WinEd gets its first significant update in a decade

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News that will be of particular interest to developers, popular template editor WinEd has been receiving some attention.

The application was originally developed by Tony Houghton as a better solution for creating and editing template files than TemplEd, the application Acorn supplied for the task. After Tony stopped working on it, Adam Richardson maintained for a time, and his last release was in 2009. In the intervening period, with changes to RISC OS, it had started to fall behind, suffering problems on newer versions of the operating system.

A template file is a type of resource file used by some RISC OS applications, which hold all of their window and icon definitions, and the use of a template editor means developers can design those windows and icons in a visual way, rather than having to work out all the sizes, positions, values, and so on, and incorporating them into a program.

WinEd uses dialogue boxes as a key part of its main interfaces when designing templates, allows icons to be dragged between one window and another, offers a customisable ‘Picker’ window for users to store their most commonly used icons, and even allows multiple template files to be loaded at the same time. There are also optional tool panes available, as well as keyboard shortcuts. Icon positioning is handled in a sensible way, and makes it easy to ensure a window being designed in a high resolution mode is still suitable when the final application is used in a lower resolution one, and it offers statistics on the size and contents of template files, so developers can see all the information they need when writing the code needed to load and use the files in their applications.

Step forward Steve Fryatt who, acknowledging that he received help from a number of other developers, has released version 3.25 of the application, which not only addresses several stability issues and other bugs, but also brings some improvements to its interface. Dealing with the latter first:

  • Window scrolling has been improved, and now takes into account the contents of both the browser and statistics windows. When available, extended scroll requests are supported – including both within the template currently being edited and, if such requests are enabled in the template, for previews thereof.
  • A new option has been added to the Choices dialogue that allows the default action for an icon to be switched to updating the icon data without changing its dimensions.
  • A Cancel button has been added to the Resize Icons dialogue.
  • The arrows in the Align Icons dialogue have been replaced with ‘left’, ‘right’, ‘up’, and ‘down’.
  • Capitalisation of validation commands in the Icon Picker has been standardised.

And as for those pesky problems that Steve has addressed:

  • For indirected, sprite-only icons, if the maximum text length in the Edit icon dialogue box is set, it no longer returns to ‘minimum’ when the window is next opened.
  • In line with changes made for Ursula (the Acorn code name for RISC OS 3.8, the in-development version of RISC OS that we might have seen on the RiscPC2, aka Phoebe, had it ever reached a point of release, and the starting point for both RISC OS 4 via RISCOS Ltd and, separately, RISC OS 5 via Castle), Exclusive Selection Group (ESG) values – which allow certain types of icon to be linked together so that only one can be selected – are limited to 0-15.
  • When files are saved in the Scrap directory as part of the Data Transfer Protocol, the program no longer performs an overwrite check.
  • When the user is dragging an object, cursor key movement is disabled to prevent one interfering with the other.
  • The browser pane now fills the complete width of the browser window in large screen modes.
  • The ‘Save As’ dialogue closes after a save has been triggered by closing an unsaved file.
  • Template strings are now correctly zero-terminated when passed to the debug logging system.
  • Numerous Zero Pain issues have been resolved.

The application is licensed under the Gnu General Public Licence (GPL) v2, and the source code is held in the RISCOS.info Subversion repository. The software itself can be downloaded either from Steve’s website, or via !Store – or if you want one of those older versions, from either Adam Richardson’s website, or the archive of Tony Houghton’s site that Adam hosts on his.