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Issue 4.3


Code Clipper

Issue: 4.3 (January/February 2006)
Author: Brian Rathbone
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 4,257
Starting Page Number: 8
Article Number: 4302
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It's a recurring pattern in my life. I find myself in need of something I've done before -- code I've already written. But where is it? Thus begins a search of all the project files I think might contain the code I need, and I rarely find it on the first try. I could organize my code better, create meaningful folder structures, move functions into modules, or a lot of other things. But what if I wanted to organize my favorite code snippets from various languages, scripts, batch files, and URLs, along with notes about each one, in a searchable database? And I also want to access it from a thumb drive on multiple computers without needing my IDEs installed. Have I asked for too much? According to Bandicoot Software, producers of Code Clipper, I have not.

Code Clipper provides an efficient interface with attractive toolbar icons. A vertical slider allows the user to resize interface elements in one smooth action. It seemed a bizarre choice of controls at first, but the implementation works surprisingly well, and I quickly grew accustomed to it. Dual toolbars provide easy access to a host of functions: find and replace within a code clip, insert bookmarks and tags, encrypt specific clips, and even a clipboard capture option that inserts clips as they arrive on the clipboard. The Clean Code button removes all left-hand white space and email reply markers from a clip, which can make quick work of cleaning up oddly indented or emailed code.

Code Clipper is not without shortcomings, and the packaging could stand some improvement. On Windows, the demo application is delivered in a zip file with no installer, which does not meet the average Windows user's expectations. On Mac OS X, the demo app is delivered as a .bin.gz file, which Stuffit Expander extracts to a single application file on the user's desktop, and the application has a generic application icon. When Code Clipper is run, it creates a preferences file and data folder in the same folder as the application, which can be unsightly, especially on the user's desktop. Better installation routines and data storage locations would be an improvement.

The demonstration version is limited to a fault. Not only are you restricted to 10 records, which would probably be a sufficient limitation in itself; you are left without the ability to encrypt items, import/export, or even view the built in help system. Instead, a nag screen is displayed with a purchase button and a button for online help. Unfortunately, the online help button causes the Windows version to stop responding, which renders the help files completely inaccessible from within the Code Clipper interface. Help files can be viewed from the Bandicoot Software website as a workaround, and this issue is not present in the Mac version.

Although there are a few annoyances and an occasional unreproducible crash, Code Clipper provides unique features and functionality with a straightforward interface. Disorganized developers, and those just looking for a central code repository, should check out Code Clipper.

End of article.