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Why is Text Edit not a session type?

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  • Why is Text Edit not a session type?

    I am evaluating BC3 at the moment and so far it has met all my somewhat demanding functional requirements. I love having file and folder compare, folder sync and text editing in the same program with scripting and command line fully implemented. But some of your UI design choices seem quite bizarre!

    In particular, I can execute the command line 'BCompare /edit' multiple times and get multiple (empty) text editing tabs in the same BC instance. I can then drag-and-drop different files onto each tab to get a multi-tab text editing session. Trouble is this seems to be the ONLY way of creating multiple text editing tabs. Text editing is not a session type on the new session menu (why not?), nor is it in the left-hand button column on the 'open session' tab. There does not appear to be anywhere on the BC window where you can drop a file to get it to open in a new tab - it always replaces the content of an existing tab, keeping it text edit if the current tab is a text edit, otherwise changing the current tab to text compare with an empty right side.

    Am I missing some design subtlety here? If not, why not simply make text editing a session type? It would also be good if dropping a file on the menu bar or title bar (or an empty area of the tab bar if it is showing) would create a new tab rather than overwriting the current tab.

  • #2
    Sessions have saved Session Settings, including the file paths they are comparing and the criteria for the comparison. You can then reload a saved session to re-compare the files (or folders). If you drag and drop a file on the main home screen, we look at the File Format's list and open the corresponding type of compare (which, would be a Text Compare in this case). We don't have a format associated with the Text Edit tool.

    The Text Edit is technically a 'tool' in the Tools menu. When launched it isn't a specific session type that can be saved (and does not populate the auto-saved sessions list). Adding a drag target is certainly an idea we can consider. You could also create a hotkey to launch the Text Edit directly, without needing the /edit command line or the Tools menu -> Text Edit.
    Aaron P Scooter Software


    • #3
      Ah, I now see you can open a new text editor tab from Tools, Edit Text File, then you can open a file in that tab. This is what I wanted, just it is a little eccentric in relation to other text editing programs! Another feature I'm missing is making indentation (auto or with the tab key) use spaces rather than tabs. You obviously recognize the problem as there is the feature to convert tabs to spaces, but there does not seem to be a setting to stop new tabs from being inserted as you subsequently edit.

      Another thing that is puzzling me is why Folder Compare and Folder Sync are both needed - they seem to have pretty much the same functionality, just (slightly) different presentation.

      And another suggestion: On a Text Compare you can slide the border between the left and right file panes, but you cannot do this on a Folder Compare. This would be useful as the Folder Compare is a pretty good Explorer replacement, but there is a lot of wasted space if you only have a left folder open.


      • #4

        Actually, the Text Edit does use the currently detected File Format, which can be customized in the Tools menu -> File Formats, specific format, Misc tab to "insert spaces instead of tabs."

        Folder Sync was introduced to give a very large, full screen preview of the sync. Previously, BC2 (and BC3)'s Folder Compare also has a sync functionality, but a more limited preview area. Enhancing the preview and reworking this interface is something we're always looking into.

        Customizing the splitter is something we have looked into, but is a larger change that would initially appear. It's on our wishlist.
        Aaron P Scooter Software