Montage Help Contents Montage Help

Miscellaneous Dialogs

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Montage includes a few miscellaneous forms for displaying general information, password registration, error reporting, and diagnostic tools.  These forms are described below.

About Montage DialogAbout Montage dialog

The About Montage dialog is accessible through Help, About Montage in the main menu or More, Help, About Montage in the Desktop context menu.  This is a modeless, resizable form that displays the executing program path and version, the current Montage metafile location, size, timestamp, and version, plus additional information about your system configuration and selected runtime libraries.  The View, Refresh (F5) command causes this information to be recalculated.  Additional details about your Windows configuration can be obtained by clicking on the fox icon image.  Clicking on the Montage icon image at the upper left navigates a browser window to the Montage home page on the World Wide Web, like the menu command Help, Montage on the Web.

The four pushbuttons perform the following actions:

  • OK: closes the About Montage dialog.
    (Pressing the Esc key also closes this dialog.)
  • Samples: launches the main sample montage.
    This is equivalent to Help, Samples from the main menu.
  • Buy: opens a browser window to purchase SpaceTime Systems products securely online.
    This is equivalent to the Help, Buy Online menu command.
  • Register: specifies registered user credentials for accessing password protected web sites.
    Equivalent to Help, Register, this command activates the Registration / Authentication dialog, enabling you to download content that is restricted to registered subscribers.

Tip: Right-click on the scrollable text region and select "Copy All" to copy the full text onto the Windows Clipboard.


Registration / Authentication dialogRegistration / Authentication dialog

This modeless dialog displays information about your credentials for accessing password protected web sites through Montage.  Enter your username and password here to enable access to Montage samples that are restricted to registered subscribers (see below about Montage registration in particular).  You can activate this dialog from the main menu Help, Register command, or via the Register pushbutton of the About Montage dialog.

Aside from providing access to Montage samples, this facility supports dynamic fetching from any password-protected web sites that use basic access authentication.  Thus other publishers also can use Montage as a vehicle for distributing any kind of premium content to a restricted audience, simply by assigning usernames and passwords to authorized users.

  • Authentication table: the full path to the encrypted table of authentication data being used and shown in this form is displayed in the grayed out text box at the top of the dialog.  This table is created automatically if it doesn't already exist, and Montage supports a number of configuration options for determining the table's name and location.

    Below the upper, read-only text box, a grid displays the contents of the authentication table, which may contain multiple rows corresponding to various different web sites.  The table may be empty, in which case you would use the Add button to create a first entry.  If there are multiple rows, you can use the up/down cursor keys or the mouse to select the desired row in the grid, and click the Edit button to modify that entry.
  • URL: a web site address or a pattern, which may include "*" and "?" wild card characters.
    This specifies the web site or sub-section of a web site to which the associated username and password apply.  The "*" (asterisk) wild card stands for any number of characters (0 or more), and the "?" (question mark) stands for any single (exactly 1) character.  When Montage attempts to dynamically fetch a password protected page or file from the Internet, it looks for the first matching URL pattern in the authentication table (in the sequence listed), and this entry determines the authentication credentials that Montage passes to the web server.  If no matching URL pattern is found, an error message reports that you are not authorized to access this site.

    Tip: To register for access to subscriber-only Montage downloads, you can use the URL pattern "http://**", as illustrated in the screen shot above.  The initial asterisk in this pattern assures that this entry applies, whether or not a given URL includes a "www." prefix or other subdomain specification.  The final asterisk is needed to make this entry applicable to all pages in the IdeaXchg web site, not just the home page (root).  Constructed in this manner, a single entry in the authentication table covers the entire web site.  If different credentials were needed for different portions of the web site, one would create multiple entries, with different URL patterns for each username/password combination.
  • Username: the registered user name or identification required for access to this web site.
    This is generally case sensitive, assigned to you by the administrator of the web site in question.
  • Password: the registered password required for access to this web site by this user.
    This is generally case sensitive, possibly containing non-alphanumeric characters, as assigned to you by the administrator of the web site.  A mask of asterisks ("*" characters) is displayed when the password is entered or displayed in this field, as an additional security measure.
  • Add: appends a blank record, so you can specify credentials for another web site.
    This automatically enters into editing mode, if previously in read-only mode.
  • Edit/Done: enables modification of authentication data, or exits from editing to read-only mode.
    In the initial read-only mode, clicking on the Edit button enters editing mode, which allows you to modify the values of URL, Username, and Password fields.  In editing mode, this button's caption turns to "Done", and clicking on it returns the dialog to read-only mode.
  • Delete/Undelete: marks this record as logically deleted, so it won't be used, or undoes such a deletion.
    You can temporarily delete a row from the authentication table, causing it to be ignored while it is logically deleted, as indicated by the presence of a deletion marker (a solid black box in the leftmost column).  When the current row is marked as logically deleted, the Delete button caption turns to "Undelete", and clicking on this button removes the deletion mark, returning the button caption to "Delete".  You can also toggle a deletion simply by clicking directly upon this marker within the grid.
  • Pack: packs the table of authentication data, permanently removing any records marked as deleted.
    Use this to remove unwanted clutter, i.e. logically deleted records that are of no further interest.
  • Close: exits from the Registration / Authentication dialog.
    Closing the dialog automatically terminates editing mode.  (Pressing the Esc key also closes this dialog.)


Montage Diagnostic Message DialogDiagnostic Message dialog

This form is used for both error reporting and for displaying various types of informational messages.  The dialog is resizable, and you can scroll through the full message text if it is too long to fit in the visible area.  Also you can select and copy any portion of the message text to the ClipboardAfter reviewing the message, close the dialog by clicking on the OK button or clicking on the form's close box.  The other pushbuttons and options are intended primarily as an aid to developers.

When Montage encounters an error, it displays a detailed error message in this type of dialog, with a title indicating some specific error number.  The title is repeated in the scrollable message text, so you can easily capture all of this information and paste it into any sort of document, e.g. an email or text file.  For routine errors, you would simply note the information and click OK.  However, if an error occurs while initially opening a montage, clicking OK causes the entire opening to fail, even though the error might have affected only a single Shortcut.  In such cases, you may wish to choose "Ignore", instead of "OK", so that the failure is confined to just that Shortcut, and the rest of the opening is allowed to proceed normally.  Choosing "Abort" is a more drastic measure (seldom used), which causes the offending object to terminate itself immediately.

Aside from reporting errors, the Diagnostic Message dialog also displays warning messages and output from various commands.  For example, selecting the "Diagnostics..." command from any of a number of menus, e.g. Tools, Diagnostics..., shows information about a specific internal object, such as an individual Shortcut or the whole Montage DesktopTools, Analyze is another command that uses the Diagnostic Message dialog to display its results.  Although this modal dialog is a type of internal form, it actually resides on the Windows desktop, outside of the Montage Desktop window.  Closing the Diagnostic Message dialog allows you to proceed further.

Tip: Right-click on the read-only message display area to invoke an editing context menu, so you can easily copy the message text to the Clipboard.


Montage Command ProcessorCommand Processor

Montage controls, forms, and the Desktop each can have an associated Command Processor window, and any number of these may be open at the same time.  The Command Processor is a modeless, resizable form residing in the Montage Desktop window, with a textbox into which you can type a single Visual FoxPro (VFP) command line.  Optionally, the state of every Command Processor window is automatically saved and restored along with the rest of the montage, but this is done only if the Advanced, Save Command Processors option is turned ON (it is OFF by default, to reduce metafile size).  Command Processor windows can be opened through a number of menus (e.g. Tools, Command Processor), and also via the CmdProc button in the Diagnostic Message dialog.  This facility is strictly for advanced usage, e.g. for testing and debugging.  (Most users should never use the Montage Command Processor unless instructed to do so.)

The three pushbuttons perform the following actions:

  • Run: executes the specified Visual FoxPro command line in the textbox above.
    The VFP command line is executed (by dynamic macro expansion), from the context of a method in the associated object for this Command Processor instance.  The significance of the context is that it allows you to refer directly to the object as "THIS", as illustrated in the sample screen shot above.  (You can also refer to the containing form as "THISFORM", but that is less likely to be useful.)  Any screen output, by default, is directed to the background of the Montage Desktop window.
  • Goto: activates or sets the focus to the object associated with this Command Processor dialog.
    Since there is no relationship between the placement of the Command Processor dialog and its associated object, the Goto button provides a convenient way to see this connection.
  • Cancel: closes the Command Processor dialog without executing the specified command line.
    Exiting from the dialog in this manner saves the dialog layout and command line, at least during the current Montage session.  However, if you terminate the dialog instead by clicking on its close box (in the window title bar), changes to the dialog's placement and command line are not saved.  In any case, persistent retention of Command Processor states across multiple sessions, i.e. after closing and reopening the montage, is done only if the Advanced, Save Command Processors option is turned ON.

Further diagnostics

The Shortcut Properties dialog also includes a separate page of diagnostic information, similar to what is shown in Diagnostic Message dialog for each Montage Shortcut.

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Montage Help page, last edited: 12/31/10 16:20
Copyright SpaceTime Systems 2003-2011