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Volume Number:3
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:Basic School

Windows with ResEdit

By Dave Kelly, MacTutor Editorial Board

Windows are a fundamental of the Macintosh user interface. Back in March of 1985, Vol. 1 No. 4 of MacTutor (for those of you who were around back then) or starting on page 307 in The Best of MacTutor, Vol 1, I cover the basics of creating windows with MS Basic. I refer you back to this reference for details. (You can get Best of MacTutor, Vol 1, through MacTutor for $24.95). Sorry to say, the new version of MS Basic and the MS Basic Compiler has only a small improvement to windows. MS Basic now allows six windows open at once instead of four. ZBasic has added window capabilities such as additional window types available including the ability to specify Zoom windows, go-away box, grow box, and rounded cornered windows. We can only hope that the next version of MS Basic will be more comprehensive. Notwithstanding this there are a few things that can be mentioned relating to windows.

If you recall, a few months back, during our Basic Wars review, PCMacBasic was the only Basic to allow you to use resources to program your application windows. This is still true, however I have come across a method which allows MS Basic to use window resources as a guide for the window that will be used in Basic. This method is very simple and only requires three calls from the ToolLib library. It does not extend the window creation capabilities, however. Languages which fully support the toolbox will usually allow you to create a window using the WIND (window resource) ID number.

Now you can create your own window resources using ResEdit and Basic will read the resource and create a window looking like the one described by the resource. Well, usually. There are still those types of windows that Basic doesn't support such as the ones with rounded corners of different curvatures. ZBasic does support these other types and a similar method could be used to read the WIND resources from ZBasic.

For now I'll explain what to do to implement this method. You might also get some ideas of other resources you could read and apply the same idea to.

First off, in case you don't know how ResEdit can be used to create your own windows I will briefly explain by walking you though an example. Open up ResEdit and choose 'NEW' from the File menu. I chose to use a separate resource file (named 'Window.rsc') for this example just to be safe. You could use any file to store your resource in just like the library CODE resources. Next (with the new file open) open up a new resource by selecting 'NEW' from the File menu. Create a resource of type 'WIND' by selecting or typing the proper type when asked.

At this point ResEdit gives you a default window which can be sized and placed where ever you want it. The move the window drag it near the title bar just like you would move a window when using the Finder. To resize the window you drag the lower right corner of the window to the size you want.

Now select Get Info from the File menu to adjust the window ID# if necessary. Usually you are safe to just use the number that ResEdit assigns the WIND resource. In this example I used 3041 through 3044 for the four windows that I created. You will have to create your own resources to use the example program. Be sure to use the same ID numbers in the program that you use as your resource ID.

There are two ways to view WIND resources with ResEdit. The first is graphically which is the mode you get when you first open a WIND resource. The second way is to display the WIND resource parameters as text. If you want different window types you can select Display text to show the actual window resource parameters.

The ProcID is the parameter which indicates the window type. The ProcID numbers are shown in Inside Macintosh as:

CONST documentProc = 0;
 dBoxProc = 1;
 plainDBox = 2;
 altDBoxProc = 3;
 noGrowDocProc = 4;
 rDocProc = 16;

Since not all of these are supported by MS Basic the example program will ignore those that it doesn't understand and use the default document window. You could probably try this same method using ZBasic and be able to implement all of the features. Another way to view the resource would be to open it up as General instead of using OPEN in the File menu. Using this we can see how the WIND is organized.

From this HEX representation of the WIND resource and Inside Macintosh (pg. I-302) we see:

$00 2E, the first two bytes represent the top of the window where HEX $00 2E = 46 decimal.

$00 0A, the 3rd and 4th bytes represent the left of the window where HEX $00 0A = 10 decimal.

$00 AC, the 5th and 6th bytes represent the bottom of the window where HEX $00 AC = 170 decimal.

$01 4E, the 7th and 8th bytes represent the right side of the window where HEX $01 4E = 202 decimal.

$00 00, the 9th and 10th bytes represent the ProcID parameter.

$01 00, the 11th and 12th bytes represent the visible parameter.

$01 00, the 13th and 14th bytes represent the goAwayFlag parameter.

$00 00 00 00, the 15th through 18th bytes is the refCon parameter.

$08, the 16th byte represents the length of the window title (the next 8 bytes) where $57 69 6E 64 6F 77 20 31 is 'Window 1' when converted via ASCII codes.

The only thing left to finish the new resources now is to close the resource file and quit ResEdit. The example Basic listing below will read the resource file and store it in and array where the information can be used to create a window that looks the same as the one created in ResEdit using the standard MS Basic window command. This is accomplished with the aid of three ToolLib calls. The first is OpenResFile, used to open the desired resource file. The last is CloseResFile, used to close the resource file. The trick comes in using LoadArray to read in data from an open resource and place it in a pre-dimensioned array. Since the data that is read is not in the same format that Basic expects for variables, it is necessary to read each by and decode or convert the data to MS Basic variables which we can use in the Window statement. The subroutine GetResWindow demonstrates which byte to peek to get the desired results. The variable pointer must be explicitly defined in each of the peek statements or the data may not come back correctly. You may only need to read back the parts that will be used in your program.

An optional way of doing this would be to manually write down what the window size and type etc. after creating the window with ResEdit (then you wouldn't need to actually save the window resources) and then use these numbers to create your new window. This would make the Basic code shorter, but might not be quite as accessible to modification after it is compiled (provided you intend to compile your application).

As mentioned last month, there are still some serious problems with HFS and MS Basic. Until this is fixed, the use of resources is somewhat restricted. Since a compiled MS Basic application does not have an automatic way (a way in which the user doesn't have to be aware of what is going on) to find the volume which itself is located, we will have to live with the problem until Microsoft releases an improved version. (Sooner the better).

'WIND Resource Demo ©MacTutor™ 1987 By Dave Kelly

Libname$="Hard Disk:Basic:MS ToolLib:ToolLib"  'full path name
LIBRARY Libname$
WINDResname$="Hard Disk:MacTutor™:May87:Window.rsc"
DIM a(40)
FOR i=1 TO 4
CALL GetResWindow(WINDResname$,ID%,top,left,bottom, right,     ProcID, 
TitleLength, Title$)
IF ProcID= 0 THEN type=1
IF ProcID=1 THEN type=2
IF ProcID=2 THEN type=3
IF ProcID=3 THEN type=4
WINDOW i,Title$,(left,top)-(right,bottom),type
PRINT "Top= ";top,"Left= ";left,"Bottom= ";bottom,"Right=      
PRINT "ProcID = ";ProcID
PRINT "TitleLength = ";TitleLength
PRINT "Title = ";Title$
PRINT "Click mouse to continue"
SUB GetResWindow (WINDResname$,ID%, top,left,bottom,right,     ProcID, 
TitleLength, Title$) STATIC
openresfile WINDResname$,ref%
loadArray ref%,ID%,a(1),type$
closeResFile ref%
FOR i=1 TO TitleLength


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