The Thot editor is a relatively new tool with new and powerful features. As
a consequence, it can seem quite disconcerting for users accustomed to working
with classical word processors. Moreover, the editor is used in open
environments (various Unix systems, different versions of X-Window server, a
wide range of window managers, etc.) and the interference between Unix and
X-Window applications can give rise to several problems.
This section aims to list certain situations which can create problems for
new users of the Thot editor. This section also provides users with some
advice to help them in solving these problems.
These problems have been classified in four categories:
- Problems when starting the editor or opening a document.
- Problems when editing.
- Problems when printing.
- Problems when saving a document.
Common problems are listed with a brief explanation and any possible
- Cannot connect to X server?
- Check that the DISPLAY environment variable is correctly set and
that the machine on which the editor runs has the right to connect to the
X-Window server (see xhost or xauthority).
If the problem persists, it means that the name of the server machine is not
accepted. This can come from the name server currently used. On SUN platforms,
when an application uses static libraries (ldd command to check if
this is the case), it cannot access the services provided by the names
servers. The remote machine on which the X-Window server is running must then
be declared in the /etc/hosts file of the machine on which the
- Application is not accessible?
- The editor may display a message indicating that it cannot access the
files containing the dialogue messages. You then have to check whether the
installation has been correctly made and the script for starting the editor
(thot) is correct. Normally, all dialogue files are stored into the
THOTDIR/config directory (see section 23.1.4).
- Thot fonts are not accessible?
- This is due to an inconsistency between the definition of the
FontFamily (in the .thotrc file) and the
THOTFONT parameter. If the FontFamily parameter is
defined, the X server tries to access the Thot fonts in the correct format. If
a problem arises, the FontFamily (access to the standard fonts of the
server) must be removed or the THOTFONT parameter must be
correctly set (see section 23.1.2).
- Icons are not accessible?
- The X server cannot find the fonts needed to display the icons of the
editor. This problem does not seriously affect the operation of the editor.
Icons are displayed if the THOTFONT configuration parameter
is correctly set (see section 23.1.2)..
- Bad display?
- This can be the result of a bad choice for characters or colors. In the
first case, the font used when the editor is started must be modified. In the
second case, the colors options used 
must be corrected and the application started again. On certain X-Window
servers, the resources must be explicitly reloaded (xrdb command).
- Selection is not visible?
- When the user works on a monochrome monitor, the selected area may
sometimes be invisible. This is due to the difference in coding the black and
the white color in the different X servers. To solve this problem, change the
value of the DocSelectColor parameter (white or black) of the
.thotrc file of the user (see section 23.1.3) and restart the editor.
The same problem may arise on a color monitor when the user has not enough
colors. Running other applications which use many colors can disturb the
operation of Thot and make the selection invisible.
- Cannot load the document?
- The editor may refuse to load a document for several reasons:
- It has not found the corresponding file. Check that the directory
containing the document is accessible (record this directory in the
THOTDOC configuration parameter if necessary) and that the
name of the document, without the .PIV suffix, does not exceed the
length specified in section 26.
- The structure and presentation schemas used by the document are not
accessible. Check that the directories containing the schemas are accessible
(record these directories in the THOTSCH configuration
parameter if necessary). Schemas can also correspond to an old version of the
editor. You must then recompile them (first the structure schemas, then the
presentation and translation schemas).
- The document structure is not correct according to the structure schema.
This means that the editor does not use the correct version of schemas. Check
the access order of the schemas, as the first instance of the schema in the
list of schema directories is loaded. The error may also come from a change
made to structure schemas. This error can then be fixed by using converting
- The maximum number of open documents or windows is reached. Close another
document or another window before loading the required document.
- Document loaded with read only permission due to an incorrect
- When one of the structure schemas used to edit a document is modified
(recompiled), the editor checks that the document structure is correct. If
this is not the case, errors are reported and the document is loaded with read
In this case, the erroneous document must be corrected by an experienced user.
The editor should be started in DEBUG mode and the erroneous portions of the
document found using the labels and types displayed by the editor. The
erroneous portions must recreated and the document can then saved.
- The editor suddenly shuts down while loading a document?
- Not enough memory. Increase the swap space of the machine or reduce the
number of running applications and the number of edited documents. All
modified documents are normally saved in .SAV files.
- Motif and X-Window warnings?
- These warnings are due to the asynchronous operation and are not very
serious. We hope to remove them some day.
- Loosing the Meta key, X-Window key map problems?
- Upon startup, Thot adds a lot of keysyms to the standard key code map in
order to support the whole ISO-Latin-1 character set. It also remap the key
codes associated to the modifier mod1, to give access to these new keysyms.
Key code previously associated to mod1 are moved to a free modifier, and
Mode_switch key code is associated to mod1, unless it detects that the X
server does not support it. On display lacking the Mode_switch key code
(like NCD X terminals), the default behaviour can lose the Meta key, which is
critical for Emacs users. The user can override the default behaviour using
the RemapModifiers parameter in the .thotrc file (see 23.1.4 subsection for the exact syntax).
This override cannot solve the problem for the current session, the user have
to restore the normal mapping by using the xmodmap command, or by
restarting the X server.
Setting the THOTNOMODIFIER configuration parameter before starting
Thot prevents it from changing the modifiers and prints the version
information of the X-Window server. Please contact us with these information
to help improving Thot.
- Incorrect colors?
- The size of the color table of X-Window servers is limited. However, the
use of colors is not controlled. Each application requires its own colors to
be loaded regardless of the next application. Thot offers a palette with 140
colors to produce colored documents. If the color table of the X server is
full when the editor starts, the colors displayed on the screen may be
approximate colors and not the real ones.
- Cross-references are not resolved?
- Cross-references are generally displayed by copying a part of the
referenced element or a counter attached to this element. The editor cannot
display references to external documents if these documents are not loaded in
the editor. It uses external files Name_of_the_referenced_file.EXT to record
the list of documents containing at least one reference to an element of this
document. This list is processed to update the document references already
displayed when the editor loads a referenced document.
If, once the referenced document has been loaded (double-click on the
reference), the reference is not correctly redisplayed, the corresponding .EXT
file has been damaged or lost.
- Incorrect pagination?
- The pagination of a document varies with presentation schemas: certain
presentation schemas do not permit the pagination of the document. If the
document has been paginated with a presentation schema different from that
used to display the current version of the document, pagination can be
incorrect. The document must then be repaginated.
Pagination can also seem incorrect when the user has made a zoom on the
document. Actually, pagination is correct since it considers the effective
size of characters and not the temporary size used to display the document
view for a short time.
Pagination can seem incorrect if the document has been paginated during a
previous editing session in which the fonts used were not the same as the
fonts used during the current session (see section 23.1.2). The document must then be
The document elements which are included from another part of the document or
from other documents cannot record document page breaks. If pagination has
inserted page breaks within live copies, these page breaks will not be saved
for the next session nor when printing.
- Abnormal overlapping of document elements?
- Several factors can cause this error:
- The last person who edited the document may have altered the document
presentation by adding specific presentation. In this case, just restore the
standard presentation to obtain the original form of the document.
- The specific presentation applied to the document was fitted to the
presentation schema previously used and not to the current schema. The
solution mentioned above must be applied.
- An incorrect document structure has not been detected when the document
was loaded. Check that the structure schemas currently used correspond to the
correct version (see the solutions suggested in section 25.1).
- Schema not proposed?
- If the structure or presentation schema is not declared in the
.language file currently used, this schema will not be proposed by
the editor. If it is a structure schema, the user can capture it explicitly.
On the other hand, a new presentation schema for a structure schema already
declared must be added to the .language file in order to be
accessible (see section 23.3).
- The editor suddenly shuts down?
- The sudden shutdown can come from:
- an interruption of the connection to the X-Window server caused by the
death of the server or by the ``Quit'' or ``Close'' command of the
- an error in the storage allocation (see the solutions given in section 25.1);
- an effective error of the editor.
The editor normally saves the modified documents in .SAV
- No response from the editor?
- When the editor does not respond to the user's requests, this may be an
error situation. In this case, check whether the response time has been
increased because of the system or the network.
If this error has been caused by the editor, kill the process corresponding to
this execution. On Unix, execute the ``kill -6'' command. The -6 signal allows
the editor to save the documents to .SAV files.
25.3 Printing problems
- Cannot print?
- Printing is processed by a print program which is launched from
the editor. In most error cases, the printing program cannot be launched on
the machine because it is not accessible or because the parameters of the
system (storage space, maximum number of processes, etc.) prevent its
Another reason for this failure could be that there is not enough disc space
in the /tmp directory or in the printer spool. The file is
temporarily saved in the /tmp directory so that the print
program can work independently of the editor.
- Colors different from the colors displayed?
- A noticeable difference can occur between the colors displayed on the
screen and those printed. The color depends on the characteristics of the
screen, the printer and the type of paper. These characteristics must be taken
into account when the document is created. You can also correct the value of
the RGB used for the printer in the $THOTDIR/config/thot.color file.
- References are not resolved?
- This printing problem is similar to that discussed in section 25.2.
- Incorrect pagination?
- This printing problem is similar to that discussed in section 25.2.
25.4 Problems when saving a document
- Impossible to save?
- Saving may fail if the editor does not have read permission in the
required directory or in the file to be rewritten, whether it is a
PostScript backup or any other external format. A full disc can also
prevent a document from being written. The rewriting of the document in the
Thot format is always preceded by a backup of the previous version. A problem
in the disc volume can prevent the backup.
- Translation is not proposed?
- If the translation schema is not declared in the current
.language file, this schema will not be suggested by the editor. Any
other translation schema must be declared in the .language file in
order to be accessible.
- Translation is not achieved?
- To translate a document, the editor must have a translation schema for
each structure schema being used. If there is no translation schema, the
document elements which correspond to this structure are not translated. If
the translation schema of the main document structure is not accessible, the
created file will be empty.
The exporting/translation program indicates if there is no translation schema
in the Xterm window in which the editor was launched.
- References are not resolved?
- This translation problem is similar to that discussed in section 25.2.
[Section 26] [Table