MULTICS TECHNICAL BULLETIN MTB-610 To: MTB Distribution From: Jim Siwila Date: 01/31/83 Subject: A Multics Tutorial SUMMARY This MTB describes a tutorial that covers basic Multics procedures, features, and concepts. It is designed to introduce new users to the system, starting with log on and covering such topics as the help system and Multics wordprocessing facilities. Send comments to Siwila.Pubs on System M and Siwila.MPM at MIT or call HVN 261-9322. Or enter transactions in the online_doc (od) forum meeting in my home directory on System M. _________________________________________________________________ Multics Project internal working documentation. Not to be reproduced or distributed outside the Multics Project. MULTICS TECHNICAL BULLETIN MTB-610 Introduction The Multics Tutorial operates by menus, and includes facilities for experimenting with the materials taught and for requesting definitions of Multics terms. Users activate the Tutorial with the tutorial command. The first menu lists the seven major topics in the Tutorial: log on, the help system, command language, mail, editors, the storage system, and wordprocessing. Getting Started When the user issues the tutorial command, a menu with the seven major topics is displayed immediately, along with an explanation of how to use the menus and the glossary feature of the Tutorial. Selecting any of the seven options in the initial menu results in another menu being displayed. When these menus are displayed, an initial explanation is presented in the bottom window to introduce the user to the topic. The Second Tier of Menus The options in each of these menus represent subtopics of the major topic the user selected from the first menu. The last option in each of these menus provides for returning to the first menu. With the exception of this last option, each option provides an explantion of the subtopic named by the option. These explanations are displayed in the lower window, while the menu remains displayed in the upper window. The explanations usually require the use of MORE processing in the bottom window because they are two or three screens long. At any time when the cursor is positioned in the menu window, the user can exit the Tutorial by pressing a function key. Practice Many of the explanations include examples that let the user practice what's being taught. To perform these practice exercises, the user goes to command level by pressing a function key. The menu remains displayed in the top window, and the bottom window is cleared for the user to work in. A temporary message displayed in a menu trailer reminds the user that the Tutorial can be reentered with the program_interrupt command. Any time the _________________________________________________________________ Multics Project internal working documentation. Not to be reproduced or distributed outside the Multics Project. MULTICS TECHNICAL BULLETIN MTB-610 user reenters the Tutorial, the most recent explanation is redisplayed. As much as possible, the examples used for practice are continuous, so the user can see a process develop through several operations. Definitions Because the Tutorial does not force users to follow a set path through the topics, we cannot be sure that they will have been introduced to terms and ideas the first time they encounter them. For this reason, the Tutorial has a glossary facility that enables the user to ask for the definition of a term in the glossary. Glossary terms are identified by quoting the first time they appear in a particular explanation. To use the glossary facility, the user presses a function key to create a third window at the bottom of the screen. In that window is an iox_$get_line prompt. The user types in the desired term, and then help_ searches the glossary and displays the definition (between 1 and 5 lines long) in the bottom window. After the definition is displayed, the window is destroyed but not cleared. The definition isn't written over until the user selects another option from the menu. Current State of the Tutorial At present, all of the features described above have been implemented, except for the glossary facility, which is only partially complete. For that, the help facility needs to be set in place and the glossary definitions written. In so far as it is implemented, it is only available from the Getting Help menu. Also, because that facility was conceived after much of the Tutorial had been written, most of the glossary terms are not yet identified by quoting in the explanations. The Getting Help menu is also the only one at this time which returns the user to the most recent explanation after a practice session at command level. The Tutorial is available for inspection in the directory >udd>Pubs>Siwila>tutorial. _________________________________________________________________ Multics Project internal working documentation. Not to be reproduced or distributed outside the Multics Project.