[wikireader]Suggestions for next steps on software

Doug Jones dj6mf at frombob.to
Fri Oct 30 18:53:18 CET 2009

Doug Jones wrote:
> David Reyes Samblas Martinez wrote:
>> Though on how the evolution of the soft of the wikireader must be, I
>> have oredered the sugesstions by impact on functionality/easy to
>> implement ratio, of course under a totally  non-hardcore developer and
>> only-one-week user criteria.
>> *First and prioritary,
>> allow have multiple languages on same sdcard, I think a one easy
>> approach is to have a selection menu on boot with the available
>> languages on the sdcard (looking at the sufix of the pedia files
>> "pedia_es", "pedia_de", "pedia_pt"..... ) present a bare text menu
>> with the items, select,  and then operate as usual.
>> More complex things like changing of language inside a topic or
>> include non wikipedia content to  that menu using a config file can be
>> implemented later on.
> I notice that the current implementation fits within the old 8.3 DOS 
> file naming scheme (except that both upper case and lower case is used). 
>   Is this done to avoid the FAT patent issue?
> If so, then we need to devise a naming scheme that fits within that... 
> perhaps something like
> wwwwllnn.ext
> where:
> wwww indicates which wiki
> ll   indicates which language
> nn   indicates which alphabetical section  (I assume the articles are 
> grouped according to first letter, 00 through 26 for A-Z and other 
> characters...   or is this wrong?)
> Other alphabets have different numbers of letters, so do we sometimes 
> need more than two digits?
> And some languages don't use alphabets...   has somebody already worked 
> out a general scheme for breaking up the files, and is this documented 
> somewhere?
> We have to break up the data into chunks somehow.  FAT has a 4GB file 
> limit, as I recall...

Actually it seems a bit more complicated than this.

The language designations used within Wikipedia are not just limited to 
two characters  --  these aren't just country codes.

Most languages there are designated by a two-letter code, but some are 
three letters, and go all the way up to "simple" for simple English and 
"cbk-zam" for Chavacano de Zamboanga.

Clearly we should be aiming for a system that can accommodate all 
available versions of Wikipedia, as well as those yet to be implemented.

The current implementation uses a flat directory structure, with no 
subdirectories.  Is there some compelling reason for this?

We could put each separate wiki into its own directory.  This would make 
it much easier to fit everything within the 8.3 naming scheme (assuming 
that this scheme really is a requirement).  It would also make it easier 
for the user to copy a new wiki onto the card;  they just have to copy 
one folder, instead of keeping track of dozens of files.

This would also eliminate the need for a config file at the root that 
would need to be updated as wikis are added or removed.  Instead, the 
boot code scans the root, finds all the directories, looks inside each 
one for a short metadata file that contains the description for that 
wiki (in the appropriate language of course), and then uses that data to 
build the first menu that the user sees.

More information about the community mailing list