Thursday, November 16, 2017

A plea: let's bring Folio to AROS!

Some advanced options of Folio being used.
While thinking about new features to add to Icaros Desktop, I landed on Morphzone and stumbled upon a very interesting project by Andé Siegel, the Folio word processor. Feature wise, it is quite far from being like big office suite applications like LibreOffice Writer or Microsoft Word, but it is easily comparable to Windows Wordpad and many other modern editors coming with mainstream operating systems and Linux distributions. You can import files, you can edit texts, you can change font and style, use tables and add pictures to your documents. In a nutshell: you can do with Folio most of things you would normally do with any word processor, including, and this is an obvious feature in 2017, printing to PDF files. But Folio's best feature is not what it does, but how it does it: from your web browser. You do not need a Internet connection at all, because all needed files and components are stored locally on your hard drive. André published long ago a 'tech demo' of Folio (let's call it 'version 0') which needed OWB 1.23 to properly run on MorphOS: people who already updated it to 1.24 needed to step back to 1.23. At the same time, however, I could already run it on AROS' OWB 1.25 with no issue (see screenshots).
Folio "v0" running on Icaros Desktop
I could print to PDF using OWB export option and even print to a PostScript .ps file using AROS printer driver, the only problem I got was that Folio user interface got printed as well, with the document, at its beginning. In the following weeks, André brought his program to version 1, which was then released free of charge on MorphZone. Unfortunately, the new version does not work anymore on AROS, probably due to some Javascript issues. It does not work correctly on Windows Firefox as well, but on MorphOS OWB it should work properly, so making it work again on AROS should not be so terribly difficult. The software comes with a LGPL license and further development is bound to users good will (please read: donations). So, if noone of you would dig into the Javascript code assembled by André, please consider to leave him a donation, tagged with a "please port it to AROS" request. So far, and until Final Writer will be completed, this is the fastest and more viable way to finally get a modern word processor, able to deal with current file formats, running on AROS.

> Folio's page on MorphZone