Category : Alternate Operating Systems - Quarterdeck DesqView, CP/M, etc
Archive   : QWHITE13.ZIP

Output of file : DESQTEMP.TEC contained in archive : QWHITE13.ZIP

ID:DT DESQview: The DESQTMP Feature
Quarterdeck Technical Note #239 Filename: DESQTEMP.TEC
by Michael Bolton CompuServe: DESQTM.TEC
Last revised: 3/10/92 Category: DV

Subject: An explanation of how to use a little-known feature of DESQview (the
DESQTMP?.* filename) to transfer data from one program to another,
the advantages of this technique over Mark and Transfer, and how you
can use it to enhance your DESQview scripts.

DESQview's Mark and Transfer feature is one very easy way for applications to
exchange information. For larger blocks of information that require quick and
easy access, DESQview provides another facility. As your DESQview manual
states (check the index for references to "DESQTMP?.* files"), any DOS file
that begins with the string DESQTMP is treated specially by DESQview.
Regardless of the pathname that you specify, DESQTMP?.* files are always saved
to or retrieved from the DESQview directory. Such files can be saved to or
retrieved from any directory while you are running DESQview; DESQview will
make DESQTMP?.* files available in the current directory.

This feature originally existed because some programs were incapable of
reading from or writing to subdirectories, making life difficult for users in
general, and DESQview users in particular. Exchanging information between
such applications was particularly difficult, since the user would have to
save the file, go to DOS (or DOS Services), copy the file to the appropriate
directory, erase the original file, switch to the second application, and
modify the original data. Modern applications are far more aware of DOS's
directory structure, and therefore one of DESQTMP's original purposes has been
superseded by smarter, more flexible applications.

Still, the DESQTMP feature, in and of itself, can be quite useful by saving
you typing; you need not enter the extra keystrokes required for a pathname to
the file of interest. For programs which use common file formats, DESQTMP
files can thus be used as a form of clipboard; simply save the file in one
window, switch to another window, and retrieve the same file.

For example, assume that you have loaded a word processor and fax software
under DESQview, and that the two programs have not been specially written to
be aware of each other. When you have finished editing the file, and wish to
save it in as an ASCII text file for your fax, you might choose to name it
DESQTMP.FAX, and save it without regard to where the file is being saved --
whatever the current directory used by your word processor. You would then
switch to your fax program, and issue the command to send the file DESQTMP.FAX
from the current directory used by the fax software. DESQview intercepts the
DESQTMP?.* filename, and treats the file as if it was in the fax software's
current directory.

Note that the DESQTMP feature can be used to transfer information between two
copies of the same program, or between any two programs with compatible file
formats. This means that database, spreadsheet, or graphics files are as
portable as any other format. Mark and Transfer, though very fast and
powerful, is restricted to ASCII text.

Since any digit or letter can be used for the last character in the DESQTMP?.*
filename, and since any combination of letters or digits can be used for the
extension, the effect is not simply that of a single, simple clipboard, but of
(potentially) thousands of clipboards.

These days, the DESQTMP feature is at its most powerful when it is combined
with DESQview Scripts. Since DESQTMP?.* always appears to be in the current
directory, your script need not be modified every time you wish to run it from
a different directory, or when it needs to access a different file. Thus, a
single keystroke can save a file from one application, switch to another, and
retrieve the file in the new window. Your script need not be aware of the
source or destination directories, since DESQview simply puts the file in its
own directory without the application's knowledge. This can make scripts
portable across mulitple drives, and may even make a script portable between
two machines that are running the same software, but with different directory

*This technical note may be copied and distributed freely as long as it*
*is distributed in its entirety and it is not distributed for profit. *
* Copyright (C) 1992 by Quarterdeck Office Systems *
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