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med - NCAR CGM metafile frame editor


med [ -e command ]* [ -f sfilename ] [ -l local_dir ] [ -V ] [ filename]


med is a frame-level, metafile editor designed to resemble syntactically UNIX's sed(1) and
ed(1). med operates on a copy of filename, called a buffer, and overwrites a file only
when you issue the w (write) command. med provides line oriented editing commands to
display or delete frames from the buffer, to move, copy or merge frames within the buffer,
or to write frames from and read frames into the buffer. By default med reads in commands
from standard input.


-e command
command is a single med command. The valid med commands are discussed in the
Commands section below. Multiple -e options may appear on a single command line.
Be careful to use quotes if your command contains spaces or metacharacters that
might be interpreted by the shell. When this option is used med does not enter
interactive mode. It simply performs the given commands and then exits.

-f sfilename
Execute the med line-separated list of commands in the file sfilename. After the
commands are exhausted med will exit.

-l local_dir
Use local_dir as the tmp directory for scratch disk space. If this option is not
specified med will use the value of the $NCARG_TMP or the $TMPDIR environment
variable. See ncargintro(1ncarg) for a discussion on NCAR Graphics environment

-V Print the version number and then exit.


Command Structure
med commands attempt to have a syntactically identical form to those of ed(1) or sed(1).
Commands consist of an optional address or two optional, comma separated, addresses,
followed by a command, which may be abbreviated, possibly followed by a third address or a
command specific argument list :

[ address [, address ] ] command [ address | args ]

If only one address is specified, operations are performed on that frame. If two
addresses are specified, med performs the operation on the inclusive range of frames. If
no address is specified then the current frame is used as a default. The exception to this
are the w (write) and the a (append) commands. The default address for w is the entire

For example, 1,10p means “print (display) frame 1 through 10” (two addresses), d means
“delete the current frame” (no address implies the current frame used as default), and
1,5c5 means “append a copy of frames 1 through 5 at frame 5” (three addresses). The
meaning of argument varies for each operation. In med's current state the only valid
argument is a filename — for the write, w , command for instance, argument is the name of
the file to write to.

Unlike its friends ed(1) and sed(1) med attempts to be fairly user friendly. If an invalid
or ambiguous command is given med will tell you so. If med thinks it recognizes a command
with invalid arguments a usage statement for the offending command is given. If a
particular command fails and med is smart enough to figure out why it will tell you. med
will almost ALWAYS immediately terminate when an error occurs while processing commands
from a file or the command line. Help is available by using the h command. Usage
statements for a particular command may be obtained with: h command name .

Frames can be addressed in several ways:

nnn By frame number. Frames in the buffer are numbered relative to the start of the
buffer. The first frame is frame 1.

$ The last frame of the buffer.

. The current frame. med keeps track of the frame on which you last performed an
operation. This frame is called the current frame. You can address this frame by
typing a “dot” character.

±n By relative frame number. Address the frame number that is n frames higher, or n
frames lower than the current frame.

An address followed by a plus sign (+) or a minus sign (-), followed by a decimal
number, specifies that address plus or minus the indicated number of frames. If
the address is omitted, the current frame is used as the base. For example, `31-3'
addresses frame 28 in the buffer.

If you do not specify an address for a command to operate on, a command that requires an
address supplies one by default, usually the current frame.

A pair of addresses separated by a comma signifies an inclusive range of frames, and the
current frame is not changed unless the command changes it.

Only one command may appear per line. Commands may accept zero, one or two addresses,
followed by possibly a third address or an argument. Commands that accept up to two
addresses regard a third as an error. Likewise, commands that do not accept an argument
regard one as an error. Commands may be abbreviated.

In the absence of a second address for a two or three address command the command will
regard the second address as the same as the first. For example, 2d is equivalent to 2,2d
. The absence of a first address, where required, will result in the current frame being
used as the default. The same is true in the absence of a required third address. For
example, c is equivalent to .,.c..

The commands q (quit) and e (edit) may be followed by a '!' to override med's user

In the following list of med commands, the default addresses/arguments appear in
parentheses; the parenthesized addresses are not part of the command. Unless otherwise
noted a command does not change the current frame number.

(1,$)append metafile
Append buffer to a file. Append the addressed frames in the buffer to metafile. If
no address is specified the entire buffer is written. If the file does not exist
create it.
(.,.) copy (.)
Copy frames. Duplicate the addressed frames in the buffer and append them after the
third address. The current frame becomes the destination of the last frame copied.
Delete the addressed lines from the buffer. delete accepts one or two addresses;
the default is the current frame. The current frame is set to the first frame
after the deleted frame(s).
edit metafile
Edit a metafile. The current contents of the buffer, if any, are erased. The named
metafile is read in to the buffer. The resulting current frame is the last frame in
the buffer. If changes have been made to the buffer since the last write med will
refuse the request unless the command is appended with a '!'. edit prints the
number of frames in the metafile. If no metafile is given, the current metafile, if
any is used. The current frame becomes the last frame in the file.
help command
help. Give a usage message for command . If no command is given, print list of
command names with a short description of each.
(.,.)label string
Label the addressed frames with string . The CGM Begin Picture element contained
in each metafile frame allows for the encoding of character data. label provides a
means for accessing this data.
Merge the contents of the second addressed frame on top of the first addressed
frame. The first addressed frame is thus changed. The second frame remains the
same. The current frame is set to the first addressed frame.
(.,.) move (.)
Move the addressed frames to the first frame following the third address.
Show the contents of the buffer at the given address. What is actually displayed is
information regarding the addressed frames. This information includes: relative
frame number within the buffer, the number of records contained in the frame, the
starting record for the frame and the contents of the CGM element BEGIN PICTURE .
If no address is specified the current frame does not change. Otherwise it becomes
the last frame printed.
Quit. Terminate the editing session without saving the buffer contents. In order to
save the buffer an explicit write must be performed. If changes to the buffer have
been made since the last write med will refuse to terminate unless quit is appended
with a '!'.
(.)read metafile
Read in a metafile. Read the contents of metafile into the buffer and append it at
the given address. metafile must be a valid NCAR CGM. The resulting current frame
is the last frame read in.
(1,$)split<number> outfile
Split the current metafile into number files. The split command attempts to create
number metafiles from the addressed frames, each containing approximately n /
number frames where 'n' is the total number of addressed frames. The first file is
named outfile001.ncgm, the second file is named outfile002.ncgm, and so on
lexicographically. If no outfile is given, med is used as the default (output files
will be called med001.ncgm, med002.ncgm, etc.).
(1,$)write metafile
Write buffer. Write the addressed frames in the buffer to metafile. If no address
is specified the entire buffer is written. If the file does not exist create it. If
no file name is specified med uses the last currently remembered file name, if any.
The currently remembered file name is the file name from the most recent edit
command, or the file name med was invoked with if no edit commands have been
! command
Escape to the shell and execute command. command is a valid UNIX command.


If set, this environment variable contains a directory path to be used for
temporary files. On most systems the default is /tmp.

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