10/04/09: Part 6: Multiview GUI and Setup by Roger, | Category: OS-9 Tutorials | Comments are closed

Part 6: Multiview GUI and Setup

Multiview Notes

Multiview is the GUI which is compatible with OS-9 Level II on the Coco 3. It shipped on a single double-sided diskette. While somewhat primitive when compared to today’s GUIs, multiview becomes more functional when patched with the updates mentioned late r on in the tutorial.Here are some tips to keep in mind when setting up Multiview to work on a hard drive or another diskette:

  • You must add the windint.io module to your os9boot file. The module is on the Multiview disk.
  • If you copy the AUTOEX file off the Multiview disk into the CMDS directory of your startup disk, multiview will start-up before the shell does.
  • Remember to edit the ENV.FILE which has to exist on your boot disk inside the SYS directory. Many of the options in this file can also be changed through the control panel – once you are running multiview, but you should change things like the executi on directory etc.
  • if your mouse is not working properly, or you don’t have one hooked up to your system, you can use the CTRL-CLEAR key combination to turn on the keyboard mouse (ie arrow keys and F1 for button). Remember to turn it off if you need the arrow keys for s ome other function.
  • in your startup file, be sure to merge the graphics files which multiview will need into memory, ie. include the line: MERGE STDFONTS STDPATS_4 STDPATS_16 STDPTRS after a CHD /DD/SYS (or however you need to point OS9 to the directory where these files are located).
  • If you plan not to run multiview right away, and you want to start the SHELL first, be sure to include the command: CONTROL -E in your startup file. This prepared the environment for multiview’s eventual execution.

Setting up Icons:

An important thing to keep in mind when making icons is to remember to set the attributed on the involved file! Countless times I couldn’t figure out what the problem was with a specific icon with it only turning out to be the attributes set improperly. N o doubt by now you’ve often run into the same situation with general OS-9 use. Something I’ve done in order to organize my icons, is that I’ve made a AIF directory off the root of my hard drive, and I’ve placed all my icons in there. Then in multiview I set a new device called /DD/AIFS (go DISK->SET_DEVICES). An icon now sits on my desktop representing the /DD/AIFS directory. If I double-click on it I get a list of all my iconized programs.


Icon Archives on RTSI

Note: files in ‘incoming’ will probably have been moved elsewhere…
ftp://os9archive.rtsi.com/OS9/incoming/coco/morE_icons_and_aifs.ar
ftp://os9archive.rtsi.com/OS9/incoming/coco/Icons.icons.icons.ar
ftp://os9archive.rtsi.com/OS9/OS9_6X09/APPS/icons.lzh


Upgrading Multiview:

Multiview versions 1.24a and 1.25 are the most common updated versions of the GUI frontend. Below are the patch files which can be used to convert stock GSHELL into the newer versions. Please note that the 1.25 patch didn’t work for me – if you have better luck with it please let me know how you got it to work. Also note that anything pointing to the incoming directory will probably have been moved by the time you try and download it so you might have to do a little hunting on the RTSI site.

Note that there is also a 1.24 80 column patch on RTSI, but I found that (surprise surprise) it doesn’t work. So you’ll need to do the patch manually as outlined in the documentation by loading GSHELL into memory with ‘load’ then patching the byte with MODPATCH; then saving the new GSHELL to disk with SAVE. Also there is a version 3.2 on RTSI which is not (as far as I know) part of the main line of upgrades.


AIF File Format

When multiview runs across an AIF file, it will attempt to use it as a definition for an icon, simular to how ‘program manager’ in Windows 3.* displayed icons that did not directly represent the program itself (like the Mac does if you are not looking at an alias). I’ve often had quite a bit of trouble getting these things to work properly, and it usually comes down to the attributes not being set properly. I’ve even had situations where the attributes were set properly, but the AIF did not function until I set the attributes again! What I’ve consistently found it that neither execute attribute should be set on AIF files (which makes some sence, as they are not programs). Icon files, though, seem to want to have their execution attributes set positive.

AIF File Format
==============
PROGRAM_NAME
PARAMETERS_OR_LEAVE_BLANK
PATH_AND_NAME_OF_ICON_FILE
MEMORY_AMOUNT_0=default
SCREEN_TYPE_ex.7
SCREEN_WIDTH_ex.80
SCREEN_LENGTH_ex.24
BACKGROUND_PALETTE_REGISTER_ex.3
FOREGROUND_ex.2

Executing Procedure Files

At first I found executing procedure (ie batch) files from an icon inside multiview to be a pain. Then I realized I could use the ALIAS utility on RTSI to create a program which would execute the procedure file, and have the icon point to it instead. This has greatly simplified setting up games etc. and I don’t need to copy SHELL over and over.Let’s sat you wanted to run a procedure/batch file called YELP.BAT from an icon, and you have named the icon YELP. What I would do is type:
ALIAS YELP SHELL YELP.BAT
which creates a YELP program in your CMDS directory (make sure there is no program called YELP to begin with) which will run the YELP.BAT file via the SHELL.


Important ENV.FILE Settings

Here is a short listing of some of the ENV.FILE (in your SYS directory) functions:

  • MONTYPE 0=comp 1=rgb 2=mono
  • RAM 128/512
  • PTRRES 1=lo res mouse/joystick,2=hi res pointer (requires tandy high res adapter)
  • PTRSID 0=left joystick port 1=right
  • EXE default execution directory
  • RBFDEV /d0,/h0… devices on desktop as icons
  • SCFDEV /p,/t1… devices supported by SCF

Most of these and other functions can be set by the CONTROL PANEL, however if you are moving multiview onto a hard drive, you will need to edit some of these with a text editor (like SLED) first.


Speed Boost

Grfdrv can be patched so that the updated GSHELL+ can noticeably speed up its screen draws. Follow the instructions in the archive carefully:ftp://os9archive.rtsi.com/OS9/OS9_6X09/SYSMODS/grfdrv_XMas89_patch.lzh


16 Color Control Panel

An icon can be set up so that the control panel shows all 16 colors for editing. Compose an AIF file with the following contents:

Control

ICONS/icon.ctl
0
8
40
24
0
1

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