08-24-2007, 01:57 PM
I was wondering if anyone knew of any books or some good websites that explain about the conversion process. I would like to start making some simple text converters but do not know anything about the process, so any information would be a great help.
The whole idea of converters and compression has always intrigued me so really information about either one would be great.
ralph l mayo
08-26-2007, 09:26 PM
Compression involves some heavy theory, particularly lossy compression where it may be very difficult to come up with a fast heuristic to determine what information is acceptable to lose. This page seems to have a good run-down to begin with: http://www.data-compression.com/theory.html
Converting between two file formats is much more straightforward. Basically you just need to be able to create arbitrary documents of both types. Represent the same information in both documents manually and look at the saved format to see if you can draw parallels. Make very small changes to each document and use a utility like 'diff' to analyze their effect on the output. Eventually you should establish a rough mapping between the two formats, after which it's quite simple to automate it. It'll probably be completely broken for non-trivial cases at first, but unit testing can get you the rest of the way once you've got the basic working.