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Re: ZTree Win - Command Line

Posted By: Walter Rassbach <>
Date: Wednesday, 16 September 1998, at 7:19 a.m.

In Response To: Re: ZTree Win - Command Line (Mathias Winkler)

Actually, I've never gotten alt-X to open a separate console window per se, although the alt-X form does, as Mathias pointed out, provide a solution to your problem -- However, there is more to it than that... (ASIDE: Hopefully Kim will figure out a way for alt-X to provide a completely separate console window and "fix it" soon, unless I am the only one who really wants a separate CONSOLE window and just not the effects described below...).

First, if it is truely a WINDOWS application, i.e., something like MS Word, then it is going to open in a separate window in any case and one can simply click on the ZTree console window and then hit ESC to go back to the main ZTree window/display (I just did that one with my windows editor [not my console/DOS editor]...).

If it is a DOS or console application, then if you use then normal e"X"ecute command (and then add parameters and hit enter), the child application will use the current console window (i.e., ZTree's) and you will, indeed, not be able to go back to ZTree (or it's console window) without exiting the child application (this is, I believe, the case you are encountering). For example, if one invokes a console/DOS editor, that editor will run in the same window.

However, if one uses alt-X, the console window that opens is, ITSELF, a child process of ZTree and one has to exit (ESC) it to go back to the main ZTree display. HOWEVER, anything that is RUN from that window is, indeed, run as a separately spawned process, and will open in a separate console window if it is a DOS/console application, so, if one hits alt-X, adds parameters, and hits enter, the launched application will use a separate window... For example, the same editor as above will now launch in a separate window rather than in the ZTree console window -- the effect is the same as the differnce between using alt-Edit and Edit.

The difference here (between X and alt-X) is, I believe (and if I understand correctly), the API interface to which Kim passes the lines entered on the console prompt line. In a normal eXecute console, the line is passed to the internal console child-command execution API while in an alt-X window the line is passed to the Windows "open" API. The differences between the two API usages is made even more apparent if one enters something like a "dir" command -- it works fine in a normal eXecute window and fails miserably in an alt-X window...

There is one other way to get a DOS/console program to launch in a separate window, assuming that you don't also want to provide parameters to the program (AND, assuming you don't have an EXE.BAT file in your ZTree directory!)... If you hit "O"pen (alt-"O"pen is no different here) on an EXE file, ZTree will pass it to the Windows "open" API interface which will open it in a separate console window. This works great for those cases where you don't need/want to provide parameters -- it is faster and doesn't require an ESC to exit from the console window back to ZTree's main window...

In the last two cases, as well as the case where one is launching a true Windows app, one can get back to ZTree just by clicking on (or alt-TABbing to) ZTree's window and, if necessary, hitting ESC to exit the cosole window and get back to ZTree's main window.

I hope this helps and did not just bury you in the details (I, personally, think that knowing this level of detail is helpful)... -- Walter

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