Monday, December 26, 2011

hbIDE as at Today

hbIDE's growth can be summarized as:

what it is today,
what is proposed,
what is on todo list,
its strengths, and

What it is today

Implements: multiple projects edit,compile,link cycles with multiple compilers from within single instance.
Implements: tracking the compile/link errors and opening the source containing thus error in the editor with offending line under cursor.
Implements: multiple editing sessions within a single instance with easy navigation and cut/copy/paste portability amongst them.
Implements: high-performance edit instances with a bunch of features, such as, intelligent auto-indentation; in-build keyword capitalization (.prg); ability to switch on/off line-number display; selected block operations: left-right indentation, single-line comments, multi-line comments, double to single quotes, single to double quotes; case conversions: lower to upper, upper to lower, invert cases; line operations: duplicating a line, deletion of line, moving lined in either direction - up/down; and many more.
Implements: splitting one edit instance into multiple horizontal and/or vertical windows to edit different parts of the same source simultaneously.
Implements: auto-disaster-recovery for every editing instance per minute interval ensuring the maximum amount of loss confined to a minute's work only.
Implements: code-skeleton definition and rendering to next levels with user-defined macros and variables in addition to hbIDE defined macros.
Implements: tagging of functions prototypes for next levels of function lookups and other "intellisense" features for multiple projects simultaneously.
Implements: a reasonable level of "intellisense" providing code-completion lists, on-the-spot function prototype tips, full-blown function overlook, and more.
Implements: a powerful "Find-in-files" feature accepting currently-opened edits, contained projects, folders  on the disk including sub-folders, options for plain-text or regular expression search, and finally opening the source with currently clicked search-text highlighted in the editor.
Implements: a unique "Document Viewer" which pulls the NANFORUM documentation format compliant .txt files from a "root folder" and tree and presents the contents in a navigable browser with options to - "Print", "Save as .pdf", and more.
Implements: a unique way to write documentation for functions contained in the editing sessions with options to insert the same into the source at appropriate place or save as a NANFORUM documentation format compliant .txt file on disk which, in-turn, is fully compliant to be viewed in "Document Viewer" if opted as such.
Implements: out-of-the-box syntax highlighting for .prg, .c, .cpp, .ch, .h, sources with a provision to set the highlighting themes in the hands of the user as per needs and offering a bunch of pre-defined themes plus interface to inject your own.
Implements: intelligent "book-marks" with visual elements to define, locate and destroy - with least efforts - almost hassle free.
Implements: to be used as simple text-editor, a project maintainer and/or builder, or both.
Implements: "Tools & Utilities" features which extends hbIDE to take use of any other program, including the DOS prompt, to be executed with parameters from within hbIDE and in a detached manner. Probably it will be wise to extend it to accept parameters comprised of properties of hbIDE components, such as, source file name on disk opened in current editor instance.
Implements: saving the current state of hbIDE when exited normally and restores the exact same environment at next run, including the editors state per cursor position, the size and position of the main frame, and lot more.
Implements: an interface to define short-cut macros just like xMate plus including some extended functionality.
Implements: three types of selection modes: 1. Stream Selection  2. Column Selection  3. Line Selection. All type of blocks are persistent across files. Stream selection mode is a standard text selection protocol implemented by every text editor in the world. Column selection has some peculiar application and Line selection mode offer yet another functionality. All types offer standard cut/copy/paste behavior. Paste operation honors the selection mode, f.e., a block selected under column mode will be pasted as column block. Line blocks overwrite the exiting lines if pasted.
Implemented: a simple yet powerful interface to hook third-party plugins designating it truely extensible.
Implements: integration with Visual Source Safe ( VSS ), version control system.

What is proposed

Visual debugger - someone has to jump in as I know a little about debuggers and their behavior
Form editor - which is out of question until we have a complete GUI framework in place.
Object browser - what is this ?
Version control (SVN) integration - should be easy; need to explore the command-line commands.

What is on todo list

Wizard based project creation for different compilers - xHarbour, Clipper, Xbase++, Flagship, Clip; for multiple C compilers.


An out-of-the-box experience for Xbase dialect programmers without the hassles of writing tough scripts to achieve high levels of productivity.
An all-in-one, composite-components oriented, highly desktop real-estate conscious interface leveraging the levels of productivity to highest extent.
With a programmer-oriented approach shedding any inclination of commercial orientation.
With highest possibilities to be extended by anyone who does not have any interaction with C language.


High memory-intensive back-bone.

More at

No comments:

Post a Comment

Welcome to Clipper... Clipper... Clipper

In 1997, then using Delphi 3, I had already created 32-bits Windows applications for HRIS, ERP and CRM. In 2007, using Ruby on Rails, an AJAX powered CRM site running on Apache & MySQL was created and I am now using Visual Studio .Net 2008 to create web-based projects and Delphi 7 for Win32 applications using SQL2005 & DBFCDX.

So, why then am I reviving the Original Clipper... Clipper... Clipper via a Blog as CA-Clipper is a programming language for the DOS world ? Believe it or not, there are still some clients using my mission-critical CA-Clipper applications for DOS installed in the late 80's and up to the mid 90's. This is testimony to CA-Clipper's robustness as a language :-)

With the widespread introduction of Windows 7 64-bits as the standard O/S for new Windows based PCs & Notebooks, CA-Clipper EXE simply will not work and it has become imperative for Clipper programmers to migrate immediately to Harbour to build 32/64 bits EXEs

Since 28th January 2009, this blog has been read by 134,389 (10/3/11 - 39,277) unique visitors (of which 45,151 (10/3/11 - 13,929) are returning visitors) from 103 countries and 1,574 cities & towns in Europe (37; 764 cities), North America (3; 373 cities) , Central America & Caribeans (6; 13 cities), South America(10; 226 cities), Africa & Middle-East (12; 44 cities) , Asia-Pacific (21; 175 cities). So, obviously Clipper is Alive & Well : -)

TIA & Enjoy ! (10th October 2012, 11:05; 13th November 2015)

Original Welcome Page for Clipper... Clipper... Clipper

This is the original Welcome Page for Clipper... Clipper... Clipper, which I am republishing for historical and sentimental reasons. The only changes that I have made was to fix all the broken links. BTW, the counter from is still working :-)

Welcome to Chee Chong Hwa's Malaysian WWW web site which is dedicated to Clipperheads throughout the world.

This site started out as a teeny-weeny section of Who the heck is Chee Chong Hwa ? and has graduated into a full blown web site of more than 140 pages (actually hundreds of A4 size pages) ! This is due to its growing popularity and tremendous encouragements from visiting Clipperheads from 100 countries worldwide, from North America, Central America, Caribbean, South America, Europe, Middle-East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Thanx Clipperheads, you all made this happen !

What is Clipper ?

You may ask, what is this Clipper stuff ? Could Clipper be something to do with sailing as it is the name of a very fast sailing American ship in the 19th century ?

Well, Clipper or to be precise, CA-Clipper is the premier PC-Software development tool for DOS. It was first developed by Nantucket Corporation initially as a compiler for dBase3+ programs. Since then, CA-Clipper has evolved away from its x-base roots with the introduction of lexical scoping & pre-defined objects like TBrowse. As at today, the most stable version ofClipper is 5.2e while the latest version, 5.3a was introduced on 21 May 1996.

As at 11th November, 1996, an unofficial 5.3a fixes file was made available by Jo French. See the About CA-Clipper 5.3a section for more details. BTW, Jo French uploaded the revised 5.3a fixes file on 20th November, 1996.

Latest News

The latest news is that CA has finally released the long-awaited 5.3b patch on 21 May, 1997.

For 5.3b users, you must a take a look at Jo French's comments on unfixed bugs in 5.3b.

BTW, have you used Click ? If you're a serious Clipperprogrammer and need an excellent code formatter, Click is a natural choice. How to get it ? Simple, access Phil Barnett's site via my Cool Clipper Sites.

32-bits Clipper for Windows ?

Have you tried Xbase ++ ? Well, I have and compared to Delphi (my current Windows programming tool of choice), I'm still sticking to Delphi.

Anyway, you should visit the Alaska Home Page. Give it a chance and then draw your own conclusions !.

The Harbour Project

Is this the future of Xbase ? Take a look at at the Harbour Project

You are Visitor # ...

According to, you are visitor since 3 June 1996.

If you like or dislike what you see on this website, please drop me a line by clicking the email button at the bottom of this page or better still, by filling out the form in my guest book. If you are not sure what to write,click here to take a look at what other Clipperheads have to say.