Sofu – Coding Mania

I had a coding attack this week and wrote a lot new stuff for Sofu:

First of all I finally finished (and documented) Data::Sofu and Config::Sofu which are currently processed by CPAN and should be there soon.

And to satisfy my coding needs I implemented the long planned Binary Sofu file format. Which can be streamed over 7-Bit only streams or just written to a file. The reader even autodetects binary files and reads them as if they were normal ones. Maybe later I could implement something like XMLRPC (maybe SofuRPC).

Then I went a coded Sofu.Net in about 2 days, my first “real” C# project. I had used C# only for study so far, but I was quite happy with the language. I think I should test some other languages as well, maybe a JSofu or one for Phyton. Sofu is a nice task to implement, most time was consumed by the documentation anyway.

Both can be downloaded at Sourceforge and

By the way: Anyone noticed how hard it is to extract the in-line documentation of .Net Projects to a simple browse-able HTML page?

It took me 3 hours, first I tried NDoc, but that only works for .Net 1.1, then NDoc 2005. which assumed some strange directory structure and always wanted to have its files in my personal folder (Users\Maluku\AppData\Documentor ???) and only says to work on 2.0 (Didn’t work at all for me, even after I ported my project to .Net 2.0).

Next up was Microsoft Sandcastle, which is quite good with the extracting, but someone has to be punished for that User-Interface. So I tried Sandcastle-Builder, which said all went fine but it produced no output. (Or one empty file after some tweaking).

I tried DocProject next, but the web-page was slow as hell and made no sense to me.

Finally I got it to work with Sandcastle Help File Builder (from the same website), which looks like NDoc but works and produced:

One .chm file.

Which I couldn’t use to put on the Internet, so I had to extract that one (with chm2web.) which looks quite nice now.

Suddenly I came to realize why I love Perl so much. You just include your documentation using POD in the file and then run pod2html or pod2latex or pod2wiki or whatever you like on the file and you are done. That’s why the documentation for Data::Sofu only took about 30 Minutes (including building a .css and some frames around the generated .html files).

8 Responses to Sofu – Coding Mania

  1. Dave Sexton says:

    About DocProject, what did you mean by, “the web-page was slow as hell and made no sense to me”?

    I’m the author, and I truly don’t know what you mean by that 🙂

    – Dave

  2. maluku says:

    I was talking about, which took 3 Minutes to load. (Still does.) And I found no simple instruction set how to install it.
    I found a wiki, but since evey page took 3 Minutes to load, I gave up soon.

  3. Dave Sexton says:

    Well, the wiki is hosted by CodePlex, so there’s nothing I can do about that.

    The instructions are here:

    Thanks anyway for trying 🙂

  4. maluku says:

    I will try it again, because I updated the program and I don’t wanna go through the whole stuff again…

  5. maluku says:

    Nope, still no chance, installs but DocProject External UI crashes and Visual C# Express won’t compile….

  6. maluku says:

    Can’t get him to give some error messages btw. Visual C# Express says just “It threw an exception” when I add the project or try to compile.
    DocProject External UI does no error messages and there is no errors in the logs of Windows.

    Using Windows Vista x64 German btw. maybe thats the reason.

  7. Dave Sexton says:

    I build the software on Vista and I’ve tested against C# Express on XP (both 32 bit English), but I’ve never had a problem before that didn’t get logged.

    Are you running VS and the External UI as an Administrator?

    At which point does the External UI fail?

    (Thanks BTW for the feedback)

  8. Dave Sexton says:

    If you wouldn’t mind, maybe we could discuss this in DocProject’s forums so that it may help others as well. It’s up to you, of course. If you want, start a new thread here:

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