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Your Brief Guide to Scripting Tools: Primalscript

Editors exist for all kinds of scripting needs—some free, some cheap, and some not-so-cheap. Use this guide to help you find the right product for your work.

Primalscript, from Sapien Technologies Inc., is a full-featured and powerful scripting and programming editor. This editor combines standard editing tools with welcome additional features in a single interface. If you expect this program to be missing your “wish-list” editing items, you might be in for a surprise.

At first glance, Primalscript has a similar interface to that of Microsoft Outlook. On the left-hand side there is a serious of small pane choices in an area called the Nexus. An icon of a light switch lets you easily turn this pane off or on. At the bottom of the Nexus a group of icons gave me the ability to select what type of Nexus window I could have. I could choose from a File, Info, Tools, Snippets, or Type Library Browser display. The right-hand side offers an area that displays the current script you are editing. I opened up two scripts and as each script opened, I was presented with the names of the scripts in a small toolbar at the bottom of the program. I also noticed what appeared to be the functionality of an Internet Browser at the extreme bottom of the program. Sure enough, I typed in the URL for www.mcpmag.com and I was now presented with the home page for your favorite web site! With one mouse click, I could immediately be back working on my script. This is a great idea. I could easily reference on-line content and quickly switch back to my script.

Product Information

Primalscript 2.2
$149
Sapien Technologies Inc.
Napa, California
888-252-9368 www.primalscript.com

Pros: Full-featured scripting editor that leaves nothing out (that I could find!).
Cons:
Could be more than the occasional script writer might need.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the Primalscript’s ability to use syntax coloring to help you visualize your code. It is also very simple to navigate through a script with the aid of find buttons and the ability to create bookmarks. You can in addition to script specific bookmarks, create global bookmarks, which can be re-used throughout all of your scripts. Under the View pull down menu, you’ll easily be able to navigate and display different options in your scripts with the use of the line number and column ruler, hidden character, hexadecimal and font options.

The editor has two other handy features available directly from a pull down menu. It gives me the ability to send a script directly through email. I could also launch the FTP interface to get or put a script at a desired location. Want to change some options? No problem for Primalscript. In fact, I counted twelve separate tabs within the Options menu. This program lets you completely tailor the options to your liking.

Primalscript supports a wide variety of scripting languages such as VBScript, Perl, HTML, DOS batch files, and many others. Primalscript also goes beyond a standard editor with such advanced features as capabilities for source control, spell checking, macro functions and debug scripting. A feature called Primalsense will help you change options for specific languages, including code completion and auto case correction. Primalscript also has a many support features and options for Windows Scripting Host (WSH).

PrimalScript
Primalscript makes it easy to edit scripts with its Nexus tabs, line numbering and bookmark support. (Click image to view larger version.)

To complement all of these rich features, Primalscript has a thorough Help Index and Contents offering. From the pull down menu, you can quickly launch directly to the Primalscript homepage, technical support or downloads area.

Sapien has seemed to have packed just about everything a script creator could want into Primalscript. If you’re looking for an editor that leaves nothing to the imagination, then look no further. Primalscript is for you.

About the Author

Michael Feuda, MCSE, NNCDS, is an independent writer. He has worked with Microsoft products since the days of LAN Manager.

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