Complete ARexx reference. AmigaGuide
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Short: Complete ARexx reference. AmigaGuide.
Author: Robin Evans
ARexxGuide is a complete ARexx reference with tutorials and dozens of ready-to-use examples. Done in AmigaGuide format, it includes argument templates and descriptions of all instruction keywords, of built-in functions, and of the functions in rexxsupport.library. The basic elements of the language are fully explained. Example programs -- some of them interactive -- answer frequently-asked questions about the language. Sample clauses are included with each function and instruction explanation. Error codes and possible solutions are explained.
A help-system that will turn nearly any text editor into an online reference to ARexx is included. Working macros for three editors are provided as examples. A step-by-step tutorial explains the simple steps for making a new macro for a different editor.
ARexxGuide is a shareware offering. The suggested fee is $15.
2.0a: Some embarrasing problems in the included scripts are fixed. Those who previously downloaded the 2.0 version can get copies of the fixed scripts in the archive ARexxG_20patch.lha.
The second edition includes extensive changes thoughout. Two new tutorials explain ARexx as a macro language. A new section on techniques answers frequently-asked questions about ARexx with example code that can often be plugged directly into a script. Each possible error code is explained.
Notes on compatability issues have been added throughout the guide. They show how ARexx differs from the standard definition of REXX and offer methods for handling the differences.
RQ version ======================
Two different versions of the second edition are distributed. Both include the same information, but present it in somewhat different ways. The RQ version uses requesters to show definitions and other information that is displayed in the standard version by moving to a new node. The RQ version uses `rexxreqtools.library' by Rafael D'Halleweyn. and `ReqTools' by Nico Franзois to implement the requesters. Because the requesters must be able to communicate with AmigaGuide through ARexx, this version can be used only with pre-MultiView versions of AmigaGuide -- that is, with version 34 of
For the standard version: (ARexxGuide2_0A.lha)
Any AmigaGuide viewer.
Multiview can be used with OS 3.x. Users of OS 1.3 or 2.x will need the AmigaGuide utility and amigaguide.library which are distributed by Commodore on most BBSes and networks that support the Amiga.
For the RQ version: (ARexxGuide2_0rqA.lha)
AmigaGuide version 34 viewer and library.
`reqtools.library' and `rexxreqtools.library'.
These libraries are included in the distribution archives for
ReqTools by Nico Franзois. Look for `ReqTools22a_User.lha' on your favorite shareware source. A minimum version of 37.5 for rexxreqtools.library is required.
The ARexxGuide drawer of this archive contains 21 files that make up one AmigaGuide® application. The AmigaGuide files are:
Only ARexxGuide.guide is intended as an AmigaGuide executable. The other files are called from within the main node of that guide.
The following ARexx script files, located in the same directory, are used to run interactive examples from ARexxGuide, or to provide utilities for the program:
Two additional files are included with the RQ version of the guide.
The `Editors' drawer contains macros for the ARexxGuide help system. Example macros are included for Ed 2.0 (the editor that comes with the OS), TurboText, and Edge. A tutorial in ARexxGuide explains how to make a file for a different editor. Any editor that is capable of minimal communication with ARexx can be used.
The 'Extras' drawer contains some files that are not necessary, but may be helpful to some users. Read the opening comment for more information.
The file 'UnCrunch.rexx' is the the source document for the program included in the tutorial section.
The ARexxGuide drawer can be moved to any location.
Once the drawer has been moved, click on the ARx_Setup.rexx icon to establish environmental variables that are used by the ARexxGuide utility programs. You will be asked if you want to store the variables permanently. If you answer Yes, they will be copied to your Envarc: directory.
You will also be asked if you want to copy the `.rexx' files from the ARexxGuide drawer to the REXX: directory. The files will be copied and deleted from the ARexxGuide drawer if you answer 'Yes'.
You could also move the .rexx files manually. The following command will do that:
copy <path>/ARexxGuide/#?.rexx REXX:
The icon labeled simply `ARexxGuide' runs a program called ARexxGuide.rexx when it is double clicked. If ARexxGuide.rexx is stored in the REXX: directory, the the icon can be kept anywhere you wish. It will launch ARexxGuide even if it's located in a different directory. You can move the icon anywhere on your system, but only with the shell copy command since it isn't actually attached to a file.
The ARx_Setup.rexx script -- explained above in Installation -- will customize ARexxGuide for your system. If it is not run before starting ARexxGuide, or if the environmental variables set by the script are deleted, then the setup program will sometimes be called by other ARexxGuide utility scripts.
From the ARexxGuide icon: (does not display '.guide' in the name) This icon runs a script called ARexxGuide.rexx which should be located either in the same directory as the icon or in the REXX: directory. The default tool for this icon is `RX' without a path specification. If the `RX' program is not in a command path that is visible from Workbench, you will have to add a full path spec to the icon's tool gadget. It would probably be something like `sys:rexxc/rx'
If you haven't run ARx_Setup.rexx before running this script, then the setup script is called to set some of the environmental variables needed to customize ARexxGuide for your system.
If you have the function library rexxarplib.library, the script lets you automatically display ARexxGuide on a public screen. If you use the RQ version of the guide, the script will load the requester data into memory before ARexxGuide is displayed and will automatically close the requester port when the guide is closed.
From the ARexxGuide.guide icon:
Double-click on the ARexxGuide.guide icon. ARexxGuide will open its window.
The default tool in the icon is 'AmigaGuide' without path specification. If your AmigaGuide executable program is located in a path that is searched by Workbench, then that will be enough. If, however, AmigaGuide cannot be found by Workbench, then you should single-click on the icon and press Amiga-I. Add the full path to the 'Default tool:' field in the Information window.
If you use Multiview instead of AmigaGuide, then you will need to change the default tool.
When ARexxGuide is called from the icon, the .rexx interactive examples will run, even if they are not moved to the rexx: directory.
From a shell:
You have more options when you run ARexxGuide from a shell, but may also run into a few more problems because this guide uses multiple files. When pressing one of the link buttons in the guide, AmigaGuide will often look for one of the subsidiary files. It will find them if they are in the current directory or
if they are in a path included in the AmigaGuide/path environmental variable.
--- Run ARexxGuide from the current directory.
Make the directory containing ARexxGuide.guide the current directory before calling the guide:
Interactive .rexx examples will run even if they are not moved to REXX: when the guide is invoked this way.
--- Add the ARexxGuide path the AmigaGuide search path.
AmigaGuide will look for files in directories specified in theenvironmental variable amigaguide/path. If you often run this guide from a shell or directory utility, you should probably set the variable.
The enviromental variable is set automatically by the ARx_Setup.rexx script, but it could also be set manually with the following command, issued from a shell:
setenv amigaguide/path <path>/ARexxGuide
where <path> is the full path leading to the directory.
If you've already created an 'amigaguide' path in env:, then you may omit the makedir command.
Note that this command will replace any value that might previously have been set for the path variable. (ARx_Setup will not overwrite current settings, however.)
You can,include multiple paths in that variable. Just separate each path from others with a space and use the collection in the 'setenv' command.
The env: directory is located by default in RAM:, so this setting will not survive a reboot. If you'd like to have path automatically set when you reboot, issue this command:
copy env:amigaguide/#? envarc:
If that command is issued after you have opened and closed AmigaGuide, then the window size and position last used will also be saved.
Once the search path for AmigaGuide is set, ARexxGuide can be run without setting the current directory. The interactive examples, however, might not run. They should be moved to the REXX: directory to so that ARexx will be able to find them.
The files in this archive are copyright © 1993,1994 by Robin Evans and may be distributed only in the original form and only under the conditions outlined below.
Distribution of the material in this archive is prohibited if the contents of the original archive are altered in any way.
The archive may be distributed in its original form on local and national computer networks, on Aminet distribution channels (including the Walnut Creek CD-ROM), on Fish collections, or on disk collections distributed by non-profit entities. Distribution by other means (including distribution by profit-making entities other than those mentioned) is prohibited unless specific permission is granted.
Rights are reserved for other forms of distribution of this archive or of its contents individually, including but not limited to distribution of a printed version of any file contained in the archive, distribution with commercial products, or distribution on computer networks in hypertext form of any file in the archive. Contact the author for further information and permissions.
Robin Evans 24 Mar 1994