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Aug 90 Letters
Volume Number:6
Issue Number:8
Column Tag:Letters

Rotate Bug Discovered

By Kirk Chase, Editor, MacTutor

Tool Window Manager

Jean-Philippe Mariani

Grabels, France

I send you this letter for a special purpose. Indeed, in the 1988 December issue (Vol. 4, No. 12) was published the article concerning the “Tool Window Manager” by Thomas Fruin. This article was very good. but more interesting was the letter from the same Thomas Fruin in the 1989 April issue where he mentioned that he had written a MPW Pascal Unit of the “Tool Window Manager”. He said at the end of his letter that he would send this version to MacTutor in order that subscribers of MacTutor interested by it be able to get it directly from you. So, I’m inquiring if you have received this Pascal version of the “Tool Window Manager”.

Before ending, I would like to tell that you at MacTutor are doing a great job for the programmer’s community, and I’m really satisfied to have joined the MacTutor community last year. As I can’t completely devote to programming because of my studies, your magazine and your source code disks are of a great help to me. They allow me to study Macintosh programming while pursuing studies in business.

[The MPW Pascal unit for the Tool Window Manager has not been received here at MacTutor. Thomas, if you’re reading this, please send it in! People have been asking for it over and over. When it does come in, I will post a notice in the Letters column.-ed]

Detecting MultiFinder

Christopher R. Wysocki

Brookfield Center, CT

I found Paul Davis’ article “Detecting MultiFinder” in the March issue to be interesting, but it left me wondering why he went to so much trouble to determine if MultiFinder is running. For this I’ve always relied on the existence of the _OSDispatch trap; i.e.:

/* 1 */

#define _OSDispatch 0xA88F
#define _Unimplemented 0xA89F

Boolean MultiFinderIsUp()
 return (NGetTrapAddress(_OSDispatch, ToolTrap) != GetTrapAddress(_Unimplemented));

This was taken almost verbatim from the Programmer’s Guide to MultiFinder. Normally you’d use this routine to check for the existence for the existence of the temporary memory allocation calls, but since they’re available only with MultiFinder, it essentially tells you if MultiFinder is running or not. I’m using this method in my current Mac project, and it seems to work just fine.

While I’m at it, let me extend my thanks to you for a superb magazine. I’ve been reading MacTutor for about two years now, and I’ve become a much more knowledgeable Mac programmer as a result. Back issues of MacTutor have become an indispensable part of my programming library. Merci beaucoup.

Macintosh Summit Conference

University of California

Santa Barbara

The First Annual Macintosh Summit Conference is being held at the University of California, Santa Barbara on August 22 to 24. The host is Mac guru, Guy Kawasaki. The conference will have sessions on graphics, printing, System 7.0 and so on. The cost is $680.30 for the conference. You may obtain more information by calling (805) 893-4952.


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The fifth Object-Oriented Programming Systems, Languages, and Applications Conference is scheduled for October 21-25 in Ottawa, Canada. Joining them will be the European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming. For further information about the conference, contact Karen Offermann at (609) 764-0100.

Rotate Update

Bryce L. Fowler

Palo Alto, CA

For some time now I’ve been using the assembly procedure “Rotate,” published in MacTutor Vol. 4, No. 2 and the enhanced in Vol. 4, No. 11, to display rotated text in my own programs. Recently, using the latest versions of MPW and MacApp, Rotate started bombing at the instruction


movea.l currentWord-localVars(a0), a2

With the aid of Steve Jasik’s Debugger, I was able to track the problem down to a nonzero value in the hi-word of register d7. Stray values in the hi-word of d7 will cause problems at the instruction “sub.l d7, currentWord-localVars(a0)” (or in the Vol. 4, No. 11 version at all the “sub.l d7, a2” instructions in the unwrapped loop).

The fix is simple. In either version of Rotate, add the line


clr.l d7

just before the register is first used, i.e., place the instruction before the lines


move.w  bounds+bottom(a1), d7
sub.w   bounds+top(a1), d7
move.w  d7, d0

Mouse track & field comment

Rodney K. Magnuson

MindVision Software

Lincoln, NE

I would like to comment on the Mouse Track and Field article. I thought it was great to finally see a replacement for Text Edit in one of your articles. As a programmer, there are times when you wish you did not have to use Text Edit, but feel that the job does not justify writing a replacement yourself. My excitement was stifled when I read that the code was copyrighted and could not be used freely in commercial programs. I ask you, what was the use of publishing the article? Perhaps the author is thinking of going back to school to become a lawyer and is going to wait an undetermined amount of time before he starts looking for code that may resemble his text editing routines. Ok...that was a little harsh and most likely not true, but I hope you get my point.

I would also like to comment on the dialog articles of the April issue. The ideas expressed in the articles were very good. I would also like to add a notion. Dialogs that contains variable sized text boxes should resize themselves according to the amount of text they are displaying. Since most applications do not include these features, I have written an INIT that adds all of these features and more to every dialog. The INIT is called ModalKeys and will be available soon in an INIT package called PowerPack. ModalKeys also allows users to hit a Hot Key that will toggle the titles of all of the buttons of a dialog to their command keys. This features is also included in our HyperCard/SuperCard report generator: Elaborate! I do not know of any other utilities/applications that do this.

Keep up the good work.

[Rodney, you are perfectly able to use the code found in any article of MacTutor. Copyright notices must be kept and credit of the source found somewhere in your application, such as the About box. Martin does want a copy of any commercial application using his code treating him like he bought it.-ed]

Menu Shortcuts

Sean Nolan

Sommerville, MA

Here’s a little trick which I’ve found has helped with menu command keys. It solves several problems:

1. On some international keyboards, command-period doesn’t work since the shift key is required in order to type a period. The shift key is usually ignored if the command key is down. This also prevents you from using command-plus as a menu shortcut (it is so natural to have command-plus and command-minus for two related commands). TechNote #263 describes this problem.

2. You can’t have keyboard equivalents for menu items which have small icons in them (see TechNote #253).

3. Any other command keys for things that are not in menus (such as buttons or elements of a tool palette) tend to be hard-coded into programs rather than use resources. This is bad, wrong, and evil.

My solution was to create a menu which has all the additional command keys I needed. The menu is not part of the menu bar, and is not visible to the user. It is installed the same way hierarchical and popup menus are:

/* 5 */

gKeyShortcutsMenu = GetMenu(KEYSHORTCUTS_ID);
InsertMenu(gKeyShortcutsMenu, -1);

The key shortcuts menu has a cancel item with the command key equivalent of command-period. If I ever produce an Italian version of my program, I will change this to command-semicolon (an unshifted period on Italian keyboards). The menu also has an ADD_ITEM with a shortcut of command-= (I also have an ADD_ITEM in another visible menu; It’s shortcut is command-+, which is , alas, never used). There are PAGE_UP (command-up arrow) and PAGE_DOWN (command-down arrow) items for paging the current window’s scrollbar. It’s easier to add it to the shortcuts menu than to test for the key code in the event loop. In addition, my shortcuts menu has items parallel all of my regular menu items which have small icons with them. The small icon’d menu items can’t have keyboard equivalents, but I’ve made it so they look like they do: the name of the menu items contain the command character plus the key shortcut character.

Finder/MultiFinder Switching

Sean Nolan

Sommerville, MA

Here’s a way to switch back and forth between Finder and MultiFinder quickly. It requires MacroMaker (or some other keyboard macro program) and ResEdit.

First, open up MacroMaker and create two macros. Start recording to make Option-Command-M (“M” for “MultiFinder”) do the following actions: select “Set Startup” in the Special menu, click on the MuliFinder radio button, click on the OK button, and then type option-command-R. Go to the MacroMaker menu and stop recording.

Make a second Finder macro invoked by option-command-F (“F” for “Finder”). Have it select “Set Startup” in the Special menu, click on the Finder radio button, click on the OK button, and then type option-command-R.

Next, make it so that option-command-R restarts the machine. It isn’t obvious, but you can have an option-character as the command key for a menu item. Open up the Finder’s Special menu using ResEdit and make option-R the command key for “Restart”. For symmetry, I also make the option-S the command key for “Shutdown”.

You now have four shortcuts from the Finder available:

option-command-R restarts your Mac

option-command-S shutsdown your Mac

option-command-F restarts your Mac in Finder

option-command-M restarts your Mac in MultiFinder


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