Welcome Iron Beta 00 Testers!
Thank you for joining us at DarkViking Software and taking “Iron” on a test drive during it’s beta development phase. We look forward to your input, feedback, critiques and new ideas as we continue to define and design Iron’s Re-Imagined Workspace.
Our goal is to make a text editor that leverages the power of 3D graphics to create a more enjoyable programming experience. Our intention is to offer a quick and easy editing capability for the novice programmer and high-performance features the professional programmer may customize.
Let’s get you started…
Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.Steve Jobs
- Explore Iron using the menu system. Iron offers many of the editing features found in other legacy editors. The menu system will help you with the default key bindings. And the menu contains links to Help and other online documentation.
- To close this file, or any other, type Ctrl+C. To re-open this file, click on the file tab at the right side of the “pane.”
- To create a new file, type Ctrl+N. The first line of text will determine the file name until you Rename the file with Ctrl+R at which point you may save it to a directory of your choice.
- To open an existing file, type Ctrl+O. All of these file utilities are available under the menu system’s File drop-down menu.
- To quit Iron, type Alt+X or Alt+F4.
- The Escape key Esc cancels most everything in Iron (including selections). Type Ctrl+Z to undo text and selection changes and Ctrl+Shift+Z to redo them.
We encourage you to try out Iron’s Virtual Space Editing mode and tap into the power of column and line multi-selections. And for those looking for editing proficiency “outside the normal box”, Iron’s Sticky Selection mode will change the way experienced programmers manipulate their source code. Using Sticky Selections may take some time to get comfortable with, however we believe the benefits are well worth the effort.
Try things out and then tailor Iron to match your preferences. We offer softer transitions, experimental audio cues, animated notifications, positive feedback for all actions, clear type fonts, color and animation (flying text) and have many more 3D graphical capabilities in the works.
Iron is a fully-functional editor that we use exclusively for our own development. It is easily customized (key bindings, menus, syntax highlighting, scopes and colors) and fun to use.
However, Iron is also very much “under development” with many features only partially implemented, not yet present at all (such a regular expression searches) or in an experimental state (e.g the Command Palette).
Our Re-Imagined Workspace leverages video game-like interaction, and while being a serious source code editor for professionals, is a new direction for development tools. While perhaps unconventional, we are already demonstrating significant benefits and performance gains using this technology. We fully intend to have Iron be a game changer and need your real-world use and feedback to help us develop this new environment.
Here are a few things to watch out for in this beta:
- The horizontal tab character is not processed properly so use of the Tab key generates spaces. There are a number of tab-to-space and space-to-tab utilities available for use when reading and writing files and on-demand. Horizontal tab characters will be handled completely and properly in the near future.
- Selecting text with the mouse defines a column or line selection and uses the Escape key Esc to cancel. This will be replaced with “stream selections” and word/context selections as most programmers are use to. To date, we have focused on the keyboard interface and have expended almost no effort beyond an experimental mouse interface.
- Iron currently supports ASCII-only. Full UTF-8 support is just around the corner.
- Some minimum editing features you’d expect that are not yet implemented in Iron:
– Regular expression searches
– Fuzzy search and project pane file loading
– Search in reverse
– Mouse selection (as done in Windows and other editors)
- C/C++ comment blocks using /* … */ don’t always render using the correct color.
- Iron is a Virtual Space Editor at heart and originally offered only Sticky Selections mode column and line selections. “Stream” or standard selections as found in other editors and operating systems is new to Iron hence there are likely to be fine-editing quirks. There are definitely issues with stream style multi-selections that will be addressed soon.
Iron is in the early stages of development. We need your feedback to help us clarify Iron’s design and feature set. We invite your expert help, opinions, insights and great ideas. Please tell us what you like and what doesn’t work for you. Don’t hold back, just be real and be fair.
Our desire is to step beyond traditional, boring “1984” text editors with a new look, new feel and an environment that is fun, engaging and easy to use. Help make Iron your favorite editor with the features you want and a look and feel you love.
For all feedback on Iron Beta 00, please sign up and contribute to Iron’s Forum.
Please make suggestions on any topic. Our features are admittedly under-developed, not entirely complete in some cases and/or in an experimental state. If you find issues, small or large, or have a brainstorm for the super-perfect, ultra-magical feature, please let us know. We need your help to improve Iron and understand it’s short-comings, how to build on its untapped potential and understand where unseen advantages lie. Your expert input is critical.
And let us know what you like, what excites you, what inspires you and what feature you’d like to have the most. To hear that Iron is cool, meets a need you have, is an editor you want to show others — that really encourages and inspires us!
Helpful would be a list of features, in order of most-important first, that’d you like to see us implement. We have a huge pile of features planned but need your input to help us prioritize what to focus on first, what will enable you to move fastest and be a better programmer.