April 27, 2004
Updated build for PN 2 - 0.5.29

A small bug was causing problems with the build released yesterday, so with no further ado: a fixed version. This version also includes additional bug reporting capabilities and debug information to help find any other problems in this pre-release build. Thanks to those who reported the bug so quickly and helpfully.

Posted by Simon at 09:35 PM
April 26, 2004
Development build of Ella (

Members of the discussion mailing list will know that I occasionally release updated builds of PN2 to allow users to play with new features and try the software out on the way to a milestone. I've been doing this again recently on the road to Ella (the next milestone) and I thought non-list-members might like to give this build a try. For a list of changes, view this full blog entry.

I'd particularly appreciate people trying out the drag-and-drop stuff in the projects window. There's a lot of new, complicated code there so give me your feedback! The most exciting feature, for me, is "jump to..." on the Edit menu. This provides language independent jumping in code, which is the fastest code navigation method that I've ever used. I've wanted this feature in my text editor since when I used GExperts for Delphi, and now PN has it. The feature is supported by exuberant ctags so supports all languages that ctags does, but there is a plugin architecture so that other languages can be added. I'll be documenting this interface in the future.

Also, what do you think of the GUI changes (options dialog mostly) made by Bjoern Graf? If you like, or don't like - then let him know via the discussion list! I'm sure he'd appreciate some feedback other than mine.

What are the things you miss most in the current builds, speak up and you might be in time for the next release!

Download the new build here:


Please do report bugs that you find in this release, although preferably to the discussion list rather than in the bug tracker as it's not a proper release.



What's new?

  1. Jump to (Alt-G)
  2. Document Properties Window (hit alt-enter).
  3. Editor Defaults options page.
  4. Default word-wrap option.
  5. Most Recently Used Projects menu.
  6. HTML export now names the styles by scheme, allowing you to easily combine exported code.
  7. Look in projects for relative file names in the output window.
  8. Look in the current directory for relative file names in the output window.
  9. Added current project path to the tool variables.
  10. New (fairly empty) confirmations options page.
  11. Drag files from explorer onto the projects window.
  12. Upgraded to Scintilla 1.59
  13. Project files now written using Genx.
  14. Project files keep most unknown XML elements between load and save.
  15. Added Duplicate, Copy, Cut and Transpose Line commands.
  16. Added Uppercase/Lowercase
  17. Bjoern Graf tidied the Options dialog plus some others.
  18. Keyboard works in the projects tree (inc. "del" to remove project files).
  19. Options can now be saved to a .ini file instead of the registry.
  20. Middle-click mouse on the document tab to close a document.
  21. Allow specification of default character set (includes Shift-JIS and UTF-8).
  22. Optimised file loading - significantly reduces load time for large files.
  23. Drag and drop in the projects window.
  24. Folders in project window now remain above files.

Bug Fixes:

  1. Empty search on google causes crash (SF Bug #870649).
  2. Change line endings in Save-As dialog doesn't work (SF Bug #885586).
  3. Tools run without capture don't show (SF Bug #896269).
  4. Conflict in shortcut assignment (SF Bug #891208).
  5. Crash if mouse over 'Recent Files'->(empty) (SF Bug #900929).
  6. PN doesn't become active after clicking Output window (SF Bug #760362).
  7. HTML export doubles the '&' (SF Bug #899079).
  8. HTML export leaves open the last span tag (SF Bug #904149).
  9. Fixed HTML export to use full style range (previously stopped at 31).
  10. Dropped files always open new windows (SF Bug #873386).
  11. Deal with all URL encoded chars in output window, not just %20.
  12. Projects window renames too readily.
  13. Auto-indent empty line (SF Bug #879950).
  14. Can't export a file that isn't saved to disk (SF Bug #911381).
  15. Can't bring up project context menus with the keyboard.
  16. Changing full path option doesn't affect open files (SF Bug #871628).
  17. Update status bar when last file closed (SF Bug #514527).
  18. Highlight colors in scheme wrong when choosing defaults (SF Bug #909343).
  19. PN loses focus on closing search dialogs (SF Bug #939917).
Posted by Simon at 02:58 PM
April 18, 2004
Microsoft Visual C++ Toolkit 2003

At the ACCU conference last week Herb Sutter announced that Microsoft would be releasing their optimising compiler and utilities for free. It's here! This is the same compiler used for compiling Programmers Notepad, although it seems that the toolkit doesn't include ATL so developers without the full Visual C++ still won't be able to compile PN. Still, it's a step closer. The compiler can also compile managed C++ source code - to target the .NET framework from C++ code.

I've also heard that the package doesn't include nmake - which is presumably an oversight. Apparently borland's make or a port of the GNU version will do the job for now.

Posted by Simon at 03:30 PM
April 14, 2004
Cross Platform C++

The ACCU conference session that I attended before lunch was supposed to be about platform independence but was actually about education, specifically teaching c++ which was very irritating. The speaker was a lecturer who got caught up in academia and forgot the subject that he was actually supposed to speak about. He also explained that he'd written the slides that morning - and expected us to find that funny. He was speaking at a conference to a bunch of developers who paid money to attend - this kind of slackness made me feel that the money had been wasted.

Posted by Simon at 02:11 PM
Eric S. Raymond at ACCU

I'm at the ACCU conference in Oxford UK, and Eric is talking about the rise of Open Source in the context of World Domination. He compares the software industry previously and now to manufacturing vs. service to explain the business case for open source. The main benefit he quotes for enterprise is the complete control over the software chain - you have the source, no-one can take that away from you.

He also talked about the fact that many are scared that giving their source away will give an advantage to their competitors who get their software for free. He suggested that business rules and logic need not be a part of the enterprise software platform and that also your competitors would be spending a large amount of time trying to understand your software while you innovate and move further ahead. Ultimately, if they fix bugs in your platform then you benefit.

It's interesting to hear him speak because he's far less obsessed than many of the oft-cited open-source supporters. He accepts that there are times when closed source makes sense, and doesn't get involved in license arguments - suggesting that actually he thinks the GPL is unnecessary and sometimes a barrier to open-source adoption.

Altogether, a very interesting keynote.

Posted by Simon at 09:27 AM
April 13, 2004
Larkware's Daily Grind

Programmers Notepad gets a link on Mike Gunderloy's Daily Grind 347. Admittedly that's because I suggested it the day before, but all links are good links - right?!

Posted by Simon at 09:51 PM

Hacknot, a site for disciplined developers, is Sam Gentile's link of the week, and what a link it is. An excellent site filled with great articles on development.

My particular favourite for today is this one, all about naming classes. I was working on some code today at work that included a class that was called something similar to CMonkeyCollection - only it didn't hold CMonkeys, or Monkeys or anything similar. It also did much more than just "collect". Bit of a disappointment really... If only the author had read this article first.

Posted by Simon at 09:36 PM
April 02, 2004
Glastonbury Ticket Sales on the Internet - Wrong

So I'm sat at my PC where I've been since 7.45pm. It's now 9:30pm. I've not done anything but attempt to get onto the Glastonbury Tickets website.

Some quotes from those waiting:

someone should get strung up for this fiacso
i think glasto needs an it director
can u all not buy tickets for a while to free u the site please?
The whole selling on the internet and phone thing is what pi**ed up the tickets last year.
its the worst system for buying tickets i have ever seen - bring back bristol ticket shop

lets just jump the fence
Smiffy says: big fence to jump
easier than this

Wondering now if we could all pool our money together and get an A-Team style van to ram the fence with.

10:30pm - Formage!
Finally got the form up to fill in. No luck submitting it, obviously.

Form submits - not enough tickets. Only that's not true. They're lying. There are definitely tickets left, they say so on the radio. Only that's the only message I can get.

Finally, I get my tickets. Most of my friends are still trying. This is the most abominable web effort I've ever seen. They can't seriously claim that they didn't expect these levels of demand after the fiasco last year. Rubbish.

When the tickets were for sale in shops, I had about a month (IIRC) to go to the shop and order tickets. It was all much easier then.

Posted by Simon at 07:11 AM