Is there a suggested code writing / editing app for typing up code before I copy & paste it into Tinderbox?
It’s OK start inside Tinderbox, not least as no other apps have support for Tinderbox action/export code syntax. The main gotchas are using ‘smart’ RTF typing spaces that screw around with quotes and such for (legitimate) visual typographic reasons.
Thus, I normally just add the built-in ‘Code’ prototype, and use that for a note. The prototype takes care of getting ‘wrong’ type of quotes and multiple dashes being turning into long dashes (i.e.
–), etc. It also sets a ruler style with lots more tabs than the doc default which is useful if you like to indent code (e.g. if() statement branches) for clarity, or are making tab-delim templates and such.
If you’ll have lots of such notes, consider adding a container (e.g.
/Codes, alongside your
/Prototypes container) and setting its OnAdd to:
$Prototype="Codes";. That way any new note you add to the container gets the right prototype before you start adding $Text.
Code wrapping in the $Text area? Open the note as a standalone window (Cmd+Opt+X) and you can make the $Text are much bigger.
Some folk who use this approach like to make a (short) note of the code purpose and add a user String attribute $CodeComment to the Code prototype and set it as a key attribute.
If you want/need to write Tinderbox code outside the app, use a ‘text editor’ such as you might use for coding or scripting. I use BBEdit, whose free (unlicensed) mode now replaces the old free TextWrangler. One nice aspect of using a code editor is you can usually control things like making spaces and tab characters visible and turning off auto line wrap (useful if on a small screen). I also use SublimeText, but mainly as I have - there are many such similar tools in this class. As last resort you can use TextEdit, that ships in all Macs, but before adding code to a new doc, turn off RDF and work in plain text mode. As many code editors have a free version, e.g. BBEdit, I’d strongly recommend using such a tool rather than TextEdit, but the choice is yours!
You might also find the ‘code note’ approach of interest.
I hope that helps - do ask if you’ve further questions arising from the above (please consider starting a new topic if the questions is at a tangent to this).
Most Tinderbox actions are very simple, and can be typed directly into the Inspector.
Using the Inspector or the Agent Pane of Get Info gives you useful hints and autocomplete. I find that, when actions get complicated, it’s often better to step back and ponder; two simple actions often do the work of one complex action with far less bother.
When it can’t be helped, a code note can be handy. BBEdit’s always handy; I use it every day, though seldom for writing actions.
Thanks so much to both of you for this. Really appreciate it. I overlooked how to use the Code prototype to accomplish what I was seeking to do. That’s very helpful.