. its a lot of work for me to determine problems in languages I don't know :)
  • Once you've got it editted to your satisfaction, send it to me as Shadow30_foo10.zip (10 being 1.0). I will post it for BETA, so others can take a look at your pride and joy :)
  • If people report spelling mistakes, etc, you can fix them.
  • Once all is more or less well, I can post as an official plugin; if no mistakes, it coudl be version 1.0's file, or maybe you had some reported issues and fixed them, so by then it could be version 1.1 or 1.2 or whatever, which would look like Shadow30_foo13.zip for version 1.3 say.
Tips:
  • If you're using Constructor and theres a "list object" hovering over top of a text popup or the like you wish to edit, then you can use the "Show Object Hierarchy" menu option to get a list of widgets in the dialog, and pick them from there.
  • If you want to edit on the road, there is a Palm OS application called RsrcEdit that lets you edit Palm applications right on your handheld; editting the language plugin with this tool should work fine, so you could edit the language translation right on your handheld, and see the effects immediately when you run Shadow Plan. (Do *not* edit Shadow Plan itself or bad things will occur and your plugin will stop working!)
Rules:
  • Do not add or remove any 'widget' in a form, dialog, menubar, etc. (doing so will make the plugin stop working; it validates itself)
  • Do not change any "object IDs"; doing so will kill the plugin
  • Avoid moving things around; you can slide a field left or right a touch and the plugin will accept it. Only do it if you must to make any meaning due to long native words or the like. Avoid it at all costs!
  • If you stick with changing the text, it should work very well :)
  • This is copywritten material; you can't distribute your plugins around, so you give them back to me to beta and publish. I don't mind if you pass it to a couple of friends to help you "debug" it with grammar or spelling, but it is not for general distribution. Before I've "fixed" it, it can cause problems if distributed!


Shadow <-> Omni Outliner XSLT templates

Thanks to Marc-Antoine for building these! Some tools to work with XSLT files on Mac OSX:

  • Application: http://www.entropy.ch/software/macosx/welcome.html#testxslt
  • CLI tool: http://www.zveno.com/open_source/libxml2xslt.html
  • Applescript tools: http://www.latenightsw.com/freeware/XSLTTools/

XSLT and README details in tar-gzip format; remember to use "tar zxvf OOScripts.tgz" to get the goods if you don't know how.



Shadow database record format (version 1.4.4 and on)
Shadow database header record format (version 1.4.4 and on)

If you wish to read the records in the Shadow databases, here are the two main structures you need. There are rules to follow which I'll post later.. the first record is always the header record. other records can be of any type (though currently only normal item records are allowed) Remember, if you're working on a conduit be sure to use a pragma to set the boundary spacing and packing.

Update March 2003 -- use the XML instead :)
The details of the PDB formats has been pulled; the database format is not to be considered an interface or API.. We encourage you to always use the XML as an interface since it is both standard and will forever be published as a spec. The PDB is the handheld application's raw data and thus by definition changes a lot (most public releases include some EAB extension or other, or additional options on the pref fields, etc). These web headers haven't been up to date in a long time, and I do not want to run into versioning problems (theres already a few tools out there with incomplete and/or broken support, since they adhere to an older version of the headers). So as always we will keep the specs published so you can interact with Shadow.. and that will be via the XML.

Of course, we're getting the Mac conduit out soon, so the XML should be excellent.. cross platform and standard. No more endian woes!