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Proto is a menu‑driven, prototyping tool that builds windows and columns from a script file, displays them on the screen, and places them in a window library. Proto provides a quick and easy way to view and test UI Toolkit screen functions by enabling you to load and place menu columns, input windows, and other windows on your screen so you can see what they look like.
On Windows, we recommend you use Composer instead.
Start Proto as follows:
At a command prompt, enter
At a command prompt, enter
Proto was written using Toolkit; thus it follows the same “rules” as any other Toolkit application:
After you start Proto, you’ll see the menu bar, which contains two headings: General and Main.
The General menu contains the following entries:
The View, Directory, Renditions, Key mapping, and App keypad entries are hot‑entries, meaning they are available at all times while you are running Proto.
The Help entry displays information about the current screen. Use the Help shortcut if you are not sure what a menu entry means.
Exiting the current entry
Selecting Exit takes you out of the current menu entry and returns you to the previous entry. You can use the Exit shortcut to stop doing almost anything. If you are at the Main menu, Exit will exit Proto altogether.
Viewing a window without obstruction
The View command is only enabled when you are loading windows. View removes all prompts and selection windows to enable you to view any windows you have placed. (Note that View is meaningless when you are loading columns, because the columns are not placed on the screen and you therefore will not be able to see them.)
View is a toggle; to replace the prompt and selection window so you can continue loading windows, press the View command key again. You can also press enter to continue.
Getting a directory listing
When you press the hot‑entry key for the Directory, a text window that lists the current contents of the window library is placed on the screen. A Scroll commands menu is added to enable you to page through the directory. The left and right arrow keys are the shortcuts for page down and page up, respectively.
If no window library is currently open, this entry is disabled and your terminal will beep if you try to access it by pressing its shortcut.
Select Renditions from the General menu if you want to define your own rendition schemes for the various screen areas. You can edit the display renditions for such items as menu entries, input fields, and windows. You can add this same rendition editing capability to your own programs by calling U_EDITREND (which is what Proto does.) See Using the Renditions window (Windows) for information.
Key mapping is the internal processing that associates a key on a keyboard with a Toolkit menu entry. The key mapping utility enables you to add or modify the key mapping for one or more terminal types.
You can start the key mapping utility from Proto or the Synergy UI Toolkit Control Panel. You can also start it from your own programs by calling U_EDITKEYS (which is what Proto and Synergy UI Toolkit Control Panel do).
See Customizing key mapping for menu shortcuts for information.
Setting application keypad mode
Selecting App keypad toggles the keypad mode on and off and generates a message stating if keypad mode is set or reset.
If you have a VT100 keyboard, you can set your keypad to application mode using an escape sequence. If your menu column uses the keypad but your terminal is not set in application keypad mode, you can use the “App keypad” hot‑entry to set it. (The “App keypad” menu entry has no effect on terminals that are not VT100‑compatible.)
Proto does not automatically reset the application keypad mode when it exits.
The Main menu contains the following entries:
The entries in this menu are highlighted in a logical order of choices you are likely to make.
The first selection highlighted is Create library. Since Proto uses a window library file for all user‑defined windows and columns (those you are prototyping), you may need to create a library into which Proto can load columns and windows when a script file is compiled. After the library is created and you are once again at the Main menu, the Process script entry is highlighted, followed by the View/Test entry.
If you are testing windows in an existing window library, you can select the “Open library” entry first. When Proto returns to the Main menu, the View/Test entry will be highlighted.
The information line contains the name of the current window library.
Creating a library
When you select Create library from the menu, an input window prompts you for the name of the library to create. Type the name of a library file. The default extension for a library file is .ism.
If Proto cannot create the library because a library of that name already exists, it displays an error message and waits for valid input.
Processing a script file
The “Process script” option is available only when a window library is open. When you select “Process script,” an input window prompts you for the name of the script file you want to compile.
Type the name of the script file (the default extension is .wsc). If Proto cannot find the script file, it displays an error message and waits for valid input. If Proto is unable to save because of locked window library records, it retries up to 10 times with two‑second delays between retries.
Proto can process physical lines containing up to 255 characters.
As each window is processed, it is placed in the current window library. When processing is complete, Proto displays a directory that lists all windows or columns in the script file that was just compiled. Select “Exit” to leave this directory.
Viewing and testing your windows
When you select View/Test, the Main menu is replaced with a Functions menu that has options for loading, processing, and removing columns and windows.
When you select Load column from the menu, Proto displays a selection window that contains a list of the columns that can be loaded. A Selection functions menu is added to the menu bar. Use the navigation options on this menu (Next selection, Prior selection, etc.) to scroll through the selection windows.
When you select a column, Proto loads that column in memory but does not place it on the screen. You will get a message telling you the column was loaded; press enter to continue.
You can load up to seven columns at one time. If you want to manually enter the name of a column, press the Manual entry shortcut (ctrl+e). The list of columns is removed from the screen, and you can type the name of the column you want to load.
When you are finished loading columns, press the Exit shortcut. To place your column, select Exercise columns from the menu. See Exercising (placing) columns.
Loading an input, selection, or general window
To load an input, selection, or general window, select Load input window, Load selection window, or Load window from the menu.
Proto displays a selection window that contains a list of the available windows. The Selection functions menu is added to the menu bar.
When you select a window, Proto loads that window and places it on the screen. You can place up to 10 windows at one time. (No more than five input windows and five selection windows are allowed.)
If you want to manually enter the name of a window, press the Manual entry shortcut (ctrl+e). The list of windows is removed from the screen, and you can type the name of the window you want to load.
The View shortcut is enabled while you are loading windows. View removes the window selection list from the screen so you can view your placed windows without obstruction. Press enter or the View shortcut again to continue.
When you are finished loading and placing windows, press the Exit shortcut.
Processing an input window
To process an input window, select Process input window from the menu. Proto displays a list of placed input windows on the screen.
When you select the input window you want to process, input processing begins. You are responsible for having previously loaded any columns required by the input window. When the input routine reaches a break field, it displays a message that tells you which break field it has reached.
Remember, you can only submit input to visible fields. If you try to process an occluded field, a fatal Toolkit error occurs. Proto always displays the input termination message when testing input windows. Proto always uses the default input set.
Processing a selection window
To process a selection window, select Process a selection window from the menu. Proto displays a list of placed selection windows on the screen.
When you choose the selection window you want to process, selection processing begins. You are responsible for having previously loaded any columns required by the selection window. When you select an item by pressing enter, Proto displays a message that tells you which selection item was chosen.
When you load a menu column, it is not automatically placed on the screen. You must select Exercise columns to actually place all loaded columns on the menu bar.
The menu bar is enabled after selecting Exercise columns, and the first column that you loaded is dropped down by default. You can move through the menu column entries using quick‑select characters and the up and down arrow keys, and drop down other columns using the left and right arrow keys. If you select a menu entry that Proto does not recognize, Proto generates a message that tells you which entry was selected.
The General menu is still present on the menu bar. To end the column exerciser, press the Exit shortcut.
Removing a column or window
You can either remove one column or window at a time, or you can remove all columns or all windows.
When you select “Remove column” or “Remove window” from the menu, Proto displays a selection window that contains a list of the placed columns or windows. Select the item you want to remove, and Proto removes it from the screen. Press the “Exit” shortcut when you are finished removing columns or windows.
When you select “Remove all columns” or “Remove all windows” from the menu, Proto removes all columns or windows from the screen and deletes them from memory. The columns and windows are not deleted from the window library.
Opening an existing library
When you select “Open library” from the menu, an input window prompts you for the name of the library you want to open. Type the name of the library. If Proto can’t find the library file, it displays an error message and waits for valid input. If the library filename is valid, the specified library is opened and Proto returns to the Main menu.
Once a library is opened, the “Directory” shortcut is enabled.
Your UI Toolkit distribution includes the script file (proto.wsc) for the menus and windows in the Proto program. If you need to translate the menu items or the help windows into another language, edit this script file and rebuild the windows. The menus and help windows are saved in a window library named proto.ism.
You can modify the text messages displayed in Proto by using the Synergy UI Toolkit Control Panel (synctl). These messages are stored in syntxt.ism under the facility PRO.