Textedit: a complete word processing system in kit form. (book reviews) Stephen Gray.
A Complete Word Processing System in Kit Form
This word-processing program, written in TRS-80 Disk Basic for the Models I and III with TRSDOS 2.2/2.3 and 32K of memory, is said to be in "kit' form because "it is written in modules, so you can load and use only those portions that you need,' according to the back cover.
Page 1 says the many advantages to kit building are that "you can take it apart with confidence, modify it more easily, have a better idea of how it works, and try out parts of it before continuing on.' Included are modules for right justification, ASCII upper/lowercase conversion, one-key phrase entering, editing functions, and so on.
The first couple of chapters introduce the program features and tell how the program can be used with less than 32K, which involves massaging the text with one module after another. The book notes, "While it is easier and a little more advantageous to have the entire program resident in memory at the same time, the module system serves as a substantial RAM stretcher.'
First in the kit sequence is keying in the BASE/MOD subassemblies and testing them. Then the user "constructs' NEWTEXT/MOD, merges it with BASE/MOD, and tests the two. The subsequent modules handle printing, inserting carriage returns, and editing. The author explains in detail how each module works, then tells how to use the program as an assembled unit, describes additional modules for organizing the text elements, determining line-length specifications, right-justifying, global searching, and automatic strings, and ends with UPPERLOW/AUX.
Although Rappaport writes clearly, concisely, and well, the book isn't for the neophyte because of the frequent use of computer jargon. Some phrases are explained, but the reader should be familiar with programming before taking on Textedit, which seems a fine way to learn all about how a word processor works.
Although the book doesn't mention it, a disk containing Textedit is available at $19.97 from the publisher.
Review Grade: B