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New Zap release

By Chris Williams. Published: 12th Nov 2002, 15:14:41 | Permalink | Printable

Version 1.45. Holy moly, it's stable!

zap icon"You've missed some very important news", cries a drobe reader to us in an email late last night. Gosh! How could such a thing happen? It turns out Zap, an established feature stuffed text and code editor, has not only reached version 1.45 but it's now officially stamped as stable by the developers. It's been four years now since the last official stable release (1.40 on 26th October 1998), so we can understand the celebrations. Zap is also ten years old this year so a stable release as a birthday surprise must have seemed like a good idea.

So Zap 1.45. The original announcement appeared on the zap-announce mailing list on Saturday evening and the change log from the previous version is reassuringly lengthy and illustrates the extensive number of changes to the application in order for it to earn this year's stable badge. If you've not heard of Zap before then you need to get wise on the subject. Zap is a text editor that caters for users and programmers alike and is developed by a number of contributors although version 1.45 was developed principally by James Aylett, Darren Salt and Christian Ludlam. One might say that Zap tries to do too much as it has modes for just about every possible file type, from C to BASIC to HTML to Obey scripts to Perl to simple plain text and back again. It'll disassemble code, it'll edit emails and it'll stick a geeky icon on your iconbar as well as a whole lot more. It's that huge and yet happily runs in 180K of RAM.

zap screenshot

Before you start accusing us of being biased towards Zap, it's cards on the table time. drobe.co.uk is split on the choice of favourite editor. Simply put, some of us prefer StrongED and some of us swear by Zap (1.35 admittedly). We have our different views on what we expect from a text editor and for the sake of preventing an editor war breaking out (again), we'll save any review of Zap for a later indepth article. While that feature is being put together, we quickly contacted Zap distribution master James Aylett for his thoughts and commentary on the Zap 1.45 release.

"v1.45 was intended to be the start of a stabilising process, whereby we update Zap gradually to a more solid and future-proof role", James confidently explained in his swift reply. "As such there are quite a few changes under the skin (internationalisation support, internal configuration variables and so forth) that will have little impact on most users.

"It is considered much more stable than v1.40, and there are a decent set of enhancements and additions, such as a Diff colouring mode, the ability to detect filetypes based on file contents, clonable modes allowing different configurations of the same mode, and binary editing modes for 16bit and 64bit (HalfWord and DoubleWord) quantities. There are also lots of bugfixes :-)"

Viewfinder and Zap users are encouraged to use version 0.42 of the ZapRedraw module with the latest Viewfinder driver. What's planned for the next Zap release, then?

"..work has now started on v1.46, where we're doing much more under-the-skin overhauling, including making Zap 32bit compatible", James continued. "This will probably take some time, and there will almost certainly be a couple of releases without all the extensions, as we convert them gradually. Users probably won't see much difference for a while, except that the memory requirements should go down."



Zap homepage

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It'd be nice to be able to get, say, the new assembler features without all the crap menu and config system. I still stick to 1.35 because anything later is just horrible to use.

 is a RISC OS Userian on 12/11/02 3:40PM
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Has anyone ever created any "Created in Zap" buttons for webpages? If not, I might do some myself...

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 12/11/02 9:03PM
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(awaits Chocky's "...")

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 12/11/02 9:03PM
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I prefer to leave a 'Created on RISC OS' button.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 12/11/02 9:20PM
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Bah, StrongEd all the way for me.

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 12/11/02 11:33PM
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Yay. Editor war.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 13/11/02 12:17AM
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Humpf, I downloaded and installed and now every text document I open it thinks its an email. Bah.

 is a RISC OS Userdanielbarron on 13/11/02 9:36AM
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I used to use !Zap. Then #riscos converted me to !StrongEd

I haven't looked back since :-)

Andy. (iconbar.com)

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 13/11/02 10:25AM
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Nettle was written mostly in Zap, so there :p


 is a RISC OS Useraardvark on 13/11/02 2:53PM
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And all my email and cross-compiling is done in a Nettle window, so um, there.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 13/11/02 3:00PM
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Andypoole just goes to prove how crap IRC is.

 is a RISC OS Userian on 13/11/02 3:20PM
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:-) (-:

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 13/11/02 6:42PM
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From Chris: > I prefer to leave a 'Created on RISC OS' button.

So would I - but I can't, really, because I do a lot of CSS stuff; which I can't do on my RPC. So although I do practically everything on my RPC apart from that, I'd still feel a bit dodgy including a "Created on RISC OS" button. Same would go for a Zap button, really.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 13/11/02 7:12PM
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Go for a "Ed1t0r w4rz!" button.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 13/11/02 8:43PM
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Pah. CSS. Do you want an "Almost created on RISC OS" button, or do you agree that it doesn't sound all that cool? ;)

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 13/11/02 10:22PM
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What about "Content created on RISC OS, shite fancy bits created on Windows" button? :-p

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 14/11/02 9:07AM
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Everyone knows !Zap and vi are the only true editors.

-- Ian Hawkins (g0tai)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 14/11/02 9:22AM
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!Zap and pico!


 is a RISC OS Useraardvark on 14/11/02 12:07PM
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 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 14/11/02 4:37PM
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yocto? -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 14/11/02 8:57PM
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 is a RISC OS UserPhlip on 17/11/02 9:15AM
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!Edit, or the BBC Master version? :-p

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 17/11/02 9:23AM
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I edit my files by moving magnets really quickly over the harddisc case and writing directly to disc. Really.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 17/11/02 1:41PM
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For those people planning to buy an Iyonix PC, you'll be pleased to hear we have just got !Zap running on Iyonix under Aemulor.

To satisfy both corners, StrongED is also working fine :)


Neil www.aemulor.com

 is a RISC OS Userspellinn on 17/11/02 6:58PM
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