Why You need Kephra

The editor is our most closest tool we spent most time with, any discussion will spark highly emotional reaction. But because it has to be the cosy seat to our personality I started Kephra.

Lets be honest most people I know see it like my little pet project ("good you allowed to upload to CPAN" but i will use vim/emacs/.. anyway), some like it enthusiastically but that's it mostly. But Kephra is not about to have a Editor written in Perl - Perl is just IMO the best tool for the job. It's not about certain features like nice integration of your favorite Perl tools, not even the TIMTOWTDI interface (having the best of vi, emacs, jedit, komodo, notepad in one place). My deepest satisfaction is to think things through and offer solution that go beyond mostly known and are deeply satisfactory (which is the Perl 6 approach of things too).

As the rewrite is still in development I have for you one examples thats currently being implemented (not fully yet). Its about the docbar - the line of tabs to select the current document. Everybody understands this interface and it can be well handled by mouse and keyboard (+). But where many editor struggle when it comes to show several docs in parallel. I could go the easy way and just create a new instance of Kephra and let the user arrange the windows. But i want features like diff and git integration where you have to look an parallel things (soemtimes even synced) so we need that feature anyway.

But if you look at vi or emacs, which both got to the tabbar very late you see the problems. If you split it in too many parts it gets messy and the handling, switching rotating and jumping between the views can lead to quit complex manouvres. So what to do. I think jumping between views should be done with (+) since a similar enough move but cant be mixed up to easy with jumping between tabs.

O course you want to also sometimes change the order of things. Even in Kephra 0.4.n you can move tabs with keyboard just by adding the to Ctrl and you hold so to speak to the current tab and move it with pfup and pgdown like known. I find that very intuitive. Any you maybe guessed it - having several docbars you use shift +alt to shuffle the docbars in same order like you would jump through them. Menu items not to deep in the hierarchy (or context menu on the docbar) can do this too.

Which leads to the real problem not solved in jedit nor even eclipse (not to my fulfillment). There are several possible design and just manage all that with key or mouse seems to be impossible. But its actually easy just enveloping the already know pattern. with ctrl+alt (yeah modern win managers take that but not in combination with pg keys except under ubuntu unity maybe). If i hold that two keys i just add or remove docbars. And if I add Shift i shuffle not the order of docbars but reshuffle the dsign in which they are tiled. This way I'm never a view keys away from what i exactly want and if i miss it i can easily and intuitively go back. It will be even easy with the mouse since you can pick the designs directly in the menu. And a limit of 4 parallel docbars wouldn't hurt anybody.

That was just one small example but I hope you got the idea. And having 20 or 30 more such ideas can make Kephra an editor not seen before and something exciting new done in Perl. Maybe i should have waited to talk about until its full operational but my main motivation is spark imagination. There's lot to be invented in editing. With a modern code base in high level lang like Perl we can move very fast, even the other editors that might copy nice things like in past years some nice little features Kephra had almost since the beginning started to spread, although I believe most people saw it on gedit.

The rewrite called XP (just expressing my feeling of coming late) is done here and has not much to do with the Kephra on CPAN. Please also check farabi and other interesting new stuff.

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