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trying to make sense of keylists


IBM Mainframe Forums -> TSO/ISPF
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Lynne

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Joined: 15 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2023 6:13 am
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when I enter in an ISPF application, and I type the command KEYLIST ON, it will show me a list of keylists. if the panel you are displaying has a keylist defined, it will show that keylist as "active".

but what if NO keylists are active? What do all these keylists mean? How can you tell which one is used for what?

If you view all the keylists and see one you like - want to use - can you activate it? how? if not.. what is the point of this list of keylists?

I've looked in the documentation - and it describes how to define a keylist for a panel. But I cannot find where it describes to a user how to use the list of keylists. How to "turn on" or make active a keylist from the list.
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Willy Jensen

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2023 12:50 pm
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There is a very good explanation here: http://www.mainframesupport.dk/tips/tip0649.html
Personally I don't like keylists, I normally disable them. But I have used them once or twice in an application.
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Pedro

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2023 10:31 pm
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In short, keylists are implemented and provided by the developer.

The developer defines the keylists and then refers to one of them in the definition of the panel. If the panel does not specify a keylist, the default application keys are used. You cannot enable keylists for a panel that does not specify a keylist without modifying the panel and adding the keylist name yourself.

As an user, you can turn them on or off. You can also modify the keylist.

Let's say that you are on panel ABC and issue the KEYLISTS command. It shows you a list of all of the keylists for that application; the active keylist is the one used by panel ABC. But in my experience, one keylist can be used by several panels. Unfortunately, there is not an easy way to determine all of the panels that use a particular keylist.

Keylists are useful for applications that have special commands. Instead of having the user to know and also to type the command, the developer will provide it in the keylist definition.

Another situation where they are useful is with KEYS ON and with a small popup panel. The keys may hide some data lines.

I found keylists useful in the help dialog, where UP, DOWN, LEFT and RIGHT are not intuitive for novice users.
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Pedro

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2023 10:50 pm
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re: "Personally I don't like keylists"

Many people are annoyed by them because they want their customization to be global. It is annoying to have so many keylists to add their personal customization to.

Around 1990-1992, I was able to convince my IBM colleagues that we needed keylists! I used them in the projects I worked on for IMS development. Though, by the time I retired in 2016, I had heard from customers that they did not like them.
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Willy Jensen

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2023 11:09 pm
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It does help if you have PFSHOW ON, then at least you can see the PFkey 1-12 assignments, but the downside is that it takes up screen real estate.
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prino

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2023 7:36 pm
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Willy Jensen wrote:
It does help if you have PFSHOW ON, then at least you can see the PFkey 1-12 assignments, but the downside is that it takes up screen real estate.

Although, but I'm also in the clan that doesn't like them, that's minimal(ish) on a 160x62 screen...
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Willy Jensen

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2023 10:22 pm
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"minimal(ish) on a 160x62 screen"
true, and I am using a big screen too, but I know people who insist of using 24x80, don't ask me why. Even so I still disable keylists when I encounter them
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Lynne

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2023 2:58 am
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thank you for the explanations. I read the page Willie linked to.

I have no problem when there is an active Keylist - when I get an "active" keylist for that panel. see attachments.

but many times I get many keylists.. none of them active. I attachanged a picutre for that, too.

Which one is the one for that panel? none of them? then why display them? what do they mean - they are active for the ISPF application, but for other panels? It seems like it would say - what panels they were active for. otherwise - why bother listing them? They are of no use the the user - unless they try every panel for that application and click keylist for every panel.

when there was no active keylist - I tried editing one of the shared panels. it let me do that. but it didn't apply to the panel I was on. And then - I couldn't reset it back to the SHARED version.

I tried creating a new keylist. it let me do that. but when I tried to use it - it didn't apply to the panel I was on. so.. what does it apply to?

soooo confusing... icon_sad.gif
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Lynne

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2023 3:12 am
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the software doesn't seem to want me to post 2 different attachments.

I will try here to put the one that shows an "Active" keylist - it says "active" right in the display
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Pedro

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2023 7:02 am
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re: " it didn't apply to the panel I was on"

The panel has to specify that keylist name in it's definition.
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Pedro

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2023 7:05 am
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re: "I couldn't reset it back to the SHARED version."

I think you need to delete your private copy and it should then show the shared version.
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Lynne

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2023 3:36 am
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Pedro wrote:
re: " it didn't apply to the panel I was on"

The panel has to specify that keylist name in it's definition.


I think this is the problem with the whole design and why most programmers don't use keylists. It is because the ability to create a keylist for a panel for your use, you have to be the panel designer - or hope the designer of the panel included a keylist in the definiton.

Most programmers using ISPF are not designing panels, but they would probably want to be able to create their own keylist for a panel they used all the time if they could. Just like you set up your own individual settings for a panel or an application.

The other problem is that this display does not tell you what keylist applies to which panel in the application. Not sure why they display the keylists at all..
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