TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Prograph 1.2
Volume Number:6
Issue Number:3
Column Tag:Kelly's Corner

Prograph 1.2

By Dave Kelly, MacTutor Editorial Board

Prograph™ 1.2, An OOP Primer

Prograph is a new pictorial programming language and software development environment. offered by TGS Systems of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Prograph started out as a research project by Drs. T. Pietrzykowski and P. Cox, professors of Computer Science at the Technical University of Nova Scotia. They then implemented Prograph on the Macintosh at TGS Systems, turning it into a next generation development environment and Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tool.

At the heart of Prograph is a completely pictorial, object-oriented, dataflow style language with a built in source code debugger. The combination of a pictorial, OOP language and integrated development environment makes Prograph a great way to learn about Object Oriented Programming. The pictorial environment of Prograph is a platform which is perfectly suited for the Macintosh. The complete Prograph language development system is made up of three major parts the language, the Application Builder, and the Environment.

Language

Class hierarchy is pictorially represented in the Classes window. A class is an abstract description of a collection of similar objects. Objects have two components, their attributes and their methods. For example, if we were to define a class for humans, we might call the class Person since a group of people is made up of persons. Each person has similar attributes such as arms, legs, hands, feet, etc. The individual people are referred to as instances of class Person. The features that the people have are called their attributes and the things they to are called methods.

Clicking on the left side of the class icon opens up an Attributes window which contains the sequence of attributes of a class. Clicking on the right side of the class icon (in the class window) opens up the Methods window.

There are two ways to retain values. Either they may be stored in class attributes or in persistents. Persistents are universally accessible and are saved with the program between executions.

Clicking on a method icon opens up the cases window which displays the cases which define the method. Another type of methods window called the Universal Methods contains methods which are not specific to any class. A method consists of a sequence of cases. The execution of a method proceeds by dataflow; that is, the operations in the cases window are executed as soon as all their input data is available. The operations which may be used may be 1) Primitives, which represent calls to predefined system methods, 2) calls to Universal Methods, 3) calls to methods in classes, 4) calls to Macintosh Toolbox routines, 5) constants, 6) Matching, which compares inputs and channels the dataflow depending if the match succeeds or fails, 7) Get Persistent, which accesses the value of a persistent, 8) Set Persistent, modifies the value of a persistent, 9) Multiplexes, which are used to repeat an operation, 10) Instance generators, 11) Get Attribute, which is used to access the value of an instance or class attribute, and 12) Set Attribute, which modifies the value of an instance or class attribute. Cases of a method are executed in order and according to the dataflow structure. Operations may be synchronized and controls may be used in various ways to control the flow of execution from one case to the next.

There are several datatypes supported by Prograph in addition to user defined classes:

• Numbers (integers or strings as appropriate)

• Lists, represented in Lisp notation.

• Strings

• Booleans

• Special types, NULL and NONE

• Mac types, used in toolbox calls

• System classes

Application Builder

Prograph’s Application Builder has two major components:

• A set of about 20 System Classes which provide the framework for building a complete Macintosh application.

• A set of interactive, WYSIWYG editors for creating graphic components such as menus, windows and window items. The editors support the basic Macintosh environment with no frills. Hierarchical menus are not supported with the editor, however, toolbox calls are available to achieve nearly every Mac toolbox effect. I counted about 573 calls in the Macintosh Toolbox list in the reference manual. Primitives may also be defined in Lightspeed C using a utility that is provided with Prograph. MacTutor will try to cover this in a future issue.

Environment

Prograph has a unique environment which enables you to run an application or method and observe each step as the program executes. Persistents and classes may be examined at each step by clicking on input or output terminals and roots (the circles which connect all of the case sequences together). If a method has not been defined, Prograph asks if you would like to define it. If not you may even artificially create inputs to “help” the program proceed. This allows you to get specific functions of a method working properly before moving on.

Icons in the editor are created by merely clicking in the window (class, method, attribute). This can be annoying if you click anywhere in the window where there is no icon (creating icons by mistake). Clicking on an icon selects it and double clicking opens a window to its structure,if it is a user-created object or onto a help window if it is a system provided object. Icons may be cut, copy and pasted or selected and dragged.

Prograph is indeed a great way to program the Macintosh. If you aren’t familiar with object-oriented programming, the tutorial that comes with Prograph is great. It is a bit hard to follow at times, but does a great job of actually teaching you what to do. It takes time though. The tutorial introduces several programming “challenges” which you should work to get the full benefit and to understand the programming concepts better.

Documentation comes as two manuals (approx 7" X 11"). The odd size makes it difficult to set on my desk without it flopping closed all the time (in my opinion). The reference manual thoroughly covers the primitives, Macintosh Toolbox support, Prograph’s menus/windows etc., but the index isn’t as extensive as it could be. The tutorial manual takes some time to get through, and starts off having you do things that you don’t know about until later (or until you figure it out) but I feel the material would be a great text/workbook for a course on OOP. Maybe that’s what Prograph’s authors are doing with it?

There is one major element missing from Prograph 1.2 a compiler. Sure, you can exercise your object-oriented abilities to your hearts content, but serious developers won’t be able to create real applications until a Prograph compiler is made available during the second quarter of 1990. Don’t let that stop you if you want to learn OOP. There is a good chance that the compiler will be out before this article appears here. There’s more to come I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of this product in the future, especially when the compiler becomes available.

TGS Systems

1127 Barrington Street, Suite 19

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Canada B3H 2P8

AppleLink: CDA0242

(902) 429-5642 FAX: 425-0561

Order toll free from the US:

1-800-565-1978

Price: $195 US + $5 shipping (for interpreter)

Prograph Compiler available 2nd quarter 1990

 
AAPL
$96.03
Apple Inc.
+0.43
MSFT
$43.16
Microsoft Corpora
+0.00
GOOG
$572.46
Google Inc.
+0.86

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

OneNote 15.2 - Free digital notebook fro...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that’s too important to forget. Whether you’re at... Read more
iStat Menus 4.22 - Monitor your system r...
iStat Menus lets you monitor your system right from the menubar. Included are 8 menu extras that let you monitor every aspect of your system. Some features: CPU -- Monitor cpu usage. 7 display... Read more
Ember 1.8 - Versatile digital scrapbook....
Ember (formerly LittleSnapper) is your digital scrapbook of things that inspire you: websites, photos, apps or other things. Just drag in images that you want to keep, organize them into relevant... Read more
OmniPlan 2.3.6 - Robust project manageme...
With OmniPlan, you can create logical, manageable project plans with Gantt charts, schedules, summaries, milestones, and critical paths. Break down the tasks needed to make your project a success,... Read more
Command-C 1.1.1 - Clipboard sharing tool...
Command-C is a revolutionary app which makes easy to share your clipboard between iOS and OS X using your local WiFi network, even if the app is not currently opened. Copy anything (text, pictures,... Read more
Knock 1.1.7 - Unlock your Mac by knockin...
Knock is a faster, safer way to sign in. You keep your iPhone with you all the time. Now you can use it as a password. You never have to open the app -- just knock on your phone twice, even when it's... Read more
Mellel 3.3.6 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.0.4 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
Freeway Pro 7.0 - Drag-and-drop Web desi...
Freeway Pro lets you build websites with speed and precision... without writing a line of code! With it's user-oriented drag-and-drop interface, Freeway Pro helps you piece together the website of... Read more
Drive Genius 3.2.4 - Powerful system uti...
Drive Genius is an OS X utility designed to provide unsurpassed storage management. Featuring an easy-to-use interface, Drive Genius is packed with powerful tools such as a drive optimizer, a... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Train Your Own Dragon in DreamWorks’ Fir...
Train Your Own Dragon in DreamWorks’ First Story App – Dreamworks Press: Dragons Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 1st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Dream Revenant Review
Dream Revenant Review By Lee Hamlet on August 1st, 2014 Our Rating: :: WATCH OUT FOR BED BUGSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Dream Revenant takes players on a journey through a man’s subconscious. And though it’s full... | Read more »
Dawn of the Immortals Review
Dawn of the Immortals Review By Jennifer Allen on July 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: RESPECTABLE EXPLORATIONUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Dawn of the Immortals might not re-invent the wheel, but it does tweak it a little... | Read more »
80 Days Review
80 Days Review By Jennifer Allen on July 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: EPIC ADVENTUREUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A fantastic and fascinating re-envisioning of the classic novel by Jules Verne, 80 Days is a delightful... | Read more »
Battleheart Legacy Guide
The world of Battleheart Legacy is fun and deep; full of wizards, warriors, and witches. Here are some tips and tactics to help you get the most enjoyment out of this great game. | Read more »
Puzzle Roo Review
Puzzle Roo Review By Jennifer Allen on July 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: PUZZLE-BASED TWISTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A different take on the usual block dropping puzzle game, Puzzle Roo is quite pleasant.   | Read more »
Super Crossfire Re-Release Super Crossfi...
Super Crossfire Re-Release Super Crossfighter Coming Soon, Other Radiangames Titles Go 50% Off Posted by Ellis Spice on July 31st, 2014 [ | Read more »
Hexiled Review
Hexiled Review By Rob Thomas on July 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: HEX SELLSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad In space, no one can hear you… spell? Hexiled is a neat concept for a word scramble puzzle, but it doesn’t go too... | Read more »
Summoners War: Sky Arena Passes 10 Milli...
Summoners War: Sky Arena Passes 10 Million Installs! Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Deep Loot Review
Deep Loot Review By Jennifer Allen on July 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: DIVE DEEPUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Dive deep in this fun explore-em-up that’s a little grind heavy but ultimately quite entertaining.   | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSR...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ MacBook Airs on sale $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They also include free copies of Parallels Desktop and LoJack for... Read more
16GB iPad Air on sale for $399, save $100
Best Buy is offering the 16GB WiFi iPad Air for $399.99 on their online store for a limited time. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free store pickup (if available). Price is for... Read more
All Over For Tablets Or Just A Maturing, Evol...
CNN’s David Goldman weighs in on tablet sector doom and gloom, asking rhetorically: “Is this the beginning of the end for the tablet?” Answering that, he contends that hysteria and panic are... Read more
Letterspace 1.0.1 – New Free iOS Text Editor...
Bangkok, Thailand based independent developer Sittipon Simasanti has released Letterspace, a new text editor for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Letterspace is a note taking app with an... Read more
Save up to $130 on an iPad mini with Apple re...
The Apple Store has Certified Refurbished 2nd generation iPad minis with Retina Displays available for up to $130 off the cost of new models, starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included... Read more
iPad Cannibalization Threat “Overblown”
Seeking Alpha’s Kevin Greenhalgh observes that while many commentators think Apple’s forthcoming 5.5-inch panel iPhone 6 will cannibalize iPad sales, in his estimation, these concerns are being... Read more
Primate Labs Releases July 2014 MacBook Pro P...
Primate Labs’ John Poole has posted Geekbench 3 results for most of the new MacBook Pro models that Apple released on Tuesday. Poole observes that overall performance improvements for the new MacBook... Read more
Apple Re-Releases Bugfixed MacBook Air EFI Fi...
Apple has posted a bugfixed version EFI Firmware Update 2.9 a for MacBook Air (Mid 2011) models. The update addresses an issue where systems may take longer to wake from sleep than expected, and... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, plus free sh...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $140 on an iPad Air with Apple ref...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Sr. Product Leader, *Apple* Store Apps - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.