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HELP NEWS.V14_2                                  John Williams, Jul 1993

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


Oct 5th (Aaron Sloman)
    --- Two improvements to LIB * NEWPSYS:

        First, actions of the form [POP11 ....] can now include calls to
        two new procedures, -psys_eval- and -psys_eval_list-. These are
        described in HELP * NEWPSYS.

        Second, LIB NEWPSYS now recognises ^, ^^ and % in actions of
        the form [POP-11 ...]. Previously they were treated as ordinary
        words, rather than as a part of the Pop-11 syntax for inserting
        values into lists. Again, see HELP * NEWPSYS for details.

Aug 26 (John Williams)
    --- Improvement to LIB * FMATCHES: it is now possible to specify
        restriction procedures whose names are either local to the
        current section, or lexically scoped.

Aug 26 (Adrian Howard)
    --- The -ved_sourcefile- procedure fixed to stop it printing extra
        quote marks when -pop_pr_quotes- is true.

Aug 25 (Adrian Howard)
    --- Bug in LIB *NEWC_DEC which caused imported procedures to be
        placed on the stack fixed.

    --- Removed bug in -sprintf- which caused it to behave differently
        from -printf-

    --- LIB *SHOWTREE now works ok when -pop_pr_quotes- is -true-.

Aug 18 (John Williams)
    --- It is now possible to use the "Home" and "End" keys on an NCD X
        terminal running (ordinary) VED.  See HELP * VEDXTERM (the
        section entitled 'Special notes for NCD X terminal users') and

Jul 25 (John Gibson)
    --- The "startup" saved image (included in the standard language
        commands "pop11",  "prolog", "clisp",  etc) now has the POPLOG
        User Interface (PUI) loaded by default. If you don't wish it to
        be invoked when -sysxsetup- is called (e.g. by pop11 %x), you
        can assign false to the variable -poplog_ui_enabled- (e.g. in
        your init.p, etc).

    --- The "startup" saved image now also has XVed loaded with its
        Openlook or Motif interface parts by default. To enable it to be
        run in vanilla mode (i.e no scrollbars, menus, dialogs etc), the
        application resource "Vanilla" can be set true (in your
        .Xdefaults, or in your -vedinit- procedure, etc). See REF *XVED.

Jul 3  (John Williams)
    --- Version 14.2.
        HELP * NEWS split into this file (for V14.1 and V14.2 news), and
        HELP * NEWS.V14.

Jun 30 (John Williams)
    --- LIB * FORMAT_PRINT bug fixes: the ~E, ~F, ~G, and ~$ directives
        no longer go into infinite recursion if a line-break occurs
        within the printed representation of a number. Also, the ~D, ~B,
        ~O, and ~X directives now work properly if called from the
        procedure -format_string- (they used to print their argument in
        reverse if the colon modifier was specified).

Jun 12 (Adrian Howard)
    --- New destroy property added -sys_process_destroy_action- which is
        cleared in the child process after a -sysfork-. This enables
        destroy actions to be process specific. See *SYSFORK and
        *SYS_PROCESS_DESTROY_ACTION for more details.

    --- New procedure -clear_prop_entries- added. It is functionally the
        same as  -clearproperty- with the  addition of clearing  the
        contents of the individual  "property entry" data structures  in
        the property. This is only relevant if you use
        -fast_get_prop_entry-  to access the internal structure of a

Jun  2 (Julian Clinton)
    --- Various enhancements and bug fixes to the Poplog X User

        -- Motif versions of the Help and Library tools and file
           selector now resize their scrolling lists appropriately when
           the tools are resized
        -- OPEN LOOK dialogs can be re-parented
        -- exit procedures from Poplog via the control panel are now
           deferred rather than run within the callback (which caused
           problems under VMS when restarting Poplog)
        -- HELP *POPLOG_UI added to the main help directory
        -- an XVed library compatible with PWM *SUNKEYS_SUNVIEW bindings
           added. See REF *XVED for more information.

Jun  1 (Robert Duncan)
    --- (Unix only) The behaviour of -sys_io_control- when applied to
        terminal devices has been changed. Previously, -sys_io_control-
        would recognise terminal -ioctl- requests specially and
        interpret them relative to the Poplog device parameters, rather
        than doing the -ioctl- system call. Now, -sys_io_control- always
        performs the requested -ioctl- call and returns <true> or
        <false> to indicate its success or failure. To keep the Poplog
        device parameters in step with the terminal settings, the
        terminal state is first set from the stored device parameters
        before the -ioctl- call is made, and then the device parameters
        are updated from the terminal state after the call has returned.

        This new behaviour makes it unnecessary to flush the device
        parameters out to the terminal by making an additional call to
        -sys_io_control- with a null last argument: the effect of any
        such existing calls will now be system-dependent, but typically
        they will return <false> and leave the terminal state unchanged.

        See REF * sys_io_control.

Apr 27 (David Hogg/David Young/John Williams)
    --- New library LIB * ARRAYFILE added, for storing arrays of
        integers or floats on disk in a compact form.
        See HELP * ARRAYFILE.

Apr 25 (John Gibson)
    --- -sys_timer- now takes an additional flag to allow a timer to
        repeat automatically. See REF *sys_timer.

Apr 23 (John Williams)
    --- New variable -poparg1- added. See REF * poparg1.

Apr 21 (John Gibson)
    --- VED search and substitute strings can now contain all backslash
        sequences recognised in Pop-11 strings (see REF *ITEMISE). E.g.

            <ENTER> gs/\St/ /

        would substitute all 'trailing space' characters in a file with
        ordinary spaces.

        You can use character attribute specifications in the substitute
        string (but note that in the search string they are ignored,
        i.e. you can't make the search dependent on attributes). E.g.

            <ENTER> s"foo"\{b}baz"

        would substitute occurences of word "foo" with "baz" in bold.

        "@&" in the substitute string is treated as a single character,
        and is replaced by the matched string with any attributes that
        currently has, plus any new ones specified on the @&
        'character' itself. E.g.

            <ENTER> s"foo"\[b]@&"

        would add bold to occurences of "foo". To enable the matched
        string to be got without its current attributes, "@%" has
        also been introduced. Thus

            <ENTER> s"foo"\[b]@%"

        replaces any existing attributes with bold.

Apr 18 (Aaron Sloman)
    --- VED's family of global search and replace commands has been
        extended with another "silent" one, i.e. LIB * VED_SGSR. It
        does not report progress on the status line. See REF * ved_sgsr
        and compare * ved_sgs and * ved_gsr.

Apr 14 (John Gibson)
    --- The variable -popmemlim- can now have <false> assigned it; this
        is the same as assigning the largest simple integer.

Apr 9  (John Williams)
    --- New procedure * vedclosebrackets added.

Apr 6  (John Williams)
    --- New procedure -sys_parse_poparglist- added, for parsing
        Unix-style command line arguments to POPLOG. See REF * SYSTEM.

Mar 21 (John Gibson)
    --- (Sun-4/SPARC POPLOG Only). A serious bug has been fixed in the
        run-time code generator for Sun-4 POPLOG. For procedures over a
        certain size, it caused incorrect code to be planted for a
        -sysGO_ON- instruction (e.g. as generated by a Pop-11 -go_on-
        statement). This was liable to affect procedures with two or
        more dlocal expressions (e.g. two or more dlocal active
        variables), as the internal code generated for this makes use
        of -sysGO_ON-.

Mar 19 (John Williams)
    --- Two new autoloadable procedures installed: -libwarning- and
        -syslibwarning-, for printing standard "LOADING LIB" messages.
        See REF * LIBRARY.

Mar 16 (Simon Nichols)
    --- The autoloadable procedure *DISCAPPEND has been made much more
        efficient on UNIX. The improvement is particularly noticeable
        with very large files.

Mar 12 (Robert Duncan)
    --- Improvements to the pretty-printer:

         -- it now runs considerably faster on large structures,
         -- takes account of -pop_pr_level- for controlling maximum
            printing depth (so can be used on circular structures)
         -- and no longer produces spurious blank lines when printing to

        The pretty-printer can be invoked as procedure -pretty- or by
        using the pretty-print arrow ==>: see HELP * SYSPRARROW.

Mar 9 (John Gibson)
    Version 14.11 has a number of enhancements to the VED editor, as

    --- VED is now able to represent a set of mutually-independent
        display attributes for each character in the buffer. These are

                Bold font
                Alternative font (intended for italic)
                Blink (i.e. flashing)
                Colour number, 0 - 7

         The command

                ENTER chat

        (CHange ATtributes) is provided to set and change attributes;
        this operates on either the current character, word, line or
        marked range. See 'Changing Character Attributes' in
        REF *VEDCOMMS.

        Note that the representation of character attributes in files
        (see below) means that they CANNOT be used on actual program
        text, although they can be used inside program comments.

        The way in which attributes will display on the screen is
        (needless to say) terminal-dependent. This is controlled for a
        particular screen by the (variable) active variable
        -vedscreencharmode-, which has standard settings for XVed,
        VT100-compatible terminals (including xterm), and VT52-type

        (If in doubt as to the set of attributes on a particular
        character, the command ENTER cc can be used to display them
        symbolically -- see REF *ved_cc.)

        When written to a file, character attributes are encoded by
        inserting extra non-printing control characters. This means that
        files will print in a sensible way, but the only attributes that
        will show up are underline and alternative font (both of which
        print as underlining). See 'File Management' in REF *VEDPROCS
        for more details.

    --- To enable VED to represent attributes in buffer strings, integer
        character  values have been  extended to  24 bits, and a new
        datatype has been introduced to allow display characters (i.e.
        characters-with-attributes) to be stored and retrieved -- this
        is the 'dstring' (Display string). See the sections 'Overview'
        and 'Display Strings' in REF *STRINGS.

        The procedures -vedcurrentchar- and -vedrepeater- behave as
        before in that they still return only the character-code
        parts of buffer characters. There are now alternate procedures
        -vedcurrentdchar- and -veddrepeater- for dealing with
        display characters.

    --- The old mechanism for representing graphics characters in VED
        has been superseded. Rather than treating any 8-bit character
        code as a graphics character, VED now defines a standard set of
        8-bit codes (in the range 16:81 - 16:92) to represent the
        line-drawing characters plus a few other useful ones. See
        'VED Standard Graphics Characters' in REF *VEDPROCS.

        These standard codes are converted appropriately when output to
        the screen by the terminal-dependent procedure
        -vedscreengraphtrans-. Each character has an ordinary character
        defined as its default substitute when displayed on a screen
        which does not support graphics characters.

        Like character attributes, graphics characters are converted to
        sequences containing non-printing control characters when
        written to a file. This causes them to print as their default
        substitute characters.

        Because the codes are standardised, it is no longer necessary to
        have a set of variables containing the code for each character
        (as was the case with the old -graphcharsetup-). The new
        standard codes can instead be notated as 'backslash' sequences
        in Pop-11 character constants and strings (see 'Backslash in
        Strings & Character Constants' in REF *ITEMISE). In addition,
        the VED command

            ENTER ic

        can be used to insert graphics characters directly into a VED
        buffer (see REF *ved_ic).

        A further benefit of this scheme over the old one is that it
        frees up the character-code range 16:A0 - 16:FF, allowing use of
        the 8-bit ISO Latin 1 character set. There is now direct support
        for this in the procedures -isuppercode-, -islowercode-,
        -uppertolower-, etc which will all recognise alphabetic
        characters from Latin 1 when the variable -pop_character_set-
        has the value (ASCII character) `1`. (See 'Character Sets' in
        REF *STRINGS.)

        This variable is also what stops the interpretation of the
        old-style graphics characters by VED, which can now only happen
        when -pop_character_set- is false. However, its default value is
        `1`, which means that two (now redundant) facilities are obliged
        to set it false if they are used, namely

            o   The old lib graphcharsetup.

            o   The old 'vedset graphic ...' form. This is no longer
                necessary in the sense that the variables (such as
                -vedscreencontrolmark-) set by it now have
                terminal-independent standard graphics codes as their
                default values.

                However, since these variables can (and do) now contain
                characters-with-attributes, a new form, 'vedset
                chars ...' has been introduced instead, to allow users
                to tailor them if desired.

                See HELP *VEDSET. The complete set of variables that can
                be set with vedset chars ... is described in 'Special
                Character Variables' in REF *VEDVARS.

        (Note that nothing in the standard POPLOG system now uses either
        -graphcharsetup- or vedset graphic ....)

    --- VED is now able to cope properly with files containing trailing
        spaces at the end of lines. If -vedreadintrailspaces- is true,
        then when read in, an end-of-line space is substituted with a
        'trailing space' character. Such a character can also be
        inserted manually into a buffer with ENTER ic, and when written
        to a file is translated back to an ordinary space. See 'VED
        Special Space Characters' in REF *VEDPROCS.

        In addition, VED no longer strips trailing tabs from lines when
        writing a file. (However, ENTER tabify can now take a '-strip'
        argument to say strip trailing tabs/spaces from each line.)

    --- Two new procedures, -vedfile_line_repeater- and
        -vedfile_line_consumer-, have been introduced to allow flexible
        processing of VED-format files.

        These also use the new variables -vedreadinplain- and
        -vedwriteoutplain- respectively, which control their default
        actions in respect of the control characters used to represent
        attributes in files, etc.

        See REF *VEDPROCS.

    --- The introduction of VED character attributes and graphics
        characters has one unfortunate side-effect: it will represent a
        problem for users who wish to use editors other than VED to
        examine POPLOG files.

        As mentioned above, when written to a file, VED translates both
        attributes and graphics characters to sequences containing
        non-printing control characters. However, when read into another
        editor, these extra control characters will not only not receive
        their VED interpretation, they will be explicitly displayed.
        Thus files containing these will come out looking rather

        (As of this moment, there is no use of either attributes or
        graphics characters in any POPLOG files, but this situation will
        soon change: documentation (and probably comments in program
        files) will gradually begin to make use of them.)

        To allow some way for other editors to access sensible (if
        impoverished) versions of files, a library program
        -stripvedfile- is therefore provided; this can be run as
        shell/DCL command

            pop11 stripvedfile [ -o <outfile> ] <file>

        etc. It reads a VED file <file> and outputs it as plain text
        (with all extra control characters removed) to the standard
        output (or <outfile> if -o supplied). See SHOWLIB *STRIPVEDFILE.

        NOTE that, in an X environment, it is perfectly possible to run
        XVed in tandem with another editor. Thus even if you don't wish
        to use XVed for your general editing, you still have the option
        of using it for the more limited purpose of viewing POPLOG
        documentation, etc.

    --- The variable -vedstatusheader- is no longer used by VED. This
        string was formerly  used as the start  of the status  line
        (including space for the line number of the current file). VED
        now creates the status line display directly from the variables
        -vedscreenstatus_-_mark- et al  (see 'Special Character
        Variables' in REF *VEDVARS).

        However,  -vedstatusheader- remains  as an  autoloadable file
        which creates a  string of  the appropriate  length, providing
        upward compatibility for programs that use


        to get the length (which is always 9).

Feb 27 (John Williams)
    --- The procedure -vedgetsysfile- (normally assigned to the VED
        key sequence esc-h) now ignores hyphens around an identifier
        (e.g. -hd-)

Feb 21 (Simon Nichols)
    --- Fixes and improvements to LIB *DEBUGGER (the Pop11 source-level

        A bug has been fixed which caused problems when a saved image
        containing the debugger was made with -sys_lock_system-.

        The "skip" and "next" commands now work correctly in all

        A "quit" command has been added, which quits the debugger
        command loop, returning to either a previous invocation of the
        debugger or to the Pop11 top level. This works even if the
        debugger was invoked via the syntax work -debugger- (i.e., you
        are no longer forced to supply a matching -enddebugger-).

        The new "inspect" command invokes the Pop11 structure browser on
        the value of a given variable (see HELP *INSPECT).

        The "print" command now takes multiple arguments.

        When a breakpoint is encountered, the debugger now prints
        location information (file name and line number).

        Finally, the "where" command has been made more informative when
        used outside of VED.

Feb 13 (John Williams)
    --- REF * DOCUMENTATION added. This describes the procedures and
        variables used to implement POPLOG's online documentation

Feb 06 (John Williams)
    --- New REF files added:
            REF * ENVIRONMENT_VARIABLES (Unix only)
            REF * LOGICAL_NAMES (VMS only)

Feb 06 (Adrian Howard)
    --- LIB *MAKE_INDEXES added --- a facility for automatically producing
        indexes for a Poplog directory tree. See HELP *MAKE_INDEXES

Jan 22 (John Williams)
    --- UNIX ONLY
        New procedure -sys_dir_size- added (like Shell 'du'). See
        REF * sys_dir_size


Dec 28 (John Gibson)
    --- The XpwScrollText widget used for XVed windows now automatically
        handles drawing of the graphics characters used by VED and LIB
        *SHOWTREE. This means you can use any fixed-width font for XVed,
        regardless of whether it supports graphics characters or not.

Dec 5  (John Williams)
        New VED command <ENTER> SHOWLIBS added. See HELP * SHOWLIBS.

Dec 3  (John Williams)
        LIB * COPYDATA now copies arrays, as well as records and

Nov 28 (John Williams)
        LIB * MKREFINDEX has been modified so that it is possible to
        re-define the procedure used to process each REF file. This
        facility may later be used to provide an indexing program for
        POP-11 source files. See HELP * MKREFINDEX.

    *********** For earlier news please see HELP NEWS.V14_1 ************

--- C.all/help/news.v14_2
--- Copyright University of Sussex 1993. All rights reserved.