In-Depth

Editor's Choice: Scripting

<b>Winner: </b>Sapien Technologies Primalscript<br> <br> <b>Honorable Mention:</b> <a href="#vbsedit">Adersoft VbsEdit</a>

Primalscript $149 for the download and $159 on CD  Sapien Technologies; 707-252-8700; www.sapien.com

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 indenting.

Sapien Technologies Primalscript
Primalscript 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!

Honorable Mention
VbsEdit
$15 Adersoft, (33)1.40.28.42.49
www.adersoft.com

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.

About the Author

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 chrisb@componentsource.com.

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