[xplorer˛] — Editor˛
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"Size matters...or does it?"

When you press <F3> on a selected file in xplorer˛ you launch the "internal" text viewer called editor˛. It is a standalone notepad/textpad replacement that integrates closely with xplorer˛ especially when you have many windows open. It is blindingly fast and nimble and as we're going to discover it packs some punch too. I'd say that I spend more time in editor˛ than in xplorer˛ itself! I use it to write HTML (e.g. this blog), maintain the bug and feature request list of xplorer˛ and as a generic note taking scratch pad — who needs paper nowadays?

Historically editor˛ predates xplorer˛. For fun and programming practice I had written a notepad replacement called 2xEditor around 2000 using Microsoft Foundadion C++ Classes (MFC). Then I discovered WTL and loved it instantly due to its lightweight nature and clarity. Editor˛ was the pet project I used to learn WTL around 2001 I think. The same functionality that in 2xEditor amounted to 320KB, was packed in a 84KB executable, that's the magic of WTL. Once warmed up, I started on xplorer˛ using ATL for the shell COM bits and WTL for the GUI, and the rest is history.

Back then, I had a little sporting contest for the title of the smallest notepad replacement with the likes of MetaPad. There were programs smaller than editor˛ (e.g. TheGun written in assembler at a ridiculously low 5KB) but for feature to weight ratio the contest was between MetaPad and editor˛. I think editor˛ was trailing a few KB. Oh well... Nowadays it is beefed up to around 120KB after the latest round of additions for build 2802. In this vista age, 120KB is insignificant and size comparisons purely academic.

At a stretch you can use editor˛ for software development too (e.g. Matlab) but realistically HTML "source code" is the limit. View | Auto indent is great for indenting blocks of text and Autotext is great for vanilla HTML formatting codes. Instead of describing it in writing, here's a demo composing today's blog in editor˛.

As a text viewer it's really fast even with larger files. It automatically detects unicode and UTF-8 text (if your file doesn't have a BOM you must specify its type when you open it). It is codepage aware (View menu) for those friends of yours that insist sending you jokes in Greek <g>. The search capabilities are great too; you can even search for control characters like tabs and newlines. I could go on... just browse the menu commands available.

There are probably as many notepad replacements as file managers, but editor˛ is no joke — pure unassuming value. This is a (translated from greek) joke:

(son and father discuss)
"- Dad, I heard that in Africa, a man doesn't know the woman he's going to marry until the wedding day!"
"- This my son happens in every country."

Have a nice week!

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