|Home » ACP » Rixedit
Hearing the words simple text editor or TextEdit replacement should send anyone around the bend, regardless of platform; but for once, the epithets are correct: Rixedit's executable is a mere 23 KB (27436 bytes) so you'll most likely finish editing your file before those 'simple text editors' finish launching.
Rixedit is no-nonsense, with no frills, it does text and no more, and it does it unusually well.
Text and Only Text
Rixedit is about text and only text: no matter the internal file format, files come up in their plain text form. You can't drop an HTML file on TextEdit's dock icon and always expect to see the HTML code; with Rixedit you can - and do.
Clean as You Go
Rixedit's cleaning functions make sure your text file is Unix-compatible and rid of all unnecessary white space, going a lot farther than the seldom-used functionality of the Cocoa frameworks.
Go Where You Wanna Go
TextEdit won't let you go beyond file packages.
Rixedit lets you go anywhere you wanna go.
Rollback (The Forgiveness Principle)
Unlike TextEdit, Rixedit preserves its undo/redo buffer beyond file saves, meaning you can at last test your file without worrying that you can't go back if the changes don't work out.
Given Apple's new bewildering versioning system, this becomes even more of a lifesaver.
Continuous spellchecking - particularly the multilingual kind - was one of the great boons of the NeXTSTEP and Cocoa text systems. Until a brainiac at Apple (off the boat from Scandinavia) came along and changed it all with the 10.5 Leopard release.
Continuous spellchecking used to follow your caret - and work on a single thread model. You only saw those annoying wavy red lines after you completed a word. Multilingual spellchecking simply allowed any word found in any of the dictionaries you cited.
All that changed with 10.5 Leopard. It was obvious that this new 'contributor' had little experience with spellchecking and less than zero experience with multilingual spellchecking. Suddenly the spellchecking was running in a separate thread and trying to pick up spelling errors by the context. So a Russian word bookended by two Chinese words would render them all as 'errors'.
Obviously continuous spellchecking was no longer something one could have on by default. And unfortunately this hasn't changed over the years.
Yet there are certain files that want it and others that never want it. These files can be distinguished by their file extension.
You want continuous spellchecking - as horrendous as it persists in being - turned on for pure text files. But you don't want it turned on for source code files or even for HTML files to begin with.
The solution for Rixedit is to read the file extension and act upon it accordingly.
Rixedit users can set the application to never use continuous spellchecking, to always use it, or to use it for only a select few file types. And 'saving as' a file with a new extension automatically kicks in the system and adjusts the setting accordingly.
Roll Your Own Encodings
Text is text is text - unless it's Unicode. All other text encodings are without formatting or special characters and yet they all read and write file data differently.
NeXTSTEP used over a dozen encodings; today an OS X system will support upwards of one hundred. Most of the time they're of no consequence: Rixedit can automatically open and save files in either the default text encoding or Unicode.
The Encoding menu offers the traditional NeXTSTEP encodings. The default encoding you choose will be used to both open and save files. If you find the contents of a file incomprehensible, close it, change the encoding, and open it again.
Here's TextEdit's rather primitive way to deal with encodings. Don't ask how it works because no one's really sure. And that's buried in three levels of preferences. And it's dependent on Apple's extended attribute system to work. And that system doesn't always work.
Rixedit has an encoding menu. You set the encoding you want for either input or output right at the top level in the application. You don't pre-approve certain encodings and ignore others, and then hope for the best as the application tries to figure out what to do - you decide yourself, right at the outset. (And you can easily change your mind at any time.)
The Rixedit encoding menu has access to all encodings supported by your system.
But there's more: Rixedit lets you roll your own encoding control.
Apple have slowly moved to an extended attribute scheme to deal with encodings that do not contain embedded escape sequences. But extended attributes are neither easily accessible, nor easily modifiable, nor transportable to other platforms.
Rixedit's encoding system makes it all eminently accessible, modifiable, and transportable, thanks to the ACP Framework.
Apple's extended attributes don't migrate to other platforms - extensions do. And they can be a hint to recipients how to open files. Most importantly: they let you determine how files are read and written without getting into extended attribute control.
Cool Stuff, Important Stuff
Rixedit also jumps to line numbers, changes case, joins lines, cleans white space - something extremely welcome to developers running Xcode and similar tools - and converts all CRLFs to the Unix format.
Rixedit has even more features: being a full-fledged Cocoa application, these are often features TextEdit can't get at.
And the binary's a mere 22 KB on disk. So it's fast.