Frame definition files

The textframe command

The two mechanisms available to present information to the user are the message line and text frames. Messages are limited to 1 line in length; thus, longer information must be put into a text frame. However, writing a separate text frame definition file can be inconvenient if the text frame is very short and needs none of the special capabilities of text frame definition files. Some applications may need hundreds of such short text frames. A short-cut mechanism, the textframe command, allows applications to be more compact.

There are several advantages to the textframe command:

The textframe command is not a built-in utility; it cannot be used in back-quoted expressions. If it is coded incorrectly, brief error messages will be issued on the message line and the portion coded incorrectly will be ignored. FMLI will also ignore options and arguments it cannot recognize and will use appropriate defaults in those cases. The syntax of this command is

   textframe [options] "text"

The text argument, corresponding to the text descriptor in text frames, is the only argument to this command. For example, an action descriptor could be coded as

   action=textframe "This is text for a 1-line text frame"
If no text argument is coded, an empty text frame will appear, just as would a text frame from a definition file whose text descriptor is not coded. The text argument may contain embedded newlines as well as the notation \n to request newlines in the text. The text argument must be enclosed in quotes if it includes embedded whitespace or special characters. Thus
   action=textframe "line1
as well as
   action=textframe "line1\nline2\nline3"
are both allowed (and are equivalent).

Options for the textframe command

A text frame opened with the textframe command is a text frame in all respects, just like one defined in a frame definition file. However, only a subset of the text frame descriptors can be specified via options to this command. The options to the textframe command, and the text frame descriptors to which they correspond, are:

Option Descriptor
-t title title
-l lifetime lifetime
-f text framemsg
-r integer rows
-c integer columns
-p position begrow
-a altslks

The defaults and valid arguments for these options are the same as for the corresponding descriptors in the text frame, except:

These options can take arguments, and the arguments must be enclosed in quotes if they contain whitespace. For example:

   action=textframe -t "Frame Title" "line1\nline2\nline3"

Other notes on the behavior of these options and arguments:

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UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 27 April 2004