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The global variable `forms-version' holds the version information of
the Forms mode software.
It is very convenient to use symbolic names for the fields in a
record. The function `forms-enumerate' provides an elegant means to
define a series of variables whose values are consecutive integers. The
function returns the highest number used, so it can be used to set
`forms-number-of-fields' also. For example:
'(field1 field2 field3 ...)))
This sets `field1' to 1, `field2' to 2, and so on.
Care has been taken to keep the Forms mode variables buffer-local,
so it is possible to visit multiple files in Forms mode simultaneously,
even if they have different properties.
If you have visited the control file in normal fashion with
`find-file' or a like command, you can switch to Forms mode with the
command `M-x forms-mode'. If you put `-*- forms -*-' in the first line
of the control file, then visiting it enables Forms mode automatically.
But this makes it hard to edit the control file itself, so you'd
better think twice before using this.
The default format for the data file, using `"\t"' to separate
fields and `"\^k"' to separate lines within a field, matches the file
format of some popular database programss, e.g. FileMaker. So
`forms-mode' can decrease the need to use proprietary software.
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