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2     <HEAD>
3     <TITLE>ASCEND HELP</TITLE>
4     </HEAD>
5     <BODY>
6     <!---
7     Last modified by $Author: ballan $ on $Date: 1996/09/12 00:38:23 $
8     --->
9     <!---LINK_BACK_TO_MAIN_HELP_PAGE_TOP--->
10     <H1>utilities menu</H1>
11     <LI><a href="#ascendhelp.path">ASCENDHELP path</a>
12     <LI><a href="#scratch.directory">Scratch directory</a>
13     <LI><a href="#working.directory">Working Directory</a>
14     <LI><a href="#text.edit.command">Text edit command</a>
15     <LI><a href="#postscript.viewer">Postscript viewer</a>
16     <LI><a href="#bug.mail.command">Bug mail command</a>
17     <LI><a href="#plot.program.name">Plot program name</a>
18     <LI><a href="#plot.file.type">Plot file type</a>
19     <LI><a href="#text.print.command">Text print command</a>
20     <LI><a href="#www">Help mail command</a>
21     <LI><a href="#font.selector">Font selector</a>
22     <LI><a href="#spreadsheet.command">Spreadsheet command</a>
23     <PRE>
24     Last $Author: ballan $
25     </PRE>
26     Utilities is a window which displays and allows modification of the global
27     variables which control the interaction of ASCEND with UNIX.
28     Below are explanations of the buttons and then some of the options.
29     <p>
30    
31     <pre>
32     Buttons:
33     OK: This will close the window. If the sanity checks fail, the window
34     will not close. Currently the only sanity checks are that the
35     Scratch directory and Working directory must exist out in UNIXland.
36     Save: This writes the current set of options to a file called
37     ~/.ascend-config. (~ is your home directory.) ~/.ascend-config is
38     read on starting ASCEND to get your UNIX defaults.
39     EXCEPTION: The variables with names in ALL CAPS, e.g. PRINTER, are
40     UNIX environment variables. You may change them interactively, but
41     their interactive values are NOT saved. Your environment variables
42     are typically set in your .login, .profile, .[ba,c]shrc, or .environ
43     file and are used by programs other than ASCEND.
44     Read: Fetches the values in ~/.ascend-config. This is in case you want to
45     edit ~/.ascend-config by hand while running ASCEND or you want to
46     verify that the changes you saved were properly saved.
47     More: Rotates you through the pages of options. (2 at present.)
48     Help: Is how you got here.
49     </pre>
50     <p>
51    
52    
53     <a name="WWW">
54     <H2>WWW stuff</H2>
55     We need the WWW variables explained here.
56     <p>
57    
58     <a name="scratch.directory">
59     <H2>Scratch directory</H2>
60     Typically this is /tmp or /usr/tmp but it can be any existing directory you
61     have write access to.
62     The scratch directory is used to write temporary and plot files ASCEND
63     creates. The temporary files are automatically deleted before you leave
64     ASCEND, but the plot files are not (since people often want to save plots.)
65     Other users on your system may be disturbed if you clog up /tmp with
66     plot files.
67     <a name="working.directory">
68     <H2>Working Directory</H2>
69     Typically this is the directory you start ASCEND from but it can be any
70     existing directory you have write access to. Our handling of the
71     working.directory is a bit flakey at the moment because the commandline
72     allows the user to cd without telling the rest of the interface about it.
73     Intermediate files are sometimes written to working.directory.
74    
75     <a name="text.edit.command">
76     <H2>Text edit command</H2>
77     This is a command to spawn your favorite text file editor.
78     The default is vi in an xterm, but you can change it to your
79     favorite flavor of emacs or whatever you like. Only one of us
80     here actually uses vi, but since he wrote the Utilities window
81     code he chose the default.
82    
83     <a name="postscript.viewer">
84     <H2>Postscript viewer</H2>
85     This allows you to specify your systems command for looking at Postscript
86     files. Some ASCEND concepts are only rapidly communicable by pictures and
87     we do such documentation via PostScript files. Ghostview (aka gv) is the
88     viewer around here. (CMU)
89    
90     <a name="plot.program.name">
91     <H2>Plot program name</H2>
92     This is the name of your plotting program. It should be able to take
93     the file type given in plot.file.type as input.
94    
95     <a name="plot.file.type">
96     <H2>Plot file type</H2>
97     The supported plot types are: plain_plot, gnu_plot, and xgraph_plot.
98     (These may be abbreviated xgraph, gnu, and plain.)
99     If you do not have gnu-plot or xgraph or xmgr, try selecting
100     plain_plot and seeing if the output will work with your own
101     plotting package. Gnu-plot, xgraph, and xmgr are all available
102     for free on the net. We are not experts in building any of these
103     3 packages.
104    
105     <a name="text.print.command">
106     <H2>Text print command</H2>
107     <p>
108     <pre>
109     Printing to a file:
110     Set the print command to be
111     > filename.you.want cat
112    
113     <p>
114    
115     Printing to a printer:
116     lpr -Pprintername
117    
118     <p>
119    
120     Landscape printing:
121     xa2ps -Ppostscriptprintername
122     enscript -2rGPpostscriptprintername
123     <p>
124    
125     You may safely omit the -P[postscript]printername part of
126     these commands if you normally do so in your Unix shell.
127     Note that ASCEND (TCL, really) does not know about your
128     Unix environment aliases.
129     <p>
130    
131     Printing from the probe or the display execute.print buttons
132     to Unix is done by TCL executing a script consisting of
133     $printcommand $scratchfilename.
134     where $printcommand is the string you've set on the utilities page
135     and $scratchfilename is set by ASCEND internally.
136     <p>
137    
138     </pre>
139     <a name="font.selector">
140     <H2>Font selector</H2>
141     This is a program that allows you to interactively determine font
142     names available to ASCEND. The default (xfontsel) is the only
143     program we know of which does this properly. (Xfontsel has it's own
144     set of bugs, so we suggest you tamper with nothing to the right of
145     ptSz on the xfontsel widget.) Once you have found fonts you like with
146     xfontsel, you may wish to set the Font values in ~/.ascend.ad.
147     Beware: fonts are Xserver dependent. The fonts available on one workstation
148     often differ from those on another. ASCEND will make some substitution
149     for unavailable fonts if it can, but the results are not always pretty.
150     In at least one case we have found the default ASCEND comes up with to
151     be Katakana (a Japanese typeface.) We find most machines know some sort
152     of helvetica font.
153    
154     <a name="spreadsheet.command">
155     <H2>Spreadsheet command</H2>
156     We have not been content with any of the free UNIX spreadsheet programs.
157     The thing to be done is to write out the desired variables as columns
158     of numbers suitable for import to any spreadsheet. Nobody gets PhD
159     points for doing this code, so it's not done yet. If you want to
160     do it, let us know and we'll be happy to consult. ballan@cs.cmu.edu
161     has pseudocode for this laying around someplace.
162     <p>
163    
164     <!---LINK_BACK_TO_MAIN_HELP_PAGE_BOTTOM--->
165     </BODY>
166     </HTML>

john.pye@anu.edu.au
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