TweetFollow Us on Twitter

May 93 - WAMADA Notes

WAMADA Notes

John MacVeigh

The February WAMADA meeting was held a week late to avoid conflicting with MADACON. As a result, members who traveled to San Diego had a chance to report on the latest news from the conference. It will suffice to say that no one leapt for the phone to change their current development plans. The expected release of another MacApp update was the piece of news most immediately useful to our members. Component Software seems to be off to a good start with their plan to involve third parties in the enhancement of Component Workshop™. This could become a key weapon in their upcoming battle for market share with Symantec's Think C++. Bedrock is still on the horizon, and the viability of a single framework which provides a "native" look and feel on more than one platform remains barely tested. At the 50,000 foot level (a common Apple metaphor for "the big picture") the concept of writing frameworks to encapsulate your application's knowledge is the latest programming paradigm. Dave Wilson was the most public advocate of this idea, Taligent the most subtle.

Threads and Asynchronicity

The second part of the February meeting focused on ways of providing multiple execution paths in MacApp applications. Yvon Perreault of Cactus Inc. (a large-format color printing company) presented some sample code for the use of Apple's Threads package to provide asynchronous polling of PPC I/O completion calls. One "gotcha" with using threads is that segments can not be unloaded while a thread is executing, and since the main program is also a thread, MacApp's auto-unload feature had to be disabled.

Phil Flack of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace showed his code which provides event handling while the mouse is held down in controls. This was used to allow the monitoring of real-time devices which can transmit data to the Mac at any time. Phil overrode Button, CheckBox and Radio controls to set the control's action proc to a function which calls PollEvent during tracking. The key "trick" to making this work is to call Focus after PollEvent has returned. If the routine which is calling PollEvent is performing drawing, you need to also save off and restore the visRgn, clipRgn, and state of the fUpdating flag during the call.

Phil and coworker Mark Gerl also showed some code for a TEventHandler class called TTimedHandler which serves as an intermediary for TBehaviors on the application's idle chain. Since TBehaviors are not descended from TEventHandler, they can not directly be part of the idle chain. By using a TTimedHandler, a TBehavior can indirectly add itself to the idle chain. The TTimedHandler just passes the DoIdle call through to the TBehavior. Lastly, they described how the use of a state machine within idle methods can be used to break up processing of lengthy tasks without destroying the responsiveness of the user interface.

Affiliate Matters

The March WAMADA meeting fell four days after the infamous blizzard of '93, and squarely on Saint Patrick's Day. As a result, attendance also fell. Still, almost a dozen attendees gathered and, to start the meeting, tackled the subject of becoming an official MADA affiliate. The chief concern was that an admittance charge for non-members would drive people away, rather than encourage them to pay for membership. This lead to a discussion on how to structure MADA's fees and benefits. One proposed benefit of becoming an official affiliate is that we would receive a small share of the profits from MADA products sold at meetings. Since this is an inconvenient way to purchase software, it was suggested that a member's affiliation be recorded when they sign up, and that the affiliate get a cut from any MADA purchase which they made. Electronic access to bulletin boards is a common and often essential part of our jobs, so it was suggested that MADA establish a board on one or more of the commercial systems and limit access to members only. (Using existing systems removes the costs of billing and some administration from MADA, and provides the most widespread service). Also suggested was a more staggered fee structure, where a higher fee gains you increasing access to MADA's benefits, namely: printed information, books and software, on-line services, meetings and conferences. The question of where affiliate meetings fell in this list of services was left unanswered. Since the board member writing the affiliates rules (Leslie Jeffries) is also in charge of WAMADA, we agreed that becoming an affiliate was a good thing to do, but we wanted to see a more complete design of the implementation before making a formal declaration (typical OO programmers, huh?).

Mitem View

Our March speaker was Dan Corenzwit of Mitem Corporation. Mitem makes MitemView™, a communications product which people often associate exclusively with HyperCard. While HyperCard is the original interface for MitemView, it is no longer the only one. Now in its fourth generation, MitemView can make use of HyperCard, 4D, and C++. Note that I said "make use of" rather than "be used by". This is because Mitem considers MitemView (MV) to be a framework rather than a library. Dan credits Dave Wilson's session at MADACON for putting the difference in perspective. A library provides services which your application must determine how and when to call. A framework provides functionality that calls your application's additions at the appropriate time.

In the case of MV the functionality provided is the ability to recognize the arrival of messages and associated data from remote machines (usually mainframes) and then call your code to handle the message and its data. Its primary market is people who need to use "legacy" applications (all those mainframe COBOL applications which communicate with hardwired terminals) on their micros. Dan explained that MV views the remote system as a non-sequential, non-deterministic state machine and attempts to linearize the complexity of moving between states. MV works asynchronously (hmmm, I see a trend here!). It accepts input from a variety of communication services (SNA, TCP/IP, etc.) examines the "presentation" of the data (sort of a generalized terminal emulation) and matches incoming patterns with pre-built messages which it then sends to you. MV is able to update itself on the fly, from information provided by the sender, if a new configuration is needed to handle changes in the presentation.

To support MacApp, Mitem provides several C++ classes, along with code which is installed in your application as resources. The MV communication objects are not part of the target chain. This allows interactions with the remote machine to work in parallel with user interface activity. When MV recognizes a pattern it sends your code a message in the form of a message name. This name is turned into a method call by way of a registration table which your application builds. The result is that your application becomes a sort of way station between two users: the person running it, and the remote machine sending in data.

In combination with the previous month's discussion of handling asynchronous I/O, I found the asynchronous nature of MitemView its most interesting feature. Dan showed that responding to messages from MV in the proper order can improve response time, by taking the remote machine's processing time into account. As operating systems (including the Mac's) move towards providing multi-threading and multi-processing services, those of us who long ago became comfortable with event-based programming will have to take the next step to working with these new services. Thinking back to MADACON, I don't recall many vendors touting multi-threading as a factor in the design of their frameworks (SmalltalkAgents is the only exception that comes to mind). Let's hope this changes as fast as the new OSs change.

If you're in the D.C. area, and interested in object oriented programming, give WAMADA a visit. We meet every third Wednesday at McDonnell Douglas in Tyson's Corner, Virginia, beginning around 7:15 p.m. For a map, send a message to JEFFRIES.L on AppleLink, or call Leslie at (301) 340-5126 during business hours (EST).

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Yasu 3.0.3 - System maintenance app; per...
Yasu was created with System Administrators who service large groups of workstations in mind, Yasu (Yet Another System Utility) was made to do a specific group of maintenance tasks quickly within a... Read more
MYStuff Pro 2.0.26 - $39.99
MYStuff Pro is the most flexible way to create detail-rich inventories for your home or small business. Add items to MYStuff by dragging and dropping existing information, uploading new images, or... Read more
MarsEdit 3.7.8 - Quick and convenient bl...
MarsEdit is a blog editor for OS X that makes editing your blog like writing email, with spell-checking, drafts, multiple windows, and even AppleScript support. It works with with most blog services... Read more
Apple iBooks Author 2.5 - Create and pub...
Apple iBooks Author helps you create and publish amazing Multi-Touch books for iPad. Now anyone can create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, and more for iPad. All... Read more
TunnelBear 3.0.1 - Subscription-based pr...
TunnelBear is a subscription-based virtual private network (VPN) service and companion app, enabling you to browse the internet privately and securely. Features Browse privately - Secure your data... Read more
ExpanDrive 5.4.0 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
Opera 40.0.2308.62 - High-performance We...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Apple iOS 10.0.2 - The latest version of...
iOS 10 is the biggest release of iOS ever. A massive update to Messages brings the power of the App Store to your conversations and makes messaging more personal than ever. Find your route with... Read more
Herald 7.0 - Notification plugin for Mai...
Note: Versions 2.1.3 (for OS X 10.7), 3.0.6 (for OS X 10.8), 4.0.8 (for OS X 10.9), 5.0.2 (for OS X 10.10), and 6.0.3 (for OS X 10.11) are no longer supported by the developer. Herald is a... Read more
Postbox 5.0.2 - Powerful and flexible em...
Postbox is a new email application that helps you organize your work life and get stuff done. It has all the elegance and simplicity of Apple Mail, but with more power and flexibility to manage even... Read more

How to build and care for your team in D...
Before you hit the trail and become a dog sledding legend, there’s actually a fair bit of prep work to be done. In Dog Sled Saga, you’re not only racing, you’re also building and caring for a team of furry friends. There’s a lot to consider—... | Read more »
How to win every race in Dog Sled Saga
If I had to guess, I’d say Dog Sled Saga is the most adorable racing game on the App Store right now. It’s a dog sled racing sim full of adorable, loyal puppies. Just look at those fluffy little tails wagging. Behind that cute, pixelated facade is... | Read more »
Let the war games commence in Gunship Ba...
Buzz Lightyear famously said, “This isn’t flying, this is falling – with style!” In the case of Gunship Battle: Second War, though, this really is flying - with style! The flight simulator app from Joycity puts you in control of 20 faithfully... | Read more »
How to get a high score in Fired Up
Fired Up is Noodlecake Games’ high score chasing, firefighting adventure. You take control of a wayward firefighter who propels himself up the side of a highrise with blasts of water. Sound silly? It is. It’s also pretty difficult. You can’t... | Read more »
NBA 2K17 (Games)
NBA 2K17 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Following the record-breaking launch of NBA 2K16, the NBA 2K franchise continues to stake its claim as the most authentic sports video... | Read more »
Dog Sled Saga (Games)
Dog Sled Saga 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: A game by Dan + Lisa As a rookie musher, foster a dogsledding team whose skills will grow if they're treated right. Week by... | Read more »
60 Seconds! Atomic Adventure (Games)
60 Seconds! Atomic Adventure 1.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.2 (iTunes) Description: 60 Seconds! is a dark comedy atomic adventure of scavenge and survival. Collect supplies and rescue your family... | Read more »
Tons of Bullets! (Games)
Tons of Bullets! 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Tons of BulletsA retro 2D pixel platformer infused with tons of bullets and tons of features!Fight as Kenji the Ninja and... | Read more »
Sorcery! 4 (Games)
Sorcery! 4 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** PLEASE NOTE: Sorcery! 4 requires a minimum of iPad 3 or iPhone 4 *** An epic adventure through a cursed citadel of monsters,... | Read more »
Building the perfect Animation Throwdown...
Animation Throwdown is a casual card game full of plenty of inside jokes from some of your favorite cartoons. It’s accessible as far as card games go, but that’s not to say that it hands your victories to you easily. There’s quite a bit that goes... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Duplicate Sweeper Free On Mac App Store For O...
To celebrate the launch of Apple’s latest macOS Sierra, Stafford, United Kingdom based Wide Angle Software has announced that its duplicate file finder software, Duplicate Sweeper, is now available... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina Apple MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1174.99 $125 off MSRP - 13... Read more
Evidence Surfaces Pointing To New A10X Chip F...
Citing a job description for a Project Lead position at Apple’s Austin, Texas engineering labs, Motley Fool’s Ashraf Eassa deduces that development is progressing well on Apple’s next-generation in-... Read more
Check Print’R for macOS Allows Anyone to Easi...
Delaware-based Match Software has announced the release and immediate availability of Check Print’R 3.21, an important update to their easy-to-use check printing application for macOS. Check Print’R... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Apple refurbished 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2... Read more
Major Version 5 Release Of Free myTuner Radio...
AppGeneration Software has announced the release of myTuner Radio 5.0.1, an important update to their live radio app for iOS and Android platforms. With myTuner Radio, you can listen to more than 30,... Read more
TheAppStore Searches And Filters iOS And macO...
Boston based InchWest has announced the official launch of TheAppStore, a free web based service that lets users search iOS and Mac apps on the web without iTunes or the App store. TheAppStore... Read more
2TB Time Capsule on sale for $199, save $100
Amazon has 2TB Apple Time Capsules on sale for $199 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Choose Amazon as the seller when making your purchase, rather than a third party seller. Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Rose Gold Retina MacBook on sa...
Amazon.com has the 2016 12″ 1.2GHz Rose Gold Retina MacBook on sale for $1254.02 including free shipping. Their price is $345 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any... Read more

Jobs Board

*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
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
US- *Apple* Store Leader Program - Apple (Un...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on Read more
Senior *Apple* Administrator - Pratt Instit...
POSITION SUMMARY: Directs the coordination and standardization of campus-wide Apple systems, including planning, analysis and implementation of Apple -related Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.