Saturday, November 6, 2010

PEM Editor Release 6.20 (Alpha) Release Notes

This release contains a number of small, localized enhancements, listed here in no obvious order.

As always with an Alpha release, remember that this code is very new.  It is submitted for your testing, review, and comments.  Use at your own risk.

You can download this release from here.

This release deals primarily with Dynamic Snippets.  (For the original discussion about Dynamic Snippets, originally called PMDs, go here.)

Dynamic snippets are a new IDE tool that allow you to create macro definitions that you can use when writing code which will insert text based on parameters that are passed (for example, entering @F Alias inserts the names of the fields from the table/cursor Alias.)

The basic concept is that in any code window (method code, PRG, or command line), you can enter a sequence of four things to activate a snippet:
  • The snippet-identifier character (default is @)
  • The snippet-keyword (usually an abbreviation, like 'F' above)
  • The parameters that the snippet keyword will act upon
  • And then the snippet Hot Key.
So, the first step is to activate the Dynamic Snippet Hot Key -- go to the Hot Keys tab on the Preferences form, and double-click on the textbox for Dynamic Snippets.  This activates the default key (F5).  You can choose any other key, should you wish, but just be aware that it must be a key that can be defined with ON KEY LABEL.

The next step is to access the Snippet Help screen.  Enter  @Help (or @?) in any code window, and press the Hot Key.  This list shows you all the defined snippets, the parameters they expect, and a detailed description (if appropriate).  Initially, you will only see the few snippets  that are built in to PEM Editor.

However, an inherent part of the design of Dynamic Snippets is that you can easily create your own.  There are quite a few samples provided (including those that duplicate the behavior of those built in to PEM Editor). For a full description of how to create your own, see Create your own Dynamic Snippets

Note that as you modify the sample Dynamic Snippets, or create your own, they will always appear in the snippet Help screen.

The following items were released previously in Version 6.11.01:
  • Go To Definition has been enhanced to simplify the process of creating new methods and properties as you are writing code.  
  • Enhanced Ctrl+X and Ctrl+C have been enhanced so that the copied or cut text can be added to the clipboard instead of replacing it
  • There is a new option in the right-click context menu for the combobox to add new objects to containers (forms, pages, containers, and columns).
  • A new option has been added to the preferences from for standardizing string delimiters -- brackets are now provided as one of the alternatives.

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