Starlink Project
Starlink System Note 68.3

A J Chipperfield

17 December 1997

Interface Definition Files



Interface Definition Files (IFDs) provide a generic method of defining the interface between Starlink (ADAM) applications and various software environments. Software is described which enables developers to create IFDs and use them to create files required by the Starlink or IRAF environments.


1 Introduction
2 Interface Definition Files
 2.1 The Basic IFD
 2.2 Conditional Sections
 2.3 Creating IFDs from Interface files
3 Producing Starlink Environment Files from an IFD
4 Producing IRAF Files from an IFD
5 Producing IRAF-specific Interface Files from an IFD
6 The ‘Full’ IFD File
 6.1 IFD Initial Keywords
 6.2 Additional Action Keywords
 6.3 Parameter Definition Keywords
  6.3.1 General
  6.3.2 The dynamic keyword
  6.3.3 The outputpar keyword
  6.3.4 The repeated keyword
  6.3.5 The size keyword
 6.4 The command Keywords
 6.5 File-specific Output
7 Details of IFD File Keywords
access – define the access needed to the parameter.
action – Declare an action within an executable
alias – Define command aliases for the action
association – Specify an associated GLOBAL parameter
cl – Lines for output to the package .cl file
command – Define a command
csh – Lines for output to the .csh file
default – Define the default value for a parameter
defhelp – Define a help topic
display – Define a display message
dynamic – Define a parameter to be ‘dynamic’
executable – Declare an executable image
exepath – Specify the directory containing executables etc.
help – Define the ‘one-line’ help for this parameter
helpkey – Define the source of help for this parameter
helplib – Specify the pathname of the help library.
icl – Lines for output to the .icl file
in – Define a set of acceptable values for the parameter
keyword – Specify the name by which the parameter is known to the user.
obey – Obey a command language command
obsolete – Define an obsolete command
outputpar – Force the parameter value to be output
package – Define a package
parameter – Define an action parameter
position – Define the command line position for this parameter
ppath – Define a search path for the suggested value in a prompt
prefix – Define a command-name prefix.
print – Define a command to print a message
prompt – Specify the prompt string
range – Define the range of values permitted for the parameter
repeated – Parameter value is obtained repeatedly.
sh – Lines for output to the .sh file
size – Define the size of the parameter
task – Invoke an action with a given set of parameters.
taskinherit – Define a parameter name for a command task command
taskparam – Define a parameter value for a command task command
type – Define the type of the parameter
version – Define the version number of the package.
vpath – Define the source of the parameter value.