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How To: Bring Up Encounter "man" Pages from a UNIX Prompt

Comments(1)Filed under: Digital Implementation, EDI, Encounter digital Implementation system, help, tricks, tips, man, documentation, man pages, Unix prompt

Okay, this one is too cool not to share.

The other day a customer and I were trying to understand a tool behavior better so we did what we all do in desperate times: We read the documentation.

As straightforward as "reading the documentation" would seem, I bet no two users of the system interact with documentation the same way. Some people like to bring up "cdnshelp" at the UNIX prompt. Some like to download the .pdfs from the install tree. Others like to use CommandGetIt through a web browser. Some click the "Help" button within the tool. Others like to read them through http://support.cadence.com

For most things, I use "help <command_name>" at the Encounter prompt. And "man <command_name>" for an extended description of what each option does along with some examples.

So when the designer I was working with saw me launching Encounter to bring up the man page for a command, he asked if there is a way to do that from the UNIX prompt without launching the tool. I didn't know how to do that, but there is a way. Here's how...

The short answer is to add the path to the Encounter man pages to your MANPATH environment variable.

The man pages reside in the Encounter installation tree under <install_path>/share/fe/man - for example:

UNIX> which encounter

UNIX> setenv MANPATH /icd/flow/EDI/EDI111/latest.USR1.lnx86/lnx86/share/fe/man

UNIX> man placeDesign

This should bring up the man page for placeDesign without needing to launch Encounter.

However, you probably don't want to lose access to regular UNIX commands, so you'll want to append the Encounter path to your existing MANPATH. How to do this depends on the shell you use but this works for me:

setenv MANPATH ${MANPATH}:/icd/flow/EDI/EDI111/latest.USR1.lnx86/lnx86/share/fe/man

Want to get even fancier? If you've already got the encounter executable in your path you can make use of the "cds_root" utility to set your MANPATH. This way your MANPATH will always update to the latest version of Encounter you're pointing to. Slick!

setenv MANPATH ${MANPATH}:`cds_root encounter`/share/fe/man

Another approach would be to create an alias to a separate man command for Encounter:

UNIX> alias eman 'man -M `cds_root encounter`/share/fe/man'
UNIX> eman placeDesign

Hope this is helpful! And thanks to my colleagues Tim, Benton, and Bupendra for pointing out how to do this.

-Bob Dwyer


By libin on August 6, 2012
Thanks Bob!  It's very useful. After I tried, add path environment can use the Tab key complete text command names
UNIX>set path = (`cds_root encounter`/share/fe/man/man1 $path)  

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