Browse Prior Art Database

File conversion from FOILS to other file format Disclosure Number: IPCOM000174387D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Sep-06
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Sep-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 23K

Publishing Venue



Currently, there are files created under the IBM Virtual Machine (VM) operating system that use tags exclusively coded for hardcopy/printing purposes. This type of VM file format, identified by the filetype name "FOILS" or "FOILS5", is almost unreadable if viewed or browsed form a terminal. Originally the FOILS file format was intended only for presentations, handouts, or hardcopy (paper copy) in general and in use before the existence of personal computers softwares that manage, view and print files (Powerpoint and similar). This VM file format major drawback are: 1. Users are forced to print the files from VM in order to be able to view them in a legible format. 2. Printing under a VM operating system may require specific "know how" and complicated, time consuming setup procedures and/or specialized EXECs. 3. FOILS format does not allow printing a specific page or sections of the document. The only choice is to print the entire document. 4. The end user is forced to print the entire document even if the sole intention is to view/read a small section of it. Today, there is no known technology that will display FOILS-tagged documents in a readable way or convert them into other non VM-based format

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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File conversion from FOILS to other file format

The invention consists of: a user interface


a parser/translator program invoked by the user interface


The user interface and parser/translator program can be implemented on any platform and depends entirely on the choice of programming language (C/C++, Java, PHP...)

Once the VM files are uploaded to the user's workstation, the user interface will prompt for the location of the input file to be converted.

Please consider that the user interface should provide options to determine what file format the output file will be translated to.

Additionally, the output of the invention parser/translator program can be on a monitor display or saved on the user PC hard drive.

The conversion from the FOILS tag language can be done into a variety of different PC compatible file formats (HTML, txt, pdf, doc, etc...)

As final result, users are able to view the content of the FOILS in a legible format on their workstation's screen using either the provided user-interface or any currently available programs that interpret/view HTML, txt, pdf, doc, etc. format. This eliminates all the drawbacks previously stated.

The invention process is made of five steps that can be summarized as:

From the user interface - the location of the input file (FOILS format) to be


translated is selected

The parsing process is activated by clicking on the "SUBMIT" button on


the user interface screen

Parser reads the content of the FOILS file


Parser interprets the content read from the FOILS file and converts FOILS


specific-tags into HTML tags.

Parser displays the reformatted content of the file on the user's


workstation or prompts to save it.

In Detail:

The user selects the FOILS file that is available on his workstation on the


user interface to be input into the parser. The user is presented with an HTML user interface displayed through a web browser. The user can select the specific FOILS file, select the output format, and also configure the looks of the output.

The user clicks the Submit button on the HTML page, the selected option


will be passed to the parser and processed as described in step 3


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The parser reads the content of the FOILS file. With the file passed

   through the interface, the PHP parser reads the content of the FOILS to entirety into the variable $foilLines. After the content of the FOILS file is stored into $foilLines, the parser calls three main functions, parseTitle, parseMenu, and parseContent functions, passing in $foilLines to generate the HTML formatted version from content of the FOILS file. All three aforementioned functions use two basic functions that extract information from each line of FOILS file:
- the function,
getTag, extracts the FOILS tag

- the function, getLine...