DrDialog (Doctor Dialog)

Release date: 
Friday, 17 February, 2017




DrDialog is an application builder from IBM Developer Connection. It allows developers to build windowed 32-bit applications using the classic Rexx language, does not need any extra runtime. (C) IBM, freeware.

DrDialog's execution on systems higher than OS/2 Warp 3.0 (for which the product was not originally designed, moreover stopping prematurely) is the result of amateur experience and is justified part by the uniqueness of the software, part with some strengths currently still valid and never equaled by alternative products, such as:

  • It is very easy to use.
  • It has a very complete implementation of PM controls - the container control even allows editing of the contents in detail view.
  • It is based on native OS/2 Rexx. Every Rexx utility package, Rexx enabled application interface, and Rexx enabled OS/2 API can be used in a DrDialog application.
  • It is extendable using the DrsAide tool and hooks to others programming languages such C/C++, expanding his features adding just few extra code.
  • The source code and executables are very small in terms of size, even for applications which are consistent and the executable code itself is extremely efficient.

Considering these features, and since it is practically the only free product for visual programming language REXX under OS/2, the total lack of official support, has not slightest impact on its spread.

This software is distributed in two modes:
  • as compressed package that you have to download and manually install; if prerequisites are required, you will have to manually install them too;
  • as RPM package; you can install it using your favorite rpm package manager, that will take care to download and install both the software and its prerequisites.
Choose the installation mode that you prefer. Please note that not all the versions are available in both the installation modes.

Installation with rpm

This program is installable using the rpm package manager. See below for the install string. Required prerequisites are automatically processed by the package manager and, if needed, downloaded and installed.

DrCtl-0.1.7-2.oc00 (17/02/2017)
Repository: Netlabs stable
Install with ANPM or running the command:
yum install DrCtl

Manual installation

Program is distributed as ZIP package: download to temporary directory and unpack to destination folder. See below for download link(s).

Installation for the only freely available release has some bugs and instructions about are mostly incomplete, however experience has defined an iter which, although resulting in a cumbersome installation and definitely binding, is functional and above all, able to be used successfully on OS/2 Warp 4.0 and higher.

It is therefore suggested to follow this steps:

  • Unpack to destination folder;
  • Apply the two Fix if you also want to use Object Rexx (for those who use eCS, updating RC.EXE is not necessary), you can also use the resources compiler from WATCOM;
  • Create two empty files named DrRexx.RES and DrDialog.RES inside the destination directory;
  • Run the rexx script INSTALL.CMD to create the folder with the objects;
  • Edit CONFIG.SYS and add the target directory to environment variables LIBPATH, PATH, DPATH and HELP;
  • Reboot the system.

At this point, the programming environment is properly installed, but compiling source code using the procedure described in the manual included can block the WorkPlaceShell on systems running OS/2 Warp 4.0 and above, forcing to reboot the system.

To work around this problem, it is necessary invoking DrDialog from prompt as follow:

DrDialog.exe -pX:\PATH_TO_DRDIALOG

to set in user preference profile the location of DRDIALOG.INI.

If you are still unable to build, check that the buildlevel of the resource compiler in use is compatible with the updated levels provided by the operating system and development tools that may be installed. If you do not know the required levels, to empirically identify the right or compatible version of the resource compiler, it is useful to save the developed code directly inside DrDialog installation path, together with the resource compiler to try, so that the toolkit uses first this occurency. However, we recommend that you match the upgrade levels for all products in use, always checking the mutual compatibility.

Fundamentals of REXX language, mandatory to the use of this toolkit, can be found in the book "Procedures Language/2 REXX User's Guide", included into the operating system, and in the REXX Reference Summary Handbook.

Following ones are the download links for manual installation:

DrDialog (Doctor Dialog) v. 20031102 (2/11/2003)
DrDialog Control v. 0.1.5-.7 (2/11/2003, Chris Wohlgemuth) Readme/What's new
DrCtl 0.1.7 final release from Chris Wohlgemuth Final document is from 0.1.4 This Rexx DLL contains new controls for use with DrDialog. Use it by creating a user control when building your dialog in DrDialog. Have a look at the file Demo.res for more information. Four controls are available: -A percent bar (DRD_PERCENTBAR) -A fly overhelp control (DRD_BUBBLEHELP) -New with V01.1.2: An image control (DRD_IMAGE) which displays any image file supported by OS/2. -New with V0.1.2: a directory picker Some functions are included to set the parent<->child relationship between dialogs. History: ------- New with V0.1.4: -Functions to set the parent of a dialog New with V0.1.3: (not publicly available) -Flyover help may have several lines now. Rexx functions -------------- The following Rexxfunctions are available in the DLL: DRCtrlLoadFuncs: Load all functions of this DLL and make them available to Rexx. DRCtrlDropFuncs: Drop all registered functions. DRCtrlRegister: Register the new controls with DrDialog so they can be used. See 'How to use the controls' for more information. DRCtrlVersion: Query the release. SAY DRCtrlVersion() returns "0.1.3" (or any other version number) DRCtrlPickDirectory: Open a dialog to pick a directory DRCtrlSetParent: Set the parent of a dialog. Normaly all dialogs created by DrDialog are childs of the desktop. You may set the owner of these dialogs using a built in function but not the parent. Why do you want to change the parent? For example if you create a dialog containing a lot of controls on top of another dialog the top dialog doesn't move with the bottom dialog when it is dragged using the mouse. If you click into the top dialog the focus switches to that dialog and the titlebar of the bottom dialog becomes inactive even if the top dialog doesn't has a titlebar. That is very confusing to the user. Using this new function it's possible to connect the top dialog to the bottom one eliminating these problems. Example: rc=DRCtrlSetParent( dialogID, newParentID) Returns: 1: success 0: failure Note: The dialogs MUST be main dialogs. This means they're childs of the desktop. This is true for all dialogs created by DrDialog If you want to change parents for other dialogs use DRCtrlSetParentFromHWND(). If you change the parent of a dialog hints and bubblehelp no longer work for that dialog. DRCtrlGetHWND: Get the window handle of a dialog. This handle is used internally by PM. Example: rc=DRCtrlSetParentFromHWND( hwnd, newParentHWND) Returns: 0: failure other: the window handle (HWND) Note: If hwnd==0 it's assumed the dialog is a child of the desktop. This is the case for dialogs initially created by DrDialog. DRCtrlSetParentFromHWND: Sets the parent<->child relationship of dialogs using window handles. The dialogs may be child dialogs of a dialog. Use DRCtrlGetHWND() to query the HWND of a dialog. Example: rc=DRCtrlSetParentFromHWND( hwnd, newParentHWND) Returns: 1: success 0: failure Note: If you change the parent of a dialog hints and bubblehelp no longer work for that dialog. How to use the controls ---------------------- In your init function register the new Rexx function "DRCtrlRegister" with Rexx and then call it to register the new controls with your DrDialog application. The controls must be registered in every application because this call is local to the calling process. NOTE: The DLL must be in the current directory, the libpath or where the DrRexx.exe is. The default DrDialog installation sets the working dir for DrRexx.exe to the installation directory. So loading may fail if you start your app with a double click. Copy the DLL to your DrDialog installation directory or change the working directory then. Example: /***************************************/ /* Register the new function with Rexx */ /* This means make the function avaliable to Rexx */ rc=RxFuncAdd("DRCtrlRegister", 'drusrctl' , "DRCtrlRegister") /* Register the new controls with your application */ /* This means make the controls available to DrDialog */ call DRCtrlRegister ... /***************************************/ 1. Percent bars --------------- You may change the colors by using the Color() function of DrDialog: /* Change color of bar */ call Color '-','#255 0 0' /* Change color of text */ call Color '+','#255 255 255' You may change the font of the text by using the Font() function of DrDialog: /* Change font to 18.Helv */ call Font '18.Helv' The value of each bar may be set using the Text() function: /* Set bar to 30% */ call Text '30' The label of each bar may be set using the Text() function: /* Set bar to 30% and label to '3 of 10' */ call Text '30#3 of 10' The first part of the text string must be the value the bar should be set to. Everything after the '#' is printed as the label on the bar. You may use any text for the label or no label at all. If you don't want a label only set the value. 2. Flyover help window --------------------- Create a control of type DRD_BUBBLEHELP and set it as the default for hints: call isDefault 'C' call isDefault 'D' Now any hint specified for a control or dialog is shown as a fly over help at the position of the mouse pointer. Use the following calls to customize the fly over help. You may change the colors by using the Color() function of DrDialog: /* Change background color */ call Color '-','#255 0 0' /* Change foreground color of text */ call Color '+','#255 255 255' You may change the font of the text by using the Font() function of DrDialog: /* Change font to 18.Helv */ call Font '18.Helv' Change the delay until the bubble opens using the Text() function: /* Change the delay to 300 ms untill the bubble is opened */ call Text "#delay 300" Change the time the bubble is shown: /* Show the bubble for 2500 ms */ call Text "#show 2500" If you want to have multiline hints use '0a'x to indicate a break. /* Show a two line hint */ call hint "As you can see hints"||'0a'x||"may use several lines..." Note: DrDialog limits the length of a hint to 127 characters. 3. Image control --------------- The image control displays any image file known to OS/2. Create a control of type DRD_IMAGE and load an image on it using the text() function. call text "x:\the_path\image.jpg" The image will be stretched to fit the control. There's a function to select parts of the displayed image. A thin rectangle will be drawn and the user may change and move the selection using the mouse. By using the text function it's possible to set and query the current selection. You have to enable this feature by sending the following control string to the control. /* Enable the select feature */ call text "#E 1" To disable the feature use the string /* DisAble the select feature */ call text "#E 0" Query the current selection: /* Get the current slected area */ selection=text() The format of the returned string is: xLeft yBottom xRight yTop If there's no selection the string will contain zeros: 0 0 0 0 To preset a selection area use the text function with a control string. call text "#s xLeft yBottom xRight yTop" for example: call text "#s 12 22 100 145" 4. Directory picker ------------------- Use this REXX function to pick a directory. theDir=DRCtrlPickDirectory("x:\the_path\directory", "Title of directory") When the first parameter is given, the directory dialog will be prefilled with the given path. The second parameter may be omitted. The default Title is "Find directory". The function returns the chosen directory or an empty string if the user selected cancel or an error occurred. License ------- /* * Copyright (c) Chris Wohlgemuth 2001-2003 * All rights reserved. * * http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Sector/5785/ * http://www.os2world.com/cdwriting * * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without * modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions * are met: * 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright * notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer. * 2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright * notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the * documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution. * 3. The authors name may not be used to endorse or promote products * derived from this software without specific prior written permission. * * THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED ``AS IS'' AND * ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE * IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE * ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE * FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL * DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS * OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) * HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT * LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY * OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF * SUCH DAMAGE. * */ Author ------ Copyright Chris Wohlgemuth 2001-2003 http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Sector/5785/ http://www.os2world.com/cdwriting
 ecsoft2.org/it/system/files/repository/drdialogctrl1.5_1.7.zip  local copy
DrDialog Reference Book (PDF) (2/11/2003)
Fix for creating executables (2/11/2003)
Fix for Object Rexx (2/11/2003)
Object Rexx integration (2/11/2003)
Record updated last time on: 19/01/2019 - 20:07


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