Comments on: A Nice REBOL Editor - Crimson Edit
REBOL Technologies

Comments on: A Nice REBOL Editor - Crimson Edit

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
19-Jul-2005 0:28 GMT

Article #0187
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For those of you who want something a little better than notepad for writing REBOL scripts, but don't want to spend money on anything fancy (and quite frankly, much too heavyweight), here is a nice little editor that does the job quite well: Crimson Editor.

Here's what I like about it:

  1. It's a quick download.
  2. It installs in seconds.
  3. It has REBOL color highlighting built-in (smart guys).
  4. It has a nice directory window for browsing scripts.
  5. You can easily make it evaluate REBOL code.
  6. It indents REBOL properly.

So, that covers most of the bases. Of course, it has many more features too. What you would expect.

To set up "standard" REBOL colorizing... go to the Tools/Preferences menu and select General Colors. Then, set background black, normal text white, constant and strings green, and comments cyan (sky color). Then, click on keyword colors and set them all red. Now you are set for the "official" REBOL color codes.

To evaluate your script with a single stroke, go to the Preferences again, Tools section, and User Tools menu and enter:

 Menu Text:Evaluate REBOL
 Command:(path to REBOL)
 Argument:-s "$(FilePath)"
 Initial Dir:$(FileDir)
 Hot Key:Ctrl-E (The "official" REBOL evaluation key. ;)

Also, in that same menu, be sure to select "save before execute" so your script file gets saved before it is run.

And, that's it. You are ready to crank out REBOL code by the hundreds of bytes (... you thought I was going to say megabytes, right? Sorry, what do you think this is, .Net?)

Many thanks to Will Ware at for his comments as inspiration for this article.



Andreas Hangler
18-Apr-2007 14:50:14
Argument should be
-s "$(FilePath)"
in order to allow for file paths with spaces.
Kyle Limoges
30-Jul-2007 2:32:56
When i pres Ctrl E it a box pops up and says file "path to REBOL" not found. what do I do?
andrew tarbox
9-Nov-2007 11:46:04
same problem as kyle limoges
Matt Palmer
3-Dec-2007 10:07:02
file "path to REBOL" not found. Where do I go from here?
Gregg Irwin
19-Dec-2007 12:20:54
"Path to REBOL" needs to be replaced with the path the REBOL EXE you want to run scripts under. e.g.

c:\Program Files\REBOL\View\rebol.exe

You can set up multiple commands, with different hot keys, to test under different versions.

Todd Cranston-Cuebas
6-May-2008 23:54:07
In the most recent version of REBOL View (2.7.6), the executable file is rebview.exe. I downloaded the rebview executable and put it into my "Program Files" directory on my Windows machine. The path which should be entered for the "Command" is therefore:

C:\Program Files\rebview.exe

Note, that there shouldn't be any parenthesis around the path as in (C:\Program Files\rebview.exe). This also will generate a "path to REBOL" not found error. Just enter the path to where ever you stuck the rebview executable.

See Andreas' comment above since his "fix" was also necessary. I needed to put quotes around the FilePath argument as he indicates:

-s "$(FilePath)"

since my file path included spaces (as in the directory "Program Files").

After this, all works just fine.

Ronald Richter
10-Sep-2008 10:10:11
I give up! How do you get this "Editor" to work with "Rebol"? The above is easy - it's the result that's obscure. First - I got the Rebol console to come up - but - no header - Tried a different approach - opened Rebol in Crimson (public/local/desktop & user) - got header when clicked on user - entered code - got result - closed - got Viewtop! (later found public/local/desktop & user folders on my "C" drive under Program Files) Does any smart beginner have a step by step explanation as to how to make this work correctly? How exactly is this supposed to work after you enter the above in Crimson?
Matt Anton
8-Oct-2008 15:30:56
the trick is to us the button at the right to browse for the rebview.exe file for the "command:" dialog box.

for "argument:" use the arrow button on the right to select (File Path) which will insert $(FilePath) into the field. then just type -s in front of it so that the line looks like:

-s $(FilePath)

for initial directory use the button to select "file directory"

that did it for me.

Matt Anton
8-Oct-2008 15:35:59
Maybe that didn't work. I'm having errors all over the place.
Luis Casanova
20-Feb-2009 5:17:04
It's not working for me.
When I use ctrl+e, the Rebol Viewtop appears, but nothing else happens.
Are you supposed to put quotes around the FileDir argument too?
Anyway, I tried that and it didn't work either.
This are my settings:
Menu text: Evaluate REBOL
Command:C:\Documents and Settings\Luis\Desktop\Downloads\rebview.exe
Argument: -s $"(FilePath)"
Initial Dir: $(FileDir)
Hot Key: Ctrl+E
20-Feb-2009 14:48:19
It's working for me

Luis: I think you have to change Argument: -s $"(FilePath)" for Argument: -s "$(FilePath)"

Gregg Irwin
20-Feb-2009 22:20:09
I have:

Argument: -s $(FilePath)

No quotes.

21-Feb-2009 13:01:11
It's annoyances like this and closed source that drive people like myself to other languages such as python. Or for that matter cause people to stick with what they this case C :\
1-Apr-2009 18:23:55
For programming purposes I am using since a long time Crimson Editor.

For my users, first I used a self created Texteditor then, when it was available, Notepad2

Nowhere in the internet world I've found better editor solutions.

Both, Crimson Editor and Notepad2 are masterpieces, programmable and very, very helpful.

Both are free. Donations welcome, of course. ;-)

Btw: I never used IDEs. They are just for beginners, not usable for earnest programmers.

WORD processing (MS Word etc) is a fundamentally wrong way, too.

Why is html so easy to use and worldwide standard, on myriads of websites?

I can tell you: HTML is not word but TEXT processing.

Indispensable for my programming is Total commander by Also free. Much, much better than this ridic Windoze "explorer".


10-Oct-2009 14:06:19
When I press Ctrl E the uninstall Rebol wizard pops up. Why does it do that?
Carl Sassenrath
15-Oct-2009 11:57:12
Jeri: Check the argument line in the Preference panel for the settings. Be sure it has quotes around the $(FilePath) to avoid the path being split up when it has spaces.
11-Nov-2009 11:44:58
I have tried every suggestion in this blog and cannot get it to work. Was originally getting the "not found" error. Now it isn't doing anything at all.
11-Nov-2009 11:52:01
Getting closer maybe. Now I am getting a ** Access Error: Cannot open /C/Program ** Near: do/args script system/script/args >>
3-Feb-2010 13:01:55
** Syntax Error: Script is missing a REBOL header ** Near: do/args script system/script/args

To get rid of this error, insert an empty line before the REBOL header!

Donald Jeo
25-Apr-2010 22:21:03
For windows, Crimson editor is definitely the absolute best free editor there is for any code at all. To begin with, it has Regular Expressions, which are a fantastic help. It's not POSIX compliant or GNU or Perl RegExs (so it's missing some functionality, mainly the {#} tool, which is useful), but it's regular expressions, which are an amazing help for all sorts of comple, quick, and more-precise-than-wildcards searching and replacing. Really good stuff. Secondly, it's got highlighting for all sorts of code. Really aren't that many other free editors for windows with a large range of highlighting tools. Third: it has a neat and clean-cut look. Oh yes, and the line numbers shown on the side are a great plus. Not only that, it's easily made standalone so that you can carry it around with you and use it on a USB drive without ever requiring an install. Great stuff.

However, that's just for windows.

Linux has... wow... so many editors... so much to choose from... so little time. I don't want to go into the whole vi(m) vs. emacs war here, but you can have as lightweight an editor as you want or as very-functional as you want. Vim is a clean cut editor for command prompt with lots of easy key shortcuts. Emacs is a whole suite of editing tools that can be used for many, many purposes, and has plugin ability too. But as for an editor with a GUI (not using the command line allows you to view many more letters at once), either gedit or kate would be the way to go. Nedit is a very neat editor, but only has 15 or so language highlighting. Got some good tools, too. But it still can't compare to gedit or kate. Gedit is a very well-designed text editor with an intuitive web-browser like interface, and a pretty enough font and layout that you could write office documents in it and feel entirely comfortable. It shows line numbers to the side by default and is really a champion of aesthetics.

Kate's the one I use, and I'm going to brag about it a little here because I like it so much. I use it because (this is going to be a rather long list, I suggest you skip most of it.

it has highlighting for just about every programming language that has hit the mainstream programming world (it has highlighting for six different kinds of assembler code, honestly). It can have multiple files open at once open and navigate between them with the sidebar. It even points out mistakes in your code (it's saved me from many a XSLT and PHP pitfall before I had to get the error message and groan in annoyance). It italicizes comments The layout and font mcitp mean that you can use for hours without getting eye strain It can bookmark a file for later use You can use its sidebar to browse your filesystem for a file and open it adjunct to your already open files. There's a full-screen mode. You can save batches of text files and macros as "sessions" and open them up later when you need to work on them. (If, say, you're working on the code of an entire website, this comes very much in handy.) Able to show line numbers It's GREP regex compliant It can run shell scripts, heck, you can open up your own shell terminal in the same window. It can use plugins You can split the text window in half horizontally or vertically You can it's change appearance (color, font, etc.) it can configure it's shortcut keys and toolbars. it can search google for text, or spellcheck text if you enable those options. Best of all, it's really intuitive.

I remember one time I was building a perl script and I could edit it, run it, and see the effects of it without ever changing my window. Very convenient. :cool:

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