Archive for September, 2010

Syntax Highlighting in ‘Find in Files’ Dialog

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

The latest change pushed to RText’s SVN is: syntax highlighting in the “Find in Files” dialog’s search results:

Syntax Highlighted Search Results

Syntax Highlighted Search Results

This is something I’ve wanted to do forever, but just never got around to it.  While it might not help you write better code, I believe it’s the little “extra” features like this that make an application fun to work with.

RText 1.2.0 Released!

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I’m happy to announce that RText 1.2.0 was just released yesterday!

RText 1.2.0

RText 1.2.0

It’s been a long time coming, almost 6 months since the last release.  There are plenty of new goodies this time around that make it worth updating:

  1. Language support added for C, Java, Perl, PHP, HTML and shell scripting (code completion for all, varying degrees of syntax checking for others).  While no Eclipse by any means, even the simplest of code completion support takes RText to another level of usability.  This is one area that will definitely be expanded moving forward.  Note that the focus is not on code project management, but simply on being able to provide code completion to speed up editing code.
  2. A huge number of usability improvements to the editor component.
  3. Format HTML and XML code with new JTidy integration.  Formatting options are configurable in the Options dialog.
  4. Added ActionScript syntax highlighting.
  5. Added a new option to ignore the extensions “.bak”, “.old” and “.orig” when opening files and determining their type.  This comes in very handy when you’re constantly making backups for some reason, like I do.
  6. “Experimental” translucent search window (Find, Replace) support if you’re running Java 6u10 or newer.  Note that in my testing, the translucency support in the JVM only seems to be reliable starting around 6u16 or so.  This is just a visual gag to make RText seem cooler, but it’s fun nonetheless, and it does have a practical use – make the dialogs translucent when overlapping the main editor window, so you can see any code they overlap.  When and just-how translucent they are is configurable in the Options dialog.
  7. Greatly improved “File System Tree” plugin, allowing you drill down into directories, create new files and folders, etc.  This should have happened a long time ago.  In the next release you should be able to copy, rename and delete files from the tree as well.
  8. Improved performance of file chooser when browsing NFS paths on Windows.
  9. Tons of minor usability improvements.

Upgrade today and see what you think!

“Block Selection” branch added to RSyntaxTextArea SVN

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

An oft-requested feature is block selection.  Unfortunately, this is pretty difficult to implement in Swing, for a couple of reasons.

  1. Swing’s text package keeps a lot of handy implementation hooks private and package-private.
  2. Swing’s text package’s idea of “selection” is pretty much hard-coded to mean “a contiguous range of text.”

In Java 6, #1 above has been (mostly) remedied, making it a good deal easier to implement this feature completely if your text component only supports Java 6+.  Unfortunately for us, RSyntaxTextArea supports from 1.4 up!

Because of this, adding block selection to RSTA will be tricky.  Fortunately, I’ve been motivated to finally put forth some effort to make this a reality.  I’ve added a branch in SVN specifically for exploring block selection, and already, a little progress has been made:

Block Selection

Block Selection

Obvious issues include:

  • Cut doesn’t work properly (though Copy does)
  • Drag-and-drop of a block selection doesn’t work (not sure this is possible, at least with pre-1.6)
  • Typing over a block selection doesn’t have the “expected” behavior of typing on all block-selected lines

Hopefully more progress will be made soon!