Help Documentation for Configuration of SDDAS Software.

written by Mark Watson

current maintainer - Joey Mukherjee -

Last modified January 29, 1997

Table of contents

  1. Main Window
  2. Set values for SDDAS environment variables
  3. Configure paths...
  4. Get help about...
  5. Automatically update...
  6. Check the versions...
  7. Reset all the...
  8. Restore an old copy...
  9. Exit...
[sdconfig screen shot]

Main Window

The window you see titled "Configure environment variables" is the main window and this is what is referred to whenever the "main window" is referenced in this documenation. The buttons in this window and the pop-up windows it generates are color coded according to their functions. In general, buttons with blue writing do good things, buttons with red writing do bad things, buttons with black writing aren't really good or bad, and buttons with purple writing call up help documentation.

From the main window, it is possible to do several things dealing with the configuration of environment variables and resource files that are referenced by SDDAS software. Below is a list of each of the available functions and an explanation of how each of them works.

Set values for SDDAS environment variables:

In the main window you should see several names of environmental variables as well as their current setting. For each variable, there should also be a button to the right of the variable's name and setting labeled "Configure < variable name >..." If the variable's setting is highlighted in red, it means that there is currently no environment variable with that name defined in the shell this software was launched from. If the variable is actually set to something in the current shell, its setting should be written in black. You can press the "Configure < variable name >..." button next to the corresponding variable to change that variable's setting or give it a new setting if it was not set before. Once you press the configure button for a variable, a new window will pop up titled "Configure Variable: < variable name >." Directly underneath the title bar of the window you will see the variable's name and its current setting. There will also be a darkened box containing a brief description of what the setting of the variable actually means to the SDDAS software. Below the description of the variable is a one-line entry box where you can type in the new value for the variable. Below the entry box are four buttons. Click on apply to make the value you just entered into the entry box become the current setting for the variable. Click on reset to reset the value in the entry box to what it was before you modified it. (Using the reset button does not reset the current setting of the variable - it just resets the value in the entry box.) Click on cancel to cancel the configuration process and make the window disappear. No settings will be changed if you use the cancel button. You can use the validate value button at the bottom to check if the value you entered is a recognizable value for the local system. To use this button, first enter a value into the entry box if there isn't already one there. Then click on "Validate value." The results of the validation process will be reported at the bottom of the window in the validation status box. If the value you entered could not be validated as a proper directory or user name on the local system, you may want to check the value yourself to make sure you have not spelled anything wrong. Be forewarned, though, that the validation process is not entirely fool proof and may occasionally give bad results.
	Press return in the entry box to automatically apply the value (this
		has exactly the same effect as clicking the apply button).
	Press escape in the entry box to cancel the operation (this is
		synonomous with clicking on cancel).
A specialized function is invoked when a new value is set for SDDAS_HOME. Because this variable is the basis for several of the other environmental variables used by the SDDAS system, when the Apply button is clicked when configuring SDDAS_HOME, a new window will pop up. If you would like to have other related variables change according to the new setting for SDDAS_HOME (which is usually the case), simply click on the checkbutton for each variable you would like changed. Once that is done, click on the button labeled "Update selected variables." Sdconfig will then modify the variables you selected to have the values listed in the "New value" column in the window. If you want only SDDAS_HOME to be modified, click on the button labeled "Update only SDDAS_HOME." If you decided that you suddenly don't want anything modified at all (not even SDDAS_HOME), click on the cancel button to bail out of the entire process.

Configure paths to file viewers for SDDAS to use

Click on the "Configure viewers..." button to begin the configuration process. A window will pop up asking which type of file viewer you would like to configure. If all the file viewer settings come up as "Not set" you may want to check to see that your SDDAS_CONFIG variable is set correctly. These values are taken from a viewers.config file in the SDDAS_CONFIG directory, so if this variable is not set correctly, the configuration logic will not be able to get any settings. If you find this to be the case, click "Configure SDDAS_CONFIG" in the main window and set the variable to the appropriate setting. Then, click "Rescan config. file" in the configure viewers window to use the new SDDAS_CONFIG setting to try to read the file. If this doesn't work, your system may not have a viewers.config file at all. In this case, sdconfig will generate one for you from scratch.

To configure the paths for the individual file viewers, click on the button for the viewer you would like to configure. A new window will then pop up. Inside this window will be a brief description of what the path you are about to enter will actually mean to the SDDAS software. There will also be a sunken frame in which you can type the new command-line for the file viewer or modify the old one. When you are done typing in the value, click on Apply to cause this to be the new setting. When you click Apply, the new window will be destroyed and the information in the Configure Viewers window will be modified to reflect your changes. You can also click Cancel in the window to abort the operation (no settings will be changed) or Reset to reset the value to whatever it was before you tried to make modifications in this window. It is usually a good idea to use the "Try it out" button liberally when modifying these command lines. When you click this button, sdconfig will attempt to execute the path you entered and will then report its results to you. Keep in mind that sdconfig won't actually run any program, it just checks the permissions on necessary files and directories to see if the command line could actually be run. If the command line was not executable, sdconfig tries to figure out what went wrong. It does this by taking the filename from the path and then running this through a "which" command to attempt to generate a valid path for the filename. This feature can be especially useful if you know what program you want to use, but you don't know the entire path to get to the program. If this is the case, you could just type in the name of the program and then click "Try it out" to let sdconfig figure out the path for you. As long as the path to the program is in your personal PATH environment variable, and you spelled the name of the program correctly, sdconfig should be able to generate a path for you.

	Press return in the entry box to automatically apply this value (this
		is the same as clicking the apply button).
	Press escape in the entry box to cancel the operation (same as 
		clicking the cancel button).
After you have finished making all the necessary modifications to your file viewer paths, there are several things you can do from the Configure viewers window. If you are satisfied with the modifications you made, you can have them automatically written to your viewers.config file by clicking on the "Update config. file" button. This is a very painless operation - just click on the button and the magic is done. If you decide that you liked the old settings better, you can click on "Reset values" to reset the file viewer paths to what they were when sdconfig was first launched. If you do this, none of the other environment variables or config. files will be touched. You can also click on "Rescan config. file" to read the values out of the viewers.config file all over again. When you are done making all your modifications, click Done to destroy this window and update the file viewer settings in the main window.

Get help about how to use this configuration window

Click on the "HELP!!!" button to get on-line documentation for how to use the functions of this configuration window. If clicking on the help button gives you a window with an error message, try adding the path <SDDAS_HOME>/help (substitute in your actual setting for SDDAS_HOME here) to your HELPPATH variable setting. If you already have one or more directories in your HELPPATH, just add a colon and the new value to the end of the list when you change the setting. If you did this correctly, when you try to validate the value, the status line should say that all the directories are valid.

Automatically update your SDDAS resource file

Click on the "Update Resource File..." button to begin the procedure for updating your resource file. This process is very safe. If something goes wrong, you have the option to cancel the entire operation right up until the time the revised version of the resource file is written to disk. This procedure will also automatically make backup copies of your resource file before each revision. After you click on the "Update Resource File..." button, a new window will pop up titled "Update Resource File." This window shows what the current path to the resource file is and gives you a chance to modify the path and filename of the resource file if necessary. After you have made any necessary corrections to the path, click on "Update" to continue the process or "Cancel" to abort the entire operation (you can also press escape instead of clicking cancel or press return instead of clicking update). After you click the update button, the process will pause for a second while your old resource file is found, revised, and copied into a temporary file. If the program could not find the resource file you specified, it will say so by opening a window stating that it could not access the file. From this window, you will be given the option of either creating the file from scratch or cancelling the operation. If you choose to create the file from scratch, the process will continue smoothly unless it was unable to gain write access for the file and path you specified. If this problem occurs, another window will pop up stating that permission to create the file was denied by the operating system. At this point, there is no alternative but to cancel the operation. You can then change the permissions on the directory and try again or just try a whole different directory and filename. Assuming the program was able to create the file (or open it if it already existed), a large window should pop up. Inside this window is a text box that shows the new, revised file the auto-updating process created. Your old resource file has not yet been overwritten - this new updated file resides in a temporary location. You are now free to look through the new file and make any modifications you see necessary. After you are satisfied with the changes, click the confirm button. This will cause your old resource file to be saved with a .old extension on its filename, and the new updated file you see in the text box will be copied into the resource file. If you decide you don't want your resource file to be updated after all, click on cancel to make the window disappear.

Check the versions of SDDAS software currently installed on the system

Click on the "Check software versions..." button to begin the version checking procedure. The program will automatically search your computer system for all SDDAS software and query each of the installed applications for their current version. Some of the software does not yet support the version checking feature and thus will not be listed in the results. If the version checking procedure does not list any files in its results, it is probably because your SDDAS_HOME environment variable is set incorrectly. This procedure assumes that all the SDDAS software is installed in < SDDAS_HOME >/bin, which < SDDAS_HOME > is the value of your SDDAS_HOME environment variable. To fix the problem, click on "Configure SDDAS_HOME..." in the main window, modify the value (and click Apply to make it the new setting), and then click "Rescan system" in the Check versions window. Sdconfig will then go through the version-checking process all over again and should find some version information. Click the "Done" button when you are done looking at the report from the version-checking procedure.

Reset all the environment variables to their settings at start-up:

When the configuration window was first launched, it took careful notes about what all the environment variables were set to and carefully packed the notes away. If you find that you don't like the changes you have made to the environment variables through the main window, you can click on the "Reset values..." button to reset them all to the settings they had when you first launched the the main window. This will not effect any resource files you may have updated. If you click this button, a small new window will be opened explaining what will happen if you confirm the operation. Click the "Confirm" button to go ahead with the operation, or click the "Cancel" button to cancel the operation. If you click confirm, you should see all the settings for the variables you modified return to their original state on the main window. The paths for the file viewers will also be reset in this process.

Restore an old copy of a resource file that was modified by the "Update Resource File..." function

To begin the restoration process, click on the "Restore old resource file..." button in the main window. You will then be asked to confirm the path and filename of the resource file whose backup copy you want restored. In other words, if you used the auto-update feature to update your resource file named .sddasrc and you want to get the old version of this file back again, you would use .sddasrc as the file name to restore. This procedure will only restore the backup file from the last revision of the resource file. Here is how this works: Each time you use the "Update resource file..." function to update your resource file, a backup copy is made of the file before the revised version is written to disk. If another revision is made to the resource file, another backup file is made that overwrites the last backup file. Because of this, only the last backup file is kept on disk. When you confirm the path and filename of the resource file whose backup file is to be restored, all that happens is that the current copy of the resource file and the backup copy are switched. If you do not want this to happen, click the "Cancel" button when you are asked to confirm the path and filename to the resource file.

Exit the main window

Click on the "Exit" button to destroy the main window and go back to whatever you were doing before. No checking is done to see if you have "saved" your work by updating configuration files, so use this button with caution.