Version 3 Release 1 Modification 4
* Microsoft Windows 95/NT specific README for IBM Visualization Data Explorer
The information contained in this file consists of architecture-specific hints for using the system, help with functions that may not be apparent, and last minute updates to the existing documentation. It is advisable to review this file any time Data Explorer updates are applied.
IMPORTANT: Please look over 3.4 , "Known issues with this version" and 3.5 , "Troubleshooting" each time you install Data Explorer.
It is recommended that you have at least the following system configuration:
The following are required and must be at or greater than the specified release level:
During the installation of Data Explorer you will be prompted for a user registration key. You may complete the installation without a key, but Data Explorer will only run for a few minutes at a time if it is not properly registered. To obtain a registration key, send e-mail with your name, company's name, and the machine's operating system (95 or NT), and the type of registration (Trial, Beta, Visual Programmer, Visual Programmer with OpenGL, Runtime, Developer) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may complete the installation and register later by double-clicking the "Register DX" icon. Make sure to save the registration key information somewhere safe.
Installing Data Explorer onto a hard drive is done as follows:
The install process will create a Data Explorer folder from which you can immediately start Data Explorer simply by double-clicking on the DX icon. (This assumes the X server has been installed and configured correctly.) The Exceed X server need not be started prior to starting Data Explorer, but Data Explorer will start more quickly if the X server is already running.
If you intend to start Data Explorer from the command line, you should configure the environment so that the PATH variable includes d:\dx\bin (assuming Data Explorer was installed in d:\dx).
X Server settings: For best performance with the X server, turn off Window panning in the X configuration window. Furthermore, turn off "Full Drag" in the NT Desktop configuration window or in the Plus!Display settings. Finally go to Window Mode->Advanced and turn Delay Window Mapping off. Also Warn on Exit should be off. If you don't intend to use the X server to connect to remote X clients, go to Transports and switch to Local Only.
The DISPLAY environment variable need not be defined, but if it is defined it should correspond to 0:0, localhost:0, localpc:0, or hostname:0 (where hostname is the name of the local or remote display machine).
If you have the OpenGL version of Data Explorer, you will need to install Exceed 3D to use OpenGL rendering. Note that even if you don't have a graphics card, you can still use software based OpenGL.
You should have TCP/IP installed so that you can ping localhost and localpc at a command line. If you remove the computer from a network, this may cease to work unless you install the Microsoft Loopback Adapter (on NT) or DialUp adapter (Win95). If you observe slower performance when off the network, see troubleshooting below. You should always be able to ping localhost and localpc from a DOS command window. If you do not have the "ping" command installed on your computer, it probably means you have not fully installed TCP/IP.
If you do not have a network adapter card, go to Network settings under the Control Panel. Using "Add Adapter", add MS Loopback Adapter (on NT) or DialUp Adapter (Win95).
You may want to define host names localhost and localpc at address 127.0.0.1 if your are using Data Explorer without attachment to a network. Create a HOSTS file in your windows directory or in your etc directory if you do not already have one. To confirm that TCP/IP is working, try pinging localhost, localpc, and 127.0.0.1. If you still have problems, try defining them also in a lmhosts file in the same directories.
To run the samples shipped with Data Explorer, simply double click on the "DX Startup Menu" icon and select Samples, then go to the /dx/samples/programs directory if you are not already there. A file dialog will appear with the names of the available program (*.net) files. Select one by double-clicking on the file name with the left mouse button. Run the file by selecting Execute->Once. See the on-line help for more information on options for running Data Explorer.
Help is available on-line through the Visual Program Editor (VPE) "Help" menu, or by placing the cursor over a module and pressing the F1 key. A description of each sample can be found under Help->Application Comment. (You can also view the HTML documentation files by double-clicking the "DX Help" icon in the Data Explorer folder, which will launch your current web browser).
Note: Although Data Explorer starts in the samples directory by default, we strongly recommend doing your own work in a directory completely separate from the Data Explorer file structure. You might want to make your own desktop shortcut that starts Data Explorer in your preferred directory. Follow the instructions that come with Windows to copy the Data Explorer shortcut from the start menu to the desktop and change its properties so the "Start in" directory corresponds to your personal directory.
To run Data Explorer from a DOS command line, make sure the Data Explorer bin directory (typically d:\dx\bin) has been added to the Path environment variable. Then just type dx to bring up the Data Explorer Startup panel, or dx -edit to bring up the VPE.
Note: The documentation for the Unix platforms suggests typing dx &. Note that the "&" is a Unix command option that does not apply to PC environments. Also note that the documentation refers to directory /USR/LPP/DX; when reading the documentation, regard this as the directory in which you installed Data Explorer.
The dx.exe file that launches Data Explorer will automatically define DXDATA and DXMACROS to point to the sample data and macros. If you define your own macros and data path, the sample data and macros will be appended to end of the path list so they can always be found.
dx -morehelp(assumes d:\dx\bin is in the path)
For more help, double-click on the "DX Help" icon which will load the HTML documentation in your Web browser. For a tutorial on Data Explorer, double-click on the "DX Tutorial" icon.
Data Explorer uses forward slash path specifiers, such as /usr/lpp/dx. This is because 1) it helps maintains portability of nets with the Unix version and 2) in many situations, the "\" character is interpreted as an escape character. In all the Data Explorer dialog windows, forward slashes should be used. This also applies to environment variables, with the exception of those read directly by the operating system, such as DXROOT.
In addition, multiple path specifiers are separated by ; rather than :. Thus the following would be a correct way to define DXDATA:
Some large .net files have caused the UI to hang due to a problem with some X servers. A workaround is to start Data Explorer with the option -synchronous, which should allow large nets to display. If possible, convert the large program to one that is "pageified", so that it will be more organized and display faster. Sometimes the UI may suddenly stop drawing until prompted by a mouse movement in the VPE window. If the UI seems to stop, first try moving the mouse in the window.
Import filters will work, but the filter's directory must be in the PATH environment variable, and the data file used must be fully specified. This means you must modify the sample program ImportExternalFilter.net before it will work. (Add d:\dx\samples\data to the path and specify Import(!externalfilter d:/dx/samples/data/external.data) - assuming you have installed dx in d:\dx.)
The Data Prompter screen is larger than most laptop screens, making it difficult to access the bottom options. You should be able to access the entire window by running the X Configuration routine supplied with the X server to set Window Panning On, with a value of 50 or so. Unfortunately this will not allow access to the bottom of the prompter if you have the Auto Hide feature enabled for the Windows Start menu, so you must disable this (by right clicking on a blank region of the Windows start menu and selecting properties). Furthermore, you may want to turn the panning back off when running Data Explorer if you observe any artifacts due to the window panning feature. It is easy to turn panning on and off by clicking on the X server option panel that appears on the desktop when the X server is running.
The X server is unable to start on its own, so try starting it manually.
Make sure you can ping localhost from a DOS command line.
Make sure d:\dx\bin has been added to the PATH environment variable if you are starting Data Explorer from a command line.
Make sure you have correctly defined DXDATA to include all the data directories you need to access, either by defining the environment variable DXDATA or at the command line, dx -data ...
Make sure you have correctly defined DXMACROS to include all the macro directories you need to access, as described for DXDATA above.
Study the various XConfig options in Exceed and see if you find settings that work better for you.
Find the "Warn on Exit" option in the X server configuration dialog that comes with Exceed, and turn it off.
This appears to be related to using 8-bit color depth with a 3D version of the X server. Change the color depth of the image (using Image->Options->Image Depth) to 24-bit and the colors will display correctly.
See 3.11 , "X server settings (for best performance)" and make sure Delay Window Mapping is off.
Make sure you can ping localhost from a command line successfully, and that it is defined as 127.0.0.1. If you still have a problem, try defining "localpc" (in addition to localhost) as 127.0.0.1 in the Windows "hosts" file either in the WINDOWS directory or in the ETC directory under NT. If you do not already have a "hosts" file, look for "hosts.sam" on your disk and copy it to "hosts", and then make your modifications in the new hosts file. If your machine has an IP address, try adding the line:
ip-address machine-namewhere ip-address is the machine's IP address, and machine-name is the machine's name. If you still have problems, try adding localhost and localpc to the lmhosts file in the same directory as hosts.
If you are off the network and the X server or Data Explorer takes a long time to start, you may need to Disable your name server, using the Windows Control panel->Network configuration tool.
direct 127.0.0.1 255.255.255.0towards the bottom of the file where you find other "direct" commands. This will prevent local TCP/IP communication from trying to go to a remote socks server.
Errors during initialization may be due to incomplete TCP/IP setup. If the UI comes up but is unable to connect to the Executive, make sure TCP/IP is set up correctly. Also, make sure you don't already have a copy of the Executive running.
This message occurs when an Image window is trying to display with hardware rendering, but you do not have a 3D X server installed. To prevent the error, switch the Image window to software rendering mode (Options->Rendering Options->Software) or install a 3D version of the X server, along with the OpenGL version of Data Explorer.
Try starting Data Explorer with the -synchronous option. Then break your network into pages.
Allows creation of nets (visual programs) but does not allow execution of a user's own custom modules. It also does not allow the use of hardware (OpenGL) rendering.
Same as Visual Programmer but allows OpenGL rendering. This also requires Hummingbird Exceed with Exceed 3D. You do not need a 3D hardware graphics card to use OpenGL, as software-based OpenGL will be used automatically if no 3D hardware graphics card is found.
Allows loading and running of nets and custom modules with OpenGL support (as long as Exceed 3D is installed as described above) but does not allow the creation or modification of visual programs.
Same as Visual Programmer with OpenGL but also allows the creation and loading of custom modules that incorporate a user's C-code. These modules are compiled as DLLs that can be loaded by the DX executive.
Allows full use of the product and development components but only for a brief trial period.
If you have purchased a multi-user registration for Data Explorer you may install it once on a networked computer. Other computers that have that computer mounted on a remote drive may perform a quick client installation that does not install files locally, nor does it require re-entry of the registration information.
The Data Explorer Development version allows the use of DXLink to control Data Explorer from your application. It also allows the creation of loadable modules as DLLs that extend the functionality of Data Explorer by incorporating your own C-code. Note that the creation of loadable modules requires the command awk, to be available on the computer.
You should define the following environment variables:
DXROOT=d:\dx (or wherever you installed it)
ARCH=intelnt (this is the same for NT and Win95)
You should also make sure that d:\dx\bin is in your path.
As indicated in the intelnt Makefiles, the following should be defined during compilation:
Also, your code should include windows.h and winsock.h as needed.
You should include a call to initialize sockets in your application using
WSAStartup(MAKEWORD(1,1), &wsastartup);Consult the sample sealevel.c for an example of how to do this. We also recommend using
DXLSetSynchronization(conn, 1);to run DXLink in synchronized mode.
To avoid a conflict between Data Explorer and Windows header files you should undefine ERROR_DATA_INVALID after loading windows.h.
In order to use the DLL you should start Data Explorer with
dx -modules d:\where_my_dlls_are -mdf d:\my_mdfs\my_mdf.mdfIn other words, -modules should be a directory containing the DLLs and -mdf shoud be the actual mdf file for the DLLs. Remember that "Visual Programmer" versions of Data Explorer will not allow use of the DLLs, but Runtime and Developer versions will.
The following trademarks apply to this information:
IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
OpenGL is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Windows NT and Windows 95 are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
Exceed X Window System and Exceed 3D are registered trademarks of Hummingbird Communications Ltd.