Feedback Search Top Backward Forward

A Programmer's Editor Shootout

Program Editor V2.

Written by Andrew Pitonyak

Rev-1 Rev-2 Rev-3 Rev-4 Rev-5 Rev-6 Rev-7 Rev-8 Rev-9 Rev-10 Rev-11


Program Editor is a PM-based text editor with an extremely powerful and flexible scripting language.

Packaging and Installation

The packaging consisted of a single self extracting install program. To get the self extracting install program, I downloaded MAPE226.ZIP which contains the executable and FILEID.DIZ. The installation is simple and painless.

A partial list of features follows:

  • Customizable edit functions (scripts)
  • Can run the compiler with an Exec from within the editor
  • Customizable to position the cursor at errors
  • Automatic indention
  • Auto save
  • Virtually unlimited undo and redo
  • Jump makers
  • Search and replace, forward and backward
  • Detab
  • Truncate trailing white space
  • Spell check
  • Extended characters easily entered
  • File search based on file name and contained text
  • Selectable fonts
  • Adjustable tabs
  • Cool statistics display
  • Network support
  • Can use extended attributes to associate files to Program Editor
  • Remote operation
Program Editor is designed to be a simple stable editor and in my opinion it meets these goals. On the surface, Program Editor appears unremarkable. In fact, I initially did not like it because I can not keep multiple files open simultaneously in a single session. Please note there is no problem opening multiple sessions and thus multiple files.

Program Editor can use the extended attributes to associate files so that Program Editor will be started when you double click on a file. The extended attributes are also used to store markers dropped in a file. This allows up to 128 markers to be retained between editing sessions for each file. This is a nice touch. After dropping multiple markers in a file, you can move forward and backwards through the markers.

The find dialog is non-modal and you can have more than one open at a time. This allowed me to easily search for multiple things in quick succession.

I liked the status line, the following items are included: auto indenting status, tab character usage, insert or overtype mode, top display line number, cursor location, character offset, and the number of mismatched brackets from the current cursor location.

Program Editor can be controlled remotely using window messages. This functionality is used by PM Make, but enough information is included so that you can control Program Editor yourself. I did not try this myself, but I was intrigued by this ability.

Probably the most impressive thing about Program Editor is the scripting capability. It pretty much knocked my socks off so to speak. A full set of looping constructs is supported along with variables, arrays, mathematical expressions, boolean operations, event triggers, and dialogs. With other scripting languages, I usually immediately notice things that would limit my ability to use the scripts. This was not the case with Program Editor. In fact, as I read more and more about the scripting capabilities, my response was WOW!

The scripting language is similar to C in syntax. I was intrigued by one included example:

          if(!eoln) del();
          else() break();
The first command moves the cursor to the start of the line and the loop command says that the loop should be executed "tab" times. "tab" represents the number of spaces represented by a tab. Note that a simpler version is given as:
  /move text to prior tab position/
The scripting language is capable of many things. I recommend that you spend the time to become familiar with it.

I was amused that the spell check knew the words introducing, introductions, and introductive, but not introduction. After adding the word to the dictionary, it still was waiting for my input as to what to do with the misspelled word "introduction". I found many examples of these types of omissions with the spell check dictionary. Be prepared to add words to the dictionary.

Wrap Up

The more I used Program Editor the more impressed I became. I noticed no instabilities or bugs. I was impressed that all known bugs, a very short list, are listed at the end of the very well written INF file.


Written by:

Peter Koller
Maison des Anglais
29530 Plonevez du Faou

Program Editor V2.25 costs $22.90 per copy.

E-mail    :
Home page :

BMT Micro can be used using the standard methods

BMT Micro
PO Box 15016
Wilmington, NC 28408

(800) 414-4268 (orders only)
(910) 791-7052