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Software News   Software News : Formerly commercial editor microgolded updated and now a free download
   posted by dietmar on 25-May-2005 8:41:01 (5370 reads)
The microgolded editor is now available as free download. Instead of asking users to pay for it, it is released as sponsored software and contains offline advertising.

About microgolded: microgolded is a small editor. It provides basic editing features, such as undo-redo, folding, macro recording, formatting, auto-case, auto-completion and other basic editor stuff. It is very fast and very configurable. All in one file, no installation.

Screenshot
Download

Registered users can find a new, advertising-free version on the GoldED web site. New features: black-on-white color scheme (optional) and navigation tabs.

Amiga users and dealers interested in advertising software, events, web sites or services in microgolded please contact GoldED support.

EDIT- fixed typo.
    

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dietmar 
Re: Formerly commercial editor microgolded updated and now a
Posted on 27-May-2005 0:42:50
#21 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 1-May-2003
Posts: 532
From: Unknown

microgolded download link has been moved to page
http://www.dietmar-eilert.net/golded/index.htm

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ChrisH 
Re: Formerly commercial editor microgolded updated and now a
Posted on 28-May-2005 13:57:58
#22 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 30-Jan-2005
Posts: 6679
From: Unknown

As a fan of CygnusEd (Pro v4.20), typically for programming, I was keen to see how well MicroGoldEd stacked-up. That there was a pre-configured version with CEd's shortcuts was a good start.

First impression was that the configuration windows are overly complicated, so that finding what you want to change can take a few clicks. Also the config windows can get left behind on the 'old' screen, when you click Save in a deeper config window which affects screen-related stuff (like fonts). And the help system sucks a bit. But the plus side is that you really can configure just about anything :)

So having spent some minutes playing, I was able to *almost* exactly duplicate my CEd setup - here's some of the things which I did: Put it on it's own screen. Hid the toolbar (it hardly has anything on it anyway). Made the background black, with white text (essential!). Made the window use all the screen, and automatically shrink when new windows (files) are opened (hint: untick Center windows, and tick Arrange windows).

However, it isn't going to emulate every single feature of CEd, and so won't suit everyone. For example, I can't see any equivalent to CEd's infamous "split view" ability; the lack of this single feature means I shan't be using it for programming, but it might still get used for smaller tasks...

Also, although it can duplicate the indentation level of previous lines, it duplicates using spaces, rather than the tab characters that I used, which also makes it useless as a programming tool for me. :(

Last edited by ChrisH on 28-May-2005 at 02:14 PM.
Last edited by ChrisH on 28-May-2005 at 01:59 PM.


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dietmar 
Re: Formerly commercial editor microgolded updated and now a
Posted on 28-May-2005 19:59:38
#23 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 1-May-2003
Posts: 532
From: Unknown

@ChrisH
Quote:
Also, although it can duplicate the indentation level of previous lines, it duplicates using spaces, rather than the tab characters that I used, which also makes it useless as a programming tool for me. :(

Programmers who use tabs to indent text should be shot. That said, if you really want to indent with tabs, enable the option "indent with tabs" in the tab dialog. In that case, the editor will make all indentions with tabs.

Quote:
However, it isn't going to emulate every single feature of CEd

And vice versa. You gain some, you loose some. What about folding, auto-case, auto-completion, list of recently used files, navigation tabs, powerful indent functions, extensive formatting functions etc?

Quote:
For example, I can't see any equivalent to CEd's infamous "split view" ability

I have mixed feeling about split views. They are not a smart way to manage screen real estate and, for most people, it's an entirely useless feature (compensated for by folding and/or opening a document twice and/or use of position markers). At the same time, it's not trivial to implement. I realize however that some people need split views and for that reason, they are on the to-do list. But not prioritized.

Quote:
the lack of this single feature means I shan't be using it for programming

You must have a completely different programming style than me. I'm professionally developing software but haven't had the desire to split views in the last three years (or so). That said, microgolded is not made for programming anyway. Using it for C development is about as smart as using notepad.

Quote:
Hid the toolbar (it hardly has anything on it anyway)

Alternative solution: fill it! It's up to you how much it shows. You don't have to draw icons, you can toggle the toolbar style to text.

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Xenic 
Re: Formerly commercial editor microgolded updated and now a
Posted on 29-May-2005 1:43:55
#24 ]
Super Member
Joined: 2-Feb-2004
Posts: 1246
From: Pennsylvania, USA

A couple of weeks ago I D/L the GoldEd demo and discovered it was far more than I needed. However, I tried the Microgolded that was included and didn't seem to find any limitations. It seems to me to be the same as this new version without the advertisements. Maybe I'm missing something here.

I've always used TurboText and Blacks Editor in the past. Both have some problems with OS4 (but are somewhat usable). I decided to try Golded and now MicroGolded and I must say I'm overwhelmed by features I will never use. It seems difficult to wade through all the possibilities to find the simple ones I want to use. The entire program seems completely unintuitive to me. For example, why are the prefs hidden at the bottom of the "extras" menu and called customize? The same goes for the Iconify menu item in the "views" menu. Most of the Amiga programs I've used follow the Amiga styleguide, for the most part, and as a result I find them easier to learn. The Amiga styleguide specifies where certain functions should in an Amiga program's menus. The "Iconify" and "About" items belong in the "Project" menu which isn't there either.

I found the settings window impossible to use. I only wanted to change one thing about the program. I want the marked block of text to be unmarked after I copy the block as is the standard with most Amiga editors. I spent 2 hours clicking on icons, menu items and question marks but still couldn't figure out how to do it. I think documentation that simply states "all the configuration items have online help so there is no explanation needed" is inadequate.

The program seems like it was written by a Windows programmer rather that a longtime Amiga user/programmer who is familiar with the "look and feel" of Amiga programs and editors. Overall, I think Microgolded is a very powerful text editor with an unfamiliar interface and confusing settings interface.

Truth be told though, I may end up using it since my preferred editors have problems when used with OS4. At least this editor is stable, powerful and hasn't sent me to the Grim reaper yet.


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ChrisH 
Re: Formerly commercial editor microgolded updated and now a
Posted on 29-May-2005 8:11:53
#25 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 30-Jan-2005
Posts: 6679
From: Unknown

@dietmar
Quote:
Programmers who use tabs to indent text should be shot. That said, if you really want to indent with tabs, enable the option "indent with tabs" in the tab dialog.

I find navigation faster with tabs, I tab carefully so that tab size is hardly an issue, and anyway it's dead easy to convert them to spaces (but rather harder to do the reverse reliably).

Thanks for the dialog tip, it works great. When I'd tried it before it didn't seem to work, as I didn't realise uGEd truncated empty lines (after converting them to spaces or something).

Quote:
And vice versa. You gain some, you loose some.

Sorry, I never meant to imply otherwise! CEd has it's own flaws, but I've learnt to live with them... Mostly I hate CEd's lack of true auto indent (I have to use Shift-Enter).

Quote:
I have mixed feeling about split views.

I agree that I make use of split views in several different ways, and that they could mostly be replaced by using several different functions provided by uGEd. However, (a) I'm set in my ways :) and (b) I find it more intuitive being able to physically see my 'bookmarks', and not having to worry about which window/view is the one I can edit.

I guess that if bookmark positions could be 'previewed' in a pop-up window, and if some windows could be write-protected (perhaps even automatically), then I'd hardly miss split views...

Quote:
You must have a completely different programming style than me. I'm professionally developing software but haven't had the desire to split views

I usually have some stuff open for reference (using notes in the same source file). When coding, or bug hunting, I may leave where I am, to start working on something else, but eventually return to my original position; thus I tend to push my positions on a notional "stack". So an alternative, or an addition, to previewable bookmarks would be stackable bookmarks...

Quote:
Alternative solution: fill it! It's up to you how much it shows.

Unless I missed something (quite possible with the wierd/crammed GUI...), MicroGEd does not properly support the creation of new toolbar/menu items - which I presumed was to encourge one to buy the real thing. Certainly I could not see any way to enter/edit calls to internal commands, nor choose toolbar images, so the only thing I could do was to copy existing items.

For example, to create a Help menu item, I ended-up cloning the About item, changing it to run a script file I made, and then editing GEd's binary prefs file so that it appeared as "Help..." instead of "About this program..."!!! Moving the fold functionality from Help to an F-key, while changing the Help key to launch Help, was easier but still not exactly easy (i.e. clone Help key, assign it to F-key, then change what the Help key item does!).


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dietmar 
Re: Formerly commercial editor microgolded updated and now a
Posted on 29-May-2005 10:57:34
#26 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 1-May-2003
Posts: 532
From: Unknown

@ChrisH
Quote:
I find navigation faster with tabs, I tab carefully so that tab size is hardly an issue, and anyway it's dead easy to convert them to spaces (but rather harder to do the reverse reliably).

Unfortunately many programmers don't tab carefully, ie. they - at least accidentally and occasionally - mix tabs with spaces (for indention) or place tabs inside text. As soon as they do that, their source code is not correctly displayed and printed everywhere. The usual tab nightmare.

Concerning navigation and editing, tabs offer no advantage: Decent editors have a function to indent/unindent the line under the cursor: There is no good reason to go to the beginnig of the line and delete tabs. Editors should have a function to move to the beginning of a line: There is no good reason to skip over tabs, requiring several keystrokes. And every editor should have a backtab function (which has the same effect as backspace after a tab, ie. pulls text back to previous tabstop). The justification for tabs is tables, not indention.

Quote:
Unless I missed something (quite possible with the wierd/crammed GUI...), MicroGEd does not properly support the creation of new toolbar/menu items

Go the the menu/toolbar dialog and use the "+" button to add items. What's weird about that? Before using "+", you must select the item in the treeview to add to. Until then, "+" is ghosted.

To edit an item and assign commands, doubleclick it. To rename an item, select the item and press "F2" (or use the alternative method described in the manual: slow double click).

Items added to the toolbar are interpreted as file names, so to add an image, simply add its path to the toolbar. If you don't add a path, the new toolbar item is displayed as text.

Quote:
Moving the fold functionality from Help to an F-key, while changing the Help key to launch Help, was easier but still not exactly easy.

Actually, that's very easy: go to the keyboard dialog, select the Help key and click on the "duplicate" button. A dialog pops open asking you to press a key to copy to. Press the F-key and you are finished with copying.

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dietmar 
Re: Formerly commercial editor microgolded updated and now a
Posted on 29-May-2005 13:59:49
#27 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 1-May-2003
Posts: 532
From: Unknown

Quote:
didn't seem to find any limitations. It seems to me to be the same as this new version without the advertisements.

It is a time-limited trial version and will stop working.

Quote:
I want the marked block of text to be unmarked after I copy the block as is the standard with most Amiga editors. I spent 2 hours clicking on icons

No such option is available so saying that you spend 2 hours looking for it only means that the software isn't as trivial as products with one configuration dialog. What exactly can I do about that? I can not take out features because a user says it takes too long to realize that a feature is not implemented. Implementing an alternate "simple" interface would be a lot of work. Btw, the solution in your case is to add the command MARK HIDE to the menu item that copies.

Quote:
For example, why are the prefs hidden at the bottom of the "extras" menu and called customize

Because that, in my opionion, was a logical place, in comparison to the majority of modern software (which either has it in tools or extras). The file menu might seem like another logical option, especially to Amiga-only users, but that menu is seriously overpopulated and putting the prefs into a file menu isn't exactly logical anyway. If you don't agree with my choices, it's pretty easy to move menu itmes around with copy and paste.

Quote:
I think documentation that simply states "all the configuration items have online help so there is no explanation needed" is inadequate.

It's inadequate but easily explained: I hate writing documentation. No fix for this in sight. While it is a hobby, boring stuff will not get done.

Quote:
The program seems like it was written by a Windows programmer

Good, I like Windows software and take that as a compliment.

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ChrisH 
Re: Formerly commercial editor microgolded updated and now a
Posted on 30-May-2005 9:03:07
#28 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 30-Jan-2005
Posts: 6679
From: Unknown

@dietmar
Quote:
Go the the menu/toolbar dialog and use the "+" button to add items. What's weird about that?

That's not what I had problems with... Although even that wasn't as obvious as I think it ought to be (I'd prefer some text underneath it, or at-least auto-pop-up help bubbles).

Quote:
To edit an item and assign commands, doubleclick it.

It was at this point that I got stuck - there was no obvious way to edit the existing stuff, beyond choosing a file, or inserting an internal command with all it's options.

To cut a long story short, *all* of my customisation problems were down to not knowing how to "rename". I was expecting a button, since all the other functions have one, and double clicking did nothing. I wasn't expecting a 'Windows style' "slow double click" (which I've never actually seen done by ANY other Amiga app!).

Also, the lack of a button for a file requester, to choose a toolbar image, is somewhat limiting - even once I know that I can "rename".


I don't wish to diss a long-standing, fully featured & still supported Amiga app, but in the current spirit of constructive criticism:

The GUI dialogs/windows can be confusing to someone used to the popular Amiga GUI systems, particularly someone used to MUI with it's drag'n'drop interface, auto-pop-up help balloons, context-sensitive pop-up menus, functionally obvious tabs/pages, toolbar buttons with textual descriptions, and generally GUI regions clearly defined by different colours/textures.

In principle I don't care that you've brewed your own GUI system, but I get the feeling that you weren't able (or had time) to implement all the features you wanted (e.g. my mentioned MUI features), leaving GEd with a number of compromises. Sure we can get used to it, but if it scares away potential new users (before they CAN get used to it) then I'd have thought that this really ought to concern you... However, if you have put memory efficiency above user-friendlyness in your priority list, then I can't really complain (even if it might not make sense these days, with 256MB or so of RAM being common).

As regards the menus, I think they are actually very logically laid out - totally unlike CEd! But I too had trouble trying to find the "Customize..." item, and would favour it being in a more important menu, such as File, and perhaps given a more standard name like "Settings...". More radically, why not split it into two, with "Settings..." for the "Global Options" part of the dialog, and "Customize..." for the "Details" part?


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dietmar 
Re: Formerly commercial editor microgolded updated and now a
Posted on 30-May-2005 10:15:06
#29 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 1-May-2003
Posts: 532
From: Unknown

Quote:
To cut a long story short, *all* of my customisation problems were down to not knowing how to "rename"

Luckily that is explained in the manual. It would be a good idea to read at least the first few pages.

Quote:
I get the feeling that you weren't able (or had time) to implement all the features you wanted (e.g. my mentioned MUI features)

There is one feature on the lowest GUI level not implemented due to lack of time (ie. pending): gadgets and list items should have a context menu for cut, copy, paste, rename and open.

There is one usabilty-related aspect on the upper GUI level not implemented due to lack of time (in GoldED, not in microgolded): the composition of filetypes. Making and changing filetypes is quite weird at the moment.

I don't care about most of that MUI stuff (if help is implemented by balloon tips or by an arrow button is a matter of taste; there is not enough space for labels next to images in all dialog buttons etc). Visually separated groups should appear in the user interface as soon as the internal GUI design is in fact groups-based.

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ChrisH 
Re: Formerly commercial editor microgolded updated and now a
Posted on 3-Jun-2005 7:58:11
#30 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 30-Jan-2005
Posts: 6679
From: Unknown

Quote:
Luckily that is explained in the manual. It would be a good idea to read at least the first few pages.

I would really like to know WHERE this is explained, because I couldn't find it. Frankly I didn't think that the manual was the most logically laid out (fair enough given that you dislike writing manuals), and I couldn't be bothered to read everything you'd written (most of which was either trivial stuff, like how to use drag'n'drop, or tricky stuff, like event handling).

What I really could have done with was as either (a) an intermediate-level description aimed at someone modestly competant, (b) a quick-start "how to" guide that explains how to do some of the things a user is likely to want to do (while also acclimatising the user to any oddies of the GUI), or (c) a help guide based on the physical layout of the interface (to make finding the relevant help easy - but there's no need to explain every menu item or tick box).

BTW, I am referring to the "Quick Reference" guide, as that is all that came with microGEd.

Quote:
if help is implemented by balloon tips or by an arrow button is a matter of taste

I'd disagree - if I want to get help on EVERY button in the window, I have to click on the Help button before I click on each button itself - which is incredibly tedious. With balloon tips (which could be toggled by a small button where the current Help button is) I only need to wave my pointer over the button to find out if it is of any relevance, particularly for the ones which lack ANY textual description!

In fact, I will stick my neck out and say that the one MAJOR mistake that you made in the GUI was to have icon-only buttons (who's purposes are initially obscure, however good the icons are) which also don't have any balloon tips automatically pop up.

P.S. Sorry if I am getting very critical, but I know from personal experience (being an author myself) how an author can become blind to usability issues of the GUI he designed with care, and I'd like GEd to be as easy-to-use as possible, so it is as successful as possible. GEd is a diamond that has a couple of rough edges (which haven't been polished enough).

Last edited by ChrisH on 03-Jun-2005 at 08:19 AM.
Last edited by ChrisH on 03-Jun-2005 at 08:17 AM.
Last edited by ChrisH on 03-Jun-2005 at 08:02 AM.


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dietmar 
Re: Formerly commercial editor microgolded updated and now a
Posted on 4-Jun-2005 13:51:06
#31 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 1-May-2003
Posts: 532
From: Unknown

Quote:
I would really like to know WHERE this is explained

This is getting ridiculous. The first four pages of the manual are Introduction, Requirements, Getting started and User Interface. What do you think? User Interface sounds like the winner.

Quote:
I'd disagree

With what, logic? It's a matter of taste, I don't see how one can argue with that. A lot of programs provide help in the form provided by GoldED ( ie. they have an "explain this" button). This solution is based on the assumption that users, after an intial - and very short - "confused period", prefer to get help only when they ask for it. I've used the "user-knows-what-he-does"-rationale throughout GoldED: for example, the default action usually is the "dangerous" option.

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