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HELP NEWS.V14_1                                  John Williams, Jul 1993

For the most recent news, please see HELP * NEWS.


Dec 13 (John Gibson)
    --- A new active variable -pop_prolog_size- now enables the size of
        the Prolog trail/continuation area to be set explicitly.
        See REF *PROLOG. (There is also a corresponding Prolog predicate

Nov 5 (Jon Meyer & John Williams)
        The <ENTER> MAN command has been extended so that it is possible
        to access manual page files which aren't included in $MANPATH.
        See HELP * MAN.

Nov 4 (Adrian Howard)
        A non-upward compatible change has been made to shadowclass.
        The typespecs created by the shadowclass command were
        incorrect. For example, the declaration:

                shadowclass foo {a:int, b:int};

        would create a typespec "foo" that is the equivalent of

                p_typespec foo {a:int, b:int};

        This is incorrect since the shadowclass is NOT a "foo"
        structure, but a POINTER to a "foo" structure. This meant
        that the two declarations

                shadowclass foo {a:int, b:int};
                shadowclass foo_ptr {a_foo: foo};

        Produced identical structures (from the external point of
        view) with different access procedures.

        To overcome this shadowclass has been changed so that it
        does not assign typespecs by default. See the "Examples"
        section of REF *SHADOWCLASS for more details.

Oct 25 (Ian Rogers)
        --- LIB * NEWFORTRAN_DEC has been deleted. It was deemed too
        erroneous to have been used by anybody.

        See HELP * EXTERNAL/Fortran for details of the original.

Oct 18 (John Gibson)
    --- The efficiency of the procedure -delete- has been considerably
        improved, and the result list will now share the largest
        possible trailing sublist with the original list (rather than
        necessarily being a complete copy). In addition, -delete-,
        -ncdelete- and -fast_ncdelete- now all take the same arguments,
        i.e. as well as the item to delete and the list they allow
        optional arguments to specify (a) the equals-procedure to use
        when comparing items, and (b) the number of occurrences of the
        item to delete. See REF *LISTS.

    --- Fixed a bug which caused floating-point operations done
        inside user procedures run after a garbage collection (e.g.
        -pop_after_gc- or destroy actions) to corrupt the results of
        float operations that were already in progress outside the GC
        (that is, where the GC was caused by attempting to construct a

Oct 10 (John Williams)
    --- The ENTER HELPFOR command now searches the HELP files belonging
        to the current subsystem before searching the POP-11 HELP

Sept 14 (John Gibson)
    --- As from Version 14.07, all POPLOG strings are guaranteed to be
        null-terminated, i.e. to have a 0 byte following the last byte
        of the string. This means that strings can be passed directly
        to external C functions without modification.

Sept 9 (Adrian Howard)
    --- A recogniser for shadowclass  records, -isshadow-, added to  LIB

Sept 9 (Andreas Schoter)
    --- The variable -popliblist- has been changed to -popautolist-

Sept 6 (Jonathan Meyer)
    --- The DEF macro can now test for sectionised identifiers. eg.

            #_IF DEF $-foo$-baz

Sept 5 (Julian Clinton)
    --- The 'Poplog User Interface' for X Windows has been installed
        in C.all/x/ui. See REF *POP_UI. LIB *POPLOG_UI loads it.

Aug 30 (Adrian Howard)
        Added -shadow_=-  to LIB  *SHADOWKEY (see  REF *SHADOWCLASS)  to
        test for equality between  shadowclass records. Made  -shadow_=-
        the -class_=- procedure of shadowclass records.

Aug 23 (Robert Duncan)
    --- A new saved image -- startup.psv -- is now included in the main
        saved image directory, $popsavelib.

        This "startup" image is loaded automatically by all Poplog
        commands, including the base pop11 command. This is contrived by
        redefining all the command symbols to include the startup image
        in the initial argument list. For example, on Unix a new
        environment variable $pop_pop11 is defined, with value


        and on VMS, the pop11 symbol has been changed to have value


        The purpose of the startup image is to allow additional features
        to be included by default with all Poplog commands. The actual
        content of the image will vary from site to site, since it can
        be modified whenever a new Poplog system is built with *NEWPOP.

        Because the pop11 command now includes the restoration of a
        saved image, the Poplog executable binary has been renamed
        "basepop11" to avoid confusion, i.e. on Unix, the executable is


        and on VMS:


        The symbol table and map files have been renamed accordingly.

        You can execute the basepop11 command directly if you wish to
        avoid the startup saved image.

Aug 01 (Adrian Howard)
    --- The  procedures  -vednextpara-   and  -vedprevpara-  have   been
        improved     considerably.     The     associated     procedures
        -vednextparaend- and -vedprevparaend-, used  to find the end  of
        paragraphs, have also been added. See REF *VEDPROCS for details.

July 31 (Adrian Howard)
    --- The  procedures  -vednextsent-   and  -vedprevsent-  have   been
        improved     considerably.     The     associated     procedures
        -vednextsentend- and -vedprevsentend-, used  to find the end  of
        sentences, have also been added. See REF *VEDPROCS for details.

July 26 (Robert Duncan)
    --- The default file used for output from LMR (vedlmr_print_in_file)
        has been renamed 'output.p' for consistency across all language
        subsystems. For details of how to change the output destination
        see HELP * LMR.

        The 'output.p' file is now also used as the default for
        immediate mode compilation in place of 'interact.p'.

July 12 (Aaron Sloman)
    --- VED ENTER indexify, and ENTER g extended to allow an argument.
        So that different header formats are more easily coped with,
        and it is easier to produce an index of procedure definitions.

July 2 (Ian Rogers)
    --- Made significant speed improvements to the compilation of
        Flavours code (ie. rationalising the autoloading behaviour).

        An upshot of this is that it is no longer possible to to use
        macro constructs within either the superclass and metaclass part
        of a flavour header or within the ivars, divars and method name
        declaration headers.

        Although this change is not upwardly compatible, it should
        affect only few, if any, programs.

June 30 (Aaron Sloman)
    --- Documentation on vedhardtabs in REF * VEDVARS was wrong (behaviour
        when true and when false switched). Now fixed

    --- Bug in * VEDCUTBLOCK and related procedures described in
        HELP * VEDBLOCKS now fixed, by making -vedhardtabs- locally

June 29 (Aaron Sloman)
    --- Unix Only: minor bug in LIB VED_NET fixed, and documentation for
        Net News reading program improved. See HELP * VED_NET

June 25 (Adrian Howard)
    --- LIB *SLOWPROCS has been altered so that non-checkings procedures
        are found by  looking for  "fast_" and "fi_"  prefixes. See  REF

June 24 (Aaron Sloman)
    --- New utilities using the sys_timer facility described in
        REF * TIMES, as follows:

    --- New improved version of LIB * PROFILE, documented in

    --- Two new VED facilities, LIB * VED_CLOCK and LIB * VED_ALARM
        described in HELP * VED_CLOCK, * VED_ALARM (UNIX only)
        The former shows the time on VED's status line. The latter
        allows you to set one or more alarms, e.g. to remind you
        to do something.

June 22 (Aaron Sloman)
    --- HELP * EFFICIENCY updated with information about compile-time
    options provided in LIB * COMPILE_MODE and related files.

    --- LIB * VED_FOLLOWUP (Unix only), now fixed not to ignore line
    starting "Followup-To:". No longer takes note of "Approved:" lines.

June 22 (Jonathan Meyer)
    --- basic XVed documentation installed. See HELP *XVED

June 20 (Simon Nichols)
    --- A new library LIB * DEBUGGER has been added which defines a
    source-level debugger for POP-11. The debugger accepts commands in
    terms of the source files, line numbers and variable names of your
    program. It enables you to:

        -- set break points on source line numbers and procedures;

        -- single-step execution;

        -- examine and update all variables, including lexical ones;

    and much else besides. See HELP * DEBUGGER for details.

June 19 (Robert Duncan)
    --- A new *SUBSYSTEM procedure -subsystem_searchlist- returns the
    documentation or library search-lists appropriate to particular
    subsystems. See REF * subsystem_searchlist.

    --- The procedure -flatten_searchlist- has been modified just to
    ignore procedures in search-lists rather than mishap.
    See REF * flatten_searchlist.

June 14 (Aaron Sloman)
    LIB * VED_AUTOSAVE provides a mechanism making it possible to
    instruct VED to save all changed files every N minutes. For
    details see HELP * VED_AUTOSAVE

June 10 (Aaron Sloman)
    Minor changes to LIB DIREDPIPEIN, and LIB VEDPIPEIN to reduce
    spurious refreshing with ENTER dired -l
    See HELP * DIRED

June 7 (Robert Duncan)
    --- New library LIB * MKIMAGE added to simplify the making of saved
    images. See HELP * MKIMAGE for details. The library largely
    supersedes the existing LIB * MKSSIMAGE and LIB * MKVEDIMAGE.

June 5  Version 14.04

June 1 (Aaron Sloman)
    --- ENTER ls fixed to deal with the case where the last produced
        ls file is the only file left in VED.
    --- New VED library command ved_nextsame searches the current and
    "other" file for the next line that is the same in both. It is for
    use with ved_diff in comparing two files. See HELP * VED_NEXTSAME

    --- ved_diff (ENTER diff) has been revised so that when a difference
    is found the command 'nextsame' is now set on the status line,
    rather than 'nextdiff' See HELP * DIFF

May 31 Version 14.03

May 31 (John Gibson)
    --- (VMS Only) There is now a procedure -sys_symbol_value- for
    getting or setting DCL symbol values. See REF *sys_symbol_value.

May 30 (Jon Meyer)
    --- A "Vanilla" version of the XVed X based multi window Ved
        editor has been Installed. It is loaded using LIB *XVED.

May 30 (John Gibson)
    --- There is a new mechanism called `runtime actions'. This allows
    the execution of certain actions (procedures) to be delayed until
    runtime, where `runtime' is indicated by whether or not the POPLOG
    image/saved image being run was given the command-line argument
    %nort. See the sections `Runtime Actions' and `General System
    Startup' in REF *SYSTEM.

    --- The "=" form of -exload- now works via runtime actions (the
    main reason for which they were introduced). This is dealt with in
    detail in REF *EXTERNAL, but in summary the consequences of the
    change are

        (a) A saved image that uses identifiers initialised with "=" is
    only guaranteed to work properly under all circumstances if built in
    a system run with %nort;

        (b) The identifiers will not be assigned until runtime, and so
    their values cannot be accessed at compile-time when building a
    saved image in this way.

May 29 (Simon Nichols)
    --- You can now exit from any POPLOG language by typing


    to the prompt, or in VED, doing

        <ENTER> bye

    This is since the command "bye" has been added to Prolog and PML.

May 16 (Simon Nichols)
    --- Two new PWM libraries (courtesy of Reading University) added.

May  3 (Aaron Sloman)
    --- LIB * WINDOWS modified to use "include sigdefs" so that it is
        more portable.
    --- The TEACH PROLOG file caused confusion for Unix users by
    recommending typing CTRL-Z for end of file. This has been clarified.

May  1 (John Gibson)
    --- (VMS Only) The problem of POPLOG saved images not surviving new
    releases of VMS (and giving the mishap 'SYSTEM HAS CHANGED IN SIZE'
    etc) has now been considerably eased. This problem is due to VMS
    shareable images having different sizes in different releases of
    VMS, and, while it has not been eliminated altogether, several
    important improvements have been made:

    First, POPLOG will now only be affected by an EXPANSION in shareable
    image size (previously even a contraction could not be coped with).
    Second, the system now allows the user to control what percentage of
    the space occupied by shareable images should be left free for them
    to expand. This is done by giving the logical name
    "pop_shrim_margin" an integer percent value (defaulting to 10% if
    not set).

    In addition, when a saved image does fail to restore because the
    expansion margin allowed was insufficient, the system prints a more
    helpful mishap message

        INVOLVING: 'expansion margin allowed A%, needed N%'

    giving the percent A that was allowed when the saved image was
    built, and the percent N that was required.

    See the section `Note on VMS Saved Images' in REF *SYSTEM.

Apr 18 (Jon Meyer)
    --- Moved contents of LIB *SYSDEFS to INCLUDE *SYSDEFS.PH, and
    changed LIB *SYSDEFS to do 'loadinclude;' This lets
    programs do conditional compilation based on system configuration
    without having to make so many global constants. Also closer to how

Apr 17 (John Gibson)
    --- A new active variable -proglist_state- allows the complete state
    of -proglist- and all its associated variables to be saved or
    localised in a procedure. The procedure -proglist_new_state-
    generates a state to assign to -proglist_state-, given an input
    source (item list, character repeater or filename, etc) as argument.

    The basic motivation for these is that processing a list locally in
    -proglist-, e.g.

            dlocal proglist = LIST;

    is not guaranteed to work in all contexts, because it does not
    properly localise (or initialise) the other data associated with
    -proglist- (such as the stack of #_INCLUDEs or #_IFs, etc). The
    above can now be done correctly with

            dlocal proglist_state = proglist_new_state(LIST);

    See the section `Proglist State Variables' in REF *PROGLIST.

    --- An associated change is that -compile- now uses the above
    facilities. This means that in addition to the usual character
    repeater/filename values, it now it allows an item list as argument.
    As a consequence, the procedure -popval- is redundant.

Apr  5 (Jon Meyer)
    --- Made define_inline macros accept 0 arguments, and improved the
    way they read declarators. Added references to HELP *INLINE in
    REF *SYNTAX/define_inline and HELP *DEFINE_FORM.

Apr  3 (John Gibson)
    --- Regrettably, it has been found necessary to introduce the
    following (on some systems) non-upward-compatible change to the new
    external calling mechanisms introduced in Version 14:

    The result type "sfloat" for an external function now means exactly
    what it says, i.e. the function returns a single-float datum.

    This was not previously the case, because (like a "decimal"
    argument to the old -external_apply-), "sfloat" assumed a result as
    returned by a "float" function in C (which on some systems, e.g.
    Suns, actually returns a double).

    The C-style result is now catered for by the new type "float" (which
    in all contexts other than a function result is identical to
    "sfloat"). Thus to call a C "float" function with -exacc- (or
    declare it in -exload- etc), use :float as the result typespec; for
    any other language (e.g. a FORTRAN "real*4" function) use :sfloat.

    This change does not affect double-float function results; use
    :dfloat for these in all cases.


Mar 13 (John Williams)
    --- New procedure *vedlinerepeater added. Returns successive lines
    from the current VED buffer.

Mar 7 (Roger Evans)
    --- Core X toolkit documentation finally installed. See REF *X, REF
    *XTOOLKIT, REF *XT_LIBS, REF *XptDescriptor, REF *SHADOWCLASS, among

Mar 4 (Aaron Sloman)
    --- Altered vededitor so that on entry it does not try to force
    input to a VED window, and on exit it does not force the base window
    to open. The former can be achieved by including "ved" in the list
    vedusepwmwindows (which unfortunately can cause some odd side
    effects), the latter by including "ved_pop".

Feb 26 (Aaron Sloman)
    --- Revised entry for * issubitem in REF * STRINGS, and entries for
    * vedwordright, * vedwordleft, * vedmoveitem, * vedatitemstart,
    * vedatitemend, and * vedchartype, in REF * VEDPROCS.

    --- REF * VEDPROCS substantially reorganised

Feb 22 (John Williams)
    --- <ENTER> HELPFOR now uses the same wild-card syntax as <ENTER> ?.

Feb 6  (Aaron Sloman)
    --- Installed change to pwmtool procedure set_input_source() due to
    Anthony Worrall, to stop excessive motion of cursor under PWM.

Jan 14 (John Williams)
    --- Version number changed to 14.01

Jan 8 (David Young)
    --- Made LIB * SHOWARRAY's use of fast integer procedures more
    sensible and fixed a bug caused by the change of field specifiers.

Jan 7 (Aaron Sloman)
    --- Not documented for V14 (though in the system)
    Two new VED identifiers to facilitate user control, and provide more
    EMACS-like options:

        vedlastcommand (last procedure run)

        veduserdocommand(boolean, proc)
            The boolean is true if called from veddocommand, false if
            called from Ved_do_char action.

    The context in both cases is of the form:

        if isprocedure(veduserdocommand) then
            veduserdocommand(<boolean>, action)
        action -> vedlastcommand;

    I.e. if the user defines veduserdocommand then it MUST do the action
    if it is to be done. It doesn't return a result saying whether it has
    been done or not.

Jan 7 (John Gibson)
    --- A new procedure -sys_timer- implements multiple interval timers
    (in all systems, Unix and VMS). Timers can run in either real time
    or process-virtual time. See REF *sys_timer.

    *********** For earlier news please see HELP NEWS.V14 **************

--- C.all/help/news.v14_1
--- Copyright University of Sussex 1993. All rights reserved.