Appendix B:

Customizing Terminal Menus


You can use a resource editor to customize the TeleFinder Server's terminal menus. Apple Computer's ResEdit is a common resource editor that works well. Always work with a backup copy of the software when editing resources.


The safest way to change menu resources is to make a copy of TeleFinder Server's Prefs file. Then copy the resources you wish to change from TeleFinder Server into the Prefs file. Edit the copy of the file instead of the application. When TeleFinder Server runs, it looks in the prefs file before it looks in the application file for resources.


Resources used by Terminal Menus

The TeleFinder Server links four resource types to create and interpret a terminal menu.


TEXT &endash;- This resource type contains the menu display of choices available to the user. This type of resource may contain up to 32K of text.


PRMT &endash;- This resource contains the prompt used by the menu. The resource is a string that may contain up to 255 characters.


MCHS &endash;- This resource contains characters used to select the various functions in the menu. The TeleFinder Server calls a function based on the character's position within the string.


DSPLY &endash;- The TeleFinder Server displays this resource on its screen to show user activity.

A common resource ID number links the four types of resources together. TeleFinder Server reserves resource ID's 128 through 999 for terminal menus. TeleFinder Server uses Resource ID's 1000 and above for miscellaneous displays. Resource ID 1000 informs the user about the "Get Info" comment for file uploads.


The four parts of the Main Menu are described below.



The TEXT Menu Resource

The TEXT resource of the Main Menu contains the information the user sees. The menu screen can hold up to 32K of text. Limit each line to 79 characters. TeleFinder Server will automatically clip the lines to 79 characters, if necessary. This clipping may cause an undesirable appearance in the menu if a line runs longer than 79 characters.


You can also call upon TeleFinder Server's internal variables to customize the menu screens. In the default main menu, TeleFinder Server inserts your BBS Node name and the current time into using the "%b" and "%t" variables. The list below describes the text you can add to menus.

%n &endash;- the current user's name.

%t &endash;- the current host time.

%d &endash;- the current host date.

%l &endash;- the user's last logon time and date.

%r &endash;- the user's time remaining.

%o &endash;- the elapsed time on-line.

%b &endash;- the BBS Node name.

%c &endash;&endash; the current folder name.


The following two variables are valid only in a message topic menu:

%m &endash;- the topic's name.

%a &endash;- the name of the topic's administrator.



- The variables are case sensitive; you must enter them in lower case.

- If you want a % sign in a menu for any reason enter '%%' in the TEXT resource.

- The ANSI menus must contain returns and line-feeds to create a new line. The standard terminal menus require only a <return> to create a new line.


The PRMT Menu Resource

The PRMT resource contains the prompt string after which the user enters a menu selection.

For the sake of convenience, keep the menu prompt as short and concise as possible.


The MCHS Menu Resource

The default MCHS for the main menu contains:
D &endash;- for Download Files

E &endash;- for E-Mail

C &endash;- for Conferences

S &endash;- for Chat with Sysop

T &endash;- for Session Time

G &endash;- for Logoff

U &endash;- for Upload


The MCHS contains letters corresponding to the choices a user can make. TeleFinder Server maps each character's position to a function of the program. For example, position one in the MCHS resource for the main menu always corresponds to the "Download Files" command. The '>' character turns off a function.

Turn off a menu selection by replacing the default choice with the '>' character. Then remove the corresponding selection from the menu display (TEXT resource).

Change the character used to select a function by replacing the character in the MCHS resource with a another character. Within a given menu, each function must have a unique character.


The DSPY Menu Resource

The TeleFinder Server displays the string in the DSPY resource when it displays a menu with a matching ID on the user's terminal. You can change this to any string up to 255 characters in length.