Document Conventions

The following table lists the typographic conventions this document uses:

Convention Description
lowercase bold Words in bold with all lowercase letters indicate Dicom keywords (i.e. name of commands, functions, physical quantities and units) in the reference. For example, digit, now, length, ft, etc.
Mixed Case Bold Dicom menu names are written in mixed case bold letters. For example, Calculator menu. The greater than (>) sign has been used in a menu path, before a submenu name. For example, Calculator > Standard Size > Size 1.

Mixed Case Monospace

Words in mixed case monospace indicate Dicom keywords other than commands (i.e. name of functions, physical quantities and units) in an expression. For example, Area_Circle

Monospace font indicate expression, code, variables, error message text, etc. For example, 30 mi./h.+6 ft./s.+15.24 m./s.

UPPERCASE Words in all capital letters indicate key names and key sequences. For example, F4, ESC, ENTER.

Command Name Conventions

Dicom commands are usually processed at the backend, and return the responses in the form of acknowledgement message. There are some commands to instruct the expressions, about its response behavior, that follow the command. These Dicom instructions can be of document level or expression level.

Dicom commands and instructions have the following naming conventions:

Convention Description

UPPER CASE monospace

Dicom commands, are usually shown in uppercase monospace. For example, FORMAT, DIGIT, etc.

UPPER CASE monospace preceded by underscore (_)

Document level instructions, i.e. the instructions that have document scope, are preceded by underscore. These commands are shown in uppercase letters. For example, _TRACE, _ACK

lowercase monospace

Expression level instructions, i.e. the instructions that have current expression scope, are shown in lowercase letters. For example echo

Function Syntax Conventions

Dicom functions have been documented using the following conventions:

Convention Description

Monospace italics

Words in monospace italic letters indicate function argument, or placeholders for information you supply. For example, Area_Circle( radius[m]  )

Function argument (specific physical quantity) Function arguments maybe associated with unit of a specific physical quantity. In the function Area_Circle( radius[m]  ), radius can be supplied in m. or any other unit of length. However, braces [] indicate that the unit is optional. So, the function can be called in the following ways:
  1. Area_Circle( 3m. )
  2. Area_Circle( 15  )
  3. Area_Circle( 2ft.)
qty prefix: Function argument (arbitrary physical quantity) Many functions can process dimensional arguments of arbitrary physical quantity. In that case arguments are prefixed with qty. For example Avg( array | qty1 , qty2 [ , qty3...] ) . The function can be called as Avg(3ft., 2m., 5{inch.}) or  as Avg(5kg., 275 g., 3 lb.) or with dimensionless argument like Avg(25, 7, 12).


  1. ellipses ... in the function argument indicates that the function can take many arguments up to 1024 nos.
  2. braces [] in the [qty3...] indicates that the third argument and onward (indicated by ...) are optional. The list requires a minimum of two quantities.
  3. bar | indicates that either the function would process an array or a list of quantities.
  4. depending on the characteristics of the function arguments may or may not need to be dimensionally homogeneous.
val prefix: Function argument (dimensionless value) Some functions expect arguments to be dimensionless. In those cases arguments have been prefixed with val. For example Fac( val ) . So, the function can be called as Fac(3) but Fac(3m.) will generate an error message.
valq prefix: Function argument (dimensionless or dimensional values) Some functions expect dimensionless arguments, but can handle the unit associated with the arguments. If any unit is specified, the value is converted to the base SI unit and the converted value is used in the function. For example, Asin( valqRatio ) function can be called as follows:
Asin(0.5) , this is the expected calling convention.
But, Asin(0.5ft.), is an unexpected syntax. However, the function will work by evaluating Asin( 0.5*0.3048). Note that, base unit of length is m. and 1ft.=0.3048m.
Function argument (array) Some functions can process array. For example Avg( array | qty1 , qty2 [ , qty3...] )  . The function can be called as Avg(xyz) where xyz is an array name. For example:

xyz(1)=3 ft.; xyz(2)=2 m.; xyz(3)=5{inch.}
will return 1.0138 m.

Function argument (date_args) Some functions require date argument or elements of a date. For example, Cdatex( [date_args] ). The date_args  argument can be a valid date variable, or a list of optional numbers indicating day, month, year, hours (24 hours), minutes, and seconds respectively. Thus the function can be called as follows:
  1. Cdatex()
  2. x=now(); Cdatex(x)
  3. Cdatex(19,10,2002) will return Sat Oct 19 00:00:00 2002
  4. Cdatex(19,10,2002, 12,38) will return Sat Oct 19 12:38:00 2002