Ship Stability Software
Command of the Week
(New or interesting aspects of GHS that you may not know about)
Last week's COW was less than helpful to John Bonn.
He told us he tried the PATHHERE function and found that his "path here"
never varied. We asked him how he managed his
files, and his answer revealed that he kept all
his Geometry files in one place while his Run files
were scattered about, each one within the folder where
he kept all the other files related to a particular job.
His procedure was to bring up GHS via its desktop shortcut, and then
when he wanted to reference a Run file he would include the path to
the appropriate job folder.
There are many ways to organize files. The one John was using is straightforward, but it ignores the advantage of utilizing the working folder. We suggested that instead of prefixing his Run-file name with a path, that he start by using the CHDIR command to switch to the folder where the Run file is to be found—which becomes his working folder. Then he can omit the path when giving the RUN command. Likewise, any Report files and Geometry files that happen to be in that same folder can be accessed simply by their names without including any path prefixes.
John said that sounded easy enough, and he would give it a try. We left it at that, not wanting to overload John with more help than he needed.
GHS can work with any file organization you might have. If not told otherwise, it assumes the working folder as the source and destination for your files, and as described above, you can easily change the location of the working folder. But there is more that GHS can do for you. It can even help you establish folders.
If you provide only a filename with your READ or RUN command, GHS will look beyond the working folder if it is not found there: it checks the Library folder next, and if not found there it looks in the GHS Program folder before telling you that the file was not found.
The Library folder is a good thing. Initially it refers to the current folder, so to be useful, its location needs to be changed. See the original PROJECT COW for details.
The PROJECT command provides additional support for organizing files. There is also a Project pull-down menu at the top of the GHS window which parallels the PROJECT command. See the the manual or HELP PROJECT to get oriented. The wizard Project.wiz is another option.
A minimal use of the PROJECT command is to define a project name of eight characters or less. That by itself doesn't change your working folder: it only provides the default filename. So if you operate within a working folder and define a filename via the PROJECT command, your READ, RUN, and REPORT commands can omit the filename altogether because the PROJECT name will form the first part of the implied filename and the extension will be automatically added according to the type of file (.GF, .RF, or .PF).
Many people have discovered that life with the PC is happier when you break out of the Windows application-oriented paradigm and go back to the file-oriented approach. Windows Explorer can be used for that, but a better tool, which we use here in the COW barn, is EF Commander. Navigation is efficient, and the built-in editor is great for creating and editing Run files. When you double-click a GHS Run file, it's up and running with zero manual keystrokes.
Questions, comments, or requests?
Contact Creative Systems, Inc.
Office hours: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Pacific Time, Monday - Friday Mailing address:
PO Box 1910
Port Townsend, WA 98368 USA Click here for an index to this and previous COWs