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What's Up, DOCumentation? 1997 # 6


December 1997


To: Users of Robelle Software

Re: News of the HP 3000 and of HP-UX, 1997 #6

What You Will Find in This News Memo:

Shipping Qedit for Windows!

Robelle is pleased to announce the official release of Qedit for Windows. Shipping began October 15, 1997 for Robelle’s newest software product. We would like to extend a warm thank you to everyone who assisted with the alpha and beta releases.

What Qedit for Windows Can Do for You

Qedit for Windows adds a friendly face to the classic Qedit, providing you with familiar MS Windows-style editing features. If you have ever used MS Windows Notepad, then you already know how to use the basic functions of Qedit for Windows.

With Qedit for Windows you can edit files from a variety of computers: MPE/iX, HP 3000, HP-UX, local PC, or PC network. Qedit for Windows gives you simultaneous access to multiple files from any of these platforms. You can cut and paste between documents, and even print on local and host printers.

You get instant access to your host files with a minimum of network or modem traffic. Qedit for Windows has a true client/server architecture, using standard TCP/IP protocol and intelligent caching as the cornerstone of its access speed and data integrity.

Platform Requirements

You don’t need to license any expensive add-ons to your PCs or hosts because Qedit for Windows uses standard TCP/IP protocol to communicate with the Qedit server. If you only need to edit files without accessing the MPE or HP-UX command prompt, you don’t need a terminal emulator at all. Just use Qedit for Windows to edit existing files or create new ones.

If you need to compile or run programs on a host, you can use Qedit to make your source changes. Then you can switch (ALT+TAB) to your favorite terminal emulator to enter host commands.

Qedit for Windows Is Secure

Qedit for Windows follows the access rights established by the system manager. You don’t have to worry about your users getting unauthorized access to files on a host system. Qedit’s full login security (user name and password), which is compatible with the popular Vesoft Security package, ensures that users only edit the files you want them to edit.

The Best of Both Worlds

If you upgrade your host-based Qedit to allow connections to Qedit for Windows, you will continue to have your regular host-based Qedit plus all the additional functionality of the true client/server Qedit for Windows. Simply put: you get the best of both worlds.

Introductory Discounts Expire Soon

If you haven’t ordered your free trial copy of Qedit for Windows, act now to take advantage of Robelle’s generous introductory discounts.

[Marie Reimer]

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Suprtool Training Schedule

Here is Suprtool’s new schedule of in-house courses for Suprtool in 1998:

For more information about the schedule or to arrange a private session at your site, call Mike Shumko at

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Robelle’s Ho! Ho! Holiday Hours

Robelle will be closed December 25 (Thursday), December 26 (Friday), and January 1 (Thursday). On these days pager support will still be available for emergencies; just call 1-888-ROBELLE and press 0 to get an operator.

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Hot Tips--Using Qedit for Windows

Learning to use a new piece of software can be very time-consuming. Qedit for Windows, however, is easy to learn because its interface uses standard Windows conventions and borrows some other conventions from popular packages. Many features will already be familiar to you, but Qedit for Windows does have some unique features. To save you the trouble of digging through the manual to discover these unique features, here are a few tips from our Techies.

Browsing Through Your File System

To browse through the entire host file system,

Opening Many Files at Once

To open more than one file at once,

Keeping a List of Favorite Files

For easy access to favorite files, you can create a handy file with a list of your favorite filenames on either a local or host machine. On the host computer, you can create a file called Faves in your home directory and add in the names of files that you use most often. To open a file from this list, open the Faves file, then highlight the filename that you wish to open and press CTRL+D.

You can also create a local file containing names of frequently accessed files. Let’s call it Favorite.txt. To automatically open this file when you start Qedit, define your Windows shortcut as follows:

    C:\Robelle\Qedit\QWIN32.EXE favorite.txt

To open one of the favorite files, select the Favorite.txt document, find the filename, highlight it and copy it to the clipboard. Then select File, click Open, and paste the filename into the dialog box.

Splitting a Window

To quickly split a document window in half, double-click on the split box. To quickly remove a split bar, double-click on it.

Working with Bookmarks

You can have up to ten (10) bookmarks on your bookmark stack in LIFO (Last In, First Out) order. A bookmark can also be a selection. Create a bookmark by pressing F11. To move to the last bookmark, press F12; this action also removes the selected bookmark from the stack.

Adding More Security to Qedit for Windows

Qedit is just as secure as your login session to the host. You can have more security if you select the Prompt For Password setting when creating a connection. For even more security, try using a screen saver with password protection. Remember not to write the passwords on a note and stick it on your screen. :-)

Editing Unprintables (#@$^%!!!!!)

Okay, not those kinds of unprintable characters, but the non-printing types whose ASCII values are 0 to 31, 127, and so on.

Although you cannot type non-printing characters into Qedit for Windows, you can certainly paste existing non-printables from another document. You can use server Qedit to create a reference file of all the non-printables that you need. You can also download the file from our Web site:

One way to format the reference file is to put a non-printing character on each line followed by its ASCII value and a comment. Non-printables generally appear as a square box. For example,

    Ž	7 (bell)
    Ž	27 (esc)

You can also add a few lines that contain definitions of common escape sequences, such as those for turning inverse video off and on.

To get a non-printing character into a document, first open the reference file. Select the square box that is actually the non-printing character you need, copy it, then paste it into your document.

To create the reference file, you have to log on to your host server and do the following:

    /new unprints, data
     ~ 7 (bell)
     ~ 27 (escape)
     ~&dB  (Turn Inverse Video On)
    //  << The // stops the adding of lines >>
    /set decimal on
    /changeq "~" ‘7 1
    /changeq "~" ‘27 2

NOTE: You cannot use this method to insert a TAB character (ASCII value of 9) because Qedit for Windows defines a TAB as a special character.

You can also get a copy by downloading the unprints file directly from us.

If you are running Reflection from WRQ on your PC, you can see the ASCII definitions of the non-printing characters by setting your document’s font to r_ansi. To do this, select Edit, click File options, and then select the r_ansi font.

Qedit for Windows--How Many Connections?

If you only have a two-use license of Qedit, you are allowed only two connections at a time. In other words, each connection counts as one of your two possible uses.

With the ability to open up to ten (10) files per connection, a two-use license may be adequate for some people. One member of our MIS department, however, generally has three or four connections open at once because he often works on more than one project at a time. He also likes to define a different connection for each group in which he works. For example, he has defined a connection for Source, Cmd, Pub, and so on. So far, he has defined twenty-five different connections! Of course, they’re not open all at once.

Editing Web Pages

Here are some quick tips for working with HTML:

Rinse and repeat as necessary. :-)

[Technical Support]

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Earthquake? Monsoon? Fire? DISASTER!

Are you putting together or re-evaluating your disaster recovery procedures? Why not include the file Disaster.Pub.Robelle into your Disaster Recovery Plan? It provides all the details of how to get Robelle software up and running in the event of a disaster.

Testing, Testing, Y2K

If you are using SETDATE, Time Machine, or HourGlass to help you with your Year 2000 MPE testing, read on.

Three new software products to test application programs for Year 2000 compatibility were introduced for the HP 3000 this year. These software tools allow you to set the date locally, for a program or a session, without changing the system date or rebooting the system.

The three products are HourGlass 2000 from Allegro Consultants, Time Machine from SolutionSoft Systems, and SETDATE from Hewlett-Packard.

Robelle products apply very tight integrity checking that verifies, among other things, whether the system date is correct. Our products ran well with HourGlass 2000, but would not run with SETDATE or Time Machine.

Robelle software has now been changed so that it is more tolerant of SETDATE and Time Machine’s methods of setting the system clock. We introduced this change into the following versions of Robelle software:

Qedit 4.6.02, the newest production release, is currently being distributed to all Qedit users on support. Suprtool 4.0.13, the latest pre-release version, is available on request to any Suprtool user on support.

[Mike Shumko]

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50% Off on Qedit 4.5 Manuals

Now that Qedit 4.6 is being shipped, we are selling our remaining stock of Qedit 4.5 manuals at half price. The version 4.5 manuals cover almost everything in the version 4.6 manuals, except for the new Qedit for Windows server mode and the new bi-directional Undo/Redo capability.

This is an excellent opportunity to provide people with their own manuals. Qedit manuals are usually US$20 each, but now they are on sale for only US$10 each. Call Jennifer to place your order.

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Robelle Products: Problems, Solutions and Suggestions

Qedit Tip: Creating Source Archives

When Alfredo Rego from Adager recently reviewed Qedit for Windows, he mentioned a UDC that he uses with server-based Qedit to archive source files.

Do people worry about fooling around with The Source File and not with a copy? I developed a technique that allows me to always go back to a recent copy. Read on...

I use the UDC below to archive a source Qedit file whenever I edit it. (For now, I keep, at most, one archive per day. I could change things so that I keep more than one archive per day, but that seems like overkill.) Because disc space is cheap (and Qedit files are remarkably compact), I have these archives on-line, going back a few years. I can always find the exact day when I did a change, and I always use Robelle’s Compare program to detect differences between versions. If I want to know when a given source file changed throughout the year, I do

    :listf whatever.source.ar97@, 2

and I get all of its incarnations! A quick MAGNET search is all it takes for me to find all the occurrences of a given variable therein.

I faithfully execute my Archive UDC before I begin work on any source file. (Notice all the safeguards. They ensure that I don’t do foolish things such as overwriting a perfectly good archive copy or attempting to use a UDC without knowing the exact meaning of its parameters.)

User Defined Command

    archive file, group="Source"
    comment  option list
    comment  Archives to TODAY's date, as calculated by the system
    SetVar nPoint, pos (".", "!file")
    if nPoint <> 0 then
      echo There is a dot in position !nPoint of the file's UNQUALIFIED name.
      echo The file's group name is the SECOND parameter, separated by a ","
      echo thus:   ":archive file, group" (the default group is "source",
      echo the default account is aryymmdd, where "yymmdd" are "today").
    SetVar ArAcct "ar"
    SetVar ArAcct ArAcct + "!HpYear"
    if HpMonth < 10 then
      SetVar ArAcct ArAcct + "!zero"
    SetVar ArAcct ArAcct + "!HpMonth"
    if HpDate < 10 then
      SetVar ArAcct ArAcct + "!zero"
    SetVar ArAcct ArAcct + "!HpDate"
    NewAcct !ArAcct, Alfredo; pass=...
    NewGroup !Group.!ArAcct
    copy !file.!group, !file.!group.!ArAcct; ask
    echo copied !file.!group to !file.!group.!ArAcct

The Bottom Line: Promote the use of Qedit workfiles! Don’t let the substandard world of the PC culture (or lack thereof?) drag you down. The need for the Save feature--so absolutely necessary in the dangerous PC world--is totally unnecessary in the robust world of Qedit/3000. :-)

[Alfredo Rego]

Note that Alfredo’s solution requires PM capability. Another solution is to create the archive in the POSIX name space. If you’d like to see this solution, point your favorite Web browser to

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Finding E-Mail Addresses with Suprtool

Searching through text fields in Suprtool to look for at signs (@) is easy if you remember that pattern matching uses "@" as a special character. Suprtool also uses an ampersand (&) to reverse this property. For example, to find all records with "@" anywhere in the address field, use

    >IF ADDRESS == "@&@@"

Qedit 4.6 Ships

Along with the holiday tidings, December brings a new version of Qedit to your door step. This year’s release of Qedit has a few interesting goodies, such as an improved Undo command, better handling of large text files, a new server-based Qedit for Windows, and more.

Installing the new version is as easy as always. If you haven’t received your new tape by mid-January, please contact us.

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Will Robelle Software Run Past Year 2000?

Yes, yes, yes! Two-thousand times, yes! We ran all of our extensive test suites after rebooting our crash’n’burn computers with a year 2000 date. We also tried fooling the software with Allegro’s HourGlass program. The following versions of Robelle software have been tested and will run beyond year 2000.

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Upgrading Your O/S to MPE 5.5?

One of the most frequently asked questions in Tech support is, "What version of Qedit and Suprtool will run under 5.5?" Here is the answer:

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Critical Updates with Suprtool

IMAGE dataset keys and sort fields are called "critical items." You can update these fields by using Suprtool, but you first need to specify the CIupdate option on the Update command.

    >EXTRACT CUST-NO = 1234
The database security also needs to be set so that CIUPDATE is allowed. You can set this by using Dbutil.Pub.Sys. CIUPDATE must be set to either On or Allowed.

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Lost UDCs in Latest Version of Qedit

If your UDC file has comments on the asterisks (***) line, then the latest version of Qedit will have trouble reading the UDC file. This bug was introduced in Qedit version 4.6.02.

Here is an example of a UDC that works in MPE, but does not work inside Qedit 4.6.02:

    /l myudc
        1     SPOOL
        2     SPOOKNM.PUB.SYS
        3     ****** SPOOL FILE UTILITY  *****
        4     PSCREEN  LDEV=LP
        5     FILE LIST;DEV=!LDEV
        6     RUN PSCREEN.PUB.SYS
        7     ******* LIST SCREEN ON LINE PRINTER
        8     ENTRY
        9     RUN ENTRY.PUB.SYS
       10     *************** VIEW CREATE FORMS UTILITY
Although a SHOWCATALOG command shows only one discreet UDC, there should be three.

    UDCs provided by Qedit:
       SPOOL               USER
Compound errors occur when Qedit tries to load the UDCs. (It’s really ugly.) The workaround, until we fix the bug, is that you must remove the comments from all the asterisks lines in your UDC files.

[Paul Gobes]

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The Right Tool for the Right Job--Upshifting Data

Do you need to upshift all the data in a field? While Suprtool can’t do this, Qedit certainly can. Let’s say that you want to upshift all the addresses in columns 21 - 40 of your file. The trick is to use the UP procedure after you have set the margins so that only the address data is affected. For example,

    /t datafile
         2 lines in file
         /set left 21
         /set right 40
         /proc up @
         Set Shift UP?  1(@) 2(") 3(') 4(" or ')  [0]:1
             1     123 MAIN STREET
             2     15399 102A AVENUE
         2 lines up shifted
         /set left
         /set right
Remember to reset your left and right margins before you use the Keep command or you will lose all the data in the other fields.

[Paul Gobes]

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