WebScripter hold ups

3 months after the first Intel native release and still I have not produced anything like I had hoped. I made a terrible mistake in deciding what the first new feature I should add was: code folding. This was a intensely complicated feature to implement and complicated the editor down to every detail from copy/pasting, saving/loading and typing/syntax styling. Let it be known, WebScripter does have a pretty nice implementation working but the system has put such a strain on the text editor API WASTE it has forced to remove it altogether. This was a long time coming considering the crippling speed issue and developer failing to provide support. He is btw basically quitting WASTE, I should have known this 2 years ago…

 

Code Folding Preview
Next version preview (2.1)

I wrote about this headache before regarding PascalGladiator but the root is in WebScripter. This means before the next version I will be up-rooting the text editor and implementing the Cocoa system NSTextView using the new experiemental PasCocoa Objective-C runtime wrapper. I just can’t accept that I am developing programmer tools that rely on a text editor at the core but editing files around 1000 lines is too slow to use. Before code folding it was still a joke, but now it’s just silly.

However I still was able to create some new features that are in development but near the end.

First is the Reference Mode. I wanted this feature for a while now as I’m sick of switching back and forth between browsers and editors to get function arguments and the likes. What’s special about the system in WebScripter is it allows you to design search rules (using Regular Expressions) that can crawl and index a site like a search engine. There will be basics pre-loaded with the release but you can customize and add new web sites on your own. After a site has been indexed you can search the contents from the book mode pane (seen in the screen shot above) or contextual click on code and it will bring you right to the page you need in the reference library. Really useful feature and it’s totally customizable to the user.

Second is inline error checking. I felt the error checking process was intrusive (bringing down a list above the editor, however this will remain available) and that the information could be contained in the gutter using icons and floating help windows. In PHP which has great error handling you can see the stack trace in the gutter and the value of variables by dragging the cursor over them in the text editor. Additionally, real time syntax checks will be available as you type.

But the changes I really wanted to make are more towards user experience and simplifying the preview/run/error system which is just cluttered as of now.  This should have all happened by now if not for the the mistakes I made. Until next time…

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