ckitem, erritem, helpitem - build a menu; prompt for and return a menu
SYNOPSISckitem [-Q] [-W width] [-uno] [-f filename] [-l label]
[ [-i invis] [,]...] [-m max] [-d default] [-h help]
[-e error] [-p prompt] [-k pid [-s signal]]
/usr/sadm/bin/erritem [-W width] [-e error] [choice [..]]
/usr/sadm/bin/helpitem [-W width] [-h help] [choice [..]]
The ckitem utility builds a menu and prompts the user to choose one
item from a menu of items. It then verifies the response. Options for
this command define, among other things, a prompt message whose
response will be a menu item, text for help and error messages, and a
default value (which will be returned if the user responds with a car‐
By default, the menu is formatted so that each item is prepended by a
number and is printed in columns across the terminal. Column length is
determined by the longest choice. Items are alphabetized.
All messages are limited in length to 70 characters and are formatted
automatically. Any white space used in the definition (including new‐
line) is stripped. The -W option cancels the automatic formatting. When
a tilde is placed at the beginning or end of a message definition, the
default text will be inserted at that point, allowing both custom text
and the default text to be displayed.
If the prompt, help or error message is not defined, the default mes‐
sage (as defined under NOTES) will be displayed.
Two visual tool modules are linked to the ckitem command. They are
erritem (which formats and displays an error message) and helpitem
(which formats and displays a help message). These modules should be
used in conjunction with FML objects. In this instance, the FML object
defines the prompt. When choice is defined in these modules, the mes‐
sages will describe the available menu choice (or choices).
The following options are supported:
Define the default value as default. The default is not
validated and so does not have to meet any criteria.
Define the error message as error.
Define a file, filename, which contains a list of menu
items to be displayed. (The format of this file is:
token<tab>description. Lines beginning with a pound sign
(#) are designated as comments and ignored.)
Define the help messages as help.
Define invisible menu choices (those which will not be
printed in the menu). (For example, ``all'' used as an
invisible choice would mean it is a legal option but
does not appear in the menu. Any number of invisible
choices may be defined.) Invisible choices should be
made known to a user either in the prompt or in a help
Specify that the process ID pid is to be sent a signal
if the user chooses to abort.
Define a label, label, to print above the menu.
Define the maximum number of menu choices that the user
can choose. The default is 1.
Specify that menu items should not be displayed in
Specify that only one menu token will be returned.
Define the prompt message as prompt.
Specify that quit will not be allowed as a valid
Specify that process ID pid defined with the -k option
is to be sent signal signal when quit is chosen. If no
signal is specified, SIGTERM is used.
Specify that menu items should be displayed as an unnum‐
Specify that prompt, help and error messages will be
formatted to a line length of width.
The following operand is supported:
Define menu items. Items should be separated by white space
The following exit values are returned:
EOF on input, or negative width on -W option, or inability to open
file on -f option, or usage error.
User termination (quit).
No choices from which to choose.
The user may input the number of the menu item if choices are numbered
or as much of the string required for a unique identification of the
item. Long menus are paged with 10 items per page.
When menu entries are defined both in a file (by using the -f option)
and also on the command line, they are usually combined alphabetically.
However, if the -n option is used to suppress alphabetical ordering,
then the entries defined in the file are shown first, followed by the
options defined on the command line.
The default prompt for ckitem is:
Enter selection [?,??,q]:
One question mark will give a help message and then redisplay the
prompt. Two question marks will give a help message and then redisplay
the menu label, the menu and the prompt.
The default error message if you typed a number is:
ERROR: Bad numeric choice specification
The default error message if you typed a string is:
ERROR: Entry does not match available menu selection. Enter the number
of the menu item you wish to select, the token which is associated
with the menu item, or a partial string which uniquely identifies the
token for the menu item. Enter ?? to reprint the menu.
The default help message is:
Enter the number of the menu item you wish to select, the token
which is associated with the menu item, or a partial string which
uniquely identifies the token for the menu item. Enter ? to
reprint the menu.
When the quit option is chosen (and allowed), q is returned along with
the return code 3.
Sep 14, 1992 CKITEM(1)