Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: editres 1.0.6Index
Return to Main Contents
editres - a dynamic resource editor for X Toolkit applications
accepts all of the standard X Toolkit command line
options (see X(7)
). The order of the command line options is
Editres is a tool that allows users and application developers to view
the full widget hierarchy of any X Toolkit application that speaks the
Editres protocol. In addition, editres will help the user construct
resource specifications, allow the user to apply the resource to
the application and view the results dynamically. Once the user is
happy with a resource specification editres will append the resource
string to the user's X Resources file.
provides a window consisting of the following four areas:
- Menu Bar
A set of popup menus that allow you full access to editres's features.
The panner allows a more intuitive way to scroll the application tree display.
- Message Area
Displays information to the user about the action that editres expects
- Application Widget Tree
This area will be used to display the selected application's widget tree.
To begin an editres session select the Get Widget Tree menu item from
the command menu. This will change the pointer cursor to cross hair.
You should now select the application you wish look at by clicking on
any of its windows. If this application understands the editres
protocol then editres will display the application's widget tree in its
tree window. If
the application does not understand the editres protocol editres will
inform you of this fact in the message area after a few seconds delay.
Once you have a widget tree you may now select any of the other menu
options. The effect of each of these is described below.
- Get Widget Tree
Allows the user to click on any application that speaks the editres
protocol and receive its widget tree.
- Refresh Current Widget Tree
Editres only knows about the widgets that exist at the present time.
Many applications create and destroy widgets on the fly. Selecting
this menu item will cause editres to ask the application to resend its
widget tree, thus updating its information to the new state of the application.
xman only creates the widgets for its topbox when it
starts up. None of the widgets for the manual page window are created
until the user actually clicks on the Manual Page button. If
xman's widget tree before the the manual page is active, you may
wish to refresh the widget tree after the manual page has been
displayed. This will allow you to also edit the manual page's resources.
- Dump Widget Tree to a File
For documenting applications it is often useful to be able to
dump the entire application widget tree to an ASCII file. This file
can then be included in the manual page. When this menu item is selected
a popup dialog is activated. Type the name of the file in this
dialog, and either select okay, or type a carriage-return. Editres
will now dump the widget tree to this file. To cancel the file dialog,
select the cancel button.
- Show Resource Box
This command will popup a resource box for the current application. This
resource box (described in detail below) will allow the user to see
exactly which resources can be set for the widget that is currently
selected in the widget tree display. Only one widget may be currently
selected; if greater or fewer are selected editres will refuse to
pop up the resource box and put an error message in the Message Area.
- Set Resource
This command will popup a simple dialog box for setting an arbitrary
resource on all selected widgets. You must type in the resource name,
as well as the value. You can use the Tab key to switch between the
resource name field the resource value field.
menu contains several commands that allow operations to
be performed on the widget tree.
- Select Widget in Client
This menu item allows you to select any widget in the application; editres
will then highlight the corresponding element the widget tree display.
this menu item is selected the pointer cursor will again turn to a
crosshair, and you must click any pointer button in the widget you
wish to have displayed. Since some widgets are fully obscured by
their children, it is not possible to get to every widget this way,
but this mechanism does give very useful feedback between the elements
in the widget tree and those in the actual application.
- Select All
- Unselect All
- Invert All
These functions allow the user to select, unselect, or invert all
widgets in the widget tree.
- Select Children
- Select Parents
These functions select the immediate parent or children of each of the
currently selected widgets.
- Select Descendants
- Select Ancestors
These functions select all parents or children of each of the
currently selected widgets. This is a recursive search.
- Show Widget Names
- Show Class Names
- Show Widget IDs
- Show Widget Windows
When the tree widget is initially displayed the labels of each widget
in the tree correspond to the widget names. These functions will
cause the label of all widgets in the tree to be changed to show the
class name, IDs, or window associated with each widget in the application.
The widget IDs, and windows are shown as hex numbers.
In addition there are keyboard accelerators for each of the
Tree operations. If the input focus is over an individual widget in
the tree, then that operation will only effect that widget. If the
input focus is in the Tree background it will have
exactly the same effect as the corresponding menu item.
entries shown may be applied to any widget in the application. If
that widget is a child of the Tree widget, then it will only affect that
widget, otherwise it will have the same effect as the commands in the
- Flash Active Widgets
This command is the inverse of the Select Widget in Client
command, it will show the user each widget that is currently selected in
the widget tree, by flashing the corresponding widget in the
application numFlashes (three by default) times in the
|N||Show Widget Names||Relabel(name)|
|C||Show Class Names||Relabel(class)|
|I||Show Widget IDs||Relabel(id)|
|W||Show Widget Windows||Relabel(window)|
|T||Toggle Widget/Class Name||Relabel(toggle)|
Clicking button 1 on a widget adds it to the set of selected widgets.
Clicking button 2 on a widget deselects all other widgets and then
selects just that widget.
Clicking button 3 on a widget toggles its label between the widget's
instance name the widget's class name.
USING THE RESOURCE BOX
The resource box contains five different areas. Each of the areas,
as they appear on the screen, from top to bottom will be discussed.
- The Resource Line
This area at the top of the resource box shows the current resource
name exactly as it would appear if you were to save it to a file or
- The Widget Names and Classes
This area allows you to select exactly which widgets this resource will
apply to. The area contains four lines, the first contains the
name of the selected widget and all its ancestors, and the more restrictive
dot (.) separator. The second line contains less specific the
of each widget, and well as the less restrictive star (*) separator.
The third line contains a set of special buttons called Any Widget
which will generalize this level to match any widget.
The last line contains a set of special buttons called Any
Widget Chain which will turn the single level into something that
matches zero or more levels.
The initial state of this area is the most restrictive, using the
resource names and the dot separator. By selecting the other buttons
in this area you can ease the restrictions to allow more and more widgets
to match the specification. The extreme case is to select all the
Any Widget Chain buttons, which will match every widget in the
application. As you select different buttons the tree display will update
to show you exactly which widgets will be effected by the current
- Normal and Constraint Resources
The next area allows you to select the name of the normal or
constraint resources you wish to set. Some widgets may not have constraint
resources, so that area will not appear.
- Resource Value
This next area allows you to enter the resource value. This value
should be entered exactly as you would type a line into your resource file.
Thus it should contain no unescaped new-lines. There are a few
special character sequences for this file:
\n - This will be replaced with a newline.
\### - Where # is any octal digit. This will be replaced with a
single byte that contains this sequence interpreted as an octal number.
For example, a value containing a NULL byte can be stored by
\<new-line> - This will compress to nothing.
\\ - This will compress to a single backslash.
- Command Area
This area contains several command buttons, described in
- Set Save File
This button allows the user to modify file that the resources
will be saved to. This button will bring up a dialog box that will
ask you for a filename; once the filename has been entered, either hit
carriage-return or click on the okay button. To pop down the
dialog box without changing the save file, click the cancel button.
This button will append the resource line described above to the
end of the current save file. If no save file has been set the Set
Save File dialog box will be popped up to prompt the user for a filename.
This button attempts to perform a XtSetValues call on all widgets
that match the resource line described above. The value specified
is applied directly to all matching widgets. This behavior is an attempt
to give a dynamic feel to the resource editor. Since this feature allows
users to put an application in states it may not be willing to handle,
a hook has been provided to allow specific applications to
block these SetValues
requests (see Blocking Editres Requests below).
Unfortunately due to design constraints imposed on the widgets by the X
Toolkit and the Resource Manager, trying to coerce an inherently
static system into dynamic behavior can cause strange results. There
is no guarantee that the results of an apply will be the same as what
will happen when you save the value and restart the application.
This functionality is provided to try to give you a rough feel for what
your changes will accomplish, and the results obtained should be considered
suspect at best. Having said that, this is one of the neatest
features of editres, and I strongly suggest that you play with it, and
see what it can do.
- Save and Apply
This button combines the Save and Apply actions described above into
- Popdown Resource Box
This button will remove the resource box from the display.
BLOCKING EDITRES REQUESTS
The editres protocol has been built into the Athena Widget set. This allows
all applications that are linked against Xaw to be able to speak to the
resource editor. While this provides great flexibility, and is a
useful tool, it can quite easily be abused. It is therefore possible
for any Xaw application to specify a value for the editresBlock
resource described below, to keep editres from divulging information
about its internals, or to disable the SetValues
part of the protocol.
- editresBlock (Class EditresBlock)
Specifies which type of blocking this application wishes to impose on the
The accepted values are:
Block all requests.
Block all SetValues requests. As this is the only editres request that
actually modifies the application, this is in effect stating that the
application is read-only.
Allow all editres requests.
Remember that these resources are set on any Xaw application, not
editres. They allow individual applications to keep all or some
of the requests editres makes from ever succeeding. Of course,
editres is also an Xaw application, so it may also be viewed and modified
by editres (rather recursive, I know), these commands can be blocked
by setting the editresBlock resource on editres itself.
the available application resources are:
- numFlashes (Class NumFlashes)
Specifies the number of times the widgets in the application
will be flashed when the Show Active Widgets command in invoked.
- flashTime (Class FlashTime)
Amount of time between the flashes described above.
- flashColor (Class flashColor)
Specifies the color used to flash application widgets. A bright color
should be used that will immediately draw your attention to the area being
flashed, such as red or yellow.
- saveResourcesFile (Class SaveResourcesFile)
This is the file the resource line will be append to when the Save
button activated in the resource box.
In order to specify resources, it is useful to know the hierarchy of
the widgets which compose editres
. In the notation below,
indentation indicates hierarchical structure. The widget class name
is given first, followed by the widget instance name.
Toggle <name of widget in application>
to get the default host and display number.
to get the name of a resource file that overrides the global resources
stored in the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.
specifies required resources
(1), Athena Widget Set
This is a prototype, there are lots of nifty features I would love to add,
but I hope this will give you some ideas about what a resource editor
Chris D. Peterson, formerly MIT X Consortium
- USING EDITRES
- TREE COMMANDS
- USING THE RESOURCE BOX
- BLOCKING EDITRES REQUESTS
- SEE ALSO