The SemWare Editor
|Original author(s)||Sammy Mitchell|
|Developer(s)||The SemWare Corporation|
|Stable release||4.4 / 2005-06-24|
|Operating system||Windows, Linux (beta), DOS, OS/2|
Starting in November 1985 as a shareware program called "Qedit" (distinct from other programs of the same name), Qedit was eventually modified to run as a Terminate and Stay Resident (TSR) program, and ported to OS/2 and eventually evolved (via rewrite) to TSE. TSE was eventually ported to Windows.
TSE supports a Pascal-based macro language (SemWare Application Language or SAL), regular expression search and replace, keystroke recording and playback, full undo and redo, shortcut key assignment (both as configuration and on the fly) that allow extensive modification of the functionality of the text editor, and other features. Like its predecessor Qedit, TSE is used by programmers and others.
There are two online support discussion groups that include long time accomplished users and the developer, Sammy Mitchell of SemWare Corporation.
SemWare Corporation is based in Kennesaw, Georgia.
SemWare started as shareware, but became commercial software.
Qedit was a versatile DOS text editor requiring 50 KB of memory; fast I/O, search, and responsive; and a text-based macro language. Qedit implemented its engine and much of its application functionality in native code, with a small percentage of functionality implemented via the macro language, unlike Brief, Epsilon and other popular programmer editors of the time which implemented a native engine or core, with the bulk of the program implemented via their scripting languages.
Some of Qedit's speed was due to its memory-based editing model where the editor and all its buffers and workspace data were stored in physical memory—a practice which, at the time, was often not seen due to the high monetary cost of RAM. Later versions of Qedit added support for the various systems of memory supported by DOS: expanded memory (EMS), extended memory (XMS) and virtual memory, up to a maximum of 16MB.
QEdit and TSEJr for OS/2
Qedit was ported to OS/2 initially as a 16-bit application for Microsoft's OS/2 1.x. This 16-bit OS/2 version of Qedit had version 1.x. Version 1.50 for 16-bit OS/2 is dated February 1990. By that date the "read me" file included with the software claimed "90,000 licensed users of QEdit products, worldwide" -all platforms-.
After IBM and Microsoft parted ways, IBM released a 32-bit version of OS/2 v2.0 in March 1992. Semware ported Qedit for 32-bit OS/2 with the release of Qedit Pro 3.0 for OS/2 on February, 1994 which sold for $99. Version 3.0 included multi-file operation, HPFS support and access to the OS/2 Clipboard. SemWare claimed "over 120,000 licensed users" on all platforms at that time.
The last version released for OS/2 was "TSE Junior/2" v4.00e released on February, 1997. It was functionally equivalent to TSE Junior v4.00e for DOS with the addition of access to OS/2's system-wide clipboard and HPFS (long filenames) support. It retailed at the time for $99 and was supplied with a copy of the DOS basic version.
The SemWare Editor (TSE)
Qedit was rewritten and significantly expanded, and eventually released as The SemWare Editor (TSE) 1.0. The initial release maintained the tradition of fast I/O and response, fast search, a simple text scripting language and the fundamental design of a native core with functionality split between native code and scripting.
New TSE features included a more powerful scripting language (SAL), regular expressions, a native Win32 port, SAL access to Win32 DLL entry points, a 'graphical' port using the native Windows GDI (previous versions employed the console window), optional native dialogs (e.g. Open), and graphical features such as window transparency.
TSE has at times been referred to as 'Tessie', derived from its acronym (TSE).
TSE used the codename 'RoadRunner' during initial development, until it was formally named TSE. Comments from its author, Sammy Mitchell, indicate the name change was forced due to a trademark dispute raised by another business.
Earlier versions of TSE operated in the console window in text-only mode with limited character sets and colors. Version 2.6 added a native Win32 port, but was still character-based (using the Win32 Console APIs). Version 4.0 included the Win32 application rewritten as a pixel-based graphical application (g32.exe) using the GDI. This is commonly misunderstood to be a console application, as it still appears textual despite being a native Win32 graphical application. Visually, g32 appears to work in lines and columns, though it is a graphical application (via WinMain and GDI APIs, not the Console API).
This text-like behavior simplified porting existing scripts and provided a common user experience; there was no attempt to rewrite it as a truly graphical, pixel-based application with multiple windows, MDI, fractional lines/columns and so forth.
The transition to a 'graphical' implementation brought several advantages by being a graphical application not tied to a Windows 'console', including a broader selection of fonts, native dialogs for Open, Save and Print (the text-mode prompts remain available via configuration option) and window resizing.
Qedit and TSE supported various screen modes (different numbers of columns and rows, e.g., 80 × 25) based on the underlying video display options; with the graphical version windows could be sized to any number of rows and columns. This occurred around the same time larger displays were becoming increasingly common.
SemWare Application Language
The SemWare Application Language (SAL) uses a Pascal-like notation supporting procedural functions and procedures, local and global variables, constants, a preprocessor including common #include and #ifdef keywords, iterative and recursive control structures, and many text-editing-specific functions.
proc Main() integer I for I = 1 TO 3 Warn( "hello world ", I ) endfor end
SAL supports integer and string data types.
SAL APIs support creation of arbitrary buffers, including non-interactive buffers not visible to the user. Many functions are available to access and manipulate buffers and their contents, effectively acting as very large text containers.
|May||1985||QEdit||-||First beta version|
|Nov||1985||QEdit||1.0||First official release - Written in Turbo Pascal|
|Oct||1987||QEdit||1.38||Size decreased to 29 KB|
|Feb||1988||QEdit||2.00||Pulldown menus added|
|Mar||1988||QEdit||2.03||Converted to Turbo Pascal 4.0|
|Dec||1988||QEdit||2.07||Added Column blocks|
|Feb||1990||QEdit||2.1||Converted to C / First release of TSR version / First release of QEdit for OS/2 / First German translation|
|Mar||1991||-||-||First TSEPro beta / Includes first version of SAL, Virtual memory support, multifile, block support, all in a 30 KB DOS .EXE.|
|-||1992||-||-||Product line split into TSE Jr. (formerly QEdit) and TSE Pro|
|Mar||1993||TSEPro||1.0||First release, Virtual memory, macro language|
|Feb||1994||QEdit||3.0||Last product named QEdit / HPFS support in OS/2 version|
|Sep||1994||TSEPro||2.0||Help system, history|
|Mar||1995||TSEJr||4.0||QEdit renamed to TSEJr|
|Sep||1995||TSEPro||2.5||Multifile find, save state, last DOS version|
|Oct||1996||TSEPro||2.6||First Win32 version - Console only|
|Feb||1997||TSE JR/2 v4 for 32-bit IBM OS/2||4.0||First OS/2 version of TSEJr- Console only|
|Mar||1997||-||-||First experimental Windows GUI version|
|Jun||1997||TSEPro||2.8||Color syntax highlighting|
|Dec||1998||-||-||Experimental Windows GUI version killed|
|May||2002||TSEPro||4.0||First GUI version released|
|Oct||2004||-||-||First beta for Linux released|
|Some of this article's listed sources may not be reliable. (November 2012)|
- Wilburn, Gene (July 5, 1993). "Homesteading the OS/2 applications farm". Computing Canada 19 (14): 22.
I took the plunge into native apps by obtaining OS/2 versions of two of my favorite DOS programs - QEdit for OS/2 and Buerg's LIST for OS/2.
- social.wakoopa.com/software/tse-pro Wakoopa stats on TSE Pro as text editor
- Rife, Bob (January 27, 1993). "Qedit fast, simple to use". The Globe and Mail. p. 9.
Besides speed and ease of use, Qedit is compact, taking only 50 KB of space, compared with many other editors that can be 10 times the size.
- Holtzman, Jeff (April 1994). "Build your own text editor". Popular Electronics 11 (4): 76.
TSE is relatively speedy, although it's not as fast as Qedit. (The reason is that Qedit is strictly a RAM-based editor that cannot edit flies larger than available RAM.) On the other hand, TSE has numerous powerful features, including column-mode operations, sorting, regular expression search/replace, intelligent tabbing, support for C, C++. and Pascal program flies, and the ability to execute DOS programs (e.g., compilers and print utilities).