6.1 VICAR Help 6.1.1 HELP Command 6.2 VICAR TUTOR Mode 6.2.1 General TUTOR Information 6.2.2 TUTOR-SCREEN Mode 6.2.3 TUTOR-NOSCREEN Mode 6.3 VICAR MENU Mode 6.3.1 General Menu Information 6.3.2 The MENUTREE 6.3.3 Creating a Menu 6.4 Syntax Checking 6.5 Message Interpretation 6.5.1 General Message Information 6.5.2 HELP-MESSAGE 6.5.3 "?"
Within this section, a variety of user aids will be introduced. These tools will prove invaluable in all stages of the user's development. The aids being covered include Help, Tutor and Menu modes, syntax checking and message interpretation.
6.1 VICAR Help
The VICAR executive assists users of all experience levels. It is able
to give on-line information and instructions to a user when trouble is
encountered at any point in a session. The following types of "help"
jpl.vicaror sending them to
6.1.1 Help Command
General help information on VICAR can be obtained by typing
help with no subcommand. General information is
available on most commands used in the Command mode.
Syntax: General Help information.
VICAR> helpHelp on a specific topic can be obtained by using one of the following
help-command (default for help) help-proc (default for help) help-parm help-global help-message (Section 6.5.2) help-hardcopy
help-procare the defaults for
help. VICAR locates the command or proc by first doing a search among an intrinsic command list and then, if not found, performing a hierarchical library search.
-command subcommand displays information on the
specified command. If a subcommand is specified, then the information
displayed will be for the subcommand only.
VICAR>help-command command=command[-subcommand]Example: Display help on the command
-procsubcommand displays information on the specified proc or proc subcommand.
VICAR>help-proc proc=proc[-subcommand]Example: Display help on the proc
-parmsubcommand is used to request detailed information on a specified parameter of a proc or a proc subcommand.
VICAR>help-parm parm=parm proc=proc[-subcommand]Example: Display help on the parameter
nlof the program
VICAR>help-parm nl genThe
-globalsubcommand is used to request a detailed description of the specified Global variable.
VICAR>help-global variable=global_variable_nameExample: Display help on the global variable
-hardcopysubcommand writes a disk file containing information from both the
help-procand from Tutor. This file can then be printed in order to obtain a hardcopy of the information. If an output filename is not specified the file will be named
procname.memand it will be located in the user's current directory.
VICAR>help-hardcopy proc=proc [output=filename]Example: Create a file (
difpic.mem) of help information for the program
VICAR>help-hardcopy difpicAn alternate method to obtain a hardcopy of the help information is to print the
procname.pdffrom the applications library.
6.2 VICAR Tutor Mode
6.2.1 General Tutor Information
Within VICAR there is a mode called "Tutor" which does exactly what
its name implies. It tutors or assists the user in the use of procs
and the parameters associated with them. Tutor not only permits the
user to obtain more information concerning procs, but it actually
permits the user to select parameters and then execute the proc via
Tutor mode can be accessed by any one of the following methods:
tutor proc_namein Command mode
esc escat the proc prompt (Section 188.8.131.52) in an interactive proc and then typing
TUTOR-SCREEN is a formatted terminal screen display (Section 6.2.2).
TUTOR-NOSCREEN is similar in style to the TAE Command mode but provides a different prompt, lists the parameters requested and allows a set of commands unique to a Tutor session (Section 6.2.3).
When tutoring is initiated, the mode entered by Tutor will be
determined by the Global variable
$tutor. It can be
overridden by using one of the Tutor subcommands
VICAR>tutor[-subcmd] proc_name[-subcmd] [proc-parameters]Example: Tutor the program
label-listin SCREEN mode.
VICAR>tutor-screen label-listThe proc-parameters field is optional and may contain a list of parameters. Parameters supplied on the Tutor command line become initial or default values in the Tutor session.
6.2.2 TUTOR-SCREEN Mode
TUTOR-SCREEN mode commands allow the user to:
EXPERT When a multi-valued parameter has more values
than will fit on one Tutor screen, only one full screen is shown.
Tutor maintains a "window" on the elements of the parameters. Unless
a particular element is referenced (e.g.,
parm(i)= ), the display window
includes the first element. This window may be moved by using the
The "+" adjacent to the page number in the upper right corner of the Tutor display indicates that there are more pages available within the display. If the character in that position is a period, there are no more pages.
Descriptions of Tutor mode user commands and special Tutor line editor keys can be found in Appendices 10.8 and 10.9, respectively.
6.2.3 TUTOR-NOSCREEN Mode
The NOSCREEN mode of Tutor exists to support the following situations:
hardcopy terminals, unsupported terminals for which VICAR can only
operate in scrolling mode, low-speed terminals where the time for
screen update is prohibitive, or personal choice (some users prefer
the NOSCREEN Tutor mode).
NOSCREEN Tutor mode commands allow the user to:
<cr>) are not available.
listcommand may be used to display parameter names and current values. This command may be supplied with a list of specific parameters to be displayed, or if no list is supplied, all parameters for the proc will be displayed.
displaycommand may be used to display parameter names, values and a descriptive text for each parameter.
Example: TUTOR-NOSCREEN Session
VICAR>tutor-noscreen difpic proc "difpic", library "$R2LIB" Parameters requested: INP, OUT, SIZE, SL, SS, NL, NS... VICAR-difpic>list INP= (no value specified) OUT= -- (null value) SIZE=(1,1,0,0) SL=1 SS=1 NL=0 NS=0 NB=0 FORMAT= -- (null value) STAT="STAT" MOD= -- (null value) VICAR-difpic>inp=(a.bat,b.cat) VICAR-difpic>out=d.dat VICAR-difpic>size=(1,1,400,350) VICAR-difpic>list size SIZE=(1,1,400,350) VICAR-difpic>run
Menu mode is the VICAR alternative to Command mode. In Menu mode, a user invokes applications by locating and selecting them through a series of menus. Each menu is a terminal display containing categories, each describing either a more detailed menu or a proc to be executed.
There are two methods to access the VICAR Menu mode. Depending on system configuration, the user may enter the Menu mode when invoking VICAR. In this instance, the user is given a "ROOT" menu and the Menu prompt ?. Alternatively, the user can manually enter the Menu mode.
VICAR>menu [name=menu_name]Where: menu_name is the name of the desired menu.
If this is the first entry into Menu mode for the current session, the default menu is the ROOT directory defined by the host system. If it is not the first entrance, then the default will be the most recent menu the user accessed. The menu is located using the hierarchical library search unless the user explicitly specifies the library name of the menu.
Example: A typical menu screen.
The above figure is an example of the format of a menu terminal display. The categories are numbered entries arranged vertically on the screen. The prompt-line options are at the bottom of the screen arranged horizontally above the menu prompt.
At the menu prompt, ?, the user selects a category or
enters a Menu option. If the category selected is a menu, the new
menu is displayed. If the category selected is a proc, VICAR enters
Tutor mode in order to prompt the user for the proc's parameters.
After execution of the proc, the display of the last menu can be
obtained by pressing the
If a Menu option is selected, VICAR executes the command. Menu options are limited to those found in Appendix 10.7. These allow only basic management functions which include: accessing, moving back up the menu hierarchy, making a transition to Command mode, and exiting VICAR.
EXPERT A user may switch back and forth between Menu
mode and Command mode. When entering the Command mode from a menu
command), the current menu and the path to the
current menu are remembered. This context is automatically restored
when Menu mode is subsequently re-entered.
6.3.2 The MENUTREE
(At the current time the Menutree is only available on VMS systems.)
WIZARD The ability to move forward or backward
through the levels of a menu is essential to operating within VICAR.
Unfortunately the user also runs the risk of conceptually "losing
their place" in the system because of this flexibility. There is a
menutree, available within VICAR which permits
the user to generate a graphic representation of a selected menu
VICAR>menutree [menu=menu_name] [output=output_option] Where: menu specifies the starting menu name. If omitted, the default value is the top of the current menutree (see Global variable $menus). output directs the listing of the menutree: = file - create menutree.txt = printer - send to line printer = terminal - send to terminal (default)Example: Menutree run on the menu presented in Section 6.3.1.
VICAR>MENUTREE MENU=TAE$MENU:ROOT OUT=T **************** VICAR HELP INFORMATION **************** TAE$MENU: ROOT-------| |> TAE$MENU:INTRO.PDF |> NUT |- LEVEL3. | MDF-------| | |> TAE$MENU:SAMPLE1.PDF | |> DCL @TAE$MENU:GEOREF.COM | |> DCL @TAE$MENU:TIEPOINT.COM | |> DCL @TAE$MENU:PROJECTION.COM | |> DCL @TAE$MENU:VARIATE.COM | | |- LEVEL4. | MDF-------| | |- ANNOT1. | | MDF-------| | | |- FONT | | |- MASKV | | |- STARLAB | | |- TEXTAD | | | | | |- DISPLAY1. | | MDF-------| | | |- BROWSE | | |- DISPLAYS | | |- DISPOUT | | |- EDIMAGE . . .WIZARD If Menutree cannot be located in
TAE$UTIL, ask your system administrator for the proper location.
6.3.3 Creating a Menu
WIZARD A menu corresponds to a Menu Definition File
(MDF), which is a text file created or changed by using the host
system's text editor. MDFs contain the title of the menu, text
describing each menu entry, name of the proc or menu files associated
with each entry and help information for the menu. Further
information on menu creation can be found in the TAE Command
Language Programmer's Manual.
6.4 Syntax Checking
A user has the ability, within VICAR, to check the syntax of a
procedure (Section 7.3) that has been
written. This is particularly useful for procedures that will be run
in the Batch mode. The syntax checker sets a switch which prevents
VICAR commands from executing. However, all normal processing up to
the actual procedure execution does take place, so any syntax or
parameter errors that are visible to VICAR will be detected and
reported to the user.
Once the syntax checker has been invoked, anything that is typed will be verified (e.g., VICAR commands or procs).
VICAR>syntax checkBEWARE The syntax checker only verifies the wording to make sure all commands are valid VICAR commands. It does not check logic errors, existence of referenced files or availability of resources.
BEWARE All parameters required by a proc need to
be supplied in order to successfully run the checker. Syntax check
will fail when variables are assigned at time of execution (e.g., the
The syntax checker will remain invoked until the user turns it off wth the following command.
VICAR>syntax nocheckBEWARE The command
let $switch=...should not be used in SYNTAX mode, since the syntax check flag is in
$switch. By setting
$switchto an absolute value, it is possible to accidently turn off the syntax check mode. To change other options within
$switch, use the
flag-delcommands. Further online Help information is available on flags or see Appendix 10.4.
Brief error messages are one-line comments preceded, in brackets, by a "message key".
[SYSTEM-KEY] Message where: [SYSTEM-KEY] is the "message key" SYSTEM indicates which system issued the message: VIC2 - VICAR Run-time Library TAE - the TAE supervisor KEY is the specific identifier for the message given MESSAGE is the text containing a comment from VICARExample: End of volume message.
[VIC2-ENDOFVOL] End of volume (double tape mark) reachedIn many cases, the brief error message adequately informs the user of the problem. However, in some cases the user might still be at loss as to what VICAR is trying to explain. In that case, there are two methods for obtaining further online assistance on the message interpretation:
$TAEHELP/msg/taefac.msgon UNIX machines or
VICSYS:[VICAR121.TAE52_VAX-VMS.HELP.TM] TAEFAC.MSGon VAXes.
help-messageis used when the user wishes VICAR to expand upon the received message. VICAR responds with an explanation of the error message and a suggested course of action for the user.
VICAR>help-message key=message-keyExample: Get more help on the end of volume message.
VICAR>help-message key=vic2-endofvol Explanation: The end of volume mark (double tape mark or double end of file) was hit when trying to open a file on an input tape. User action: Scan tape to determine the actual number of files on it, and make sure that the proc does not try to access a file beyond that number.
?" is special in that no other parameters are allowed and it always causes VICAR to display help information on the last message received.
If you wish to return to the Contents page, click here.