CIMA Buttons

CIMA buttons and window philosophy

Most of the features described on this page only exist in CIMA version 2.3 and later.

The windows in CIMA follow a certain style. They have a grey background with a title written in a yellowish box at the top. They have buttons to get a help window and close the window in the bottom left corner and often some other buttons in a similar style in the bottom right corner. The area in between can have labels, entry fields, push buttons and menu buttons depending on the purpose of the window.

Buttons at the lower left corner

Each CIMA-style window has a set of buttons in the lower left corner. One of these buttons is the 'Help' button which opens a one-page help window. Apart from the 'Help' button, all buttons in the lower left corner will close the window when clicked. Typical buttons You will see are: Windows with a 'Close' button are either just for Your information or any action You can perform is taken when You click the buttons in that window. Windows with 'Accept' and 'Dismiss' buttons do not perform an action until You explicitly clicks the 'Accept' (or 'Apply' button, if there is one). No action will be taken if You click on 'Dismiss' and any selections or modifications You have entered into the window will be discarded as well. The text of the 'Dismiss' button will turn red when something has been modified but not yet applied in the window to warn You that if You 'Dismiss' now You will loose Your changes. The button goes back to black when You 'Apply' the change.

As an example: if You select 'C-Band' in the receiver selection menu and then press 'Accept', the window will be closed and the rotary floor will move to put the C-Band receiver in position. If You then reopen the same window and instead select 'L-Band Wide' and close the window with 'Dismiss' nothing will happen. If You again reopen the same window, You will not see Your selection of 'L-Band Wide' since You dismissed that selection - instead You will see that the C-Band receiver is selected, since that is the last receiver that You 'accepted'. (Note that what is shown is the last receiver that You asked CIMA to select which in normal cases will be what is selected on the telescope. However, CIMA doesn't check the actual hardware, so if someone from engineering then moves the rotary floor to '327 MHz', CIMA will still think that the selected receiver is 'C-Band'.)

Buttons at the lower right corner

Many CIMA-style windows also have one or more buttons in the lower right corner that perform various actions when used. A couple of them appear in windows with 'Accept' and 'Dismiss' buttons: The 'Accept' and 'Apply' buttons both apply the selected options; the only difference being that 'Accept' will close the window while 'Apply' will leave it open. The 'Current' button can be used to restore the set-up in the window to the current (last selected) state. It could also be used to check whether You have made changes to a set-up without applying them, since this button will stay disabled as long as the set-up in the window is identical to the last applied set-up. If there is any difference between what is shown in the window and the last applied set-up, the 'Current' button will be enabled and clicking on it will restore all parameters to reflect the last applied set-up. Another way of achieving the same thing as the 'Current' button is to 'Dismiss' the window and then reopen it again.

Continuing the example above; if You have the C-Band receiver selected and reopen the receiver selection window, You will see the 'C-Band' button selected and the 'Current' button being disabled. If You click on 'L-Band Wide', the 'Current' button will become enabled. If You then click on 'Current', the selection will switch back to 'C-Band' and the 'Current' button will again be disabled.

CIMA help

Each CIMA-style window has a one-page general help window that can be opened by clicking on the 'Help' button located among the buttons in the lower left corner of each CIMA window. Almost all CIMA-style windows also support pop-up help where You can move the mouse over any feature in the window and click on the right mouse button to get a pop-up help window describing that feature. Right-clicking on a part of the window that doesn't contain any feature will give You the one-page general help text. In the CIMA preferences, You can select whether You want pop-up help windows to come with a 'Close' button and stay open until You press that button or if they should go away automatically as soon as You release the right mouse button.

Input error checking

CIMA is performing error checking on all values input into CIMA. If an entry field does not have a proper value or if it is outside the defined range, CIMA will flag the value as bad and the entry field will turn red to indicate that it doesn't have a correct value. As an example, an RA entered as '236142' will be flagged as bad since '61' is not a valid number of minutes. The CIMA control logic will usually act on bad values by disabling 'Accept', 'Apply' and 'Observe' buttons until all values are OK. Input error checking is done on entry fields where You type in a value but also on menu buttons (mint green buttons) which will also turn red if they have an improper value. The reason that a menu button can get an improper value is that for some menus the possible options change depending on how other options are selected and they may thus end up with an incorrect value.

Control logic

The CIMA control logic tries to help You by preventing You from doing stupid things. This is mostly done by disabling buttons and windows that You can't use under current circumstances. For example, the 'Calibration' window will be disabled when You have ALFA selected, since the calibration window only works with single pixel receivers. Another typical example is that CIMA will disable an 'Accept' or an 'Observe' button when You have entered an illegal value in a window. Other examples are that You can't open the backend configuration window until You have selected a backend and You can't open the observing window until You have configured a backend. This also works so that if You have the observing window open and switch to another backend which You haven't yet configured, the observing window will disappear automatically and won't be available until You have configured the new backend.

The CIMA control logic some times warns You but let You do strange things. One example is if You select a frequency outside the band of the selected receiver; CIMA will warn You but let You go ahead since Your plan might be to observe a highly red-shifted source that will shift the rest frequency into the proper frequency band. Another example is if You have a backend configuration window open and You have made modifications to it but You have not applied does modifications. If You then press the 'Observe' button in the observing window, CIMA will warn You about this and ask if You want to go ahead with the observation anyway or if You want to apply the new configuration first.

You can return to the main CIMA page by clicking here.

This page is administered by Prakash Atreya ( patreya (a) naic . edu ) and was last updated on 11 December 2008.