TweetFollow Us on Twitter

March 96 - MPW TIPS AND TRICKS: Using ToolServer From CodeWarrior

MPW TIPS AND TRICKS: Using ToolServer From CodeWarrior

Tim Maroney

Last issue's column discussed various ways of using ToolServer. I looked forward to deeper integration of MPW scripts into other development systems, in a stirring plea that must have brought tears to the eyes of many an overly sensitive reader. In this column, I'll show just how self-fulfilling a prophecy can be: I'll explain how to use a generic ToolServer plug-in compiler with the popular Metrowerks CodeWarrior development system.

BEYOND THE WORKSHEET

CodeWarrior already comes with ToolServer support in the form of an integrated Worksheet window, similar to the MPW Shell Worksheet. Simply choose Start ToolServer from the Tools menu and you can issue all kinds of shell commands. It's like a miniature MPW Shell inside CodeWarrior. What more could you ask for?

Ten bonus points for reading skills if you could tell that that wasn't really a rhetorical question. The Worksheet is useful but it falls short of full integration. True, you can execute a Make command from CodeWarrior's Worksheet, but it would be even better to integrate MPW tools and scripts into the default CodeWarrior build sequence.

Let's say you have a SOM build -- that is, you're using IBM's System Object Model as implemented on the Macintosh in the form of "SOMObjects for MacOS(TM)". Before too long, it's likely that the current preprocessing approach to SOM will be just a fading (though still traumatic) memory, and that CodeWarrior and MPW will have direct-to-SOM compilers. For now, though, building with SOM requires running MPW tools and scripts to generate include files which are then processed by the C or C++ compiler.

Error prevention is one of the basic principles of user friendliness. You can invoke the SOM compiler from a makefile and run it in the CodeWarrior worksheet before you build, but if you're like me, short-term memory loss from a misspent youth will cause you to forget to run the makefile from time to time, leading to bizarre errors and gratuitous hair-tearing behaviors. MPW makefiles provide another rich source of errors by requiring you to track your own include files.

It's more convenient to simply give the single menu command Make than to bring up the Worksheet, enter "BuildProgram MyBuildFile", wait for the build to finish, and then give the Make menu command. One could only wish that CodeWarrior had a built-in SOM compiler.

A BUILT-IN SOM COMPILER (AND MORE)

Thanks to CodeWarrior's new plug-in compiler architecture (available starting with CW7), you can add build rules that invoke ToolServer scripts automatically to compile ".idl" files, or any other type of file. I've created a generic ToolServer plug-in for CodeWarrior (found on this issue's CD) that allows you to set up different command lines for different filename extensions. It will automatically track include files as well, if you want it to. It should be powerful enough for most applications, but if you need something different, you can take the source code and hack it endlessly to your own nefarious purposes.

To install the plug-in compiler, put the compiler file ToolFrontEnd into the Compilers folder of the CodeWarrior Plugins folder of your CodeWarrior application folder, and the preferences file ToolFrontEnd Panel into the Preferences folder of CodeWarrior Plugins. To set it up, first decide which filename extensions you want to run through ToolServer; in this example, we'll be doing the ".idl" files used by SOM. Give the Preferences menu command in CodeWarrior, go to the Targets panel, and attach the ToolFrontEnd compiler to source files of the appropriate type and extension.

Finally, go to the new ToolFrontEnd panel in Preferences and enter the command line you want to execute for files of this extension. The ToolFrontEnd panel is shown in Figure 1. Like all software, this is a work in progress, so it may look slightly different by the time it reaches you.

Figure 1. The ToolFrontEnd preferences panel

The pop-up menu allows you to enter different commands for different filename extensions. Bind each extension to the ToolFrontEnd compiler from the Target panel.

The Script Include File will be executed before your command line. This lets you set up variables and aliases that may be useful for your scripts and tools. The same include file is used for all filename extensions. The include file can be anywhere in the project's access paths. Here I'm using an include file named "cwtsinclude," which sets up a few handy variables. You don't need to specify any include file if you don't want one.

Your source file can be preprocessed to find include files. I've provided a default preprocessor that deals with #include specifications. You can add other preprocessors -- see the documentation and sample code that come with the software. Each include file will be added to CodeWarrior's internal list of dependencies for the source file, so the source file will automatically be rebuilt when an include file changes. If you don't want to scan for include files, choose None from the pop-up menu.

All include files should be in the CodeWarrior project's access paths. The project's access paths will be combined into the IncludeFiles variable, prefixed with the Path Parameter shown in the panel. This variable is available to all scripts executed from the plug-in.

All commands will be executed in the ToolServer context, so they'll use any startup scripts you've installed. See the notes from last issue's column about minimizing dependencies, though; all your requirements should be fulfilled by files you explicitly execute or by the Script Include File specified in the panel. Otherwise you'll run into configuration synchronization problems when restoring archived builds or sharing sources with your team members.

When the plug-in compiler executes scripts, ToolServer's current directory will have been set to the folder containing the project file. The following variables will be set up:

  • {IncludeFiles} -- the parameterized include path list
  • {ProjectFolder} -- the full pathname of the folder containing the current project file
  • {SourceFile} -- the full pathname of the source file being compiled
  • {SourceFileStem} -- the root or stem of the
  • name of the source file (for instance, the stem of "MyPanels.idl" would be "MyPanels")
Generally speaking, you'll probably want to create a front-end script for the plug-in compiler, rather than enter a raw MPW command line in the panel. This allows you to specify any number of parameters, redirections, and so on in a script file without worrying about the text editing limits in the modal dialog. The command line you specify can be up to 255 characters long. The SOM compiler has a lot of options, so I've put all the ones I use into a script file named "cwsomc."

All diagnostic output will appear in the CodeWarrior error window. All standard output will be ignored. Internal errors in the plug-in will appear as alerts.

Due to a limitation in the current plug-in API, CodeWarrior doesn't know about dependencies involving compilers that put out source files. While the SOM compiler will emit, for instance, a ".xh" include file that will be included by a ".cp" file later in the build process, there is currently no way for CodeWarrior to know that the ".cp" file depends on the ".idl" file from which the ".xh" file was generated. This will be fixed in a future version of the API, and I'll add functionality to the ToolFrontEnd plug-in to support this feature when it becomes available. For now, since CodeWarrior compiles files in the order they appear in the project file, just put ".idl" files above ".cp" files.

UNDER THE HOOD

Source code is provided with ToolFrontEnd, so you can get a detailed peek at its insides and mutate it to your own needs. A quick overview may be useful here, though.

ToolFrontEnd sends commands to ToolServer in the form of Apple events, as described in last issue's column. It builds a command in memory that is a short multiline script with semicolons separating the commands. The last command of this script is the one you typed in the preferences panel. At the start of the script are commands that set the four variables described above. The diagnostic output is extracted from the 'diag' parameter of the reply Apple event returned from ToolServer, and the error code is extracted from the 'stat' parameter. All this is done using a slightly modified version of the sample code for communicating with SourceServer that I provided in this column in Issue 23; the Apple event conventions of SourceServer and ToolServer are much the same.

The plug-in was built by starting with the sample code provided with CodeWarrior. I didn't have to make any large-scale changes to the structure -- Metrowerks deserves kudos for the quality of their sample code and their clean API. There are two code modules to be built, one for the preferences panel and one for the compiler itself. Library routines are provided for common operations like registering a dependency and getting a stored preferences record. The sample compiler already contained an include file parser, which I broke out into a separate module to allow customization for different file types.

THE BEST OF TWO WORLDS

Though I've shown just one example, many different things can be done with the ToolFrontEnd plug-in. One of my friends is using a third-party version of the UNIX(TM) tool yacc (Yet Another Compiler-Compiler), which is delivered as an MPW tool. Thanks to this plug-in, he no longer has to switch between the MPW Shell and CodeWarrior constantly. You could also define your own macro language to preprocess your source files, or add your own original compilers. And of course, using ToolServer scripts from the compiler is fully compatible with using the CodeWarrior ToolServer Worksheet window for other tasks such as installing software. The Worksheet is also useful for testing and debugging scripts you'll use with ToolFrontEnd. I haven't provided a linker plug-in, but the API is similar and the compiler plug-in could easily be adapted to this purpose.

With ToolFrontEnd, the friendliness of CodeWarrior and the power of MPW celebrate a hieros gamos (or sacred union, if that's Greek to you). The fruit of this union is an all-in-one development environment from which you can execute your entire build process, no matter how complicated, without changing contexts or inviting errors. Those whose souls are devoid of romance may prefer to contemplate the consequences of increased productivity for their next performance review -- in either case, enjoy in good humor and good health!

TIM MARONEY depends on calcium for his structural integrity and potassium for the generation of axonic spikes in his nervous system. His recent reading includes Mysticism and Philosophy by W. T. Stace, Popper Selections edited by David Miller, Seth, God of Confusion by H. Te Velde, Abrahadabra by Rodney Orpheus, Hathor and Thoth by Dr. C. J. Bleeker, Making Monsters by Rochard Ofshe and Ethan Watters, and Soul Music by Terry Pratchett. A thoroughgoing nominalist, Tim doesn't believe in either tables or natural laws, but his contract work at Apple remains stubbornly limited by his desk and by the flow of time.*

Thanks to Rick Mann and Greg Robbins for reviewing this column.*

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Vivaldi 1.7.735.46 - An advanced browser...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
HandBrake 1.0.3 - Versatile video encode...
HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. Features Supported Sources VIDEO_TS folder, DVD image or real DVD (unencrypted... Read more
Slack 2.5.1 - Collaborative communicatio...
Slack is a collaborative communication app that simplifies real-time messaging, archiving, and search for modern working teams. Version 2.5.1: New The way we load teams you don't view often has been... Read more
BBEdit 11.6.4 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
BBEdit 11.6.4 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
beaTunes 4.6.12 - Organize your music co...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music Library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
Tinderbox 7.0.1 - Store and organize you...
Tinderbox is a personal content management assistant. It stores your notes, ideas, and plans. It can help you organize and understand them. And Tinderbox helps you share ideas through Web journals... Read more
FotoMagico 5.4 - Powerful slideshow crea...
FotoMagico lets you create professional slideshows from your photos and music with just a few, simple mouse clicks. It sports a very clean and intuitive yet powerful user interface. High image... Read more
Direct Mail 4.3.9 - Create and send grea...
Direct Mail is an easy-to-use, fully-featured email marketing app purpose-built for OS X. It lets you create and send great looking email campaigns. Start your newsletter by selecting from a gallery... Read more
Tinderbox 7.0.1 - Store and organize you...
Tinderbox is a personal content management assistant. It stores your notes, ideas, and plans. It can help you organize and understand them. And Tinderbox helps you share ideas through Web journals... Read more

The best sales on the App Store this wee...
The App Store has quite an exciting lineup of discount games this week that range across a variety of genres. It's a great opportunity to catch up on some of the premium games you may have been holding off on -- and some you can even grab for free... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week
Ah, here we are again at the close of another busy week. Don't rest too easy, though. We had a lot of great new releases in mobile games this week, and now you're going to have to spend all weekend playing them. That shouldn't be too much of a... | Read more »
Rollercoaster Tycoon Touch Guide: How to...
| Read more »
Rabbids Crazy Rush Guide: How to unlock...
The Rabbids are back in a new endless running adventure, Rabbids Crazy Rush. It's more ridiculous cartoon craziness as you help the little furballs gather enough fuel (soda) to get to the moon. Sure, it's a silly idea, but everyone has dreams --... | Read more »
Tavern Guardians (Games)
Tavern Guardians 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Tavern Guardians is a Hack-and-Slash action game played in the style of a match-three. You can experience high pace action... | Read more »
Slay your way to glory in idle RPG Endle...
It’s a golden age for idle games on the mobile market, and those addictive little clickers have a new best friend. South Korean developer Ekkorr released Endless Frontier last year, and players have been idling away the hours in the company of its... | Read more »
Tiny Striker: World Football Guide - How...
| Read more »
Good news everyone! Futurama: Worlds of...
Futurama is finding a new home on mobile in TinyCo and Fox Interactive's new game, Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow. They're really doing it up, bringing on board Futurama creator Matt Groening along with the original cast and writers. TinyCo wants... | Read more »
MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL (Games)
MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ENDLESS UPGRADES. CONSTANT DANGER. ANCIENT WISDOM. BOUNCY BALLS. Launch Sale, 40% OFF for a very limited time!!! MUL.... | Read more »
Dungeon Rushers (Games)
Dungeon Rushers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Dungeon Rushers is a 2D tactical RPG combining dungeon crawler’s gameplay and turn based fights. Manage your team, loot dusty... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $2...
Newegg has the 12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook (sku MLH82LL/A) on sale for $1349.99 including free shipping. Their price is $250 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model.... Read more
13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSR...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MMGF2LL/A): $899 $100 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/... Read more
9-inch 32GB Silver iPad Pro on sale for $549,...
B&H Photo has the 9.7″ 32GB Silver Apple iPad Pro on sale for $549 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off standard MSRP for this model... Read more
13-inch 2.0GHz Apple MacBook Pros on sale for...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (... Read more
15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for up...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks on sale for $1150, $1...
B&H has 12″ 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1149 $150 off MSRP - 12″ 1.1GHz... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 11-inch MacBook Ai...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models recently discontinued by Apple), available for up to $170 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each... Read more
Apple Park Opens to Employees in April With T...
Apple has announced that Apple Park, the company’s new 175-acre campus, will be ready for employees to begin occupying in April. The process of moving more than 12,000 people will take over six... Read more
Manhattan Neighbors for Safer Telecommunicati...
A new education and advocacy group focused on cell phone and wireless risks, Manhattan Neighbors for Safer Telecommunications, launched today at http://www.ManhattanNeighbors.org. Manhattan... Read more
Portable Dual DisplayPort Monitor Dock Enable...
IOGEAR has announced the launch of its USB-C Dual DisplayPort Monitor Portable Dock (GUC3CMST). The dock enables users to easily connect two DisplayPort monitors to a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 laptop to... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Wireless Lead - T-ROC - The Retail O...
…of knowledge in wireless sales and activations to the Beautiful and NEW APPLE Experiencestore within MACYS. THIS role, APPLE Wireless Lead, isbrandnewas MACYS Read more
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Chicago...
SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.