12. AUIS - ez - WordProcessor

Andrew User Interface System, is a collection, from Carnegie Mellon University.

The new 7.4 release is further down, this section on

12.1 auis74lw.tgz
12.2 auis63L4-wp.tgz
12.3 A different version
12.4 Mini Starter Guide
12.5 ez - Button-2 Menu Stack
12.6 Highlight text zone, apply attibute
12.7 Styles available from the menu
12.8 Preview
12.9 File Format
12.10 Other Parts of the package
12.11 No File Selector Dialog Box
12.12 Bottom Line Status Bar
12.14 Accurate Scroll Bars
12.15 (More) Media Table
12.16 Is it Business Quality?
12.17 Is it GNU



This is the new release, which you can ftp from

Create /usr/andrew, put the .tgz files in there, and untar it (or them).

Supprise, supprise, after the port to C++, most of the appearence of AUIS is unchanged. That is to keep it popular with their existing customers. However, future releases will probably change. That also means I don't have to update this text much! Do note that the auis63L4 files on the older CDROM's are absolute pathname archives, the ftp'd files are relative to /usr/andrew/.



I found this in the /cdrom/slackwar/contrib directory. So I ran the Slackware installpkg filename.tgz

It is also on the sunsite /cdrom/X11/andrew/auis635L1-wp.tgz a slightly different version? Who knows?

If you don't have slackware, but do have the same .tgz file. You can run the following command, but it won't maintain the slackware list of installed files.

	# if not # installpkg auis63L4-wp.tgz

	tar -C /  auis63L4-wp.tgz
	sh /install/doinst.sh		# creates the symb-links
However you install it you must now
	cd /usr/andrew/etc
	./complete-setup wp
You must also add /usr/andrew/bin to the PATH, maybe in /etc/profile, or manually.
You can now test it with
	cd /usr/andrew
	ez README.ez.wp
Yes this is a work processor with Bold (etc), different fonts, and a whole lot more.


A different version

I then deleted all of /usr/andrew, and reinstalled it from /cdrom/X11/andrew/auis635L1-wp.tgz (sunsite). Apart from the version number increment, I couldn't see the difference, but I guess there are changes internally, that are not immediately visible. But at least both versions work!


Mini Starter Guide

I find it quite usable, but I don't often use it. This summer there is release of the NEW AUIS (7), which has moved to C++, and 'ez' comes with an HTML editing module. I hope to look at it again then, and see how the UIF has changed. Here is a mini starter for those who need that extra nudge.


ez - Button-2 Menu Stack

Pressing Button-2 on the mouse, gives you a stack of menus. If you let go of the mouse, and nothing is highlighted, they go away.

If you move the mouse sideways, a different panel comes to the front. Vertical motions select a menu item. If you let go of the mouse, the highlighted command is run.

Most of the commands are also available from the normal menu bar.


Highlight text zone, apply attibute

You add styles to the highlighted zone of the document. Eg to make a sentence bold, you highlight it and select Font/Bold from the menu.

Styles accumulate, so you can have bold, underline, or whatever. The menu option File/Toggle_Expose_Styles makes them visible (by name). The Plainest style, will remove all others, if you have messed up somehow.


Styles available from the menu

If you edit a plain file, there might not be any useful attributes in the menus. If you edit a file like README.ez.wp, they get loaded by the document.

If you edit a new file with the .ez extension, the styles will be there in the menus. Unless, of course the file is ReadOnly.

To get them loaded for already existing files, there is a trick. But I have forgotten what it is. There is a collection of style sheets somewhere, and these then appear by-name on the menus and cards.

You can create new menus and items, by defining styles with the relevent FONT, point-size, attribute, etc. A style attribute that is left blank, means no-change.

Really you have to think out what you want, and produce a set of site profile styles, with names that make sense to you.



The File/Preview menu option, formats the document for the printer, and sends it to GhostView. Yes this is a postscript system, but only for output.


File Format

AUIS uses a text style a bit like latex. ie you will see things like \\bold{ this is bold text }.

Paragraphs are all on one long line, so you might need a filter to get data in and out, if you use another format.

IE This format is open to conversion, WITHOUT needing the ATK.


Other Parts of the package

There is a mail module, and a src editing module. They each need the complete-setup xxx command to be run.


No File Selector Dialog Box

Strange really, but there isn't one, you have to type in the name.

However, ez works, so that you'd never notice this, if you start ez with the name of the file on the command line, eg from mc, or a tkDesk.

If you install the src package, you get bush. It offers you a tree of dirs and files, otherwise you have to type the name in the message/entry line at the bottom.


Bottom Line Status Bar

The bottom line is both a message line, and where you type filenames, (Insert File, Save AS, ... ).

This causes me some grief, as it is often off screen, and I don't understand why ez is "frozen". Really, it's just waiting for input! CTRL-C cancels that line, and reverts to editing.

When inputing a filename, the TAB key does completion, but I couldn't see a way of getting any other than the first. Reading the manuals would probably bring it all to light.



This IS a problem. AUIS uses it's own cut+paste, that doesn't interface with the default X11 selection. There is an option that can be set in  /preferences, but otherwise it is a pain.

You can tell that this is so, when two windows BOTH contain "highlighted" text. If one is the X selection, the other isn't.


Accurate Scroll Bars

The left button, only goes DOWN, (right goes UP) - except where you manage to exactly grab the scroll bar (LEFT). Then the mouse turns to a big dot, and you go where you want.


(More) Media Table

From the menus, inserts a table into the text.

CAREFULLY, click elsewhere, and the grid lines of the table disappear, leaving a gap on the page. Now click back where the grid was, and the re-appear. This is because the inset object wasn't active, and (by default) has no grid lines.

Drag the cursor over an area of the grid, eg 2x4 cells, and select menu Cells, Draw box. Now that area has a box around it, as will the printed page.


Is it Business Quality?


The code doesn't crash. The data is easy to convert to and from. The speed is excellent. The functionality you need is there.

There is a distracting amount of extra functionality (pre-java embedded applets for example), and various areas under development (different types of embedded objects), and the MMI is a bit strange at first, but this is an excellent word processor for most needs.

The convertion to C++ is taking time to get ported through all the supported platforms. Linux is on the list, and will get release 7 this summer. Along with new graphics-drawing and HTML support.

The only other thing I would recommend for investigation for serious use, is linuxdoc-sgml. It will reformat sgml into a variety of types. Although it is mostly for the Linux-HowTo SGML templates, it is a fore-bearer of things to come. However linuxdoc-sgml is a (batch) text formatter, not an actual editor.


Is it GNU

No. I belive that the auis source is openly available, but is HUGE. CMU have hinted that they are looking for ways of making money from AUIS, but if enough people write to them, they will stick to selling the T-shirts, and consultancy.

The existing AUIS distribution is "use for any purpose .. without fee" as long as you include the Copywrite notice and Disclaimer.