This section describes several utility programs that can be used to assist in the task of constructing item files.
This program simply produces a list of numbers that can be read into your file as item numbers. NUM asks you for the initial number and the end number, and also for the correct response indicator. These numbers are then written to an output file nominated by the user.
So, for example, if you gave 1 and 5 as input, with the correct response indicator -, the program will output the following:
You could then give a further number pair as input, repeating this procedure until you have all the numbers you need.
To terminate execution, give the pair 0 0 as input.
This program selects words at random from an input list. The input list can consist of any text at all, provided that each item is terminated by a semi-colon, e.g.:
The user specifies the input file and an output file where the selected items will be written.
Next, the program asks how many words you want, and asks for a positive number as the seed for the random number generator. If you give the same number on two successive runs, the same list will be generated. Sampling is done without replacement.
Lists of words in suitable format for this program are provided in the NEIGHS directory. These are grouped by length, and have been taken from the UNIX dictionary. These files have names such as WORD4.LST -- this would be the list of 4-letter words. These lists have been edited to exclude obviously silly words, such as "quahog". We will eventually build up lists of nonwords as well.
This program takes an item file blocked by conditions (i.e., all items in a condition are grouped together), and produces an interleaved version, with the first members of all conditions listed first, followed by the second members, etc.
The program requests specification of the input file and an output file where the interleaved version will be written.
Next, the program asks for the number of items in each condition. The program assumes that each condition has the same number of items.
Finally, the program asks for the Grouping factor. This functions the same way as in the scrambling routines. If this is specified as 2, then the program treats the first two items as if they were a single item, and so forth. This has the effect of grouping adjacent items together, and preserving this grouping in the interleaving process. Note that this has implications for the specification of the number of items per condition -- the program asks for information about the number of "grouped" items. For example, assume a grouping factor of 2, and 3 (grouped) items per condition. The input file might look like this:
006 f; ----- end of Condition 1
016 F; ------ end of Condition 2
Note that although there are really 6 items per condition, we only specify 3 because we have specified a grouping factor of 2 (i.e., 3 x 2 = 6). With this input, the output file would look like this:
A further feature of this program is that the input file may include instructions, etc., that are enclosed in dollar symbols. As in the scramble routines, any material between $s will be left in its original position in the file. So, for example, if the above input file had looked like this:
then the output file would have been:
Note that ILEAVE preserves the dollar markers, whereas the normal scramble routine discards them.
Note also that you should not have the normal DM parameters as the first line of your file. These will be treated as if they are part of the first item.
This program duplicates the function of the DMASTR scrambling routines, but can be run as a separate program. All the conventions are the same, except once again that the first line should not contain the DM parameters. The scramble parameters are supplied at run-time by the user, as in the ILEAVE program. The two parameters required are the block-size and the item grouping factor.
BSCRAM assumes a default input extension of ".itm", and supplies a default output extension of ".scr".
Lists of items (or, indeed, any other ASCII files) may be changed from upper to lower case or vice versa using these two programs.
To convert upper to lower case type:
Tolower < filename > new filename <cr>
where < indicates the input file
and > redirects the changed file into a new output file.
Items may also be "piped" through other programs such as SORT while undergoing case change.
Toupper < filename | sort > new filename <cr>
will convert items to upper case as well as list them alphabetically.
N.B. If the new filename is the same as the input filename, the input file will be deleted once the case change has been completed.
It is also possible to change case using the CL program. Simply mark a block, and then type ^K+ to convert everything within that block to upper case, or ^K- to convert to lower case.
This program works in the same way as TOUPPER and TOLOWER except that its output consists of alternating upper and lower case letters. The input file may be in upper case, lower case or mixed.
FRAME is used to edit item files, and allows a constant text string to be inserted in specified frames of all items in the file.
Each item in the input file must have the following:
(a) a blank before the first frame;
(b) a frame-delimiter (/) between adjacent frames;
(c) an end-of-item delimiter (;) at the end of each item.
Thus, for example, a file might consist of the following:
Input to FRAME is as follows:
(1) Input file name (default extension = ".itm")
(2) Output file name (default extension = ".itm")
The first three items of the file, and the last three items are then printed.
(3) Command type:
Command "I" means insert a text string in each item; "R" means remove a specified number of characters from each item; "W" means write the file to disk and exit.
(4) Text specification:
In the insert mode, key in the text to be inserted; in the remove mode, specify how many characters are to be removed.
Specify which frame should be modified, e.g., 3 = the third frame.
An additional option is to specify the number of the frame in right-to-left order. In this case, the number should be followed by an asterisk. E.g., 3* = the third last frame.
If "0" is entered, then ALL frames are modified in the same way.
Specify whether modification is to be made to the beginning ("B") or the end ("E") of the frame. FRAME does not allow modifications to be made internally. These changes should be made with a conventional editor.
FRAME will then carry out the modification, print out the first and last items, and prompt for the next command.
All the above conventions are explained in the prompts.
'ICHECK' will check an item file for syntax errors, and will attempt to interpret the error.
ICHECK filename [-g] [-p]
ICHECK assumes that the file is a graphics file intended for DMTG. If your file is not a graphics file, then specify the switch "-g" after the filename (this will actually make very little difference, since the major difference in the syntax between the file types is the possible presence of the display switch "g" in an item displaying a bit-mapped graphics image rather than text).
The '-p' switch suppresses paging of the error-listing. This is relevant if you are redirecting output to a file.