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Reference and More

I took the time this weekend to update the syntax reference with the remaining sections that were still missing. I still need to create a lot more examples, but at least the syntax with descriptions are complete.

I then grabbed that completed reference and added it to Regex Hero :
Regex Reference

Initially my plan was to create a static modal dialog box with the reference in it. But a fellow user of Regex Hero suggested doing it this way so a thanks goes to him. I think it works quite well.

To save myself time I actually used Regex Hero to parse the reference. I separated each regular expression from the description by grouping which then allowed me to build my XAML much faster. It's kind of ironic using Regex Hero to build Regex Hero but if it speeds up redundant tasks then I'm all for it. In fact, I've used Regex Hero a lot lately to help me with redundant code. I'll try to make a video example of that some day soon.

While I was doing all of this I also refactored a good portion of the project. I broke things out into user controls that now load asynchronously when you see the loading screen come up. This may again improve perceived performance, if only marginally. But it also makes the project easier to manage from my perspective.

I then made a few minor UI improvements:

1.) I improved the undo/redo functionality. In the past it would add the initial regular expression, "^Regex Hero" to the undo history. I don't know if I'd call it a bug, but I think it was always an annoying feature. Well I've fixed that by clearing the undo history after your last regular expression is loaded. Then I also set it to clear the undo history any time you open a saved regular expression from your library.

2.) I created a more powerful ListBox control that I'm now using in both the ".NET Regex Reference" and "Open Regular Expression" dialogs. You'll notice now that you can select an item by double-clicking it, or even by hitting enter or space bar. And of course as a last option I've left the Open button in place for those who like to use the mouse. I figure this should cover the most common user habits and I think keyboard users should find it much quicker and easier to use.


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