Powerful data input routine for REXX

Дата: 1994

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CmdLine is a pair of REXX library function that I wrote to implement the OS/2 command line features in REXX.

It's features are almost identical to the OS/2 command line when KEYS ON is in effect.  It has additional functions that many OS/2 REXX programmers may find useful.  In fact, it has most of the features needed to create a complete full screen data entry application.

CmdLine is not a small, tight program.  It's intended to be a full featured implementation of the OS/2 command line.  It is over 400 lines of REXX code.

If there are features that are missing, or are substantially different than the OS/2 command line, please notify me and I will attemp to implement them.

All suggestions, complaints, contributions, etc. are welcome.  Direct them to: acrosby@comp.uark.edu.  You are free to use this code in your programs.  Please give credit where credit is due.




CmdLine may be included in your source file or as called as an external procedure.  Some of it's features are not available as an external procedure.

CmdLine provides an input parser for REXX that supplies the same features as the OS/2 command line.  This includes allowing you to use the left and right arrow keys, up and down arrows for accessing the history list, and F1 to match commands in the history list.  Additionally, CmdLine allows hidden input for passwords, calls that don't update the history list, calls that don't access the history list, and combinations of the above.




value=CmdLine([option [,option]...])

where options are zero or more of:

   Hidden    : Characters are displayed as "*", no history, not kept.

   Forget    : Do not add the result of this call to the history list.

   Nohistory : Do not allow access to the history list.

   Clear     : Reset the history list with this call (no input action

               made.) Also clears any predefined keys!

   Insert    : Set insert mode ON.

   Overwrite : Set overwrite mode OFF.

   Required  : Makes null responses invalid for this request.

   Valid     : Next parameter specifies the valid charachters. (No

               translation is done), no history, not kept.

   Upper     : Translate input to upper case, no history, not kept.

   Lower     : Translate input to lower case, no history, not kept.

               (If both upper and lower are selected, whichever is

               selected LAST is performed.)

   Width     : Next parameter specifies the maximum width of input, no

               history, not kept.

   Autoskip  : If input has a width, do not wait for enter when field is


   X         : Initial X (row) position for field

   Y         : Initial Y (column) position for field

   Tag       : Tag value to be displayed in front of field.

CmdLine returns either a null string or the value entered by the user.  If the field is REQUIRED, a valid value must be entered.

Only the first letter of the string is necessary, and case is ignored. Options may be specified in any combination, though _reset_ will always return without obtaining any user input.

If CmdLine is an INTERNAL function (included within your sourcefile), it will maintain a command line history in the stem variable history.  This stem variable is also used to store the current INSERT state and the default mapping for any extended keys.

Valid, upper, lower, and hidden all also set FORGET and NOHISTORY.

Options that require a parameter can either be seperated by periods or by an equal sign.

Keys used by CmdLine:

       [Up]     Cycle to the previous entry in the history list

       [Down]   Cycle to the next entry in the history list

       [Left]   Move the cursor to the left

       [Right]  Move the cursor to the right

       [ESC]    Clear the input line

       [Home]   Moves the cursor to the beginning of the input line

       [End]    Moves the cursor to the end of the input line

       [^Home]  Erases from the cursor to the beginning of the input line

       [^End]   Erases from the cursor to the end of the input line

       [Ins]    Toggles Insert/Typeover mode

       [Del]    Deletes character under the cursor

       [Bkspc]  Deletes the charcter in front of the cursor

       [^Left]  Moves to the beginning of the previous word

       [^Right] Moves to the beginning of the next word




This feature only works if CmdLine is an INTERNAL function.

Extended keys may be defined by obtaining the code returned as the second key by SysGetKey when that key is pressed.  The program SHOWCODE.CMD is included to demonstrate how to obtain these codes.  Place commands such as:

history.key.60="go" /* Definition for F2 */

in your program.  You cannot redefine keys that are already used by CmdLine.

Extended keys definitions are only available when history is available.




CmdLine keeps a history of the input it has processed similiar to that the OS/2 prompt when KEYS=ON is in effect.  A minor difference is that CmdLine will not add a command to the history if it is the same as the last command issued.

Input identified as "hidden", "upper", "lower", or with a "verify" string will not be added to the history list, and will not have access to the input entered previously.




There are several sample programs in this archive that use CmdLine.

They are:

EXAMPLE1.CMD   An OS/2 style command line

EXAMPLE2.CMD   An OS/2 command line with a Unix-style prompt

DATA.CMD       A sample Data Entry screen written with CmdLine that shows

               some of it's more powerful features.




You can use CmdLine in your programs as either an internal or external procedure.  I strongly reccomend including the procedure in your source as an internal procedure, so that you can have access to command history. You are free to use and modify the code, all I ask is that you give credit where credit is due.

You can use CmdLine in your programs simply by including the

CmdLine is intended as a generic method for obtaining input from the keyboard in an OS/2 REXX program.  CmdLine provides input prompts in your programs all the features of having KEYS=ON at the OS/2 prompt. Additionally, it can be used to have hidden or validated input.

CmdLine uses an exposed stem variable "!history" to keep the history list and various settings, such as insert mode.  You can assign initial values to this variable.

The values used are:

       !history.0      The number of inputs stored

       !history.1...n  The text of the inputs stored, chronologically

       !history.insert The current insert state (1=on, 0=off)

       !history.key.nn The text to be substituted when an extended key is


It isn't necessary to initialize any of these values.

CmdLine() accepts input at the current cursor location.  If you desire to

have a prompt on the same line as the input field, use Call Charout, "prompt" as the line just before the call.

EXAMPLE 1:  Uses CmdLine to make a simple command processor:



   Uses CmdLine() to make a simple OS/2 command line emulator.


"@echo off"

do forever

   Call Charout, "["directory()"]"





EXAMPLE 2: A simple command processor with a Unix style prompt.


   A Unix-ish prompt with CmdLine()


"@echo off"


do forever

   Call Charout, "%"!history.0+1" "





EXAMPLE 3: Uses CmdLine to request value up to 4 char wide.




/* Request a password of uppercase letters and numbers up to 8 chars long.

       Entering a value is required. */