Test - Integrate - Control

Application Modes

TSC now allows different operator modes. Just by switching modes in the “Mode” menu, you can automatically enable or disable features of the user interface. This feature is intended so that you can customise the user interface to restrict what the user can do. The implementation is very flexible, and can be set up just by changing settings; you can easily define your own new application modes. It is also possible to query the current mode, or to change mode directly from TCL
The application “modes” implementation is intended to allow restrictions to the user interface. In “observer” mode, for example, it might be desirable to prevent the user from:
  • sending telecommands
  • starting test sequences
  • running manual commands
  • etc...
The mode can be read or changed in TCL/uTOPE using the variable “::utope::mode”. This means you can integrate mode-dependent behaviour into your own graphical user interface scripts using the TK toolkit. The mode variable changes just like any other TCL variable, and can be traced. This means your script gets called back whenever somebody in the user interface changes mode.

To customise the modes you can just create additional modes in the application settings tree. A new mode is created by creating a new branch in this tree with the different enable/inhibit flags configured under the tree node of the new mode. This allows you to have different user modes custom for your project.

The implementation approach is “open” : users are not prevented from changing mode. A less privileged user can still switch to full capability. The goal is to provide a level of protection for users who might make mistakes, or to avoid inadvertent actions disturbing a running test. We chose this approach because TSC is often used with a single desktop. For safety reasons, where quick response is needed, we should not make it difficult or time consuming to switch to full control mode.

To find out more, check the online help / user manual.