AIX Printer Tips: Catalog Message Files in Virtual Printers


About This Document
Messages of Colon File
Displaying Existing Message Catalogs
Creating the Message Catalog

About This Document

This document describes how to add new message commands for AIX. These message commands could be used for smit messages for virtual printers that might identify new printer options not currently covered in AIX drivers.

This document applies to AIX Version 4.x.


Virtual printers use message files for National Language Support just like other parts of AIX. The messages in the file are used for the lsvirprt command for displaying the text associated with each attribute. Message catalogs are also used at AIX 4.1 by the smit panels for changing printer attributes. This document describes how to create your own message file and then reference that message file in the limits field of a virtual printer definition so that the message will be displayed from smit.

Messages of Colon File

Each line of the colon file has five Fields.

Colon File Fields

Example 1: :331:mL::[,71,134;Hewlett-Packard LaserJet 5Si/5Si MX]

Example 2:
/usr/local/cat/bull924.asc::638:_u:S[E015]I[1810516]EnR[,1, 780;pinwheel,sheetfeed=5,1]:5

Field Description Example 1: Example 2:
Message Catalog Field This is the full path name of the message catalog; when blank, usually refers to Use /usr/local/cat/
Catalog Number # in, etc 331 638
Attribute Name Name of attibute for lsvirprt chvirprt ml _u
Limits Field For smit menus and command line flags Not Used S[E015]I[1810516]
Attribute Value Value assigned to attribute [,71,134;
LaserJet 5Si/5Si MX]

Messages Shown in Preceding Table

Message information can be found in four of the five colon file fields.
  1. The message catalog name is given in the first field.
  2. The message number from the catalog in the first field is used when the attribute is listed from lsvirprt or chvirprt.
  3. A message catalog and message number can be specified in the limits field. This can affect the smit text and can also be used to generate smit popup lists based on the message text. When this is used, the smit panels can be shown in the user's language.
  4. A message catalog and message number can also be used to include the value of the attribute. This would normally only be done for things like printer names.

Displaying Existing Message Catalogs

The existing message catalog can be shown with the dspcat command.

For example, to display the default message catalog, use this command:

An excerpt from that table is shown here:
1 : 18 Double-High Print. (!: no;  +: yes)
1 : 19 Italics print (!: no;  +: yes)
1 : 20 (not used) Font file name
1 : 22 Name To Replace Host Name On Burst Page
1 : 23 (not used) Font ID
1 : 24 Font ID (overrides pitch and type style)
1 : 25 Font ID.  Use internal fonts if blank.
1 : 27 Restore the Printer at the End of the Print Job? (!: no;  +: yes)
1 : 29 Condensed Print (!: no;  +: yes)
1 : 30 Wrap Long Lines (!: no;  +: yes)
1 : 31 (not used) Page format flag
Individual message numbers can be displayed by using dspcat with the catalog set number and message number as follows:

Creating the Message Catalog

A message file can be created with a simple text editor such as vi. In AIX 4, there are more tools to work with this, but the file can be manipulated with a few simple commands.

Line inside of the test.msg file Comments
$ file: test.msg just treated as a comment
$delset 1 removes old definitions
$set 1 start set 1
1 Comment one\nline two of message  Message Text
2 Message two Message Text
$delset 2 Remove old Defs
$set 2 start set 2
1 Message one of set  Message Text
$end of file: test.msg Last line in file, probably a comment

Now generate the catalog file.

Use the gencat command:


In this example you will:

Catalog Message Files in Virtual Printers: AIX Printer Tips: vpmsg.html ITEM: FAX
Dated: 99/01/29~00:00 Category: zap
This HTML file was generated 99/06/24~12:42:11
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