1.2. Introduction to Commands

When using athenaCL, the user enters commands to get things done. athenaCL commands are organized by prefixes, two-letter codes that designate what the command operates upon. Prefixes are always displayed as capitalized letters, though the user, when entering commands, may use lower-case letters. Some common prefixes are "PI", for PathInstance, or "TI", for TextureInstance. What follows the prefix usually resembles UNIX shell commands: "ls" for listing objects, "rm" for removing objects. For example, the command to list all the available TextureModules is TMls: "TM" for TextureModule, "ls" for list. When no common UNIX command-abbreviation is available, intuitive short abbreviations are used. For example, the command to create the retrograde of a PathInstance is PIret: "PI" for PathInstance, "ret" for retrograde.

The division of commands into prefixes demonstrates, in part, the large-scale design of the AthenaObject. The AthenaObject consists of PathInstances and TextureInstances. PathInstances are objects that define pitch materials. TextureInstances define algorithmic music layers. Users can create, copy, edit and store collections of Paths and Textures within the AthenaObject. All Texture related commands, for example, start with a "T", like TextureTemperament ("TT"), TextureClone("TC") and TextureModule ("TM").

In addition to the commands available for working with Paths and Textures, there are commands for creating various event list formats (such as Csound scores and MIDI files) with the EventList commands (prefix "EL"). The complete AthenaObject, with all its Paths and Textures, is handled with AthenaObject commands (prefix "AO"). These commands are used to save and control the complete collection of Paths and Textures.