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Autumn 91 - MACINTOSH Q & A



Q When my application is running, it relies on the MultiFinder's "puppet strings" (which choose Open from the application's File menu and suppress the SFGetFile dialog) to open a document that was double- clicked in the Finder. Why doesn't this work under System 7? The high-level event-aware bit in my 'SIZE' resource is clear.

A System 7 will not pull puppet strings for an application that makes use of the System 7 Standard File routines, such as StandardGetFile and CustomGetFile, nor will it pull them if the application's high-level event-aware bit is set.

If you update an older application to take advantage of any System 7 features, be sure to also add support for the 'odoc' and other required Apple events. Sample code showing how to support the required Apple events is available on the System 7 Golden Master CD.

Q Why does Gestalt tell me I have Color QuickDraw features on a non-Color QuickDraw machine?

A The gestaltQuickdrawFeatures ('qdrw') selector, used for determining your system's Color QuickDraw features, has a bug that causes it to tell you incorrectly that noncolor machines have color. The fix is quite simple: Gestalt has another selector, gestaltQuickdrawVersion ('qd '), which simply returns the QuickDraw version number. This version number is < gestalt8BitQD for classic QuickDraw and >= gestalt8BitQD for Color QuickDraw (see Inside Macintosh Volume VI, page 3-39, for more information). The trick is to ask Gestalt for the QuickDraw version first; once you've determined that you have Color QuickDraw, the 'qdrw' selector is OK to use to find out specifics.

Q What do we return to the Apple event handler if we get an application error while processing a standard event, Edition Manager event, or custom Apple event for commands and queries? Probably not errAENotHandled, since that means we didn't handle the event, which is different from trying to handle it and failing. Would it be errAEFail? What if we want to return more specific error information? Do we define our own errors, or try to use Apple's errors such as memFullErr or parmErr?

A You pass back errAENotHandled, because it's true, and because some simple applications will not be able to handle anything more than that. What you can also do, and what most commercial applications will do (particularly applications that want to be scripting savvy), is add errn and errs parameters to the reply record for that event (as shown on page 6-49 of Inside Macintosh Volume VI). You can be as descriptive as you like in the text--the more the better, in fact, since this text will be seen at the user level usually. The errn value you pass back can be the system error number; then the sending program may be able to recover and try again.

Q According to the QuickTime Movie Toolbox documentation, "The Movie Toolbox maintains a set of global variables for every application using it." How much global memory is required? Our application is shy on global data space.

A The information maintained is not kept with the application's global variables. The handle created by the EnterMovies call is stored in the system heap, not in the application heap. You don't have to worry about how much space to allocate in your application. This initialization does not affect your A5 world either.

EnterMovies initializes everything, including setting up the necessary data space and creating a handle to it. When you're done, be sure to make a call to ExitMovies to clean up the QuickTime data. If an application makes multiple calls to EnterMovies, a different set of "globals," or data area, is set up for each call. A call to ExitMovies should be made before exiting the area that made the call to EnterMovies. For example, an application that uses QuickTime will call EnterMovies and set up the QuickTime world. Then an external may be called upon that wants to use QuickTime. This external would have to make a call to EnterMovies to set up another QuickTime world for its use. Before leaving, the external should call ExitMovies to clean up after itself. The application can then continue to use QuickTime with the original world it set up.

Q Why does the longword at location $0 get changed to 0x40810000 at every trap?

A In System 7, the Process Manager slams a benign value into location $0 to help protect against bus errors when an application inadvertently dereferences a NIL pointer. (There's no bus-error checking on writes to ROM, so the "benign value" is usually ROMBase+$10000.)

If you're debugging, you want the opposite effect: you want these inadvertent accesses to "cause" bus errors. If you put a different value in location $0 before the Process Manager starts up (that is, from MacsBug or TMON initialization, or from an INIT like EvenBetterBusError), it will force that value instead. For more information, see the "Macintosh Debugging" article in this issue.

Q I'm filling a large buffer with one SCSIRead call. What happens if the Macintosh runs under System 7 with virtual memory (VM) and parts of my buffer are swapped out?

A Parts of your buffer must not be swapped out. Before calling SCSIGet, you must ensure that all code and buffers accessed while the SCSI bus is busy are held in physical memory. If there isn't enough real memory to allocate a full buffer, the application must request smaller blocks (if possible) from the SCSI device, because it's not possible to swap in and out any buffer space during a single I/O operation. Page faults are not serviced while SCSI I/O is in progress. If SCSI I/O is performed at device driver-level Read or Write calls, VM holds your buffer for you. Otherwise, you are responsible for doing this yourself. If there is insufficient physical memory for VM to hold your buffers for you, the Read or Write call fails with an error result.

In general, I/O buffer space used by drivers must be held in real memory for the duration of the I/O operation. This is especially true for SCSI I/O because VM uses SCSI to swap virtual memory in and out, and encountering another page fault would cause a bus error. Device Manager-level I/O handles this automatically, by holding down the appropriate memory when the driver is entered through a Read or Write call. The Device Manager does not take care of this for you when the driver is entered through a Control or Status call, however. If the SCSIRead call is made from within a device driver as a result of a PBRead, no special action is necessary. Any other type of code must be very careful not to cause page faults between SCSIGet and SCSIComplete. This requires holding or placing in the system heap any code or data structures referenced during this time.

Q Is there anything special that a Macintosh hard disk or a removable cartridge driver must do to be fully compatible with System 7?

A One important thing you should be aware of regarding removable cartridges is that a cartridge can't be removable if VM is to use it for a backing store. Some removables allow you to fix this with a SCSI command to prohibit ejection and, just as important, the drive must be marked nonejectable in the drive queue.

Here are a couple of suggestions: Read Macintosh Technical Note #285, "Coping with VM and Memory Mappings." Also, take a look at the Memory Management chapter of Inside Macintosh Volume VI and the Virtual Memory paper (Goodies:VM Goodies:VM Paper) on the System 7 Golden Master CD.

Q What does the "!" mean when I use the MacsBug Heap Zone (HZ) command? It appears in front of one of the zone names listed, or just after the address if the zone doesn't have a name.

A MacsBug's HZ command does a quick-and-dirty heap check, and if it thinks something is wrong with a heap, it puts the exclamation point after the address range of the heap. If you select the heap flagged with a "!" with the Heap Exchange (HX) command and then use the regular Heap Check (HC) command, MacsBug tells you what it thinks is wrong with that heap.

Q I want to display only visible files and folders in a Standard File dialog, but I can't find a way to filter out invisible folders--specifically the 000Move&Rename folder. The FileFilter routine filters only files, not folders. If I put in a nonzero TypeList, invisible folders seem to be removed, but I want to open all types of files, just not invisible files or folders. Any suggestions?

A This is, in fact, impossible under System 6 using general methods. The problem is that passing -1 as numTypes means not only to display all items, but to display invisible items. A file filter can be used to remove the invisible files but cannot affect invisible folders. The only current way to do this is to use CustomGetFile under System 7, as described in the Standard File Package chapter of Inside Macintosh Volume VI. This provides a filter that allows you to filter both files and folders. This will give you the right functionality, but will work only under System 7. We recommend that you use this method under System 7, and a more standard SFGetFile when running under earlier systems.

Q How can I obtain the volume reference information in my DlgHook function for a file selected by the user before SFPPutFile or SFPGetFile has completed the reply record?

A On exit, SFPGetFile and SFPPutFile generate a working directory reference number in the vRefNum field of the reply record. This is not available to you from within the operation of a DlgHook function. WDRefNums are provided to allow compatibility with older, pre-HFS functions that took vRefNum values of integer size with the older flat file system.

We suggest that, unless you plan to support the flat file system of 64K ROM Macintosh systems, you move your file system interfaces to the HFS interfaces documented in the File Manager sections of Inside Macintosh Volumes IV and V (or to the equivalent high-level calls as documented in Macintosh Technical Note #218, "New High-Level File Manager Calls"). If you're using the HFS calls, low-memory globals SFSaveDisk and CurDirStore contain, respectively, the negative of the "real" volume reference number for the current volume and the HFS ID of the directory that Standard File is displaying. You then have all the information you need to create, open, rename, or delete files from within the SFPGetFile and SFPPutFile DlgHook functions. If a user is accessing an MFS volume on an HFS system, these calls are designed tohandle file access transparently.

Moving your file system interfaces to the HFS-level conventions has a side benefit of being closer to the System 7 file system specifications. If you look at the new high-level file system calls in Inside Macintosh Volume VI, you'll recognize much of the HFS information embedded in the new data structures.

If your file system interfaces depend on MFS-style vRefNums, or WDRefNums in the HFS nomenclature, you can use the HFS functions PBOpenWD, PBCloseWD, and PBGetWDInfo to open, close, and obtain volume reference numbers and directory IDs. This is particularly important if, for instance, you're using the THINK C ANSI file I/O functions, which rely on SetVol to operate correctly.

Complete information on the HFS-level calls that will be most useful in Standard File customization is contained in the File Manager chapters of Inside Macintosh Volumes IV and V, and in Macintosh Technical Notes #66, 77, 102, 140, 179, 190, and 218. For C users, Macintosh Technical Note #246 summarizes a list of the difficulties with mixing C file I/O with Macintosh file I/O. Macintosh Technical Notes #47 and 80 discuss a few points of Standard File customization from the point of view of HFS.

Q Why does GetGWorldPixMap (when called on a Macintosh II, IIcx, or IIx running system software version 6.0.5 or 6.0.7 with 32-Bit QuickDraw 1.2) return a combination of the device field (two bytes) and the first two bytes of the portPixMap field? Is this a bug?

A Your analysis of GetGWorldPixMap is exactly right: It doesn't work correctly in system software version 6.0.5 and 6.0.7 with 32-Bit QuickDraw 1.2. It returns a value that's two bytes before the value it's supposed to return.

The solution is to use GWorldPtr->portPixMap instead of GetGWorldPixMap. It's safe to do this, but you should use GetGWorldPixMap under System 7. Not only is the bug fixed there, but dereferencing the port is dangerous under System 7 because it may not be CGrafPort. Use Gestalt with the gestaltQuickdrawVersion selector to determine whether you can use GetGWorldPixMap. If Gestalt returns a value from gestalt8BitQD ($0100) through gestalt32BitQD12 ($0220), then GetGWorldPixMap either doesn't exist or is the buggy version. If it returns gestalt32BitQD13 ($0230) or higher, then GetGWorldPixMap does exist and works correctly. Interestingly, GetGWorldPixMap can be called on a black-and-white QuickDraw machine under System 7. It returns a handle to a structure which should be treated as a BitMap structure, though there are some undocumented fields after the normal BitMap fields. To tell whether GetGWorldPixMap is available on a black-and-white QuickDraw machine, you must check the system software version by calling Gestalt with the gestaltSystemVersion selector. If it returns $0700 or higher, GetGWorldPixMap is available.

Q DrawText with srcCopy takes six times as long as with srcOr now that my Macintosh is running System 7. Why is this so slow? Is this a bug in System 7?

A It's true that srcCopy is slower than srcOr when handling text, especially in color mode. This loss in speed occurs because CopyBits is a lot smarter than it used to be. It can handle foreground and background colors a lot better, but that improvement came at the cost of speed. Our recommended method for drawing text is to erase before drawing, and use srcOr to draw, not srcCopy. Alternatively, you could draw colorized text in srcOr mode off screen and then use CopyBits to draw it on the screen in srcCopy mode without colorization.

Q I'm creating PICTs that are comprised of many lines drawn in srcOr mode. When using the LaserWriter 6.x or 7.x driver with the Color/Grayscale radio button selected, some lines fail to print. Why is this happening?

A The problem is a bug in the LaserWriter driver. Sometimes, when using a CGrafPort, the driver doesn't reproduce lines drawn in srcOr mode. (A CGrafPort is used when the Color/Grayscale print option is selected; in Black & White print mode, a regular grafPort is used.) A workaround is to use srcCopy instead of srcOr when drawing QuickDraw objects within your PICTs.

Q Is there any way to determine whether I'm printing to either a color printer or a printer simulating color, such as the LaserWriter set for Color/Grayscale?

A Check the grafPort returned by your call to PrOpenDoc. If the rowBytes of the grafPort is less than 0, the Printing Manager has returned a color grafPort. You can then make Color QuickDraw calls into this grafPort. LaserWriter driver version 6.0 and later returns a color grafPort from the PrOpenDoc call, if the Color/Grayscale button has been set.

The following code fragment demonstrates this:

 (* This function determines whether the port passed to it is a *)
(* color port. If so, it returns TRUE.  *)
FUNCTION IsColorPort(portInQuestion: GrafPtr): BOOLEAN;
    IF portInQuestion^.portBits.rowBytes < 0 THEN
        IsColorPort := TRUE
        IsColorPort := FALSE;

A third-party printer driver should return the type of grafPort that represents the abilities of its printer. Therefore, if the printer supports color and/or grayscale, and if Color QuickDraw is present, the application will receive a color grafPort after calling PrOpenDoc. Otherwise, if the Macintosh you're running on does not support Color QuickDraw, you should return a black-and-white grafPort.

Q If I use the PostScriptHandle PicComment to send PostScript code to the LaserWriter driver, do I need to open a picture and then draw the picture to the driver, or can I just use the PicComment with no picture open while drawing to the printer's grafPort?

A You don't need to create a picture with your PicComment in it and draw the picture to the driver. The best method for sending PostScript code to the LaserWriter is to use the PostScriptHandle PicComment documented in Macintosh Technical Note #91, "Optimizing for the LaserWriter--Picture Comments," as shown below.

{ Send some QuickDraw so that the Printing Manager gets a }
{ chance to define the clipping region. }
PicComment(PostScriptBegin, 0, NIL);
{ QuickDraw representation of graphic. }
MoveTo(100, 100);
LineTo(200, 200);
{ PostScript representation of graphic. }
thePSHandle^^ := '100 100 moveto 200 200 lineto stroke';

PicComment(PostScriptHandle, GetHandleSize(thePSHandle),
PicComment(PostScriptEnd, 0, NIL);

The above code prints a line on any type of printer, PostScript or not. The first MoveTo/LineTo combination is required to give the LaserWriter driver a chance to define a clipping region. The LaserWriter driver replaces the grafProcs record in the grafPort returned from PrOpenDoc. In order for the LaserWriter driver to get execution time, you must execute a QuickDraw drawing routine that calls one of the grafProcs. In this case, the MoveTo/LineTo combination calls the StdLine grafProc. When StdLine executes, it notices that the grafPort has been reinitialized, and therefore initializes the clipping region for the port. Until the MoveTo/LineTo combination is executed, the clipping region for the port is set to (0,0,0,0). If PostScript code is sent via the PostScriptHandle PicComment before executing any QuickDraw routines, all PostScript operations will be clipped to (0,0,0,0).

The next thing that's done is to send the PostScriptBegin PicComment. This comment is recognized only by PostScript printer drivers. When the driver receives this comment, it saves the current state of the PostScript device (by executing the PostScript gsave operator), then disables all QuickDraw drawing operations. This way, the QuickDraw representation of the graphic will be ignored by PostScript devices. In the above example, the second MoveTo/LineTo combination is executed only on non-PostScript devices. The next PicComment is PostScriptHandle, which tells the driver that the data in thePSHandle is to be sent to the device as PostScript code. The driver then passes this code unchanged to the PostScript device for execution. The PostScriptHandle comment is recognized only by PostScript printer drivers.

The last PicComment, PostScriptEnd, tells the driver to restore the previous state of the device (via a PostScript grestore call), and to enable QuickDraw drawing operations.

Since most PicComments are ignored by QuickDraw devices, only the QuickDraw representation is printed. Since PostScriptBegin tells PostScript drivers to ignore QuickDraw operations, only the PostScript representation is printed on PostScript devices. This is a truly device-independent method for providing both PostScript and QuickDraw representations of a document.

Q How do users install the Macintosh Communications Toolbox (CTB)?

A The Communications Toolbox consists of two parts: the CTB managers and the CTB tools. The installation procedure for CTB tools is different between System 6 and System 7. Under System 6 the CTB tools are dragged from the Basic Connectivity Set disk to the Communications Folder in the System Folder on the hard disk. Under System 7 the CTB tools are dragged from the Basic Connectivity Set disk to the Extensions folder in the System Folder on the hard disk. Of course, because of the way System 7 works, CTB tools can simply be dragged to the System Folder and the Finder will automatically move them to the Extensions folder where they belong.

No installation of the CTB managers is required under System 7, since System 7 includes the Communications Toolbox as part of the system. Users running System 6.0.5 should use the Installer and Install script on the Communications 1 disk to install the CTB managers and other resources onto their hard disks. Users running System 6.0.7 should use the Installer and Install script on the Network Products Installer disk, which is part of the System 6.0.7 set users receive with their Macintosh systems. The Network Products Installer disk does not contain the CTB managers and other resources, but it prompts the user to insert the Communications 1 disk during the installation procedure.

The Basic Connectivity Set and Communications 1 disks should be shipped with your CTB-aware product. Contact Apple's Software Licensing group (AppleLink SW.LICENSE) for a licensing agreement to ship the disks.

Q Can any AppleTalk routines be called at interrupt time? Inside Macintosh says that DDPWrite and DDPRead can't be called from interrupts. If all higher-level AppleTalk protocols are based on DDP, it seems that they all would not work.

A The AppleTalk routines you can't call at interrupt time are the original AppleTalk Pascal Interfaces listed in Inside Macintosh Volume II; these are also known as the "Alternate Interface" AppleTalk routines, or ABPasIntf.

The Alternate Interface routines cannot be called at interrupt time because they allocate the memory structures needed to make the equivalent assembly language AppleTalk call. For example, when the NBPLookup routine is called, it's passed a handle to an ABusRecord. NBPLookup then has to allocate an MPPParamBlock and move the parameters from the ABusRecord into the newly allocated MPPParamBlock. Then NBPLookup makes a LookupName call, passing it the MPPParamBlock. When LookupName completes, NBPLookup must move results into the ABusRecord and release the memory used by the MPPParamBlock. Since memory is allocated and released within the routine, it cannot be called at interrupt time.

With that out of the way, the calls you can make at interrupt time (with some restrictions listed below) are what Apple calls the "Preferred Interface" AppleTalk routines. Most of the Preferred Interface routines are listed on page 562 of Inside Macintosh Volume V. There are a few additional calls that were added after the publication of Inside Macintosh Volume V; they're documented in the AppleTalk chapter of Inside Macintosh Volume VI.

The Preferred Interface AppleTalk routines can be made at interrupt time as long as:

  • You make them asynchronously with a completion routine (that is, the asynch parameter must be TRUE and you must provide a pointer to the completion routine in the ioCompletion field of the call's parameter block). Making a call asynchronously and polling ioResult immediately afterward within the same interrupt-time code (which is basically the same as making the call synchronously) is not the same as using a completion routine.
  • They are not listed as routines that may move or purge memory. The Preferred Interface routines do not allocate or dispose of any memory, since they're just high-level ways to make the assembly language AppleTalk calls and are not built upon the old Alternate Interface routines.

Q Why do I get only the left channel of a stereo sound out of my Macintosh IIcx?

A The only Macintosh models that combine the two stereo channels into one for playback out of the internal speaker are the Macintosh SE/30 and the IIsi. All others use just the left channel. If you would like to check for the machine's ability to do mixing, you can use Gestalt. This is documented in Inside Macintosh Volume VI, page 22-70. Bit 1 of the Gestalt selector for sound will tell you whether the machine has stereo mixing on the internal speaker.

Q Inside Macintosh Volume VI, page 2-22, recommends updating the window positions in a file without changing the last modification date and time on the file. How do I alter a file without automatically changing the timestamp?

A To modify the contents of a file's data or resource fork without changing the last modified date, get the modified date before performing any save operations on the file and restore it when you're done. You can use the PBHGetFInfo and PBHSetFInfo calls to do this. A short Pascal snippet that modifies the contents of a known file's resource fork without modifying its modification date is included in the Snippets folder on this issue's Developer CD Series disc. The code shows how the parameter block is filled in with the file's information at the start of the routine with a PBHGetFInfo call, and the same data is then used without modification to set the file information at the end of the routine with a PBHSetFInfo. Inside Macintosh Volume IV, page 150, tells you which fields can be changed with PBHSetFInfo.

Q Help! I've just added Balloon Help to my application, but I'm having some problems. Whenever a balloon appears, it immediately begins floating away off the top of the screen. What can I do to stop this madness?

A It appears you failed to heed our warning when it comes to routines that can move balloons. Consult Appendix D of Inside Macintosh X-Ref , "Routines That May Pop Balloons or Cause Barometric Disturbances," for a complete listing of these help balloon meteorological nightmares. In addition, be sure to call the new trap HMSetBalloonContents:

 OSErr HMSetBalloonContents (balloonContents: INTEGER);
CONST   { types of balloon contents }
    helium = 0;
    air = 1;
    water = 2;
    whippedCream = 3;

with balloonContents set to something greater than helium.

Kudos to our readers who care enough to ask us terrific and well thought-out questions. The answers are supplied by our teams of technical gurus; our thanks to all. Special thanks to Pete "Luke" Alexander, Sonya Andreae, Mark Baumwell, Mike Bell, Jim "Im" Beninghaus, Rich Collyer, Neil Day, Tim Dierks, Marcie "MG" Griffin, C.K. Haun, Pete Helme, Dave Hersey, Dennis Hescox, Jim Luther, Joseph Maurer, Jim Mensch, Guillermo Ortiz, Craig Prouse, Dave Radcliffe, Greg Robbins, Jack Robson, Kent Sandvik, Paul Snively, Bryan "Stearno" Stearns, Forrest Tanaka, Vincent Tapia, John Wang, and Scott "Zz" Zimmerman for the material in this Q & A column.*

Have more questions? Need more answers? Take a look at the Dev Tech Answers library on AppleLink (updated weekly) or at the Q & A stack on the Developer CD Series disc.*


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*Apple* & PC Desktop Support Technician...
Apple & PC Desktop Support Technician job in Manhattan, NY Introduction: We have immediate job openings for several Desktop Support Technicians with one of our most Read more
Senior Workstation Administrator - *Apple*...
…with extraordinary HR. QualificationsJOB SUMMARY/OVERVIEWThe Senior Workstation Administrator - Apple supports the mission of TriNet by providing advanced level Read more
Intermediate *Apple* macOS Systems Integrat...
**Position Summary:** SC3 is actively seeking an Intermediate Apple macOS systems integration administrator that will be responsible for providing Apple Mac Read more
*Apple* & PC Desktop Support Technician...
Apple & PC Desktop Support Technician job in Los Angeles, CA Introduction: We have immediate job openings for several Desktop Support Technicians with one of our Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
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