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Author Topic: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?  (Read 12079 times)

superboyac

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Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« on: March 22, 2008, 01:51:31 AM »
I've been using the Bat for a couple of years now, and I still don't know what's so great about MicroEd.  I'm not trying to be an asshole or anything, I just don't see any (really, none at all) advantages that MicroEd has over a normal text editor.  All I can think of is hassles.  For example, in a regular text editor, if I didn't type any characters in a space, like the space below or at the end of a line, if I click in the blank area, it won't go past the last character that's been typed.  In MicroEd, the whole space is fair game for clicking, so if I click somewhere empty that's where the cursor goes.  But never once have I had the need to type somewhere, and then type something else in a completely separate location like that.  Why would anyone need that?  That's the only difference between MicroEd and normal editors that I can see:  the fact that you can click and type anywhere.  But it's a hassle, that's all it is.  I'm always checking to see if I'm REALLY at the end or beginning of a line because you never know with MicroEd, the only way to be sure is to use the Home and End buttons.
I just don't get it.  Please tell me the advantages of this, or else I'm just going to turn it off.

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2008, 06:54:44 PM »
I realize that this has been dormant, but I saw no reponses so I'll take a crack at it...

From TheBAT! help files...

MicroEd creates simple plain text messages, which can be opened and read by every e-mail program. Only fixed-pitch fonts (like Courier) are allowed.

It uses the free caret approach allowing you to place the cursor wherever you want and start typing. This is especially useful to create tables, hanging paragraphs and formatted text.

(emphasis mine).

For me creating the tables is the most useful as I find it necessary to send something like an itemized quote, etc. 

Maybe not "... so great," but useful at times.

<edits>

superboyac

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2008, 12:42:40 PM »
Thanks for the response!
Yeah, I understand the inherent usefulness of the free caret.  But in the 2 years that I've been using the Bat, I have never needed to type outside of the normal paragraph parameters.  The rest of the time, the free caret is an annoyance, because I have to make sure I click the mouse in just the right place where I want to type.  In normal typing applications, I can click the mouse anywhere past the last character in the paragraph, and the caret will just stay at the end.  There's less thinking, it's just easier.

What I'm saying is that although MicroEd has definite advantages, those features are used so little and rarely (for me) that the rest of the time, those additional features are just a nuisance and results in more work and thinking for me.  Anyway, I haven't been using MicroEd lately.

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2008, 01:31:07 AM »
Sounds like a keystroke toggle or button would be a nice addition.  Default off/on per user requirement, but a toggle-the-function-when-needed button would solve the issue.  Given the advantage of a free caret in writing tables, this would make the whole usefulness of MicroEd rise to the top if one didn't have to dredge through the preferences/options to turn it off/on, at least for me.   Would this make it more attractive to you?

Edit - Corrections
« Last Edit: June 18, 2008, 10:11:06 PM by CodeTRUCKER »

superboyac

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2008, 10:33:45 AM »
Sounds like a keystroke toggle or button would be a nice addition.  Default off/on per user requirement, but a toggle-the-function-when-needed button would solve the issue.  Given the advantage of a free caret in writing tables, this would make the whole usefulness of MicroEd rise to the top if one didn't have to dredge through the preferences/options to turn it off/on, at least for me.   Would this make it more attractive to you?

Serghei, are you listening?
Sounds good to me.  But there's already a quick toggle on the bottom of the message window where you can select between microed and regular windows (and html I think).  I just use the regular plain windows setting.  Without the free caret, what's so great about microed?  Wouldn't it be the same as the plain windows setting?

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2008, 10:26:55 PM »
Sounds like a keystroke toggle or button would be a nice addition.  Default off/on per user requirement, but a toggle-the-function-when-needed button would solve the issue.  Given the advantage of a free caret in writing tables, this would make the whole usefulness of MicroEd rise to the top if one didn't have to dredge through the preferences/options to turn it off/on, at least for me.   Would this make it more attractive to you?

Sounds good to me.  But there's already a quick toggle on the bottom of the message window where you can select between microed and regular windows (and html I think).  I just use the regular plain windows setting.  Without the free caret, what's so great about microed?  Wouldn't it be the same as the plain windows setting?

I am afraid that I don't understand what it is you are saying?  When I use the MicroEd setting I am able to accomplish things that are majorly laborious (IMO) in Plain Text mode.  Unless I am missing something, MicroEd does what the other settings can't.  By way of expressing my thoughts, here is an experiment...
Try attempting to create a table in Plain Text or better yet try an artistic hand at creating an ASCII picture in Plain Text mode.   This would be a significant undertaking outside of MicroEd, unless maybe there is a free-caret function in plain 'ol Windows I have never been aware of?

Apparently someone smarter than me will have to attempt to expound on whatever other virtues MicroEd holds outside of my own puny experience.   Good luck!

Regardless what the outcome of this thread  will be, I am very grateful that you posted as I was unaware of the short-cut that already exists.  This is a real boon to my productivity.  :Thmbsup:

superboyac

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2008, 02:56:12 AM »
I am afraid that I don't understand what it is you are saying?  When I use the MicroEd setting I am able to accomplish things that are majorly laborious (IMO) in Plain Text mode.  Unless I am missing something, MicroEd does what the other settings can't.  By way of expressing my thoughts, here is an experiment...
Try attempting to create a table in Plain Text or better yet try an artistic hand at creating an ASCII picture in Plain Text mode.   This would be a significant undertaking outside of MicroEd, unless maybe there is a free-caret function in plain 'ol Windows I have never been aware of?

Apparently someone smarter than me will have to attempt to expound on whatever other virtues MicroEd holds outside of my own puny experience.   Good luck!

Regardless what the outcome of this thread  will be, I am very grateful that you posted as I was unaware of the short-cut that already exists.  This is a real boon to my productivity.  :Thmbsup:

Well, that's just it.  How many times have I needed to create a table or ASCII art in email?  I would say zero times since 2007.  I don't know how you use your email, but if you're doing a lot of tables and ascii art in emails, then I can see how Microed is very useful for you.  But I would have to assume 90% of email users are in my camp.  And if you don't need the free caret cursor for thsoe very specific functions, then the free caret is actually a bit of a nuisance. 

rjbull

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2008, 03:32:03 AM »
I just wish TB! would let you define your own text editor  :(  I was a "point" on Fidonet for ten years, using the mighty GoldED, and while GoldED had a rudimentary text editor built in, for normal messages I preferred to use my favourite text editor VDE under it.  I fail to see why Windows programs can't do the same   >:(


f0dder

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2008, 08:33:51 AM »
I just wish TB! would let you define your own text editor  :(  I was a "point" on Fidonet for ten years, using the mighty GoldED, and while GoldED had a rudimentary text editor built in, for normal messages I preferred to use my favourite text editor VDE under it.  I fail to see why Windows programs can't do the same   >:(
Some do (like the "It's All Text!" extension for FireFox), but it usually involves temporary files and is somewhat messy. Instead, most applications simply adopt the existing windows editor interface & shortcut keys, and it works well enough for most people - learn one, rule all.
- carpe noctem

superboyac

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2008, 10:32:22 AM »
A text editor is one thing, and a email text editor is another.  Sure, they can be the same, but they don't have to be.

A lot of people (here, especially) will use text editors for a variety of tasks and actually prefer them to the alternatives, whether it is notepad or MS Word.  That's we have a DC review of text editors here.

But this is not the same as using the text editor for an email program.  In email, 99% of the time, there isn't anything really happening besides regular words and sentences.  No programming, no tables, no ascii art.  Yeah, you can do this stuff also, but like I said, 99% of the people don't.  Maybe some rtf formatting is used once in a while.  So, we don't need a full featured text editor for email.  Especially if it slows us down.

You just go into an email message, type in a few lines, and send it off.  You want this done as quickly and efficiently as possible.  The reason why MicroEd is inefficient for me is because you have to always be very precise about where you click the mouse (because of the free caret).  It's too much thinking.  Sometimes you click at the beginning of the line and you wonder, "Am I really at the beginning of the line?"  THen you press "Home" just to make sure.  If the free caret wasn't there, you know for sure that the cursor will be at the beginning of the blank line because it can't be anywhere else.

My suggestion for MicroEd--take out the free caret or make it a toggle option.  But then I come back to my original question, without the free caret, what's the big deal about MicroEd?

Dormouse

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2008, 12:18:14 PM »
I knew nothing about MicroED. Reading the thread led me to believe it came with The Bat!. When I check The Bat!, I find that I have enabled MicroED and have been using it all the time. Don't think I have ever used any of these specialised functions though. And never had any caret or mouse problems.

superboyac

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2008, 01:50:58 PM »
I knew nothing about MicroED. Reading the thread led me to believe it came with The Bat!. When I check The Bat!, I find that I have enabled MicroED and have been using it all the time. Don't think I have ever used any of these specialised functions though. And never had any caret or mouse problems.
Dormouse, I find that extremely hard to believe (that you never realized that you were using MicroEd.).  You're telling me that you never ever noticed that you can click anywhere and the cursor will appear there?

Dormouse

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2008, 02:46:29 PM »
Realised I could, but never wanted to. Never thought about it. That's the way some programs work. Not an issue. Never took in the name. I don't tend to pay attention to details like that unless I find it hard to make a program do what I want.

superboyac

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2008, 05:28:17 PM »
I see.

Maybe I'm the only one who finds it annoying that I have to make sure my cursor is where I intend it to be.  That free caret thing is really annoying to me.

mouser

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2008, 05:33:08 PM »
i also hate the free cursor positioning -- but it's an OPTION in microed, you can choose to disable that.

f0dder

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2008, 05:43:32 PM »
Ummm... who in their right mind would use the mouse while composing an email message? :o :huh:
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Grorgy

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2008, 05:53:30 PM »
Ummm... who in their right mind would use the mouse while composing an email message? :o :huh:

Ahhh well, not that I do, but it is a big assumption to assume anyone is in their right mind  ;)

superboyac

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2008, 06:08:07 PM »
I think most people use the mouse when composing an email message to some degree.  I know the people in this forum are powerusers for the most part, but most people use the mouse a lot more than the people here.  Just because we know using the keyboard is easier and faster for us, let's not assume that other people are like that.  Keyboard users are by far in the minority.

rjbull

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2008, 04:13:57 AM »
using the keyboard is easier and faster for us

That's part of why I want my own favourite text editor: being one of the galaxy's Elder Race from Planet DOS, I like WordStar controls, the ultimate in keyboard-centric applications.  WordStar is the True Faith as far as getting text onto disk is concerned.

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2008, 05:14:16 PM »
From the FWIW Department (Dinosaur Division[Graphics Unit])...

Back when I first started my computing career (not that long ago, really) ASCII Art was not a fad or hobby, it was a necessity.  It was quite common to create graphics in simple ASCII chars to make eye-grabbing reports if for no other reason than to make office life less boring and robotic.  While I can appreciate Ross's standard of dicipline with the two-piece suits, white shirts and skinny black ties, I found the flat-top, burr haircuts a little much.  The plain standard project "report" that was the result of this structiured dicipline was about as desirable as a lump of cold mashed potatoes.  The shop I worked in was populated with a fun group of folks.  Anyway, having a free-caret functionality like in MicroEd would have been a right handy tool!  :-*

[Disclaimer - the preceeding ramblings from a COBOL veteran should be viewed with nostalgia :P]

superboyac

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Re: Seriously, what is MicroEd good for?
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2009, 07:16:10 PM »
i also hate the free cursor positioning -- but it's an OPTION in microed, you can choose to disable that.
Whoa!  I never caught this.  Can you use MicroEd WITHOUT the free caret?  I never saw that option.  I always switched the editor to "Plain Windows".  Where is this option?

Forget it...I found it.  Cool!
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 07:30:51 PM by superboyac »