#    README - An extension to Perl to access Xforms functions.
#    Copyright (C) 1996-1997  Martin Bartlett
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This is an extension to Perl that allows you to call the Xforms GUI api
from a standard Perl script. The implications are quite impressive - you
can now develop complex X applications in Perl. The package includes a
number of examples in the DEMOS directory, many of which are unashamedly 
plagerised from the Xforms DEMOS directory. See, especially, the ProcExp.pl
DEMO for an example of how to really get under the covers of Xforms and
produce a neat little application - its a filesystem explorer complete with
splitter bar, tree view and list view. Run it with 'ProcExp.pl -fs' for its
general filesystem mode, or with no switch if you have a Linux system and
a /proc filesystem, for its special proc filesystem mode.

This is the 0.8.4 release of the extension and operates with both the 0.88
public release, and the previous 0.86 public release of the Xforms 
library. It requires at least Perl 5.002 and has been successfully compiled 
and run on all major versions of Perl up to and including 5.004. Perl 5.004
with Xforms 0.88 is the recommended platform.

Please consider this an Alpha release - that is, it's a release that may cause
you to 'alf-beat your head on a hard spiky object! I have not tested EVERY 
function. As releases pile up on each other this becomes less and less of a 
'good-thing' since now most of the functions are definitely NOT implemented 
with bog-standard XSUB code. 


Almost everything in Xforms 0.86 and 0.88! From basic forms to XEvent 
processing, from GL canvases to XY plots. The man page X11::Xforms details
what's NOT here - and why.

There are also two major 'Value Added Features' that give you additional 
facilities not provided with the Xforms library itself:

	. The Class Initialization Callback
	. The Global Initialization Script

Those familiar with Xforms programming will know the pains they have to go
through in order to customize objects to get a common system look-and-feel
other than the Xforms default. These two facilities provide a very effective 
solution for Perl programmers! The X11::Xforms man page has full usage details
for these facilities.

If you want to see what effect these have, after installation run the demos,
then copy the X4Pinit.pl script from the DEMO directory to your home directory
and rename it to .X4Pinit.pl, and then re-run the demos!!!! You will not have
changed a line of code, but the entire look and feel of the demos will have

For the most part, the Xforms functions have the same protocols from Perl 
as they do from C. This proves mighty useful, since you can very easily 
convert the nnnnnnn.c output from Fdesign into equivalent Perl statements. 

To this end, the master directory contains a program named fd2Perl which is
an fdesign filter program. By invoking fdesign in the following way:

	fdesign -Perl

a file, by the name of your .fd file but with a .pl suffix, will be generated.
This will contain the Perl code to build your fdesign-ed forms. The program is
also callable from the command line. If you are installing from an rpm, then
this program gets copied to your /usr/local/bin directory.

The Xforms library documentation for C (available from the Xforms ftp site) 
pertains to a large extent to the Perl interface. So I rely upon that to give 
you the low-down on general Xforms programming. 

The new X11::Xforms man page, and the ubiquitous Xforms.functions file in
the doc directory, complete the picture by telling you how to interpret the 
Xforms doc for use with Perl, and by providing programming notes and call 
protocols when these cannot be easily derived from the Xforms doc.

Before using the extension, please read the man page X11::Xforms and then
the comments at the top of the Xforms.functions file in the doc directory. 


Its a Perl Xsub that does quite a lot of magic things under the covers
in order to make Perl scripts believe they are calling Perl subroutines
and to make Xforms believe that it is being called by a C application.

Actually the magic only really gets involved when dealing with callbacks.
The callback mechanism is complex and convoluted and you don't really want
to know its guts!!! 


	. Xforms 0.88 support is added.
	. Xforms 0.81 - 0.85 and 0.87 support removed.
	. Class Initialization Callback facility added, allowing a callback
	  subroutine to be invoked every time an object of a particular type
	  is created.
	. Global Initialization Script facility added, allowing a single script
	  to be written to provide initialization for all X11::Xforms
	  applications - customize look-and-feel once and it applies to all 
	. Full pup callback support enabled (by virtue of 0.88 changes).
	. proc-dtls.pl demo replaced with ProcExp.pl filesystem explorer.
	. Bug fixes to fl_set_defaults, fl_interpolate and others.
	. all textbox support removed since 0.88 removed it and it always
	  was an internal thing anyway.
	. menubar api's removed since 0.88 was delivered without them. No
	  doubt they will come back when support is completed.
	. Man page created for X11::Xforms (was already there for XEvent and
	  XFontStruct). Contains enhanced detailed programming information, 
	  details on the Value Added Features, the contents from the old 
	  Xforms.not_implemented doc file, and pointers to where to get more 
      detailed information.
	. Consequently Xforms.not_implemented is deleted
	. All previous version change information moved to a new CHANGES file
	  in the doc directory.


You need a couple of things: 

	. T.C.Zhao's and Mark Overmars' Forms Library for X, version 0.86 or 0.88
	  You can get that from


	. Perl version 5.003 or 5.004. You need to have installed the full 
      distribution (though you don't need the source tree itself). You 
      need the Perl extensions that get distributed with Perl but no others.
	  The package may compile successfully on 5.002 as well.


If you installed from a binary RPM, this section is an elephant .. er ...
sorry, irrelevant.

If you installed from a SOURCE rpm, then use rpm -ba from the RedHat SPECS
directory in order to build and install the binaries - then skip the remainder
of the section.

Otherwise If you are reading this then you know how to gunzip/untar the 
distribution! From there you SHOULD be able to just do the following IF you 
want to use the extension as a dynamically loaded extension. If you want it 
statically bound then you need to read the comments that are found in the 
Makefile generated by the first step:

In the Xforms, XEvent and XFontStruct subdirectories of the X11 

    1) edit Makefile.PL # Read the comments in Makefile.PL that pertain
                        # to Include paths, Library paths, OpenGL, and
                        # object file 'stripping' and make any
                        # necessary changes.

Then, in the X11 directory, do

    2) Perl Makefile.PL # to make the makefile using the Perl 
                        # MakeMaker.pm extension 

    3) make             # To make a dynamic extension. 

    4) make install     # To install the extension.


    5) cp fd2Perl ...   # Where ... is a directory that is in your
                        # PATH when you run fdesign

    6) Convert previous Xforms4Perl scripts to 0.8 (see below)

*** HOW TO CONVERT Xforms4Perl 0.4, 0.5, 0.6 or 0.7 SCRIPTS TO Xforms4Perl 0.8

YOU DON'T NEED TO CONVERT 0.7 SCRIPTS. Thankfully the interface seems to
have stabilized!!

For others, the only changes are in the format and quantity of 'use' 

There is a Perl script named cnvtto8.pl, found in the doc directory,  which
will do the work for you. Invoke it like this:

	cnvtto8.pl <script.1> ...

It will back up the old script with a suffix of '.x4p.old'.

Note that the 0.4, 0.5 or 0.6 packages are NOT removed by 0.8. They are 
not even disabled. On the other hand, 0.7 will probably be completely wiped
out by installing 0.8 - back it up if you need to!

To remove the 0.4-0.6 versions of Xforms4Perl you must look in the site_Perl 
directory of your base Perl directory (mine is /usr/lib/Perl5) and remove all 
files and directories with names matching 'Forms_*', 'Xforms', 'XEvent' or 
'XFontStruct' EXCEPT those found under the X11 directory trees trees (sorry 
it's so confusing). If you do accidentally remove any under the X11 trees, 
just re-install 0.8


Basically just add

	use X11::Xforms;

to your Perl script, then follow the instructions given in the Xforms
documentation, making any necessary semantic transformations between the
C presented therein and the Perl you are using. 

To access XFontStruct or XEvent structure fields, you will also have to 

	use X11:XFontStruct;


	use X11:XEvent; 

All three packages now have detailed man pages named X11::<package name>. 
Read X11::Xforms before doing anything - it tells you just about everything
you need to know to get started - or, at least, where to go for more info


There is a directory, named DEMOS, that, funnily enough, contains
demonstration scripts! Many of these are converted native Xforms demos and, as 
such, should work on any OS platform that has successfully installed 
Xforms4Perl. The scripts X4Pinit.pl and psf.pl are not intended to be run
stand-alone. The former is a sample Global Initialization Script, the latter
is a Perl implementation of a tree-formatted 'ps' command that you might
want to try with the ProcCntl.pl script on non-Linux platforms.

Note that some of the DEMOS rely on Xforms version 0.88 being installed. If you
try to run these against 0.86 you will get an error message on stdout that
explains the problem, and the script will die.

The original inspiration for this project is also included. Its a toolbar (yawn
yawn - another toolbar). But the fact that it is written in Perl is what's
impressive. It has full GUI configuration, pixmap button support, tool tips
etc etc. Acts a bit like the M* Of*ice toolbar of Win*ows 3.*! This should also
work on all platforms. 

There is an interactive grepper, XFgrep.pl, that allows you to double click on 
a grep result line to edit the file in which the RE was found, even positioning
the editor at that line (depending on editor capabilities).

There are also three 'useful' demos that are designed specifically for
Linux - ProcCntl.pl, XFbat.pl and ProcExp.pl. They all use the Linux /proc 
file system,  ProcCntl also relies on the GNU ps 'tree' display for its pretty 
look. These are, therefore, unlikely to work on non-Linux systems, though 
ProcExp.pl, a filesystem explorer complete with a splitter bar, can be made 
more general by changing a program switch. However, I would be very interested 
to see someone else's workings of these in order to include more generic 
versions in future releases.

And if someone wants to re-work the XFtool.pl demo to look like Of*ice 95/97 
then that might be quite cool too.


	After installation, run the demos. Then copy X4Pinit.pl from the DEMOS
	directory to your home directory, renaming it .X4Pinit.pl. Then run
	the demos again.

	THATS what the Value Added Features do!

The OpenGL related functions are now part of the X11::Xforms package. 
To use them you MUST change the Makefile.PL file in the Xforms directory. 
See the comments in Makefile.PL for details. If you attempt to use an OpenGL 
function WITHOUT compiling them into the package then your Perl script will 
die with a message:

	Xforms4Perl OpenGL functions are not installed.

To rectify, make the changes necessary in the Makefile.PL and re-build the 


This version was developed on an IBM Thinkpad 760ED running Linux 2.0.30
from RedHat, X11R6, the Xforms Library 0.86-to-88 and Perl 5.002-5.004. It 
should work on any version of Linux that runs other Xforms applications and 
Perl 5.002 and above. It should also run on any Unix system that can run 
Xforms and Perl 5.002 and above, or at least be reasonably easy to port.

Your implementation stories, along with comments/questions/bug-reports and ecstatic testimonials are welcome, to 


or on the Xforms mailing list, which I read (but to make sure I do, put the
phrase 'Xforms4Perl' in the heading!!)


My main 'other party' thanks goes to Zoran Popovic <zoran@cs.cmu.edu> for
his extensive testing efforts on the original versions (especially around the 
OpenGL area) and suggestions, and also for the convert fd file script upon 
which the fdesign filter is based (fd2Perl, found in the master directory). 

Thanks to the CPAN people for their packaging comments - it only took me six
months to implement their ideas!!

Thanks to Reza Naima <reza@reza.extern.ucsd.edu>, who tested and championed 
previous versions of this otherwise personal project. 

Thanks to Dr Zhao (Dr. Xforms) for his patience with my nagging about API
protocol strategies that aren't suitable for Perl, for thanking ME in HIS
doc, and, or course, for Xforms itself (along with Mark Overmars).

Thanks to Michael Fulbright of RedHat for help with building the RPM.

Thanks to the following for platform problem reports (in no particular order):

	Randy J. Ray 		(HP-UX)
	Michael J. Salay	(HP-UX)
	Arthur Blair		(SunOS 4.1.3)
	Thomas Eickermann	(AIX and others)
	Phillips Nguyen		(SGI)
	Joshua S. Pincus    (SunOS)

Further thanks to Randy for other suggestions that make this more portable,
more standard, and much cleaner. Incidentally, Randy has a Perl extension of
his own, named X11::Fvwm that assists in the creation of FVWM modules written
in Perl. An Xforms extension to that package is being developed using 
Xforms4Perl. See any CPAN mirror site for details.

Martin Bartlett