GuidePost has been mentioned before in the pages of this most illustrious of electronic publications, the h2g2 Post. It has received praise from more than one person - some of them people who've actually used it. I'm still reeling from the shock, but it seems that some people actually like it. So it seems that on this momentous occasion, GuidePost deserves an article in the Post.
Why does it deserve an article, I hear you cry. Well, I could say it's because I'm bored and have nothing better to do, or that Shazz has been pestering me to write something for the Post for months. But neither of those are true - the real reason is that GuidePost has now reached version 0.6, with a crucial if currently rudimentary feature that makes the whole process of editing plain-text GuideML source much easier - syntax highlighting.
While probably the hardest thing I have ever programmed for Windows, the new syntax highlighting system in GuidePost is also one of the best. Okay, so it's not perfect. It's got some bugs (including, I discover typing this, a tendency to make the first character after a GuideML tag bold), and it's got some problems, and it's not perfect (it doesn't highlight attributes separately from their tags yet), but it's certainly better than nothing. Finally, GuidePost is more than just Notepad on steroids - it is GuidePost.
Okay, so I sound enthusiastic and bonkers, but that's because I'm the one who wrote it. You want to try GuidePost 0.6, now with syntax highlighting, search and replace and plain text import? Well then, here is what you must have:
- Microsoft Windows 95/98/Me/NT4/2000
- A little bit of disk space
- A little bit of patience
- The willingness not to mind if GuidePost loses your work
The reason I mention that latter is because it might - syntax highlighting, quite frankly, has introduced more bugs and problems than I dreamed possible. As I was writing this I found a bug in the entity highlighting code that makes GuidePost lock into an infinite loop with 96% processor usage - so I've disabled highlighting of entities for now, and will upload an updated GuidePost 0.6 when I've finished writing this article. Anyone who downloaded GuidePost before 2200BST on 3rd July 2001 should pop along and get the updated version before they type any &s.
To finish off - GuidePost is pre-release software. It might crash, it might lose your work, it might do bad things to your computer. It won't do most of those, though, if you turn syntax highlighting off. It isn't perfect, it isn't commercial quality - but that's why it's not version 1.0 yet. I still ask people to try it out though, as I appreciate bug reports, feature suggestions and the like. The more encouragement, the quicker 0.7 comes out. It's that simple, really.
If you want to get GuidePost, pop along to the GuidePost Website and see what you think. It even comes in an easy-to-use installer package.