Getting Help

Task help

To obtain help information about a task, TAB (or CTRL-I) can be pressed. This causes (part of) the COA to be overlaid with a display containing the user document of the task of which the name is present in the UCA . If there is also a keyword present (e.g. as the result of a prompt), Hermes positions the document at the first occurrence of the keyword. In this case Hermes will also provide a keyword help window which partially overlays the task documentation. For more information see the section ``Keyword help'' below. This feature is intended for novice users and can be switched off by typing ESC TAB or by putting the statement KEYHELP=OFF in the Hermes defaults file (hermes.def).

The help display will `follow' the task execution; if other prompts appear, the display will be repositioned. If the amount of space on the screen is not sufficient to show the whole document, the user can page through the display just like paging through the log file. CTRL-V pages forward; CTRL-Z pages backwards.

If the UCA is empty when TAB is pressed, a summary of Hermes' commands will be displayed.

It is possible to search for a text string in the document. Pressing CTRL-S or CTRL-R will cause the user to be prompted for a search string.

Pressing TAB again will remove the overlay screen(s).

Keyword help

Hermes can provide specific help about user input keyword prompts. This can be switched on and off independently of task-related help by typing ESC TAB.

When it is active, the available options are displayed in the bottom line of the window. The possible options are:

PageUp    page back in window
PageDown  page forward in window
ESC i     go to reference i (i = 1...9)
ESC -     go back one reference
ESC 0     go back to ``root text''
The window can be temporarily removed by removing the associated prompt by typing CTRL-U. When the prompt is brought back by typing a space, the window will re-appear.

Hypertext help

When GIPSY is running in an X-Window environment, documentation can also be displayed in a WWW browser. Such a browser can be started and terminated by typing ESC X. Initially it will display the GIPSY home page. When the browser is either NCSA Mosaic or Netscape, pressing TAB will display the task document in the browser instead of overlaying the COA. If the `keyboard focus' is not in the COA, information about the current context will be displayed.

The GIPSY start-up script attempts fo find a suitable browser in the user's path. To override this choice, the environment variable WEB_BROWSER can be defined before starting GIPSY. Alternatively, the variable WEB_BROWSER in the Hermes defaults file (hermes.def) can be defined. In the latter case the full path of the browser is required. In the defaults file command line arguments can also be specified (not in the environment variable). When the defaults file variable STARTBROWSER is set to ``ON'', the browser will be started automatically.

setenv WEB_BROWSER `which xmosaic`

Hermes GIPSY