The operator controls processing of ORIENT entering directives by means of a sophisticated and professional command language which he learns level-wise. For beginners an introductory teaching course is offered by the program. Having reached an operative level of experience the user guidance system "PROMPTER" gives as much help as needed or tolerated by the operator.
At the lowest level he will be guided by simple menues. Additionally he gets very detailed explanations, but he gets proposals for the most important commands, only. All defaults will be shown. At higher levels of experience he will get less and less instructions, and more and more possibilities will be offered, respectively. Altogether ten levels of experience are programmed in English and partly in German up to now; on principle other languages are possible, too. At the highest level - the professional one - no defaults are shown any more, no instructions are given except in error messages, all possibilities may be used, also the most sophisticated ones.
The directives will be analysed and translated for ORIENT by means of DIRAN, the DIRective ANalyser. DIRAN and the PROMPTER routines (including a special PROMPTER compiler) may be installed also into other interactive program packages for which command language and menue like user guidance are needed.
The program may be run in two modes:
- interactive mode,
- remote batch mode.
In interactive mode any syntactic directive error will request a corrective action by the operator, after which the program will continue. In batch mode it will cause the program to fall into checking mode: directives will be interpreted but not executed. Error messages can be found in the protocol.
Additionally, directives may be collected in so-called procedures which are stored on a command file. CMD-files may be accessed while the program is running using a special directive.
Often used commands are available like programmable function keys which are referenced by symbolic names; these are managed in a special external SYMBOL-file.