DigiBarn Documents: Teach Xerox 8010 Basics from Wildflower site
Welcome to the Xerox Development Environment! You are reading the first message of a tutorial that will give you "hands-on" experience with the XDE user interface.
The first thing that you will need to become friends with is your mouse, which is used to direct attention to a particular area of the screen. The standard mouse has two buttons. The left button is called "Point"; the right button is "Adjust." Pressing and immediately releasing a mouse button is called "clicking" the button. Pressing down both buttons simultaneously is called "Chording" the mouse.
Mouse movements are tracked on the screen by a small black arrow called the "cursor". Try using your mouse to point at various places on the screen. You can move the mouse in any direction, or pick it up and move it when you reach the edge of the mouse pad. When you are good at using the mouse, move the cursor over to the word Display! (which you used to view this message) and click Point.
As you can see, clicking Point over the word Display! allows you to read a new message. Display! is a command associated with the MailTool, which is the name of the tool that you are using to read these messages. The XDE user interface is largely based on visual imagery: you can usually see the commands associated with a given tool without having to ask for them or memorize them. A word followed by an exclamation point, such as Display!, Delete!, or Undelete!, indicates that the word is a command. (This is true throughout the environment; it is not unique to the MailTool.)
Clicking Point over a command invokes that command. When you invoke a command, it is best to set just the tip of the cursor over the command; placing the entire cursor on top of a command may not activate it.
Also, if you move away from a command while the button is still down, the command will not be invoked when you release the button. Try this: press and hold in Point over Display!, and then move the cursor away from the command before releasing Point. The command will not be invoked.
Now invoke Display! correctly to view the next message.
You are reading this message in what is called the "text subwindow" of your mail "window". Each XDE "tool", or applications program, communicates with you through one or more windows. A window is just a partition of the screen in which text or graphics can be displayed. Generally, each tool owns a window, although a tool does not have to have a window and can have several windows. At the top of each window is a herald, or name stripe, that tells you the name of the tool that the window is associated with.
Windows are composed of subwindows, which are separated by horizontal black lines. The MailTool window has four subwindows. The uppermost subwindow is a message subwindow used for posting messages from the tool to the user. The second subwindow, which contains an ordered list of all the messages available to you, is called the Table of Contents.
The third subwindow is a command subwindow. All the available commands specific to the MailTool are grouped together in this command subwindow. The items followed by ! are all commands; the items followed by : are called fields, and are used for collecting arguments to commands. Fields are discussed more fully later in this tutorial.
The fourth subwindow is a text subwindow, which is used for displaying the messages.
Display the next message.
Display! allows you to read through a group of messages in the order in which they are listed in the Table of Contents. Thus, you do not have to explicitly specify an argument for Display!; the default argument is the next message in the mail file.
However, if you would like to read your messages in some other order (for example, if you want to read an earlier message again), you can explicitly specify any message in the file as the argument to Display!. To do this, just click Point over any character in the message title (in the Table of Contents subwindow). (Notice that the character becomes highlighted; that is, black characters become white or vice-versa.) When you have explicitly selected a message, invoking Display! will cause that message to be displayed in the bottom subwindow, regardless of whether or not you have read the messages that precede it.
Notice that there is an asterisk in front of the Table of Contents entry for each unread message. When you read your mail in order, the title of the message that you are currently reading is moved to the top of your Table of Contents. There is also a small arrowhead in the Table of Contents window that points to the title of the message currently being displayed. Find the title of this message in the Table of Contents.
Try explicitly selecting the title of the next message, and then invoke Display!
You can mark specific messages in the Table of Contents if you like. Try selecting the blank space at the far left of a Table of Contents entry (there are three spaces to the left of the number; select the leftmost). Once you have selected the space, type any letter, and it will appear there. Thus, for example, you can type an ! if you have a message that you are particularly interested in, or an I by messages that you thought were incomplete, or any other marking system you like. Markings may consist of only one letter.
To remove a marking, just select the letter and type a space.
When you view text in a window, you may actually be looking at only a small portion of the available information. A window can be thought of as an opening through which you can view a potentially infinite scroll of text; the amount of text that you see at one time is limited by the size of your window, and not by the amount of material in the text. To view text not currently visible, you can use a window feature called the scrollbar to "scroll" the text in a window up or down.
The scrollbar for a window is a narrow transparent rectangle found at the far left of the window. Move your cursor into the scrollbar for the Table of Contents subwindow of the MailTool window. (Each subwindow is scrolled separately.) When the cursor is in the correct position for scrolling, it will change into a double-headed arrow. Try moving your cursor into the scrollbar.
When the cursor is in the scrollbar, notice that the scrollbar has a dark grey region and a light grey region. These grey regions, combined, represent the entire length of the scroll behind the window; the dark grey region represents the percentage currently visible through the window. Thus, a dark small grey region means that you are viewing a small part of the file, and a large dark grey region means that you are viewing most of the file.
Display the next message to find out how to use your scrollbar.
Mouse buttons direct the scrolling operation. The cursor changes when one of the buttons is pressed in the scrollbar: Point scrolls the document up (the double-headed arrow changes to point up) and Adjust scrolls it down (the double-headed arrow changes to point down). You can think of scrolling as moving the file that is behind the window so that you can see a different part of the file. The window itself remains the same; you are effectively just putting a different part of the file "in" the window.
Now try scrolling: position your cursor in the scrollbar for the Table of Contents beside message 10 and click Point. Notice that this line is now at the top of the window. Depending on how your machine is set up, you may be able to obtain continuous scrolling by holding down Point in the scrollbar region (rather than just clicking it.)
You can use Adjust to scroll back down in the file to view previous text. To practice this, put your cursor in the scrollbar somewhere in the middle of the Table of Contents and click Adjust. Message 10, or the message that was at the top of your Table of Contents before you clicked Adjust, will now be located at the position of the cursor. Practice scrolling the Table of Contents up and down.
When you are experimenting with scrolling, notice that the position of the dark grey region changes as you scroll the window up and down. This signifies that you are viewing a different part of the file; the dark grey region always shows the portion and position of the text that you are viewing with respect to the entire text.
You may have to scroll many of the later messages in this file in order to read the end of the message; if you are ever not sure whether or not there is more of a message, you should scroll up to check.
Since you are now familiar with the Display! command, you will no longer be reminded to invoke it when you want to advance to the next message.
The scrollbar can also be used to "thumb" a file. Thumbing is analogous to opening a book by placing your thumb at the approximate position of the section you want to start reading, and pulling the book open at that point (as you might do with a dictionary).
To thumb a file, press Chord (both buttons simultaneously) while the cursor is in the scrollbar. The cursor should change to a left-pointing arrow that can be moved up or down in the scollbar. If the cursor is in the middle of the scrollbar, releasing Chord will move you to the middle of the file; if the cursor is at the top end of the scrollbar, releasing Chord will scroll you back to the beginning of the file. With practice, you will be able to reach the particular part of the file that you want to look at without having to scroll through the entire file. This is especially useful with large files.
Note: to release a Chord, always release the left button first. You don't have to release the buttons simultaneously, and you won't get the result you expect if you release the right button first.
Practice thumbing the Table of Contents. Notice that releasing Chord when the cursor is not in the scrollbar aborts the operation.
In addition to scrolling or thumbing the text in a file, you may also wish to change the shape, size or position of the windows on your screen. The next series of messages will discuss the available commands for manipulating your windows.
Look at the right edge of the lines that divide this window into subwindows, and note the small boxes. These boxes are used to guide the dividing lines when you move them up or down within the window. To see how they work, choose one of the boundary lines on your screen and place the point of the cursor on the box that lies on it, then press and hold down Point. Move the cursor up and down, and note how the boundary moves with the cursor. Now move the line to the position you wish the boundary to be in and release the button. The line will be moved to that point. This feature is available for every subwindow in the Xerox Development Environment.
In addition to adjusting subwindow divisions, you may also wish to make an entire window larger or smaller, or move it to a different location altogether. The Xerox Development Environment has a feature called the Window Manager menu, available for every window, which is used to control the size and position of your windows.
During the exercises on window manipulation, you should practice on your Empty Window, and not your MailTool window.
You can obtain the stack of possible "menus" for any window by placing the cursor anywhere in that window and pressing Chord. Try this now in the Empty Window. Continue to hold down Chord. You should see a stack of menus, with one menu fully displayed at the top of the stack. The title of the menu that is at the top of the stack should be highlighted; that is, it should appear as white letters on a black background instead of black letters on a white background. Menus are a convenient way of letting you see the available commands when you want to use them, while still conserving "real estate" on the screen the rest of the time. (Note, however, that commands in menus are not designated with !.)
If the Window Manager menu ("Window Mgr") is not already at the top of the stack of menus, you will have to bring it to the top. To do this, point the cursor at "Window Mgr" (it will highlight), continue to hold down Adjust while you release Point and then click it again. The Window Manager menu should now be fully displayed at the top of the stack. Bringing a menu to the top of the stack may be a bit difficult at first; you should practice until you are good at it.
The Move command is used to move a window about the display screen without changing its size.
Bring the Window Manager menu to the top of the stack, continue to hold down Chord, and select "Move" from the menu by moving the cursor on top of it. ("Move" will be highlighted when the cursor is in the correct position.) Release Chord (both buttons at once), and the cursor will change into the shape of a corner with an "M" in it.
Practice moving the cursor in and out of the various boundaries of the Empty Window, and watch the corner change shape to represent different corners of the window. Using Move is like picking up a piece of paper by one corner. Thus, the corner represented by the cursor is basically the argument to the Move command; it specifies the corner by which you are "picking up" the window.
When you are ready to move the window, move the cursor to the desired position, and click Point. The corner represented by the cursor will be moved to that location.
Move allows you to move a window about the display area, but doesn't let you change its size or shape. Try moving the Empty Window around, using different corners as your anchor. Experiment until you are comfortable with this command.
The Drag and Grow commands allow you to change the size of a window on the screen. Bring up the Window Manager menu by chording just as you did to invoke the Move command, but this time select "Drag" instead. The cursor will change to look like an arrow that points to a line. The line represents a border of the window. The Drag command moves (drags) one border of the window either outward (to make the window bigger) or inward (to make the window smaller).
Move the cursor in and out of the window and notice how the cursor changes to represent the different borders of the window. When you click Point, the specified border of the window will stretch or shrink to the position of the cursor, and the rest of the window will remain the same. Practice moving around the borders of the Empty Window with the Drag command, but try to make sure that the Empty Window does not overlap this message. Notice that you can use Drag to shrink the window as well as to enlarge it.
Drag allows you to adjust the position of one window border at a time. The Grow command, on the other hand, allows you to adjust length and height simultaneously. Select Grow in the Window Manager menu. The cursor should look like a corner with a "G" in it. Move this corner in and out of the window and watch it change to the shape of the corner closest to where you exit the window, as it did with the Move command. Position the cursor and click Point.
Grow allows you to pull a corner of the window in any direction, enlarging or shrinking the window along its width and height. Experiment with this command in the Empty Window.
In the XDE, you can overlap and stack windows, just as you can stack pieces of paper on a desk. If one window either partially or completely covers another window, you may wish to change the order of the stack (much as you would shuffle the stack of papers). The "Top" and "Bottom" commands in the Window Manager menu are used to control the position of a window in the stack: Top places a window on top of all others; Bottom places it beneath them.
To practice these commands, you must first have some overlapping windows. Move your windows around until you have a group of windows in a stack. (The Herald window, which is the wide rectangle at the top of your screen can be moved just like any other window. You can use it in your stack of windows if you like.)
Now try the Top and Bottom commands. Invoking these commands occasionally causes one or more windows to be completely obscured, and it is not uncommon to forget a window that is invisible. You may therefore wish to manipulate your windows so that a tiny portion of each window is showing. You can invoke the menu for any window as long as the visible portion of the window is at least the size of the cursor.
The Size command on the Window Manager menu reduces a window to a "tiny" rectangle of fixed size. Tiny windows can appear anywhere on the screen. (You will learn how to control the position of a tiny window in a later message.)
Try invoking Size on the Empty Window, and notice that the name of the window remains visible. (Depending on how your machine is set up, the tiny window will probably appear somewhere near the top of your screen; you may have to use Top or Bottom to find the tiny window.)
When a window is tiny, you can call up a menu in the same way as when it is normal size; however, Move, Grow, and Drag do not work for tiny windows. Since the size of a tiny window is fixed, there is no way to use Drag or Grow; we discuss how to move a tiny window in a later lesson.
Invoking Size on a tiny window puts it back to its original size and position, and places it on top of any other window at that location. Invoke Size again on the Empty Window.
As its name implies, the Zoom command causes a window to increase in size dramatically, so that it takes up all the available room on the screen. Like Size, Zoom can be reversed by invoking it a second time. Invoke Zoom twice on the Empty Window and watch it zoom up and then back down. A "zoomed" window is just like any other; you can use the Window Manager commands to put it under other windows, or to change its size if you like.
The last command on the Window Manager menu is "Deactivate," which removes a window from the display and makes it inactive. Windows can be in one of two basic states: active or inactive. Active windows are those that are open on your screen and that you are currently able to read. An active window may be tiny; tiny windows are essentially active windows that have been temporarily moved out of the way. The contents of a window are not altered when it is reduced to the tiny state.
Deactivation, on the other hand, causes a window to lose any contents that you have typed into it. Deactivating a window destroys the tool window, but the tool itself is still available for future use.
Thus, deactivating a window only affects the information that you have typed into that window; it does not affect information that is stored in files. For example, if you deactivate an Empty Window, you will lose any text that you have typed into that window. However, if you deactivate the MailTool window, you will not lose any text; the table of contents and the associated messages are stored in files and are not affected by deactivation.
Deactivate the Empty Window. When a window is deactivated, the name of the associated tool is added to the Inactive menu. To bring up this menu, press Chord in the grey bit area (any area not covered by a window) and select the Inactive menu from the list of available menus. This menu contains the names of all the tools that have been deactivated since the last time that you booted. Select Empty Window from the list of inactive tools, and the Empty Window will once again be active on your screen.
Up until now, you have been using the commands on the Window Manager menu to manipulate your windows. The next few messages introduce faster ways to invoke these commands. In the XDE, such shortcuts are called "accelerators."
Try moving the cursor to the herald of the Empty Window (the white-on-black "label" at the top of the window). As the cursor enters the herald, it changes to a bulls-eye shape, and sections of the herald video-invert. Move the cursor from the left side of the herald to the right side, and notice that the herald is divided into three sections.
The left and right sections, which are equivalent, offer quick ways to invoke the Move, Grow, Drag, Top, and Bottom commands. Position the cursor in an outer section of the herald of the Empty Window. Press and hold down Adjust, and the cursor will assume the "M in a corner" shape. When you release Adjust, the window will be moved to the place where the cursor is. In other words, to apply the Move command to a window, you can either:
(i) Get the Window Manager menu and select Move, Position the cursor and click Point;
(ii) Move the cursor into an outside section of the herald Press and hold down Adjust Position the cursor and release.
The Grow and Drag commands can be executed in a similar accelerated manner. Move the cursor back into an outside section of the herald, and hold down Adjust. Continue to hold it down and click Point; the cursor will change into the "G" for the Grow command. Still holding down Adjust, click Point again, and the cursor will change into the shape of an arrow pointing at a border, ready for you to execute the Drag command. Click Point a few more times to cycle through these three commands, then practice using these accelerators to adjust your windows.
(Note: if you select Move, Grow, or Drag from the Window Manager menu, you can hold down Adjust and click Point to cycle through to reach any of the others. Thus, if you accidentally select the wrong command from the menu, you can easily enough reach another command.)
Move the cursor back into the left or right section of the herald of the Empty Window. If a window is already on top of all other windows on the screen, clicking Point in an outer section of its herald will invoke the Bottom command. If the window is underneath any other window, clicking Point will invoke the Top command. Each time that you click Point, you will invoke the inverse of whichever command you invoked last time. Try positioning the Empty Window so that it overlaps this window slightly, then practice the accelerated Top and Bottom commands on both windows.
Position the cursor in the center section of the Empty Window's herald. Click Adjust. You have just invoked the Size command. Clicking Point will invoke the Zoom command. Experiment a little with the accelerated Zoom and Size commands.
Invoke the Size command to shrink the Empty Window down to a tiny rectangle. Try out the accelerated commands on this small window. You will see that all of the commands function as they do on a full-sized window, with the exception of Move, Grow, and Drag. The Grow and Drag commands cannot be used to change the shape of a tiny window; the size of such a small window is fixed. The Move command works a little differently than it does on a full-sized window. Try it and see how it is different.
In a tiny window, the Move command can only be invoked with the accelerator (clicking Adjust in the right or left herald), and not with the Window Manager menu. Furthermore, no "M in a corner" appears when the command is invoked; instead, the cursor is tracked by the tiny window itself. Practice using the Move command to move the tiny Empty Window around.
Notice that the Herald Window, which is the long banner at the top of your screen, does not have a window herald when it is in the active state. You can still use the accelerated commands on this window, but you will have to move it from its position at the top of the screen. That is, the top edge of the window serves as its window herald, but you can't access that edge when the window is at the very top of your screen.
Each time you make a window tiny, it will return to the position from which it was sized. Thus, you can arrange the tiny windows on your screen any way that you like; the organization will not be lost unless you reboot your volume. (In a later tutorial, you will learn how to specify the way that your windows are set up after you boot.)
Here is a summary of the window manager accelerators available through the herald of a window:
The left and right sections of the herald are equivalent. Clicking Point in either of these two sections invokes Top and Bottom; holding down Adjust and clicking Point makes Move, Grow, and Drag available.
The center section of the herald is used to invoke Size and Zoom; Point invokes Zoom and Adjust Sizes the window. If you have trouble remembering these accelerators, you might want to write them down until you become more familiar with them.
Now that you know how to manipulate windows on your screen, you are ready to find out how to enter text in a window, how to edit existing text, and how to control the font in which characters on your screen are displayed.
Click Point anywhere in your Empty Window, and notice that a blinking caret appears. This is your type-in point.
When you type, the text will appear at the type-in point. In the XDE, only one window can have an active type-in point at any given time. Thus, when you want to enter text in a window, you need to first click a mouse button over that window to activate its type-in point.
Set your type-in point in the Empty Window and start typing. Type several words, and then hit the backspace key (a backward arrow, above the carriage return). The last letter in your text will be deleted. SHIFT and backspace together will delete the last word that you typed. Try it. These methods of editing are helpful if you realize that you have made a typing mistake while you are still typing. Now continue typing to the end of the line.
When you reach the end of the line, do not enter a carriage return. Continue typing, and notice that the system automatically breaks your text at the edge of a window and sends the overflow to the next line. Type several lines of text. Now change the shape of your window using the Grow or Drag command; the text will be reformatted to conform to the new shape of the window.
Pick any letter in the text you have just typed and point the cursor at it. (Remember to use just the tip of the cursor.) Click Point once, and the character should video-invert; you have "selected" that letter. Now choose another letter and click Point twice in rapid succession to select an entire word. Three clicks will select the whole paragraph, four clicks the complete textual entity, and five clicks will return you to a single character. Try cycling through this sequence. Notice that the selected material is always video-inverted.
Another method of selecting text is extension with Adjust. Select the first character of this sentence with Point, then select the last character with Adjust; you will have selected the entire sentence. With that sentence selected, move your cursor to the first sentence in this paragraph and click Adjust over a letter in the word "text". The selected text will be extended backward to the new position. Thus, you can extend a selection either forward or backward using the extension technique.
Extension of selected text operates in the same units as the original selection: if you select a character with Point, the extension will be by characters; if you initially select a word, the extension will be by words, and so on. Practice selecting text until you are comfortable with both methods; the next few lessons will show you how you can manipulate selections of text within and across windows.
You can easily add text to any position in an existing editable document. For example, to add text to your Empty window, position the cursor in front of the character where you would like to insert your additions. Click Point to set your type-in point. Now start typing; the text will be inserted at the type-in point. Experiment with adding to the text in your Empty window, and notice that you can insert text at any position in a file, including the middle of an existing word. (Note that you always have to set a type-in point before you can enter text in a file; this is how you specify the location in the file where you want to put the new text.)
To set a type-in point at the beginning or end of a word, you may find it easiest to select the entire word with two clicks rather than trying to select the space that separates two words. Select a word by clicking twice at any letter in the first half of the word, and your type-in point will be at the beginning of that word. Select it by clicking near the end of the word, and your insertion point will be at the end of the word. Try positioning your type-in point using this method.
Note, however, that there are some windows that won't allow you to insert text into them. These windows are "read-only" windows, because you can read what they say, but you can't change it. For example, make a selection in your Table of Contents subwindow and try to type in some new text. The screen will blink at you to tell you that you are trying to do something illegal.
The next few messages discuss how to copy or move text from one position to another within a window or across windows using the special keys DELETE, COPY, STUFF, PASTE, and MOVE. These keys are all located in the cluster on the left side of your keyboard.
If you find that your keyboard does not have some of the keys described in this tutorial, refer to the one page keyboard summary document. This shows the mapping between the keycap names and functions; you will often have to refer to this document to find out which key or combination of keys performs a certain function. This document is commonly kept beneath the mouse pad for easy reference. Find your copy of it, and familiarize yourself with it. If you do not have one, you can refer to the last page of the User Environment chapter of the XDE User's Guide.
Set a type-in point anywhere in your Empty window and type in the sentences "Copying text is very easy. Moving text is also easy." Now suppose that you would like to move the word "very" to the second sentence. To do this, you first set a type-in point just before the "e" that starts the last word. (Click twice at the letter "e" to select the word and position the type-in in front of the word.) This is the new location to which you are going to move the text. Now press and hold down the MOVE key. While holding this key down, select the word "very". Release the MOVE key.
Your sentences probably now read "Copying text is easy. Moving text is also veryeasy." When you move or copy text, it is important that you are aware of whether or not you are moving the spaces that separate words as well as the letters themselves. Selecting a word with multiple clicking does not also select the spaces that precede and follow it. However, you can use the extension technique to extend a selection to include the surrounding spaces.
Now try copying text from one place to another. This command works in the same way as the MOVE command, except that it preserves the original text in addition to copying it to a new location. To copy text, first set a type-in point where you would like the new text to appear. Then hold down COPY, select the text to be copied, and release COPY. Try COPYing some text, and try to make sure that the spacing comes out right.
You can also use the STUFF key to copy text from one window into another or within a single window. To use STUFF, first make sure that you have a type-in point set in your Empty window. Now select some text from this message, move your cursor back into the Empty window and click Adjust. Clicking Adjust over a window resets the type-in point to the place where it was last set in that window, but does not change the current selection. Had you tried to use Point instead of Adjust to re-establish the type-in point in the Empty window, the current selection would no longer be the sentence above; it would be a character in your empty window. Now press STUFF and the text will be copied to the new location.
Note that if you are trying to use STUFF to copy text within a single window, you will have to use PROPS-Point instead of Adjust. (If you try to use Adjust, you will just extend the selection.) Try stuffing text within a window: select some text in your Empty window, set another type-in point in the same window by pressing the PROPS key and clicking Point, and then press the STUFF key. (Remember that your PROPS key probably has a different keycap name.)
Experiment with MOVE, COPY and STUFF until you are comfortable with them.
To delete text from a window, select the text and press the DELETE key. As with moving or copying text, you will need to pay attention to whether you also select the spaces and the punctuation. For example, when deleting a sentence, you will want to also delete the spaces either preceding it or following it to avoid having extra spaces separating the remaining sentences.
Text that is deleted from the screen is not immediately destroyed. Instead, it is held in storage (called the "trash bin") until other text is deleted. One advantage of this feature is that you always have a chance to change your mind about the last section of text that you have deleted. The trash bin can hold an vast amount of text, but it is reset each time that you press the DELETE key. For example, if you have DELETEd an entire file, the contents of the file will all be stored in the trash bin. However, if you then DELETE an extra space, your existing trash bin (the contents of the file) will be removed and replaced with only a space character. Text deleted with either BS or BW is not inserted in the trash bin.
If you decide that you would like to re-insert the text that is stored in the trash bin, press PASTE and the text will be inserted at your type-in point. (This process is sometimes called "cutting and pasting".)
DELETE a piece of text, type a few words if you wish, then press and release the PASTE key. You will have moved the previously deleted text to a new place. (Note that deleting text automatically sets the type-in point, so you can just insert new text immediately after deleting old text.) Set a type-in point in another place and press PASTE again. The text will be pasted at that point as well.
Remember that you can perform a PASTE command on the text in the trash bin as many times as you like, but that the bin only holds one segment of deleted text at a time, and any previously deleted text is really gone.
When you enter text into an Empty Window, the text is not automatically stored in a file. To avoid losing the text when you deactivate the window or restart your system, you need to store it in a local file. To store text in a local file, first type or copy the contents into an Empty Window. The subject of the text could be your comments on this tutorial, the names of the people that you have met today, or anything else that you can think of.
When you are finished entering text, select the name that you would like the file to have (if it is not in the text, type it in the blank space following RS! in the lower subwindow. To do this, first select the colon (¬:) with Point to set a type-in point.) A file name is limited to 100 characters, and cannot contain any spaces, or question marks. Plus sign, minus sign, period, and dollar sign are the only special characters that are acceptable for a file name. (The screen will flash if you attempt to name a file with an illegal name.)
When you have SELECTED the name that you wish your file to have, you need to invoke the "Store" command. To do this, Chord anywhere in the Empty window, bring the File Window menu to the top of the stack, and select Store. Just typing the name on the screen is not enough; you must have the name selected (highlighted) when you invoke the Store command. If you don't have a selection, there is no way for Store to know what you want the name of the file to be.
When you have invoked Store, a message will appear in the herald that gives the name of the file, followed by a parenthetical expression telling you whether it is an old file name or a new file name. If it is an old file name, confirming the command (explained below) will cause the current file to be rewritten on the old file, and you will lose the contents of the old file. You will always be provided with the information on whether it is a new or an old file name, so that you will not inadvertently rewrite an existing file.
The cursor now looks like a mouse. This image is asking you for confirmation of your command. Click Point; this will confirm the command. (To abort, click Adjust.) When you have confirmed the command, the new name of the file will appear in the herald of the window, and the file will be stored on your local disk.
(Note that you will not be able to set a type-in point when you have stored a file in a window. A later message will discuss how to edit an existing file.)
Look at the top of your Empty window, below the name stripe (window herald). There are two subwindows at the top of it; the uppermost of these is called the Editable Menu (EM) Symbiote. This name indicates that the subwindow can be edited to contain any collection of commands. The word "symbiote" signifies that the subwindow functions independently of the window itself; you can attach or detach a symbiote menu without changing the properties of the window itself. Symbiotes are added to the window to make some of the more frequently used commands easily accessible without having to use pop-up menus.
For example, your symbiote should contain the word Store. This is the same Store command that you just invoked from the File Window menu. Thus, the accelerated way to store a file is to select the name of the file and click Point over the word Store in the symbiote menu.
You can edit the list of available commands. However, when editing the list of commands, you will not be able to use Point to select the text. The reason for this restriction is simple; clicking Point at a word in this symbiote will invoke the command.
To set a type-in point in the EM, you will have to use PROPS-Point, rather than just Point. For example, to delete a command, hold down the PROPS key and click Point following the command to be deleted. Now backspace over it. Enter a new command, if you like, or retype the old one. For now, don't worry about it if you don't recognize all of the commands listed in your EM symbiote; you will learn about most of them later. The purpose of this lesson is simply to make you aware of the EM symbiote as an alternative to your pop-up File Window menu. You will also learn later how to permanently set the list of commands that appear in your EM symbiote.
Deactivating the window in which a file was stored does not destroy the contents of a file, although it does remove the text from the File window. Deactivate your File window (the one with a file loaded in), and then select EmptyWindow from the Inactive menu to bring it back on your screen. It will once again be an Empty window.
To load your file into the Empty window so that you can again view its contents, type the name of the file, select it, and invoke "Load" from the File Window menu or the EM symbiote. When you have loaded a file, the name in the herald will change from "Empty Window" to the name of the file that you have loaded in.
Now invoke the Create command, either from the EM symbiote or the File Window menu, to get another Empty window on your screen. You will be asked to confirm the command with Point. (The location of the cursor when you click Point will be the location of the new Empty window.)
You can use this window to practice another way of loading a file. Type the name of a file into the Empty Window, and then press the DOIT key (this key is labelled MARGINS on your keyboard.) This will load the specified file into that window.
Now invoke Destroy, either from the EM symbiote or from the File Window menu, to get rid of one of your File windows. This command destroys only the window; it does not affect the file itself.
To make changes in your file, you must invoke the Edit command. Try it. Notice that the herald of the window changes to indicate that you are editing the file. You can now edit the file in any way that you like; however, if you attempt to edit a file without invoking the Edit command, the screen will flash and your keystrokes will be ignored.
When you have finished editing a file, you will have to invoke Save to save your changes. Changes that are made to a file while it is being edited are not actually made to the file until you have invoked this command; if you deactivate a window that is being edited you will lose all of your edits.
Be careful to distinguish between the Save command and the Store command. Save is used to save the contents of a File window under the name that appears in the herald of that window; it is used when you are changing an existing file and wish to save the new version.
Invoking Store in a File window asks the window to take any selected text as its argument and store the contents of the File window under the selected name; this command can be used to initially name the contents of an Empty window or to change the name of an existing file.
You should now be familiar with the basics of window and text manipulation in the Xerox Development Environment. If you had difficulty with any of the things covered in this tutorial, you should go back and practice them until you are really comfortable. The last thing that this tutorial will teach you is how to leave your screen when you leave your office for a while. When you are ready to go home for the night, or when you know that you will be away from your machine for a long period of time, you should "cover" your screen with the DMT tool. (The reason for this name is purely historical; the letters do not relate to its current function.) DMT allows you to turn your screen black when you are not working so that the phosphor on your screen will not wear out.
You can return from DMT at any time by pressing the STOP key.
DMT may be listed in your Inactive menu. If you select it from this menu, your screen will go entirely black, except for a small square that flashes the day and time. Another way to invoke DMT is to move your cursor to the executive window and type DMT, followed by a carriage return.
To deactivate DMT, you can press the STOP key or invoke the Deactivate command in the Window Manager menu. (You can manipulate the DMT pattern just as you can any other window.) Your screen will reappear just as it was before you invoked DMT. If you are through for the day, you can invoke DMT now and go home. If you are not through, you should try DMT anyway, just so that you are familiar with it.
There are many alternatives to DMT available, if you would like a more interesting pattern to display on their screen. Most of these alternatives are classed as unsupported utilties, which means that they are not part of the standard released system. These tutorials in general discuss only the released tools, since there are a large number of "hacks", and it is difficult to single out "good" ones from "bad" ones. However, once you are familiar with the basics of the system, you should take a look at the unsupported utilities that are available.
Some examples of such programs are BrushDMT.bcd, Poly.bcd, KineticFractal.bcd and SpaceOut.bcd, all of which are DMT alternatives. Try them out if you like.
When you are ready to go on to another tutorial, Chord over the word File: in your command subwindow. A menu will appear with a list of all possible tutorial or mail files. When you select the next tutorial, called TeachFiles.nsmail, from this list, this mail file will be put away, and TeachFiles.nsmail will appear in your MailTool window, ready for you to learn about the file systems of the Xerox Development Environment.
(Note: there are a total of 6 tutorials for non-programmers, and a total of 9 tutorials for programmers. You shoud expect to take about two full days to read through all the tutorials.)
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