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January 90 - APPLE II Q&A



Q How can I get back to my program from the Init version of GSBug?

A The new version of GSBug, available from APDA in a beta version, comes with an Init file which installs the debugger to be present in the background, invocable with the keystrokes control-command-option-Escape. The command to quit the application version of GSBug ("Q") does not work from the Init version; the correct command is "R" (for "resume"). If you break on a tool call, be sure to take tool breaks out before doing any tracing if you hope to not die a different horrible death than the one your application would normally have given you.

Q I've heard about a version of SANE for eight-bit Apple II computers, but I can't find it anywhere. Is it still sold?

A SANE is considered part of the System Software and is distributed by Apple's Software Licensing group. You may contact them at (408) 974-4667 or through AppleLink address SW.LICENSE. Although older versions of SANE were sold as part of Apple's old "WorkBench" series, the current version should be obtained from Software Licensing. Even if you own an older copy of SANE you wish to use in your program, it still must be licensed from Software Licensing before distributing it. SANE is built in to all IIgs and Macintosh computers.

Q What file type should I use for my program's files?

A Apple II Developer Technical Support assigns file type and auxiliary type combinations to developers by request. Apple II DTS must assign file types and auxiliary types, rather than arbitrate as Macintosh DTS does, since the range of Apple II file types is much more limited. Please refer to "About Apple II File Type Notes" (included on CD or available from APDA) for information on how to submit a request for an assignment, as well as for a complete listing of all currently assigned file type and auxiliary type assignments.

Q What is "FASTFONT" and how can I use it?

A FASTFONT is a new disk file for System Software 5.0. It contains a pre-shifted version of the ROM font, Shaston 8. QuickDraw will load FASTFONT from theFonts directory at QDStartUp time (if present) and use it for greatly increased text drawing speed. Currently, the System does not support different or multiple FastFonts, and no special work is needed by the application to take advantage of the present capability. Q What is ExpressLoad and how do I use it?

A ExpressLoad works with the System Loader to load specially prepared (or "Expressed") files much faster than the System Loader does. Files may be prepared to work with ExpressLoad by using the APW tool "Express", the MPW IIgs tool "ExpressIIgs", or a linker that can automatically create Expressed files. If your file is not Expressed, it will work just fine with System Software 5.0; it just won't load as fast as Expressed files will. Similarly, Expressed files will load properly when ExpressLoad is not present. There are, however, some considerations that should be made when working with Expressed files. These are detailed in the Apple IIgs Technical Note "ExpressLoad Philosophy".

Q My program uses option-key equivalents for certain functions, and they no longer work under System Software 5.0. How come?

A (This is the kind of specific question with lots of details that DTS really likes.) System Software 5.0 includes a new key translation feature very similar to that found on the Macintosh. The feature allows special characters to be typed by pressing option-key keystokes. (For example, the ƒ character can be generated by typing option-f.) This will interfere with programs that already use option-key equivalents. Your program will not get the keydown event for option-f; you'll get an unmodified keydown event for the ASCII code for "ƒ". This feature may be controlled through new Event Manager calls, and may also be deactivated by using the "Translation" option of the "Alphabet" CDev in the Control Panel NDA.

Q I noticed the Finder is now using application-specific strings for the "kind" of a file. How can I use this capability?

A The Finder on System Software 5.0 uses a new data structure known as a File Type Descriptor to allow a string to be matched with a particular file type and auxiliary type. Like icon files, multiple File Type Descriptor files may be used, so strings may be "added" to the Finder's vocabulary. Details on the data structure and the Finder's implementation are in Apple II File Type Note for FileType $42.


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