Chapter Four:
Creating DADiSP Menus and Dialog Boxes

The DADiSP menuing system is designed to make sophisticated, custom DADiSP applications available to end-users without them having to remember the details behind the application.

 

Menus are simply ASCII text files. There are no limitations to what you can type into an ASCII file, therefore, the user can specify exactly what they want to see on the menu. Menus have unlimited access to all DADiSP functions, macros, and command files. Each DADiSP menu can call other DADiSP menus, and each can have individualized help and explanation files. You can even build a DADiSP menu with a DADiSP menu.

 

The term menu actually refers to three main types of custom GUI objects:  menulists, summary display boxes, and dialog boxes or panels.  A menulist is simply a list of options, one of which the user may choose.   Menulists do not accept user input.  A menulist can immediately perform a command or call another menu.  Summary display boxes display information.  Summary display boxes do not accept user input, nor do they allow the user to choose an option to perform a function.   Dialog boxes or panels allow user input.  Some of the many features that can appear in a dialog box include:  input fields, radio buttons, check boxes, drop down list boxes, tabbed dialog boxes, separation lines, color pickers, and lists of available DADiSP Windows.  All types of menus can be written to include access to an on-line help file.

 

This discussions of menu development will start with simple menu lists and display menus, and then progress to more complex dialog boxes.  The details of menu controls and features will be presented after the introduction of dialog boxes.  The end of the chapter includes some examples of advanced menus and related techniques.  

 

In this chapter, you will learn about:

 

  1. Invoking and Moving Around Menus

  2. Creating a Custom Menu

  3. Menu File Options

  4. Using Menu Commands and Keywords