Getting Started With the New Desktop

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    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. Figures 2-1 Login Dialog Box

    From the Options pull-down menu you can select:

    You can select from the following session types:

    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. Figures 2-2 Front Panel Details

    Figures 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:

    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:

    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:

    2.2 Accessing DECwindows Applications

    All the applications provided with the previous release of DECwindows Motif are included with the New Desktop. By default, some of them are accessible from the Front Panel and all of them are accessible from Application Manager. The applications that are accessible from the Front Panel are:

    You can also access DECwindows applications from a DECterm. All optional DECwindows applications (those purchased separately) can also be accessed from a DECterm.

    The access methods are described in Table 2-3.

    Table 2-3 How to Access DECwindows Applications
    Location Method
    Front Panel Single click on the icon or on the selection from a subpanel.
    Application Manager Single click on the Application Manager icon on the Front Panel; then double click on the icon for its group; then double click on its icon.
    DECterm Run the application by its system-defined name.

    2.3 Making Applications More Accessible

    You can make an application not already located in Application Manager or the Front Panel more accessible. You can do this by dragging its default icon (a lightning bolt with its file name displayed below it) from the File Manager display and dropping it on any of the following locations:

    After you move an application icon to one of these locations, you can invoke it from there.

    Although moving an icon in this way makes the application more accessible, it does not provide the same level of integration that is available with the applications that are part of the New Desktop. For example, the application does not have a unique icon, and each time you invoke the application, a new DECterm is created. You can select a different icon from the set provided with the New Desktop or create a new one; you can eliminate the DECterm if it is not needed; and you can supply any arguments you want specified automatically if you integrate the application into the New Desktop.

    For information about minimal integration, see Section 4.1. For information about creating new application groups, see Section 4.4.

    2.4 CDE User Documentation

    The CDE components of the New Desktop are documented in an extensive help system and in CDE manuals, which are available in print (separately orderable; see Section 1.8.1). The CDE manuals (and this manual) are also in HTML format on the DECwindows Motif Version 1.2--4 for OpenVMS CD--ROM. You can view these manuals with the Enhanced Mosaic web browser that is included on the same CD-ROM (see Section 1.8.2).

    The following CDE user manuals are provided:

    Chapter 3
    Managing the New Desktop

    This chapter provides information about the following topics:

    3.1 DECwindows and the New Desktop Startup Sequence

    SYS$MANAGER:DECW$STARTUP.COM, the DECwindows startup command procedure, can start either the traditional DECwindows desktop or the New Desktop. On OpenVMS Alpha, the New Desktop is started by default.

    SYS$MANAGER:CDE$STARTUP.COM is executed during the application startup phase of the New Desktop to perform the following steps:

    1. Define a series of logical names used by the New Desktop.
    2. Install several executables (login) and libraries used by the New Desktop.

    Once login starts, login starts Session Manager, which in turn starts Window Manager for the session. For a complete description of the DECwindows login process, see Managing DECwindows Motif for OpenVMS Systems.

    3.2 Changing the Default Desktop

    You can change the default desktop from the New Desktop to the DECwindows desktop by modifying the SYS$MANAGER:DECW$PRIVATE_APPS_SETUP.COM file and restarting the desktop.

    To change the default desktop to the DECwindows desktop, perform the following steps:


    3. Restart the desktop with the following command:


    If the DECwindows desktop is running and you want to change the default back to the New Desktop, perform the same steps but define DECW$START_NEW_DESKTOP as TRUE instead of FALSE.

    If you want to be able to select either desktop when you log in, do not modify the global symbol DECW$START_NEW_DESKTOP. Instead, select the desktop you want when you log in, using the Login Manager's Options menu, as described in Section 2.1.1.

    3.3 New Desktop Directory Hierarchy

    The New Desktop uses a fairly complex directory hierarchy for all of the files required for its environment. To traverse these directories and access these files, the New Desktop uses search paths to indicate the location and search order of these files for various operations. These search paths are logical names that contain a list of directory specifications and are defined when the New Desktop is started.

    In general, three locations are searched for any data file. The locations and the order in which they are searched are shown in the following list:

    1. disk$:[user.DT...]
      User-specific directory in the user's home directory.
    2. CDE$USER_DEFAULTS:[*...] (customizable)
      Systemwide directory that can be customized by the system manager.
    3. CDE$SYSTEM_DEFAULTS:[*...] (noncustomizable)
      Systemwide directory where the default copies of all of the files are placed at installation time.

    This means that files found in a user-specific directory take precedence over files in a systemwide customizable directory, which take precedence over the files in the systemwide installed directory.

    The CDE$USER_DEFAULTS directory hierarchy is not created at installation. If you need to add any systemwide customizations, you must create the corresponding directories.

    3.3.1 System Default Configuration Directories

    CDE$SYSTEM_DEFAULTS:[*...] is the system directory hierarchy of the New Desktop. It contains read-only directories, which contain resource, application defaults, configuration, and application support files, as shown in Figure 3-1 and described in Table 3-1. These files should not be edited because future installations will overwrite the files. Furthermore, applications should never create files in these directories, although they can read and execute the files. Figures 3-1 CDE$SYSTEM_DEFAULTS Directory Hierarchy

    3.3.2 Directory Hierarchy With Multiple Locales

    The [.C] directories shown in Figure 3-1 contain locale-specific files required for running the default C locale installed on your system. For each additional locale installed, a corresponding directory at the same level as each [.C] directory is present. For example, if the French locale is also installed on your system, the directory hierarchy of [.APP-DEFAULTS] will show both [.C] and [.FR_FR_ISO8859-1] directories. Files specific to the French locale are placed in the [.FR_FR_ISO8859-1] directories and are accessed before the files with the same name in the [.C] directories.

    Table 3-1 CDE$SYSTEM_DEFAULTS Directories
    Directory Contents
    [.APPCONFIG] Application management, help, example, icon, and datatype definition files, which include Front Panel configuration files. The [.APPMANAGER] directory contains several subdirectories, each corresponding to a different application group. Each subdirectory contains action (stub) files, one for each application in that group.
    [.APP-DEFAULTS] Application default (resource) files for applications provided by the New Desktop.
    [.BACKDROPS] Backdrops provided with the New Desktop.
    [.BIN] New Desktop executable (binary) files.
    [.CONFIG] System configuration files for global resource settings for various aspects of the New Desktop, such as Session Manager and Window Manager resources. Font alias files are contained within the [.XFONTS] subdirectory hierarchy.
    [.EXAMPLES] Example files that show how to use CDE programming resources.
    [.LIB] Localized message catalog files.
    [.MAN] Unmodified, preprocessed UNIX manpages for the New Desktop.
    [.PALETTES] Color palettes provided with the New Desktop.

    3.3.3 Configuration Directories for Systemwide Customizations

    The following directory hierarchy is the systemwide configuration directory for the New Desktop:


    All directories listed in Table 3-1 can have a corresponding directory in the CDE$USER_DEFAULTS:[*...] hierarchy. Systemwide customizations should be made by first copying the file to be customized from its CDE$SYSTEM_DEFAULTS location to the same directory in the CDE$USER_DEFAULTS hierarchy and then editing the file. You may need to create the destination directory.

    The CDE$USER_DEFAULTS logical is a search path containing the logicals CDE$USER_SPECIFIC and CDE$USER_COMMON. Node-specific changes should be placed in the appropriate subdirectory of the CDE$USER_SPECIFIC:[*...] hierarchy. Clusterwide changes should be placed in the appropriate subdirectory of the CDE$USER_COMMON:[*...] hierarchy.

    Table 3-2 describes how to customize a system default for a node or a cluster.

    Table 3-2 Customizing Defaults for a Node or Cluster
    System Type Directions
    Node Copy the file containing the default value you want to change from its directory under CDE$SYSTEM_DEFAULTS to the same directory under CDE$USER_SPECIFIC and edit it.
    Cluster Copy the file containing the default value you want to change from its directory under CDE$SYSTEM_DEFAULTS to the same directory under CDE$USER_COMMON and edit it.

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