Description of GUISKEL

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From Kris Buelens, IBM Belgium
The purpose of GUISKEL is to make coding VM GUI Facility applications in REXX easier.

Version 2.0 Changes
More convenience routines in GUISKEL SAMPEXEC. An extra sample application: GUITICON
Version 2.1 Changes
REXX syntax corrections in GUISKEL SAMPEXEC. DTEPM and DTXED coding assistants.
Version 2.2 Changes
Small REXX syntax corrections in GUISKEL SAMPEXEC.
Many improvements to the DTEPM and DTXED coding assistants.
Version 2.3 Changes
Small improvements in GUISKEL SAMPEXEC; see GUISKEL documentation
Many improvements to the DTEPM and DTXED coding assistants.
Inlusion of the latest level of the WSA GUI Builder for OS/2.

Version 3 Changes
In version 3, the GUISKEL document has been extended a lot:
  • An Appendix, "Various DT Tricks", has been added where we explain a few new tricks we learned while creating the most recent CMS/GUI applications. You won't find these tricks in the CMS/GUI redbook.
  • At various places, extra information has been added to explain more of the DT basics. But, we don't want to replace the CMS/GUI redbook, that's the place to find the best explanations.
  • An index has been added to the document.

The changes to the GUISKEL EXEC are as follows

  • The HELP frame got a table of contents (as you can see in CPQUERY and PRFVIEW).
  • The exit routine has been streamlined
  • BaseDlgWire has been extended a tiny bit: you can pass keywords SWITCHLIST and CLUSTER to have the frame included in the switchlist and to assign a unique "ClusterValue" to the frame.
  • Defining OUTPUT fields with Create_screen() is easier as the default width becomes the length of the text to be shown in the field.

DTXED/DTEPM have new functions too.

GUISKEL functions

The GUISKEL package contains a three parts:

  • A REXX skeleton, and a SCRIPT file describing it. This REXX skeleton provides two things:
    • A framework to more easily exploit the code generated by the WSA GUI Builder (abbreviated to GB; GB is freeware, available from VM's download library on the WEB). With the skeleton, there is no need to integrate your wiring and logic in the code generated by GB.
      With Version 2, two sample execs are provided to extract information from GB's output. See GUISKEL SCRIPT for information.
    • Many convenience routines, shortening the REXX code and improving the readability of the code.
      With Version 2, a few new, very powerful, routines are provided. For example: a routine to save the frame locations in GLOBALV. See GUISKEL SCRIPT for more information.
  • Coding assists for EPM and XEDIT
    • The coding assist helps programmers to code REXX statements for a DT application. Popup menus are displayed from which the end-user can select DT Atributes, DT objects or some REXX model statements. This does not mean one no longer must know how DT works (e.g. what a DtValueConnect means), but, you can directly see what attributes a given DT Object has. For example when pointing with the cursor (XEDIT) or the mouse (EPM) on a word reading:
      popup menus allow you to select all attributes for Push Buttons. When selecting the ForeGroundHint attribute a new statement is inserted:
        + call ValueConnect       myPushButton DtAWindowForegroundHint , ...
      The new line is prefixed with a + sign, telling you have to complete it.
    • DTEPM helps EPM (OS2) users. Mouse clicks bring up the popup menus.
    • DTXED helps XEDIT users. You's assign a PF-key to DTXED and then pressing that PF-key starts the popup menus.
  • Some sample applications
    • The GUITICON REXX play tool is a new sample that uses the new routines of GUISKEL V2.0. It displays GIF/BMP files.
    • The MOVIE sample REXX application. This sample has been written by VM development, and uses two frames created with the help of GB.
    • The MOVIENEW sample REXX application. A new version of the MOVIE EXEC, it has been written using the GUISKEL skeleton. The new code is better (avoids the use of meaningless names, and hardcoded numbers), but much shorter (50% savings in keystrokes).

The GUISKEL skeleton and SCRIPT file can be considered as an add-on to the VM/ESA GUI redbook: SG24-2542-01 GUI Facility Developer's Guide Using REXX and C++ * In addition, an EPM and XEDIT REXX coding assitant is included: * generate DT attributes/objects with mouse/cursor selects.