InfoDock is an integrated user interface for software development, system administration, and information management. Written in Emacs Lisp and hosted by the powerful Emacs/XEmacs environment, InfoDock provides highly portable mouse- and keyboard-based access to a wide range of tools. It is a turn-key integrated operating environment suitable even for users who find XEmacs or Emacs too hard or too time-consuming to use.
The following notes, drawn from the InfoDock Web page (http://www.infodock.com/), describe some of InfoDock's desktop tools and features. InfoDock offers the usual sorts of communication (email, netnews, etc.) facilities:
The Mail-Composer is a quick and easy way to compose and to send electronic mail messages. It provides the full editing power of InfoDock for composing new messages and replying to previous messages from the Mail-Reader.
The Mail-Reader offers an array of modern electronic mail handling capabilities: tagging and sorting of messages by system or user defined attributes, saving and reading mail in category-based files, and hyperlinks within mail messages. InfoDock uses the Rmail mail reader but also includes the VM and PIEmail readers.
The NetNews-Reader is a full client-server USENET newsreader, based on the GNUS newsreader. It lets users browse large numbers of topic-based newsgroups in an efficient fashion, eliminating topics and authors that are not of interest.
The NetNews-Composer is similar to the Mail-Composer except that it posts messages to newsgroups rather than mailing them to individuals.
The Page-Composer displays a formatted electronic mail form that is used to send messages to alphanumeric pagers.
InfoDock's documentation browsing tools include the usual sorts of facilities (manual pages, HTML, etc.), but add support for WAIS searching, Info-style documentation, and customized hypertext presentations:
The World-Wide-Web browser formats HTML documents for easy reading. All hyperlinks are colored to make them stand out. When the mouse is moved over a link, the link is highlighted in a transparent green color.
The Full-Text-Retriever tool provides a client searching interface to the WAIS (Wide Area Information Server) full-text indexed retrieval system.
Hyperbole supports the creation of hyper-buttons that interrelate bits of everyday information such as code, documentation, mail messages, and standards documents. Hyperbole buttons may be embedded within programs as well as within text documents. (Hyperbole is also mentioned in the March 1993 Internet Notebook: "Emacs and E-hax"").
The Info-Browser is a tool for browsing and searching structured documents, called Info Manuals.
The UNIX Manual Page Browser prompts the user for one or more UNIX man page references, then formats all of them in the background for display.
Finally, InfoDock supports a range of "desktop" and system interaction tools:
The Calculator tool is a highly advanced, fully programmable, arbitrary precision scientific calculator. It uses Reverse Polish Notation (RPN), like HP calculators.
The Calendar tool is a simple, single-user display calendar that is used for looking up dates and scheduling appointments via its diary facility.
The Directory-Editor tool is a powerful directory and file management tool. It lets users mark groups of files and directories and then apply move, delete, and many more operations to the marked entities.
The Process-Manager is used to kill UNIX processes or send specific UNIX signals to processes.
The Rolodex tool is part of the Hyperbole system. It is generally used for storing free-format name and contact entries, but may be used for fast retrieval of any hierarchical, textual records.
The Shell tool starts a command shell (e.g., C-shell) within InfoDock or displays a shell that was created earlier. The InfoDock interface adds a number of features beyond those present in typical shells, including full-screen editing, regular expression searching, and arbitrary output scroll-back.
InfoDock's unlimited buffers, windows and frames permit ample views of programs and documentation. Editing is facilitated by language-sensitive support features, markers that store prior editing locations, extensive undo and redo features, watch-what-I-do keyboard macros, and a retrievable history of previously cut or copied text that enables multi-level cutting and pasting across files.
InfoDock also assists programmers through automatic indenting, syntax highlighting, code browsing facilities, and outlining facilities. C and assembler language support help during coding sessions. Compilation, debugging and version control interfaces speed testing and version maintenance activities. Language-sensitive highlighting of programs as the user types aids code comprehension and helps detect syntax errors early in the coding process. Tag tables support rapid lookup of variable and function definitions.
The OO-Browser supplies an extensive GUI-based environment for developing and browsing object-oriented code. It has support for C, C++, CLOS (Lisp), Eiffel, Java, Objective-C, Python, and Smalltalk.
InfoDock has been released under the GNU Public License (GPL). Bob Weiner, the author, runs InfoDock Associates (email@example.com, www.infodock.com, +1 408 243-3300), which provides corporate distributions, support, and custom development services for InfoDock and other Emacs-related software.