AWK Tool for building messages & codes books from POSIX message catalog file
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jul-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
AWK Tool for building messages codes books from POSIX message catalog file When defining messages within a software product, it is common to use a message catalog facility. The message catalog facility allows the message text to be separated from the rest of the program code, allowing different message strings to be used in different national language environments. The message catalog source file contains the message text and an identifier that is used in the program source code to refer to the message. Message catalog source files are passed to a “catalog generator” to produce a binary message catalog file which is shipped with the software program. A common problem is documentation of these messages to inform users of the software program about what the message means, what should be done in response to the message, and what the software program will do when the message is displayed. In the past, separate files were used to store these details about messages, causing a problem in keeping the two files in sync with each-other. This tool uses the comment format of the POSIX message catalog source files to store the detailed message information in the same file as the message text themselves. By doing this, the message text and the message explanations and details can be kept in sync since there is only one file to access and update. The POSIX message catalog source file is processed by an AWK tool to extract the message text as well as the formatted comments that represent the message explanations, system response, system programmer response, and message severity. All of this information is then re-formatted in the file format required for publishing in our hard/soft-copy documentation. The AWK tool supports multiple output formats to allow the tool to be used by multiple groups in which the hard/soft-copy documentation is required to be in different formats. Messages can contain “substitution” strings which allow values determined at run-time in the software program to be substituted into the message before displaying the message to the user. The AWK tool uses formatted comments to build text identifiers that are substituted into these places when the messages book documentation is produced. This allows the messages in the hard/soft-copy documentation to appear in an easily readable and understanable form .