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Author Topic: Tabbed Plaintext: Good or not-so-good idea?  (Read 2474 times)
Tuxman
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« on: December 13, 2010, 09:27:00 AM »

Sometimes I need the same text a few times with only a few modifications, like: for posting in my WordPress and in discussion boards. As I found it pointless to have one separate text file per format, I usually write it pseudo-formatted and do some regex search and replace on the fly.

Some days ago I had an idea how to optimize handling such things:
"Multi-paged" plaintext.

My approach:
I define a "separator" as a page-break symbol and split the text into multiple tabs then.

Raw draft:

[copy or print]
This is text on page 1. Some more text. Yay!

==========================

This is text on page 2. Look how funny it is. Dance, joy.

--->

[copy or print]
________________________________________
| Tabbed Plaintext Editor            |_|X|
|________________________________________|
|        |________                       |
| Page 1 | Page 2 |                      |
|________|________|______________________|
|                                        |
| This is text on page 1. (...)          |
|                                        |
|________________________________________|

Pro:
* The "tabbed" text files are still plaintext, so they can be edited even with Notepad.
* No bells & whistles, only splitting.

Con:
Well, name them. I wanted to start coding it in January or something, so if there is something wrong with my thoughts, it would be fine if I knew it in time.

 smiley
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rjbull
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2010, 10:18:50 AM »

If you're on Windows - with a handle like Tuxman I expect you have a strong preference for Linux - would mouser's Form Letter Machine be equivalent?

The Form Letter Machine  is a program that will help you to write letters and emails by mixing and matching from pre-written paragraphs.
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Tuxman
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010, 11:02:46 AM »

Well, I like penguins smiley but I don't target a specific OS.
It is similar indeed, but it works differently and does a lot of stuff that I don't need, like assigning “text types“, pairs of keys and values etc.

What I want to do is nothing more than, basically, a tabbed Notepad.
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I bet when Cheetahs race and one of them cheats, the other one goes "Man, you're such a Cheetah!" and they laugh & eat a zebra or whatever.
- @VeryGrumpyCat
Deozaan
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2010, 02:10:08 AM »

Do you want it to actually create the tabs and pages in ASCII like that, or were you just using ASCII to demonstrate what you wanted?

If you really just need a tabbed text editor, why not use something like Sublime Text, Edit Pad, or NotePad++?
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Tuxman
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2010, 04:33:46 AM »

I was just using ASCII to demonstrate what I wanted. Too lazy to do some GUI mockups.

Because they don't allow me to have multiple "pages" in only 1 file.  tongue

Quote
I found it pointless to have one separate text file per format
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I bet when Cheetahs race and one of them cheats, the other one goes "Man, you're such a Cheetah!" and they laugh & eat a zebra or whatever.
- @VeryGrumpyCat
superboyac
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2010, 09:03:51 AM »

Interesting...a multi-page text file.
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Tuxman
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2010, 10:48:04 AM »

If anyone cares, theory is done. Now we'll head over to the actually complicated part.
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I bet when Cheetahs race and one of them cheats, the other one goes "Man, you're such a Cheetah!" and they laugh & eat a zebra or whatever.
- @VeryGrumpyCat
kunkel321
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2010, 11:36:48 AM »

Hey, this sounds pretty cool!  At work I use a singe large txt file that is a list of about 500 clients' contact info, alphabetized.   I always thought it would be nice if I could drill-down into the contents, by initial, in the same way that most contacts databases do...  Sounds like your system would work for that.  I'd humbly recommend allowing multiple rows of tabs....  I like my text editors to be narrow and off to the side of my desktop.  Also, you indicated a separation as being 13 dashes,   maybe a less-restrictive number, such as >30, <10 would be easier... (though the rebel in me does like the #13  Wink  )
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Tuxman
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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2010, 11:54:03 AM »

As the separator is user-defined and might as well be changed globally, depending on the implementation, it's OK.
But I do like 13, too.  Cool
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I bet when Cheetahs race and one of them cheats, the other one goes "Man, you're such a Cheetah!" and they laugh & eat a zebra or whatever.
- @VeryGrumpyCat
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