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Suggestions for Small Basic RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • First of all, great product!  Please continue to invest in this.

    I have a couple of minor suggestions for your IDE.  These are nit picky, but I figure there is someone on your team who wants to polish every last rough edge, so here are a few: 
    - Have the MDI windows behave like proper MDI children.  Put maximize, restore, and minimize buttons on the windows, and add the usual Tile, Arrange All, etc. options for window management. 
    - Add the ability to create a compiled executable.
    - Add the ability to step through the code and set breakpoints.  Nothing fancy, but it would be nice to be able to show my daughter how the computer proceeds through her code, especially when trying to illustrate why a particular bug is occurring. 
    - Add a help file that includes a command reference.
    - I like how the editor automatically indents the next line in an If-Then loop, but sometimes it screws up the indentation and ends up out-denting or doing something strange.  I can give you specific repro steps if you're interested.
    - I like how the editor automatically fixes the capitalization of keywords (e.g. "ElseIf" or "EndSub") but sometimes it fails to do this (e.g. "elseif" or "endsub").
    - The row,col indicator in the bottom right corner is nearly invisible.  It is a shadowed white font on a near-white background.  I recommend making this a bit more prominent, especially since error messages point to a row,col location.
    - Error messages should highlight the offending line, instead of just giving the location.
    - I'm not sure what the purpose of the right pane is.  It doesn't give much information, other than what keyword my cursor is currently near.

    I hope this helps.  Again, great product overall.  I look forward to watching this evolve.

    Regards,
    Stephen
    Saturday, September 5, 2009 6:45 AM

All replies

  • Current look&feel is the effect of months of work including SmallBasic forum. So I'm sure your suggestion will be discussed but you should not expect to implement them all in next release.

    Just some of my thoughts: and some of my comments from the very own point of view.

    - Have the MDI windows behave like proper MDI children.(...)  100% agree

    - Add the ability to create a compiled executable. You can do this now...

    - Add the ability to step through the code and set breakpoints.  Nothing fancy, but it would be nice to be able to show my daughter how the computer proceeds through her code, especially when trying to illustrate why a particular bug is occurring.  This suggestion will live forever... ;) I can live without debugger but I understand all others.

    - Add a help file that includes a command reference. Such help is available online.

    - I like how the editor automatically indents the next line in an If-Then loop, but sometimes it screws up the indentation and ends up out-denting or doing something strange.  I can give you specific repro steps if you're interested. If it's a bug - it probably will be resolved. I think some steps to reproduce may be helpful.

    - I like how the editor automatically fixes the capitalization of keywords (e.g. "ElseIf" or "EndSub") but sometimes it fails to do this (e.g. "elseif" or "endsub"). Small Basic is case insensitive so I think such change is not needed.

    - The row,col indicator in the bottom right corner is nearly invisible.  It is a shadowed white font on a near-white background.  I recommend making this a bit more prominent, especially since error messages point to a row,col location. It depends on display setings. From my own point of view it's OK.

    - Error messages should highlight the offending line, instead of just giving the location. Sounds great for me.

    - I'm not sure what the purpose of the right pane is.  It doesn't give much information, other than what keyword my cursor is currently near. I love right pane ;) It displays exactly what I need.


    Grzesio
    Saturday, September 5, 2009 7:16 AM

  • - The row,col indicator in the bottom right corner is nearly invisible.  It is a shadowed white font on a near-white background.  I recommend making this a bit more prominent, especially since error messages point to a row,col location.
    I agree. The scroll bar is also difficult to see at times. It gets smaller and smaller, and white with white background, it pretty much disappears.


    - Error messages should highlight the offending line, instead of just giving the location.
    Double clicking an error moves the cursor to the error.


    I know other forum members like a clean & simple interface, but maybe adding optional tooltips or some other assistance would help alert newer users to lesser known features of the Environment.

    Saturday, September 5, 2009 8:36 AM
  • I agree that anything that makes the interface easier to use is good, especially if they are standard features that any windows user will already be familiar with such as minimise, maximise, tile etc.  The right click Format Program is great, perhaps also Find and Replace (Control H) as well as just Find - more than once I have copied to WordPad to edit a file.

    I find the right pane really helpful as a help resource for the keywords and their syntax.  Perhaps more could be made of this with a small example for each command and maybe a link to a (popup or import) with a small commented sample using the command.  Perhaps as a start we could build a more comprehensive and systematic set of short samples featuring the use of each command and even short programming suggestions such as event keyboard control, using subroutines etc. using the SB Wiki .
    Saturday, September 5, 2009 9:53 AM
    Moderator
  • One more thing - after I run and then close the program, the editor window should get the focus.  Right now I have to click back in the code window in order to get my cursor there.

    I have no expectations about when my suggestions will make it into the product.  I'm just posting these to help you guys out.  :)

    How do you create compiled code within Small Basic?  I don't see that function anywhere.

    thanks,
    Stephen

    Saturday, September 5, 2009 4:51 PM
  • If you save your code somewhere case.sb and run it, a compiled executable will be present in the same directory, case.exe .
    Saturday, September 5, 2009 5:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Never mind... I found out by reading the forums. 

    Another suggestion - if I open Small Basic by double-clicking on a file or choosing a file from the start menu, it should not open the Untitled window too.

    Regards,
    Stephen
    Saturday, September 5, 2009 10:20 PM
  • Another suggestion - if I open Small Basic by double-clicking on a file or choosing a file from the start menu, it should not open the Untitled window too.

    +1
    Fremy - Developer in VB.NET, C# and JScript ... - Feel free to try my extension
    Sunday, September 6, 2009 12:44 PM