source: doc/intro.txt @ 3ba3af0

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1                     ========================
2                     Quick Guide To Using Owl
3                     ========================
4
5=======================
6Section 1: INTRODUCTION
7=======================
8
9Owl is a tty, curses-based instant messaging client.  This is a quick
10guide to learning how to use it.  Currently it supports only zephyr,
11but other messaging protocols, including AIM and Jabber, are on the
12way.  Some major features of owl include:
13
14   o) As a tty client it can be run over telnet, rlogin or text ssh
15      sessions
16
17   o) It uses a perl configuration file for setting preferences and
18      formatting messages
19
20   o) Emacs style editing of messages
21
22   o) It is easy to use and runs without a configfile.
23
24   o) Advanced sorting and coloring of messages
25
26==========================
27Section 2: GETTING STARTED
28==========================
29
30Owl will run happily without a configfile, so to get started just run
31the program.  Owl will take over the terminal window it is started in,
32so you may wish to have another terminal window available at the same
33time.
34
35On Athena you can find owl in the ktools locker.  To run it, type:
36
37        add ktools
38        owl
39
40at the Athena% prompt.  If you wish to run the latest beta release of
41owl use:
42
43        add ktools
44        owl-beta
45
46instead.
47
48The Screen Layout
49-----------------
50There are three main parts to the owl screen.  The large top portion
51of the screen is where zephyrs are displayed.  The status bar
52separates this area from the one below and displays owl status
53information.  The space below that is used to type messages and is
54also used by owl to give warnings and information to the user.
55
56On Line Help
57------------
58Owl has a full on line help system.  Pressing the 'h' key will bring
59up the basic help screen.  Further help can be obtained using the help
60command, described later.
61
62Sending a Zephyr
63----------------
64To send a zephyr press the 'z' key.  This will start a zwrite command,
65which you can finish by typing the name of the user you wish to send
66to, followed by enter.  Begin typing your message.  You will notice
67that most emacs-style editing is available.  When you are ready to
68send the message type Control-D or a dot ('.') on a line by itself.
69If instead you wish to cancel the message type Control-C.
70
71If you wish to send to a class/instance pair simply supply -c and -i
72arguments to the zwrite command as you normally would.
73
74Manipulating Messages
75---------------------
76When there are zephyrs in the message window, one of them will be the
77'current' message.  Owl will indicate which one it is with an arrow
78that looks like this: -> The following keys will move you to different
79messages:
80
81        n               move to the next non-deleted message
82        p               move to the previous non-deleted message
83        C-n , down      move to the next message
84        C-p , up        move to the previous message
85        <               move to the first message
86        >               move to the last message
87        C-v             page down
88        M-v             page up
89        right           scroll the screen to the right
90        left            scroll the screen to the left
91        P               move to the next personal message
92        M-P             move to the previous personal message
93
94When you are ready to delete a message you can mark it for deletion
95and a 'D' will appear to the left of the message.  Messages will not
96actually be removed until you perform an expunge.  The following keys
97are used to delete, undelete and expunge messages:
98
99        d               mark a message for deletion
100        u               unmark a message for deletion
101        x               expunge deleted messages
102        T               mark all 'trash' messages for deletion
103        M-D             mark all messages in the view for deletion
104        M-u             unmark all messages in the view for deletion
105
106If you would like to respond to a zephyr sent to you there is a reply
107shortcut:
108
109        r               Reply.  Personal zephyrs get a personal reply,
110                        class/instance zephyrs get a public reply.
111        R               Reply to sender.  Always replies personally
112                        to the user.
113        M-r             Reply but allow editing of the command line.
114        M-R             Reply to sender but allow editing of the
115                        command line.
116
117In the event that the current message is too large to fit on the
118screen, you can scroll within the message using the following keys:
119
120        SPACE           page down
121        b               page up
122        RETURN          line down
123        BACKSPACE       line up
124
125The message pointer will change to indicate that the message is not
126starting at the first line.
127
128Two other keys that relate to the current message:
129
130        i               print detailed information about the message
131        w               instruct netscape to visit a URL in the message
132
133Other Functions
134----------------
135Some other functions that can be performed with a single keystroke:
136
137        A               toggle zaway on or off
138        C-l             refresh and resize the screen
139        C-z             suspend
140
141Command Mode
142------------
143Owl has a command mode from which you can enter more detailed commands
144for owl to process.  To enter command mode press the colon (':') key:
145
146        :               begin command mode
147
148Owl will give you a command prompt and you can begin typing your
149command.  Type Enter to execute the command, Control-C to cancel.
150There are many commands.  The basic commands are listed on the basic
151help screen (by pressing 'h').  If you'd like a list of all commands
152you can use the command:
153
154        show commands
155
156And for detailed information on the syntax and use of a command you
157can use:
158
159        help <command>
160
161For example "help zwrite" will display all the options available when
162using the zwrite command.
163
164Variables
165---------
166Owl has a number of internal variables that can be used to change the
167behavior the program.  The 'print' command will let you view the value
168of a variable and the 'set' commmand will let you set the value of a
169variable.  For example:
170
171        set personalbell on
172
173will set the value of the variable 'personalbell' to on.  The command:
174
175        print personalbell
176
177will show you the current value.  The 'print' command with no
178arguments:
179
180        print
181
182Owl will show you the value of all variables.  You can also use
183
184        show variables
185        show variable <variable>
186
187To display further information on owl variables.
188
189Views
190-----
191Owl always displays a current "view" of messages.  The view describes
192which set of messages should be included on the display.  The default
193view is called "all" and includes every message.  However, you can
194narrow the view to a particular set of zephyrs:
195
196        M-n             Narrow view to the selected conversation
197        M-N             Narrow view to selected conversation by instance
198        V               Return to the home view (the 'all' view)
199        X               Expunge messages and return to home view
200
201If you press M-n while the pointer is on a personal zephyr, the view
202will be narrowed to the conversation with that user only.  If used on
203a class zephyr the conversation will be narrowed to that class, with
204a few special exceptions like class MESSAGE.
205
206There are also some owl commands related to views:
207
208        viewclass <class>     Narrow the view to the named class
209        viewuser <user>       Narrow the view to the named user
210
211More information on views and how they work is included in the section
212on "FILTERS AND COLORS".
213
214==========================================
215Section 3: KEYBINDINGS AND COMMAND ALIASES
216==========================================
217
218
219=============================
220Section 4: FILTERS AND COLORS
221=============================
222
223
224
225==========================
226Section 5: THE CONFIG FILE
227==========================
228
229*** WARNING: This interface may change substantially in the near future ***
230
231This file is interpreted by the perl interpreter.
232If you wish to execute an owl command use the
233function owl::command().  i.e.
234
235     owl::command("set zsigproc \"/mit/kretch/bin/getzsig foo\"");
236
237will set the owl variable zsigproc.  Note that commands will currently
238be executed in order after the called configuration subroutine exits.
239
240Subroutines created with the names below will be executed at the
241specified times:
242
243    subroutine name    properties
244    ---------------    ----------
245    owl::startup()     run when owl first starts
246    owl::shutdown()    run when owl exits
247    owl::format_msg()  run when a new message arrives, the return
248                          value is used to display the message on the
249                          screen
250    owl::receive_msg() run when a message is received, and after
251                       it has been added to the message list
252
253
254The following variables will be set each time a message is recevied:
255
256    $owl::class, $owl::instance, $owl::recipient,
257    $owl::sender, $owl::opcode, $owl::zsig,
258    $owl::msg, $owl::time, $owl::host, @owl::fields, $owl::id
259
260The "appendtosepbar" variable may be set in owl::format_msg()
261to set text to be appended to sepbar that separates the received
262message list from the edit window.
263
264
265==============================
266Section 6: FURTHER INFORMATION
267==============================
268
269$Id$
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