PrimalScript 3.1 Review

July 14, 2004 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

PrimalScript by Sapien is an editor that I’ve used for a few years now. Initially, I used it mainly to write REXX programs, where the intelligent help capabilities were mostly wasted. When I picked up PHP, however, the intelligent capabilities were more helpful…

The first feature you’ll notice about PrimalScript is the color highlighting… All keywords are highlighted in blue, comments are in green, quoted text is in red, as are functions…

The interesting thing about the built-in functions, though, is that PrimalScript will pop up intellisense after you’ve finished typing in a function name.. For example, type in “preg_replace” in Primal and hit the opening parenthesis and a box pops up below your blinking cursor to tell you what variables it is expecting for that function. Unfortunately, this functionality is only for the core built-in functions of PHP, and it doesn’t do anything to figure out what function you are trying to use, so if you don’t know how to spell it, Primal won’t be of much assistance. Notably, functions you write in your scripts will not have this intelligent help.

Another very nice feature about Primal is the “FTP Open” command. This allows you to open up a file on a remote FTP server. You can then edit the file and save it back to the FTP server, as easily as if it were right on your local drive.

If you write PHP apps with lots of functions, Primal has a function finder dropdown that will certainly help you quickly jump around in your code to the spots you are intersted in.

PrimalScript sports a Tabbed interface, allowing you to open multiple files easily, and switch back and forth between them. Very intuitive.

One feature that has saved me lots of time and frustration is the “Find in Files” feature. This lets you specify a directory to search in and what to search for, and Primal will open each file that it finds your search string in. Once they are all open, you can do a “Search and Replace” to affect them all at once, easily.

PrimalScript does have a “Project” menu for grouping files together into a project… Honestly, though, I’ve not really used this feature in the years of using this product. It also includes a Spell Checker and a WMI wizard (to help you make those complex WMI queries).

I would be misleading you if I stated that PrimalScript is written specifically for PHP programmers. It’s not. Instead, it is a general purpose scripting tool that can be used with lots of languages (ASP, ASP.NET, C#, Java, Perl, PHP, VB.NET, over 35 altogether). If you are looking for a great general purpose editor that has a good bit of intelligence built-in, PrimalScript is a good choice. It is priced at $149, but if you are a script jockey that manages scripts in many different languages, it’s right up your alley.

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Entry filed under: Programming General.

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