Editor's Choice: Scripting
<b>Winner: </b>Sapien Technologies Primalscript<br>
<b>Honorable Mention:</b> <a href="#vbsedit">Adersoft VbsEdit</a>
$149 for the download and $159 on CD
Sapien Technologies; 707-252-8700; www.sapien.com
- By Chris Brooke
- December 01, 2002
My primary concern with any script editor is flexibility. If you’ve been
following my “Scripting for MCSEs” column, you know that most of my scripts
of late have been in the .WSF format. I haven’t, of course, abandoned
the .VBS format. Rather, my philosophy is one of pragmatism—I use what
works. If a script editor is to be of value to me, it must accommodate
each of the various formats I use.
This flexibility is Primalscript’s greatest advantage. In addition to
supporting WSH 1.0 (“standard” VBScript and JScript files) and WSH 2.0
(XML-based .WSF files) scripting formats, Primalscript enables script
creation in Python, KiXtart, Perl, PHP, ASP and more. Furthermore, it
even supports application creation and compilation in “professional” development
languages like VB.NET and C#.
One would think that it would be enough to simply find a script editor
capable of handling such a diverse selection of scripting languages and
formats. Indeed, I’ve been unable to find even one other script editor
in the sea of professional, shareware and freeware scripting tools available
that adequately supports both WSH 1.0 and WSH 2.0 formatted scripts. While
it’s true that .WSF scripts can be edited using virtually any XML editor,
they’re usually just glorified text editors, providing color coding and
handles .WSF files with ease. (Click image to view larger version.)
Primalscript, on the other hand, understands the .WSF format. When you
open a .WSF file, it parses it, separates any and all jobs (and all scripts
within each job), and initially displays only the main script logic of
the selected script. Viewing the entire file—complete with all the XML
tags—is as simple as right-clicking the script and selecting “Open as
text file.” Right-click anywhere in the script window and select “Open
as workspace” to return to the default view. This really helps you keep
your scripts organized!
If your job requires more than a little scripting, Primalscript will
help you create these scripts quickly and easily. Its unparalleled flexibility
and broad range of supported languages will accommodate most any scripting
challenge. It’s even got me taking a serious look a Perl, just for fun.
Change is good!
For those of you hesitant to pay $150 for a product with a plethora of
features you’ll never use, consider VbsEdit, from Adersoft. VbsEdit is
a simple script editor that’s a bargain at $15. Simply put, it’s Notepad
on steroids! It provides syntax color-coding, line numbering, and the
ability to run your scripts directly from within the editor in either
console (cscript) or window (wscript) mode.
Chris Brooke, MCSE, is a contributing editor for Redmond magazine and director of enterprise technology for ComponentSource. He specializes in development, integration services and network/Internet administration. Send questions or your favorite scripts to firstname.lastname@example.org.