One thing I immediately noticed is that the older versions were really geared towards helping people learn the environment and language in a number of ways that don't really exist anymore. Some of what I consider to be the 'standout' features include (but are not limited to, and in no particular order) -
- Tips -
this can be set to pop up in any number of ways, or not at all. FANTASTIC feature I could not find any way to enable in current (6-8) versions.
- Documentation -
The main documentation window. While the newer versions have a form of this, they are all sadly lacking in ease of use compared to this form of the documentation. Documentation you can search like you would the dictionary, documentation by category (beats the pdf hands down), really incredibly useful ways to search for something and actually find what your looking for.
- Examples Cookbook (!!) -
Priceless having examples that actually work and are well explained.
- Trouble Shooting -
Priceless, simple concise explanations about why things might not be working.
- Glossary - self explanatory greatness.
- Tool Palette -
drop down menus for controls that can be set up many ways, like the button, scrollbar, option menus, allowing you to skip having to go to the inspector to set the option of which you want.
- Script Editor -
no tabs, but has a form of autocomplete. From my point of view, for new users, it lets new users learn about the language and new terms by telling them what is available for a given set of letters. This feature has been re-introduced after going missing a LONG time.
- Many more platforms stand alone settings -
Obviously this edition was only intended for (Novell) Linux, which is where I'm using it from, however you can get an idea of just how many other platforms were available at the time. I still work with a number of these, and sure wish I had the engines to target for them now.
- Minor - tabs in the script editor - I actually don't miss this feature as much as I initially thought I might, since the scripts all open in a new window, but sometimes I forget that heh.
- Not so minor - Shortcuts such as 'ctrl + enter' to apply a script.
- Project Browser - I see now why so many of the 'longer than I users' are always talking about the application browser, and I do find that useful for somethings, but I tend to use the PB far and away more often.
- Minor - Tool Palette - having the control you select dragging to the stack instead of having to free draw it. Just nice to have, to get similar in the older IDE you can use the message box to create a button, but you loose that nice drop down menu feature.
- Not so minor - Behaviors, although I haven't explored these extensively, I do understand their value as an addition to the language, thank you in large part to Jacque's useful and thorough explanations. A form of this is available in 2.2.1, but not in the same way as later editions.