TweetFollow Us on Twitter

August 91 - Think Pascal 4

Think Pascal 4

Don Sawtelle

Having just expressed August's final proof back to Bill Anderson-lacking this page, of course-I have only to write this column, then it's on to October. Instead of writing an August issue overview, I'll describe a small useful workaround for failure handling with Think Pascal 4 (announced August 6th, and now shipping).

Just What you've been waiting for…

Think Pascal 4 runs under System 7 in both 24- and 32-bit modes, and works fine with virtual memory. It has all the headers required for writing System 7-savvy applications, and supports far code, making it possible to create applications that require up to 256k of jump table space. You can find out more about these and other new features by calling Symantec (617-275-4800)-or better yet, just order the upgrade. Oh, and project updates have been optimized; MacApp compiles noticeably faster.

…and Now 99% reliable

Think Pascal 4 is much more reliable when working with large MacApp applications than was Think Pascal 3. Think Pascal 3 had a serious flaw with respect to MacApp; if anything called Failure while running in the Think environment, and some of the routines on the stack at the time were compiled with the D option in the project window checked (so that you could source-debug them), Think Pascal was likely to crash. It would sometimes crash right away, and sometimes later, when you were no longer even thinking of your past failures. And projects could sometimes get corrupted, causing nasty problems that didn't go away until you removed the code from the project and rebuilt, or created a new project from scratch.

Because of all this, life was difficult when debugging anything with Think Pascal 3 that involved failure handling. The most useful technique for debugging failures-setting a stop sign at the beginning of the Failure procedure, so that you can see the context of the error before MacApp's failure handling cuts back the stack and displays the error dialog-caused Think Pascal 3 to crash when a failure occurred. I find it convenient to write code that uses failure handling even for recovery from soft (non-catastrophic) errors, so this was a real problem for me.

With the new release, Think Pascal 4 provides a couple of replacements for the MacApp failure library that you can use when debugging in the Think environment-one for use with the MacApp debugger, one for without. These libraries call a special trap that causes the Think Pascal debugging environment to do the cleanup it needs to for each routine that was on the stack at the time of a failure.

In my experience, with these special failure libraries, Think Pascal 4 is now almost 100% reliable. Most mysterious crashes of the Think environment eventually turn out to be my own runaway code trashing something that's none of its business. (Oh, for a protected memory space!) There are only two limitations: (1) you have to compile your entire application, including MacApp, with the Think debugging option on, because the special failure library isn't smart about not calling the Think cleanup code if a routine on the stack wasn't compiled with the Think debugging option; and (2) for some reason, which I hope Symantec technical support can eventually explain, a failure during application initialization(IMyApplication) still crashes Think Pascal, if you're using the special failure libraries.

The first limitation isn't serious unless your code runs too slowly when the entire application is compiled with Think debugging on. And it's safe to compile units that won't fail, and that don't call any routines which could fail, without Think debugging.

The second limitation seems to be the last remaining bit of Think Pascal's former unreliability that developers have lived with for so long. If your application does nothing complex during initialization, and your code doesn't have any bugs, you may not encounter the problem. I have an application that looks for devices during IMyApplication, and that uses failure handling as a way to gracefully handle their absence; if you do something like this, you'll be sure to repeatedly encounter the hard crash.

I've come up with a simple workaround. It's kind of odd, but it seems to circumvent the problem, and not cause any new ones, either.

How to keep the special failure library from crashing Think Pascal 4

First, make sure you have a correct TMyApplication.Initialize method that puts your application object in a state where it can be safely freed if something goes wrong. Actually, nothing will go wrong-famous last words-but just in case. Then, in your MMyApplication.p unit, call IApplication instead of IMyApplication. Also, change IMyApplication so that it doesn't call IApplication. Add a boolean to TMyApplication called fPostInitialize, set it to false in TMyApplication.Initialize, and override MacApp's PollEvent as shown in the PollEvent listing. With these changes, the significant initialization code for your application-the code that might fail-won't execute until MacApp's event handling loop runs for the first time. Thus you'll avoid the possibility of failure at a time when it could crash Think Pascal.

Do be sure to contain these changes within {$IFC} directives, so that it's easy to build your standalone application without them. This workaround is a hack that's just intended for using during debugging; you don't want it in your final code! n

 
AAPL
$99.72
Apple Inc.
-1.03
MSFT
$46.26
Microsoft Corpora
-0.10
GOOG
$570.06
Google Inc.
-7.30

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Cocktail 8.0 Beta 2 - General maintenanc...
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
QuickBooks 2015 16.0.0.1352 R1 - Financi...
QuickBooks 2015 helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save.... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0.1 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
Apple OS X bash Update 1.0 - Fix for sec...
The OS X bash Update fixes a security flaw in the bash UNIX shell on OS X 10.9.5 (also on OS X 10.8 and 10.7 [see Related Links below]). OS X 10.9.5 or later Downloads for OS X 10.8 and OS X 10.7 in... Read more
SyncTwoFolders 2.0.5 - Syncs two user-sp...
SyncTwoFolders simply synchronizes two folders. It supports synchronization across mounted network drives and it is a possibility to run a simulation showing in a log what will be done. Please visit... Read more
FinderPop 2.5.7 - Classic Mac utility, n...
FinderPop is a Universal preference pane that extends OS X's contextual menus using a FinderPop Items folder much as the Apple Menu Items folder used to do for the Apple menu. It has other features... Read more
VueScan 9.4.45 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.2.2 - 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
calibre 2.4 - Complete e-library managem...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more
Default Folder X 4.6.9b1 - 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

HeroCraft Introduces Unlimited Sequel to...
HeroCraft Introduces Unlimited Sequel to WW2: Sandbox. Strategy & Tactics Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 1st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
RGB Express Review
RGB Express Review By Jennifer Allen on October 1st, 2014 Our Rating: :: DELIGHTFUL PUZZLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Guide trucks along their delivery routes in RGB Express, a testing but charming puzzle game... | Read more »
The Sagas of Fire*Wolf (Games)
The Sagas of Fire*Wolf 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
BuggyFun Review
BuggyFun Review By Amy Solomon on October 1st, 2014 Our Rating: iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad BuggyFun allows children to create their own tracks for bugs to interact with for a unique open-ended experience.   | Read more »
Fold the Adventure Review
Fold the Adventure Review By Jennifer Allen on October 1st, 2014 Our Rating: :: AWKWARD FOLDSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fold pieces of paper to create platforms for a princely rabbit in this puzzle game; something... | Read more »
WW2: Sandbox. Strategy & Tactics (G...
WW2: Sandbox. Strategy & Tactics 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Sandbox is the unlimited sequel to our Strategy & Tactics: World War II. We've abandoned... | Read more »
apeFilter (Music)
apeFilter 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Shred It! Review
Shred It! Review By Jennifer Allen on September 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: GORGEOUS BUT BASICUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It might look lovely, but Shred It! is a pretty shallow endless runner/snowboarding game.   | Read more »
Check Out the New Teaser Trailer forGAME...
Check Out the New Teaser Trailer forGAMEVIL’s Darkness Reborn Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 30th, 2014 [ permalink ] Darkness Reborn, by GAMEVIL< | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Angry Birds: Transf...
Anyone afraid that throwing Transformers into the Angry Birds mix would result in a Michael Bay-level of childhood pillaging can rest easy. While Rovio’s famous fowls may be a 21st century staple, Angry Birds: Transformers wears its affection for... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Roundup of Apple Mac and iPad Education disco...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
Apple Boycotts German Magazine Computer Bild...
Apple has revoked its PR accreditation of Germany’s Computer Bild, Europe’s best-selling PC magazine, in reaction to Bild’s posting of a “#Bentgate” YouTube video. Axel Telzerow, editor in chief of... Read more
iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus Available in Chi...
Apple has announced that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in China beginning Friday, October 17 from the Apple Online Store (http://www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores, and an expansive... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP, start...
Best Buy has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Prices valid for online orders only, in-... Read more
Apple Releases OS X Mavericks bash Update 1.0...
Apple has released a patch update for OS X Mavericks users to address the recently-detected “Shellshock” security bug in BSD UNIX’s bash shell. Apple says only a few Mac users who had manually... Read more
Pivotal Payments Ready for Apple Pay – FlexPo...
Pivotal Payments, a provider of merchant services and global payment processing solutions, has announced its proprietary FlexPoint platform will support credit and debit transactions through Apple’s... Read more
iStabilizer Announces Tabarm — First Friction...
iStabilizer, a specialist in universal lightweight compact tripods, steady cams, dollies, mounts, and remotes for smartphones, tablets, and cameras, announced today the iStabilizer tabArm, the first... Read more
IStabilizer Flex Smartphone Tripod Wins Usa T...
iStabilizer, a specialist in universal lightweight compact tripods, steady cams, and other products for smartphones, tablets, and cameras, has announced today that its iStabilizer Flex smartphone... Read more
13-inch 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop and LoJack for... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.