About Online INF Book Reader

The Online INF Book Reader allows you to view IBM INF files directly in your web browser.

Format reverse-engineering and reader implementation done by Tomáš Slavotínek.

Improvements
Limitations
Compatibility and Requirements
Version History


Improvements

Here are some of the improvements that the Online Reader provides over the old IPF for Windows utility (IVIEW):

  • Available on all platforms; no need to download any files
  • Better user experience - streamlined UI and controls
  • Easier copy&paste, information sharing, and online searching
  • Proper ASCII-art tables (uses characters from DOS code page 437)
  • HTML export

Limitations

The current version is not quite feature-complete however:

  • Some less common control commands may not be implemented
  • There may be some indentation inconsistencies when compared to output produced by the IVIEW utility. This can't be completely avoided without using absolute positioning for all text blocks and doing all calculations manually (in JS). I'm letting the layout engine to do most of the work, as it greatly simplifies the implementation and the produced output is close enough to what IVEW outputs.
  • Full-text search not implemented currently

Compatibility and Requirements

The Online INF Book Reader has been tested in the following browsers:

  • Chrome 49, 80 – 83
  • Firefox 52 ESR, and 72 – 77
  • Opera 66 – 68
  • Edge 79 – 83
  • Safari 13
  • Internet Explorer 11

Hardware and software used for compatibility and performance testing:

  • Intel Core i5 3230M 2.60 GHz, 8 GB RAM, Windows 10 version 1903
    Chrome 80, Firefox 72, Opera 66, Edge 79, Internet Explorer 11
  • Intel Core i7 4790K 4.00 GHz, 32 GB RAM, Windows 10 version 1903
    Chrome 80, Firefox 72
  • Intel Core i7 4790K 4.00 GHz, 12 GB RAM, macOS Catalina 10.15.3 VM
    Safari 13, Chrome 80
  • Intel Pentium M 740 1.73 GHz, 2 GB RAM, Windows XP SP3
    Chrome 49, Firefox 52 ESR
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 2.19 GHz, 2 GB RAM, Windows XP SP3
    Chrome 49, Firefox 52 ESR

Version History

version 0.7 (07.07.2020)

  • implemented command 0x1F - external link (cross-INF)
  • fixed index indentation bug
  • added forward button (2-way history)

version 0.6 (16.06.2020)

  • implemented commands 0x17 and 0x18 - start and end of hidden text
  • fixed index not being parsed correctly for some files
  • added splitters - the views can be resized now

version 0.5a (11.06.2020)

  • fixed behavior of empty align blocks

version 0.5 (11.05.2020)

  • implemented special code 0xFB - centered block
  • implemented command 0x10 - shell command (not actually executed, only displayed)
  • added support for the "BA" image header (wrapper header; skipped)
  • fixed an issue where continuous styles wouldn't get re-applied/terminated correctly on text blocks with multi-level indentations
  • image commands in files with no image table are silently ignored now
  • reworked layout of the header area; fixes an issue where very long section names affected the UI layout
  • some minor UX improvements

version 0.4 (24.03.2020)

  • implemented command 0x13 - font color
  • implemented command 0x14 - background color
  • fixed line height inconsistencies with monospaced text (partially)
  • reworked layout of the footer area
  • reworked parser notifications

version 0.3a (22.02.2020)

  • reworked page layout/styles for better compatibility (Safari, older browsers)
  • added "About" page

version 0.3 (31.01.2020)

  • added support for local INF files ("Open Local File")
  • added support for DOS code page 850
  • added "Save Section as HTML" button
  • implemented Index support
  • implemented Font Table support
  • implemented command 0x0E - color (partially - background component not working)
  • implemented command 0x0F - image link
  • implemented command 0x11 - indentation with optional new line
  • implemented command 0x1C - indentation at current text position
  • reworked command 0x19 - set font
  • fixed command 0x12 - indentation with optional new line
  • fixed "table of contents" not being parsed properly for some files
  • added support for inline pictures
  • added support for the "Id" image format
  • some other tweaks and fixes

version 0.2 (21.01.2020)

  • implemented support for image data types 0 and 1 (type 0 not tested)
  • fixed line alignment for 8bpp images
  • fixed monospace blocks not being terminated in some cases
  • fixed text alignment getting reset between article chunks
  • fixed an issue where only one instance of an image could be rendered
  • added "Go Back" button

version 0.1 (20.01.2020)

  • initial release
  • table of contents, articles/sections, and notes functional
  • support for most common section control commands
  • support for "bM" images - 1bpp/4bpp, LZW compression


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