GuidePost is a simple tool written to address the problem of there being no editing tools for GuideML. Version 0.5.1 has just been released, with new features that make it something somebody might actually want to use.
Note: GuidePost is a private project of an individual Researcher, and is not produced by or in any way affiliated with the BBC or h2g2.
Some time back now, I have no idea when it was (but probably not long after h2g2 first allowed us to write in GuideML), I decided that it would be rather nice to have a GuideML editing tool around for writing Entries. It was probably mentioned to the people at the Towers, but they weren't able to write one due to various obstacles like time, money and so forth, so I decided to write one myself.
Which I did. Version 0.1 was terrible to be perfectly honest - Notepad with some features taken out and an extra menu for inserting some GuideML tags (of course, GuideML itself was a bit different then). The next few versions improved things a bit, and 0.4 was the first that was really any good, released just after Ripley 1.2 it was the first one to include all of GuideML (apart from some of the tags not approved for the Edited Guide). 0.5 was fine, but I somehow managed to leave out the commands for inserting <LINK> tags, so they've been put in 0.5.1, which is the current version at the time of writing.
Okay, so it's still simple - if you don't know GuideML already it won't help you - but it has features that Notepad doesn't have, which has to be a plus - GuideML tag insertion commands, and (new in this version) some nice toolbars for inserting Approved tags. I'm quite proud of it - soon I hope it will be good enough to warrant a version number of 1.0, which will be a nice milestone to reach.
It's been an interesting project, and will continue to be I'm sure as I'm currently hoping to be able to add a syntax checker to it, or at least syntax highlighting (of course, it is likely these two will share some code, so they may both appear together). For the curious, GuidePost is written with Borland Delphi 3 Professional, and released under the GNU General Public License. If you've not encountered it before, the GPL basically states that you can use the software for free, and you can also get the source code and modify it for your own purposes and redistribution, provided that you then release your derived work under the GPL as well, and retain the original author's copyright on the code they wrote. As a result of being written in Delphi, GuidePost currently only runs on Windows 95/98/Me/NT4/2000, but that should cover most of you out there. For those of you with Linux, it runs fairly well under recent Wine snapshots, but there are some drawing glitches with the toolbars in the latest version. There is a native Linux version, but at the moment I don't recommend it even the slightest little bit - you're better off with Emacs to be perfectly honest (and in fact, if I ever get around to learning e-Lisp, I'll be writing a GuideML mode for Emacs).
Still awake? Good. Should you wish to find out more and perhaps even try out the program, pop along to www.alledora.co.uk/guidepost and download it. Of course, as usual with programs downloaded from the Internet, you should check it for viruses before running the setup program. And don't worry - there's an uninstaller, and it doesn't leave any garbage in the Windows Registry or any shared files anywhere.