Not everyone who uses IDz programs for a living. And there are a surprising number of productivity features available for those of you who don’t “pound code” anymore. “You” – being software professionals whose business cards read: Tech-Lead, Project Analyst, Architect, P.M. (Project Manager), Programmer/Analyst. Production Support, etc. Bookmarks is one of these features.
Bookmarks are markers to lines in program source files. They are used for three purposes:
- Navigation to an important place in your file: By setting a Bookmark on a line you hyperlink directly to the line by clicking the Bookmark in the right-hand gutter-area of the editor. This is similar to an ISPF “Label” and is shown in Example 1 below.
- Annotate changes to your source file: By default – setting a Bookmark copies the contents of the line’s text to the Bookmark. You can edit the default text, adding any sort of; Annotation, Reminder Work-item identifier, etc… anything that simplifies your analysis/research. See Example 1 below, where we’re hovering over a Bookmark at line 830 that’s been edited to show what was done.
- Open a program from the Bookmarks View: The Bookmarks View (Example 2 below) is a table of all the Bookmarks that you’ve set. By double-clicking a Bookmark in the View, you open the program associated with that Bookmark navigating directly to the Bookmark line.
Setting a Bookmark
To set or create a Bookmark you can either Double-Click the Bookmarked line in the left-hand-gutter area of the Editor (as shown above) or you can use the Context Menu. When you set the Bookmark you’ll be given an opportunity to over-type the default text on the Bookmarked line. Note that once set – if you want to change the Bookmarked annotation/text you can do so from the Bookmarks View – by right-clicking on the Bookmark – and from the Context Menu selecting Properties. You delete a Bookmark by either using the Context Menu in the Bookmarks view or by Double-Clicking the Bookmark in the left-hand gutter area (Double-Click as a create/delete Bookmark toggle)
Leveraging the Bookmarks View
The Bookmarks View manages and maintains your Bookmarks. Allowing you to:
- Double-Click a Bookmark and open a file into the editor at the Bookmarked line.
- Note that the file can be a Remote PDS member, QSAM file, Endevor Element, or a Local file in Git or in Windows folder
- From the Context Menu you can:
- Delete a Bookmark – or Delete all Bookmarks from your Workspace
- Change the Bookmark text annotation – using Properties from the Context Menu
- Copy Bookmarks (Example 3) – Bookmarks are plain-text artifacts, and can be copied/pasted from your Workspace to any Windows file: *.doc, *.txt, *.csv, etc.
Q. Are Bookmarks copied into or stored inside the file they’re associated with?
A. No. Bookmarks reside in your Workspace. They contain the relevant source information to locate a specific line in a specific file: File Name: Originating Path: Line#
Q. Can you Import someone else’s Bookmarks into a Workspace?
A. Not at this time. Bookmarks can be Exported to ASCII/Windows files – but not Imported
Q. Do Bookmarks “age out”? I.E. how long will they exist in your Workspace?
A. Bookmarks are retained until you explicitly delete them (see Example 3)
Q. Do Bookmarks duplicate or interfere with SCM features such as Endevor or Giut Work-Items?
A. Possibly. You’ll have to try them out – and determine the value they bring to the table for your work patterns. Minimally Bookmarks are a convenient means to mark and navigate quickly & efficiently to important lines in your source files. But the kicker is being able to Drive your Workflow from Bookmarks – Double-Clicking them to open files to the exact spot you need to begin your work