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Posted by DavidStrickland at Aug 27, 2010 6:22:34 AM
Re: 5 years and it still won't compile.
Manfred,
Thanks for replying.

As for the Format being Documented in the source code. I've seen this statement before on the forums concerning the Module format. The source Code is written in a "language" designed to communication a set of instructions not intentions or information. Though intentions or information can be extracted from the instructions it's like saying your New Car's Owner Manual is documented in Service-Centers Repair Manual. I assume OSK understood as much when he remarked that it is currently "Undocumented". It also seems that this concept is understood in the application as well as there is an extensive amount of English language documentation for it. Though it could simply be said that users should read the source if they wanted to understand the application.

As for the fact that it might change that is obvious anything in software development might change at any time if we all stopped coding on anything that might change we'd never have anything but Dos apps. It isn't a question of if it will change but how likely that change is. If a breaking change is made to the format so drastic as to make all documentation of the Format obsolete the subsequent required Changes to Libsword and Jsword would very likely make any apps built on them obsolete as well. Not to mention that every module would need to be re compiled to the format and all third party modules would need to be recompiled as well. Such a change would take years to implement and dual support within the Instructions would be mandatory for years to come.

From the hostility this issue seems to get and the initial review I've done of the Modules format I suspect there is another motivation behind the module formats lack of documentation. It appears that the security of the modules is wrapped around the ability to decompress the data. It may not be very difficult for a crack app to be written that would unlock any locked module. Though such an application would not violate the GPL the project is released under it could be used to violate the copyright of every publisher that has placed their trust in The Sword Project. Such an application or even the awareness of it potential would undermine the projects ability to get new bible versions or other books released.

If such a security flaw exists discouraging others from finding it is no protection against it's inevitable exploitation. If such a flaw does not exist the only way to prove it is to document the modules structure. I find it surprising that such documentation doesn't exist since any publisher wanting to ensure their intellectual property is adequately protected would require documentation explaining the format their property would be distributed in and the exact measures used to protect it before placing their faith in The Sword Project or any other distributor.