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Author Topic: Boxer Text Editor  (Read 22679 times)
Rover
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« on: June 14, 2007, 09:21:37 AM »

Look for a DC Member discount offer soon. 
Quote
We've been selling text editors since 1991. We're experienced at what we do, and we listen to our customers. We've filled our Boxer Text Editor with the features and functions you need to make your editing tasks go as quickly and smoothly as possible.
    * Powerful macro language
    * Keystroke recording
    * Color syntax highlighting
    * HTML editing support
    * Edit files up to 2 GB
    * Color syntax printing
    * Multi-level undo and redo
    * Auto-Complete typing feature
    * Active spell checking
    * Manipulate column blocks
    * Perl RegExp search and replace
    * Reconfigurable keyboard
    * User-configurable toolbar
    * Extensive user configurability
    * Power Columns editing feature
    * Ctags Function Indexing support
    * Open and edit files via FTP
    * Project support
    * Calculator, calendar, ANSI charts...
    * Dual-monitor friendly
    * And hundreds of other features





« Last Edit: June 14, 2007, 09:23:26 AM by Rover » Logged

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AndyM
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2007, 12:04:48 PM »

I've been using Boxer since DOS and OS/2.  I can't speak highly enough of the software, the company, or the developer David Hamel.
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Rover
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2007, 12:36:54 PM »

Cool, another OS/2 User.  Thmbsup

I started using Boxer back in my OS/2 & DOS days as well.  I've tried to like other editors, but I always end up with Boxer installed.   Just before I installed OS/2 I was using Boxer TKO for > 640 RAM and virtually unlimited file size editing.... ahh the good ol' days.


Now if only David would port this to Linux...  tongue
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Boxer Software
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2007, 02:08:35 PM »

Hi Guys... nice to see there are already some people here wearing proper team colors.   smiley

Speaking of the "old days," here's an interview from this month's CPU Magazine in which Barry Brenesal and I reminisce about years past, with attention to the formative years of Boxer:

http://72.14.253.104/sear...ive/c0707/63c07/63c07.asp

Look forward to hangin' out here, and I hope to be arranging a discount to make it easier for other DCers to join Team Boxer.

All the Best,

David
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AbteriX
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2007, 06:08:31 PM »

Hi David

very interesting interview there. Thanks.


1991? (486DX30, 4MB RAM, 100MB HDD for $2000) only 16 years....but what a difference!
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Darwin
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2007, 08:26:36 PM »

Yes - agreed! I really enjoyed reading that, very interesting. And welcome to donationcoder, David!

1990 286/25mhz, 4MB RAM no HDD. $800 - my first computer. Abterix, I would have killed for your computer in 1994, let alone 1991...
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allen
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2007, 02:30:25 PM »

Boxer has some amazing features--especially given its small size--and I
find myself quite tempted to give it a look.  It being a true MDI and
not just tab-based really tantalizes me . . . but I suspect it'd be short lived.  I find myself unable to
function without persistent selections -- a feature I've only been able
to find in a very precious few applications. I don't suppose that's an
option in boxer is it? --also, how is boxer for portability? Is it 100%
reg reliant or are settings saved to a file?
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2007, 03:23:54 PM »

Hi Allen,

>> I find myself unable to function without persistent selections -- a feature I've only been able to find in a very precious few applications. I don't suppose that's an option in boxer is it?

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "persistent selections," but Boxer might have what you're looking for.  On the Block menu, there's a command called Select Without Shift.  Once activated, the (unshifted) arrows keys and other cursor motion commands can all be used to extend the selection.  Maybe that's what you're referring to?

>> also, how is boxer for portability? Is it 100% reg reliant or are settings saved to a file?

Boxer has reasonable defaults built-in so, worst case, you can drop just the B.EXE file (ie, w/o installing) on a new machine and be able to edit, with just a couple of complaint dialogs appearing on startup.  It also runs happily from a USB stick.  Boxer does write lots of settings to the registry; it's very thoughtful when it comes to remembering all manner of previous choices, colors, sizes, locations, etc.  If you need to move to a new machine, there's a Help topic called "Transferring Preferences" that details the steps.  Some of Boxer's settings are saved to disk files, namely keyboard layouts, templates, syntax information, etc.  That makes it easy for users to share such files.

Best,

David.
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2007, 03:25:59 PM »

I meant to mention, in that CPU Magazine interview, "Phar Lap" was improperly transcribed as "far left."  smiley
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AbteriX
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2007, 03:54:54 PM »

I meant to mention, in that CPU Magazine interview, "Phar Lap" was improperly transcribed as "far left."  smiley

Ahhhh, thanks. That explains smtg,  undecided  i was a little bit helpless  with "far left"   Grin
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2007, 04:02:17 PM »

Boxer does write lots of settings to the registry;
Any change that Boxer let the Registry alone in one of the next releases?
Would be nice if Boxer would store ALL its settings into an INI (XML) file!

Advantage 1: I have all my settings with me
Advantage 2: I don't "mess" the Registry of other PCs i came along

Many developers goes this way..... that's nice and very handy.
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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2007, 04:08:06 PM »

>> Any [chance] that Boxer let the Registry alone in one of the next releases?

Yes, I've been getting more and more requests for this, and it's something I've got pretty high on the todo list.
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allen
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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2007, 04:23:44 PM »

SOrry if you read this before this edit--I didn't realize so many post had gone by, missed some.

I first discovered persistent selections in The Bat and after a brief learning curve, I've found myself unable to work without them.

Long story short, selections persist.  Once selected, moving the cursor will not unselect the text.  Neither will typing, etc. -- regardless of where the cursor is, the selection persists.  Typically, ctrl+delete will delete the selection.  There are a few big advantages to this.  The most immediately obvious is the fact that you won't lose your selection while moving throughout the document looking for something else.  Some other great features then become possible--particularly the ability to duplicate the selection or move it with a single shortcut.  You can also edit the selected text without it become unselected--deleting or adding chars to it, etc.

Some of the behavior simply removes steps from standard cut or copy and paste actions while others simply save time by eliminating the need to select and select again the same text.  Being so used to this manner of handling selected text, I find myself more often than not inadvertently overwriting blocks of text big and small forgetting I need to unselect them before getting to work.

It's frequent that while working with code, I'll select a snippet I'll be reusing, go to work, and possibly many lines down duplicating it rather than having to go up and find it.  One simple keystroke, rather than having to worry about clipboard items or text snippets/libraries etc.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2007, 05:00:52 PM by allen » Logged
f0dder
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« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2007, 06:16:35 AM »

Phar Lap - now that's a name I haven't heard in a long time. Dos extender, right?

I remember using Boxer a bit under DOS, wasn't all bad. I mostly used the "rawhide" IDE, though, since it mimicked the Borland IDE I was used to from my pascal years. Ah, the old days smiley
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allen
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« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2007, 01:30:39 PM »

So, I decided to give it a download.  I've run into a couple things I'm curious about--

1. Is there anyway to tell it to quit opening windows maximized?  Sure, I can configure a shortcut to restore the newly opened window, but I'm so lazy I'm asking if there is a bunch of code to prevent me from pushing two buttons smiley

2. Is it possible to save settings without closing Boxer?  I'd just spent an hour or better manually copying over ftp accounts, text libraries, and custom tools.  While inputting the last tool, boxer closed without the courtesy of an error message.  To my chagrin, all of the aforementioned input was gone. No ftp sites, no user tools, unsaved documents gone.  If it makes a difference, the tool in question had a pretty big command line parameter. and no name yet filled in. That may have been the difference between it and prior tool input.

So day 1 is a mixed bag smiley
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« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2007, 03:04:44 PM »

Allen,

>> 1. Is there any way to tell it to quit opening windows maximized? 

Yes... on the Configure|Preferences|Display dialog page, uncheck the option entitled "Auto-maximize new windows when created"

>> 2. Is it possible to save settings without closing Boxer?

No, sorry.  I hope you'll find that crashes are very rare.  I've never considered adding features to work around crashes.  smiley

Was the edit box filled to its capacity with text?  I checked the code, and I do see a potential problem, but only if you were using a parameter string longer than 250 characters or so.  Was yours that big?

Best,

David.
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allen
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« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2007, 03:19:45 PM »

Thanks for the quick reply,
Allen,

>> 1. Is there any way to tell it to quit opening windows maximized? 

Yes... on the Configure|Preferences|Display dialog page, uncheck the option entitled "Auto-maximize new windows when created"

I swear, I looked there a dozen times... how'd you just now get it to appear?! smiley


Quote
>> 2. Is it possible to save settings without closing Boxer?

No, sorry.  I hope you'll find that crashes are very rare.  I've never considered adding features to work around crashes.  smiley

Was the edit box filled to its capacity with text?  I checked the code, and I do see a potential problem, but only if you were using a parameter string longer than 250 characters or so.  Was yours that big?

Hey, you never know--windows could crash, too. It happens! As for the parameters, they weren't anywhere near -that- big.
[copy or print]
/search /Folderrecurse "$Path" /masks *.$Ext /searchtext "$Sel" /Preview

or something similar.  It won't crash for me now... can't reproduce, it may as well not have happened at all smiley And now I get to put it in a third time, it having never named the tool it forgot I'd put it in.  I'll name it yet.

Did you see above my hap-hazard description of persistent selections?
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« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2007, 03:45:37 PM »

Quote
Did you see above my hap-hazard description of persistent selections?

Yes, I meant to get back to you on that.  I use The Bat! too, but I wasn't aware that was an option in their editor.  So now I've seen it working.  It's a little offputting if you're not used to it; to each his own, of course.  I was surprised that their implementation has the selection being released when you reposition the text cursor by clicking with the mouse.  Anyway, I've made a note to take a look to at least see whether it could be implemented.  Without looking, my guess is that there are lots of places that assume that the text cursor is by necessity adjacent to the selection.  There could be screen painting issues, for one. 
« Last Edit: June 18, 2007, 03:47:28 PM by Boxer Software » Logged
allen
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« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2007, 11:07:46 PM »

Quote
I was surprised that their implementation has the selection being released when you reposition the text cursor by clicking with the mouse.

I had no idea. Not a big fan of the mouse smiley (First thing I did when I installed Boxer was hide the toolbar)

I really appreciate your time in this thread. For the first time in several years, I am considering dropping a few dollars on a [different] text editor--of course a bit more time spent with the trial period will make it easier to decide whether the value of this editor versus my [surely easy to deduce] primary editor is justified given the price point.  While not an unfair price, per se, it is not a negligible one either.

That said--portability/registry independence is something that is becoming extremely popular these days--sooner or later, I'm sure you'll get pressured into that.  (Though you've more or less already implied sooner.)  My request for persistent selections (or persistent blocks) is certainly a less common one--if not altogether uncommon--but I think some experience with them might give you an appreciation for them; even if you are not wholly converted yourself.  I know for certain of two text editors that use them--and to greater effect than The Bat! VEDIT and Editpad Pro. In both cases, the ability to copy and move the block/selection to the cursor are made available.  When creating somewhat redundant but not identical code, duplicating the selection is a real time saver.  For example a list of links that differ from one another only by a number or character or two--select the redundant text, duplicate it--the new copy is highlighted now; you edit it, perhaps incrementing, then duplicate that one.  Easy to remember what the last one you did was--it's copied over.

I can see where you're coming from with potential difficulty in such an implementation, though. The fact that you're at least looking at it gives me at least a little hope.  As seemingly subtle a feature it is, it's a (perhaps irrationally) huge thing for me.

All that out of the way, just a few more comments--

* Probably from spending so much time with Opera, I personally expect a new blank file to open when I double click the empty desktop

* Soft wrapping:  is it possible to wrap text on screen without it hard-wrapping the text?  The spelling and auto-complete features make this a great environment to compose things like this--but I don't want to wrap text I'm going to be dropping into a forum--but don't particularly enjoy reading through these long lines either.  Wrap -> Format -> Unformat--seems to add a lot of steps.  (Granted this is a moot point 99% of the time when one is programming) (I see you get this a bit smiley

* I love the custom file->open box--it's a tremendous "selling point" for me, particularly the auto-complete aspect.  What I'm curious about is--can you multi-select from the command line (other than wild cards).  What I'd hoped to see, I guess-- is, I autocomplete file1.txt -- put in a semi-colon and it lets me auto-complete another, and another, etc. -- like "file.txt";"file2.txt";"file3... --etc., after the semi-colon, a new file name can be auto-completed.  Already got it covered, I see
« Last Edit: June 24, 2007, 07:56:29 AM by allen » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2007, 01:39:26 PM »

Allen,

I do plan to get back to you on this one, but this morning has been crazy.  Hopefully the afternoon will give me some time.

Best,

David.

http://www.boxersoftware.com
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« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2007, 11:24:37 AM »

Quote from: allen
I really appreciate your time in this thread. For the first time in several years, I am considering dropping a few dollars on a [different] text editor--of course a bit more time spent with the trial period will make it easier to decide whether the value of this editor versus my [surely easy to deduce] primary editor is justified given the price point.  While not an unfair price, per se, it is not a negligible one either.

I'm still working with Carl Thorpe on getting a Boxer discount set up for DC members.  If that doesn't happen soon enough for you, just contact me in private email and I'll take care of you.

Quote from: allen
That said--portability/registry independence is something that is becoming extremely popular these days--sooner or later, I'm sure you'll get pressured into that.  (Though you've more or less already implied sooner.)

Yes, and I've been finding I've been thinking more and more about that in my down time.  From past experience, that's a strong indicator that something will be tackled.  smiley

Quote from: allen
I can see where you're coming from with potential difficulty in such an implementation, though. The fact that you're at least looking at it gives me at least a little hope.  As seemingly subtle a feature it is, it's a (perhaps irrationally) huge thing for me.

Sometimes these things fall in place more easily than you'd expect, so keep your fingers crossed.  As you might be able to tell from what you've seen of Boxer so far, I'm a big fan of putting in the sort of features that don't get in your way, unless you go looking for them.  This one certainly fits that mold, since it would be added as an optional selection mode.

Quote from: allen
* Probably from spending so much time with Opera, I personally expect a new blank file to open when I double click the empty desktop

Never thought of that.  I like it, and it shouldn't be hard.  (Note that if you issue the Paste command with no files open, one is created for you before performing the Paste.  )

Best,

David

http://www.boxersoftware.com
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f0dder
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« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2007, 05:41:32 PM »

Nice to see a responsive software author - that's always a big plus Thmbsup
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« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2007, 05:48:33 PM »

Nice to see a responsive software author - that's always a big plus Thmbsup

Indeed!
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« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2007, 11:10:46 PM »

David is one of the great guys in tech. He had a better idea and committed to executing it. I respect him a lot.
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f0dder
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« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2007, 07:26:56 AM »

I'm almost tempted to download boxer and give it a try again - I've just become very used to windows text editors (especially Notepad++), even though I used to be a die-hard dos text editor fanatic ("80x50 textmode, piss off with your GUIs!" - sorta made sense back in the 800x600 days smiley ).
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