Frequently asked questions
Will the tools run on a Mac?
Not at present. The tools are written in VBA, which should work on a Mac, but they use some Win32 API calls which would have to be converted.
If you would like a Mac version then please let me know via the feature requests tracker or, better still, please join the project and write one.
Will the tools run on Open Office?
Not at present. If you open a Z document in Open Office the formatting is slightly wrong because Word and Open Office treat paragraph borders differently. However a document can be opened in OO, the non-Z text edited, and re-opened in Word without problems.
If you would like an Open Office version then please let me know via the feature requests tracker or, better still, please join the project and write one.
Do the tools support the Z standard?
Yes, since version 2 the tools support the full Z Standard and can interchange specifications with CZT.
Can I use a different typechecker?
If you have a typechecker that reads Unicode or the standard LaTeX markup then you can run it by exporting the Z text and runnning the typechecker on the exported file. Obviously this isn’t very satisfactory - you can’t, for example, relate the LaTeX line numbers to the Word document easily. If you want better integration with a typechecker other fuzz or CZT then please make suggestions initially via the mailing list.
How big can a specification be?
I don’t know - we haven’t hit an insuperable limit yet. In fact the fuzz version included with the tools has had the maximum number of items in a schema increased to 4096. To manage large specifications its best to divide them into several documents as described in the help file. Using this method we are managing specifications of several thousand pages.
Can I use a different font?
Currently the fonts are hard-coded into the tools. There is no real reason why they need to be: any font which has the Z characters in the correct Unicode positions could be used. In particular, Cambria/Cambria Math is a suitable font family. I hope to make the font configurable in a future release.
Can I import existing specifications?
There are tools for converting LaTeX documents to Word. I haven’t tried any of them and I don’t know how close you could get to the right format. If anyone has any experience of these please let me know via the mailing list.
You certainly can include existing LaTeX or Unicode documents when typechecking. So you could, for example, write an extension to an existing specification and typecheck the extension on top of the existing specification. Similarly if you have an existing specification which provides some sort of library then you can use the library when typechecking new specifications. See the help file section on typechecking options for how to do this.
Can I change the tools myself?
Yes, it’s open source! Of course, if the changes are of general interest I’d welcome your participation in the project.
If you want to change the tools independently, download the ZWordSources_<version>.zip file. This contains all the sources and some development tools:
- A design document
- A set of test documents and test scripts
- A document for auto-generating the ribbon tab
Where can I find out about Z?
There’s a wikipedia article with useful references.