Topic: text editing

topics > computer science > Group: document preparation

display console as a user interface
editor as the UserInterface
editing by cut and paste
editing data
selecting text with a mouse
spelling errors
structured editors
word processing


Text editing is a major part of software development. Text is usually a sequence of characters organized into lines, and modified at a movable current position. Random access is provided by line numbers and string searches.

Useful features include split windows, syntax mactching, exploded views, bookmarks, refactoring, and autosave. (cbb 5/80)

Subtopic: split screen up

Quote: split screen editor with 3 lines for queries and status information [»maclIA11_1977]
Quote: an embedded template displays a linked object as a field of the source object; allows simultaneous viewing and editing [»laiKY10_1988]

Subtopic: syntax matching up

Quote: the Z editor includes commands for locating matching parentheses [»woodSR6_1981]
Quote: automatic parenthesis-matching in EMACS briefly moves the cursor to the matching parenthesis [»stalRM6_1981]

Subtopic: exploded and compressed view up

Quote: Z can explode a paragraph into its individual sentences for easy editing [»woodSR6_1981]
QuoteRef: cbb_1973 ;;11/1/76 idea in one of the display editors in survey of editors -- display only first 20 words of a line.

Subtopic: bookmark up

Quote: Z's mark command allows users to set bookmarks for later retrieval; can be in another file [»woodSR6_1981]

Subtopic: select and edit up

Quote: insert text in Star by making a selection and begin typing [»smitDC4_1982]
Quote: move text in Smalltalk by selecting the text, issuing a 'cut', selecting the destination, and issuing a 'paste' [»teslL8_1981]

Subtopic: refactoring up

Quote: a refactoring browser can split up long routines, rename methods and variables, move code with drag and drop; e.g., Brant [»huntA_2000]
Quote: do not modify data when exploring transformations; instead, create a view on the visible records [»ramaV9_2001]

Subtopic: text-mode editor up

QuoteRef: goldA3_1976 ;;10 editing by current position and by changing current position (via tree walking)
Quote: simple editor with bot, next line, overstrike, and null character; $ starts execution [»kherL9_1978]
Quote: access lines by line number, relative to current position, or by original line number [»maclIA11_1977, OK]

Subtopic: command editor up

Quote: English phrases better than notations for controlling an editor; on all measures, e.g., nearly half the mistakes [»ledgH10_1980]
Quote: most users preferred the English editor over the notational; no preference at the beginning of the experiment [»ledgH10_1980]
Quote: better performance when editing commands were English phrases instead of notations; novice and expert [»ledgH_1981]
Quote: English phrase editor better than notational editor at 0.001 confidence level with 24 subjects [»ledgH_1981]

Subtopic: implementation up

QuoteRef: goodM6_1981 ;; {good paper on designing editors (Etude). pilot implementation only (runs slow!)}
Quote: Lara describes text as a chain of pieces of a text file; (file, start, length) [»gutkJ9_1985]
Quote: editing in TOPD occurs on a text file called the scratchpad
Quote: BACO stores a program statement as a 'line-image' indexed by its line number [»vanmJ1_1977]
Quote: stores text lines as fixed length records on disk; accessed via an vector of logical line numbers in memory [»maclIA11_1977]
Quote: EMACS separates updating the display from the editing operation; simplifies extensions [»stalRM6_1981]
Quote: Emacs is a real-time display editor which can be extended by the user while it is running [»stallRM6_1981]
Quote: EMACS commands report the range of modified text. The display processor updates the screen to match the text one change at a time [»stallRM6_1981]
Quote: Oberon describes texts as a linked list of text pieces; e.g., insert a string by splitting the piece (3 pieces when done) [»wirtN9_1989]
Quote: for editing large files, use a temporary file to hold the text of the visible portion [»pikeR1_1994]

Subtopic: statistics up

Quote: editing accounts for more than half of an average user's work
Quote: in a research center, 3/4's of all commands were text editing commands [»millLA10_1978]
Quote: text editing consists of 1/2 typing, 1/4 cursor movement, 1/8 deletion, and 1/8 other functions [»whitJ6_1982]
Quote: users tend to alternate subtasks when editing, e.g., between deleting and typing [»whitJ6_1982]

Subtopic: autosave up

QuoteRef: sammJE_1969 ;;689 autosave parameters option-- back's up user's work periodically auto

Subtopic: typewriter up

Quote: typewriters still better for forms, and very short documents such as buck slips or telephone messages

Related Topics up

Topic: display console as a user interface (10 items)
Topic: editor as the UserInterface (10 items)
Topic: editing by cut and paste (8 items)
Topic: editing data (6 items)
Topic: selecting text with a mouse (14 items)
Topic: spelling errors (18 items)
Topic: structured editors (35 items)
Topic: word processing
(13 items)

Updated barberCB 2/05
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