ACD and GUIs

James Bonfield jkb at
Wed Jan 10 14:03:04 UTC 2001

I'm reposting a message here, as previously sent to Alan...


Hello Alan,

I've hit another problem, which I think maybe is easier to solve in another
way (than I'm currently trying).

There's lots of default values for each acd type. Eg sequence has a default
prompt of "Input sequence". The next sequence type then has a different
default prompt ("Input second sequence"). And so on. Sometimes there is no
prompt: line, but instead acd uses the info: line. All these rules seem
dependent on the acd type, as coded into ajacd.c.

Obviously I could code all of these into my acd parser, but it's a long-winded 
approach. I'd be interested to know how others solved this - it appears to
acd2xml parser simply didn't bother and prompts people with ghastly things
like "-bsequence (single sequence)". Some of these don't matter too much in a
GUI as the user can already see that there's two "input sequence" prompts, but 
currently our GUI is rather less friendly. For example instead of prompting
for "Output sequence" we just get "outfile (-outfile)", as that's all that the 
acd2xml parser managed to work out.

Anyway I'm thinking that a sensible approach would be to use something like
progname -acdpretty; perhaps progname -acdcomplete. This would then write out
a new acd file will all of the default values explicitly expanded up. This
then means that the code for these default values is in just one place (your
code) and emboss GUIs will automatically keep in sync without the need to edit
more than one acd parser (and it's also much easier to write parsers). Is it
easy to construct such an option?



James Bonfield (jkb at   Tel: 01223 402499   Fax: 01223 213556
Medical Research Council - Laboratory of Molecular Biology,
Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QH, England.
Also see Staden Package WWW site at

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