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For answers to installation questions, refer to the Installation Guide.

For an answer to your technical question by Email, please contact us at Technical Support.

Tech Notes

Review these technical support notes, to find answers for some recently reported problems:

Edit Line Commands Assigned to PF Keys

Entering a ':' command that is greater than 6 characters in length (the size of the prefix field) may cause the program to fail. The same failure may occur when executing an editor macro containing such a command.

Shell Command Processing

uni-SPF and uni-REXX default to using the Bourne shell for command processing. For this reason, UNIX commands that are valid only under the C shell or the Korn shell cannot be used in

  • Option 6 (Command)
  • Option 4 (Foreground) task definitions
  • Option 5 (Background) task definitions
  • Operands of the SHELL and ! commands

If you must execute a C shell or Korn shell command during a uni-SPF session, use the SHELL or ! command without operands. This takes you to the shell defined by your SHELL environment variable where you may execute any commands that are valid for that shell. When you have completed all the commands you need to execute, type exit or press Control-D to return to uni-SPF.

In Dialog Management application programs written in Rexx, you may use the alternate forms of the address instruction to send UNIX commands to other shells (address csh, address ksh), or to bypass shell processing altogether (address command).

Keybinding on RS/6000 Systems

To provide color support, uni-SPF V1.30 uses the AIX Extended curses library rather than Standard curses, which was used in all previous releases.

For users running uni-SPF through telnet sessions or from some remote terminal emulator configurations, Extended curses does not always correctly handle escape sequences sent by special keys. This shows up in the keybind maintenance utility (option 0.K.2) as "UNKNOWN TERMINFO RETURN CODE" messages in test mode. In Edit, it appears as "garbage" data in the file when one of those special keys is pressed.

It appears that this keybind problem may be related to a bug in AIX Extended curses. The problem does not occur when Standard curses is used.

For this reason, TWG now delivers both the default Extended curses version and an optional Standard curses version with uni-SPF for RS/6000. This is available beginning with V1.30c.

The default behavior of the "ispf" startup script is to use the Extended curses version.

To run the Standard curses version, set the environment variable STD_CURSES to ON.

You may change the default setting of STD_CURSES for your site in the "ispf" startup script. Comments in the script describe what to do.

Regardless of the setting of STD_CURSES in the startup script, an individual user can control which version he runs by setting the environment variable before running "ispf". The settings are

STD_CURSES=OFF   use the Extended curses version
STD_CURSES=ON    use the Standard curses version

ON or OFF must be specified in uppercase.

You should be aware of the following differences between the Extended curses version and the Standard curses version:

Extended curses (the default as shipped) has

  • Color support
  • Support for 8-bit characters (such as accented characters in western European languages and other 8-bit glyphs)
  • I18N support for multi-byte character sets
but also has
  • Problems with keybinding on telnet sessions and other remote terminal configurations

Standard curses

  • Keybinding works correctly for all terminal configurations
but has
  • No color support
  • No support for 8-bit characters
  • No I18N support

Ownership/Group of Files

The default mechanism for protecting against a file system full condition during save operations may have the side effect of changing the owner and group of a file on some platforms. When uni-SPF creates the newly saved file, it attempts to perform "chown" and "chgrp" commands to reset the owner and group of the saved file to be identical to the original file. Some UNIX implementations - including AIX and HP-UX - do not permit this change by any userid other than root.

If you observe this behavior and want to prevent it, set the environment variable SPFTEMP to any directory path. You may also set SPFTEMP to NOTEMP or set OVERWRITE OFF for the file, but both of these actions have the effect of disabling the file-system-full protection.