[sword-devel] Bible reader for GamePark32

David Weisgerber sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 5 Sep 2003 10:50:44 +0200

Dear Sword Developers,
I am new to this list so first of all I want to thank you for the great work 
you have done for making open source bible reading software!

The reason why I joined this list is that I am developing myself a bible 
reader for the GP32. The GP32 is a handheld gaming console like the GameBoy 
but with some really good features:
*320x240 16 bit display
*16 bit / 44.1 kHz stereo sound
*ARM9 @ 66 up to 133 Mhz
*Smart Media Card support

As the manufacturers of this handheld actively support amateur developers it 
is not a big problem to write software for it.
As such a gaming console is different in usage from the one of a PC or another 
handheld like the zaurus I decided not to use the Sword API ( although this 
would be possible ) for my program but to develop some own data formats.
The biggest problem with the GP32 is the limited abilities of its filesystem 
(called FAT12) which has the same limits as the old MSDOS filesystem.
Another problem is the slow speed of the Smart Media Card.

Nevertheless I am using the Sword Bible Modules by having some perl scripts 
which will make this format out of them which is suitable for my gp32:
* One big file called *.bib where the whole bible text is stored in plain 
ASCII without any mark up tags
* A second file called *.def where information is stored about
a) the books which are available ( +translated book names )
b) the offset and length of each vers
c) the name of the translation

The size of the def file for my German Luther 1912 translation is around 340 
kb as the bible text has around 4 MB. My program will only read in the .def 
file which takes around 5 sec. Through I stored the offset and length of the 
vers the program has instant access to any vers of the bible.

Well that's the state of my project by now. I think it is so far a good 
replacement for a printed version of the bible but not more. I don't think 
that you will ever want to have program with the same functionalities like 
KBibleTime on such a console but you might enjoy using it on your way to work 
or somewhere else.

Please share your thoughts about it with me.
David Weisgerber

PS: I would like to publish it under the terms of the GPL and in some 
dependence to the Sword Project.