Author Topic: SlickEdit not for amateurs?  (Read 4713 times)

rfrank23

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SlickEdit not for amateurs?
« on: June 17, 2007, 01:18:40 pm »
I used UltraEdit on Windows and liked it. In switching to Linux, I chose SlickEdit and I think that was the right choice. There was something I wanted to be able to do in a macro that's easy in UltraEdit and--well, I don't know in SlickEdit.

The issue is one of a barrier to entry. For "real" programmers, SE has umpteen features and the forum is full of detailed technical solutions. For non-programmers, they should stick to Scite or gedit or whatever anyway. But I'm in the middle, and I am finding it difficult to find answers to some of my mid-level questions. I suspect others searching the community forum feel the same way.

Here's the question that should have a simple answer, easily found, but which remains elusive. I want to start recording a macro, then search for a pattern. I want that spot to be marked in some way. Then I want to search for another pattern. I want everything from the first mark to the second match to be selected. Then I want the macro to delete that segment.  In UltraEdit, it's simply a matter of doing the search with the control-shift-F instead of control-F to highlight up to the next search match and it's well documented. In SlickEdit, it's just not anywhere a new and middle-level user can find.

Another annoyance is that in editing HTML, if I delete a single line it can take up to 17 seconds to show the line deleted. In the meantime, my CPU goes to 100% and I just have to wait. This is in editing an HTML version of a book, something I do all the time. I have to edit the html code as plain text because I'm not smart enough to know how to make it editable as HTML without the impossible delays. (12.0.1)

The solution to the first problem is not the major issue, though I would like to know how to do it. I know I can use a RE, but again I'm thinking about the amateur programmer, not the pro. Editing the file as .txt and not .html is a workaround for the second problem. But the point is that information and solutions to these problems are not easily found. I think if the SE developers could make the product more approachable and usable for the person who is not a developer, they would greatly increase their user base (and revenue). Perhaps the high price, even for educators like me, is set where it is to discourage those who are going to ask these questions if they try to use it.

Please nobody misunderstand. SE is undoubtedly a great product and I'm going to get smarter about using it, somehow. I just wish that wasn't quite such a daunting task.

StephenW

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Re: SlickEdit not for amateurs?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2007, 10:13:39 pm »
I would have to agree that getting started with macro programming is a bit of a pain.  The documentation is getting better though, and the team is putting some effort into that.  But the macro set is now so rich, and has grown rather than been designed from the ground up, so finding the exact thing you want even when you know your way around is often not easy.  And it is usually the simple things that are the hardest to find.

You might like to read the PDF file that is installed with V12 "Slick-C Programming Best Practices".  You can find it from "Start/All programs/SlickEdit 2007/Slick-C Programming Best Practices".  The section "Finding Help and Examples" is very useful.  In your particular case, recording a macro while doing the steps you outlined and then looking at the code produced would tell you what you need to know.

rfrank23

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Re: SlickEdit not for amateurs?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2007, 05:28:47 am »
Thanks for the reply. I'll learn what I can by following your suggestion. However, looking at the code generated by a working macro only works if you know how to enter the macro manually in the first place. How do you select all text from the current cursor position to the result of a find? Seems it should be something documented. Another non-expert question: what keys are recommended for user-defined macros? I usually guess and find my guess is already bound to something else.

Maybe the thing to do is to start a "no dumb questions" thread for questions like these so there would be a less intimidating place to ask than in the forum with the detailed, technical questions. Just a thought.

hs2

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Re: SlickEdit not for amateurs?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2007, 09:32:55 am »
@rfrank23:
Don't expect that everthing is super-easy right from the beginning ;) This also applies to Slick-C macro programming...
Quote
How do you select all text from the current cursor position to the result of a find ?
Just start a (appropriate) selection (depends on your select style - @see  Tools->Options->General->Selections) and use one of the various find/search commands.
This can be easily macro-recorded.

You could create your own macro commands which allows much more flexibilty (e.g. by using explicit arguments/options instead of being config-dependent).
Simple example (it's rather pseudo-code):
Code: [Select]
   deselect();

   // find beginning of region to select
   find();

   // start extendable,persistent selection
   _select_char('', 'CP');

   // find end of region to delete
   find();

   _delete_selection();

Documentation is already quite comprehensive and is getting better and better (thanks Lisa).
But finding the information you really need is a common problem with all huge docs, right ?
However, there is a good chance to get answers here in the forum.
@SlickTeam: Maybe it's an idea to publish the docs as html that google can index it.
As I know that quite a number of (real) programmers are using google to find sth. in the M$ docs insead of using the (bloated) dexplorer.

HS2

Lisa

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Re: SlickEdit not for amateurs?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2007, 03:22:00 pm »
Documentation is already quite comprehensive and is getting better and better (thanks Lisa).
But finding the information you really need is a common problem with all huge docs, right ?
However, there is a good chance to get answers here in the forum.
@SlickTeam: Maybe it's an idea to publish the docs as html that google can index it.
As I know that quite a number of (real) programmers are using google to find sth. in the M$ docs insead of using the (bloated) dexplorer.

HS2

Thanks HS2 :) You are right - we are trying to make the docs better with each release. Thanks for bringing up HTML help - we are indeed hoping to get our docs truly online (in HTML as you say, accessible from our website) as soon as possible. In fact we have been working on it for awhile now. We are working on converting the docs internally to a format that is more easily worked into a variety of outputs. We hope to be able to publish the Help and also update it more frequently, so that it is always up to date, so users don't have to wait on official product releases. We are also looking into ways of improving the Help so you can find things more easily (improved search functionality).

- Lisa

hs2

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Re: SlickEdit not for amateurs?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2007, 03:37:11 pm »
Marvellous ! That's surely the next big thing after launching 'The Forum' :) (besides the product improvements of course)
HS2

BTW: The weather in Italy is really great at the moment. I don't think it will change next time...

Lisa

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OT: Re: SlickEdit not for amateurs?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2007, 04:46:28 pm »

BTW: The weather in Italy is really great at the moment. I don't think it will change next time...

Ahh! I hope it stays great - 7 days to go!  ;D  But of course I'd rather be in Italy in bad weather than here in bad weather haha!