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A Call for Feedback

Topics: Developer Forum, Project Management Forum, User Forum
Aug 21, 2012 at 5:10 AM

I've tried one of these discussion topics before and I didn't get much response so hopefully this will go better...

What should be our focus for ScintillaNET? Is it new features? Bugfixes? Where should we be spending our time?

Many of you have real world experience with the control and could give us valuable feedback. Without your input we have to guess what will be of most value with the little spare time we have to do development.

Sure, the Issue Tracker tells a bit of that story already, but I hardly believe it is representative of what you all really feel should be our priority list.

Tell us what you think.



Aug 25, 2012 at 2:49 PM

First, my perspective is that of a "hobby programmer." I'm not an IT pro and the apps I write are usually for my own use. I'm just a guy who learned how to use and Visual Studio.

That said, I'd like to see improved / expanded documentation.  In particular, a comprehensive article on the use of Ranges would be helpful for me. Having written a few tutorials over the years, I know how time-consuming that can be but I'd bet a lot of users would appreciate it.

Also, when coding I (and I'm sure others) often depend on VS's Intellisense when typing a keyword or parameter. Just including the value type doesn't really tell us much. A one-sentence explanation of what it does would go a long way toward making things a little easier.

That's my only complaint. You guys are doing a great job.

Aug 26, 2012 at 4:44 AM

Well IMHO based on the experience I have (I use ScintillaNet to code an open source IDE specialy designed for pawn languaje), it would be nice to have more documentation about this library as sometimes I've to guess how to do some things or try several times to achieve what I want.

Another important thing about documentation, is that this help to realize of the real power of something. I think i'm not using half of the power this library give due the fact I really don't know where to read about what I can do whit this except from the main page and changelogs. You may answer "You can read the source code to achieve that", and my answer would be "yes, ofcourse I can, but I don't have much time because I focuse my effort to fix bugs from my app".

As neverhome said, you're doing a great job.

Aug 27, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Edited Aug 27, 2012 at 3:03 AM


I was surprised (and embarrassed) to realize that we were not producing a documentation comments XML file as part of our release package. Release build v2.5.2 now inlcudes it. 

It is not 100% comprehensive but it will give you Visual Studio IntelliSense for a large part of the API. Just make sure the ScintillaNET.xml file is in the same folder as the ScintillaNET.dll reference you're using in your projects. (The XML file does not need to be distributed with your application).




I'm glad I asked because I would have never placed documentation so high on the priority list. As I've worked on ScintillaNET over the years I've always made it a point to document each of the bits of code that I work on, however, they are relatively small portions in the scope of the whole project. And having not progressed that quickly with some of the code changes that still leaves a lot of undocumented APIs.

I'll see about bettering our API documentation and CodePlex page. 

Thanks for your help!



Aug 27, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Hi Jacob,

I am quite impressed with all the work that has been done to make integrating Scintilla fairly easy.  I've mostly been 'playing around' with it rather than real production type use.  I would agree that documentation and sample code goes a long way in making a component easier to consume, and for the most part the included code and documentation is decent enough for someone to take it and run with it.

I have two other suggestions, but they mostly revolve around breaking the concept that Scintella.NET is merely a .NET wrapper for Scintella.  First, I'd REALLY like to see a Lexer that is highly customizable via an XML file, similar to what Notepad++ has.  Using the same format for the configuration would also be excellent.  This request also has the side effect of having a decent amount of example code that would highlight best-practices for implementing a truly custom Lexer.

The last request would be a custom Intellisense-like autocomplete (also ala Notepad++) where documentation/usage could be displayed along with the keyword completion.  This would need to be a totally new control, not using any of Scintilla's built-in facilities.  I was reading quite a bit of discussion on this topic (trying to see how Notepad++ did it without looking at their code), and it seems that the Scintilla team has regrets in implementing the basic support for autocomplete that they did.  This is also a ton of work, so it is not an easy request...

As others have said, thanks for all the great stuff you have put into this project thus far!


Aug 28, 2012 at 3:14 AM

I have a few ideas for developing a lexer that could be configured completely in markup (XML) as you suggested. It's definitely on my to-do list.

Your other suggestion for abandoning the auto-complete window that ships with Scintilla in favor of a custom one we create has also crossed my mind. I have to admit that I've used Notepad++ for years and never once see it's auto-complete features. I'll have to investigate what they're doing.

Thanks for the feedback.



Aug 30, 2012 at 5:38 PM


IMHO wrinting a lexer like Notepad++ should not be that important, as this can be done by parsing files (may not best way, but it's the first that come to my mind) and customizing the control as indicated. I think this is not that hard and should not be high priority, but this is just my opinion.

Sep 2, 2012 at 2:58 AM

Just grabbed 2.5.2 and tried it. Much better. Thank you.

Sep 8, 2012 at 4:15 AM


I'll make sure we continue to improve the documentation.

Any other feedback?



Sep 19, 2012 at 4:28 AM
Edited Sep 19, 2012 at 4:29 AM


Scintilla looks awesome.  However, I downloaded your Demo app, but it is just an executable.  I kind'a expected a VS project with source that I could compile, run and tinker with to start understanding how to use Scintilla.

I have been programming in C# for many years, but have not had need for a syntax editor since my delphi days.  Back then I used SyntaxEdit.  Anyway, documentation and a VS Demo project would be awesome for us Scintilla noobs.



Sep 20, 2012 at 1:49 PM
Edited Sep 20, 2012 at 1:58 PM


I have been away for a year and stumbled upon this dll again. Seems you made a lot of progress. Everything looks awesome. There are a few things that I am missing, or I haven't found them yet.

Here are a few suggestions which you could implement if possible to make it behave like a professional syntaxeditor.

  • 1) lexical parsing (example: (properties etc.))
  • 2) indentation guides (not "white space")
  • 3) line modification marks (like in VS: breakpoint/indicators)
  • 4) split-view (horizontal and vertical)
  • 5) when hovering a collapsed code/text, show full in a tooltip
  • 6) backet highlighting
  • 7) drag-drop (inner)text
  • 8) highlight current line (user-color)
  • 9) change color of IDE/Line Numbers Margin/etc (user-color)
  • 10) description tips for properties etc. in the autocomplete

Just my 2 pennies ;)

Keep up the good work. I love it. Will use it as soon as possible to discover the renewed dll.

ps: where can I find the source of the source of the demo?

Sep 21, 2012 at 5:19 PM


 There are some points of your list that you should program, ScintillaNet provide many functions to make an exelent IDE; however it's not the IDE itself. Things like "drag-drop", "split-view (horizontal and vertical)", should be programed by you, not native features by ScintillaNET.

Sep 24, 2012 at 8:55 AM

What's wrong with having an internal spit-view property of the same document or dragging a part of the text to another line, whatever? I've bought which has all those features.

Sep 24, 2012 at 7:14 PM


IMHO there are more important things that should be done, like fixing bugs with the Autocomplete that when u have por example:



and u type prin it goes automaticaly to 'printf' (hiding 'print')

But this is just my opinion, and it's as valid as yourse.


PS: I never say there's something wrong with your ideas

Sep 25, 2012 at 12:52 AM
podjunk wrote:

Scintilla looks awesome.  However, I downloaded your Demo app, but it is just an executable.  I kind'a expected a VS project with source that I could compile, run and tinker with to start understanding how to use Scintilla.


To get source for the demo app you should download the source code package ( The included solution file will build both the ScintillaNET component and the demonstration program.


Sep 25, 2012 at 1:01 AM


Thanks for the feedback. Some of the items on your list are available now:

6). Bracket highlighting is available.
7). Drag and drop is available.
8). Highlight current line is available.
9). Change color of line numbers and other margin text is available.
10). Auto-complete is available.

All of these options are fairly straightfoward to configure but if you have trouble check the forums because many users have asked about this in the past.

As for the rest of your wish list, The_Chaoz is right that some of those will never be implemented, however, I hope one day that some of the will.



Sep 25, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Thank you all for the replies.

@The_Chaoz: I agree that you should give priority to bugfixes ;)

@jacoblusser: Thanks for the info.
In your list you mention "auto-complete", but I'm talking about a tooltip for the "keyword".

Sep 27, 2012 at 8:26 PM
Radjesh wrote:
  • 4) split-view (horizontal and vertical)

If you want to acomplish this, you may be interested on docking panels. This is the way visual studio and many other IDEs work. If it's not considered as SPAM (please jacoblusser tell me) I can post a link to a third party library to do this in a very easy way (this library is open source and it's posted here, on CodePlex).

Sep 27, 2012 at 9:13 PM
The_Chaoz wrote:
If it's not considered as SPAM (please jacoblusser tell me) I can post a link to a third party library to do this in a very easy way (this library is open source and it's posted here, on CodePlex).

Yes please do so. There are some interesting challenges in making a split view. Scintilla doesn't have a strong separation between document and view (internally it does but not for the API). You can create 2 controls and set the document of one to the other. But I remember doing this before and I wasn't happy with how it turned out. 

Sep 27, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Thanks The_Chaoz, but like I said, I bought the control already, so no need for another 3rd party. Besides that I already have controls for docking. Thanks anyway and keep up the good work guys ;)

Sep 28, 2012 at 3:48 AM

This 3rd party library is called AvalonDock, and it's a full implementation of docking panels.