Using an alternative editor for the BasicX IDE

by Mike Linnen 16. July 2006 16:13
Using an alternative editor for the BasicX IDE

Although the BasicX Integrated Development Environment works for writing, compiling and downloading source code for small quick projects once you start using it a lot for writing source code it tends to be lacking features.  However the folks at Netmedia were nice enough to allow for command line execution of their IDE to compile and download code.  This opens up the opportunity to use your favorite editor to write source code and launch the IDE via command line to compile the source.  I have been using these command line options since 2001 to make my development environment a little more to my liking.  In this blog post I will talk about how I manage the process and the tools I use.

First a couple notes about some things that might trip you up in using the command line options.  The BasicX IDE wants to know the base directory where your projects live.  This is ok if you want to manage this directory in the IDE every time you switch to another folder or if you only have one project.  However if you are like me you have many projects and you don't want to have to load up the IDE to change this base directory every time you work on one of them.  Next the chip setting for BX24 or BX01 is also set from the IDE and is needed for the command line compile.  I bounce back and fourth between projects that use one or the other chip so my IDE could be set for either one at any given time. 

Neither the base directory or the chip setting is offered as an option in the command line.  Although Netmedia does store these items in the Windows Registry so an external program can modify them before launching the command line compile.

So I created a vbscript that sets the IDE options and then calls the compiler.  The script accepts 3 parameters:
 1 (Required) - Project file
 2 (Optional) - /c
 3 (Optional) - /d

The script supports drag and drop capabilities so you can use it 1 of 2 ways. 
1 - Drag the project file onto the script
2 - Call the script from your editor or a batch file

I usually create a build.bat file that I just call from the text editor.  The build batch file is specific to the project that I am working on so I generally keep it in the main folder of my project.

I have included the script files along with a sample BX24 project so you can look at what I did and maybe make use of it for your own BasicX projects.

I also use a shareware text editor called TextPad.  This editor supports syntax highlighting and multiple documents.  The nice thing about it is that I can pass TextPad the project file and it can load up all the source modules that are associated with the project.  I often use a batch file to launch the textpad editor and open all the source code for the project.  I have also included this batch file in the bx24.zip so you can see how it is done.

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About the author

Mike Linnen

Software Engineer specializing in Microsoft Technologies

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