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I tried running the code for the example, but with Xdialog instead of dialog. The resulting screen was confusing, and obviously not what was described in the article.
As it turns out, for my system, at least, the size given for the box was too small, resulting in a box with no panes!
I fixed the problem by setting a larger size for the dialog box:
--fselect $HOME/ 28 68
After figuring this out, I also realized that I could have re-sized the original too-small box with the mouse... HTH.
Problem: with the character-based dialog version, I can't figure out how to make the file pane update when a directory is chosen from the direcory pane. The file pane automatically updates with the Xdialog version, but not the dialog version. Is there a way to make this happen with the character-based dialog version?