C5DG-9 Terminal Drivers

Clipper 5.x – Drivers Guide

Chapter 9

Alternate Terminal Drivers

Clipper supports a driver architecture that allows Clipper- compiled applications to use alternate terminal drivers. This architecture provides support for nonstandard video hardware and ANSI output devices, allowing your applications to run in a wider variety of environments.

The following terminal drivers are supplied as part of the Clipper Development System and are discussed in this chapter:

. The ANSITERM driver provides ANSI terminal support for systems that require it

. The NOVTERM driver causes Clipper applications to execute faster when run on some nondedicated network server software

. The PCBIOS driver provides direct BIOS calls rather than direct screen writes for systems requiring this form of I/O

In This Chapter

This chapter discusses how Alternate Terminal Drivers fit into the overall Clipper architecture as well as how to install and use each of the supplied terminal drivers. The following major topics are discussed:

. The Alternate Terminal Driver Architecture

. The ANSITERM Alternate Terminal Driver

. The NOVTERM Alternate Terminal Driver

. The PCBIOS Alternate Terminal Driver

The Alternate Terminal Driver Architecture

In Clipper, communication with I/O devices is controlled by a multilayered terminal system. At the lowest level is the terminal driver which controls screen and keyboard activity. It consists of a screen and keyboard driver that communicates directly with the I/O device (operating system or hardware). It is the device specific part of the Clipper terminal system.

There is, then, a higher level system that communicates with terminal drivers. This system is known as the General Terminal (GT) system and provides general services that create Clipper screen and keyboard commands and functions. The following figure demonstrates:

                   +—————————————–+

                   | CA-Clipper screen and keyboard commands |
                   |              and functions              |
                   |-----------------------------------------|
                   |        General Terminal (GT.OBJ)        |
                   ------------------------------------------|
                   |             Terminal Driver             |
                   |-----------------------------------------|
                   |          Screen   |   Keyboard          |
                   +-----------------------------------------+

The default terminal driver, designed for IBM PC and 100% compatibles, is supplied as a library file (TERMINAL.LIB) installed into your \CLIPPER5\LIB directory. This driver links into each program automatically if you specify no alternative terminal driver provided that you do not use the /R option when you compile. An alternate terminal driver is supplied as a separate library (.LIB) file that links into an application program in place of the default terminal driver if you specify it on the link line.

All alternate terminal drivers work through the General Terminal layer as supplied in the file GT.OBJ. The Clipper installation program installs this file in the \CLIPPER5\OBJ subdirectory on the drive that you specify, so you need not install the driver manually.

The ANSITERM Alternate Terminal Driver

The ANSITERM terminal driver supports the ANSI screen mode for all screen display from Clipper programs.

This screen mode is installed by specifying ANSI.SYS in the user’s CONFIG.SYS. ANSI.SYS replaces the default DOS CON device driver for video display and keyboard input. Once installed it supports ANSI escape sequences to erase the screen, set the screen mode, and control the cursor in a hardware-independent way. Most modern DOS programs, however, do not use it and write either directly to the video hardware or use BIOS routines for enhanced screen performance.

Use the ANSI screen mode for Clipper programs that run on hardware that does not support either writing to video hardware or BIOS calls for screen display. This is the case when using alternative display hardware to support the blind.

Note: The ANSITERM terminal driver fully supports all screen and keyboard functionality of the default terminal driver. This includes the ability to save and restore screens and support for all keys on the standard 101-key keyboard.

Installing ANSITERM Terminal Files

The ANSITERM terminal driver is supplied as the file ANSITERM.LIB. The Clipper installation program installs this file in the \CLIPPER5\LIB subdirectory on the drive that you specify, so you need not install it manually.

Linking the ANSITERM Terminal Driver

To link the ANSITERM alternate terminal driver into an application program, you must specify both GT.OBJ and ANSITERM.LIB to the linker along with your application object (.OBJ) modules.

1. To link with .RTLink using positional syntax:

C>RTLINK <appObjectList> GT,,, ANSITERM

2. To link with .RTLink using freeformat syntax:

C>RTLINK FI <appObjectList>, GT LIB ANSITERM

3. To link with .RTLink using ANSITERM.PLL and freeformat syntax:

C>RTLINK FI <appObjectList> /PLL:ANSITERM

Note: These link commands assume you have set the LIB, OBJ, and PLL environment variables to the standard locations. They also assume that the Clipper programs were compiled without the /R option.

Important! You cannot link the ANSITERM driver with BASE52.PLL. An application linked with both ANSITERM.LIB and BASE52.PLL may cause the computer to freeze upon execution.

The Runtime Environment

Using ANSITERM.LIB requires that ANSI.SYS be installed on the user’s computer. To accomplish this, include the following statement in the user’s CONFIG.SYS:

DEVICE=ANSI.SYS

Performance Concerns

Because the ANSITERM terminal driver uses buffered screen writes for all screen painting, some operations, especially those that scroll the screen, are slow. These include:

1. All box drawing commands and functions

2. All console commands and functions when scrolling

3. All clear screen commands and functions

4. All restore screen commands and functions

5. Standard out functions (OUTSTD() and OUTERR()) whether the screen is scrolling or not

Note: Overall performance of Clipper programs is slower since the ANSITERM terminal driver must spend more time polling for user events than the standard Clipper terminal driver.

Screen Output from C and Assembly Language

The ANSITERM terminal driver overwrites all output from C and Assembly Language when it refreshes the screen from the screen buffer. As a consequence, you should perform all screen output from Clipper.

The ANSITERM terminal driver also virtualizes the cursor. This means that BIOS functions that report the location of the hardware cursor will not always return the correct value. To obtain the cursor position, use Clipper’s ROW() and COL() functions instead.

Other Incompatibilities

1. ISCOLOR() always returns false (.F.).

2. When you load DBU, the default color mode is monochrome unless you specify DBU with the /C command line option.

3. The first time you invoke the Debugger, the default color mode is also monochrome unless you set the Options:Mono display off.

4. When an application linked with the ANSITERM terminal driver terminates, the last color set in the application becomes the DOS color. This happens since colors set with ANSITERM are global to DOS and Clipper cannot query DOS for the current screen colors as the application loads.

5. Nondisplaying ASCII characters are presented as a space by the ANSITERM terminal driver. These include BELL (CHR(7)), BS (CHR(8)), TAB (CHR(9)), LF (CHR(10)), CR (CHR(13)), and ESC (CHR(27)).

The NOVTERM Alternate Terminal Driver

The NOVTERM terminal driver is a special-purpose driver that circumvents an incompatibility between some nondedicated network server software and Clipper. This incompatibility causes printers connected to the server to slow to an unusable rate.

Clipper applications and nondedicated servers compete for resources. Clipper applications make use of the time between keystrokes to perform various system tasks. This greatly improves the application’s overall performance by limiting its idle time. Certain nondedicated servers only attempt to print within an application’s idle time. Since a Clipper application is seldom idle, this greatly slows printing.

Important! The NOVTERM terminal driver corrects the incompatibility by preventing the Clipper application from using idle time. Because this can severely hamper performance, you should only use the NOVTERM terminal driver when necessary, and then you should link it only into those applications that are physically running the nondedicated server.

Note: The NOVTERM terminal driver fully supports all screen and keyboard functionality of the default terminal driver. This includes the ability to save and restore screens and support for all keys on the standard 101-key keyboard.

Installing NOVTERM Terminal Files

The NOVTERM terminal driver is supplied as the file NOVTERM.LIB. The Clipper installation program installs the driver file in the \CLIPPER5\LIB subdirectory on the drive that you specify, so you need not install it manually.

Linking the NOVTERM Terminal Driver

To link the NOVTERM alternate terminal driver into an application, you must specify both GT.OBJ and NOVTERM.LIB to the linker with your application object (.OBJ) modules.

1. To link with .RTLink using positional syntax:

C>RTLINK <appObjectList> GT,,, NOVTERM

2. To link with .RTLink using freeformat syntax:

C>RTLINK FI <appObjectList>, GT LIB NOVTERM

3. To link with .RTLink using NOVTERM.PLL and freeformat syntax:

C>RTLINK FI <appObjectList> /PLL:NOVTERM

Note: These link commands assume you have set the LIB, OBJ, and PLL environment variables to the standard locations. They also assume that the Clipper programs were compiled without the /R option.

Important! You cannot link the NOVTERM driver with BASE52.PLL. An application linked with both NOVTERM.LIB and BASE52.PLL may cause the computer to freeze upon execution.

Performance Concerns

Overall performance of Clipper programs is slower since the NOVTERM terminal driver must spend more time polling for user events than the standard Clipper terminal driver and since the program will not use its idle time for other tasks.

Screen Output from C and Assembly Language

The NOVTERM terminal driver overwrites all output from C and Assembly Language when it refreshes the screen from the screen buffer. Therefore, you should perform all screen output from Clipper.

The NOVTERM terminal driver also virtualizes the cursor. This means that BIOS functions that report the location of the hardware cursor will not always return the correct value. To obtain the cursor position, use Clipper’s ROW() and COL() functions.

The PCBIOS Alternate Terminal Driver

The PCBIOS terminal driver uses BIOS calls instead of direct screen writes. It is designedd for applications that trap BIOS calls to redirect output over telecommunication lines or to convert output to a form compatible with two-byte character sets.

Note: The PCBIOS terminal driver fully supports all screen and keyboard functionality of the default terminal driver. This includes the ability to save and restore screens and support for all keys on the standard 101-key keyboard.

Installing PCBIOS Terminal Files

The PCBIOS terminal driver is supplied as the file, PCBIOS.LIB. The Clipper installation program installs the driver file in the \CLIPPER5\LIB subdirectory on the drive that you specify, so you need not install it manually.

Linking the PCBIOS Terminal Driver

To link the PCBIOS alternate terminal driver into an application program, you must specify both GT.OBJ and PCBIOS.LIB to the linker in addition to your application object (.OBJ) modules.

1. To link with .RTLink using positional syntax:

   C>RTLINK <appObjectList> GT,,, PCBIOS;

2. To link with .RTLink using freeformat syntax:

   C>RTLINK FI <appObjectList>, GT LIB PCBIOS

3. To link with .RTLink using PCBIOS.PLL and freeformat syntax:

   C>RTLINK FI <appObjectList> /PLL:PCBIOS

Note: These link commands assume you have set the LIB, OBJ, and PLL environment variables to the standard locations. They also assume that the Clipper programs were compiled without the /R option.

Important! You cannot link the PCBIOS driver with BASE52.PLL. An application linked with both PCBIOS.LIB and BASE52.PLL may cause the user’s computer to freeze when the user executes it.

Performance Concerns

Because the PCBIOS terminal driver uses buffered screen writes for all screen painting, some operations, especially those that scroll the screen, are slow. These include:

1. All box drawing commands and functions

2. All console commands and functions when scrolling

3. All clear screen commands and functions

4. All restore screen commands and functions

5. Standard out functions (OUTSTD() and OUTERR()) whether the screen is scrolling or not

Screen Output from C and Assembly Language

The PCBIOS terminal driver also overwrites all output from C and Assembly Language when it refreshes the screen from the screen buffer. Therefore, you should perform all screen output from Clipper.

The PCBIOS terminal driver also virtualizes the cursor. This means that BIOS functions that report the location of the hardware cursor do not always return the correct value. To obtain the cursor position, use Clipper’s ROW() and COL() functions.

Summary

This chapter has introduced you to the Alternate Terminal Driver concept, giving you specific information on the architecture used to implement them in Clipper. Each of the alternate terminal drivers supplied with Clipper was discussed, including how to link and use it into your application and the implications of doing so.

Advertisements

C5DG-1 Introduction

Clipper 5.x – Drivers Guide

Chapter 1

Introduction

Important!

Some of the topics in this guide are intended for advanced Clipper developers. Much of this information is presented at a fairly high level and requires programming knowledge beyond the Clipper language. Other parts are useful to users of all levels. Refer to the “User Interface Levels” section of the Replaceable Database Driver Architecture chapter to determine which part of the language is appropriate to your level of expertise.

Based on your own experience level with the Clipper language, you should decide whether you wish to take advantage of these new and advanced features. The Reference guide contains existing Clipper command and function syntax and descriptions. This guide addresses new extensions to Clipper. Understanding this information should enable you to increase the power and effectiveness of your applications.

Clipper supports a driver architecture that allows Clipper- compiled applications to use replaceable database and terminal drivers. This Drivers guide contains all the information you need to use the replaceable drivers provided as part of the Clipper Development System.

Overview of RDD System

RDD is an abbreviation for Replaceable Database Driver, and it is used to describe an interface that controls how your application accesses and manipulates database and ancillary files.
Clipper provides several RDDs to give you access to the database, memo, and index file formats of many popular database software products. By simply linking the proper RDD with your application, you get automatic, easy access to files created by other database engines.

Moreover, Clipper gives you new and enhanced commands and functions designed to make your applications independent of the RDD in use. Using RDDs, you can give end users more flexibility in choosing to migrate to your Clipper applications without losing data and to easily move their data back and forth between applications if they prefer.

Overview of Alternate Terminal Drivers

An Alternate Terminal Driver is a library file (.LIB) that controls how your application addresses the screen output device. Clipper provides several Alternate Terminal Drivers to allow your applications to run in a wider variety of environments.

Note: To perform normal information presented in screen input/output in a Clipper application, you do not need the Drivers guide. The default database and terminal drivers are automatically linked and the commands and functions used for these purposes are discussed in the Reference guide. For several categorized lists of these commands and functions, refer to Appendix G: Categorized Language Tables in the Error Messages and Appendices guide.

In This Guide

This guide consists of nine chapters including this Introduction chapter.

For an online version of this guide accessible while operating your program editor or any other development utility, use The Guide To Clipper.

Chapter 2: Replaceable Database Driver Architecture

The Clipper database system supports a driver architecture that makes Clipper-compiled applications data format independent. Such applications can, therefore, access the data formats of other database systems, including the dBASE IV (.mdx), FoxPro (.cdx), and Paradox (.db) formats on a variety of equipment. This chapter discusses how RDDs fit into the overall Clipper architecture, defines the basic terminology you will need to understand subsequent chapters, and summarizes new and enhanced commands and functions designed to support the RDD architecture.

Chapter 3: Reference

Clipper 5.x provides many new and enhanced commands and functions that you will use to access and manipulate databases and to get specific information about the RDD in use. This chapter contains entries for all new Clipper commands and functions designed for use with RDDs. As for existing language elements, only those that were changed to accommodate the new RDD architecture are documented here. Other language elements that are specifically designed for database manipulation and have not been altered (e.g., USE) are documented in the Reference guide.

Chapter 4: DBFCDX Driver Installation and Usage

The DBFCDX database driver provides access to FoxPro 2 (.cdx) and (.idx) file formats. This chapter explains how to install DBFCDX and how to use it in your applications.

Chapter 5: DBFMDX Driver Installation and Usage

The DBFMDX database driver provides access to dBASE IV (.dbf), (.mdx), and (.dbt) file formats. The driver also supports dBASE IV-compatible file and record locking schemes, allowing shared access between Clipper and dBASE IV programs. This chapter explains how to install DBFMDX and how to use it in your applications.

Chapter 6: DBFNDX Driver Installation and Usage

The DBFNDX database driver uses the Clipper driver architecture to access dBASE III PLUS compatible index files within a Clipper program, allowing you to create, access, and update dBASE III and dBASE III PLUS compatible index (.ndx) files. This chapter explains how to install DBFNDX and how to use it in your applications.

Chapter 7: DBFNTX Driver Installation and Usage

DBFNTX is the default database driver for Clipper that lets you create and maintain (.ntx) files with features above and beyond those supplied with previous versions of DBFNTX. This chapter details these new features and explains how to install and use DBFNTX in your applications.

Chapter 8: DBPX Driver Installation and Usage

The DBPX database driver provides access to Paradox 3.5 (.db), (.px), (.x) and (.y) file formats. This chapter explains how to install DBPX and how to use it in your applications.

Chapter 9: Alternate Terminal Drivers

Clipper provides several Alternate Terminal Drivers to allow your applications to run in a wider variety of environments. This chapter discusses how Alternate Terminal Drivers fit into the overall Clipper architecture, as well as how to install and use each of the supplied terminal drivers: ANSITERM, NOVTERM, and PCBIOS.