Macro editing with syntax highlighting
Tomasz Wyderka has put together files with spec macro-syntax definitions for the gedit and vim editors.
Display and Manipulate MCA Data
Armando Solé and colleagues at ESRF have developed a very nice display and analysis utility called PyMCA. The application can display live-time data of MCA data collected in spec's shared memory arrays, but also live scan display and 2D images.
It can also be used offline to navigate through spec generated data files and other formats. Download PyMCA from pymca.sourceforge.net.
Mine the ESRF Macro Collection
The Beamline Instrument Software Support (Beamline Control Unit) group (BLISS/BCU) at ESRF is in charge of the beamline control software for over 30 beamlines. The BLISS folks have developed a large collection of spec macros. Many can be used as is, others can be adapted. Check them out.
Try a Light-Weight GUI Front End to spec
Guy Jennings at the BESSRC CAT at the Advanced Photon Source has written a straightforward graphical-interface front end to spec called Specfe. Specfe is a graphical front end program intended to aid the use of the spec data acquisition software.
Specfe is able to display interactive graphs of data scanned by spec, to present a user-friendly graphical interface to several of the more common spec commands and to present a unified 'tweaking' interface to the spec motors and counters.
ESRF GUI Framework
See How the ESRF GUI Framework, including spec integration
The ESRF BLISS folks are also developing a graphical user interface framework to integrate beamline controls. This includes support for Tango, Taco and also spec between others. Online feature presentation is available.
Read spec Data Files With A Tcl/Tk GUI
Pete Jemian UNICAT at the Advanced Photon Source has submitted a compact graphical interface written in Tcl/Tk that displays scans from a spec data file and provides controls for selecting which scan and which columns to extract and save to a new file.
Download the Tcl script here (update July 31, 2008).
Read spec Data Files From Windows95
ScanRead is a Windows95 program for reading spec data files, for instant scientific plots of the data and for extracting scans to ASCII files for subsequent analysis. In addition, detailed information about how to combine ScanRead with the scientific graphics program Microcal Origin (TM) is provided, as well as some sample Origin macros for data analysis.
ScanRead can be obtained free of charge from Ken Ritley (k-ritley at dxray.mpi-stuttgart.mpg.de) at the Max Planck Institute for Metal Research, Heisenbergstr. 1, D-70569, Stuttgart, Germany. You can check the official ScanRead page where documentation and ways to obtain the program are explained.
Running the same instance of spec from different terminals
Can be done with the contributed session program from the ESRF session.c
Compile it and run it by invoking "session <spec-app>". When run again from another terminal you would connect and control the same spec instance (or any interactive program).