ESP-r Interface

Overview of the ESP-r interface

The following discussion will hopefully supply you with the basic functionality of the interface, how to interact with it and alter it to better support your work habits.

Terminal/screen mode selections

ESP-r applications normally begin in a graphic mode. You may force it to use one of the alternative terminal types listed below by appending the appropriate mode when the application is executed ie. "prj -mode text" runs it in a text-only mode. The following discussion will hopefully provide the basis of an informed choice. The following terminal types are available:

Graphic where help facilities pop-up in the graphic window, most reporting is contained in a scrolling box, most user input occurs within a dialogue box, application control is via menus on the right. The application size and the fonts can be altered for ease of viewing. The graphic mode is probably the best choice for the majority of users.

Text mode is useful for those who are running remotely across a network or undertaking batch processing of models or assessment tasks. Naturally there are no graphs or perspective views, but full access to the command menus, editing and browsing facilities are available.

Display layout/modification

  env_set Although the layout of each application is for the most part fixed, the user has many options which will modify its appearance. These are accessed via the "environment" button at the bottom right of the display. The following selections are possible:

Working with display fonts

The modules of ESP-r make use of various fonts when running in graphic mode and these are typically set in a users login file:

setenv DISPLAY `hostname`:0.0
if (`tty` == "/dev/console") then
   echo " Start X ?"
   set x = {$<}
   if ( $x == "y" || $x == "Y" || $x == "yes" ) then
      setenv EFONT_0 6x12
      setenv EFONT_1 6x13
      setenv EFONT_2 8x13
      setenv EFONT_3 9x15
      xr5 -start
The environment variables EFONT_0 ... EFONT_3 are picked up by the application and changing them will give a different look and feel to ESP-r. Although ESP-r only works properly with fixed width fonts, you can substitute different fonts as long as you follow certain rules. To find out more press here.

interaction & menu control

manu layout Most program control happens via the selection lists presented at the right side of the application window. As in the currently displayed list, selection is obtained by moving the mouse and pressing a mouse button on the appropriate item. Alternatively you can press the character associated with the first column of the list (example typing d would activate the longitude difference dialog). In all cases there will be a "? help" selection at the bottom of the list along with an "- exit" selection. The latter will change to indicate the menu which will be returned to when the current one is exited.

The selection lists are often used to present information as well as provide choices. For example the item which allows the verbosity of reporting also displays the current level. Note that it includes the symbols >> between the label and the value. This pattern is followed throughout the application. Sometimes a toggle is simply on/off and sometimes there may be several options included. A toggle will return to its original state if repeatedly selected.

  list selection
Some selection lists are used to display and select arrays of data in a convenient form. For example, the list of vertex coordinates forming the bounds of a thermal zone are treated as a list. By moving the cursor to a particular set of coordinates and selecting them is interpreted as a request to edit them. The list contents are updated after each edit.

In some cases the list may be longer than will fit on one screen, and when this happens the heading of the list will include an indication of which portion of the list is being viewed. There will also be an additional command inserted towards the bottom of the list box that allows the user to change to an earlier or later page of information. There is no particular limit to the length of the lists.

In a text mode, selection of items in a list are obtained by typing in the "key" character of the item of interest. Command actions are consistent no matter which terminal type has been chosen.

feedback verbosity

Several levels of reporting/feedback are available to the user: Silent, Executive Summary, and Verbose.

In silent mode only error messages and prompts are displayed.
Executive summary
If the level is set to summary, then a brief report is produced as portions of the problem description or databases are read in.
At the verbose level all information relating to the problem and its databases are displayed. Some facilities such as the generation of perspective views repeatedly access problem description files and you may wish to silence or moderate the reporting at such times to improve response time.

Most applications begin at the summary level and this may be changed at any time with immediate effect. For convenience, report level toggles are usually included in several control menus.

editing numbers

edit numbers
When a number is requested for input it is done in a different way according to the style of display -

Text mode:

editing strings

When a string such as a file name or zone name is requested the format varies according to the style of display -


Text mode:

To go to the glossary of terms press here. To return to the interface overview press here. To return to the tutorial overview press here.