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The Output and Error Windows

The main screen has three portions; the menubar, the output window and the error window. Of these, the output and error windows are identical except for the data that appears within them. Here we describe the general operation of the output window only, although the details apply to the error window too.

(Click for full size image)

The output window consists of a text window with a set of labels and buttons above it. At the top left is the window name followed by a colon. After the colon the name of the current output file will be shown in blue italic letters. All new output appearing in this window will also be sent to this file. Initially no output file is specified and this label is blank (as can be seen in the error window). Using the "Redirect" menu located at the top right of the window a new file can be opened, or an existing one closed (in which case output is no longer sent to the specified file). The output and error windows may both have redirection files.

The "Search" button invokes a dialogue box requesting a string to search and whether to search forwards or backwards from the current position of the cursor. The search is case insensitive. Hitting the the OK button finds the next match.The bell is sounded if no more matches can be found.

The "Scroll on output" check button toggles whether the window should automatically scroll when new output appears to ensure that it is visible. The default (as seen in the illustration) state is to scroll. The "Clear" button removes all output from the window.

Each command, when run, adds a title to the output window. This contains the current time together with the command name. Output for this command then appears beneath the header. In the illustration the output from three commands is visible. Of these the "edit contig" command produces no output, but still has a header.

Pressing the right button with the cursor above a piece of output (either in its header or the text beneath it) will pop up a menu of operations. This operation is not valid for the error window. The commands are:

Show input parameters

Inserts the input parameters of the command, if any, beneath the command header


Deletes this text from the output window

Output to disk

Sends this text to a specified file

Output to list

Sends this text to a specified list

Output to command

Starts up a specified command and sends this text to the input of the command. Any output from the command is added back to the output window. Any errors from the command appear in the output window. Currently this allows commands to run for up to five seconds, and terminates the command if it has taken longer. To start longer running applications add an ampersand (&) after the command name.

The output operations allow the user to specify whether the header, input parameters or text for the command, in any combination, are sent to the output.

The text in the error window has a different format to the output window. Instead of large portions of text separated by headers, each item in the error window consists of a single line containing the date, the name of the function producing the error, and a brief description of the error. Many error messages will be displayed in their own dialogue boxes (eg not having write access to a file) and hence will not appear in the error window. Each time an error message is added the bell is rung.

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This page is maintained by staden-package. Last generated on 22 October 2002.