[Pythonmac-SIG] Re: BBEdit questions (Russell E Owen)

Russell E Owen owen@astro.washington.edu
Thu, 2 May 2002 11:59:38 -0700

(I included copies of my message to the author of Pepper and to the BBEdit folks. The former responded directly to the list. The latter gave me permission to forward their reply. Editorial comment: John's statement that it makes no logical sense to be able to select "in selection" and "wrap" is disappointing, since most other text editors allow this. "In selection" simply trumps "wrap". Still..it explains why this has never gotten fixed. I consider it to be a very serious design flaw because it is clumsy and encourages you to get BBEdit into a state where none of the range checkboxes is checked, at which point a Replace All acts only from the cursor downwards -- almost never what you want!!! -- Russell).

> Kevin Altis <altis@semi-retired.com> wrote:
> >I'm in the process of evaluating BBEdit as a Python editor...
> >
> >I would like to change the default colors being used for syntax
> >coloring but can't find the dialog. Does that have to be changed
> >manually in a file on disk and if so where?
> I don't know of any way to do this.

You can do this in the Text Colors panel of the Preferences window.

> >Worse, it doesn't know that the tabs expanded to four spaces, so
> >when you have to backspace, so you have to backspace once for each
> >space. That is sort of annoying, any workarounds besides always
> >using tabs instead of spaces?
> I agree this should be fixed. However, as somebody else suggested,
> just use tabs. You can pick how many spaces a tab is worth, and you
> can always turn tabs into spaces later if you want to (i.e. if you
> are writing code that MUST be in spaces because GvR insists).

If you're using spaces, and you want BBEdit to delete four spaces at
a time when you hit the delete key, how would you delete only *one*
space if that's what you wanted? We try to avoid features like this,
where the program tries to be smarter than you, because it's more
frustrating to workaround it than the problem it originally tried to

Try using BBEdit's Entab and Detab commands when you open and save
your files. (In the Text menu.)

> >Check syntax under the #! menu always complains with an error "The
> >front window isn't in a scripting language BBEdit currently
> >recognizes (application error code 30001)."
> Yeah, same here. I hadn't noticed this before. That's worth a bug report.

We're aware of this limitation, I believe syntax checking for Python
is already slated for a future update.

> - The range checkboxes in the find/replace dialog box. Some have to
> be unchecked before others can be checked. Hence I can't just leave
> "wrap" checked all the time and check "in selection" when I need
> it. (Pepper does this right. I am really confused why the BB
> haven't fixed this.) I should try to write a script to put it in
> the desired state.

For one thing, wrap-around has serious performance side-effects.
Start at Top is a much better option in most cases, and has no
performance side effects.

It makes no logical sense for both Wrap Around and Only Search
Selection to be turned on; you can't wrap around the selected text.

We provide shortcut keys for all the checkboxes to make it easy to
toggle them on and off.

> - The find/replace dialog box is modal. In this day and age? That's
> taking "bare bones" too far! (Pepper does this right).

We respectfully disagree.

> - File browsers (including the one put up by "Find All") don't
> allow editing of file contents. (Pepper does this right). I
> attribute this to the "bare bones" aspect, but perhaps they may
> implement it someday.

Once again, this is an explicit design decision, not a limitation.

We welcome comments and questions from anyone; let us know if you
have more.

Best regards,

John Gruber                                    <support@barebones.com>
Bare Bones Software Technical Support       <http://www.barebones.com>