Editing source code as outlines (Real Studio network user group Mailinglist archive)

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Re: Will REALbasic Ever allow ...?   -   Geoff Perlman
  Editing source code as outlines   -   Paul Howson

Editing source code as outlines
Date: 13.12.02 03:54 (Fri, 13 Dec 2002 12:54:10 +1000)
From: Paul Howson
Following on the discussion of allowing lines to wrap, has consideration
ever been given to turning the code editor into an outliner?

Has anyone on the list used UserLand Frontier? All scripts are edited within
a built-in outliner (an innovation pioneered over ten years ago which has
been ignored by most programming tools). Outlining is a wonderful way of
managing the structure of code. You can selectively expand or collapse just
the bits you want. And you can copy/paste/move whole substructures in one

RealBasic already goes part of the way by using automatic indenting (derived
from an analysis of the code structure). Adding outlining would fit well
with this.

And on the subject of line wrapping, comments are one area where automatic
wrapping would be useful. Comments are often long ... too long for one line.
One then has to resort to manual breaking of lines, which takes us back to
the era of typewriters. After all, we've had word processors for twenty
years or more, so computers can do line breaking!

Actually an outliner based editor could be quite smart by handling comments
and code slightly differently. Comments could be given a "word processor"
style of handling while code could be more "text editor" like. (Donald Knuth
developed his pioneering concept of "literate programming" in the early 80's
which made an art out of combining code and documentation. Lamentably we're
still waiting for language editors to catch up with that innovation.
RealBasic could do some innovation in this area.)

Paul Howson
weblog: http://radio.weblogs.com/0101175/
email: <email address removed>
The Design Group Qld, Warwick Qld Australia (www.tdgq.com.au)

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