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Thread: Convert html to BW (VDC?) format

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default Convert html to BW (VDC?) format

    Greetings,
    I would like to format some html docs into BW format. It would appear that the Libronics Book Builder compiler would provide this functionality pretty much right out of the box. However, I am not so sure with VDC...

    It is my understanding that with the Libronix Book Builder, all I need to do is reformat verse references, then compile the html. The result is a Libronix book that can be associated with bible text and that the navigation of a bible book is synchronized with my user book.

    Will I get this same sort of synchronization using VDC (or some other tool)?

    From what I have read in the help docs and on this forum, I fear not.


    Also, would I need to strip the html tags and convert to plain text first or can the VDC handle htlm?

    Finally, can the VDC be called from a command prompt so that I can automate the process with scripts (that walk a directory structure of html docs)?.

    My initial impression is that I am probably better off going with the Libronics for this particular project. Please correct me if that is not the case!

    Thanks
    Steve MacKenzie
    Bellevue, WA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    2,099

    Default Can you provide more info??

    The more specific you can be, the more help people can provide. So I don't know what it is in particular that you want to convert. is this a Bible version or something else? The more info you can give, the more help people can be.

    I also do not know much about this book builder program, but it is my understanding that the ability to do this is an extra $ on top of the Libronix program in general, whereas the VDC or using the HTML Help method would both be free, so I'm not sure your comparison is quite fair in that respect.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  3. #3
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    Apr 2006
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    25

    Default Convert html to BW (VDC?) format

    Thanks for fast reply.

    BTW - I am a happy BW user. I would much prefer to use BW format, however my project is in HTML. I brought up Libronix because they target HTML. My comment was not meant to be a slur against BW. It is simply a matter of compatibility and using the right tool for the job.

    Hope that clears up the issue of where I am coming from


    Allow me to limit the scope of the question to what kind of behavior I can expect. Perhaps it would be helpful if I first made an analogous User Scenario:

    Bibleworks comes with the Matthew Henry Commentary. When I mouse over some John 3:16 in the browse window, all the BW resources that comment on John 3:16 will be listed in the resource summary tab of the analyze window.

    Now I click on Matthew Henry's commentary in the resource summary list which opens that book. Let's say that there is a link to Eze 36:25. If I click on the link, the browse window navigates all of its content to that verse.

    Will I get this sort of functionality, assuming that I properly tag and reformat my documents?

    I hope that is more specific description of what I would like to try.

    Thanks again
    Steve MacKenzie
    Bellevue, WA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    2,099

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Comet View Post

    Will I get this sort of functionality, assuming that I properly tag and reformat my documents?

    I hope that is more specific description of what I would like to try.

    Thanks again
    Yes this is indeed possible. Do you have BW7? If so read the help chapter (within the program) Chapt 47 Custom Modules. That will give you some idea. There are also users here who have put together their own modules like this and those are available either by looking for links here or else head over to a user-run BibleWorks blog and check out the section there for custom modules.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Yes, I have BW7.

    I should be able to find a shareware tool that converts to text and all the rest.

    I will take a deeper look at the docs and query the forums as you suggest especially given your encouraging report.

    Thanks again
    Steve MacKenzie
    Bellevue, WA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    539

    Default Custom Modules

    Hi Comet,

    There are two separate tools in BW7 for developing user-created modules. Which tool you use depends upon the type of material being created, and the way in which you want to use it.

    Bible versions and other items that you wish to search using the Command Line, and which will display in the Browse Window, are created using the VDC.

    Nearly any other material is created using the instructions in the help file in chapter 47 Custom Modules, as Michael mentioned. These instructions show how to create HTML Help format files. The files used in the HTML Help file are, indeed, HTML files. You will not want to convert your HTML files to text to use this tool.

    HTML Help files created according to the instructions in chapter 47 will appear in the resource summary window and appear on the Resources menu. They will have all the funtionality of the other BW7 modules. You can distribute the materials to others, as well. (In fact, they do not have to have BW7 for them to be able to read your files!)

    If you have other questions, please ask. If you are able to tell us what type of material you are working on (Bible version, commentary, sermon notes, etc.), that will enable us to better direct you to the BW tool that will serve you best.

    Glenn

  7. #7
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    Apr 2006
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    Default

    Thanks for jumping in Glenn. Yes, I hit the docs last night and discovered that myself. I was able to do some manual coversions on a small scale for both types of projects.

    The html help (custom module) provides the functionality that I was initially looking for, but I might as well also build a user database in the BW proprietary (VDC) format so that I can search the content with regexes.

    For the VDC, it should be pretty straight forward. My HTML is formatted in paragraphs: <p> sometext</p>. I can detag the HTML, prepend the raw text in the paragraph with my numbering schema. That way, every paragraph will be as a "verse".

    For the HTML help project (custom module) I might get by using Visual Studio for any extra global editing required beyond what the index builder provides. It would be nice if I could avoid writing or borrowing any parsers for the job.

    Thanks again, it should be fun,
    Steve MacKenzie
    Bellevue, WA
    Steve MacKenzie
    Bellevue, WA

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    539

    Default

    Hi Steve,

    If you are using regex and Visual Studio, this type of stuff should be very easy for you.

    If you are going to create HTML Help files, I recommend using FAR, as mentioned in chapter 47. It really makes HTML Help creation easy. It has some nice HTML search & replace tools, too.

    Let us know if we can be of further help.

    Glenn

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default

    Over the weekend, I did successfully convert about 600 meg of HTML content into multiple VDC user databases. With the cross version search, it works quite well.

    There was a fair amount of preprocessing to get the content into the right format. I got by with perl regular expressions and was able to automate the entire process.

    I am able to make the VDC crash. At first I thought I was hitting some memory threshold, but I now suspect that there is a limit to how many lines a text file can contain. I will submit my repro to the support alias.

    As far as the HTML custom modules, I am blocked by a bug in the custom module builder. It must be a regression because the most simple case is broken. I was not able to find a patch on the forums. I was able to work around it with a regular expression for proof of concept.

    I will submit this bug as well.

    All in all, it was well worth the effort.

    Thanks Again,
    Steve
    Steve MacKenzie
    Bellevue, WA

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    539

    Default Follow up next week

    Hi Steve,

    I am on vacation this week, so I am not in the office. However, I plan to look into this next week and see if we can figure out how to reproduce the problem so that we can get it fixed.

    Sorry to postpone helping you with this, but I will help as soon as I can. We should probably work on this via email, rather than the forums. My email is glweaver@bibleworks.com.

    Blessings,
    Glenn

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