Haeleth wrote:It's a nice idea in principle, but of little obvious value in practice. Plus, surely it's rather hard to implement in a general-purpose editor? Either it would have to be hardcoded into UltraEdit, like it is in most IDEs, or it would require a pretty complicated scripting language to define the syntax of each language used.
Nice idea but little obvious value in practice??? What? Um okay you are coding for some project and you need to know what the syntax is for a certain function you are typing in. What do you do? You go and look in the documentation for it.... OR you just hit a freaking hotkey and it tells you what the proper syntax is. Hello?? Is that obvious enough value for you? I can't think that any real programmers out there would not think this would be a great benefit.
And regarding implementation, it certainly does not have to be hard coded at all into Ultraedit. It can use some sort of text file just like the WORDFILE does for syntax highlighting. Check it out:
The user is doing some coding. He types in some function command like...
and then he wonders "hmm now what was the proper flag syntax for this?" Then all he does is hit the hotkey. Ultraedit checks out the external text doc that contains the syntax definitions and it parses through it until it finds the right command "functionName". Ultraedit sees the syntax for it in this file. So it takes that syntax and creates a tooltip popup that says this:
functionName -option1 string -option2 string -option3 int
and the user says "oh yeah! I want to use option 2!" So he continues typing out his function and the proper option he needed....
Syntax hints are a totally helpful thing. And I wouldn't worry about the support side of this. Yes there are a million different programming languages out there. I primarily mess with MEL and HSL (no one here probably even knows what those are) for my profression in 3d graphics and motion capture. I certainly would not expect the Ultraedit developers to determine what all the proper code syntax is for MEL or HSL and then add that. That is something I can do on my own if I want to. And I would certainly take the time to do it too, because it would save SO much time in the long run.
You see, all the Ultraedit dev's need to do is make this idea work similar to the Syntax Highlighting. The syntax code is not hard coded at all. It just works off of some external text document that anyone can add to and remove whatever they want. This keeps the developer's support for this to a minimum...
Is this more clear why this is a good idea now?