[sword-devel] .conf files encoding/tags

Eeli Kaikkonen eekaikko at mail.student.oulu.fi
Thu Oct 4 00:21:52 MST 2007

On Wed, 3 Oct 2007, Troy A. Griffitts wrote:

> Eeli,
> We need to distinguish 2 things.  Markup and Encoding.
> One markup for .conf files has been mandated for 15 years:
> RTF + <a href="">
> Well, the <a> was added within the last 5 years or so.
> The choice was made when BibleCS was the only usable frontend for SWORD
> and not many people or computers used UTF-8.

Let me explain my view and please, don't take it as an attack.

The fact that two markup languages have been mixed means nothing but a
decision forced by some practical considerations as you also say. Still
it is a bad thing now. It just confuses newcomers (like me, even though
I have been here active some years) and is not "clean". I understand
that the Sword project has been more interested in "it just works" point
of view but if the quality counts it is not enough.

Why I brought this up is that I worked with Diatheke some time ago and
saw many problems with encodings. Now I saw that BibleCS couldn't handle
some short descriptions right. In frontends I have seen that even
BibleCS did not handle the rft formatting of "about"s right. Now I saw
that it didn't handle some short module descriptions right. BibleTime
and possibly other frontends have not bothered to translate the rtf
formatting, not even the website as was already noted in another post.

This all tells nothing but that these encoding and formatting issues
(yes, I understand the difference between them) have been a mess and
they have not worked well. If this is not a practical issue, then what

I'm glad I saw my posting raising some further discussion and quality

> RTFHTML convert;
> SWBuf about = module->getConfigEntry("About");
> convert.processText(about);
> // about is now HTML

OK, I didn't know that. This makes it much easier.

> We should talk about changing the .conf file format standard, but there
> is and has been a standard.

I agree that the current one is not nearly perfect and also Chris has
expressed similar opinion.

BTW, What comes to standards and Chris' previous post, I still don't by
the RTF "standard". Chris explained it well and probably right but I
have seen differing opinions and explanations. MS has tendency to
neglect others when making "standards". I may be biased here because I'm
more an Open Source advocate and I have seen the Chris and some others
here are not so concerned about openness than I am. I don't suppose we
can agree here, but it is not a major issue anyways.

> As far as encoding, I believe we decided less than a year ago that the
> rule we would use is that encoding of the module would also be the
> encoding of the .conf

I asked about that once and got similar answer but it was i bit vague.
Later I was confused because I remember seeing that this rule did not
work with some module, but I may be wrong as well.

> I believe I have remembered correct with all of this.  If anyone else
> remembers differently or if this is not transcribed somewhere official,
> your input would be appreciated.

I will check the wiki. Apparently I have to take the responsibility to
add it there if it's not already there because I wrote so harshly about
the issue.

	Eeli Kaikkonen (Mr.), Oulu, Finland
	e-mail: eekaikko at mailx.studentx.oulux.fix (with no x)

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