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Menu Bar XCMD
Volume Number:5
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:HyperChat™

Menu Bar XCMD

By Fred Stauder, HyperChat Editor, Zurich, Switzerland

Note: Source code files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks.

on HyperChat

The Interface Race is On

I attended the Hannover CeBit fair in mid March. It is without doubt the biggest computer exhibition on earth. If you think the MacWorld Expos are getting huge, CeBit is no comparison; it is at least 20 times the size. It lasts for eight days, and even if you tried to go through systematically, there’s no hope. It consists of everything from mainframes down to pocket computers, computer security systems, video conferencing, and much, much more. It was good to see that the Apple stand was one of the most popular (the IIcx and the screens were introduced there).

Some of the exciting things were a 16 gigabyte eraseable(rewritable) library unit that stores 20 cartridges and can change them in 6 seconds. The units can be linked together to hold 224 GB on line and SCSI. Another interesting thing was an information display unit, like a small billboard (A1 size), encased in glass. It contains a waxed plastic roll and a toner mechanism. The end result is that you can print to this thing, and it rolls up to be displayed. the toner is not fixed so you can re-write to it. Color and larger versions are in the works. In the future we will see billboards that will be updated from a remote computer in seconds. This is a very innovative output device, I can hardly wait to see the weird uses people will put to it.

It was such a pleasure attending CeBit; they treated the international press magnificently, and was such a contrast to the unproffesional treatment by Industrade in Switzerland.

There were of course lots of other great goodies but space does not permit. Anyway my job is to tell you about MultiMedia and interface, but it is important to realize how things like, cheaper larger mass storage and innovative output devices can change the way we have to design programs.

OpenLook which has been dubbed the “universal” interface for Unix environments was being shown everywhere, as was Xwindows and presentation manager. Sun was showing off SunWrite, SunPaint, and SunDraw. My impression: 5 years late and not as userfriendly. This was the first non-Mac show that I have been to that most of the Key players were concerned about Human Interface. As CPU’s match CPU’s in performance and cost, and software does the same, it is important to realize the most important thing is: “How long will it take to learn”, and “Do I need a manual”. If your software is intuitive to use and easier to use people are more likely to buy it.

I have a button (fig. 1) that reads "My Boss is the End User".

I think we should all make him our Boss. If I am not making his life easier and bettering his experience then I am not doing my job.

Now for the quiz last month. The monkey lives. How many people have heard the monkey beep on the Mac II? How many of you knew that it is a human sound? I didn’t believe it either until I met Sandi Dobrowolsky in person (formally from Apple and now at Claris), and she demonstrated the monkey sound. She really can have fun near peoples machines because she can reproduce it accurately every time, so people think there is something wrong with their Mac. It is, by the way, the only Human sound to be shipped with a Mac. So “eek eek” Sandi and I hope you and Steve had a great trip “down under” (my home country). So we look forward to hearing Koala and Kangaroo sounds.

The point that I am making is that with a bit of creativity and experimentation you can come up with great sounds and graphics, that won’t get you into copyright problems. Expand your horizons, use the Human Interface Guidelines (they are not absolute rules), experiment and go beyond our present limitations. The interface is the future.

Figure 1.

Your wish is my XCMD

I have two XCMD’s this month that I find quite useful. The first I called invisMenuBar, it makes the menubar invisible and still functional. It is really useful when developing on a small screen. The Human Interface Guidelines clearly state “don’t hide things from the user and don’t surprise them”. So why am I showing you this XCMD? Firstly I would strongly object to people using it in a stack. It is a development/power user tool it may help you develop stacks and browse through other peoples if you have a small screen. Just like MacsBug deviates a long way from the guidelines but is highly useable and appropriate in it’s context. What it does. It simply uses a callback to hypertalk to hide the menubar, then it sets the height of the menubar to the height of it’s natural state. Hypercard is fooled to think that it is hidden so it doesn’t do a menubar redraw, however when you have a mousedown in the menubar it accepts it and draws the menu.

Figure 2.

invisMenuBar-- a sHyperCard external command
that makes the menubar invisible yet functional.

 Written in MPW Pascal.
 Written by Fred Stauder
 ©All rights reserved 1988

pascal :Sources:XCMD:InvisMenuBar.p 
link -o AJS-60:test -rt XCMD=7004 -sn 
Main=InvisMenuBar :Sources:XCMD:InvisMenuBar.p.o 

Segment name must be the same as the command name. 

UNIT Fred_Stauder;


USES MemTypes, QuickDraw, OSIntf, ToolIntf, PackIntf, PasLibIntf, HyperXCmd;


TYPE Str31 = String[31];

PROCEDURE InvisMenuBar(paramPtr:XCmdPtr);    FORWARD;


 PROCEDURE InvisMenuBar(paramPtr:XCmdPtr); the glue routines
 VAR menuBarHeight:Ptr;
 SendCardMessage(‘hide menubar’);
 menuBarHeight := Ptr($BAB);
 directly  to  the global the only way possible          menuBarHeight^ 
:= $14;

Listing 1.

The second XCMD allows you to change the window type. This is useful when you want to do a presentation and not have the window title visible. Or if you want to make a small window for a specific purpose. (fig.3.) The windowDefproc and the high order byte holds the window variation code. First you pass a parameter with the XCMD changeWindowType, that gives you the desired window. the types are the same as in Inside mac V I p273.

documentProc=  0 (standard document window)
dBoxProc=  1 (alert box or modal dialog box)
plainDBox =  2 (plain box)
altDBoxProc =  3 (plain box with shadow)
noGrowDocProc  =  4 (document window without size)
rDocProc= 16(rounded-corner window)

Figure 3.

You take the parameter, convert to a Longint, then comes the slightly tricky bit where you have to do bit manipulation to write it to the high order byte of the windowDefproc. You can get the window type by using the function GetWVariant. I will leave this as an exercise for you to write, so that once you have changed the window type you will be able to find out what it is through an XFCN.

Diagram 1. shows how the bits are manipulated to put the window variant into high order byte of theWindow^.DefProc handle. Then I hide and show the cardwindow to update the screen.

Diagram 1.

Listing 2.
 Written in MPW Pascal.
 Written by Fred Stauder
 ©All rights reserved 1988
pascal :changeWindowType.p
link -o Development:Demo:home -rt XCMD=7005sn 
Main=changeWindowType :changeWindowType.p.o -m ENTRYPOINT

changeWindowType name must be the same as the command name

UNIT DummyUnit;

USES MemTypes, QuickDraw, OSIntf, ToolIntf, PasLibIntf, HyperXCmd;



Str31 = String[31];

PROCEDURE changeWindowType(paramPtr:XCmdPtr);      FORWARD;


 PROCEDURE changeWindowType(paramPtr:XCmdPtr);
 theWindow: WindowPeek;
 tempStr: Str255;
 kind:  Longint;
 newWind: Longint;
 firstMask: Longint;
 secondMask:Longint; the glue routines

 thy port
 kind := StrToNum(tempStr);

  theWindow := WindowPeek(HCWindow);
  firstMask := BitAnd(Kind,$000000FF);
  firstShift := BitShift(firstMask,24);
  secondMask := BitAnd(LONGINT(theWindow^.windowDefProc),$00FFFFFF);
  newWind := BitOR(firstShift,secondMask);
 theWindow^.windowDefProc := Handle(newWind);
  SendHCMessage(‘hide cd window’);
  SendHCMessage(‘show cd window’);
 thy port

Next month I will show you an XCMD that will allow you to resize the card window of Hypercard such as in Fig. 3.

Send articles ideas, comments etc to Applelink: STAUDER.

end HyperChat


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