Monday, January 30, 2006

RB CodeHelper Lite: New "Better Beta" Available!

A new version of RB CodeHelper Lite is ready for people to beta-test, with some enhancements by Mark Nutter (read on!) and some bug fixes! I very much appreciate Mark's kind comments about the program as well as his his additions to the code.

Below are comments from two recent emails from him (the ">" indicates his quoting of my previous email, and ">>" indicates my quoting of his original email):

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RB Code Helper Lite on Mac
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006
From: Mark Nutter
To: Barry Traver

Hi Barry,

I just downloaded RB Code Helper Lite, and since you asked for some
Mac vetting, I thought I'd send back some comments....

GUI issues: In the Source tab, the SourceTopGoButton does not look
right on my Mac--the font is distorted somehow due to being too big
to fit in the button. I changed the fontsize back to zero in the
IDE, and it looks much nicer on my system. Also the "Whole Word"
checkbox next to it was word-wrapping; I changed the width to 118
and it straightened out again.

I must say, though, it looks very good, and I'm very pleased with it.
I've been writing some articles for the RBLibrary, and I'm very
enthusiastic about having something like this around to help tidy up
and extract the source code listings for my articles. I did a bit of
playing around with the source code since you were kind enough to
include it, and I'm sending back a contribution, if you're
interested. I've shoehorned in an Acrobat-style bookmarks pane
beside the source code view, i.e., a hierarchical listbox that gives
all the objects in the source code, and underneath, if you click on
the disclosure rectangle, each of the methods in the object.
Double-clicking on any item takes you to the source code for that
item in the listing.

It's just a rough cut, but I thought it might interest you. It gave
me a few hours amusement :) I hooked it into your DoIndent method
and your GetCurrentX and GetCurrentS methods, and [it] wasn't too
hard once I figured out your code enough to keep track of where each
method was appearing in the final text buffer. It could use a nice
SplitPane control so it could be resized, but otherwise it seems to
be working fairly nicely now. Take the code and do with it as you
will, I am making it as a contribution in thanks/return for your own.

I also added Cut/Copy/Paste to the Edit menu and disabled the code
for hiding it, but that was just for my own personal utility so I
could cut and paste the code listings; hope you don't mind my messing
with that. I tried to mark all my code changes with "////// mn" so
hopefully you should be able to find everything by searching for that
particular string.

Thanks again for all the work you put into this, it looks like a
cool/clever/useful tool.

Cheers.

Mark

---End of Original Message ---

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: RB Code Helper Lite on Mac
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006
From: Mark Nutter
To: Barry Traver

>... Incidentally, when downloading a text file from the Internet, RB
>CodeHelper Lite (RBCHL) can tell you after it is downloaded (and
>unzipped, if necessary) whether it's a Mac file, a Windows file, or
>a Linux file. It's commented out, but it's in the OpenXMLFile
>Method.

Cool, I'll have to check that out.

>>I must say, though, it looks very good, and I'm very pleased with
>>it. I've been writing some articles for the RBLibrary, and I'm very
>>enthusiastic about having something like this around to help tidy
>>up and extract the source code listings for my articles.
>
>Can I quote you on that?

Be my guest. :)

>Anyway, I share the source code ("warts and all") for almost
>everything I write, in the hope that people will share back, either
>source code for programs which they've written or comments on how
>my own source code can be improved. (By the way, what is the
>status of the source code of the program you sent? If (as I expect
>I will) incorporate the suggested changes in future versions of
>RBCHL, do you have any objections to my sharing the source code
>publicly?

It's yours to do with however you see fit. Credit would be
appreciated but is not required. It is intended as a contribution in
kind to thank you for making your code available.

>>I've shoehorned in an Acrobat-style bookmarks pane beside the
>>source code view, i.e a hierarchical listbox that gives all the
>>objects in the source code, and underneath, if you click on the
>>disclosure rectangle, each of the methods in the object.
>>Double-clicking on any item takes you to the source code for that
>>item in the listing.
>
>BRB. I just tried it out. Your description seduced me into
>stopping to take a look at what you did, and I love it! Can I share
>it with others and/or incorporate it as a permanent addition to the
>program?

Sure, whatever you like. I'm glad you like it. :)

[snip comments about internal format of RB XML files -- I definitely
want to keep that around for my records, I've poked around that
format myself and noticed some of the same *ahem* irregularities as
you, but I think you've gone farther than I in sleuthing them out.]

>RB CodeHelper Lite is a subset of a larger CodeHelper program,
>which includes some features that no longer work properly
>(although many do). One feature which may or may not now work
>is one that I found to be very helpful. Let me describe it.
>
>I hate setting initial values of control Properties within the RB IDE.
>Therefore I wrote for CodeHelper a routine so that you could
>_safely_ and _easily_ edit the initial values for control
>Properties. The only thing I hadn't (and haven't) worked out was
>(and is) the ability to handle control arrays, but most Projects
>don't use control arrays, and the routine made it easy for me to set
>the various control attributes in a very friendly fashion. (And if
>you did have control arrays, you could always do normal
>"unprotected" altering of the XML code.)
>
>When you chose to edit initial values for control properties, you
>were taken to the appropriate place in the XML display. You could
>edit what was between the ">" and the "<" but not move left or right
>over those symbols. You were confined to an appropriate field. If
>you pressed the down arrow, you were taken to the next appropriate
>field to edit (usually on the immediate line below, but occasionally
>you'd jump to the next control). (The up arrow worked in a similar
>fashion.)
>
>Does that sound like a useful feature to you? Or do you have some
>suggestions as to some useful features that you might like to see
>added?

Yes, that sounds like a good feature for a number of applications:
XML editor, HTML editor (with templates), as well as CodeHelper....

>>... I tried to mark all my code changes with "////// mn" so
>>hopefully you should be able to find everything by searching for
>>that particular string.
>
>RBCHL has its own particular special combinations for comment
>symbols, here and there. If you inspect the code, for example,
>you'll see that "///" is a marker for what might be called a
>"permanent comment," one that RB CodeHelper Lite is not supposed
>to remove.
>
>>Thanks again for all the work you put into this, it looks like a
>>cool/clever/useful tool.
>
>Again, can I quote you on that? Or would you be willing to write up
>a couple of sentences that you wouldn't mind my quoting? I've asked
>so many "stupid" questions on the RB mail lists that I'm not sure
>what credibility I have as a programmer, so a comment from
>someone like you could be helpful. (No pressure, however.)

You can quote me, and don't worry about credibility. Stupid questions
made me what I am today. :) When you can ask a question, get an
answer, and turn it into useful code, what else is there? I know a
lot of people that can get an answer and still can't write the code,
and I know even more who can't even ask the question!

Cheers.

Mark

---End of Original Message ---

Important: RB CodeHelper Lite is still in beta-test format, so additional feedback would be much appreciated, especially from people with Macs. (For a demo of just one of its seventy-seven or more features, go to http://traver.org/ss/.)

Barry Traver



Home Page for This Blog: http://traverrb.blogspot.com/

Programs and Files Discussed in the Blog: http://traver.org/traverrb/

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