September 94 - LETTERS
MISSING GAME FOLDER
The column by Brigham Stevens on game development in develop Issue 17 refers to a Game
Development folder on the Bookmark 17 CD. I was unable to locate the folder. Is it me, or was
there a production glitch?
Also, is the folder the same one that was on the February Developer CD?
-- Bob Boonstra
There was a production glitch. The folder was on Issue 16's Bookmark CD but was inadvertently removed
from Issue 17's CD. We have since restored it (it's in the Tools & Applications folder). We also got the name
wrong: it's Games, not Game Development.
And yes, it's the same folder as the one on the Developer CD. The Bookmark CD always contains a subset of
the Developer CD Series.
-- Dave Johnson
DEVELOP ON THE SMALL SCREEN
In Issue 17 you ask why so many applications lack common sense, and then you go on to list a
number of annoyances caused by bad designs. I agree that the items mentioned could
be better handled, but I have a similar complaint with develop!
develop , shipped on CD-ROM with Apple DocViewer, is a software product that's produced like a
printed document. Things like double-columned pages are extremely difficult to read on a standard
Macintosh 13-inch monitor -- you have to scroll down the entire page as you read a single column
and then scroll back up and repeat the process. While this orientation makes sense on a printed
page, it really bites on my 13-inch monitor. Also, develop is nearly unreadable with its serif typefaces,
Right now you're probably shaking your head and saying that you don't have the money to produce
two versions of develop -- one for print and one for CD. If so, then you also know why so many
applications lack common sense!
-- Brooks Bell
Certainly time and money do enter into design decisions, even at Apple. But there are still a lot of cases where
common sense could be followed without a big hit to the schedule or pocketbook.
Regarding your problem with viewing the CD version of develop on a 13-inch screen, you might try
DocViewer's "text" view (the icon in the tool bar that looks like a sheet of paper with writing, just to the left of
the scaling pop-up menu). This view gets rid
of all special formatting such as double columns. You can still look at illustrations, by clicking the Open button
next to the figure caption.
In text view you can change the font size and type of any structural part of the document, using the Format
command in the Edit menu. For example, you can choose Body in the Format dialog and change the font of all
the body text. (In the normal view, the scaling pop-up menu can be used to magnify everything.)
Thanks for writing and giving us the opportunity to provide these tips. We welcome all gripes!
-- Caroline Rose
QUICKDRAW GX MORPH TABLES
The Macintosh Q&A section of develop Issue 16 stated that there's no way to
do an automatic checksum digit insertion using QuickDraw GX's glyph metamorphosis tables. I
haven't read much about QuickDraw GX's 'mort' tables, but I do know finite state tables. It's quite
feasible to build a 12-state table that will generate a checksum digit for a digit-string of any length.The key is to make the checksum be calculated dynamically instead of at the end. This reduces the
required number of states to ten, plus beginning and end, which is well within the limits of
-- Mark Cogan
You're quite right; you can indeed use morph tables to generate checksums. Other cyclic kinds of calculations
are also possible; for example, a morph table could be set up to do pseudo-random selection of letterforms from a
font that was designed with five variant forms of A-Z and a-z. When a letter is encountered, it would be
replaced with its version from one of the sets. But regardless of the specific glyph, each time a glyph is processed
the state advances and eventually loops back to the starting state. This is in general the template for how cyclic
effects can be implemented with the QuickDraw GX morph tables.
-- Dave Opstad
GX Line Layout Weenie
WATCH-CURSOR PUSH-UPS AND BEYOND
Regarding Dave Johnson's bio in Issue 16: He's not the only one who plays with the cursor while
waiting for the Mac. Here are some other silly things to do:
- Try to fit the watch inside an empty horizontal scroll bar. It always overlaps one of the lines, either
the top or bottom one, so if you move that single pixel that alternates between them, the watch
seems to be slipping on its wrist belt.
- While installing the system, position the counting hand so that it's just touching a horizontal line.
Don't overlap the line, and the hand will seem to be cut from its owner, instead of being a ghost
-- Javier Guerra G.
Dave is not alone in doing watch-cursor push-ups and pull-ups. My personal favorite activity here is
trying to find a place where I can do both at once. I remember that the old Font/DA Mover has a
spot between two buttons where you can do that nicely.
-- Maarten Hazewinkel
Hot Dawg! I knew there were others out there doing the watch cursor thing. I've heard from a half dozen or
so; it's a lot more common than I thought.
I remember doing that with the old Font/DA Mover, too. The progress bar during long Finder operations also
worked well. (Nowadays we have movable modal progress windows, so the watch cursor is gone -- the price of
Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone!
-- Dave Johnson
develop is an inspiring magazine. The layout is clean yet warm and inviting. The articles are relevant
and the authors are knowlegeable.
The on-line issues of develop are invaluable. This is the best on-line documentation I have seen,
period. The articles look great -- just like the magazine. And searching and setting filters is fast.
Microsoft's CD comes with a lot of files, but most of it is old, irrelevant, and ugly to read.
I sure appreciate your effort.
-- Brent Foust
We can't thank you enough for taking the time to write. Letters like this keep us going, in more ways than
one. We hope you're as happy with the recent changes to our layout; please let us know if not.-- Caroline Rose
WE'RE DYING TO HEAR FROM YOU We welcome timely letters to the editors, especially from readers reacting
to articles that we publish in develop . Letters
should be addressed to Caroline Rose (or, if technical develop -related questions, to Dave Johnson) at Apple Computer,
Inc., One Infinite Loop, M/S 303-4DP, Cupertino, CA 95014 (AppleLink CROSE or JOHNSON.DK). All letters should
include your name and company name as well as your address and phone number. Letters may be excerpted or edited for
clarity (or to make them say what we wish they did). *