User Interface Guide

KosmicTask Help

User Interface Guide

The main KosmicTask window contains the toolbar and four distinct panes.

Application window


The toolbar contains the following controls:

Task View
Selects the task view mode:
  • Public. Displays tasks accessible to all users on the network.
  • User. Displays tasks accessible only to the local user or to remote users that can authenticate using a valid user name and password.
  • Mode. Displays the task administration interface.
Run - Pause - Stop
Tasks can be run, paused and stopped as required. The large icon in the task result view also performs these functions.
Status Panel
The panel indicates the selected task status and elapsed run time. The background display colour reflects the current status:
  • Blue. The selected task is ready to run.
  • Green. The selected task is running.
  • Pink. Connection has been lost with the KosmicTask server component. The task run controls will be displayed. Should the connection reappear the task status will be updated to reflect this.
Task Search
Perform a task search for the entered keywords. Options within the search view permit the search scope to be limited to individual machines or to extend to all machines.
Secure Connection
The secure connection icon indicates whether the task is being run over a secure connection. A locked padlock indicates that a secure connection has been established. An open padlock indicates a non secure connection.

When the Admin task view mode is selected the toolbar displays the administration control set.

Task Browser

The task browser mode control determines the contents of the upper pane.

Hides the task browser list.
Displays a list of available tasks. Select a task to display it in the task pane.
Displays a list of search results. Select a task to display it in the task pane. The search view will be displayed automatically whenever a search is conducted.
Displays network sharing information.

The browser pane also contains the following controls:

star16x16.pngGroup List Visibility
Toggles the task group list visibility on and off. A preference option allows the group list to be automatically displayed when the sidebar is hidden.
sidebar16x16.pngSidebar Visibility
Toggles the sidebar visibility on and off.

Task Pane

The task pane displays tasks and their results. Each task is displayed within a view which shows task inputs on the left and task results on the right. The task pane contains the following controls:

Task Tab Strip
Each open task is displayed within a tab in the tab strip. Each tab contains a task view containing the task inputs and results.
Task Inputs
Displays the detail of the currently selected task along with any inputs.
Task Results
Displays the results of running a task. If no task has been executed then a large play button will be displayed that can be used to run the task.
Task Status
Displays the current execution status of the task. While a task is running it will display the elapsed time and network/file transfer activity. If an error occurs during task execution it will be reported here.

Navigation bars appear along the top of each task view. There is one for the input view and one for the results view. These bars permit navigating through the various tasks that may have been executed in the task view and their corresponding results.

Detail Pane

The detail pane mode buttons determine the contents of the pane.

Hides the detail panel.
historyTask History
Displays a history list of all past task execution requests. The history also retains the values of any task inputs.
scriptTask Script
Displays the script associated with the selected task. The script will only be visible to trusted users.


The sidebar displays a list of available instances of KosmicTask. You may hide or reveal the view using the Sidebar task browser button.

Represents the instance of KosmicTask on your local machine. It should always be available.
Lists the instances of KosmicTask available on the network. Local network instances will be discovered automatically. You may also connect manually to external networks.

Tasks are utilised and managed on remote instances of KosmicTask in the same way as local tasks. The sidebar lists the names of all of the currently reachable network instances of KosmicTask. For each connection the side bar lists:

  • The machine name.
  • The current task mode icon (public mode has a blank icon).
  • The number of available tasks (colour coded to the task mode).
  • In the case of connectivity problems an alert symbol will be displayed.

Each connection lists all the task groups and tasks available in the selected task view mode. The All group lists all the available tasks in alphabetic order.

Task Tab Strip

The task tab strip displays a tab for each open task. The tab strip supports the following operations:

  • To create a new tab containing a copy of the selected task click the + button to the right of the tabs.
  • To close an existing tab click the x button.
  • To open a particular task in a new tab command-click the task in the browser.
  • The tabs may be reordered by dragging a tab and dropping it onto the desired position.

Control clicking on a tab selects it and displays the tab context menu:

  • Maximize Task. Hides the task browser, detail pane and sidebar and maximizes the size of the task tab.
  • Minimize Task. Restores the task tab and other panes to their previous size.
  • Edit Task. Opens the task in an edit window.
  • Duplicate Task. Creates a duplicate of the selected task and opens it in an edit window.
  • Open Task in New Window. Opens a copy of the task in a new window.

Double clicking a task tab toggles it between the maximized and minimized states. The task tab can also be maximised using menu Window - Maximize Tab (Command +) and minimized with Window - Minimize Tab (Command -)

Input View Navigation Bar

The input view navigation bar is displayed at the top of each task input view and contains the following controls:

Input function bar

Pin task
Keep task permanently in view. Task cannot be replaced by another.
Detach task view as window
Detach the task view tab (inputs and results) and display within a separate window.
Task name and list
Name of the currently displayed task. Click to display list of all tasks that have been run in the view. Select ready to clear existing results.
Prev/next task
Select previous/next task in task name list.
Match results to task
Match displayed results to current task. Result list will be displayed in red if results do not match.
Task number and count
The current position of the task within the task list and the total number of tasks run.
Drag thumb
Task split view drag thumb.

Results View Navigation Bar

The results view navigation bar is displayed at the top of each task results view and contains the following controls:

Results function bar

Pin results to task
When pinned the task and results always correspond. Un-pin to allow independent display of tab tasks and results. This is useful when using the results of one task as input to another.
Detach results as window
Detach a copy of the task results view and display within a separate window.
Task results name list
Name of the currently displayed task results. Click to display list of all results that have been obtained in the view. Select ready to clear.
Prev/next results
Select previous/next results in the list.
Match task to results
Match displayed task to current results. Results list will be displayed in red if displayed task does not match displayed results.
Results number and count
The current position of the results within the results list and the total number of results obtained.
Format results as a text document.
Format results as icon or image. Only applies to files returned within the results. If a Quick Look preview of the files contents is available then it will be displayed. Otherwise a generic icon will be used.
Format results as a hierarchical list.
Format results as they were returned by the script. This is useful if you want to incorporate the results directly into another script.

Task Status

The task status view displays the progress of the task's execution. Each task will progress through several stages:

Task status

The task has yet to be run.
The task has been requested to run.
The task request is being sent along with its input data. If the input contains file data then the contents of the file(s) are sent. Transfer progress is displayed.
The task request was successfully sent and acknowledged.
The task is currently running.
Run (complete)
The task has finished running and will send back its results.
The task response is being received along with any results data. If the results contain file data then the contents of the file(s) are sent. Transfer progress is displayed.
The task results have been received.
The task results are being processed.
The task results have been processed.
The task has finished without errors.

If an error is encountered then a warning status alert will be displayed and the task will be stopped. To find out more about the error condition open the console using menu item Window - Console (or Command-L).

Task History View

The task history displays a list of all the tasks that have been requested on both local and remote machines.

  • To run a previous task select it from the history list.
  • If the task has inputs they will also be retrieved from the history.
  • Results are not saved into the history.
  • Tasks that were requested on machines that are not currently available will display a greyed out icon

Task Script View

The task script view displays the actual script code that will be executed for the selected task. The code will only be displayed in User and Admin task view modes. The displayed code is for reference only. To modify the script enter Admin mode and select Edit from the toolbar.

Task Search View

Spotlight powered task searching is available for both local and remote instances of KosmicTask. Enter a search term into the Search toolbar control and press Enter to begin the search. The browser pane will display the task search results view. To run a task select it from the search results.


Search view options:

This Mac
Search the local machine only.
Machine 1, Machine 2, ...
Search a named remote machine.
Search all remote machines.
Search all the contents of the task.
Search for script keywords only in the task.

The search facility depends upon Spotlight being enabled on all machines. Searching on Internet connected machines is fully supported.

The returned search results always correspond to the prevailing task mode. So only publicly available task matches will be returned when public task mode is selected. If more matches are available in trusted user mode then a + will be appended to the reported number of search results found. So 0 Found + means that 0 public task matches were found but that some matches were found for trusted user mode.

Managing Connections

KosmicTask uses Bonjour to automatically connect to other application instances on the local network. Should you wish to connect to a local instance that does not have Bonjour configured or to a remote or Internet based instance then click the + button at the foot of the sidebar to manually configure the connection.

Manual connection sheet

The connection sheet allows users to connect to a specific remote instance of KosmicTask. It also maintains a list of favourite locations. The available fields are:

Connect to
The Domain name or IP address to connect to. The connection will only succeed if the target machine is accessible at the port specified below and is running a copy of KosmicTask. If the remote instance of KosmicTask is behind a uPNP enabled router (as commonly found in a SOHO environment) then Internet Sharing can be used to enable access. If Internet sharing cannot be enabled (as may be the case in a corporate environment) then the LAN router will have to be manually configured to route Internet traffic to KosmicTask.
Port number
The TCP port number to connect to. KosmicTask defaults to using registered TCP port number 7742. However, if this port is already in use by another instance of KosmicTask then a higher port number may be specified in the Internet Sharing settings for the remote instance of KosmicTask.
Display name
A friendly name for the connection.
Encrypt public tasks
When checked this option requires that public tasks on the remote machine will be accessed over a secure encrypted connection. It is recommended to leave this option at its default checked state.
Auto connect
Marks a connection as eligible for auto connection. This option is only effective for connections that are added to the list of favourite locations. When KosmicTask starts it attempts to re-establish all of the favourite items that are marked for auto connection.
Clears the currently displayed connection information.
Favourite KosmicTask Locations
A persistent list of favourite locations. To connect to a favourite location simply select it from the list and click Connect.
Adds the current connection information to the list of favourite locations.
Removes the selected favourite location from the list.
Establish a connection to the remote address.

Disconnecting from Remote Connections

Manually configured connections will remain displayed until KosmicTask quits or the connection is removed. Click the - button at the foot of the sidebar to display the disconnect sheet.

Manual disconnect sheet

To disconnect from a manually configured remote connection select the connection or connections in the location list and click the - button.