From: Michael D. Crawford (crawford_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-06-12 09:26:26
>Is Mr. Green ever going to document his library?
>It had the same problem when it first appeared many years ago... no
>I notice he doesn't seem to think it's a high priority; I don't see it
>mentioned at http://zoolib.sourceforge.net/doc/future.html.
--- No, I am going to document his library! Part of the deal where Andy gave me the use of his code a year before he open-sourced it was that I was supposed to write a programmer's manual for it. However, Andy wanted it done in DocBook, for lots of good reasons, and I had a really hard time figuring out how to use DocBook. Not so much learning the tags, as how to keep my files valid, and how to format them into HTML and PDF using open source tools. One of DocBook's really weak spots is that it is very intimidating for the newbie to do anything with it. But I finally figured it out, and the first couple chapters of The ZooLib Cookbook can be found at: http://www.goingware.com/zoolib/cookbook/ The XML source to the cookbook is checked in to CVS. I have placed the cookbook under the GNU Free Documentation License. There's not yet very much, as the dot-com crash forced me to put a lot of extra effort into staying employed and prevented me from contributing to open source as much as I would like. But things are much better now and I am able to work on the cookbook fairly regularly. The cookbook is a tutorial, basically each chapter will explain the source code of one of the demo programs and introduce a few new concepts. I felt that starting with a tutorial rather than a reference manual was best because we do provide the framework source and sample client code, so that the quickest way to help people get started was to write a tutorial - once you have that it is pretty easy to understand how to use it from the framework and demo sources. I do plan to write a reference manual though. And Andy has been adding Doxygen comments to the source that's in CVS. (Doxygen is like Javadoc but for C++, Java, C and IDL - specially marked-up comments are extracted from the source to create API documentation. Doxygen also transforms the source into a hyperlinked HTML class browser kind of thing - http://www.doxygen.org/ ). We haven't made a formal release of ZooLib in a year and a half. I suggested to Andy recently that we should prepare for another release soon. When we do, there will be more demo code, there will be the cookbook included (and more of it written) and I'll post the Doxygen output on the website at sourceforge so you can browse it online. Some of the stuff mentioned in "future.html" has been done, for example there is a new resource format that uses a tool called the ZAsset Compiler that bundles things like GUI graphics and strings in a format that's identical for each platform and allows much more flexible use than the old platform-specific resources. The ZAssets also allow override files so users can install localization resources without having to recompile the program. Some work has been done to make it build with MS Visual C++. I've also experimented with building it with g++ under Cygwin, but I haven't got that to work yet. Michael D. Crawford GoingWare Inc. - Expert Software Development and Consulting http://www.goingware.com/ crawford_at_[hidden] Tilting at Windmills for a Better Tomorrow.
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