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Volume Number:4
Issue Number:6
Column Tag:Assembly Language Lab

FKEY that runs other FKEYs!

By John Holder, Contributing Editor

[John Holder is a previous contributor to MacTutor and is well known for his numerous FKEY shareware products. In this article, John shows us how to create an FKEY that runs other FKEYS without installing them in the system folder! Hence this FKEY has an event loop, menu bar and all the other goodies normally found in a regular application. The source code disk for this month also includes two of his more popular FKEYS to use as launch samples, along with a shareware application so you can contact John about other goodies he might have for you. -Ed]

What’s an FKEY?

FKEY’s (Function Keys) are resources containing executable code that are called upon by hitting the keys Command-Shift-# (any number 0-9) at the same time. In the standard System file there are two FKEY’s; with an ID#3 and #4 that are used to dump the current screen or window onto disk or printer.

There are also many other FKEY’s out in the Mac world, some Public Domain or Shareware, and others are sold commercially. They can be installed into the System file by using “ResEdit” or “Fkey Installer” (this application was created by “Dreams of the Phoenix, Inc™” and released into the public domain to encourage people to make Fkeys). The Fkey presented in this article can be used to access other Fkey’s which are not in the System file!

What’s this all about?

This article will show you how to create an FKEY with an interface similar to a standard applications (menus with command key equivalents, windows, and an event loop). It does not support DA’s nor does it have an EDIT menu, but if you need to add this function to your own Fkey it would be very simple.

This Fkey was created with the Macintosh 68000 Development System. All applications are on a disk titled ‘MDS1’ and all .D files are on a disk titled ‘MDS2’. First assemble the file ‘FkeyTemp.Asm’, then run the linker on the file ‘FkeyTemp.Link’, and finally run RMaker on the file ‘FkeyTemp.R’. You will now have an FKEY ready to put into your System file!

Fig. 1 Our FKEY launches other fkeys!

Fkey Sampler, How it Works

First, we create an offset table that is used to store the FKEY’s many “global” variables. This is done by naming the offsets that it will need such as sfReply, WindPtr, etc., and calculating how many bytes each will take (explained under “How to set up the offset Table”).

When the Fkey starts, there is a short jump over its header, then the applications current port and all registers are saved, next it brings up the standard arrow cursor with _InitCursor. We now check the global variable MenuList to see if the application which is currently running has a menu, if it doesn’t have one (like the MiniFinder) then we can’t let the Fkey run! If it does have a menu, we try to allocate enough space for the Fkey’s global variables by making a non-relocatable block with _NewPtr. If there is not enough memory for the globals (there has been an error if _NewPtr returns a zero in register A0) it beeps the speaker and returns to the Application. Otherwise, a pointer to the storage area is put into register A4.

If the storage was allocated, we go on and get a handle to a copy of the applications menu bar with _GetMenuBar, and clear the menu so that we may replace it with our own. After the Fkey’s menus are created with _NewMenu, _AppendMenu, and _InsertMenu, we create a window that will simulate the standard desktop. Creating a new window generates an update event, so when it gets to the main event loop, the window will be filled with the current desktop pattern.

The Main Event

Now its off to the main loop to look for events. This Fkey uses only keydown, mousedown & update events. Upon a useable event we jump to the appropriate routine to handle it, if it’s an update event the background window is filled with the current desktop pattern (found in the system global variable “DeskPattern”). Other events are handled just like a standard application by using a jump table to jump to the appropriate routines.

Doing the About...

When the mouse is clicked in the “About Fkey Sampler...” menu item under the Apple menu, a window is created and set as the current port. Then the windows text font and size is set to 9 point Monaco with _TextFont and _TextSize. Now the stack is set up for _TextBox (a very handy routine that displays text in a given rectangle with left, right or center justification!) Then we jump to a routine that uses _GetOSEvent to watch for a mousedown or key down event. When a key or the mouse button has been clicked we dispose of the window, unhighlight the menu and return to the main loop to get the next event!

Fig. 2 A useful FKEY running under our FKEY

Opening the Fkey

The purpose of this particular Fkey is to open and use other FKEY’s (of Type ‘FKEY’) that are not in the System file. When this routine is called, the standard get file dialog is displayed with _Pack3. If a name is chosen, the volume the file is on is set as the current volume with _SetVol. Now we try to open the resource fork of the file (_OpenResFile will return a #-1 if it can’t open a files resource fork). If the resource file opened with no problems we want to get the Fkey resource which is inside this file and execute it (run it, not kill it!).

Now we want to get the first Fkey resource in memory by using _GetIndResource (the newly opened res file is searched first). We check to make sure the returned Fkey is from the newly opened resource file by using _HomeResFile (when given a handle to a resource, this routine returns its resource files reference number). If it is from the Fkey file just opened, the Fkey resource is locked in memory (we don’t want the Fkey moving!), the handle is made into a pointer and the Fkey is executed by jumping to it (with JSR). When that Fkey is done, we close the resource file and return for the next event.

Doing the Quit!

When an Fkey quits it must dispose of any memory it created. The first thing dumped is the window used as the desktop, then the menus it made are released from memory with _DisposMenu and the menu bar is cleared. Now the applications menu bar is restored, the memory we allocated for the globals is released, all events are flushed, the applications current port and registers are restored, and a return from subroutine RTS returns command to the application!

Fig. 3 Map for how the FKEY is constructed Use ResEdit to copy the FKEY into the system file

Making your own FKEY

All Fkey’s must start with the FKEY header shown in the code listing. The only thing you will need to change in the header for your own Fkey is the ID number. You can use this Fkey to test all of your own Fkeys without installing them into the System file!

To make your own Fkey using this one as a template should be very simple. Just make your own offset table, or use this one and add your own needed offsets (explained below), then add your own menus and the appropriate routines to handle them. Also, change the contents of the text between MyTextBegin and MyTextEnd to whatever you want for your Fkeys ‘About..’ window.

A complete jump table for events and a jump table for where the mouse was clicked (returned by _FindWindow) is included to help in making your own Fkeys. Just remember to always check if there is enough memory before loading a resource or creating storage and to dispose of any storage that the Fkey created before returning control to the application!

How to set up the Offset Table

Lets say you need room for one handle (4 bytes) and two separate words (2 bytes each) of storage.

For the this storage you would need to put #8 into register D0 before calling _NewPtr (8 bytes are needed)

;Your Offset table (example)

AHandle equ  0 ;4 bytes
AWord equ 4 ;2 bytes
NextWordequ 6  ;2 bytes

Register A4 points to your global storage area . To store a word into the global “AWord” just use:

move  #99, AWord(A4)

To put the value contained in AWord(A4) into Register D2 , use:

move  AWord(A4), D2

That’s all folks...

Well, that’s it, I hope you’ve learned something, and I hope to see lots of new Fkeys around!

;File:   FkeyTemp.Asm
;An Fkey sampler Fkey
;By John Holder    2/8/87
;Revised          3/29/88

;Macros to save & restore the registers
MACRO SaveRegs =

MACRO RestoreRegs =

;All equates go here
;these are offsets into the global storage.
;(a non-relocatable block we created pointed to by A4)
sfReply equ 0  ;sfreply record
GetVRef equ 6
GetVers equ 8
GFileName equ  10
IOParamBlkequ  76;IOparamblock (80 bytes)
WindPtr equ 156  ;for our background ;window
EventBlkequ 160  ;Event Block
what    equ 160  ;Event number
message equ 162  ;Additional information
when    equ 166  ;Time event was posted 
where   equ 170  ;Mouse coordinates
modify  equ 174  ;State of keys and button
wWindow equ 176  ;Window pointer
Menu1Hndl equ  180 ;handle to our Apple menu
Menu2Hndl equ  184 ;handle to our File menu
oldMenuBarequ  188 ;handle to applications   ;menu
TheWindow equ  192 ;for _FindWindow

;event masks for _GetOSEvent
mDownMask equ  2
keyDownMask equ  8

;Menu equates
AppleMenu equ  1 ;Apple Menu
AboutItem equ  1 
FileMenuequ 2  ;File Menu
OpenFkeyItemequ  1
QuitItemequ 3

;All FKEY’s must have this FKEY resource header!
 bra.s  StartIt  ;branch over header
 dc0    ;flags (not used)
 dc.b   ‘FKEY’   ;resource type
 dc9    ;Resource ID #
 dc0    ;version # (not used)
 SaveRegs ;save regs MACRO
 subq   #4,SP
 move.l SP,-(SP)
 _GetPort ;save Port for later
 _InitCursor;standard arrow cursor

 ;does application have a menu???  if not, then quit!
 move.l MenuList,D0
 beq    NoMenuJump ;no menu, beep & quit!

 move.l #200,D0  ;200 bytes of storage
 _NewPtr,CLEAR   ;for our globals
 move.l A0,A4    ;pointer in A4
 cmp.l  #0,A4
 bne.s  StorageOk;if not zero, ptr is ok!

 bsr    Mem_Error;otherwise beep
 bra    No_Mem   ;and quit
 bsr    SetUpMenus ;set up our menus
 bsr    SetUpWindow;set up background  ;window
MainLoop;standard event loop
      clr    -(SP)
 move   #$0FFF,-(SP) ;event mask
 pea    EventBlk(A4) ;Place to return results
 _GetNextEvent   ;Look for an event
 move   (SP)+,D2 
 beq    MainLoop ;zero if we shouldn’t
 move   What(A4),D0;respond
 add    D0,D0
 move   EventTable(D0),D0
 jmp    EventTable(D0)  ;jump to appropriate       ;routine

 dcMainLoop-EventTable  ;null event
 dcMouseDown-EventTable   ;mouse down
 dcMainLoop-EventTable  ;mouse up
 dcKeyDown-EventTable;key down
 dcMainLoop-EventTable  ;key up
 dcKeyDown-EventTable;auto key
 dcUpDateJump-EventTable  ;update event
 dcMainLoop-EventTable  ;disk event
 dcMainLoop-EventTable  ;activate event
 dcMainLoop-EventTable  ;abort
 dcMainLoop-EventTable  ;network event
 dcMainLoop-EventTable  ;I/O driver event

 clr.l  -(SP)    ;for returned pointer
 clr.l  -(SP)    ;let Mac make storage
 pea    WindowRect ;windows rectangle
 clr.l  -(SP)    ;no title
 move.b #1,-(SP) ;it is visible
 move   #plainDBox,-(SP)  ;Type of window
 move.l #-1,-(SP);in front
 move.b #0,-(SP) ;no close box
 clr.l  -(SP)    ;refcon zero
 _NewWindow ;make window!
 move.l (SP),WindPtr(a4)  ;pointer into global
 _SetPort ;set as the port

 clr.l  -(SP)    ;get applications menu
 _GetMenuBar;bar handle for later
 move.l (SP)+,oldMenuBar(A4)  ;restoration!
 _ClearMenuBar   ;clear Apps menu bar

;make all of our menus
;the apple menu  
 clr.l  -(SP)    
 move   #1,-(SP)
 pea    AppleSymbol
 move.l (SP)+,Menu1Hndl(A4)
 move.l Menu1Hndl(A4),-(sp)
 pea    ‘About Fkey Sampler...’
 move.l Menu1Hndl(A4),-(sp) 
 move   #2,-(SP) 
;the File menu
 clr.l  -(SP)
 move   #2,-(SP)
 pea    ‘File’
 move.l (SP)+,Menu2Hndl(A4)
 move.l Menu2Hndl(A4),-(sp)
 pea    ‘Open FKEY/F’
 move.l Menu2Hndl(A4),-(sp)
 pea    ‘(-’
 move.l Menu2Hndl(A4),-(sp)
 pea    ‘Quit/Q’
 move.l Menu2Hndl(A4),-(sp) 
 clr    -(SP)
 _DrawMenuBar    ;draw the new menu bar

 bsr    UpDateWindow
 bra    MainLoop

;This routine keeps our background window (The DeskTop!) 
;the same pattern as the current standard desktop!
 move.l WindPtr(A4),-(SP)  ;our background
 _BeginUpdate    ;is kept in WindPtr(A4)
 move.l WindPtr(A4),-(SP)
 pea    PaintRect;the rectangle to paint
 pea    DeskPattern;global var, contains
 _FillRect;pattern used for desktop
 move.l WindPtr(A4),-(SP)

;A key down event occured, check if the command key was 
;down, if not, get the next event!
 move   Modify(A4),D1
 btst   #8,D1    ;check command key bit
 beq    MainLoop ;zero if command key
 ;is not down!
 clr.l  -(sp)
 move   message+2(A4),-(sp)   ;put char onto stack
 _MenuKey ; for _MenuKey
 move.l (sp)+,D4 ;put result in D4
 beq    MainLoop ;if zero, no menu equivalent
 bra    WhatMenu

;A mousedown event occured, we only check if its in a menu, if 
;not then get the next event!
 clr    -(SP)    ;word result
 move.l where(A4),-(SP)   ;where field of    ;event record
 pea    TheWindow(A4);returns the window     ;pntr the
 _FindWindow;mouse was clicked in, 
 move   (SP)+,D0 ;if it was in one.

 add    D0,D0
 move   WindowTable(D0),D0
 jmp    WindowTable(D0) ;jump to appropriate       ;routine

;We only use InMenu event!
 dcMainLoop-WindowTable   ;In Desk
 dcInMenu-WindowTable     ;In Menu Bar
 dcMainLoop-WindowTable   ;In System Window
 dcMainLoop-WindowTable   ;in Content
 dcMainLoop-WindowTable   ;in drag
 dcMainLoop-WindowTable   ;in grow
 dcMainLoop-WindowTable   ;in go away

;The mouse was clicked in the menu bar.
 clr.l  -(SP)
 move.l where(A4),-(SP)
 move.l (SP)+,D4
 beq  MainLoop   ;zero if no item selected

;jump to here after command key down event
 move.l D4,D6    ;D6 will now have the
 swap   D4; item # D4 will have menu #
 cmp    #AppleMenu,D4;is it in the apple menu?
 beq    InAppleMenu;if so, go see which item!
 cmp    #FileMenu,D4 ;is it in the File menu?
 beq    InFileMenu
 bra    MainLoop ;where else could it be!

InAppleMenu ;in the “Apple” menu
 cmp    #AboutItem,D6
 beq    DoAbout  ;its in the About... Item!
 bra    MainLoop

InFileMenu;in the “File” menu
 cmp    #OpenFkeyItem,D6  ;in the OpenFkey Item?
 beq    Open_Fkey;if so go open it!
 cmp    #QuitItem,D6 ;Quit item?
 beq    QuitRoutine;if so go quit
 bra    MainLoop

;Show the “About Fkey Sampler...” window
 saveregs ;save the registers
 clr.l  -(SP)
 clr.l  -(SP)    
 pea    AboutRect
 move.l #0,-(SP) 
 move.b #1,-(SP)
 move   #1,-(SP)
 move.l #-1,-(SP)
 move.b #0,-(SP)
 clr.l  -(SP)
 _NewWindow ;make a window
 move.l (SP),A2  ;put pointer into A2
 _SetPort ;make it the port

 move   #Monaco,-(SP);Use the Monaco Font
 move   #9,-(SP) ;make it 9 point (size)

 pea    MyTextBegin;address of “About” Text

;calculate how many chars in text for TextBox
 move.l #MyTextEnd-MyTextBegin,-(SP)
 pea    TextRect ;rectangle for text
 move   #1,-(SP) ;center justification
 bsr    Wait_For_Event  ;wait for button/key down
 move.l A2,-(SP)
 _DisposWindow   ;get rid of the window
 bsr    UnHiliteIt ;go unhilight the menu!
 move.l WindPtr(A4),-(sp)
 _SetPort ;reset our old port
 restoreregs;restore registers
 bra    MainLoop ;go get another event

;Wait for mouse or key down event
 link   A6,#-evtBlkSize   ;link, event block size
 lea    -evtBlkSize(A6),A0  ;ptr to event block in A0
 moveq  #mDownMask!KeyDownMask,D0 ;Event masks in D0
 beq    Clicked  ;if zero, time to leave!
 bra    WaitLoop ;loop until event
Clicked ;mouse or key clicked!
 unlk   A6;unlink A6
;Quitting, dispose of all our storage and menus and return to 
;the application that the Fkey was called from!
 move.l WindPtr(A4),-(SP) ;dump background 
 _DisposWindow   ;window
 move.l Menu1Hndl(A4),-(SP)   ;dump our #1 
 _DisposMenu                ;menu
 move.l Menu2Hndl(A4),-(SP) ;dump our #2
 _DisposMenu              ;menu
 _ClearMenuBar   ;clear the menu
 move.l oldMenuBar(A4),-(SP)
 _SetMenuBar;restore apps menu bar!
 move.l oldMenuBar(A4),A0   ;dump copy of    
 _DisposHandle   ;apps menu handle!
 _DrawMenuBar    ;draw it
 move.l A4,A0
 _DisposPtr ;dump our global  ;storage

 move.l #$0000FFFF,D0     ;flush all events
 _SetPort ;set original port!
 restoreregs;restore the registers
 rts    ;return to the application!

;Couldn’t allocate space for our global storage area
;just beep & quit!
 move   #10,-(SP)

;Unhilight menu bar after mouse down in a menu item
 move   #0,-(SP)

;Get a file of type “FKEY”, open its resource fork, and
;execute the Fkey (if there is one) contained in it!
 saveregs ;save registers
 move   #82,-(SP);coordinates for GetFile
 move   #100,-(SP) ;dialog box
 clr.l  -(SP)    ;prompt
 clr.l  -(SP)    ;File Filter Proc Pointer
 move   #1,-(SP) ;number of file types
 pea    TypeList ;our type list
 clr.l  -(SP)    ;Dialog Hook Proc Pointer
 pea    sfReply(A4);sfreply record
 move   #2,-(SP) ;#2 for SFGetFile
 _Pack3 ;Call the Get File Pack
 cmp.b  #0,sfReply(A4)
 beq    Cancel   ;if user hit cancel, quit!

 bsr    UpDateWindow ;update window before
 ;opening the Fkey
 lea    IOParamBlk(A4),A2 ;the IO param block
 clr.l  12(A2)   ;zero “ioCompletion”
 lea    GFileName(A4),A0  ;put a pointer to the files
 move.l A0,18(A2);name into “ioNamePtr”
 move   GetVRef(A4),22(A2)  ;”ioVRefNum”
 move.l A2,A0    ;put param block ptr in A0
 _SetVol;set as current volume

 clr    -(SP)    ;space for refnum
 pea    GFileName(A4);name of res file to open
 _OpenResFile    ;Open that resource file
 move   (SP)+,D7 ;put result in D7
 cmp    #-1,D7   ;will be -1 if any
 beq  Cancel;if error go to cancel

;this stops resources from being loaded with GetIndResource,
;GetResource or GetNamedResource
 move.w #0,-(sp)

 clr.l  -(sp)
 move.l #’FKEY’,-(sp)
 move   #1,-(sp)
 _GetIndResource ;get first FKEY resource
 move.l (sp)+,A3 ;handle into A3

;Turns Automatic resource loading back on!
 move.b #1,-(sp)

 clr.l  -(sp)
 move.l A3,-(sp)
 move.l (sp)+,D2 ;how big is the resource?
 cmp.l  #-1,D2   ;-1 = no resource
 beq    NotEnoughMem ;no resource error so quit

;do we have enough memory to load the FKEY   
 move.l D2,D0
 move.l A0,A1
 cmp.l  #0,A1    ;was zero returned?
 beq    NotEnoughMem ;not enough room, so quit!
 _DisposHandle   ;otherwise dispose the new
 ;handle, and go on..
 move.l A3,-(sp)
 _LoadResource   ;Load resource into memory!
 clr    -(sp)
 move.l A3,-(SP)
 _HomeResFile    ;what resource file
 move   (sp)+,D2 ;is this resource from?

 cmp    D2,D7    ;is it from new file?
 beq    YepItsFromNewFile ;yep!
 bra    NotEnoughMem ;if not, close the res
 ;file and quit!
 move.l A3,A0
 _Hlock ;Lock it before jumping to it
 move.l (A3),A2      ;put pointer to FKEY in A2
 SaveRegs ;save the regs
 jsr    (A2);Run the Fkey!!
 RestoreRegs;restore the regs
 move.l A3,A0
 _HUnlock ;UnLock FKEY handle
 bsr    CloseIt  ;go close res file

 restoreregs;restore the regs
 bsr    UnHiliteIt ;unhilight the menu
 bra    MainLoop ;get the next event

 bsr    CloseIt
 bra    Cancel

 move   D7,-(SP)
 _CloseResFile   ;Close the res file

;All constants go here
;rect of background (desktop) window
;make it giant to cover entire background!

PaintRect dc0,0,4000,4000


;rect of “About...” window
AboutRect dc130,100,190,412

;rect text will be displayed in for _TextBox

AppleSymbol dc.b 1,$14  ;apple symbol for menu #1

MyTextBegin dc.b ‘Fkey Sampler 1.0’,$0D,$0D
 dc.b ‘Written by John Holder’


;The Linker file     (file name FkeyTemp.Link)


/Output FkeyTemp.Code
/Type ‘TEMP’

*The RMaker file   (file name FkeyTemp.R)

Fkey Sampler.Fkey

Fkey Sampler,9

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B&H Photo has 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $100-$150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Space Gray MacBook Pro... Read more
Current deals on 27″ Apple iMacs, models up t...
B&H Photo has 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $2149 $150 off MSRP – 27″ 3... Read more
Thursday Deal: 13″ 2.3GHz MacBook Pro for $11...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space... Read more
How to save $100-$190 on 10″ & 12″ iPad P...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2017 10″ and 12″ iPad Pros for $100-$190 off MSRP, depending on the model. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: –... Read more
Silver 12″ 1.3GHz MacBook on sale at B&H...
B&H Photo has the 2017 12″ 1.3GHz Silver MacBook on sale for $1399.99 including free shipping plus sales tax for NY & NJ residents only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest... Read more
Amazon offers 21″ Apple iMacs for up to $150...
Amazon 21″ iMacs on sale today for $50-$150 off MSRP, depending on the model. Shipping is free: – 21″ 3.4GHz 4K iMac (MNE02LL/A): $1349.99 $150 off MSRP – 21″ 3.0GHz iMac (MNDY2LL/A): $1199 $100 off... Read more

Jobs Board

Data Scientist, *Apple* Ecosystem (AMP Anal...
# Data Scientist, Apple Ecosystem (AMP Analytics) Job Number: 113428728 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 24-Jan-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 113523441 Orange, CA, California, United States Posted: 21-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Are you passionate Read more
*Apple* Professional Learning Specialist - A...
# Apple Professional Learning Specialist Job Number: 113456892 Englewood, NJ, New Jersey, United States Posted: 02-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Read more
*Apple* Retail Online, Senior Financial Anal...
# Apple Retail Online, Senior Financial Analyst Job Number: 57228835 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 12-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
Site Reliability Engineer, *Apple* Pay - Ap...
# Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Pay Job Number: 113356036 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 12-Jan-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
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