[Lexicog] Issues regarding a free dictionary

billposer at ALUM.MIT.EDU billposer at ALUM.MIT.EDU
Fri Dec 9 19:09:55 UTC 2005

	I am going to somehow publish information  about how words
	are stored into the database so that people can create
	applications that use the database. Presently I am kind of
	figuring  that out...what is a file format that is cross
	platform...a text file?  May be but I really don't have
	much awareness in this direction.

Yes, use a text file. That will be much easier for other people
to parse and avoids problems of different machine representations
and so forth. If you don't have a lot of hierarchical structure,
use a simple format like that of Shoebox. That is trivial to parse
and can easily be converted into whatever datastructures other
people want to use. If you have more hierarchical structure, use
XML. That's a bit more work to deal with, but there are XML parsers
available for all major programming languages.

My other recommendation is to keep in mind the distinction between
the format that your program uses internally and the export format.
The export format is the one that other people will generally be
concerned about. You may wish to use some other non-portable format
internally for efficiency, e.g. some kind of tree structure or
trie for rapid search. So long as you provide a way to import and
export a portable text file other people should be happy.


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