Friday 28th November 2003

pedit 7.00 Update

While I was reviewing pedit 6.65 Paul Nevai delivered pedit 7.00 which includes hundreds of minor improvements along with a couple of major upgrades. The biggest change is undoubtably that pedit 7.00 now has sixteen MagiPads.

I didn't mention MagiPads in the peditPro 6.65 review but they are basically additional, persistent edit buffers that have a multitude of uses, for example they can be used for:

It is made particulary easy to paste data from a MagiPad into the main document - one button copies the current selection, saves and closes MagiPad and pastes the selection into the main document. The selection you make in each MagiPad is persistent, so when next go back into that MagiPad the text remains highlighted, ready for pasting again.

There were effectively three pads in pedit 6:

In version 7.00 the MagiPad has been replaced by a set of sixteen which can be individually renamed. It looks like there will eventually be sixteen ScriptPads too.

To my mind this makes the whole concept of the MagiPad much more useful. The upgrade is worth the asking price for that improvement alone.

If you use pToolSet, Paul Nevai's pop-up tool suite, then MagiPads can be use to paste standard text into virtually any Palm application. For example I use MagiPad to hold document templates for pedit, task location tags for To-Do and event templates for Calendar.

pedit under PalmOS 5

As mentioned in the original review, pedit can use two databases; MemoPad's and its own database of 32 Kbyte documents. Back in the heady days of its youth this allowed pedit to support unsegmented 32 Kbyte documents while MemoPad was limited to 4 Kbytes.

Now that MemoPad natively supports 32 Kbyte documents under PalmOS 5 the use of two databases is still useful since it gives you two independent sets of 15 categories in which to store your documents.

As pointed out in the pedit 6.65 review there are differences between the way the two databases can be accessed from the Palm's 'slave' desktop computer. But it only takes a few keystrokes to cut 'n' paste a document from one database to the other.

Sorting and Moving Data

pedit has some neat sorting functions. It treats each line of text as a record with fields delimited by whitespace (spaces, tabs, returns etc). It can sort on particular fields, and even on an offset by a certain number of characters into the field. In addition the sort key can be limited to only a certain number of characters.

Sorting is fast. On a Tungsten E, a thousand 30 byte records take under 4 seconds to sort alphabetically. The only limitation I've hit is that sorts don't work across document segments. But I wouldn't want the trade-off in size and performance such functionality would require.

pedit also has some useful text moving functions. It can move arbitrary lumps of text backwards and forwards, by certain number of characters, words, sentences, screen-lines, lines of text and paragraphs. Combined with scripting, advanced search and replace and sorting this gives powerful data manipulation capabilities.

For example I collect entries for a Fantasy F1 game in HanDBase. I found it quite easy to semi-automate the reformatting of exported HanDBase records into JavaScript function calls using pedit. These could then be inserted into the HTML page that generates and displays the results tables.

Further Development

Development continues apace on the pedit family. As of November 2004 the latest version, 7.15, includes limited support for FontBucket. At the moment this support is limited to the List View but use of FontBucket fonts in the Edit View is being developed.

pedit 7.00 is shareware with prices from $9 to $32 depending on version.

Jonathan Littlewood, 28-Nov-2003


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Tags: palmOS, text


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Copyright © 2012 J.M.Littlewood - All rights reserved.
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