Last modified: December 2013

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AHELP for CIAO 4.12


Context: gui


Graphical User Interface (GUI)


A Graphical User Interface (GUI; pronounced "gooey") is an alternative to command-line tool use. The purpose of a GUI is to give users an intuitive, visual interface for interacting with their data. CIAO contains a number of GUI's, as listed below. These GUI's were written with the GTK toolkit. This file describes those topics relevant to all the GUI's; for help on an individual gui use "ahelp <gui name>".

GUI Brief description
peg peg is a graphical parameter editor. It allows you to set parameters for tools and run them without having to use command-line tools like pset and plist.
prism Provides the user with the ability to view (both numerically and graphically) the contents of data files.
taskmonitor GUI to run a task as a background process and display the output.

Command-line options

All the GUI's support the "--help" command-line option which lists the available options, as shown in this example with prism:

unix% prism --help

  prism [OPTION...] [FILE] - launches prism, a graphical file viewer

Help Options:
  -?, --help               Show help options
  --help-all               Show all help options
  --help-gtk               Show GTK+ Options

Application Options:
  -r, --rcfile             Alternate configuration (rc) file
  -v, --version            Display program version
  --display=DISPLAY        X display to use

Running CIAO Tools from a GUI

All the GUIs contain an "Analysis" menu from which tools can be launched. The CIAO distribution comes with a default setting for the menu contents - see the text file $ASCDS_INSTALL/bin/ciao.ans - but it is easy to configure a menu tailored to your own requirements. The menu format uses the same system as ds9, which means you can use the same menu in ds9 and the CIAO GUIs; see "ahelp analysis-menu" for more details.

Configuring the look of the GUIs

The CIAO software may utilize a resource file to perform user dependent configuration of the GUI's. Each GUI looks for a hierarchy of GTK resource files. These configuration files contain entries for items such as foreground/background colors for various conditions (e.g. "normal" "selected"), minimum slider bar lengths, button styles, fonts and tooltip styles. A hierarchy exists regarding the name/existence of the resource files to be used. The hierarchy is: command line specification, then application specific, then ciao specific, then default (.gtkrc), and, lastly, GTK internal default values. However, if the user specified an rc file on the command line, and that rc file is invalid, the GUI's do not fall through to the other choices but go directly to the GTK internal settings.

See Also

coords, level, pileup, times
autoname, ciao, ciao-install, ciaorc, history, parameter, stack, subspace
dm, dmascii, dmbinning, dmfiltering, dmmasks, dmopt, dmregions
analysis-menu, peg, prism, taskmonitor