TweetFollow Us on Twitter

May 93 - Testing Custom Resources for Errors

Testing Custom Resources for Errors

Steve Lavagnino & Laurie Seaton

The use of custom resources provides unique ways of handling information on the Macintosh. It also poses some interesting problems. One such problem is how to automate testing of custom resources for spelling errors, validity, and adherence to user interface guidelines.

Our product, SoftPolish, was originally developed to automate the testing of standard user interface resources. We included hundreds of tests on almost all the standard resources. However, we knew the importance of anticipating demands from our user community; especially from our target market, detail-oriented software professionals. They would discover both new resources to test and new tests to make on existing resources. To keep these users happy, we needed to enable SoftPolish to check any custom resource. Simultaneously we wanted to provide an easy way to update our product to test new resource types and to enhance existing tests. The following describes how we achieved those goals.

Customizing SoftPolish™ to Handle Custom Resource Types

SoftPolish Code Modules

SoftPolish can be customized through the use of external code modules, which supplement or replace built-in resource tests. As SoftPolish scans a target file, target resources are loaded into memory and examined. SoftPolish checks its own resource fork to see if an external code module exists for the target resource type.

If a match occurs, a parameter block is constructed and passed to the external code module. The parameter block includes the address in memory of the target resource, the resource tests which were specified in the user's Scan dialog (See Figure 1. SoftPolish Scan Dialog), and fields that allow an external code module to request services from SoftPolish such as spell-checking or error-reporting.

What to Test

The general programming style for code modules is to have them first check the parameter block to see which tests are currently requested. Not all tests may be chosen, or selected tests may not be relevant to the resource the module is checking. In Listing 1, the routine STR checks to see if the user has chosen UserInterface, Spelling, or listStrings options. After determining that one of these options has been chosen, STR extracts the string from the resource. (For a custom resource it may well be a more complicated routine that extracts strings or other information from within the resource.)

Communicating with SoftPolish

After the string is extracted in Listing 1, a series of assignments sets fields in the parameter block. The first assignment sets the pleasedo field to msgDoString. The pleasedo field is defined by using a set of predefined constants or parameters located in the header files of the example source code. These predefined constants all start with 'msg' and each constant correlates to an action in SoftPolish. Before a callback is made, the code module must set the pleasedo field to an 'msg' constant which specifies the desired action. Pleasedo is an important field in the parameter block because it tells SoftPolish what to do when a callback is made. Actions that SoftPolish can make via callbacks are: testing to determine if a referenced resource is of the proper size, testing to see if a string can be displayed within a specified rectangle, spell-checking strings, replacing strings, writing the changed strings to the resource, displaying the progress of checks to SoftPolish, and reporting error messages to the SoftPolish log file. In Listing 1, the predefined constant msgDoString tells SoftPolish it is receiving a string to test.

Depending on what the desired action is, additional data about the resource is usually required before the callback can be made. For instance, msgDoString in Listing 1 requires several other assignments: a pointer to the text you want checked is put in the field textPtr, the length of the text is put into textLen, and then options (such as checks for capitalization and quote checking) are set with booleans in fields arg.aDoString.bePicky and arg.aDoString.initialCaps. The last assignment to arg.aDoString.spellit utilizes one of the user options already in the parameter block to establish whether a callback string should be checked.

Now that all the parameter block fields are set, the code module makes a callback to the SoftPolish application by calling the procedure DoCallBack. DoCallBack takes the callbackaddress field in the parameter block as its argument. Even if a module is doing its own testing of resources, it uses callbacks to report errors to the standard SoftPolish log file.

Naming the Code Module

Once the routine for handling the resource is written, you need to give the code resource a name and type. Each code module must have a resource of type 'SPCM' (SoftPolish Code Module) or 'SPSM' (Softpolish Supplemental Module). The resource name of the code module indicates what type of resource the code module accepts. For example, an 'SPCM' resource named 'STR ' is, to SoftPolish, a code module that handles 'STR ' resources. If you add an 'SPCM' module for a type SoftPolish already tests, your code module will replace the internal SoftPolish handling of that resource type. Alternatively if you add an 'SPSM' code module, your code module supplements the checking done by SoftPolish or an 'SPCM' module for that resource type.

Where to get more information

For more details on other callback routines, check the FrameWorks source code disk or download our technical note on code modules from Applelink or America Online. The note contains examples of code modules in C, Pascal, and FORTRAN. It also provides header files with definitions of ModuleParms, 'msg' constants, and other records that need to be included in your code module.

Listing 1

STR(ModuleParms *MP) { 
Ptr         sptr; 
Str255      str;
/* Determine what to test */
if (MP->Req->doUserInterface || MP->Req->doSpelling 
        || MP->Req->listStrings) {    
    /* Extract the string out of the resource. */
    sptr = *(MP->thdl); 
    memcpy(str,sptr,256);               
    /* Set up the callback for SoftPolish to check the string */
    MP->pleasedo = msgDoString;
    MP->textPtr = &str+1;
    MP->textLen = str[0];
    MP->resItem = -4;
    MP->arg.aDoString.bePicky = true;  
    MP->arg.aDoString.initialCaps = false;       
    MP->arg.aDoString.spellit = MP->Req->doStrings;
    DoCallback(MP->callbackaddress);         
    /* Make changes to the string if necessary */
    if (MP->correctString[0]>0) {     
        SetHandleSize(MP->thdl,MP->correctString[0]+1);
        sptr = *(MP->thdl);      
        memcpy(sptr,MP->correctString,MP->correctString[0]+1);
        MP->pleasedo = msgWriteChangedResource;
        DoCallback(MP->callbackaddress);         
        } 
    }
/* If requested, check the size of the resource */ 
if (MP->Req->doValidity && MP->Req->doSizeCheck) {
    sptr = *(MP->thdl);  
    memcpy(str,sptr,256);               
    MP->pleasedo = msgCheckResourceSize;
    MP->arg.aCheckResourceSize.correctSize = str[0]+1;
    DoCallback(MP->callbackaddress);     
    } 
}
 
AAPL
$116.47
Apple Inc.
+0.16
MSFT
$47.98
Microsoft Corpora
-0.72
GOOG
$537.50
Google Inc.
+2.67

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Cobook 3.0.7 - Intelligent address book....
Cobook Contacts is an intuitive, engaging address book. Solve the problem of contact management with Cobook Contacts and its simple interface and powerful syncing and integration possibilities.... Read more
StatsBar 1.9 - Monitor system processes...
StatsBar gives you a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the following areas of your Mac: CPU usage Memory usage Disk usage Network and bandwidth usage Battery power and health (MacBooks only)... Read more
Cyberduck 4.6 - FTP and SFTP browser. (F...
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
Evernote 6.0.1 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
calibre 2.11 - Complete e-library manage...
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
Herald 5.0.1 - Notification plugin for M...
Note: Versions 2.1.3 (for OS X 10.7), 3.0.6 (for OS X 10.8), and 4.0.8 (for OS X 10.9) are no longer supported by the developer. Herald is a notification plugin for Mail.app, Apple's Mac OS X email... Read more
Firetask 3.7 - Innovative task managemen...
Firetask uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask's "Today" view shows all relevant... Read more
TechTool Pro 7.0.6 - Hard drive and syst...
TechTool Pro is now 7, and this is the most advanced version of the acclaimed Macintosh troubleshooting utility created in its 20-year history. Micromat has redeveloped TechTool Pro 7 to be fully 64... Read more
PhotoDesk 3.0.1 - Instagram client for p...
PhotoDesk lets you view, like, comment, and download Instagram pictures/videos! (NO Uploads! / Image Posting! Instagram forbids that! AND you *need* an *existing* Instagram account). But you can do... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to E...
Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to Earn In-Game Stuff for Far Cry 4 Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Golfinity – Tips, Tricks, Strategies, an...
Dig this: Would you like to know what we thought of being an infinite golfer? Check out our Golfinity review! Golfinity offers unlimited ways to test your skills at golf. Here are a few ways to make sure your score doesn’t get too high and your... | Read more »
Dark Hearts, The Sequel to Haunting Meli...
Dark Hearts, The Sequel to Haunting Melissa, is Available Now Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Meowza! Toyze Brings Talking Tom to Life...
Meowza! | Read more »
Square Enix Announces New Tactical RPG f...
Square Enix Announces New Tactical RPG for Mobile, Heavenstrike Rivals. Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] With their epic stories and gorgeous graphics, | Read more »
Quest for Revenge (Games)
Quest for Revenge 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The great Kingdom of the west has fallen. The gods ignore the prayers of the desperate. A dark warlord has extinguished... | Read more »
Threadz is a New Writing Adventure for Y...
Threadz is a New Writing Adventure for You and Your Friends Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] In the tradition of round-robin storytelling, | Read more »
SteelSeries Stratus XL Hardware Review
Made by: SteelSeries Price: $59.99 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 4.31 out of 5 stars | Read more »
ACDSee (Photography)
ACDSee 1.0.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Capture, perfect, and share your photos with ACDSee. The ACDSee iPhone app combines an innovative camera, a powerful photo... | Read more »
ProTube for YouTube (Entertainment)
ProTube for YouTube 2.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 2.0.2 (iTunes) Description: ProTube is the ultimate, fully featured YouTube app. With it's highly polished design, ProTube offers ad-free... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $400 with Apple refurbished 2014 1...
The Apple Store has restocked 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 shipping... Read more
New 13-inch 1.4GHz MacBook Air on sale for $8...
 Adorama has the 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. B&H Photo has the 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook... Read more
Apple Expected to Reverse Nine-Month Tablet S...
Apple and Samsung combined accounted for 62 percent of the nearly 36 million branded tablets shipped in 3Q 2014, according to early vendor shipment share estimates from market intelligence firm ABI... Read more
Stratos: 30 Percent of US Smartphone Owners t...
Stratos, Inc., creator of the Bluetooth Connected Card Platform, has announced results from its 2014 Holiday Mobile Payments Survey. The consumer survey found that nearly one out of three (30 percent... Read more
2014 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $...
 B&H Photo has lowered their price on the new 1.4GHz Mac mini to $449.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this new... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
64GB iPod touch on sale for $249, save $50
Best Buy has the 64GB iPod touch on sale for $249 on their online store for a limited time. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for... Read more
15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $17...
 B&H Photo has the 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1799.99 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. B&H will also include free copies of... Read more
New Logitech AnyAngle Case/Stand Brings Flexi...
Logitec has announced the newest addition to its suite of tablet products — the Logitech AnyAngle. A protective case with an any-angle stand for iPad Air 2 and all iPad mini models, AnyAngle is the... Read more
Notebook PC Shipments Rise Year-Over-Year as...
According to preliminary results from the upcoming DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report, the global notebook PC market grew 10 percent year-over-year in Q3’14 to 49.4... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**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, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Store Leader Program - College Gradu...
Job Description: Job Summary As an Apple Store Leader Program agent, you can continue your education as you major in the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll Read more
*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
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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.