Introduction to the Form and Menu Language Interpreter (FMLI)

Screen layout

The following figure shows the configuration of the screen when an FMLI application is running.

The FMLI screen

FMLI divides the screen into the following five regions:

Banner Line
The banner line displays a one-line banner on the top line of the screen. By default, it displays a Working icon when FMLI is busy. You can redefine the banner line in the initialization file.

Work Area
The work area is the section of the screen where frames are displayed. This area starts on the second line of the screen and stops on the third line from the bottom of the screen.

NOTE: If a terminal supports hardware function keys, FMLI will use the last line of the screen to display function key labels. The developer should be aware of this since the size of the work area will be decreased by one line (that is, it will stop on the fourth line from the bottom) to make room for these labels.

Message Line
The message line is the second line from the bottom of the screen. Messages generated by FMLI, or which you generate in your scripts, are displayed here. By default, a message remains on the message line until the next key is pressed; you can define messages that will remain on display permanently or until other user actions occur, such as navigation to another frame.

Command Line
The command line is the next to last line on the screen. Users access it by pressing <CTRL-j> or <CTRL-f> <c>, at which time a --> prompt appears on the line. Any FMLI command, application-specific command, or UNIX system executable can be executed from the command line.

Screen Labels for Function Keys (SLKs)

The last line of the screen displays screen labels that correspond to the eight function keys found on many keyboards. Screen-labeled keys, or SLKs, allow users to invoke FMLI or application-specific commands easily by pressing one key. FMLI provides two sets of screen labels for the function keys. Your scripts control which set is displayed at any given time. FMLI predefines the SLKs in the first set, assigning each a default screen label and function depending on the type of frame current. (The table ``Default screen-labeled keys'' shows the functions assigned by default to screen-labeled keys when a menu, form, or text frame is current.) The second set is not predefined--you can define this set specifically for your application. In the first set, you can rename or disable function keys <F1> through <F7> (but they cannot be redefined), and redefine function key <F8>. In the second set, you can define application-specific commands for function keys <F9> through <F16>. Keep in mind, though, that if you redefine key <F8> or <F16> to be something other than <CHG-KEYS>, your users will lose the ability to access the alternative set of function keys. A complete discussion of screen-labeled keys and how to define, disable, or redefine them is contained in ``Application level definition files''.

Since some keyboards do not have function keys, FMLI predefines alternative keystroke sequences whose use is equivalent to that of function keys <F1> through <F8>. These sequences have the form <CTRL-f> <n>, where n is the number of the corresponding function key. The alternative keystroke sequence for <F3>, for example, is <CTRL-f> <3>. That means the user must hold down <CTRL> while pressing <f>, then press <3>.

NOTE: FMLI downloads alternative keystroke sequences into the function keys of some terminals at the user's request. For a discussion, see ``Keyboard and mouse support''.

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UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 27 April 2004