Comments on: Nice little colorized REBOL code viewer/editor
REBOL Technologies

Comments on: Nice little colorized REBOL code viewer/editor

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
10-Apr-2009 17:49 GMT

Article #0407
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Sometimes I get so busy on design work that I don't take time to see other cool REBOL events and programs. Fortunately, my old friend Petr in Czech Republic will send me a note. Here's one he mentioned today.

Here's a nice little syntax-coloring REBOL code viewer/editor that was posted recently on Google-sites by Steeve Logan: "Colorisation syntaxique" (Credit goes to Shadwolf and Steeve. Nicely done, but maybe needs a shorter name? For more, the project archive is hosted by Shadwolf at:

If you click on the link, you can see a few screen shots. And, the editor is only 50 KB (23 KB LMF, and only 7 KB MLFC!), so it's quick to download. Give it a try.

I like the idea of REBOL-as-editor (as I'm sure I've said before.)

Why in 2009 would I want that? Well, let's see... maybe I'm an idiot, but last time I tried to get Eclipse running, I gave up after... I'm not sure, maybe after the 40 MB Java engine update. I lost track and also lost interest.

Many "modern" software developers and gurus think code editing systems (and IDEs) need to be large and complicated to get the job done. I do not. And, I think I'm not alone. (After all, how am I writing this blog? Is it with some fancy super-text-processor? No, in fact, it's a humble little HTML edit box. Really super-minimalist, but oh-so-convenient and gets the job done.)

Anyway, when you integrate an editor with a language like REBOL, you can get some very productive results... with very little code. I think there's a lot we can do with it, because we bring the deep semantics of REBOL into play. When it's all done, yes, it might be 25 KB LMFC. A huge monster-of-a-program, no?

And let's not forget, in theory, it will run across all major platforms. Where, I can install it in... what, 10 seconds?



11-Apr-2009 10:55:07
No, you're NOT alone !! I, too, am fed up with all the bloat thats invaded the IT industry. Hopefully Rebol 3 will change that.

Whenever possible, I try to get lightweight alternatives to more heavyweight programs, eg. Foxit Reader ( ) is an excellent lightweight alternative to that heavy-monster (& buggy) which is Adobe Acrobat reader.

12-Apr-2009 13:56:13
My point of view. The editor is the most common application. It is more important to the user base than the browser, as it is open to user input. With Rebol strength in dialects, it could foster a lot of uses of Rebol in specialised contexts. And we need less code in Rebol.
13-Apr-2009 8:26:35
I use the built in editor of REBOL unless there is some reason I can't. Favorite feature is pressing 'F5' to run after code change. Generally, I dislike switching applications when working in a programming languages IDE. My default editor 'vedit, is written in assembler. Still bloated at 564K. Perhaps some type of editor module load could work. I too would like it built in somehow.
Greg Brondo
13-Apr-2009 12:40:18
Tried the code editor -- hangs and then crashed on Ubuntu 64 bit (using rebview -- does it only support R3?)
14-Apr-2009 0:12:34
Greg - no, this is R2 only version. Works here on Windows. Does REBOL/View (R2 version) work for your other View scripts?
Sébastien Jeudy
14-Apr-2009 3:50:25

I haven't found any "copy/paste" function in this (nice) code editor, is it planned for the future in the next versions ? :)

Thanks & Regards.

17-Apr-2009 19:40:43
I also want to congratulate Shadwolf and Steeve on the great work. I couldn't follow the discussion much in ALTME but I could see they had a zeal for what they were doing and the results show they did well. I also want to thank Pekr, for the unselfish act of breaking the news to Carl.
21-Apr-2009 16:14:53
Wonderful and appealing idea - but maybe an "offical" version packaged with REBOL?
22-Apr-2009 1:46:48
Very nice little editor. can be used as builtin editor in View, or can be merged with the current editor in View.
23-Apr-2009 3:26:02
Carl ^^ the right question is why we have such kind of project only in 2009 ... AGG is integrated in rebol/view since 3 or more years now and this kind of rendering emulation is "easy" to do. So why only now.

Well the answer could be that it seems harder to do than it's real difficulty to do.

Area-tc on the very very very first version what it was ?

simple a stylized face which open a file and call an existing rebol syntaxe parser script made by Carl for html (color-code.r) only adapted to output draw instructions instead of html markups...

Ok so Carl's script color-code.r exists since 2005 why no one ever thought about that:" if it output HTML why it can't output draw dialect instruction ?"

As the author of MDP-GUI the way we previously had to render on screen a "formated" document was using compsiting faces. You take a face and you fill it's pane with sub faces abapted to what your markup says. Of course the resulting is slow and eat lot of memory.

Bringing the rendering of text to the draw/AGG stack is so much an incredible gain.

For this project I had 2 main problems. One is with understanding parse (sorry but parse is a foggy thing for me I tried really hard to understand it but it's too complicated ) Second was the pain to have to emulate completly the human/machin interface.

As i'm completly null in both area Steeve done the whole work I tryed to assist him but really that's out of my possibility but I learned alot any way.

For copy/paste it's done now (sorry the project is still under developpement and we release as soon as we build new things in it so stay tuned and visit our repository often.

So for the futur now in R3 what enhancment can we expect.

Or we are lazy and we simply tune up the draw/AGG dialect to make it render even faster. Then area-tc stays external thing like it is actually and can be tunned by any one to feet his own needs (for example I want to color only group of key words each group have a determined color). Something like Draw is a poverfull rendering engine we let the community build an external all purpose advanced text rendering area based on a more accurate draw/AGG.

Or we go to the complicated path we do a widget called ritch-text integrated into rebol/View VM which is open you give a formated text and a drawing rule you say if you want to keep or strip the formating instructions when you do a select copy/paste and there is nothing more you have to care about the widget does it all for you.

Even here it's a need to enhance draw/AGG dialect to make it more addapted to text editing. For example actually we can know the real pixel size X or Y of a what ever font that's why we use fixed size fonts.

For linux version... hum it's related to the fonts. We are developping under windows and for the momment this script doesn't support linux or macOSX because fonts are note handled the same way. This script doesn't support other fonts than fixed-font. (beacause of the text motion handling)

For any idea need propositions, bug report, many ways can be used. Altme -> rebol3-> enhanced area project RebelBB, french forum (Colorisation syntaxique ou are welcome to post in english don't worry)

23-Apr-2009 3:28:18
thank you all anyway for your support ^^ and keep reading us often.

I don't know when R3 will be out but meanwhile I will do all the possible to enhance area-tc (area text color) and build on top of it hte first rebol IDE for rebol in rebol doing rebol for rebol viva rebol ^___^.

23-Apr-2009 21:50:27
New version added to the SVN - some bug fixe - new shortcuts added CTRL+S -> save file (auto detect if it has to work in "save as..." mode) CTRL+O -> open file CTRL+N -> New file

Now area-tc is fuly small REBOL script editor ^_^

I the up comming version Steeve will change completly the rendering process making it completly external so area-tc could then used as a base for rendering any kind of text organised lines (HTML, Makedoc, etc...) but it will be possible to do things like treeview and listviews too.

24-Apr-2009 5:25:48
Carl a note on your remark about "modern" IDE that are large and complicated. That's damn right! one example hum Microsoft Visual Studio .NET (sorry for the trash talking ...).

My goal doing an IDE in rebol for rebol is obviously to highlight and promote the "Keep it Simple" way of thinking (I would say "motto" but that too much Guru and i'm not a Guru lol)

Most of IDE have good ideas but few of them are easy to learn to use and i would say instinctive to use. Rebol is beautyful and powerfull and that's the 2 main aspect I will try to keep in my IDE.

An IDE that is done to help the any level coder to organise and read his code and doing so allow him to save some time and work in a friendly environement.

I don't want to do an IDE so hum accurated than it is for smalltalk for example and I don't want to make an IDE with so many things to click over than your lost in the API on the middle of your project creation.

I learnt code progamming in university under linux/unix using Vi and gcc/gdb 10 years ago... So don't worry i'm not going to go to hell extrem all graphical click the hell all over ^^.

Maybe soemthing neat to include to this project is a virtual splitable text window like you can get it in Vi that would be my tribute to that marvelous fantastic text editor called Vi ^^ ( emacs is cool too ok ..)

24-Apr-2009 5:38:59
Paul my apologyse most of the conversation betwin steeve and me on alteme are in french making hard to participate in it. That our natural language for steeve and me and that's easier to understand accurated consepts using a foreign language.

Anyway the most often possible we try to resum the talk in english through the mytrack/wiki.

Well and some times our chat is not so interesting anyway (lot of jokes and blabering in it...)

Duke Normandin
5-Nov-2010 20:25:52
I want to customize REBOL's builtin editor. How do I do that? Like a different font and font-size, to begin with.
4-Jul-2012 9:44:21
I would like to thank you for your nicely written post, its informative and your writing style encouraged me to read it till end. Thanks here

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