IUBio GIL .. BIOSCI/Bionet News .. Biosequences .. Software .. FTP

SUPER 2.0

EMBnet Switzerland [BASEL] embnet at comp.bioz.unibas.ch
Thu Feb 4 08:28:46 EST 1993


Did you always want to ask your user community on  your  computer  on how 
they rate your services? Did you write command  files, or any other probe
for this? Then the program SUPER is for you: 

        S implified
        U ser
        P oll and
        E xperience
        R eport language


SUPER is a program which is written in C, and tested on Silicon Graphics,
DEC Ultrix, and VAX/VMS. It reads a template  file  which  describes  the 
questions to be asked, and puts the answers into a  file.  Help  and  the 
backstep option are provided at any step, and can be adapted to  national 
languages easily. The software is extensively documented. 

As from Version 2.0 (available now), the SUPER program can also have  the 
evaluation of results made by SUPER by automatically writing a  C program 
which in turn takes all the input and  makes statistics on the  numerical
fields of your poll. 

The SUPER script language is used at the Biocomputing Basel  facility  to 
poll users on-site. If the users need to reply off-line,the program SUPER 
can act as 'compiler' and generate (UNIX) csh and (VMS) com  files  which 
can be requested from the mail server. In this case, after execution, the 
user must send back the generated output file. 
 
As contributed by the Finnish node of EMBnet, SUPER also runs on SUN com-
puters. They've further made it run as a 'telnet hole' by making  entries 
in /etc/services and /usr/etc/inetd.conf accordingly. 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                  BIOFTP BASEL SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SUPER    is   available  from bioftp.unibas.ch in the programs/bioftp-sw 
directory and can be retrieved as compressed tar file (for UNIX)  or  as 
MFTU-encoded VAX/VMS backup save set. 

The program SUPER is also available from the EMBL servers:

1) by anonymous ftp from FTP.EMBL-Heidelberg.DE
   (/pub/software/unix/super.tar.Z)
   (/pub/software/vax/super.uue)

2) by electronic mail from NetServ at EMBL-Heidelberg.DE
   (get unix_software:super.uaa)
   (get vax_software:super.uue)

Full  credits  go  to  the  Author  (Lukas Rosenthaler)  and  the  Swiss 
National Science Foundation (NF) for  funding  the   EMBnet  SWITZERLAND 
project.  Thanks to Rob Harper and the Team there for  contributing  the 
changes on the SUN, and the inetd hack. 



DETAILED DESCRIPTION.

Guess you want to know the satisfaction of people with the computers they
use (This is a very primitive example). The dialogue the user will see is
as follows: 



   What are Your personal experiences with computers ?

      1) I had only the best experiences, no troubles at all
      2) I like computers, but sometimes they drive me crazy
      3) I hate computers, but sometimes they help a little
      4) I work only with computers because my boss want's it

Now if the user does not have any idea he might enter 

   ?>help

and, stupidly, the answer will be 

   Input error: You should enter menu option between 1 and 4 !
   ?>?
   "?" gives help, "!" repeats last question.
   Please enter menu option between 1 and 4 !

Let us assume that the user achieved to type in  "3", then the 
next question is: 

   ?>3
   Was in Your opinion the training sufficient You received?

      1) yes
      2) no
      3) don't know

Our dummy user might answer 

   ?>3

and gets finally adressed with the fllowing questions: 

   Personal info
   =============

   Do You want to enter Your name and address or do You prefer to be
   anonymous ?

      1) I'm giving name and address
      2) I want to stay anonymous


Certainly (2) is a good option, and the program ends: 


   ?>2
   Thank You very much for this interesting information. I hope that
   You will be a frequent user of SUPER

   Good Bye


This dialog will create the following data file, one per user: 

SUPER: demo

experience          : 3
very_bad_exp        : 3
all_users           : 2


The program to generate this dialog is called SUPER, and can run either 
on VAX/VMS or on various flavours of UNIX. If you prefer to send it 
around via eMail, you can prepare DCL or csh shell scripts by invoking 
SUPER with the appropriate flag as documented in the program description.

The output evaluation will be easy if you have only numerical fields 
(as in this case). Each menu can have up to 10 options, and one of which 
must be choosen. Multiple choice selection is scheduled to be in the next 
release of SUPER. Other data fields can be one line or several lines
of free text. 

Let us assume that you have mostly ststistical interest, and need to evaluate
the fields. You do this by Rwriting a C program with SUPER, because SUPER
accepts a flag (-rep for 'report) which reads the dialogue and writes a 
C program for its evaluation. You compile the program and feed each of 
the output files sequentially. Let us assume , further, that we had 8 
results. Then, output looks like: 


1: experience    -> options: 0="invalid" (0),
                             1="I had only the best experiences, 
                                    no troubles at all" (2),
                             2="I like computers, but sometimes they drive 
                                    me crazy" (1),
                             3="I hate computers, but sometimes they help a 
                                    little" (2),
                             4="I work only with computers because my boss 
                                    want's it" (3),

2: very_bad_exp  -> options: 0="invalid" (3),
                             1="yes" (1),
                             2="no" (2),
                             3="don't know" (2),

3: good_exp
4: best_exp
5: all_users     -> options: 0="invalid" (0),
                             1="I'm giving name and address" (7),
                             2="I want to stay anonymous" (1),

6: name
7: street
8: city
9: tele


The non-numerical fields are just listed as blanks. 

However, the C program also writes an output file which is in tab-separated 
format which you can directly import in spreadsheet - like programs. 

The basic functionality of SUPER is to interpret the script which determines
the dialogue. Branching and reevaluation of choices is possible. The 
script for the dialog above, therefore, had also a script which is printing
as follows: 


//=============================================================================
// This is a simple demo program written in the SUPER script language
//=============================================================================
//
// first question
//
LABEL experience Experiences about Computer
  What are Your personal experiences with computers ?
  MENU
    I had only the best experiences, no troubles at all
    I like computers, but sometimes they drive me crazy
    I hate computers, but sometimes they help a little
    I work only with computers because my boss want's it
  GET MENU
  ON (1) GOTO best_exp // we will ask some different questions, depending
  ON (2) GOTO good_exp // on the experiences of the user
                       // option 3 and 4 are treated equally

// here's the question for the very unlucky user
LABEL very_bad_exp
  Was in Your opinion the training sufficient You received?
  MENU
    yes
    no
    don't know
  GET MENU
  GOTO all_users

// heres the question for the "normal" user
LABEL good_exp
  What was Your most frustrating experience?
  Please describe Your frustrating experience. You may use several
  lines, enter an empty line to proceed to the next question:
  GET FREETEXT
  GOTO all_users

// heres the question for the lucky user
LABEL best_exp
  So far You had only very good experiences (We hope that this will
  not change...). What was Your best experience so far, the highlight?
  Please describe Your highlight by entering text. You may use several
  lines, an empty line will get You to the next answer.
  GET FREETEXT
LABEL all_users Personal info
  Do You want to enter Your name and address or do You prefer to be
  anonymous ?
  MENU
    I'm giving name and address
    I want to stay anonymous
  GET MENU
  ON (2) GOTO stop
// Ask personal question
WRITE
WRITE Personal Information
WRITE
LABEL name
  Please enter name:
  GET TEXT
LABEL street
  Please enter the street You live:
  GET TEXT
LABEL city
  Please enter the city:
  GET TEXT
LABEL tele
  Please enter Your telephone number:
  GET TEXT

LABEL stop
  Thank You very much for this interesting information. I hope that
  You will be a frequent user of SUPER
  .
  Good Bye




Hope you like it. Suggestions welcome to embnet at comp.bioz.unibas.ch - thanks.
-- 
+----------------------------------+-------------------------------------+
|    Dr



More information about the Bio-soft mailing list

Send comments to us at archive@iubioarchive.bio.net