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Qedit Full-Screen Editor

Qedit is Robelle's full-screen editor for programmers on MPE and HP-UX. Programmers spend a lot of time editing text. Contrary to some management theories, most people like to work and accomplish things, and programmers are no exception. Any tool that makes work easier will attract their loyalty.

Qedit is one of the text editors available to programmers using HP systems. The first version was released in 1977. The goals in developing Qedit were to provide the maximum power for programming, with the least complex user interface possible, and with tiny system load. Since 1977, Robelle has produced 34 Qedit updates, each one adding new features suggested by our users, features such as COBOL change tags, full-screen editing, user commands, text justify, LaserJet support, porting to HP-UX, Redo stack, unlimited Undo, and many more. Qedit is now more like a shell than like a simple editor. It accepts system commands, including command files or shell scripts, as easily as its own editing commands. The basic goals, however, remain the same. Qedit aims to increase productivity and reduce system load by providing the precise functions a programmer needs and eliminating irritating, redundant, and time-consuming steps (such as saving your file to disc and exiting the editor in order to compile it, then having to re-enter the editor and re-load the file in order to fix the compile errors).

Qedit for Windows

In 1997, Robelle introduced Qedit for Windows, a client-server editor with Qedit running on as the server and a new Windows- style editor running as the client. Using this model, Qedit for Windows maintains a low-overhead (by not having to download an entire file before editing it) while giving users the convenience of editing HP3000, HP-UX, and PC files from a single editor.

Full-screen Editing

Qedit has two different full-screen modes, depending on the type of terminals or emulators you use. For HP terminals it is called Visual mode, for VT terminals it is called Screen mode.

For HP terminals, Qedit is a screen editor with a line-command window as well as a line-mode interface. This makes it easy to switch between making source changes and testing programs. In Visual mode you move around the screen using the cursor keys, edit text using the Delete key, Insert Char, Delete Line, Insert Line, and so on. You update your page by pressing the Enter key and move around your file using the function keys (for example, F4=next string, F6=next page). When you are ready to compile, you type the compile command in the home line and press F7.

Cut-and-paste functions are done as in Xedit, by putting indicators at the left of the screen: for example, put CC on the first and last lines to be copied, then put A on the destination line to copy to the following line, the line "after."

For VT terminals, Screen mode differs from Visual mode by not relying on the block-mode feature of HP terminals. It enables you to page forward and backward through your file, as well as to move, copy, mark and delete blocks of text with Screen mode's cut-and-paste functions.

By default you start in Line mode and switch into Visual or Screen mode by pressing the F1 key. However, you can change the startup default mode by running Qedit a special way:

    qedit "-cvisual"

How to Get Help on Qedit

The entire Qedit user manual is available on-line through the Help command. The Quick Reference Card is available through the HQ command and Screen mode has a one-screen summary of screen options available by typing "?" in the home line and pressing F7.

The Qedit user manual is also available online.

Robelle's web site also contains an area for Qedit Support.

String Search Made Easy

In Qedit you search for strings by doing list \string\. If you don't like back slash "\" as a string delimiter because it requires a shift on your keyboard, try colon (:) or single-quote (') or even double-quote (") instead.

The same word often occurs in both upper case, lower case and mixed case in the same file: BOB, bob, Bob. To list all such variables, use the Upshift option, as in list "bob"(u). Qedit handles embedded words too (that is, bob in bobbin). Use the Smart option to skip over them, as in list "bob"(s).

One of the forgotten features of Qedit commands is their ability to use strings as a rangelist. If you need to modify some lines containing a string, you can do modify \string\. You can use strings in any command that accepts a range of line numbers, and you can further qualify strings if you use window options. Here are some instances where this feature is useful:

Deleting all lines with the string "superfluous."

    delete "superfluous"

Deleting all lines without the string "superfluous."

    delete "superfluous"(nomatch)

Change "bug" to "undocumented feature", but only on those lines that have the string "unexplained."

    change "bug"undocumented feature" "unexplained"

Delete all blank lines.

    delete "~" (pattern)

Find the next occurrence of the string ".font" starting in column 1.

    find ".font" (1/5)

List all occurrences of "Frank," but not in words such as "Frankenstein."

    list "Frank" (smart)

For more of "Qedit's Forgotten Commands", download Hans Hendriks' tutorial on this topic from the Robelle web server.

Looking at Files

How often have you been editing a file and had to save it, just to look at another file, then had to copy the original file back in again? Qedit lets you list any file on the system without making a copy of it and without stopping your edit work:

   list /usr/local/WWW/welcome.html
   list $ 1/100      {first 100 lines of same file}
   list $ last-100/  {last 100 lines of same file}
   list $ "<strong"  {string search on same file}

Print in Landscape on a LaserJet

You can list your files to any HP-UX print device and using PCL option 1 in Qedit.
   list $pcl 1 $device LASER2

Undo Your Qedit Changes

At one time or another we've all had the feeling that we hit the Return key one time too many and wished we could take it back. The Undo command in Qedit allows you to do just that. Not only can it take back the last command, but it can also take back all editing commands entered since the last Text or Open. When you enter Undo by itself, Qedit displays the command to be undone with the number of lines that it affected. You then have to confirm whether or not you want to go ahead with the Undo. If you enter Undo many times in a row, it moves back in the Undo command stack, one command at a time. If you wish to undo all your changes, you can enter Undo All. If you decide that you wanted these changes after all, entering Undo re-applies them. Undo works in Line mode as well as in Full-screen mode.

If you want to see the contents of the Undo history stack, you can enter Listundo. The commands are displayed in reverse order, that is, starting with the most recent command. It displays each command, the number of lines affected and the text lines. Few programs on the HP 3000 have an Undo command. Many microcomputer programs do include an Undo command but usually it works only on the most recent operation.

List $PCL Codes in Qedit

Qedit has $PCL numeric codes by which users select useful LaserJet fonts and options for their printing. Qedit translates its arbitrary codes into HP's Printer Command Language (PCL).

The $PCL codes are arbitrarily numbered 1 to 11, with modifiers. To select a font using only the ASCII character set, instead of HP's default Roman-8 character set, add 1000 to the $PCL code. To use A4-size paper, add 2000. To use A4-paper and select ASCII, add 3000.

Text version

A4 paperLetter-size
PCL L/P FontRows Columns Rows Columns Notes
4 Plp8512880132
6Llp6022360223legal-size (note 2)
10Llp58956087two columns
11Llp60110601102-up legal (note 2)

Note 1: "L/P" means "Landscape or Portrait" orientation.

Note 2: 6 and 11 assume US legal paper, but you may like how 2006 and 2011 look on A4.

You can set a default $PCL code for all listings or for just the current List command.

Text version

/set list pcl 10{two-up listing will be the default}
/list $pcl 3003 $lp{Std, Ascii char only, A4-size paper}

Qedit is a trademark of Robelle Solutions Technology Inc.

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