IDSS Graphical User Interface (GUI)

This page introduces the main features of the graphical interface. To run IDSS properly, you must also download the core IDSS executable, unless you have chosen to install a bundle package.
IDSS GUI was built with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 as an MFC project.

1. Main dialog

IDSS is a dialog-based interface.

The main frame consists of :

- a classical menu zone;
- three edit zones (Application parameters, Modify command line, Actions)
- corresponding command buttons, plus a Navigate command zone and a fancy Exit button.

IDSS GUI creates a command-line string of characters that is used to launch the core IDSS executable (compiled from C code).

While Menu dialog windows are filled, the Application Parameters edit zone is gradually updated with the corresponding command-line switches and arguments.

Below is a reproduction of the main dialog frame:

main dialog

2. Menus

Core IDSS command-line switches are gathered in the File and Questionnaire menus. On the right-hand side is the Options menu, which is GUI-specific, except for the three switches -p (no final pause), -W(silent mode) and (-J create a log) which are inserted by the child Execute menu.

Execute dialog

3. Application Parameters zone

This zone has three command buttons:

    Display button
      Click on it to display the command line in the edit zone below.  
      Here is an example of what is shown after the Colors dialog has been filled:
      Resets the edit zone to a blank string.

    On-line help
      Displays the command-line help of the core IDSS executable, with full description of switches.

display zone
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4. Modify zone

To the right is the Modify zone. It has three command buttons:

   Save it
    Saves the string in the edit zone for later use. You should press on Save it before running the application (see Actions zone).

   Clear it
     Resets the edit zone string to blank yet does not reset application parameters to default value.

   Recall it
      Recalls the last string saved by the Save it button.

modify zone

The Modify edit zone is a CLI within a GUI.
In other terms, the Modify edit zone is just a command-line window. It may be very useful if you would like to change a few details by hand, like a number in a filename, or add one switch, without going through the Menu system, which may be slower.
Also, development features, which have been incorporated to the core IDSS project, may be activated through Modify zone, while the GUI is left in a prior development stage (so the new features still do not have their own dialog windows).
For this current version, the following features are thus only available through Modify zone:

- switches K1, K2, ..., K6 to change color and style layout of HTML questionnaires ;
- user-defined path to Log (argument of the -J switch). IDSS GUI generates Log.txt in the current directory by default;
- rgb colors are not offered, only HTML "name-colors" are.

To use Modify zone, first press on the arrow button to copy all strings from the Application parameters zone to the edit zone.
Below is an example of the resulting edit zones:

edit zones

You can now directly change details in the Modify zone and save the new string. Here a number 2 has been added to the input file and Silent Mode
( -W ) is requested:


5. Actions zone

This zone appears below the former two.
In the Actions edit zone, a translation in plain English is given right after a [PAR] tag for each of the command-line switches generated in the Application Parameters zone. Other tags might be used in future versions.
Here is what the Actions zone looks like for the above application parameters:


Keep in mind, however, that Actions zone messages do not reflect Modify zone alterations, as Modify zone is an autonomous (though integrated) command-line interface.
Usually, running IDSS thus involves the following three steps:

  Step 1
    Going through the menus to generate a command line.
  Step 2 (optional)
    Adjusting the command line in Modify zone.
  Step 3
    Running the application with the Execute command button in the bottom right-hand side corner:


The three buttons in the Execute zone behave differently:

      Runs the application when the above steps have been completed.

  Run default values
      Runs the command-line default values directly, without going through the Menu dialogs or Modify zone.
      The default command line is interpreted from a default configuration file, with filename Defaults and extension id in the current directory.

  Run corrections
      This button is used for running command lines generated in Modify zone.
      This will run the CLI, not the GUI. As a consequence, switches added in Modify zone will not be managed by the GUI post-execution.
      For example, if you added a SAS DATA step program, the "SAS directory" button will not open the program folder. Enabling GUI buttons requires going through the menus.

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6. Navigate command buttons

To the right of Modify zone is Navigate zone.
This set of seven buttons is used to open the files created by IDSS or navigate through the filesystem.

     The Surveys button opens the output directory (in R-Mode) or the output questionnaire (in Simple Mode), depending on the argument of switch -o .
      This directory was either specified by File|Save or by Survey|Properties.

  Show Log
      The Show Log button opens the log created in the current directory.

  Correspondence Tables
      Opens the directory in which the correspondence table(s) are gathered.

  Database directory
      Opens the directory in which input databases are stocked (argument of switch -e ).

  Separated base
      Opens the database with separators resulting from Core IDSS processing (argument of switch -s ).

  SAS directory
     Opens the directory in which is stocked the SAS DATA step program used for importing data to the SAS format.

  DATA step
      Edits the SAS DATA step program.