Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Studio Developer Cool New Feature #2 - Action Diagram Editor

At #2 of the cool new features of Studio Developer is the look and feel of the new action diagram editor. Unlike the legacy Gen toolset where you have to use mouse clicks to build up statements, the new editor allows you to type in the statements using the keyboard in an intuitive manner that is similar to most other code editing workbenches like

The auto-suggest / auto-complete feature provides assistance in the syntax and possible options and these can also be selected using the keyboard or mouse to avoid having to type in the whole statement.

One of the big advantages of combining keyboard use with the auto-suggest lists is the filtering of possible choices. In large action diagrams with many views or when selecting exitstates from a large list, you could end up spending a lot of time scrolling through all of the options, but once you start typing in the name, the automatic list filtering soon reduces the list to a manageable size.

Some types of statements also have an auto-complete feature, for example if you start a FOR SUBSCRIPT statement, an auto-complete is available to create the FROM 1 TO LAST condition.

There are many other improvements to the editor, for example, the block markers for the selected statement are highlighted, making it much easier to decide where to locate NEXT/ESCAPE pointers, which can be adjusted using the keyboard arrow keys.

Another much requested enhancement is the ability to edit complex statements without needing to re-enter the whole statement, for example when the statement contains nested functions.

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