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Most of the core functionality of Alpha* (i.e. Alpha7, Alpha8, AlphaX and Alphatk) lies in its set of AlphaTcl extension packages, such as modes, menus, and features. While the standard distribution contains most of the packages that a 'normal' user will ever need, AlphaTcl developers are always coming up with new ones that serve some new purpose, or simplify a series of repetitive tasks.

All of these packages are written in Tcl, and can easily be added to your AlphaTcl library by simply placing the extension's source file in an appropriate folder within your [$HOME]/Tcl" directory. Many packages also come with a small installation script (usually a file included with the distribution named something like OPEN-TO-INSTALL'') that will automatically place the files where they need to go, and then rebuild package indices so that Alpha* knows what to do with them the next time the application is launched.

This page contains announcements of new packages or package updates that have not yet been included in the CVS.AlphaTclCVS. Packages/updates previously announced on this page which have been subsequently included in development only releases of AlphaTcl are listed in the bottom section. Once packages/updates have been accepted and included in public distributions they will be removed from this page.


Quick Links

Packages announced here and described below include

When adding new packages to this list, please include the month/year of the last update so it's easier to see what's new.


Recent Changes

  • 20 January 2006 : Removed obsolete packages.
  • 30 October 2006 : Bash Mode announced.
  • 28 April 2006 : "Select Text" package announced.
  • 07 June 2005 : "Speak Text" package updated.
  • 01 June 2005 : "Smart Characters" package announced.
  • 28 February 2005 : "ToDo Lists" package updated; Metapost Mode is in the standard distribution.
  • 19 November 2004 : New "Open Document" package announced.
  • 10 September 2004 : Removed links to packages in latest public releases.
  • 13 May 2004 : New "ToDo Lists" package announced.
  • 15 April 2004 : New "Sticky Window Pins" package announced.
  • 18 March 2004 : "Batch Find" updated.
  • 15 March 2004 : "Sync Trees" updated.
  • 20 February 2004 : New "Rez Menu" package announced.
  • 13 January 2004 : Distribution Maker" updated.
  • 13 January 2004 : "Aida" package upated.
  • 08 January 2004 : New "Insert Text Menu" package announced.



New Packages/Updates

Note that a requirement of AlphaTcl 7.6 suggests that all of

  • Alpha 7.6
  • Alpha 8.0b6
  • Alphatk 8.2

will work, for these application versions all contain AlphaTcl libraries with version 7.6 or newer. When in doubt, check the AlphaTcl version number in your Packages help file to determine what version you are currently using.

Developers note: please keep new package/update announcements below in alphabetical order, and be sure to include any packages requirements, 'beta' shortcomings, etc.

Also, please note if the package is Tcl 8.4 compatible.


Aida Package

Description:

Aida is a tagging and text formatting system. It is a general purpose markup system designed to produce many kinds of generically formatted and structured text (mainly doc files, help files, howtos etc.). It is both simple and lightweight.

The Aida Package is a Tcl implementation of Aida for Alpha. It provides both editing and converting tools. Aida can be considered as a sort of lowest common denominator between several tagging languages and formats: you just have to maintain a single file which will be converted to any format you wish (currently supported formats: Html, Man, PDF, Xml, Text, LaTeX, Tip, Wikit, Moin).

There are several pages on this Wiki site about various aspects of Aida project. Start from the Features.AidaProject page.

Aida's home page is there: http://perso.orange.fr/bdesgraupes/aida.html

Author:

  • Bernard Desgraupes

Current Version:

  • 2.8 -- released 28/07/2004

Requirements:

  • Alpha8 or AlphaX

  • AlphaTcl 8.0b13 or higher

Download:


Bash Mode

Description:

Bash Mode is a very simple mode for Alpha which brings basic support for editing script files for the Bourne Again Shell (aka bash).

This mode provides the following features:

  • syntax coloring

  • keywords completion

  • electric completion of the flow control structures (like if, for, while etc.)

  • functions marking

  • execution of the script: the script can be sent directly from Alpha to the Terminal application for execution.

For more information, see http://perso.orange.fr/bdesgraupes/alphamodes.html

Author:

  • Bernard Desgraupes

Current Version:

  • 0.1.1 -- released 31/10/2006

Requirements:

  • AlphaTcl 7.2 or higher

Download:


Batch Find

Description:

This package adds an item to the Search menu to do multi files searches and batch the results to a separate file with hyperlinks. A selection of files to search can be done by specifying a scheme for the file names.

Many options allow you to specify the kind of search (textual or regular, case sensitive or not etc.). There are several formats for the output with more or less information, hyperlinks to jump directly to a matching line in some file...

The last folders searched are recorded and you access them with a pop-up list. The number of folders to record is configureable.

For use with AlphaX on OSX, you need to grab version 1.5 or greater. Version 1.8 lets you filter the files names using a regular expression pattern.

For more information, see http://perso.orange.fr/bdesgraupes/alphafeatures.html

Author:

  • Bernard Desgraupes

Current Version:

  • 1.8 -- released 10/03/2004

Requirements:

  • AlphaTcl 7.2 or higher

Download:


Convert Numbers

Description:

This is a feature for Alpha. It adds a submenu called "Convert Numbers" to the Utils menu to convert integer numbers to and from decimal, octal and hexadecimal formats.

Select a region and apply a conversion from the menu : all the numbers in the region will be converted. Different prefixes may be chosen for octal and hexadecimal numbers. Very easy to remember key combinations allow you to perform the converions with a simple keystroke.

For more information, see http://perso.orange.fr/bdesgraupes/alphafeatures.html

Author:

  • Bernard Desgraupes

Current Version:

  • 0.7 -- released 07/15/2000

Requirements:

  • AlphaTcl 7.2 or higher

Download:


Distribution Maker

Description:

Distribution Maker is a tool designed to facilitate the assembling of a distribution of files from sources scattered all over the place, for instance to create a package, to distribute a set of source files, to distribute an application with all its related files, to create a documentation system etc.

The mechanism for assembling a particular distribution is to create a "dist file" which contains definitions for some parameters and a set of assembling instructions. Distribution Maker reads this file and executes the instructions.

For use with AlphaX, you need version 2.0 or greater of this package. It is a major overhaul to support OSX and it contains several new features.

For more information, see http://perso.orange.fr/bdesgraupes/alphafeatures.html#distmaker

Author:

  • Bernard Desgraupes

Current Version:

  • 2.3.1 -- released 09/09/2004 - Simplified menu. Pre and Post dist phase items displayed only if necessary.

Requirements:

  • Alpha8/X or Alphatk -- this package will not work in Alpha7.

Download:


MacDevnag

Description:

This is a small feature for people using the Devanagari LaTeX package to write sanskrit text. I have made a port to the MacOS of the Devnag preprocessor. This package is a frontend to the preprocessor : it allows you to preprocess your source files from within Alpha : they are automatically processed and edited, ready to be typeset with TeX. It adds an item called "Send to Devnag" in the "Process" submenu of the TeX menu. You can also process a devanagari section directly in the TeX source file.

Read more about macDevnag here: http://perso.orange.fr/bdesgraupes/macdevnag.html

Download it (Classic or OSX versions) from the same location.

Author:

  • Bernard Desgraupes

Current Version:

  • 0.3.1 -- 12/07/2002 -- released
  • 1.0 -- 01/23/2003 -- Updated for Alpha 7.6 and widely enhanced by Profiles.CraigUpright

Requirements:

  • AlphaTcl 7.6

Download:


More Cols

Description:

The 'More Cols' Package adds a few more capacities to the 'Manip Cols' Package. It allows conversion of text tables to and from Html or Latex formats. When it is activated, a new submenu called <Tables Conversion> is added at the bottom of the Columns menu : building an Html or a Latex table is just a matter of one mouse click.

For more information, see http://perso.orange.fr/bdesgraupes/alphafeatures.html

Author:

  • Bernard Desgraupes

Current Version:

  • 0.3 -- released 03/13/2001

Requirements:

  • This package requires the 'Manip Cols' package, which is included in the 'standard' Alpha distributions.

Download:


Numbered Lists

Description:

This package creates three user-configurable bindings to automatically create, add to, or update a numbered list format in the current window.

For example, if you start a list by pressing the "New Itemized List" binding (the default in the MacOS is <option>-1, otherwise it is <control>-<command>-1) then the following text will be inserted:

 
 (1) |

where '|' is the new cursor position and '*' is an electric template stop. By default an empty line is inserted between the numbered text and the description template, and the description respects the indentation of the numbered item. The package preferences for 'Numbered Lists' in the Config menu can be adjusted for different indentation styles, as well as the style for the numbered heading (1) such as

 
 1.   (1)   (1.)   [1]   [1.]   etc

If you are in the middle of a numbered list and then you press the binding for "New List Item" (<option>-2) a similar electric template will be inserted:

 
 (2) |

Any currently highlighted selection will be retained as the default 'heading' for the new list item, but all other text in the line will be deleted before the heading is added. Any 'prefix' characters in front of the most recent item (such as indentation or comment characters) will be included in front of new list items.

Pressing <option>-2 again will scan the previous text for the most recent list item, record the 'prefix' of the heading and increment the number before inserting another item, as in

 
 (3) |

This way you can keep adding items without having to remember what the next number should be. If you create a number of items in this way but then decide to rearrange their order, or delete some items entirely, you can use the "Update Window Lists" binding (<option>-3) to update the lists in the current window which should set everything straight. While updating, any item that is number '1' indicates that a new list is being started.

Nested lists (i.e. an 'outline' format) are also handled. After installing this package, find the "numberedLists" hyperlink in the "Packages" help file for more information.

Author:

  • C Upright

Current Version:

  • 1.1 -- released 02/17/2003

Requirements:

  • AlphaTcl 7.6 or higher
  • Earlier versions tested well with Alphatk, but I have not been able to test the most recent, nor have I tested this with AlphaX.
  • This package is Tcl 8.4 compatible.

Download:

Alpha 7.6 users should use version 1.0.2:

Alpha 8/X/tk users should use version 1.1:


Omega Mode

Description:

Omega Mode is designed to facilitate writing, processing and testing of Omega source files, translation processes, property lists, font metrics, virtual fonts etc.

Omega is the program written, as a superstructure of TeX, by John Plaice and Yannis Haralambous in order to extend TeX's capabilities and deal with any possible language and script. It is based internally on Unicode.

For more information, see http://perso.orange.fr/bdesgraupes/alphamodes.html

Author:

  • Bernard Desgraupes

Current Version:

  • 0.9b -- released 06/23/2000

Requirements:

  • AlphaTcl 7.2 or higher

Download:


Property List Compiler Mode aka PLC Mode

Description:

The Property List Compiler lets you easily build property list (plist) files or resources for Mac OS X. The language lets you have CodeWarrior build the property list files for you instead of having to hand-code XML or use the PropertyList Editor application.

Property list compiler source files are designated with the filename extension of ".plc". The input to the compiler is just regular text, as with most any other type of compiler. Separate localization files mays be designated with the filename extension of ".ploc". Plc mode makes it easy to create and edit .plc files. It implements syntax colouring, file marking and completions.

For more information, see http://perso.orange.fr/bdesgraupes/DocHTML/PlcModeHelp.html

Author:

  • Bernard Desgraupes

Current Version:

  • 1.0 -- 14/04/03 -- First release.

Requirements:

  • AlphaTcl 7.4 or higher

Download:


Rez Menu

Description:

The Rez Menu package for Alpha is a wrapper around the Rez and DeRez tools. Once activated, it installs a new menu called Rez with a few commands which let you compile resource description files or decompile resource forks using the Rez/DeRez tools. Since version 1.0 of the package, only AlphaX on OSX is supported. To use Rez Menu with Alpha8 you must get version 0.3 (called RezMenuClassic below).

The Rez tool compiles the resource map of a file according to the textual description contained in a resource description file (file with an .r extension). The Derez tool operates the opposite transformation: it decompiles a resource map into a resource description file. Rez Menu automatically opens the derezed file in Alpha in C mode (C mode has special marking procedures for .r files).

Version 1.0 introduces new features (a flags menu with a dozen options, possibility of specifying selectively some types to DeRez with a regular expression, automatic insertion of the required include files, support for various shells etc.)

For the commands of this menu to work properly, you must have the Rez and DeRez tools installed on your system:

Under OSX, data-fork resource files and resource-fork resource files are both supported.

Author:

  • Bernard Desgraupes

Current Version:

  • 1.1 -- released 13/09/2004

Requirements:

  • AlphaTcl 8 or higher

Download:


Select Text Menu

Description

This feature provides an "Undo Selection" command to restore the most recent selection.

AlphaTcl has always created several Keyboard Shortcuts to create or extend a selection in the active window. Unlike some other text editors, such as BBEdit or Word, selections are always extended and never contracted. (In those applications, the initial text is always used as an "anchor", and one can only create a selection to the right or left, and using the opposite arrow keys will contract the selection until the original anchors are reached -- at that point the selection is extended in the opposite direction.)

Unfortunately, many users find that while extending a selection it is very easy to go too far, and the only way to "contract" the selection is to position the cursor somewhere inside the selection and start over. This can be very annoying.

This package creates a new submenu named "Edit > Select Text" which includes the following items:

	Select All
	Select Paragraph
	Select Function
	Select Line
	Select Word

	Undo Selection

	Assign Shortcuts
	Select Text Help

When "Edit > Select Text > Undo Selection" is selected, we revert to the most recent selection which was created by a Keyboard Shortcut. In order to accomplish this, all of the core commands which extend selections in the first place are routed through a new proc named [selectText::extendSelection] as described below. "Undo Selection" will have no effect on selections created using the mouse.

Author:

  • C Upright

Current Version:

  • 0.5 -- released 04/18/2006

Requirements:

  • AlphaTcl 8 or higher

Download:


Smart Characters

Description

This feature enables the typing of "smart" quotes and ellipses. For example, when you type:

	"this"

the text which is inserted into the window looks like:

	“this”

In addition, ellipses (...) can be converted to … automatically.

You can always select "Edit > Undo" after a smart substitution has taken place to restore the "original" keystroke insertion. In addition, pressing the Delete key should unconvert the character, i.e. if "|" represents the cursor,

	“this”|

turns into

	“this"|

Pressing Delete again would then remove the character entirely:

	"this|

This feature is useful when text that is composed in Alpha is copied and pasted into WYSIWYG text editors, such as Word. It is recommended for plain text editing modes such as Text and Setx; it has much less utility for programming modes, or for files which shouldn't contain any high-bit ascii characters.

Author:

  • C Upright

Current Version:

  • 0.1 -- released 06/01/2005

Requirements:

  • AlphaTcl 8 or higher

Download:


Sticky Window Pins

Description:

The Window Pin is a temporary mark that is present in every window, which can be set by the user and then used to highlight/cut/copy etc regions when there is no current selection. This is roughly based on an Emacs feature referred to as "The Mark".

Each window can have a unique Window Pin. You can set the Window Pin to the position of the current insertion point (or Cursor position) by selecting "Search > The Pin > Set Pin". Once the Window Pin has been set, you can use it in a variety of text editing operations, including the "Search > The Pin" commands such as

 
	Exchange Point And Pin
	Hilite To Pin
	Rectangular Hilite

By default, a variety of text editing operations will automatically reset the Window Pin -- many of these involve the creation/destruction of selected text in the active window. If the "Sticky Window Pins" preference has been turned on then the location of the Window Pin is only changed when you explicitly call the "Search > The Pin > Set Pin" menu item.

Author:

  • C Upright

Current Version:

  • 0.1 -- released 04/10/2004

Requirements:

  • Alpha8/X or Alphatk -- this package will not work in Alpha7.
  • AlphaTcl 8.0b7

Download:


Sync Trees

Description:

The Sync Trees package for Alpha is a utility which lets you keep two hierarchies of files or folders in sync. This is useful if you maintain some software (like the AlphaTcl library) on different machines and periodically need to update.

Once activated, the package adds a single menu item called "Synchronize trees" to the Compare submenu inside the Utils menu of Alpha. This item brings up a dialog in which one can specify the source and the target trees, along with several options (nesting sublevel, comparison criterion). The target tree is the hierarchy you want to update and the source tree is the hierarchy which has possibly more recent versions of some files or folders. Currently one can compare files according to the modification date, the creation date, the revision number (if they are CVS controlled) and the "name".

Instead of synchronizing, Sync Trees can also simply generate a report of the differences between two hierarchies. Since version 1.2, one can instruct the package to ignore the resource forks during synchronization (useful for instance to preserve ckid or MPSR resources). Version 1.5 has introduced the notion of recordable configurations: you can manage and record as many sets of configurations as you want.

Author:

  • Bernard Desgraupes

Current Version:

  • 1.5.7 -- released 09/09/2004

Requirements:

  • AlphaTcl 8 or higher

Download:


ToDo Lists

This feature supports the creation of 'To Do' lists. It defines a new mode named "ToDo" which uses the "ToDo Menu". Any file can be opened in "ToDo" mode, but this menu also allows you to designate a special "ToDo" folder, and includes all of its contents in the menu. All of these files can be deleted or renamed as desired.

ToDo windows use a special indentation syntax in which the first 'column' always includes a Tab character so that additional characters can help mark the current ToDo item. For example, items that begin with "&#161;" will be marked as "Urgent" and colored appropriately. Items can also be marked as "Done" using the "&#8730;" character. Here's an example:

 
	Dissertation To Do List

	<< Chapter One >>

	&amp;#8730;   Look up DiMaggio 1982 (Cultural Entrepreneurship)
	&amp;#8730;   Clean up table 2
		Add Rothamstead Experimental Station history
	&amp;#161;   New "Studying Organics" section

	<< Chapter Two >>

		Add new co-operatives information to database
		...

Using the ToDo Menu items, you can toggle items as Done and/or Urgent. You can also create new Categories (i.e. Chapter One, Chapter Two) which will be indented to column 0 and specially colored. All Categories are listed in the Marks menu for easy navigation.

Author:

  • C Upright

Current Version:

  • 0.5 -- released 02/28/2005

Requirements:

  • Alpha8/X/tk (Tcl > 8.4)
  • This has been tested in Alpha8, AlphaX and Alphatk.

Download:



Packages in CVS

The following previously announced packages/updates are currently in the CVS.AlphaTclCVS development releases -- update your AlphaTcl library via the CVS to obtain them:

Insert Text (incorporated into the Electric Menu)

Open Document

Speak Text



Packages in latest releases

The following previously announced packages/updates are currently in the standard distributions of Alpha, AlphaX, and Alphatk.

Copy Ring

Favorites Menu

Metapost Mode

User Menu


Category.Features

Page last modified on July 10, 2008, at 05:10 PM
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