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 The Semware Editor (TSE), the next-generation descendant of QEdit

 Author:       SammyMitchell
 Mailing list:
 Family:       CuaFamily, BriefFamily, MicrosoftWindowsEditors, WordStarFamily
 License:      Commercial
 Platform:     Windows, MS-DOS, Linux

(See commentary below screenshot)


The Semware Editor (TSE), the next-generation descendant of QEdit, is an exceptionally powerful editor. Like its predecessor, TSE's hallmarks are: fast, small, easy to use, easy to modify, powerful yet simple (as in easy-to-use, not limited) scripting language, extensive built-in functionality and an active user community.


SemWare released QEdit for MS-DOS in 1985.

It was small (from 29k in the 1.x versions to 66k in version 4.x) and fast. Something hard for most to truly grasp in today's worlds of GHz processors and GB of RAM, but QEdit packed a huge amount of functionality and power into a tiny package. Unlike most editors of its time which implemented a core engine with the bulk of the runtime in its scripting engine, QEdit implemented higher up the stack in its native engine, while still providing a rich scripting language for the upper level of behavior and customization. This design, and SemWare's exceptional attention to detail ("Size does matter"), culminated in a product blindingly faster than alternatives with almost no functional compromises. Fast startup times, fast runtime, fast load and save, fast search - key features unique for its time, contributing to QEdit's popularity with users of all stripes (not just developers).

QEdit and Semware in general were also known for the highest levels of quality, a trait continued to this day (happily for their users). Many beta testers over the years have remarked a Semware 'beta' is routinely of higher quality than most released and shipping products.

QEdit for OS/2 was released in February 1990.

A TSR version of QEdit was released in February 1990.

Semware embarked on what became a total rewrite of the codebase, originally code named 'Roadrunner' but eventually named The Semware Editor (TSE, or 'Tessie' as some pronounced it). TSE replaced QEdit with nearly unlimited memory (conventional, EMS, XMS and 'virtual' (disk) combined up to a 16MB limit, unprecedented for its time) and yet, still blindingly fast. QEdit's macro language was replaced with Semware Application Language (SAL), providing more extensive capabilities, (including native code invocation) while retaining the easy accessibility so popular with QEdit's macro's fans.

In 1991, TSE-Pro (The SemWare Editor Professional or sometimes just TSE) was released.

In 1992, QEdit was renamed to TSE Jr.

TSE-Pro featured virtual memory capabilities, and a macro programming language (SAL), regular expressions, long filename (LFN) support and more while retaining Semware's hallmarks of blindingly fast load, save and search.

QuietFlight? (an add-on product for xBase programmers) was released in 1993.

In 1995 TSE-Pro was ported to Win32 as a Console mode application.

In 2002 SemWare released a Graphical User Interface (GUI) version of TSE-Pro.

In 2004 TSE-Pro version 4.2 was released.

In 2005 TSE-Pro version 4.4 was released.

TSE-Pro includes emulations for Brief, CUA/Windows?, QEdit, WordStar, and its own classic interface.


The major influences on TSE were Xedit (Kedit and PE on the PC), WordStar, Brief, and the WANG system editor.

The original keyboard layout was heavily influenced by WordStar, but with many additions taken from Brief and Kedit.

The following Block Marking styles are supported:

The goal of the macro language was to be powerful, but still easy to use. It contains a mix of features from BASIC, C, Pascal, and xBase.

In expressions, the available operators and operator precedence are taken from C.

Control structures are based on xBase, for instance:

    if expression
    elseif expression2

Supported variable types include text editor buffers, strings, and integers.

Large portions of the editor are written in its own macro language.

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Last edited January 1, 2011 2:20 pm (diff)