TweetFollow Us on Twitter

June 95 - Newton Q & A: Ask the Llama

Newton Q & A: Ask the Llama

Newton Developer Tecchnical Support

Q When I try to print or fax something, the Newton usually runs out of memory. I'm sending a lot of data to my print format, but it seems that the fields frame passed to SetupRoutingSlip should have only a reference to the data. What am I doing wrong?

A Unfortunately, you're missing one important step in the process of printing. The fields frame is eventually placed in the outbox soup. Thus all references are followed, which means that all the data you placed in the fields frame is duplicated. The duplication occurs in the soup:Add call.

In other words, you probably have a large data structure (or view, or proto) in your application. You put a reference to this structure in the fields frame in SetupRoutingSlip. When the user accepts the item to be printed (or faxed, beamed, or whatever), the fields frame is placed in the outbox soup, causing your structure to be duplicated.

Ideally, you should pass as little data as possible in the fields frame. As an example, assume that your data is all in a soup. You would pass information that allowed you to construct a query that returned the soup data of interest. This may be the index to search on plus the key to search for. You may even pass the query frame itself. Note that any changes made from the time the print request is made to the time the printing occurs will be reflected in the printed items. This may not be what you want. As in most cases, there are tradeoffs.

Q I'd like to have something like a viewIdleScript in my communications endpoint. The endpoint proto doesn't contain a way to do this. What's a good way to do it?

A One solution is to include your endpoint in a view object, such as a clView. You can then treat the whole clView as the communications object. You can use the view messages associated with opening a view to manage the control of your endpoint. Similar things can be done with viewQuitScript. And of course you can use a viewIdleScript.

Also note that using a view gives you a way to provide visual feedback (assuming it makes sense). Take a look at protoLlamaTalk in the LlamaTalk sample on this issue's CD for an example.

Q How do I get a text view to redraw itself with a new font?

A Simply use SetValue on the viewFont slot:

SetValue(theParaView,
	'viewFont,
	{family: 'espy, face: kFaceBold, size: 12});

Q I'm trying to use a view that has vfFillGray as the background. I've found that it looks really bad. Why is this?

A The pattern vfFillGray is an alternating on/off checkerboard pattern of pixels (that is, 50% gray). With the current state of the technology, all passive LCDs have problems displaying large areas of 50% gray (or large areas of black). The problem (called crosstalk ) is worse when you have alternating on and off pixels. Basically, the LCD freaks out. You should avoid using large areas of 50% gray where possible.Q When I try to add an index to my soup I sometimes get an exception -48019, but not always. What's going on?

A That particular exception indicates that an entry in your soup has a value of NIL in the slot you're trying to create an index for (that is, the entry contains the slot with a value of NIL). You can easily recreate this error by trying to add an index on the bday slot in the names file. Here's some code that you can type in the inspector:

call func()
begin
	local nameSoup := GetStores()[0]:GetSoup(ROM_cardfilesoupname);
	nameSoup:AddIndex(
		{structure: 'slot, path: 'bday, type: 'Int});
end with ();

In this case the error occurs because the default cardfile entry has a value of NIL for the bday slot. The solution is to make sure that there are no soup entries with a value of NIL for the slot that you want to use for the new index. This is best done in the design of your soup data.

If this isn't possible, the only solution is to make sure that all entries in the soup either have a valid value for the new index slot or do not contain the new index slot. Unfortunately, you don't know in advance if the new index will fail. In this case you can wrap the code that adds the index in a try/onexception clause. If an exception occurs that has the -48019 error number, you know that you have to iterate through the soup and fix entries.

Also note that you may want to keep a list of those "fixed" entries around since you may have to unfix them after the index has been added. In other words, it's OK for an entry to have a NIL value in an indexed slot after the index has been added to the soup.

Q I have a protoA2Z_TDS controlling a protoTextList. There are two things this combination doesn't do: (1) As the protoTextList contents are scrolled, the protoA2Z_TDS doesn't update the current letter, and (2) when the user clicks on a letter in the protoA2Z_TDS, I want to scroll the protoTextList to the appropriate place. How do I do these things?

A For those who may not know, protoA2Z_TDS is sample code provided by PIE Developer Technical Support. In answer to the first question, all you need to do is set the curIndex to the correct value, where A is 0 and Z is 25. If you use SetValue, the display will update for you. So if your protoA2Z_TDS was declared as indexer, and you wanted to change it to the letter B, you would do this:

SetValue(indexer, 'curIndex, 1);

You could also write a method of the protoA2Z_TDS that would update the display based on a character:

SetIndex := func(newChar)
begin
	local newIndex := Ord(Upcase(newChar)) - 65;
	if newIndex < 0 then newIndex := 0;
	if newIndex >= numIndices then newIndex := numIndices - 1;
		SetValue(self, 'curIndex, newIndex);
end;

Note that this function will try to do the right thing with weird input. However, if you're expecting the full range of Unicode values, you'll have to change the function to accommodate multibyte characters. Now let's tackle question number 2. You need to know about three things in the protoTextList that aren't yet documented in the Newton Programmer's Guide :

  1. There's a slot named lineHeight that contains the height of each line in pixels.
  2. The protoTextList uses SetOrigin to scroll. Therefore, the slot viewOriginY contains the number of pixels that the view is scrolled (and viewOriginY DIV lineHeight is the line number of the top displayed line).
  3. There's a method DoScrollScript(offset) that scrolls from the current position by the specified offset (in pixels).

Given these three pieces of information, here's a method for a protoTextList that will highlight a particular row and make it visible:

protoTextList.HiliteRow := func(index)
begin
	// highlight this item
	SetValue(self, 'selection, index);
	// scroll as necessary
	local topItem := viewOriginY DIV lineHeight;
	if index < topItem or (index >= topItem + viewLines) then begin
		// we need to scroll so that the index is the first item
		:DoScrollScript(-(topItem - index) * lineHeight);
	end;
end

Of course you still have to calculate what index to pass to the function. But that should be fairly straightforward. The protoA2Z_TDS will give you the first letter, which you can then find in your listItems array in the protoTextList. Note that if the listItems array is sorted, you can use a binary search to find the correct index.

Q What is the origin of the llama?

A The first evidence of llamas dates back to the llama raptor discovered by Dr. Leakey in the jungles of the Amazon. This find was dated back to the late "Jurassic Park" period. Early llamas are thought to have been both more violent and more intelligent than today's breeds. Cave paintings from the hills of Venezuela clearly depict early humans in use as pack animals for tribes of llamas.


The llama is the unofficial mascot of the Developer Technical Support group in Apple's Personal Interactive Electronics (PIE) division. Send your Newton-related questions to NewtonMail DRLLAMA or AppleLink DR.LLAMA. The first time we use a question from you, we'll send you a T-shirt. *

Thanks to Erik York and our PIE Partners for the questions used in this column, and to Bob Ebert, J. Christopher Bell, Mike Engber, Neil Rhodes, Kent Sandvik, Jim Schram, Maurice Sharp, and Bruce Thompson for the answers. *

Have more questions? Need more answers? Take a look at PIE Developer Info on AppleLink. *

 
AAPL
$106.98
Apple Inc.
-0.36
MSFT
$46.05
Microsoft Corpora
-0.57
GOOG
$550.31
Google Inc.
+0.98

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Cocktail 8.0.1 - General maintenance and...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.3.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
VMware Fusion 7.0.1 - Run Windows apps a...
VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac... Read more
OneNote 15.3.2 - Free digital notebook f...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.4 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more
Iridient Developer 3.0.0 beta 3 - Powerf...
Iridient Developer (was RAW Developer) is a powerful image conversion application designed specifically for OS X. Iridient Developer gives advanced photographers total control over every aspect of... Read more
TextWrangler 4.5.11 - Free general purpo...
TextWrangler is the powerful general purpose text editor, and Unix and server administrator's tool. Oh, and also, like the best things in life, it's free. TextWrangler is the "little brother" to... Read more
NeoFinder 6.6 - Catalog your external me...
NeoFinder (formerly CDFinder) rapidly organizes your data, either on external or internal disks, or any other volumes. It catalogs all your data, so you stay in control of your data archive or disk... Read more
Chromium 38.0.2125.111 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. FreeSMUG-Free OpenSource Mac User Group build is... Read more
Default Folder X 4.6.11 - Enhances Open...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Audio Defence : Zombie Arena (Games)
Audio Defence : Zombie Arena 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A zombie shooter audio game. Made from gut-wrenching 3D binaural sound, for a new kind of weird immersion. You... | Read more »
RPG Asdivine Hearts (Games)
RPG Asdivine Hearts 1.1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1.0 (iTunes) Description: SPECIAL PRICE50% OFF (USD 7.99 -> USD 3.99)!!! Travel alongside four companions and a cat in the adventure of a... | Read more »
Haunt the House: Terrortown (Games)
Haunt the House: Terrortown 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: 66.6% OFF! SPECIAL SPOOKY HALLOWEEN LAUNCH PRICE! 66.6% OFF! ...What was that sound? Is somebody there? | Read more »
SAS: Zombie Assault 4 Review
SAS: Zombie Assault 4 Review By Jennifer Allen on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FLAWED SHOOTERUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Shoot everything that moves in this fun, if flawed, twin-stick shooter.   | Read more »
Naailde the Witch Review
Naailde the Witch Review By Amy Solomon on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: PITCH-PERFECT STORYTELLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Marvelous storytelling, narration, and moving illustrations make this storybook... | Read more »
1st & Goal Review
1st & Goal Review By Andrew Fisher on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FOR THE D&D LOVING QBUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad 1st & Goal is a board gamer’s football game, a football fan’s board game, and... | Read more »
French Developer Pated Unveils Seashine
French Developer Pated Unveils Seashine Posted by Ellis Spice on October 30th, 2014 [ permalink ] French one-man studio Pated has unveiled Seashine, “a poetic journey into the abyss.” Players take on the role of a jellyfish strugglin | Read more »
Agents of Storm: Tips, Tricks, and Strat...
Calling all agents: Would you like to see what we thought of this rather pretty base builder? Check out our Agents of Storm review! Have you downloaded Agents of Storm, been bowled over by the graphics, and aren’t quite sure what to do next? Never... | Read more »
Any.DO 2.0 Hopes to Help Manage Producti...
Any.DO 2.0 Hopes to Help Manage Productivity Posted by Ellis Spice on October 30th, 2014 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
Base Busters Review
Base Busters Review By Jennifer Allen on October 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FUN BUT RESTRICTED MIXUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Mixing up two forms of tower defense gaming and collectible cards, Base Busters is a fun... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple Regains Momentum As Windows Stutters An...
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to March 2014, shows Apple performing strongly in the first quarter of the year, with sales bouncing back in... Read more
Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Increase 25.2%...
New smartphone releases and an increased emphasis on emerging markets drove global smartphone shipments above 300 million units for the second consecutive quarter, according to preliminary data from... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 2014 15-inch M...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Apple drops prices on refurbished 2013 Retina...
The Apple Store has dropped prices on 2013 Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros, with Retina models now available starting at $999. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and... Read more
New 2.8GHz Mac mini on sale for $949, save $5...
Abt Electronics has the new 2.8GHz Mac mini in stock and on sale for $949.05 including free shipping. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any reseller... Read more
Sale! 3.7GHz Quad Core Mac Pro available for...
 B&H Photo has the 3.7GHz Quad Core Mac Pro on sale for $2649 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $350 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model from any... Read more
Mujjo Steps Up The Game With Refined Touchscr...
Netherlands based Mujjo have just launched their Refined Touchscreen Gloves, stepping up their game. The gloves feature a updated elegant design that takes these knitted gloves to the next level. A... Read more
Sale! Preorder the new 27-inch 5K iMac for $2...
 Abt Electronics has the new 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale and available for preorder for $2374.05 including free shipping. Their price is $125 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
Simplex Solutions Inc. Brings Secure Web Surf...
New York based Simplex Solutions Inc. has announced the release and immediate availability of Private Browser 1.0, its revolutionary new secure web browser developed for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch... Read more
Save up to $180 off MSRP with an Apple refurb...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more

Jobs Board

Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** Every day, business customers come to the Apple Store to discover what powerful, easy-to-use Apple products can do for them. As a Business Leader, Read more
Sr. Manager, *Apple* Deployment Programs fo...
**Job Summary** Apple is seeking candidates for a new position on the Education Content and Technology team. iPad and Mac is in the hands of millions of teachers and Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.