ParseTreeApplication – any requests?

You know, it feels really refreshing to code now and then, so this weekend I took a look at updating my parse tree drawing/comparing application.

I’m not aiming for a major change, just minor improvements. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • improved the way parse trees are entered
    The improvement is the user interface. Instead of typing in a single-line textbox it’s a multi-line textarea with scrolling. When you hit “OK”, it tries to send it to the Lisp/XML parser and if it fails, it pops up a message. But unlike before, it leaves the window open. This way errors don’t hurt so much if you’re typing out an example for class.

    • The “new parse” window has a default size and position, but it also saves size/position when you exit. The only caveat is that Apple-Q exits Java programs differently than closing the window or selecting Exit from the menu, so it doesn’t save the setting in that case (OS X only).
    • There’s also a checkbox to retain the previous text next time you create a new tree, so that you can quickly generate several variants of a parse for an example.
  • added SVG support (via Apache Batik)
    It can now save in SVG. I’ve confirmed by loading in Chrome and Inkscape. The grouping of the visual elements seems unusual in Inkscape, but it’s probably much easier than trying to edit the EPS, PNG, or GIF.

I’m planning to test those features and hopefully add PDF support (although Mac users can just print then save to PDF).

Onto the main question of this post:  Are there any high priority features you’d like to see added? I don’t have the time for certain kinds of coding-heavy features but feel free to ask (if you’d use it) and I’ll comment on whether I can/can’t do that easily.

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