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  1<!-- jEdit buffer-local properties:                      -->
  2<!-- :indentSize=4:noTabs=false:maxLineLen=72:tabSize=4: -->
  3<!-- :xml.root=faq.xml:                                  -->
  5<!-- jEdit FAQ                                           -->
  6<!-- Copyright (C) 2003 John Gellene, Kris Kopicki       -->
  8<sect1 id="general"><title>General Questions</title>
 10  This section deals with some background information, how to obtain the
 11  latest version of jEdit and how to obtain further information/help.
 14<qandaset defaultlabel="qanda">
 16  <qandadiv id="about">
 17    <title>About jEdit</title>
 18    <qandaentry>
 19      <question id="whatis"><para>
 20        What is jEdit?
 21      </para></question>
 22      <answer><para>
 23        jEdit is a programmer's text editor written in Java, being
 24        developed by Slava Pestov and others. It has an easy to use
 25        interface that resembles that of many other Windows and MacOS
 26        text editors.  It is also highly customizable, and contains a
 27        <quote>plugin</quote> architecture that allows its features to
 28        be extended by additional programs.
 29      </para></answer>
 30    </qandaentry>
 31    <qandaentry>
 32      <question id="difftext"><para>
 33        What is the difference between a text editor and a word
 34        processor?
 35      </para></question>
 36      <answer><para>
 37        These categories are not absolute but refer to the primary
 38        purpose of an editing program and the focus of its features.
 39        </para>
 40        <para>
 41        A text editor is an application that edits files containing plain text
 42        without automatically formatting the text for printing or other publication.
 43        Typically the contents of such a file consists of data used by another
 44        application - for example, source code that a compiler will process or
 45        markup text that a web browser will display. A word processor deals with
 46        the preparation of documents for printing or similar publication.
 47        Besides editing text, a modern word processor allows the user to choose
 48        multiple fonts, margin sizes, line spacing, indentation, and a variety
 49        of other details that affect the appearance of the document being
 50        edited. In a text editor, these features are present, if at all, only in
 51        a basic form, and for the limited purpose of helping the user compose
 52        and organize the text. In place of word processing features, a text
 53        editor contains many features that allow the user to prepare and work with
 54        text quickly and efficiently.
 55        </para>
 56        <para>
 57        The jEdit application is a text editor, not a word processor. It
 58        contains a large assortment of features for manipulating source code,
 59        markup text, and other text files. As a programmer's text editor, it
 60        also has many features to help programmers manage their projects and
 61        work with other programming tools.
 62      </para></answer>
 63    </qandaentry>
 64    <qandaentry>
 65      <question id="features"><para>
 66        What features does jEdit have?
 67      </para></question>
 68      <answer><para>
 69        The short answer is, too many to list here.  There is a detailed
 70        list available on the <ulink
 71        url="">jEdit web
 72        site</ulink>, but here are some of the major features:
 73       </para>
 74       <itemizedlist>
 75          <listitem><para>
 76            Comprehensive online help
 77          </para></listitem>
 78          <listitem><para>
 79            Multiple editor windows and split editing panes within a single
 80            editing window
 81          </para></listitem>
 82          <listitem><para>
 83            Unlimited undo/redo
 84          </para></listitem>
 85          <listitem><para>
 86            Copy and paste with an unlimited number of clipboards
 87            (known as <quote>registers</quote>)
 88          </para></listitem>
 89          <listitem><para>
 90            <quote>Markers</quote> for remembering positions
 91            in files to return to later
 92          </para></listitem>
 93          <listitem><para>
 94            Rectangular selection
 95          </para></listitem>
 96          <listitem><para>
 97            Multiple selection for manipulating several chunks of text at once
 98          </para></listitem>
 99          <listitem><para>
100            Syntax highlighting for more than 80 file types
101          </para></listitem>
102          <listitem><para>
103            Intelligent bracket matching that skips quoted literals
104            and comments
105          </para></listitem>
106          <listitem><para>
107            Auto indent and word wrap
108          </para></listitem>
109          <listitem><para>
110            Abbreviations
111          </para></listitem>
112          <listitem><para>
113            <quote>Folding</quote> display mode that hides levels of
114            indented text specified by the user
115          </para></listitem>
116          <listitem><para>
117            Search and replace using both literal text and regular expressions
118          </para></listitem>
119          <listitem><para>
120            <quote>HyperSearch</quote> option to show all found
121            matches in a list
122          </para></listitem>
123          <listitem><para>
124            File management functions available from within jEdit, including
125            deleting and renaming files and creating new directories
126          </para></listitem>
127          <listitem><para>
128            Choice of character encoding for loading and saving files
129          </para></listitem>
130          <listitem><para>
131            Automatic compression and decompression of GZipped (.gz) files
132          </para></listitem>
133          <listitem><para>
134            Plugin support for loading files from ZIP and TAR archives
135          </para></listitem>
136          <listitem><para>
137            Plugin support for loading and saving files on FTP servers
138          </para></listitem>
139          <listitem><para>
140            Fully customizable keyboard shortcuts, tool bar and right-click
141            context menu
142          </para></listitem>
143          <listitem><para>
144            Macro system permitting recording and writing of macros in the
145            BeanShell scripting language
146          </para></listitem>
147          <listitem><para>
148            An internal <quote>plugin manager</quote> that downloads and installs
149            new and updated plugins from within jEdit
150          </para></listitem>
152        </itemizedlist>
153      </answer>
154    </qandaentry>
156    <qandaentry>
157      <question id="what-plugin"><para>
158        What is a jEdit <quote>plugin</quote>?
159      </para></question>
160      <answer><para>
161        A plugin is an application that is designed to work with jEdit
162        by providing additional features that can be used from within
163        the main program. Often the plugin will provide a visible user
164        interface in a window that can be docked to jEdit's main view
165        window.
166      </para>
167      <para>
168        There are currently over 60 publicly available plugins that
169        provide such services as a Java source code browser, a
170        command-line shell, templated text insertion, and source code
171        project management. They can be downloaded, installed, and kept
172        current from within jEdit's <quote>Plugin Manager</quote>.
173        There is also a section of the jEdit web site called <ulink
174        url="">Plugin Central</ulink> that
175        maintains a descriptive index and download links for all publicly
176        available plugins.
177      </para>
178      <para>
179        Additional questions and answers regarding plugins may be found
180        in the section of this document entitled <quote>Working with
181        Plugins</quote>.
182      </para></answer>
183    </qandaentry>
185    <qandaentry>
186      <question id="get-doc"><para>
187        How do I get documentation on jEdit?
188      </para></question>
189      <answer><para>
190        There is a comprehensive User's Guide available from within the program
191        using the <guimenu>Help</guimenu> menu. The User's Guide can also
192        be downloaded from the <ulink
193        url=";platform=source">
194        jEdit web site</ulink> in Portable Document Format (PDF), suitable for
195        online display or printing.
196      </para></answer>
197    </qandaentry>
198    <qandaentry>
199      <question id="is-newsgroup"><para>
200        Is there a newsgroup or mailing list devoted to jEdit?
201      </para></question>
202      <answer><para>
203        Currently there is no newsgroup devoted to jEdit. There are three
204        active mailing lists that are freely available by subscription:
205      </para>
206      <itemizedlist>
207        <listitem><para>
208          The <ulink url=
209          "">
210          jedit-users list</ulink>, for comments and questions about
211          using jEdit and its features
212        </para></listitem>
213        <listitem><para>
214          The <ulink url=
215          "">
216          jedit-devel list</ulink>, for discussion of development issues by
217          members of the developer team and other interested persons
218        </para></listitem>
219        <listitem><para>
220          The <ulink url=
221          "">
222          jedit-announce list</ulink>, a low-volume list used for announcing
223          new releases of jEdit and plugins
224        </para></listitem>
225      </itemizedlist>
226      <para>
227        Each of these lists can be obtained on a full-text message or a daily
228        digest basis.  The daily digest bundles groups of postings in a single
229        email message.
230      </para>
231      <para>
232        If you are only interested in version announcements and plugin updates,
233        <ulink url="">
234        subscribe to the jedit-announce list</ulink>. If you would like to participate
235        in discussion or ask questions regarding jEdit, <ulink url=
236        "">subscribe to the
237        jedit-users list</ulink>. If you are interested in jEdit's development or want
238        to write plugins, <ulink
239        url="">
240        subscribe to jedit-devel</ulink>.
241      </para>
242      <para>
243        Do not cross-post to both lists. All jEdit developers are
244        subscribed to both the jedit-users and jedit-devel lists, so a post to
245        jedit-users will be seen by most members of both lists. Also, keep in
246        mind that both jEdit-users and
247        jEdit-devel are high-traffic lists, and can fill up your mailbox unless
248        you check your email regularly.
249      </para>
250      </answer>
251    </qandaentry>
252    <qandaentry>
253      <question id="is-website"><para>
254        Is there a web site devoted to jEdit?
255      </para></question>
256      <answer><para>
257        There are several. The official <ulink url="">jEdit
258        web site</ulink> contains extensive information on all things having to
259        do with jEdit. There are also resources available for those interested
260        in jEdit development on the <ulink url=
261        "">jEdit project page</ulink> of
262        the <ulink url="">SourceForge web site</ulink>.
263      </para>
264      <para>
265        The <ulink url="">jEdit Community</ulink> web
266        site has articles on jEdit and related topics, user-submitted macros and
267        other download resources, and listings of web links of interest to jEdit
268        users. It has a message board system to allow users to ask
269        questions and provide feedback on the project without having to subscribe
270        to jEdit's mailing lists. Because the message boards have relatively low
271        volume, using the mailing lists will often be a more effective
272        approach.
273      </para>
274      <para>
275          The jEdit Community site also has an <quote>Interactive FAQ</quote>
276          facility that allows you to post questions to be answered by
277          other users, and a screenshot gallery containing images
278          submitted by users.
279      </para></answer>
280    </qandaentry>
281    <qandaentry>
282      <question id="copyright"><para>
283        Are there copyright restrictions on the use of jEdit?
284      </para></question>
285      <answer><para>
286        The jEdit application is free, <quote>Open Source</quote> software released
287        under the <ulink url="">
288        GNU General Public License</ulink>. This ensures that jEdit and its source
289        code remains freely available for use and distribution by the public.
290        For specific copyright questions, you should review the General Public
291        License and seek appropriate advice. Broadly speaking, there are no
292        restrictions on the use of the program as a text editor, and its source
293        code can be copied or modified for use in another program that is
294        governed by the General Public License.
295      </para>
296      <para>
297        Plugin application that are available using jEdit's Plugin Manager
298        facility, as well as plugins available through the <ulink
299        url="">Plugin Central</ulink> web site or
300        <ulink url="">jEdit Community</ulink>, are
301        governed either by the General Public License or another commonly
302        recognized <quote>Open Source</quote> software license.  This means
303        that use of the application, including use for commercial purposes,
304        is unrestricted without any requirement of royalty or license fee payments.
305        To incorporate source code or an application or plugin as a whole in another
306        application, you must consult the specific license terms to determine
307        whether and on what basis you are permitted to do so.
308      </para>
309      </answer>
310    </qandaentry>
311    <qandaentry>
312      <question id="java-only"><para>
313        Is jEdit only useful for programming in Java?
314      </para></question>
315      <answer><para>
316        Absolutely not. Many of the jEdit's plugin applications, and a few of
317        the macros distributed with the program, target the Java language or
318        integrate tools used in Java development.  However, the core application
319        is designed to work with any programming or markup language.  Included
320        with jEdit are packages providing syntax highlighting,
321        abbreviations and other programming support for over 60 programming
322        languages and file types, including C, C++, C#,
323        Cobol, HTML, Java, Javascript, Lisp, Pascal, Perl, PHP, Python,
324        TCL, Visual Basic and XML. The full list can be found on the
325        <ulink url="">jEdit web
326        site</ulink>.
327      </para></answer>
328    </qandaentry>
329    <qandaentry>
330      <question id="knowing-java"><para>
331        Do I need to know Java to use jEdit?
332      </para></question>
333      <answer><para>
334        No. In fact, you do not need to know any specific programming language
335        other than the ones with which you work.
336      </para>
337      <para>
338        At some point in your use of jEdit, you will no doubt want to write your
339        own macros to execute long or complex routines with a single command or
340        keyboard shortcut. Macros in jEdit are written in a simplified dialect
341        of Java called <ulink url=""> BeanShell</ulink>.
342        Its syntax will be familiar to users of Java, C++ and other
343        object-oriented languages, and it is not hard to learn even if you have
344        no experience with those languages.  The User's Guide provided
345        with jEdit contains an extensive tutorial on writing macros.
346      </para></answer>
347    </qandaentry>
348    <qandaentry>
349      <question id="needed-software"><para>
350        What software do I need to install and run jEdit?
351      </para></question>
352      <answer><para>
353        Since jEdit runs on a Java platform, at a minimum you will need a Java
354        Runtime Environment (JRE) package. If you are planning to use jEdit to
355        program in Java, you will need a full Java Development Kit (JDK) package.
356        We recommend obtaining a JDK package.
357      </para>
358      <para>
359        The current version of jEdit, version 4.1, requires a Java runtime
360        environment having a release version of 1.3 or greater.  It will
361        not run on versions 1.1 or 1.2. The <ulink
362        url="">jEdit web
363        site</ulink> contains a detailed discussion on the compatibility of
364        various publicly available JDK's for the major operating systems.
365      </para></answer>
366    </qandaentry>
367    <qandaentry>
368      <question id="just-learning"><para>
369        I've just started to learn programming. Is jEdit a good choice for my
370        first text editor?
371      </para></question>
372      <answer><para>
373        It is an excellent choice. Its basic features are extremely easy to use,
374        and you will find things like abbreviations, keyboard shortcuts and
375        macros to be great time-savers. It has built-in packages called
376        <quote>edit modes</quote> that automatically display keywords, tags, and
377        other program elements in different colors, making it easier to view and
378        organize your code. It works well with many Open Source and proprietary
379        programming tools. Because of its extensive customization features, it
380        can adapt to your preferences and work patterns as you become more
381        experienced. Finally, it's free, so you can buy a lot of programming texts
382        with the money you will save.
383      </para></answer>
384    </qandaentry>
386  </qandadiv>
388<!--******************************************************** Answers -->
390  <qandadiv id="get-answers-div">
391    <title>Getting answers</title>
392    <qandaentry>
393      <question id="get-answers"><para>
394        How do I get answers to my questions about jEdit?
395      </para></question>
396      <answer>
397        <para>
398          You should look for answers in the following places:
399        </para>
400        <itemizedlist>
401          <listitem><para>
402            The User's Guide available from the application's
403            <guimenu>Help</guimenu> menu.
404          </para></listitem>
405          <listitem><para>
406            This FAQ document.
407          </para></listitem>
408          <listitem><para>
409            The archives of jEdit's mailing lists.  Archives for both the
410            <ulink url="">
411            jedit-users list</ulink> and the
412            <ulink url="">
413            jedit-devel list</ulink> are available.
414          </para></listitem>
415        </itemizedlist>
416        <para>
417            If you cannot find help using those resources, post your question to the
418            <ulink url=""> jedit-users
419            list</ulink>. You will have to <ulink
420            url="">
421            subscribe to the mailing list</ulink> in order to
422            post, but it is well worth it, and you can elect to have daily bundles
423            of messages sent to you to keep email traffic down. Many questions
424            are answered on the mailing list within 24 hours. The developers who
425            respond to user questions generally do not send direct replies, so you
426            will need to monitor messages from the mailing list is order to
427            obtain an answer.
428        </para>
429      </answer>
430    </qandaentry>
431    <qandaentry>
432        <question id="interactive-help"><para>
433           Where can I get interactive help for jEdit?
434        </para></question>
435        <answer><para>
436            There is an IRC channel, <filename>#jedit</filename>, available
437            on the server that is dedicated to jEdit support
438            and discussion among developers.  You can reach it using
439            any IRC client (including Chatzilla), as well as the IRC plugin
440            for jEdit.
441         </para>
442         <para>
443            There is almost always someone from the developer team
444            signed on the channel. Just say hello and describe your problem.
445        </para></answer>
446    </qandaentry>
447  </qandadiv>
448  <qandadiv id="bugs">
449    <title>Reporting bugs</title>
450    <qandaentry>
451      <question id="report-bugs"><para>
452        How do I report a bug I have found in jEdit?
453      </para></question>
454      <answer><para>
455        To be as helpful as possible to the jEdit developer team and other
456        users, you should use the <ulink
457        url=";atid=100588">
458        bug tracker database</ulink> that the jEdit project maintains on the
459        <ulink url="">SourceForge web site</ulink>. You
460        do not need to be a SourceForge member to post a bug report.
461      </para>
462      <para>
463        Before posting a bug report, spend a few moments searching the bug
464        database to see if a similar report has already been made. The bug
465        tracker has a search facility that will let search for bug reports using
466        a variety of criteria. If you find a similar bug report, and you
467        have additional information to contribute, post a comment
468        to the report. If you do not find a similar bug report, submit a new
469        report.
470      </para></answer>
471    </qandaentry>
472    <qandaentry>
473      <question id="bug-report"><para>
474        What information should I include in a bug report?
475      </para></question>
476      <answer><para>
477        The form in the bug tracker report provides several fields for
478        submitting information. If you are unsure about a particular
479        item, leave it at the default setting provided in the form.
480      </para>
481      <para>
482        The more important fields are <quote>Category</quote>,
483        <quote>Summary</quote> and the <quote>Initial comment</quote>.
484        When you write your initial comment describing the bug, you
485        should specify the versions of jEdit, the Java platform and
486        operating system you are using, because bugs often arise that
487        are specific to particular versions.  Sometimes the bug
488        arises from the Java runtime environment or even the
489        operating system, and knowing these details helps the
490        developer team design testing and other debugging strategies.
491      </para>
492      <para>
493        One of the macros installed with jEdit is called <guimenuitem>Make Bug
494        Report</guimenuitem>. You will it find under the
495        <guimenuitem>Misc</guimenuitem> category of the <guimenu>Macros
496        </guimenu> menu. This macro extracts information regarding your jEdit
497        installation and a stack trace from the last error recorded by jEdit's
498        Activity Log and places it in a new text buffer. In many cases, the
499        information furnished by the macro is all that is necessary to provide a
500        helpful description of a bug. You can simply cut and paste the
501        output of the macro into the <quote>Initial comment</quote> field of the
502        bug report form.
503     </para></answer>
504   </qandaentry>
506	<qandaentry>
507		<question id="bug-track">
508			<para>
509				How do I track the status of a jEdit bug report?
510			</para>
511		</question>
512		<answer>
513			<para>
514				If you know the bug report number, go to this web address:
515				<userinput>;aid=######&amp;group_id=588&amp;atid=100588</userinput>,
516				where <userinput>######</userinput> is the bug report number. If you don't know the bug report number,
517				you can browse and search the <ulink
518				url=";atid=100588">
519				bug database</ulink> to find the problem in which you are interested.
520			</para>
521		</answer>
522	</qandaentry>
525  </qandadiv>
527  <qandadiv id="contact">
528    <title>Contacting jEdit developers</title>
529    <qandaentry>
530      <question id="contact-team"><para>
531        How do I contact members of the jEdit developer team?
532      </para></question>
533      <answer><para>
534        If you want to ask a question, make a feature request or offer other
535        general comments, the easiest way is to join and post a message to the
536        <ulink url="">
537        jedit-users mailing list</ulink>. All developers are members. If you are
538        interested in working on jEdit or writing a plugin for it, use the
539        <ulink url="">
540        jedit-devel list</ulink>.  Email addresses for individual developers
541        can be found on the <ulink
542        url="">
543        SourceForge web site</ulink>.
544      </para></answer>
545    </qandaentry>
546  </qandadiv>
548  <qandadiv id="latest-version">
549    <title>Getting the latest version</title>
550    <qandaentry>
551      <question id="get-latest-version"><para>
552        How do I obtain the latest version of jEdit?
553      </para></question>
554      <answer><para>
555        The program is in a continuing state of evolution. It is usually
556        available in two versions, a <quote>stable</quote> version and a
557        <quote>development</quote> version. A stable version represents a
558        release of jEdit that is considered to be free of serious bugs or
559        performance problems and suitable for general use. A
560        <quote>development</quote> version includes new features or new elements
561        of program design that require testing and possible further refinement.
562        A development version contains the token <quote>pre</quote> in its
563        version number, as in <literal>4.1pre5</literal>.
564      </para>
565      <para>
566        The latest stable and development versions of jEdit are always
567        available from the <ulink url="">jEdit
568        web site</ulink> and from the <ulink url="
569        projects/jedit">jEdit project page</ulink> of the
570        <ulink url="">SourceForge web site</ulink>,
571        which hosts jEdit's development resources.
572      </para>
573      <para>
574        In addition, a plugin named <application>Check jEdit
575        Version</application> can be run from within jEdit by selecting
576        <guimenuitem>Check jEdit Version</guimenuitem> from the application's
577        <guimenu>Plugins</guimenu> menu. It queries the jEdit web site, compares
578        version information with the version of the currently running
579        instance of jEdit, and reports the result to the user in a message box.
580        It will tell you if you do not have the latest version of jEdit, regardless
581        of whether that version is in <quote>stable</quote> or
582        <quote>development</quote> form.
583      </para>
584      <para>
585        Finally, if you subscribe to the <ulink
586        url="">
587        jedit-announce</ulink> or <ulink
588        url="">
589        jedit-users</ulink> mailing lists, you will receive a email whenever
590        a new release of jEdit becomes available.
591      </para></answer>
592    </qandaentry>
593    <qandaentry>
594      <question id="get-source"><para>
595        How do I obtain a copy of the jEdit source code?
596      </para></question>
597      <answer><para>
598        The latest version of jEdit's source code is available from the
599        <ulink url=";platform=source">
600        jEdit web site</ulink> or the <ulink url=
601        "">
602        SourceForge web site</ulink>. The web site provides the source code for the
603        latest stable and development version, while the SourceForge site has
604        a more extensive archive covering earlier versions.
605      </para>
606      <para>
607        If you are interested in testing the absolutely latest changes to jEdit,
608        and you are familiar with compiling your own Java programs and working
609        with CVS, you can download the current code maintained in the <ulink
610        url="">SourceForge
611        CVS repository</ulink>.
612      </para></answer>
613    </qandaentry>
614    <qandaentry>
615	    <question id="get-latest-faq"><para>
616        Where can I get the latest version of this document?</para>
617      </question><answer>
618        <para>
619          The latest release of this document is available at the
620          <ulink
621          url=";name=Include_Pages&amp;file=index&amp;req=viewarticle&amp;artid=5">
622          jEdit Community web site</ulink>.
623        </para>
624      </answer>
625    </qandaentry>
629	<question id="jedit-compile">
630		<para>
631			How do you set the classpath and compile the Java files in jEdit?
632		</para>
633	</question>
634	<answer>
635		<para>
636			Consult an article on the <ulink url="">jEdit
637			Community</ulink> web site entitled <quote>Build jEdit yourself: the 'Open'
638			in Open Source</quote>.
639		</para>
640	</answer>
643  </qandadiv>