Review - CygnusEd 4
Pauli Porkka pporkka@iki.fi

PRODUCT NAME

Cygnus Ed 4 (v4.2)

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Professional text editor.

AUTHOR

Written by Bruce Dawson, updated by Olaf Barthel

LIST PRICE

DM 69

SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

HARDWARE

1 MB of memory recommended

SOFTWARE

Amiga OS 2.04 or newer

COPY PROTECTION

None

MACHINE USED FOR TESTING

Amiga A4000/030/25Mhz, 16 MB FAST, 2 MB CHIP
AmigaDOS 3.0
1GB hard drive
2x CD-ROM Drive
NEC 3D MultiSync, Screen resolution 800x600

INSTALLATION

Uses standard installer program. Easy as allways. Allows you to select the target CPU and if you want to remove old installation of CED.

REVIEW

CED is one of the oldest Editors still available for Amiga. To celebrate the 10th anniversary new version of CygnusEd was released. The original author Bruce Dawson gave the sources to Olaf Barthel to continue the development what can easily be called one of the best editors there is and ever will be. I personally remember using CED back in the 80's when it was one of the pioneering editors and at that time it was by far the best. The development was discontinued 1994 because of piracy but now it is time to try again.

The program has stayed pretty much the same. It is as good as it was before and then some. It is mentioned in the documentation that developers wanted to release the new version as soon as possible withouth further delays which would have been required for major redesign. So everything that was there before is still there. The GUI has been rewritten to accommodate modern day design specifications. This ofcourse doesnt include the main text edit view since there is only just that, edit view. Search/replace windows have been redesigned so they look a bit more modern. Menus and everything else are now font sensitive. Propably biggest single change is that CED now requires OS 2.04 or newer. On the other hand it still works even with 68000 with 512k memory, which is quite remarkable nowadays for a professional program. One really good thing to come out of the changes mentioned below is that the main view is AppWindow. You can just drag and drop documents on to it.

There are numerous smaller changes and fixes all over the code. Only some new additions have been made, although I think the best must be the great online documentation describing everything you need, although I find CED to be extremely selfevident not needing lenghty consultations to the manual. Other additions include better and clearer Arexx support, code optimizations (still possible?), already mentioned AppWindow and AppIcon, memory pools.. lots of them but nevertheless quite small overall.

One of the changes I personally would have wanted was little less exentric menu tree. I've always found the menu a bit odd, with settings where you would expect editing commands and stuff like this. I guess this is all just heritage from the 80's. As the amount and scale of the changes reflect you can expect more updates in the future. As already mentioned this new version was pushed out as quickly as possible and updates are promised in the form of patch files.

Being what it is CED has contributed to a many MANY software projects during its 10 year lifespan and it is only appropriate to add some of the programs to the CD. You can find many programs which have been written partly or fully using CED in one drawer on the CD. This is kind of nice touch to celebrate the anniversary of the program. I just hope people won't kill the program again by not buying it. Make yourself a favour and buy the software its worth it.

DOCUMENTATION

Provided as extensive on-line amigaguide help.

LIKES

Fastest editor there is. Great online documentation.

DISLIKES AND SUGGESTIONS

The same menu structure as in the previous version. I really dont see the logic behind it, but since this is the first update, maybe there will be different one someday.

BUGS

None found.

CONCLUSION

VERY fast and does exactly what it is supposed to do: Edit text. More changes would have been nice, but they are coming in the future.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Pauli Porkka 1997. Originally written for Amiga CD-ROM site http://www.iki.fi/pporkka/main.html. This article is in Public Domain.
Feel free to publish anywhere with original copyright notice.


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