Idiom Documentation Tool

This discussion focuses on the Documentation Tool, framed as a vehicle for demonstrating offline control documentation. It also can have a role in introductory university process control teaching. Its academic objective, within this point of view, is to allow meaningful introductory discussion of realistically sized applications in a course focused on single loop control.

As indicated in the home page, the present version runs only on PCs or Mac® Virtual PC® type emulators.

User's Guide

The User's Guide briefly introduces traditional PID based process control practice and develops the Idiom Loop Statement as a documentation vehicle for more clearly documenting realistically sized applications.


The program generates a PostScript document expressing its input design as a list of Idiom Loop Statements. It currently uses the (PC) version of GhostScript included as PC executable compressed archive: gsv26550.exe. This is available on many web sites, searchable by that file name, or under the GhostScript name. The original web locations that the author referenced no longer work and newer GhostScript versions are available but may need testing. We really need to upgrade the demo program to output in more generally accessible Acrobat® documents.


The Demo is stored in a compressed .sip file which expands to a number of files which support the execution of the main executable IdDoc.exe. IdDoc.exe compiles control documents in PostScript form from an input file or manual console input. The four included Batch files allow different kinds of compilation and generation of PostScript and Encapsulated PostScript forms of the resulting document. They are set up to work assuming that the Stuffit decompression is directed to load all of the files in C;\IdDoc (or the files are transferred to this location after decompression). The included Readme file gives a quick discussion of the contents; the expanded discussion is in the Appendices of the above User's Guide.

C Code

The C code is provided for anyone that wants to see how the generation of the PostScript is handled. As with the other demos, experimental aspects of the program make it less readable. As indicated in the User's Guide the code is incompletely tested except for the basic documentation. The next intended effort will address the expression of some of the more complex multivariable Idioms (requiring recursion within the generating code. I am still contemplating how best to do this. In time I intend to rewrite the demo to generate Acrobat® output and document the result in better form.

* Self expanding (in a PC) Download. This doesn't yet work.