[sword-devel] ztext file format...

Wade Balzer wbalzer at newjerusalem.org
Tue May 18 21:57:42 MST 2010

The only bindings I have found were dated Feb 2006 for C#, and they were not
maintained.  When I have used those bindings, I would get intermittent GPF
Errors trying to use them in a .Net project.  I think it had to do with
garbage collection, and followed the recommendations that were documented. 
Still would get the intermittent errors.  

I tried without success to rebuild the swig bindings with the latest core
hoping it would be more stable.  Stayed up several nights trying before I
resolved to go another direction for the time being.

If someone could rebuild the Swig bindings for a C# project based on all the
newest or latest fixes in the core, that would be awesome, but it is a lot
of work to get it to compile.  I personally could not get it to compile in
SWIG, and I didn't see a lot of interest in maintaining .Net bindings or a
.Net port of any kind.

Thus... my next option was to build my own reader in C# from scratch, and
follow the basic class structure, but there was no documentation on the
ztext format used.

Hoping someone could enlighten me on the structure to save me the time to
figure it out myself.  

Right now, I am pretty bent on writing a .Net port in C# as there is with
the Java port, because I know it will be stable, and easier to maintain.
Not only that, but there are a ton of .Net developers that can do nothing
with what you have, and therefore, they don't.

I can understand not having public documentation of the module format, as it
is unnecessary by using the library.  But a library that doesn't work in
.Net is a much bigger problem, because I can't read the modules.

Basically, I am saying, that I am willing to write a port in .Net if I am
able to get the assistance I need to do so.  Otherwise, I am likely to get
frustrated and burned out before I can get it done.

Thanks so much,


-----Original Message-----
From: Troy A. Griffitts [mailto:scribe at crosswire.org] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 6:37 PM
To: SWORD Developers' Collaboration Forum
Subject: Re: [sword-devel] ztext file format...

On 05/18/2010 01:41 PM, Matthew Talbert wrote:
>>> I have looked, but I cannot seem to find any information regarding the
>>> structure of the ztext file format.
>> The module format is essentially undocumented (other than via the source
>> code) and we have little intention to change that. The format is subject
>> to occasional smaller or larger changes.
>> The general recommendation is that creators of frontends use the library
>> as it is and build upon that. I am sure there are C# bindings somewhere
>> available.
> The C# bindings haven't worked for ages, and they are difficult to

Nonetheless, Peter is right.  The recommendation should be to either
update and maintain the C# bindings, or else write a new set of bindings
if they are not satisfactory.  Our policy is to not advertise our file
formats as they are prone to grow whenever we feel like it.  Our focal
point of stability for developers is our API.  We strive hard not to
break existing code, and do so on purpose only when absolutely
necessary.  This is not true for our module format (which includes
compression, encoding, indexing, and markup).

Having said this, Wade, I'm excited you want to provide C# access to
developers!  Have you had a look yet at the current state of our C#
bindings.  It has been some time since anyone has mentioned them around
here.  It would be great to hear your assessment.



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