When using ADAM for data reduction the command language will probably be the standard means of running ADAM. When ADAM is used for on line instrument control the command language can be used, but this is generally done only in the testing phase of the instrument. In fully developed systems the instrument will probably be controlled through a user interface which makes more sophisticated use of the terminal. There are two such systems in current use.
At UKIRT, the instrument control software is using the screen management system (SMS). With SMS the user is presented with menus from which selections are made using the cursor keys. The SMS menu selections actually result in command language code being executed, but the user does not normally interact with the command language directly.
At the AAT, the user interface for instrument control is currently by means of ADAM tasks known as U-tasks. The user of a U-task sees a screen divided into a fixed region in which status information on the instrument or observing process is displayed, and scrolling regions for message output and command input. The command language is not normally involved, though it is always possible to use the command language to control a U-task, which is equivalent in this respect to any other ADAM task.
ICL The Interactive Command Language for ADAM