MacKinney Systems, Inc.

Released On: 05/31/2013

Release 4.0 of Easy Help introduces several major changes:

  • A new way to store help text has been added. "Text" items are not associated with a particular screen, but are stand- alone units which are referenced from screens and menus. This allows an unlimited number of individual collections of help text to be stored, and faster response in some situations. Previously, all help text had to be associated with a specific row/column area (field) on a screen. Although that text could be referenced by any other area on the same or any other screen, if the "owning" field changed positions, references to that text from another screen/position would be broken. With the addition of "Text" items, each independent screen position can reference the text item without knowing about any other screen's use of that data.
  • The maximum length of a line of help text increased from 72 to 75 bytes. If a user requests help that contains more than 72 bytes of text and the installation is set to show a shadow border, the shadow is suppressed so the extra 3 bytes display on terminals with 80 column screen sizes.Lines of text that are longer than 72 bytes cannot be edited using the "Native" editor, so the QEDITOR is used. The QEDITOR is invoked automatically if needed. New synonyms for "E"dit are also available---entering "N" where you usually enter "E" invokes the "Native" editor, and entering "Q" invokes the QEDITOR.
  • "Text" item and "Menu" names can be up to 20 bytes long. Title lengths are increased from 25 to 35 bytes. (However, some displays still only display the first 25 bytes.)
  • The format of the input to the batch program HELPUTIL has changed. You can only run HELPUTIL with input generated from the same version of HELPUTIL. For example, you cannot unload data from a release 3 version of the HELP02 file and use that unloaded data as input into a release 4 version of HELPUTIL or a release 4 version of the HELP02 file.
  • The HELPTEST program's transaction ID changed from HZTS to HTST. Several added features include the ability to display any map/mapset providing easier testing especially during initial installs, an option to set your terminal's UCTRAN setting, and easier specification of which "captured" map to display. Refer to Using the HELPTEST program for more information.
  • More than one license password can now be stored in the same MSXGCF$ file. A new batch program, HELPUPWD, allows updating the Easy Help license password(s) via a batch program instead of online.  In addition to making disaster recovery easier, you can use this method to enter up to 6 passwords so the configuration file (MSXGCF$) can be shared across multiple processors.
  • Printing individual screen fields, menus, or text records has been added to the HELPPRNT program. The input to HELPPRNT has also been simplified to print these.
  • A "Search Exit" option has been added, expanding the ways Easy Help is used to display help data. Optionally, an additional PF key can be assigned to invoke an alternate search exit.
  • 3270 Screen sizes larger than 24x80 are better utilized when the transaction being displayed is in model 3 or 4 mode.
  • This release is currently for z/OS only. z/VSE users should install release 3.1, or contact MacKinney Systems for availability of later releases.