I’m going to show you some real neat applications that I have in my bag of tools. Yes, again. Don’t despair though, it’ll be the last time that I do this. No fancy web development tools, just tools that ease the every day work of a developer, not only ABAP developers but all developers. No long-winded intro this time, I’m keeping the passes short.
- Crimson Editor . I used Editpad for a long while. It was a no nonsense editor with all the frills left out. It had some nice regular expressions support though. My colleague Dries introduced me to Crimson Editor and I must say that I had butterflies in my stomach right away. I won’t sum up all the features (since you find it on the web site), but here are my favourite ones:
- copy and paste rectangular selections.
- customisable syntax highlighting supporting 100 computer languages by default including ABAP!
- editing documents in remote FTP servers.
- execution of external programs
- key stroke recording. (record & replay)
- natural word wrapping
- (customisable) spell checker
- supports regular expression.
- support Unicode & UTF-8 encoding
- support of Unix format
- tabbed windows and window splitter to see different parts of a document.
- unlimited undo and redo buffers.
So if SAP doesn’t comply with the wishes of the SDN community and decides not to Speak Your Voice; New ABAP Editor for Older Releases, you can still have an editor for free. OK, it doesn’t have all the features of the new ABAP editor, but it is more than we currently have.
- While Macromedia Dreamweaver isn’t free, it’s not exactly expensive, and it’s a tool with a lot to recommend. I won’t elaborate on this tool, but want to point out that this is also a Dreaming of a perfect SDN web log editor on SDN. Thomas has done a more than considerable Using Dreamweaver for BSP development in creating a BSP extension for Dreamweaver.
- SnagIt is the best screen capturing tool I can think of. It does the obvious task of capturing screens, (active) windows or parts and (sub)items of them. Besides this it can capture scrollable content, menus and texts. The latter can be imported as tab-limited content in spreadsheets and databases. It has plugins for MS Office and MIE which prevents switching between apps, when you are e.g. creating screen dumps in documentation. The only downside is that it isn’t free, but it isn’t expensive at all.
- Tugzip is an archiving tool. Yet another compression program you’d say. Well, it’s more than that. As you know I work on different kinds of platforms, each with their own compression tools. That doesn’t make it easy when you want to create an archive which is readable on other operating systems. That is before I found Tugzip. The strength of the tool is its support for numerous formats: A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, BH, BZ2, CAB, CPIO, DEB, GCA, GZ, IMP, JAR, LHA (LZH), LIB, RAR, RPM, SQX, TAR, TGZ, TBZ, TAZ, YZ1, ZIP, 7-ZIP and ZOO. If that’s not enough it is able to deal with disc image formats such as BIN, C2D, IMG, ISO and NRG and encryption algorithms like Blowfish, (Triple) DES and Rijndael. You can discover more on the features on the website, but let me just mention in passing that it’s 100% freeware and without commercial messages.
- What Ryan VanMiddlesworth says about his tiny (85K) tool called Vitrite , is that it’s been giving useless transparency since 2002. Well I don’t find it useless at all, in the contrary. I don’t know how things are at your side, but we have a multitude of systems and clients on our R/3 and Netweaver landscape. If one needs to develop cross system, one needs to login several times with a lot of sessions which are open. It’s rather tedious having to stop and start these sessions each time you need them, so they remain open. Switching between them isn’t pleasant at all and even a (very) big screen is very helpful. Here comes Vitrite to the rescue. It allows you to make sessions (windows) transparent to the level that you specify. This means that you can see different sessions simultaneously. In order to make sure that you are working in the correct session, I would suggest that you give each environment a different background colour in order to prevent putting dummy data in to a production environment.
- Marty, the zebra from Madagascar . What? A zebra? Yes, a zebra. Let me start from the beginning in order to explain. It all started with the Solanum lycopersicum a.k.a tomato. We were looking for different arguments as to why it isn’t a fruit – despite the fact that it is classified as a botanic fruit – since they are mostly used as vegetables in the kitchen. So we came up with the definition that vegetables are used in soup and fruit in jam. We have never yet come accross tomato jam, so the conclusion was set. Set, that is, until someone said that he had seen carrot jam in Portugal . The discussion carried on for a while until we decided to switch to zoology, or more specifically to zebras. Is a zebra a white horse with black stripes or vice versa? Why is a white zebra actually a white bird without stripes? Our next discussion will be a chicken and egg approach to SAP and ERP. Why this utter nonsense (at the end of the web log instead of the beginning)? Well it has a purpose. It is something other than the usual chit chat about family, sick kids and broken sleep, the weather and traffic jams. The most important thing is to sharpen our creativity which is more than needed when doing development tasks. One can have as many tools as one wants, but without creativity one doesn’t get the same results. A little bit of madness also helps. What, what, hey, hey?