Project Support in RText

The next release of RText will include support for projects.  Projects are collections of files logically grouped together, usually a part of the same application if you’re a developer.

The project support will be not be of the same scope as projects in Eclipse, NetBeans, or Visual Studio.  Rather, RText will take the approach used by other “programmer’s editors.”

The main UI component of projects support is the “Projects” docked window.  By default it is docked on the left-hand side of RText:

Projects Support Main Panel

Projects Support Main Panel

The root node in the tree view is the current workspace.  A workspace is simply a collection of zero or more projects.  This allows you to logically group projects that are related, for example.

Workspaces are loaded and saved as XML files.  On startup, RText loads the last project you had open.  You can create a new workspace, or open an existing one, via the docked window’s popup menu:

Open an Existing Project

Open an Existing Project

Opening another workspace  automatically saves the currently open one; this way, you don’t have to worry about manually saving your workspaces or projects.

Adding a new Project to the workspace is as easy as right-clicking, selecting “New Project…”, and giving the project a name.  You can use any characters you want in project names, as they aren’t represented by a physical file or folder (they’re simply “metadata” in the parent workspace’s XML).

In each project you create, you can add Files, Folders, and Logical Folders via the context menu:

Adding an Item to a Project

Adding an Item to a Project

The “Add Files…” menu item allows you to add one or more files to the project.  Again, the files in a project don’t need to live in a common parent directory, since the project is a logical grouping of files and folders.

The “Add Folder…” menu item allows you to add an entire folder to the project.  Not only that, but you can filter what files are displayed in the project UI.  So you could only dispaly *c, *.cpp, and *.h files, for example, or filter out “CVS” folders or *.bak files.

Finally, “Add Logical Folder…” adds a folder to the project that doesn’t actually exist on disk, but you can still add files, folders, and other logical folders to it.  Think of it as an extra organizational tool; you can logically group files in the UI with logical folders.

That’s it in a nutshell.  The plugin is fully integrated with RText – double-clicking a file opens it in an editor, you can delete or rename files directly from the plugin tree view, etc.  It’s already in SVN, so check it out and see what you think!

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