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DECREV.FOR VERSION 1
DECUS Library Program Review
DECUS Library Program Being Reviewed: 10-211
DECUS Library Program Name: GNOSIS
Source Version or Creation Date: Version 1.
Reviewer's Name: Janet Morgan
Reviewer's Title: Academic Programmer/Consultant
Reviewer's Address: Computing Center
Middletown, Ct. 06457
Date of Review: 24-Feb-78
DISTRIBUTION PROCEDURE REVIEW
1. Were all files present and complete? If not, which
files or parts thereof were missing?
2. Were all files readable in the format you requested?
If not, indicate the format requested for the programs
and describe the problems you had.
1. Does the documentation accompanying the program meet or
exceed the standard? If not, what improvements are
RESPONSE: The GNOSIS manual, DECUS write-up No.
10-211 should (BUT DIDN'T) accompany the program. The
..RNO file on the tape is only an update to the manual.
DECUS Library Program Review Page 2
2. Is the documentation complete? (Are there unstated
restrictions or features? If so, please indicate
RESPONSE: Yes, documentation in the manual is
3. Is the documentation easy to use? Suggest reasonable
reorganization if possible.
4. Is the program abstract in the catalog accurate in its
description of the program? What amendments would you
5. Are there "dangerous" features which installation
management might want to disable before putting the
program onto a system?
1. Did the program files all compile without errors? If
not, list the names of files which did not compile or
attach listings of the compilations. Also include the
name and version of the compiler.
RESPONSE: Program files compiled without error;
however, neither GNOSIS nor GNOSTR will work as is with
GNOSIS programs which use lower case commands; eg, the
TOPSTEACH series. Inserting the statement:
before the final end in PROCEDURE UPPERCASE corrects
We are using the ALGOL version 10(741) compiler.
2. Did the program files load correctly? List names of
missing global references. Include the name and
version of the compiler.
RESPONSE: Programs loaded correctly from .SAV files
generated by our ALGOL 10(741) compiler. The MACRO
DECUS Library Program Review Page 3
subroutines, however, had to be revised to handle
arguments correctly for ALGOL 10(741); attempting to
use them as distributed resulted in the message:
?FATAL RUN-TIME ERROR AT ADDRESS 400252
WRONG NUMBER OF ACTUAL PARAMETERS IN PROCEDURE CALL
3. Can the loading process be revised to take advantage of
the LINK overlay feature to produce programs which run
4. If you loaded the ".REL" files you created, did the
".SAV" OR ".SHR" files distributed match the file you
RESPONSE: Any attempt to run from a .SAV file results
in the message
?ALGOL OBJECT TIME SYSTEM NOT FOUND
(since the distribution .SAV files were not generated
with the version 10(741) compiler). no filecoms were
5. Does the program perform as documented? List any
undocumented program error messages or monitor error
messages you discovered.
6. List deficiencies which might be easily remedied or any
error-detecting which should be implemented within the
RESPONSE: No major deficiencies. However, the TEXT
BACKing and SKIPping technique is awkward and could
easily be expanded to be more useful to the student
(SEE QUESTION 9). Also, it would be less confusing to
the student if CONTROL-C's resulted in an EXIT rather
than initiating the ALGOL trace/debug routine. A call
to a MACRO routine, such as A version of STOPKC (see
WHICH IS USED BY THE TOPSTEACH LESSONS, could be
included in the preamble GNOSIS writes for each lesson
(SEE QUESTION 9).
7. Is the program easy to use? Are the commands or input
data formats ambiguous?
RESPONSE: YES, program is easy to use and commands are
DECUS Library Program Review Page 4
8. Is the program documented internally well enough for a
user to make minor changes easily if necessary?
RESPONSE: Yes, BUT NOT THAT EASILY.
9. If you have made improvements to the programs or
documentation (if it is machine-readable) which might
be of general use, please attach the changed files as
you now have them and a FILCOM between your version and
the distributed version.
RESPONSE: We have made the following changes and
1.The skipping logic was changed to automatically type
the correct answer if a student responds to a question
with the character "%".
2.The backing logic was changed to allow the student to
back one text at a time from any point in the lesson.
The current version allows backing only during a
question and will not back beyond the preceding text.
3.The command %REPORT was added to generate a report
(same as for %TEACHER), but to suppress the typing of
the teachers's name and address at the beginning and
end of the lesson.
4.The macro routines were corrected to be compatible
with ALGOL ver.10(741). The routine STOPKC was
rewritten to exit on CONTROL-C rather than to LOGOUT
5.The variables "quepause" and "texpause" were added to
allow the teacher to suppress the "PAUSE" after a
QUESTION or TEXT. 6.THE COUNTING OF "RIGHTS" AND
"FIRST RIGHTS" WAS CHANGED SO THAT A STUDENT DOESN'T
ACCUMULATE "FIRST RIGHTS" WHEN HE BACKS TO A PRREVIOUS
QUESTION, NOR DOES HE ACCUMULATE ADDITIONAL "RIGHTS" BY
ANSWERING A QUESTION RIGHT A SECOND TIME.
1. Does the program provide the same service as programs
already available on the DECsystem-10? Which ones?
2. Please enter below any general comments you have about
the program or its documentation.
RESPONSE: GNOSIS IS FUN.
GNOSIS is a very versatile program which allows the
DECUS Library Program Review Page 5
experienced teacher a great deal of flexibility in
planning his lesson. Probably the most difficult task
for the novice teacher is ordering his RIGHT, WRONG,
LACK, etc. responses to anticipate the student's
unexpected answers; THERE are numerous examples in the
GNOSIS manual to illustrate techniques for this
[END OF REVIEW OF GNOSIS ]