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Content starts here Getting Started With the New Desktop

Getting Started With the New Desktop

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1.7 APIs and Application Integration Services

A subset of CDE application programming interfaces (APIs) and application integration services is available with the New Desktop (see Section 5.2).

In addition to these new APIs and application integration services, all the DECwindows Motif APIs and application integration services are available from the New Desktop.

1.8 Documentation for the New Desktop

The following types of documentation are included in the DECwindows Motif kit to support the New Desktop:

  • Online introduction in Help
  • Online reference pages (also known as manpages)
  • Help for all CDE applications
  • Help for all DECwindows applications
  • CDE documentation set in HTML format
  • DECwindows Motif documentation set (most manuals) in Bookreader format
  • Printed copies of this manual and selected DECwindows Motif manuals

See the Guide to the DECwindows Motif Version 1.2--4 for OpenVMS CD--ROM for a list of all manuals provided on line. The CDE documentation set that is provided on line is also available in print. The same is true for the entire DECwindows Motif documentation set.

This manual and the Guide to the DECwindows Motif Version 1.2--4 for OpenVMS CD--ROM are provided in printed format with DECwindows Motif Version 1.2--4. Additional DECwindows Motif printed documentation is available through service contracts or by ordering from DECdirect, as described in the Preface of this manual. Table 1-2 briefly describes the documentation and how to access or order it.

For more information about the documentation, see the Bookreader versions of Overview of DECwindows Motif for OpenVMS Documentation and the DECwindows Motif Version 1.2--4 for OpenVMS Release Notes, as described in this table.

Table 1-2 Documentation for the New Desktop
Documentation Description How to Access
Online Help
Front Panel Help Overview help for the CDE desktop; access to the help for all CDE applications in the New Desktop; and access to Bookreader Click on the Help icon on the Front Panel to display the Help Manager, or display the Help subpanel and select an introductory topic, Help Manager, or Bookreader. From the Help Manager, you can select introductory topics and CDE application help.
CDE On Item Help Brief description of icons and controls on Front Panel and within applications Click on On Item Help, then position the cursor on the icon or control for which you want help and click; repeat these two steps for each request for On Item help.
Application help (CDE and DECwindows) Help menu for each application, including context-sensitive help for objects within an application Start the application and select Help from the menu bar; then make your selection from the Help menu.
Online Manuals and Reference Pages
CDE online manuals Documents prepared by the UNIX vendors who developed CDE Use the Enhanced Mosaic web browser, as described in Section 1.8.2.
CDE online reference pages Reference documentation for many CDE system commands, written by the UNIX vendors who developed CDE Select the reference page directory 1 from File Manager; then select the file you want to view. From Application Manager, select Desktop Apps; then select Man Page Viewer; and enter the name of the file you want to view.
DECwindows Motif online manuals Digital documents Click on the arrow above the Help icon on the Front Panel to display the Help subpanel; then select the Bookreader icon, then select a manual. 2
Printed Manuals
CDE printed manuals Documents prepared by the UNIX vendors who developed CDE (with Digital UNIX covers) See Section 1.8.1 for the order numbers; then order them by following the instructions in this Preface.
DECwindows Motif printed manuals This manual, the DECwindows Motif Version 1.2--4 for OpenVMS Installation Guide, and the Guide to the DECwindows Motif Version 1.2--4 for OpenVMS CD--ROM are shipped with the software. See the online version of the Overview of DECwindows Motif for OpenVMS Documentation for brief descriptions and order numbers; then order them by following the instructions in this Preface.

1The directory name is CDE$SYSTEM_DEFAULTS:[MAN].
2To use this selection method, the Bookreader system logical, DECW$BOOK, must point to the directory where the Bookreader files reside.

1.8.1 CDE Manuals

The CDE manuals and their Digital order numbers are listed in Table 1-3. You can order them from Digital, as described in the Preface of this manual.

Table 1-3 CDE Manuals With Order Numbers
Title Order Number Pages
Common Desktop Environment: User's Guide AA-QTLNA-TE 374
Common Desktop Environment: Advanced User's and System Administrator's Guide AA-QTLQA-TE 324
Common Desktop Environment: Programmer's Overview AA-QTLWA-TE 118
Common Desktop Environment: Programmer's Guide AA-QTLXA-TE 204
Common Desktop Environment: Help System Author's and Programmer's Guide AA-QTLYA-TE 320
Common Desktop Environment: Internationalization Programmer's Guide AA-QTM2A-TE 166
Common Desktop Environment: Style Guide and Certification Checklist AA-QTM3A-TE 316
Common Desktop Environment: Product Glossary AA-QTM4A-TE 144

1.8.2 Using Enhanced Mosaic to Access Manuals

To access this manual or any of the CDE manuals provided in HTML format on the kit, use the Enhanced Mosaic web browser in the following way:

  1. Start the Application Manager and click on the DECwindows Applications Group icon.
  2. Click on the Mosaic icon.
  3. From the File menu, choose the Open Local... item.
  4. In the Selection field, enter the following file specification:


    where device-name is the name of the drive on which you have placed your New Desktop CD-ROM. For example:

  5. The set of titles is displayed; click on the title of the manual that you want to open.

Chapter 2
Using the New Desktop

This chapter provides information about the following topics:

2.1 CDE User Applications in the New Desktop

The CDE user applications that are included in the New Desktop are briefly described in this section. The focus of these descriptions is on the differences that users accustomed to the DECwindows desktop applications might experience. Differences between CDE on UNIX systems and the New Desktop are described in Appendix A.

2.1.1 Login Manager

The login manager provides login and authentication processing for the New Desktop in a manner similar to the login box provided with the traditional DECwindows desktop. In addition to user authentication, it also provides several options, as shown in Figure 2-1.

Figure 2-1 Login Dialog Box

From the Options pull-down menu you can select:

  • Language of the user interface
  • Type of session you want
  • Whether to reset the login screen

You can select from the following session types:

  • New Desktop session
    New Desktop is the default environment.
  • Failsafe session
    A failsafe session is a limited, single-DECterm window environment that allows you to correct startup problems in other environments.
  • DECwindows session
    A DECwindows session is the traditional DECwindows environment.

Resetting the login screen is useful if you want to take advantage of customizations made to the login screen or, in an X terminal environment, if you want to remove the login box and terminate login processing.

2.1.2 Front Panel

The Front Panel, shown in Figure 2-2, provides quick access to applications and many other features. This section describes some aspects of the Front Panel that may not be immediately apparent to users accustomed to the DECwindows desktop. Here are some details to help you get started.

Figure 2-2 Front Panel Details

  • Moving the Front Panel
    Position the cursor on the left or right border and press MB1 to move the Front Panel. The Front Panel can be moved up and down but cannot be rotated.
  • A single click on any application icon (except Clock) starts the application.
  • Getting information about each icon
    Position the cursor on any icon and press mouse button 3 (MB3) to either get help about the icon or add or delete a subpanel.
  • Clock icon
    The clock displays the current time. However, unlike the other Front Panel controls, the clock is not a separate application. It is part of the Window Manager and can be customized by editing the date control definition in the Front Panel configuration file. (Refer to the Common Desktop Environment: Advanced User's and System Administrator's Guide for instructions.) The DECwindows Clock application can be accessed from Application Manager's DECwindows Apps group.
  • Arrows above icons
    The arrows indicate that a subpanel, or menu, is available. Position the cursor on any arrow and single click. A subpanel is displayed with an Install Icon item that enables you to add applications to the menu. To close the subpanel, position the cursor on the same arrow, which now faces down, and single click on it.

  • Moving a subpanel
    You can move any subpanel with mouse button 1 (MB1). Position the cursor on the subpanel menu bar, press and hold MB1, drag the subpanel to a new location, and release MB1.
  • Relationship of Front Panel to workspaces
    You can have as many as 64 different workspaces. The Front Panel is the same for all workspaces and is displayed on each workspace.
  • Relationship of applications to workspaces
    You can put the same application in more than one workspace. For example, you can put the Text Editor in two workspaces and the clock in every workspace. You do this by selecting either Occupy Workspace... or Occupy All Workspaces from the Window menu, shown in Figure 2-3. (You can access an application's Window menu by clicking on the control in the top left corner of its main window.)
  • Managing workspaces
    Pressing MB3 on a workspace control button displays a menu that enables you to add, delete, or rename workspaces.

Figure 2-3 Window Manager Menu

2.1.3 Application Manager

Application Manager is a repository for applications and tools available on a system. It supports application groups---those provided with the New Desktop (shown in Table 2-1) and those you create (see Section 4.4).

To view the Application Manager window, single click on the Application Manager icon, shown in Figure 2-2. From the Application Manager screen, you can select a group by double clicking on its icon. A screen with icons representing each application in the group is displayed. From this screen, you can start any application by double clicking on its icon.

Table 2-1 Preconfigured Application Groups
Group Contents
DECwindows Apps Applications such as DECwindows Mail, Calendar, FileView, Cardfiler, and all other DECwindows applications supplied with DECwindows Motif prior to Version 1.2--4
DECwindows Utilities Most of the standard X utilities
Desktop Apps CDE applications
Desktop Tools Tools for common user tasks, such as comparing files, showing logical names, and viewing images

For more information about Application Manager, see its online help and the Common Desktop Environment: User's Guide.

2.1.4 Calculator

The New Desktop's Calculator application offers the following features:

  • Three modes: Scientific (default), Logical, and Financial.
  • Three trigonometric bases in Scientific mode.
  • Four numeric bases: decimal, octal, hexadecimal, and binary.
  • Ten memory registers for storing values, for use in each mode. The values can be recalled and exchanged between a specified register and the display area.

You can access the New Desktop's Calculator from the Personal Applications subpanel. For more information about it, access its help.

The DECwindows desktop Calculator is still available. You can access it from the DECwindows Apps group in Application Manager.

2.1.5 File Manager

File Manager presents an iconic representation of files. It allows intuitive user actions, such as dragging and dropping files. It also allows files to be placed on the background of the screen for fast access. You can open several views of different directories or of the same directory. File Representation

File Manager supports four different representations of files:

  • Large icons
  • Small icons
  • File name only
  • Hierarchical tree view

You can choose the representation you prefer. If you frequently navigate up and down your directory tree, you may prefer the hierarchical directory view.


All executable programs and all command procedures, when invoked from File Manager by clicking on files with a .EXE or .COM extension, will be started with an associated DECterm window to capture output. A DECterm window is created regardless of the type of executable program or command procedure. If you do not want the DECterm window to appear, which is usually the case, you must create a new action definition file and an associated action (stub) file for invoking the executable or the command file. See Section 4.1 for information about creating action definition files and action files. File Filtering and Sorting

Files can be filtered and sorted by several criteria. To set filtering options, select View from the File Manager menu bar; then, from the View menu, select Set Filter Options. Filters for various data types can be turned on or off. For example, you can choose to view only files of the type COM_FILE or all files except files of the type COM_FILE (see Section The filtering options also allow filtering by an explicit file type (for example, .RDB) and filtering by file name versions. You can choose to see all versions of your files or only the highest version.

To set sorting criteria, select View from the File Manager menu bar, then select Set View Options. You can choose to sort alphabetically, by data type, by modification date, or by size.

For more information about the capabilities of File Manager, see its online help, the Common Desktop Environment: User's Guide, and the Common Desktop Environment: Administrator's Guide.

2.1.6 Trash Can

File Manager supports dropping files on the Trash Can icon. Files that are moved to the Trash Can are not actually deleted and are still counted in your disk quota. To delete a file, you must shred the contents of the Trash Can. If the Trash Can contents have not been shredded, the files can be moved back to their original directory.

2.1.7 Help Viewer

Help Viewer, accessible from the Front Panel (see Figure 2-2) and from every CDE application, presents the help for all CDE applications within the New Desktop. In addition to application help, several other types of help are available, including Help on Help, Desktop Introduction, and On Item Help.

To use On Item Help, select it from the Help subpanel, position the cursor on the item for which you want help, and single click. Help is displayed in a full-size window.

For more information about the Help Viewer, see the online help and the Common Desktop Environment: User's Guide.

2.1.8 Icon Editor

The Icon Editor, accessible from the subpanel above the DECterm icon, enables you to create new icons or edit existing ones. You can resize icons, add hotspots to icons, and grab screen images and edit them.

For more information about Icon Editor, see its online help and the Common Desktop Environment: User's Guide.

2.1.9 Print Dialog

The printer icon on the Front Panel (see Figure 2-2) is configured to access the default printer for the desktop. The default printer is defined by the value of the SYS$PRINT logical on the system.

You can select different print job options for the default printer by using the Print Dialog. To access the Print Dialog, click on its icon on the Front Panel.

To print a file using the default printer and the options specified for it, drag the icon of the file you want to print and drop it on the Print Dialog icon.

If you would like to use a different printer as your default printer, see Section 3.4.5.

2.1.10 Text Editor

The Text Editor, accessible from the subpanel above the DECterm icon, is a full-function editor. It offers the standard text editing functions as well as more advanced features, including the drag-and-drop function. The drag-and-drop function can be used for moving text, copying text, and including entire files in another file.

If you would like to use a different editor as your default editor, see Section 3.4.6.

2.1.11 Session Manager

Session Manager functions are available from the Startup menu within Style Manager. From the Startup menu, you can select the application configuration of your next session. The Startup menu options are shown in Table 2-2.

Table 2-2 Startup Menu Options
Option Description
Resume current session The next time you log in, your session will start up where you left off when you logged out---as close as possible to the current configuration.
Return to home session The next time you log in, your session will start up with a configuration that you have defined as your home session. If you have not defined a home session, the system default session is used.
Ask me at Logout When you log out, you will be prompted to return to your current session or your home session.
Logout Confirmation Dialog You can specify whether you want to be prompted to confirm your intent to log out.
Set Home Session You can select your current session as your home session. You can do this at any time during a session. Customizations that you made during the session are included.

2.1.12 Style Manager

Style Manager enables you to control the following components of your desktop environment:

  • Font size
  • Backdrops (for each workspace)
  • Keyboard attributes, including the language variant and clicking characteristics
  • Mouse attributes
  • Beep characteristics
  • Screen characteristics, including blanking and backdrop to be used when the screen is locked
  • Window behavior, including how to make windows active (by pointing or clicking)
  • Startup attributes, as described in Section 2.1.11
  • Security, which establishes the authorized users of your desktop

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