The Revenge Document Displayer
Copyright (c)1990,91,92,93 Stuart Coates
23rd October 1993
Welcome to the Revenge Document Displayer v3 (RDD3). The
objective with the release of RDD3 is to provide a text viewing
utility for the Atari ST range of micros that is powerful and
easy to use. Previous versions of RDD had a vast number of
options available to the user, RDD3 has omitted some of the less
used features of previous releases but has gained several very
A Brief History
The RDD v1.00 was released on 15th April 1990 in response to a
request from a friend of mine for a text viewing utility that was
more flexible than the GEM Desktop's own. RDD1.00 was written in
Hisoft Basic and didn't contain many features. I decided to
develop the idea of the RDD from this base with several releases
throughout the year resulting in RDD 1.93 released on 28th
October 1990. That Xmas I purchased Lattice C v5.00 and decided
to learn C - no better way than to port RDD to C.
RDD v2.00 was released on 3rd February 1991 and contained many
more features and was a lot faster. RDD2 was a lot more stable
than RDD1 because of this rewrite. During 1991 and 1992 no less
than 21 versions were released and 14 organisations purchased
custom copies. Several other text viewers sprang up during this
time which I'm grateful for as they gave me new ideas for the
RDD, this also gave the ST community greater choice. Version
2.30 was released on 27th September 1992 and was the last RDD2
I received a large amount of feedback from RDD2 which encouraged
me to start work on RDD3 in December 1992. The first beta
release was shipped to testers in January 1993. Very few bugs
were found in this although many features were missing. The RDD3
that you see today has taken many months to develop and has been
Using The RDD3
Loading a document:
There are several way to load documents into the RDD3,
1. Double click on RDD.PRG from the desktop and use the GEM file
selector to pick a document.
2. Rename RDD.PRG to RDD.TTP and enter a document name on the
command line when running.
3. Install RDD.PRG as an application on the desktop so that it
is loaded every time that you click on a text file.
4. If you have TOS2 installed or one of the many replacement
desktops that allow you to place items on the desktop then place
the RDD3 on the desktop and you can simply drag documents to it.
(I strongly recommend Terradesk for this).
5. Machines running Neodesk 3 can have the RDD installed as the
default text viewer so that any docs are displayed using the
6. (For programmers only..) Launch the RDD from your own shell
using the GEMDOS Pexec function. On the command line you should
pass a list of documents that you wish to load separated by
spaces. The RDD3 supports the ARGV protocol for extended command
Loading Multiple Documents:
The RDD3 has support for multiple documents in memory, in fact
currently up to 200 docs can be resident at once, this is of
course dependent on available memory. To load more than one doc
you can either specify individual filenames or use wildcard
matches, for example if you wanted to load all .TXT files then
tell the RDD3 to load *.TXT. The RDD3 also understands folder
structures, so to load all of the documents within a folder just
specify the folder name. The RDD3 does not scan folders
RDD3 supports documents that have been compressed using Pack-Ice
2.40, this allows you to have an archive of compressed documents
that don't eat up huge amounts of disk space.
RDD3 can recognise most popular archive formats and has the
ability to perform a verbose listing of the archive contents.
The current release of RDD supports ZIP,ARC,ZOO,ARJ,LZH files.
To make use of this feature simply load the archive file, to
bypass the automatic listing feature hold down the Alternate key
while loading the archive.
RDD3 has limited support for Degas PI? picture files and will
only display pictures that are compatible with the current screen
resolution. When a picture is loaded a document will be created
with the line: 'PICFILE: ', press Alt-V to view this
Before a document can be displayed by the RDD3 it must be
formatted, this is done whenever a doc is loaded. Formatting
causes any long lines within that doc to be wrapped at 80
characters and tab characters to be expanded.
The RDD3 has built in help that gives you a list of keyboard
controls, to gain access to this press HELP while you are viewing
I'm not going to go through every feature in the RDD3 in great
detail as that would take far too long and you probably wouldn't
want to read it anyway, so I'll just list the main features and
give a small explanation for each.
Scrolling: Probably the most important feature, to scroll up and
down use the arrow keys or move the mouse up and down. You can
also move a screen at a time by holding down either shift key
Move to Top or Bottom of Doc: Press Alt-T to go to the top or
Alt-B to go to the bottom
Goto a line: To go to a particular line press Alt-G and enter the
line number that you want to go to.
Find a word: Press Alt-F to search for a piece of text. You can
also set up case-sensitive and global searches using this option.
Pressing Alt-N and Alt-P allow you to find the Next or Previous
Load a document: To load another document press Alt-L or click
the right mouse button, you will then be presented with a file
selector, select the file that you wish to load and the RDD will
do the rest. The contents of the Atari clipboard can be loaded
by pressing Ctrl-A.
Close a document: When you've finished with a document hit Alt-C
to close it.
Switching Documents: If you've got several documents loaded then
you can switch between them in several ways:
Keypad - Move to previous document
Keypad + Move to next document
Tab Show list of loaded documents
F1-10 Move to document 1-10
Shift F1-F10 Move to document 11-20
Changing tab width: Press Ctrl-T to change the tab setting for
the current document. Tab settings are stored on a per document
Printing a Document: Press Ctrl-P to print the current document
and Ctrl-C to configure the printer. Ctrl-W will let you print a
Marking a block: Alt-S and Alt-E allow you to start and end a
block, pressing Alt-H will hide any block. A block can be saved
to disk by pressing Alt-W, or to the Atari clipboard by pressing
Locate RDD: Pressing Ctrl-L will allow you to locate the RDD.PRG
file to allow a configuration file to be saved in the correct
directory. Press Ctrl-L and the file selector will appear, find
the RDD.PRG file and select it. The RDD.PRG file will now be
loaded and its location encoded within it.
Save settings: The configuration can be saved by pressing Ctrl-S.
Before using this option for the first time you must run the
'Locate RDD' option.
Bookmarks: You can store the current position in a document by
setting a bookmark. RDD3 supports 26 bookmarks. To set a
bookmark simply press Shift and any letter A-Z. You can return
to a stored bookmark by hitting just the letter A-Z. You can
also set bookmarks by pressing Ctrl-B. Bookmarks can be accessed
easily by pressing Alt-M.
ST/IBM Characters: RDD3 supports both ST and IBM character sets,
you can toggle between them by pressing Escape.
Feature menu: RDD3 features a menu that you can perform
operations from without using any strange key combinations. This
menu can be accessed by clicking the left mouse button or
Toggle Text Size: If you're using a high rez monitor with your
ST then the RDD3 can display a 50 line text mode, press Ctrl-G to
toggle between 25 and 50 line modes.
50/60Hz: On colour screens you can toggle between 50/60Hz
refresh rates by pressing Keypad *, not all monitors support
Locate external editor: The RDD has the ability of support an
external editor program to manipulate documents. To tell the RDD
the location of this program press Ctrl-D.
Execute external editor: To load the current document into an
external editor press Alt-D. The current document will be re-
loaded after editing.
Document Information: To obtain statistics on the current
document press Clr Home.
View Picture: If a line with the structure 'PICFILE: '
is at the top of the screen, pressing Alt-V will display it.
Sorting Documents: If you have many documents loaded into the
RDD you can sort them into alphabetical by pressing Alt-O. Using
this option will result in all bookmarks being cleared.
Running External Programs: The run an external program press
Alt-X and select the program that you require. If the current
document is an executable file then you can press Ctrl-X to run
Utilities: The RDD has the ability to store up to 20 external
utilities that are accessible with a single keystroke. These
programs can be set up two ways. Press Ctrl-U or Ctrl-0 to 9 to
locate a utility. A utility can be accessed by either picking it
from a menu by pressing Alt-U or by pressing the appropriate
number key, 0 to 9.
Mouse Control: The mouse plays an important role in the use of
the RDD. You can scroll through documents by moving the mouse up
and down and call up the feature menu by pressing the left mouse
button. The mouse can also be used within menus to make
selections. In fact, although the RDD is a text based program,
all of its features can be accessed via the mouse.
Getting Help: If you require help while using the RDD press
the Help key for a list of available help topics.
Exiting: To exit from the RDD press the UNDO key twice.
The RDD3 was written on an Atari 520STe with 4MB of RAM and TOS
1.62, therefore it should be 100% compatible with a similar
platform. The beta testers of the RDD3 have varying
configurations and have not reported any problems in the many
months of testing. The code for the RDD3 does not make any
illegal calls and does not rely on any special hardware being
present (blitter, hardware scrolling, etc...) so should work on
most configurations. If you plan to run RDD3 on a TT or Falcon
then you must select an ST screen resolution as the RDD3 text
routines do require this. If I eventually get access to a Falcon
I shall make the RDD3 fully compatible. I have made a guess on
making the RDD3 compatible with MultiTOS - if there is a 'MiNT'
entry in the cookie jar then the RDD3 will resort to using just
VT52 codes to draw the screen so that it may be ran in a console
window. Due to Atari's unwillingness to place technical details
of its machines and operating systems into the public domain I
cannot make the RDD compatible with machines that I do not own or
have regular access to. If Atari changed its policy of charging
large amounts of cash for technical documents then the software
produced for the ST (and the rest of its machines) would be of a
higher quality and more compatible.
The RDD3 should not conflict with any other programs that are
running on your machine as it only accesses memory that it
allocates itself. When RDD1 was released I did notice a problem
with TurboST 1.82 when the RDD changed screen resolution, I can
only assume that this problem still exists in RDD3 as the same
TOS call is used - This is a problem with TurboST.
The RDD3 will run on anything from a 520ST upwards. If you plan
to make extensive use of the multi-document features then you'll
be needing plenty of memory. To gain extra speed from a basic ST
the RDD3 uses highly optimized text routines for all of it's text
output and scrolling. If you have a screen accelerator loaded
such as Warp 9, QuickST, or TurboST, you will not notice any
speed change at all while using the RDD3 as my routines are
faster and completely bypass the TOS routines.
RDD3 Program Details
Design and Coding Stuart Coates
Beta testers Mark Matts
Development Tools Lattice C v5.52
Development Hardware Atari 520STe
48MB Seagate 157N
Essential Development Tools Jolt Cola
Infectious Grooves CDs
Yngwie Malmsteen CDs
Bill & Ted Videos
Sega Mega CD