April 3, 2006

The OTS GUI is an optional Graphical User Interface for all Open Tax Solver programs and tax-form versions. It provides a simple way to enter and edit your tax-data and to run the tax-solver on it. The OTS GUI is written to work with any OTS tax data file, both past, present, and future. It is a modular addition to the OTS program set.

The OTS GUI contains no specific tax-form data itself, but rather it reads your selected tax-form file and configures itself accordingly. By virtue of OTS-GUI, all OTS versions now automatically have a GUI front-end, and anyone, even without GUI-writing experience, may create new tax programs having this graphical front-end.

The OTS_GUI is written in C using the Otk (Open Tool Kit) graphics library. It appears to compile easily and run properly on all platforms, including Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OsX, Solaris, Irix, and other Unix's in general. Otk was chosen for its cross-platform support, simplicity, and smallness. The OTS GUI is a single C file having less than a thousand lines, and the Otk library consists of a few small files.



The OTS GUI is now packaged with all OTS download packages and builds automatically. However, if you wish to compile it separately, the following applies. If you do not have the Otk-lib on your system, then you must grab it from Otk_Lib Project or otk_lib.tgz. Otk unpacks into a directory named otk_lib under the current directory with tar xvfz. (If you place Otk somewhere else, adjust the #include line of ots_gui.c.) See also Otk documentation.

Compile OTS-GUI on Linux with:
        cc -O -I/usr/X11R6/include -L/usr/X11R6/lib ots_gui.c -lGLU -lGL -lXmu -lXext -lX11 -lm -o ots_gui

To compile OTS-GUI on Microsoft Windows:
Use MinGW C compiler or MS-Visual C. See Instructions for getting the MinGW compiler and compile with:
        gcc -O ots_gui.c -lglu32 -lopengl32 -lwinmm -lgdi32 -lm -o ots_gui.exe


You should set the taxsolvecmd environment variable to the name of the OTS tax-solver executable you wish to use.
For example:

  For bash shell:
      export taxsolvecmd=ots_us1040_2004

  For csh shell:
      setenv taxsolvecmd ots_us1040_2004

If taxsolvecmd is set, then when you click the Compute Taxes button, it will execute the corresponding tax-solve program. If left unset, a pop-up will appear reminding you to set the environment variable, and you will be given the option of selecting the tax-solver for the current session.


Invoke by:       ots_gui
Then open your tax data file by pressing main button to file-browser. Or supply your template or previous tax data file on the command line to open it automatically.
For example:     ots_gui   ots_us1040_2004.dat

Enter or edit numbers in boxes. Jump by pages at top or advance buttons on buttom. If you need a new box to add another entry, press the small plus-sign (+) attached to the previous box. To edit the comment on a line, click the (*) button at the end of the line. A dialog box will come up with an edit window to edit or add a comment. In the future, more functions will be added. For now, to remove lines or make other changes, you may need to edit the tax-data file with a text editor and then re-read the file into the GUI.

Save by clicking the Save button. You can choose to overwrite your original file, or give it a new name.

To calculate your taxes, click Compute Taxes button at the bottom. The results will go to your text window and the output file.

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