Re: [Clip] ClipWriter?
- Hello John,
At 12/16/04 17:15 -0600 you wrote:
>Hello ntb-Clips,I would have thought that no questions should remain after reading the material on the ClipWriter website. I wonder if the descriptions there are that bad? Please let me know, so I can try to improve them...
> Could someone give me an example of where the program "ClipWriter" will help a
> person. I can't understand it yet, maybe some examples would help.
> Or any quick start info that anyone has would be helpful. I will
> register it, If I can find some use for it. I thought it would make
> clips easier to write, like maybe a wysiwyg program, but it looks
> like I will have to learn even more software just to become better at
> the first one. I know the software's author is on the list, but
> please anyone reply with how this software has helped you.
I will try to briefly explain, here, why and when (all the time) I use ClipWriter myself. I'm writing this as a ClipWriter user and fan myself, and not as the author. I can speak as a user, without any effort, because I use the hell out of ClipWriter almost every day, and it has made NoteTab a much more valuable tool than if I were to write my clips single-handedly.
To keep this short, I will just point out four major areas that come to mind without having to think twice.
1) Easy to use. - I wouldn't write a clip longer than one line without using ClipWriter. Why? Two reasons: First, it takes too much time to write code manually in the NoteTab clipbook editor. And second, I don't have all the available instructions (some 400 plus commands) of the clip language on the tip of my tongue --- nor all the rules and hints and tips on how to use the ones I remember!
Using ClipWriter I can concentrate on what really matters, which is rapidly writing the code to perform a certain task.
2) Reducing spelling mistakes. - Misspelling a keyword, or forgetting to add a $ at the end of a function name, which tends to happen quite often, generates error messages that can become a real annoyance while debugging a clip.
ClipWriter inserts the correct function names for you, greatly reducing the occurrence of such errors.
3) Real debugging made possible. - Debugging code is 90% of the programming work. ClipWriter makes it easy to wrap sections of code in between debug commands that indicate where the debug messages should begin and where they should stop. And it also allows you to easily locate and remove those debug instructions once you are done.
Knowing which variable names you have already used --- and where those variables appear in your code --- is essential when you are programming. The ClipWriter Code Inspector gives you a listing of all the variables and labels used in a clip --- and even the command keywords you employed! ---, showing you where they are declared, modified, and referenced. Without this functionality, you are programming blindfolded.
4) Easy to type commands. - Many commands and function names in the clip language require complicated typing acrobatics from the clip programmer in order to type signs like "^", "!" and "$" dozens or hundreds of times. ClipWriter adds those signs for you, and the correct capitalization of command and function names, so that you'll never have to worry about reaching for the Shift key.
As just one example of this convenience, one of the most used commands in the clip language is "^!Set", which appears in almost every other line. Ask yourself what do you prefer, typing fifty times "^!Set", or to just type "set" --- or to, even better, simply type "s"?
(Yes, in ClipWriter you can just type "s", or "set", or "^!Set". It is your choice.)
This not only helps you avoiding boring repetitive tasks, but can also be a healthy factor in preventing carpal tunnel aggravation.
As with any program, there is a learning curve, which shouldn't be too steep, depending on your previous knowledge of the clip language. But, even if that knowledge were very limited or non-existent, you might find the always present and easy to reach command reference to be a great help in learning to write clips. I heavily rely on it myself!
I hope this will answer your question.
Author of ClipWriter and InSight