These are the frequently asked questions about the boxes program and their answers.

These questions are actually “frequently asked”. For general information on the boxes program, installation instructions, and information on box design creation please refer to the boxes documentation.

Q. 1. What is a text filter program?

There is a separate page explaining this. Boxes is mostly used as such a filter program.

Q. 2. I have compiled and installed boxes, but when I run it, I get an error message “input in flex scanner failed”!

Upgrade to version 1.0.1 or later. Versions prior to 1.0.1 gave this error message when the config file they were trying to read was in fact a directory. The global config file name is /usr/share/boxes on most systems. This is the name of the file, not the name of a directory into which a config file would be placed.

Q. 3. Boxes destroys my tabs!

By default, all tab characters are replaced by spaces. However, you can change this behavior using the -t option (since version 1.1). The -t option only affects leading tabs. Tabs which end up inside the box are always converted into spaces. Note that you can also set the tab stop distance (== how many spaces per tab) using the -t option.

Q. 4. “Can’t read file C:\TEMP\VIO44.TMP” when calling boxes from vim

On Windows, this error message may appear instead of a box when boxes is called from vim. This is not a problem of boxes. In fact, it’s a misleading message from the vim editor which is supposed to tell you that boxes is not in your PATH. Solution: Copy boxes.exe and boxes.cfg to a directory which is in your PATH. (thanks Jeff Lanzarotta, 05-Jul-00)

Q. 5. Compilation

The current version includes changes to solve all compilation issues reported to the author. So please check that you are using the most current version. Still, there are many different systems out there, so here’s a short list of things to try:

  • -traditional flag for regexp package: Some systems may require you to set or clear the -traditional flag from the CFLAGS definition in src/regexp/Makefile.

  • Warnings from flex or bison: If you get warnings from flex or bison, do a make clean ; make from the top level directory. The following warning is harmless:

    lexer.l:1309: warning: `yy_flex_realloc' defined but not used

    It’s a known bug in flex, and has no impact on boxes. You can safely ignore this warning.

  • Bad address on boxes execution after compiling on a 64bit system: This may happen when the system you are compiling on is 64bit. Boxes is only a 32bit program, so the compiler may have to be forced to 32bit by adding the -m32 option. (Thanks to @stefanow for supplying this information!) In order to do this, use the following command line (works with current sources):