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Mar 90 Letters
Volume Number:6
Issue Number:3
Column Tag:Letters

Related Info: Resource Manager Dialog Manager Notification Mgr

PICT and FCMT Resources

By David E. Smith, Editor & Publisher, MacTutor

Dialog boxes in general and PICT resources in dialogs

Neil Ticktin, Truin Software

Letter to Tron in response to Mousehole report in January, 1990 issue

I ran into the same problem with pictures. The problem lies with ResEdit™’s term of “Send to Back”. It turns out that while editing the item (and this is any item, not just a PICT) in ResEdit, the item must be in front of the other items for the Dialog Manager to think of it as in back of those same items. In ResEdit, “Send to back” means make this item the lower item number, but the Dialog Manager thinks of the frontmost item with the lower number. If you just give your picture the higher item number, it should work fine.

Also, if you are using modal dialogs in either THINK or MPW Pascal or C, it would really pay for you to look into Extender DialogHandler™. It contains over 160 routines which significantly decrease the time required to write support code for completely functional modal dialogs. You can get it or product information from Invention Software (313) 996-8108, but if you call MacTutor’s Mail Order store maybe they’ll be able to get it for with their standard store discount. Also, there is a product review in the January, 1990 issue of MacTutor.

Amusing undocumented feature

Ken Manly

Buffalo Chip Software

Buffalo, NY

Your readers may be amused by an ‘undocumented feature’ that Forrest Tanaka (MacDTS) and I discovered. If you create an Apple menu using ResEdit, there are two ways you can type the apple symbol into the menu title field. If you type control-T, the value stored will be $14, and all will be well.

If you type shift-command-K (which is what Key Caps suggests) you will get a menu which looks and acts like an Apple menu, but it is not recognized by Notification Manager routines (in System 6.x). The first symptom is that when your alarm clock goes off while your application is running, the alarm icon (which should alternate with the apple) never appears. Thanks to Forrest for guessing there was something wrong with my apple, although he had no way of knowing what.


Kirk Chase

Anaheim CA

It seems someone did not know what the acronym “ADB” meant in a recent article. “ADB” stands for “Apple’s Desktop Bus”. It was introduced with the new keyboard. It allows the chaining of serial devices such as keyboards, mice, tablets, and so on to the Mac.

If you would like more information on ADB, there is an article by Dave Kelly and David Smith in the March '89 issue. It explains some of the concepts. In their example , they demonstrate some simple communication with the ADB extended keyboard. It also references Tech Note #206. You can more find information on the Apple Desktop Bus in Inside Macintosh Vol. V.

MacFortran subroutines from MPW Assembler

Bob Robinson

Plainfield NJ 07060

One of the first things I needed after buying MPW was a way to get the files from the assembler into a format that could be used as a subroutine by Absoft MacFortran (chemists aren’t instructed in ‘C’ in college or grad school.) MacFortran subroutines can be speeded up dramatically (also true of other languages) by hand-tuning the compiler’s assembly language output. The Fortran program listed below strips out the unneeded bytes from the MPW assembler object file. The resulting file is callable from MacFortran as a subroutine, which can be loaded dynamically or linked in with the main program. Also listed below is a short assembly language Fortran function for compilation by MPW. The function locks down a Mac memory manager handle and returns a pointer. MacFortran expects function results to be returned in register D0, so the subroutine must save the result in D0 before exiting (the toolbox traps used here happen to use D0.) If it’s to be loaded dynamically by MacFortran, the subroutine must preserve A0. Note: makesub displays the subroutine name in the menu bar, to avoid the Fortran TTY window (compile with ‘O’ option.)

 program makesub

* R.S. Robinson 6/12/89
* Converts MPW Asm ‘.a.o’ files into MacFortran ‘.sub’ files.
* File name is obtained from clipboard.
* Removes 1st 36 bytes, and last 8 bytes (44 bytes smaller)
 implicit none   ! always a good idea
 include toolbx.par! MacFortran toolbox definitions
 integer i,j,toolbx,htoptr,length,scrap_h,scrapptr
 integer*1 subr(16384)  ! can make bigger if needed
 character*6 fname ! subroutine names always ¾ 6 chars long plus ‘.sub’
 logical*4 exists! error checking
 scrap_h=toolbx(NEWHANDLE,0)! needs a dummy handle
 length=toolbx(GETSCRAP,scrap_h,”TEXT”,i)    ! we don’t use i

* funct ‘htoptr’ locks handle & returns 32bit comptble ptr;
* or use toolbox calls: call toolbx(HLOCK,scrap_h);scrapptr=LONG(scrap_h)
 fname=’’;if (length>6) length=6
 do (i=1,length);fname(i:i)=CHAR(BYTE(scrapptr+i-1));repeat
 call toolbx(HUNLOCK,scrap_h) ! finished with the scrap, release the 
 inquire (file=TRIM(fname)//’.a.o’,exist=exists)
 if (.NOT.exists) stop
 call toolbx(INSERTMENU,toolbx(NEWMENU,20,char(length)//fname),0)
 call toolbx(DRAWMENUBAR) ! show that we found the file
 do (i=1,36);read(20,end=100) subr(i);repeat ! skip 1st 36 bytes
 do (i=1,16384);read(20,end=100) subr(i);repeat ! read the ‘.a.o’ file
100close(20);i=i-9 ! ignore last 8 bytes plus loop overrun
 do (j=1,i);write(20) subr(j);repeat;close(20) ! write ‘.sub’ file


* Assemble the code below with MPW Asm, then run ‘makesub’ after copying 
* to the clipboard in MPW. The ‘makesub’ program will produce a MacFortran-compatible
* subroutine from the MPW ‘a.o’ file. As set up here, ‘makesub’ must 
be in the same
* folder as the ‘.a.o’ file. The MPW command sequence is:
*(copy ‘htoptr’ to clipboard, then)
*Asm [pathname:]htoptr.a
*[pathname:]makesub (must remove ‘ apl’ extension from Fortran program)
;integer*4 function htoptr(handle)
; R.S. Robinson 6/12/89
; Takes ‘handle’ as argument, returns locked pointer as function result.
; Function results are obtained by MacFortran from register D0.
 INCLUDE ‘Traps.a’ ; MPW equates
Start PROC; needed for MPW
HTOPTR: MOVE.L A0,A2 ; preserve A0 for MacFortran
 MOVEA.L4(A7),A0 ; load pointer to ‘handle’ argument
 MOVE.L (A0),A0  ; load ‘handle’
 _MoveHHi ; move handle to top of heap zone
 _HLock ; lock it
 MOVE.L (A0),D0  ; convert to pointer, ready to strip
 _StripAddress   ; it’s now ’32-bit clean;’ result is in D0
 MOVE.L A2,A0    ; restore A0
 RTS    ; all done; return to Fortran

File Comments

John I. Prugh

Tucson, AZ

First of all, I would like to thank you for providing a really informative and high quality journal to those of us interested in using and programming on the Mac. Thanks to you (and people like Richard Clark and Chuck Rusch) all the keys on my Mac’s keyboard work again and the flicker is gone from the screen, and some things make a lot more sense now

Secondly, I have a couple of questions you might be able to answer for me or redirect to someone who can. I would like to write a routine that would enable me to insert new information into the comment field of a file’s Get Info window. As far as I can tell, this data is maintained in resources in the DeskTop file called FCMTs. I can’t find any information regarding FCMTs in Apple’s Inside Macintosh.

Can you tell, me how the DeskTop knows which FCMT belongs to which file? How would I go about updating the FCMT for an arbitrary file without invoking Get Info from the standard Finder File menu.

I also have a question about Desk Accessories. Is it possible for a desk accessory to close itself, or does it always require the user to click on the DA window’s close box? If a DA can close itself, how does it do it?

Once again, thank-you for a good magazine and the worthwhile information you pack into it. (You probably think people say these nice things just so they’ll get a reply )

[Ok, a DA can close itself. As to when, that is up to the DA- Close box, menu selection, etc. You then send a CloseDriver() passing it the driver reference number (This message is passed automatically when the close box is clicked). This will then send your driver a close message. If you are using THINK C, this means the entry point selector will be 4. You then need to close any files, release any memory you may have allocated, delete and dispose of any menu you may of put up (redraw the menu bar afterwards), and dispose of any window you created.

On FCMTs, I will refer you to Technical Note #29. In it, they say the resource are for “reading” only for the Finder’s sake. But they also say that the comments are not preloaded when the DeskTop is opened, so I imagine you might not cause too much trouble. On HFS volumes you call PBGetCatInfo (Read Inside Macintosh Vol. IV, page 155 and Tech Note #69). The comment ID for a file is kept in ioFlXFndrInfo.fdComment and for a folder it is in ioDrFndrInfo.frComment. Then with the Resource Manager, you can open up the desktop file and get the FCMT with that ID. It is just a Pascal string. Typecast it, change it, and follow the procedure outlined in the resource manager to change it. I believe this will change the file comment.-ed]

Speeding Up Development

MacAnalyst 2.0 and MacDesigner 3.0

Excel Software

Excel Software has released upgraded versions of their CASE tools for the Macintosh. MacDesigner can be used to automate the structured design process or document existing software. MacAnalyst automates the process of analyzing complex systems by expressing it in graphic notations. Some of their new features include additions for designing object oriented structure, and an advanced global rename capability. For more information, contact Excel Software at:

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