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Directory macros/latex/contrib/dialogl

Copyright 1994 Michael John Downes
Copyright 2013 TeX Users Group

This file is part of the dialogl package, released under the LPPL;
see dialogl.ins for details.

This package was written by Michael Downes, who passed away in 2003.  He
released it under a custom license, now considered nonfree.  In October
2012, his heirs (his children Zoe, Elizabeth, and Mia Downes) have all
agreed to re-releasing his work under any version of the LaTeX Public
Project License.  Therefore, the package is now released under the LPPL,
version 1 or (at your option) any later version.

The only changes in this release are to the license, to remove examples
lacking known-free licenses, and to remove the .stp files for plain TeX
(which were apparently manually created by editing the .sty's).
The actual code is the same as Michael's last release.

The `dialogl' collection                     Michael Downes, 10-Nov-1994

The purpose of the `dialogl' collection is to gather together in one
place a lot of information and examples---probably more than you really
wanted---about how to write TeX macros to carry on dialog with the user.
The centerpiece of the package is the file `dialog.sty', which makes it
easy to add bits of dialog to a LaTeX document; it can also be used with
non-LaTeX macro packages, if they are plain.tex compatible. Another
file, listout.tex, has a menu system built with the functions defined in
menus.sty, which you may enjoy trying out. listout.tex was originally
written to work with plain TeX; my later attempts to retrofit LaTeX
compatibility may have some gaps, but it seems to work in the simple
tests that I have done.

The total size of the dialogl collection is approximately 580K.


LATEX: The .sty files and listout.tex should go into your
LaTeX input files area, wherever that may be on your system. The
remaining files can go wherever you want.

Suggested usage:

(1) Try using listout.tex to print out some e-mail or program source
files (e.g. TeX macros), eight or ten pages: Give the command

  tex listout

Navigate through the menu system, try to break it by giving bizarre
answers, look for other kinds of deficiencies.  Find and try out the
`tiny tabs' option. Find out how to make Control-L characters produce a
`newpage' effect in the printout.

(2) Print pages 1--5 of the documentation for dialog.sty (dia-driv.tex,
~25 pages total, see below). You will need doc.sty to do this. Look at
the user functions described in the documentation to see which ones you
might want to use.

(4) If you are interested, print out codialog.tex (29 pages): it gives
a technical overview of TeX's capabilities for dialog, with various
examples. Further technical discussion is found in the .dtx files, which
can be printed out individually or using the driver file dia-driv.tex.

  dialogl.dtx   11 pages
  menus.dtx      9 pages
  grabhedr.dtx   4 pages
  listout.dtx   40 pages (includes a full listing of menus at the end)


---Add \nmenu, \nxmenu.

---Adapt further for LaTeX2e. `menus' might perhaps better be done as a
package option of the dialog package:


to cut down on the number of different files required.

---Add support for reading menus from disk to cut down on memory
consumption (currently latex2e+listout.tex uses more than 65K,
producing `TeX capacity exceeded' error for small TeXs).

---Provide better documentation about what is available for use in the
running heads/feet (\todaysdate, \nowtime, (\TeXdate \TeXtime?),
\thisfilename, \dirprefix, etc. Also \folio should be separated into
\columnfolio and \pagefolio or maybe \pagefolio and \sheetfolio so that
they can be put in different places separately.

---Provide better support for printing characters in the range 0-31,
127-255 if suitable fonts are available. (Where the meaning of
`suitable' is system-dependent and language-dependent.)

---Provide support for embedding `listout' fragments in parent
documents. Output routine complications make this difficult for
fragments more than one page long, unless they are restricted to single
column format. But even that much would be useful.

---Add an index for listout.dtx.

File list:


  dialogl.ins (for LaTeX2e)
  diatest.tex (test file)





  Main File      Subfiles
  dia-driv.tex   dialogl.dtx

  listout.dtx    default.los

  codialog.tex   cnvunits.tex



This is the driver file for printing out the documentation of
dialog.sty, menus.sty, and grabhedr.sty. Run it through standard


This is a substantially revised and augmented version of the paper
`Dialog with TeX' that appeared in the Proceedings of the 1991 TUG
Conference at Dedham, Massachusetts (TUGboat vol 12 no 3, December
1991, Part 2). [In other words: I was dissatisfied with the first
published version, so I am `publishing' here a better organized
version with some nice added examples.]

The following files that are printed in the appendixes of the paper are
included in electronic form in case any finds some use for them.

---fontmenu.tex shows how the token-deletion option of TeX's
error recovery mechanism can be used to implement a crude menu

---cnvunits.tex contains some routines that demonstrate conversion of
point units to inch units.

Download the contents of this package in one zip archive (774.8k).

dialogl – Macros for constructing interactive scripts

Gathers together a bunch of code and examples about how to write macros to carry on a dialogue with the user.

Version 2013-01-24
LicensesThe Project Public License
MaintainerMichael J. Downes (deceased)
Contained inTeX Live as dialogl
MiKTeX as dialogl
TopicsMacro support
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