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
$103.30
Apple Inc.
+0.80
MSFT
$45.09
Microsoft Corpora
-0.34
GOOG
$577.33
Google Inc.
+5.73

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

TextSoap 7.4.0 - Flexible text editing u...
TextSoap is for people who work with text. TextSoap effortlessly cleans up text from endlessly different formats. Wash away unwanted characters, spaces, tabs. Fix paragraphs with hard returns at the... Read more
NetShade 6.0.2 - Browse privately using...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0 - Copy, backup, an...
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
pwSafe 3.1 - Secure password management...
pwSafe provides simple and secure password management across devices and computers. pwSafe uses iCloud to keep your password databases backed-up and synced between Macs and iOS devices. It is... Read more
StatsBar 1.8 - 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
Path Finder 6.5.5 - Powerful, award-winn...
Path Finder is a file browser that combines the familiar Finder interface with the powerful utilities and innovative features. Just a small selection of the Path Finder 6 feature set: Dual pane... Read more
QuarkXPress 10.2.1 - Desktop publishing...
With QuarkXPress, you can communicate in all the ways you need to -- and always look professional -- in print and digital media, all in a single tool. Features include: Easy to Use -- QuarkXPress is... Read more
Skype 6.19.0.450 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
VueScan 9.4.41 - 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
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Modern Combat 5 Gets a Major Multiplayer...
Modern Combat 5 Gets a Major Multiplayer Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD Review
Alien Creeps TD Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: EXPENSIVE DEFENSESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Alien Creeps TD would be a fun if unremarkable Tower Defense game, but its heavy focus on... | Read more »
The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review
The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: DARK YET ENTICINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s a little dark, in every sense of the word, but The Journey Down:... | Read more »
Function Space, a Social Network App for...
Function Space, a Social Network App for Science, Launches on iOS Posted by Ellis Spice on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Stupidfast – How Taylor Martinez Switche...
How do you make an Endless Running game more than just another Endless Running game? By adding real life prizes to it, of course! That’s the thinking behind StupidFast: a game designed for football enthusiasts, and the brainchild of former college... | Read more »
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: CASUAL RAIDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Combining simple combat with village building is a potent combination for... | Read more »
Treasure Tombs: Ra Deal Coming from Bulk...
Treasure Tombs: Ra Deal Coming from Bulkypix and Dark Tonic This Fall Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Dark Tonic and | Read more »
Pirate Bash Review
Pirate Bash Review By Nadia Oxford on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: BAD PIRATES, GOOD TIMESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Pirate Bash’s turn-based battles add an intriguing twist to a typical physics game.   | Read more »
Tiny Tower Vegas Review
Tiny Tower Vegas Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY DEVELOPMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Build a huge tower again but Vegas-style in Tiny Tower Vegas.   | Read more »
The Manhattan Project Review
The Manhattan Project Review By Andrew Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: ROCKET SCIENCEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Manhattan Project offers a great Euro-style gameplay experience, but it is totally... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished iPads available for up to $...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more
Are We Now In The Post-Post-PC Era?
A longtime and thoroughgoing laptop aficionado, I was more than a little dismayed by Steve Jobs’s declaration back in 2010 when he sprang the iPad on an unsuspecting world. that we’d entered a “post-... Read more
PC Outlook Improves, But 2014 Shipments Still...
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by -3.7 percent in 2014. To hat’s actually an improvement from the... Read more
IDC Lowers Tablet Sales Projections for 2014...
Following a second consecutive quarter of softer than expected demand, International Data Corporation (IDC) has lowered its worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 forecast for 2014 to 233.1 million units. The... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 21-inch 1.4GHz...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 21″ 1.4GHz iMacs for $929 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is $170 off the cost of new models,... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $300 on an iMac with Apple refurbi...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
The Rise of Phablets
Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, a businesses and technology consulting firm focused solely on the financial services industry, has released an infographic depicting the convergence of... Read more
Bad Driver Database App Allows Good Drivers t...
Bad Driver Database 1.4 by Facile Group is a new iOS and Android app that lets users instantly input and see how many times a careless, reckless or just plain stupid driver has been added to the... Read more
Eddy – Cloud Music Player for iPhone/iPad Fre...
Ukraine based CapableBits announces the release of Eddy, its tiny, but smart and powerful cloud music player for iPhone and iPad that allows users to stream or download music directly from cloud... 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...
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...
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...
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.