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Exciting Things to Come: My To Do List

I still have a lot planned for Regex Hero so I thought I'd take the opportunity to share it all.

Display Match Groups (Completed)
This was an idea by controlgeek that I plan to implement. Soon Regex Hero will optionally display the matched text from all groups (if any) as well as their corresponding group names. Technically this is easy to do but I just have to plan the UI carefully.

Tab Support (Completed)
I've made a number of customizations to the textboxes in Regex Hero already. But one thing that still bugs me is the way tabs work inside the textboxes. Whenever you hit tab, it skips to the next textbox. So you can't easily type a tab into a textbox. So I plan to fix that, and while I'm at it I want to find a way to tab multiple lines simultaneously. This is a feature common to most text editors nowadays so it's about time I catch up.

Regular Expression Highlighting (Completed)
I want to add some simple highlighting to the regular expressions. The character classes, groups, and comments all need distinct color coding. I also want to give some indication of the location of corresponding parenthesis. So when you place your cursor next to one parenthesis it'll highlight the other.

Code hinting (an Intellisense-like feature) (Completed)
I love Intellisense, as I'm sure most .NET developers do. I had the thought a few weeks ago that it might be possible to incorporate Intellisense-like functionality for the regular expression language. For example, I see this being helpful for many of the constructs that start with a parenthesis. Named groups, lookarounds, and even comments start with a parenthesis.

Built-in Tutorials
This is a big one. I want to develop a recording system that I can use to record mouse input, keyboard input, and my voice. Then I can create tutorials that are built into Regex Hero. I'll start off with more basic tutorials of course. But essentially you would select a tutorial to play, and then Regex Hero would automatically shrink to a fixed size (for coordinate-matching purposes) and you would see me take over the app, explaining everything as I do it. The benefit of doing it this way is that you can pause and interrupt the tutorial at any point. Having this ability means you can experiment with the app even if the virtual version of myself was in the middle of typing out a regular expression.

Desktop Version (Completed)
Silverlight 3 introduced the ability to run a Silverlight application out of the browser. However, Visual Studio 2010 is still in Beta. And from a practical standpoint I don't think it would be wise to release a Silverlight 3 or 4 version of Regex Hero built in a beta development environment. But when the new Visual Studio comes out I'll release a new version of Regex Hero that can run on your desktop for licensed users.

That's everything on my to do list as of now. I'm always coming up with new stuff to add or improve. Some of these things will take a lot of work. But I'm pretty excited about getting it all done and scratched off the list. Oh, and keep the suggestions coming.

In other news, 91 people have created Regex Hero accounts now. That means there's just 9 to go before it goes on sale. If you haven't signed up yet, read here for details.

Update: The 100 License Giveaway Is Over: Thank You Early Adopters


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