This Little Big Thing Is Getting On My Nerves

During the last weeks I’ve been checking out how BlitzMax works and done little bit of coding (setting up things to port my project to BlitzMax, that’s another story to which I won’t go in this blog post). There’s one tiny thing in BlitzMax that’s getting bit annoying.

The default editor uses Control+Arrow keyboard shortcuts in a really different way than one might expect. When you are editing some text and you press Control+Right Arrow in your keyboard, you’d expect that your cursor moves to the end of the next word. Instead of moving your cursor, BlitzMax IDE opens the next tabbed file there is. It didn’t take me more than 10-20 minutes to get annoyed about this “feature”.

I wonder why they wanted to torture me like this. What bad have I ever done to them? I can bear with all the bugs and delays, but ruining my IDE can’t be forgiven. (Well, luckily you can use other IDEs so you aren’t stuck with the default one – and besides, as far as I know, it might be even possible to change those keyboard shortcuts somehow.)

Funny how such a small thing can have such a big meaning. I suppose the lesson here is that one should follow certain existing & well-working guidelines when doing user interfaces.

On the good side: I really enjoy all the stuff that BlitzMax has – with my long Blitz3D background, moving into BMax looks so far really, really simple. And all the juicy Object Oriented stuff is there! Maybe I’ll forgive this tiny UI glitch after all…

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. I agree the operation of ctrl and shift in the Windows IDE is terrible and counter intuitive, but I have to say the Mac editor does not have the same shortcuts and does not have this problem. BlitzMax is a very nice language for developing games, generally speaking, but the IDE isn’t especially advanced – but good enough to work with.

  2. I really hate stuff like that too. It seems to obvious that it’s a bad idea to make it work like that, so who on earth would decide to do that?

    I am using FlashDevelop, but the way the autocomplete works is annoying me to death, and I constantly write stuff I didn’t want to. I like the way the autocomplete works in SEPY so much better, but SEPY is just too old and slow.

    Also they made it jump half a screen up, when your surser reaches the bottom of the screen, instead of just scrolling one line up. That is even worse and completely ruins the usability.

    It just makes sense to not do stuff like that. 5 minutes usage and anyone should know that it’s a bad idea to jump up half a page, so you completely lose track of where you are on the page.

  3. It’s a GREAT language and yeah you can use other IDEs that are free.

  4. I really recommend BLIde over the default IDE. Although if you need to do any heavy debugging the default IDE is better because you can go to the error line in every nested function at the time of a crash, and BLIde only goes to the error line in the lowest / current function. I usually use BLIde and only use the default editor for heavy debugging or quick editing.

    BlitzMax has some annoyances, but the productivity and results are so much better than any other language.

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