UniFEP Light is an Asian language solution for ER5 (EPOC Release 5) devices. This software is compatible with US and UK versions of Psion netBook Series 5mx, Revo & Revo Plus, Ericsson MC218 and Diamond MAKO. (It is not compatible with Series 7 or 5mx Pro)
UniFEP's name is taken from Unicode & Front-End Processor. UniFEP Light uses the Unicode Consortium defined UTF-8 encoding and therefore UniFEP is multilingual and supports different languages installed at the same time.
UniFEP Light is not just an application nor a text editor. In fact, it is more than just a front-end processor. It adds Asian language display and input to the system itself. This means the main internal applications and most third-party software installed in a device will become Asian language enabled. UniFEP adds language support to the most commonly used functions on handheld devices.
UniFEP Light Japanese being used in EPOC Word
How UniFEP operates:
UniFEP changes the basic display and text handling of the operating system to handle Unicode from the deepest level.
UniFEP loads fonts to support Asian character display. It also replaces application resources and other parts of the EPOC System to ensure correct handling of the scripts supported.
UniFEP uses "MMU patching" to replace the EPOC graphics environment. For this reason, UniFEP must be turned on and off and does not behave like an application. Unicode display operates out of "Control Panel". Control of input methods is achieved using the UniFEP menu.
UniFEP is an open environment including a plug-in architecture that allows the addition of langauges and input methods. It offers a complete programming API allowing third party software developers to make use of advanced functions and make modifications.
The UniFEP SDK is available online.
UniFEP input settings are controlled from this menu. When Unicode display is on and UniFEP is operational, a small UniFEP icon is displayed in the lower right hand corner of the screen. Tapping on this icon will call up the UniFEP Menu, or alternatively, using keys [Ctrl] + [Menu].
Other keyboard shortcuts are language and input method specific.
To turn UniFEP off, first close all files and applications and then uncheck Unicode display in the Control Panel. A soft reset will be performed.
Japanese input is enabled when the UniFEP icon is visible and the UniFEP input palette is open. When an input field is active the X will be removed from the palette and the syllable "a" will appear. To can use [Shift]+[Space] to toggle between Japanese input and ordinary EPOC input. This will close the input palette.
Japanese consists of too many characters for any keyboard. For these reason, Japanese is input using phonetics and dictionary conversion. When Japanese input is activated type in the romanized forms of Japanese hiragana -eg. "g" & "a" for "ga" ( ) . The roman to kana conversion is done in the UniFEP floating palette. Once you have the phonetics in the palette to compose the word or kanji you wish to input, use the spacebar to start the dictionary conversion process. Keep using the spacebar until the characters that you are looking for appear. Confirm the conversion with the Enter key.
You can also move the cursor in the palette during conversion to cut off part of the text and do another conversion on the remainder.
UniFEP allows the transfer of email and Contacts vCards to desktops and other PDAs using text encodings other than Unicode UTF-8. Desktop computers, such as Windows & Macintosh computers, commonly use a non-Unicode Japanese encodings for internal code. This means that file conversion is not possible without a Japanese savvy application. PsiWin, EpocConnect and MacConnect do not support Japanese code conversion. We recommend third-party solutions such as "2ConnectU" from K2 Systems.
When using Email, it is recommended another encoding is used. The default for sending and receiving is ShiftJIS, the most widely used encoding, but this can be changed in the UniFEP Control Panel.
When using vCard exchange, select the proper encoding for the target exchange device. For other EPOC devices, the encoding should be set to UTF-8, but for Palm it should beShiftJIS.
Desktop operating systems mostly use older text encodings. UniFEP uses UTF-8 Unicode, so any syncronization or file transfers to or from the desktop will require specially modified solutions. Any non-ASCII files must be converted to UTF-8 either by UniFEP's functions or with other software. This is a major consideration when using UniFEP in a mutliplatform environment.
Text can be imported and converted to Unicode and immeditately input into the top-most application via UniFEP's text import feature. This can be found in the UniFEP Menu's "More" menu. This feature can be used to exchange text data with a desktop computer. Normally, text from desktop computer will be in older text encodings.
To import a text file, use the import dialog from the UniFEP "More" menu to locate the desired file. Set the text encoding to the encoding that the file was originally made in.
Users can easily convert UniFEP compatible encoded text to other encodings and export as a plain text file. This is useful for exchanging text data with a desktop computer. Highlight the target text data and select "Export text".
UniFEP uses the Clipboard to make this conversion.
The dialog will ask for the file name and location to be selected and the text encoding specified for the text file to be created. There is also an option to select linefeed formats. For simplicity, included are Macintosh and Windows defaults. For other settings, select the Custom option and set encodings and linefeeds according to preferences.
Unicode contains a large repertoire of special characters that cannot be entered easily from the keyboard. (Although, the input methods are easily customised with often used characters!) UniFEP provides a palette of special characters either from the UniFEP men\u "more". Insert into text by tapping on the characters of choice (similar to the "Insert special character" function in Psion Word [Shift]+[Ctrl]+C).
It is possible to enter a character given its code point in some encodings. For instance, the hiragana syllable "ga" ( ) can be entered as "304C" using the "Unicode" encoding, as "82AA" in "ShiftJIS" encoding, or as "242C" in "JIS" encoding.
What is a FEP?
Front-End Processor. Asian languages use thousands of characters. These cannot be input via a standard keyboard. A front-end processor is software that intercepts user input, tranforms and passes complex scripts to the application below. Also known as Input Method.
What is EPOC?
EPOC or EPOC32 is the name for the Operating System developed by Symbian. UniFEP Light supports the ER5 release of EPOC used in Psion built devices.
What is ASCII?
ASCII is the basic Alphabet in computer form. It does not include accented European or Asian characters.
What is Unicode?
Unicode provides a unique number for every character for every language. This means multiple scripts and languages can be used at the same time in the same file.
What is UTF-8?
UTF-8 is an 8 bit representation of Unicode. It retains binary compatiblity with ASCII codes, EPOC ER5 applications and data. For Asian Characters this means three-bytes per character.
UniFEP Light is suitable for use with US and UK versions of EPOC ER5 devices. It is NOT suitable for use with Psion Series 3 or 5, GeoFox, OSARIS, Ericsson R380 or Nokia 9210.
UniFEP will most likely not run at the same time as other localization solutions.
UniFEP loads fonts and input methods meaning that full backups can not be completed while UniFEP is running. Turn off Unicode display for backup proceedures.
UniFEP does support Japanese language file and folder names, but this may cause problems with desktop backup applications. It is recommended that only ASCII be used.
Printing in Asian languages requires special printers and drivers.
UniFEP should work with all EPOC applications including those from third parties. Some applications may not support UniFEP input or display. This is caused by original developer's programming. Contact with the original developer is recommended.
Due to the functionality of UTF-8, certain characters may not display correctly. These include accented European characters and ellipse "..." often used in application menus. Existing data may have to be reinput to change any non-ASCII characters to UTF-8.
PsiWin and MacConnect do NOT have encoding conversion.
Language support is not enabled for SMS email, Phone (Revo), Comms(5mx) and Postcard (MC218).
What is different between Light and other versions of UniFEP?
UniFEP has been available in many different versions on different platforms. On EPOC there are basically three generations. The first one only supported Japanese and only in the internal applications. The second used global patching to suppport all applications and a general localization solution. This shipped as UniFEP V2 for Japanese and UniFEP TC for Chinese. The third is a ROM-level adapation used only to create complete localized operating systems as seen in Psion 618C and Japanese 5mx Pro.
UniFEP Light is based on the second generation of UniFEP, but without the localization elements, fewer font point sizes and only basic input dictionary depth. It is targets non-native speakers, but enable the full-functionality of the Unicode environment.
For full description of the evolution of UniFEP please see the UniFEP Web page.