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SAS Companion for UNIX Environments

Understanding SAS in the X Environment

The X Window System is a networked windowing system. If several machines are linked together in a network, you can run an X application program, or client, on one machine in the network and display it on any other machine in the network that is running an X server.

X Window Managers

Window managers are X clients that enable you to manage the windows on a display. The Motif interface to the SAS System can be used with any window manager that is compliant with the Inter-Client Communication Conventions Manual (ICCCM). Vendors provide at least one window manager with the X Window System environment. A common window manager is the Common Desktop Environment (CDE). If you are using another window manager such as the Tab Window Manager (twm), you should also read the documentation that is supplied by the vendor for that window manager.

All window managers perform the same basic functions, but they differ in their style and in their advanced functions. The appearance and function of the interface to SAS depends to some extent on your X window manager. Most window managers provide some kind of frame around a window. The window manager also governs the placement, sizing, stacking, and appearance of windows, as well as their interaction with the keyboard.

SAS Window Session ID

When you run the SAS System on an X workstation, the SAS System shares the display with other X applications, including other SAS sessions. To enable you to distinguish between different applications and SAS sessions, the SAS System generates a SAS window session ID for each session by appending a number to the application name, which by default is SAS. This session ID appears in the window title bar for each SAS window and in the window icon title. The SAS sessions are assigned sequentially. Your first SAS session is not assigned a number, so the session ID is SAS; your second SAS session is assigned the session ID SAS2, and so on. Although the default application name is SAS, you can use the -name X option to change the instance name. The instance name can be up to six characters long.

Workspace and Gravity in a SAS Session

When you use the SAS System on an X workstation, the display may be shared by many concurrent applications. When SAS windows from several different sessions and windows from other applications appear on the display, the display can become cluttered. To help alleviate this problem, the windows for a SAS session first appear within an application workspace (AWS). The AWS defines a rectangular region that represents a virtual display in which SAS windows are initially created. SAS attempts to position the AWS in relation to the upper-left corner of your display. In other words, the workspace gravitates toward a certain direction (session gravity) on the display. Some window manager configurations may override the placement that the SAS System has chosen for a window.

If you issue windowing commands or execute SAS System procedures that create new SAS windows, the same rules of initial position and size apply to these windows: they are initially placed in the SAS AWS. You can use the WSAVE command to save the current window positions (or geometry). See Customizing Session Workspace, Session Gravity, and Window Sizes for details.

Window Types

The SAS System uses primary and interior windows. Some SAS applications consist of one or more primary windows controlled by the X window manager in addition to the interior windows controlled by the SAS System. The SAS windowing environment primary windows, as well as most SAS application windows, initially appear as top-level windows. Top-level windows interact directly with the X window manager. They have a full title bar along with other window manager decorations. You can manipulate them individually once they appear on the display. For details on the top-level windows, refer to the online help.

Interior windows behave differently than primary windows. SAS/ASSIST software is an application with interior windows. Interior windows are contained within container windows, which may or may not be primary windows. Sample Interior Window shows an interior window in SAS/ASSIST software.

Sample Interior Window


The SAS System provides some degree of window management for interior windows. Specifically, interior windows have the following sizing and movement capabilities:

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Copyright 1999 by SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA. All rights reserved.