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The Icon Bar: News and features: Which is your favourite RISC OS text editor?

Which is your favourite RISC OS text editor?

Posted by Mark Stephens on 06:39, 21/4/2020 |
We are very lucky on the RISC OS platform to have !Edit built into the OS and two excellent editors in Zap and StrongED. Both have their fans and both are very capable.

I have to confess a preference for Zap because of its excellent syntax colouring features for different languages and filestpypes. I have to disassemble lots of PDF files and the modes with colour highlightling makes this really easy with the PostScript mode.

Which is your favourite?
Zap website
StrongED website
  Which is your favourite RISC OS text editor?
  Elesar (07:39 21/4/2020)
  Gavin (08:03 21/4/2020)
    adrianl (14:43 26/4/2020)
  bengershon (10:27 23/4/2020)
    richw (20:54 23/4/2020)
Robert Sprowson Message #124807, posted by Elesar at 07:39, 21/4/2020
Posts: 38
There's also SrcEdit, the big sister of Edit, with programming language help lookup and similar bell & whistle (singular, it is Edit after all!).

In the BonusBin download on ROOL's website.

[Edited by Elesar at 08:41, 21/4/2020]
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Gavin Wraith Message #124808, posted by Gavin at 08:03, 21/4/2020, in reply to message #124807
Posts: 31
When Sussex university had an econetwork of Archimedes, for teaching, and StrongED was still commercial, I paid Guttorm Vik for a site licence. When Guttorm was called up to do his Norwegian military service he made StrongED free. After Fred Graute took over maintenance and development he responded to my suggestions about dragging scripts (initially awk scripts) into StrongED windows. Occasionally I use Zap, but I like the appearance and configurability of StrongED, especially the scriptability, which is far more powerful than any feature that the other editors can boast.
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David Boddie Message #124809, posted by davidb at 20:13, 21/4/2020
Posts: 147
When I used RISC OS 3.1 on a 1MB A3000, Zap was my editor of choice. I kept going with it when I got an 8MB A7000+, then I (re-)discovered StrongEd via StrongHelp and gave it a try.

Ultimately, I used StrongEd for all my normal editing and only went back to Zap for disassembly and things. It was easier to add new highlighting modes to StrongEd - something that was unnecessarily hard to do in Zap.
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Michael Grunditz Message #124810, posted by micken at 12:15, 22/4/2020, in reply to message #124809
Posts: 17
I like the edit capabilities of Zap but nowadays I use StrongED. It is much more stable when editing 30+ files. It also has a nice windowlist and global search on all open files.
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Andrew Duffell Message #124811, posted by ad at 20:49, 22/4/2020, in reply to message #124810

Posts: 3261
I've not used RISC OS for a long time, but always liked Zap.
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #124812, posted by arawnsley at 21:22, 22/4/2020, in reply to message #124811
R-Comp chap
Posts: 589
Both myself and Alan Wrigley still use DeskEdit, although I doubt many others would agree. I have to admit, I always admire StrongEd's UI and syntax colouring, and would almost certainly recommend that in preference for most people.

DeskEdit has a number of fairly unique features, though. It is essentially a massively expanded !(Src)Edit, so has the benefit of complete muscle-memoory for anyone used to Edit.

It adds important features like "list of finds" browser, throwback for compilers etc, and a programmer's calculator which is handy.

However, my favourite feature has always been its (rudimentary) understanding of C and BASIC syntax. When programming in C, it'll remind you if you're missing a semi-colon on the end of a line, add suitable braces for loops and the like, and warn you of mismatched brackets etc.

It also has a number of oddball features - better than average printing for a text editor, for example, notes, markers, macros, command/utils menu, and so on.

Not one for everyone, surely, but a neat program nevertheless. It dates from before StrongEd/Zap, primarily, and is certainly superseded by them for 95% of tasks, but it is dear to me nonetheless. I even have an original copy with printed manual smile

[Edited by arawnsley at 22:25, 22/4/2020]
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Michael Ben-Gershon Message #124813, posted by bengershon at 10:27, 23/4/2020, in reply to message #124807
Posts: 6
Zap always. For files on my Windows computer as well, if I really need to get down to the nitty gritty of the file. And especially for files containing Hebrew text, where Windows will uncontrollably put in right-to-left text correction, which makes awkward computer generated files very difficult to edit correctly.
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Richard Walker Message #124814, posted by richw at 20:54, 23/4/2020, in reply to message #124813
Posts: 64
Back in the day I always used Zap. I quickly realised that Edit was pants, and for some reason, I didn't get on with StrongEd.

But after coming back to RISC OS on the Pi, I just installed StrongEd and used it to write code. Zap looked like an effort to get working, although I gather Rick Murray has been working to improve this.

So I'm one of this oddballs who answers, 'both', to the editor question! smile

I did venture into a Zap archive to find the LineEdtor module, as I think the RISC OS command line is unusable without it!
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Adrian Lees Message #124815, posted by adrianl at 14:43, 26/4/2020, in reply to message #124808
Posts: 1637
StrongED all the way, albeit I still want to write 'my own perfect editor' one day! I am so much a fan of StrongED that when the StrongARM CPU arrived and my copy stopped working, I located the offending self-modifying code and wrote a StrongEDPatch module to resurrected it grin

[Edited by adrianl at 15:44, 26/4/2020]
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The Icon Bar: News and features: Which is your favourite RISC OS text editor?