TweetFollow Us on Twitter

HyperCard 2.0
Volume Number:6
Issue Number:11
Column Tag:XCMD Corner

HyperCard 2.0

By Donald Koscheka, MacTutor Contributing Editor

The Revolution

Thomas Jefferson once stated that “Revolution is that event which allows all ordinary events to continue”. Based on this definition, I’m inclined to feel that HyperCard 2.0 is a bit revolutionary. For the past 3 years, stack developers have expended a tremendous amount of energy trying to squeeze the last bit of performance from HyperCard.

This effort almost always leads to the development of some suite of XCMDs to supercharge an existing stack. As I watched this evolution develop, I noticed that XCMDs typically fall along a specific set of tasks. These include file I/O, interfacing to external devices, print management and window management (including dialogs). From the perspective of the XCMD programmer, the HyperCard 2.0 revolution is not at all subtle: HyperCard incorporates many features found previously only in XCMDs.

HyperCard 2.0 brings more to the party than new XCMD capability but in keeping with the spirit of this column, I will focus on what’s new in the XCMD world.

What’s New and What’s Not

Whenever you need to develop for a new version of any software package, you need to evaluate the scope of the update. You can perform this evaluation very quickly by asking yourself two questions: “What changed since the last version” and “What hasn’t changed since the last version?”

Armed with these two questions, the best place to find the answers is in the interface and library files in HyperCard 2.0. My version of HyperCard 2.0 came with just 3 files: HyperXCMD.p, HyperXCMD.h and HyperXlib.o. I was immediately surprised to find that XCMDGlue was missing from the distribution disk. At first I thought this was a mistake but a quick disassembly of HyperXLib.o showed this not to be the case; XCMDGlue is no longer needed, that function is now performed directly in the Callback Library.

So the first change is that we no longer need to compile our code with a glue routine. The interface code varies incrementally beyond this point (that is, they’ve ADDED stuff but all of the old stuff is still intact). For example, XCMDs are still called with the same parameter block record as in earlier versions of HyperCard with the exception that the the fields in the block take on special meaning for external windows. External windows adds a whole new dimension to HyperCard so look for a lot of discussion about them in future installments of this column.

The parameter block is not only used for interfacing between the calling script and the XCMD but also for interfacing between the XCMD and the HyperCard callbacks. The callback engine has been increased to over 75 callbacks (I counted two callbacks that appear in the library but are not documented as of this writing). The new callbacks can be divided into groups according to the class of services they perform: Hypertalk utilities, Memory Utilities, String Utilities, String Conversions, field utilities, miscellaneous utilities, Creating and disposing windows, window utilities, text edit utilities, script editor utilities, debugging tools. The categories are Apple’s, not mine. I will use this list to set the agenda for this column for the next several months. We will look at each of these categories in detail in turn.

One of the most salient additions to XCMDs in HyperCard 2.0 is the addition of “version control” information. From now, whenever the user passes ! as the first parameter to an xcmd, you need to return the version of that XCMD. if the user types passes ? as the first parameter, you should pass usage information to the user. This is straightforward and simple enough to abide by. Funny how those darned “command lines” have a habit of appearing in the most unusual of places. With this in mind, we will start at the beginning again, introducing “Simple XCMD 2.0.c” with this new twist. This is the building block for all 2.0 XCMDs and you can use it as a sort of template. A controversy will no doubt arise over the hard coding of strings in the XCMD code resource, but without a lot of thought, I think that you can convince yourself that there isn’t a better way to do this.

An XCMD For 2.0

While we haven’t answered both questions in great detail on this pass, we have learned enough to jump right into trying our hand at an XCMD for 2.0. We learned that the interface is pretty much unchanged and that old XCMD should work fine under 2.0 although they won’t be able to take advantage of 2.0’s features. Most importantly, we learned that this isn’t a complete restart; we can easily build on existing experience as we migrate our code to 2.0. This is good -- nobody likes to spend 3 years doing anything just to discover on such and such a date that everything they know is wrong!

Listing 1 is a sample HyperCard 2.0 XCMD. It is quite straightforward since it doesn’t actually do anything. I am taking the introduction of HyperCard 2.0 as a rare opportunity to “wipe the slate clean” and start all over again with a fresh look at XCMDs. Since this is the first of many columns in which I will discuss 2.0, I have decided to start off slow and sure and build from here. Listing 1 conforms to the structure of a 2.0 XCMD without relying on the new XCMD glue. If you don’t have 2.0 yet, you can build and test this XCMD under earlier versions of HyperCard until you get version 2.0. I did this to allow those of you who want to follow along with this column to get caught up first. I will start in earnest on 2.0 next month. Until then, Happy Hacking!

/**********************************/
/* File: Sample.c*/
/* */
/* A sample XCMD for Hypercard*/
/* 2.0  */
/* */
/* Well-behaved XCMDs for HC2.0  */
/* will respond to the ! and ?*/
/* requests by returning version */
/* and usage information  */
/* respectively. */
/* */
/* ----------------------------  */
/* ©1990, Donald Koscheka */
/* All Rights Reserved    */
/**********************************/

/*
 Project:

 ANSI-A4-- standard “C” libraries assembled
 off of register A4
 
 MacTraps
 Sample2.0.c (contents of listing 1)

 Set Project Type:
 Type == XCMD | XFCN
 Name == SimpleXCMD
 id == 1000
 
 Usage
 
 SimpleXCMD “?”
 SimpleXCMD “!”
 put the result
 
 OR
 
 Put simpleXCMD( “?” )
 Put simpleXCMD( “!” )
*/

#include<SetUpA4.h>
#include<string.h>
#include<HyperXCMD.h>
 
#ifndef NIL
 #define NIL(void *)0L
#endif

Handle  strToParam( str )
 char *str;
/***************************
* Given a pointer to a string,
* copy that string into a handle
* and return the handle.
*
* The input and output strings
* are both null-terminated
*
***************************/
{
 Handle outH = NIL;
 long len = 0;
 
 len = strlen( str );
 if( len )
 if( outH = NewHandle( len ) )
 BlockMove( str, *outH, len + 1 );
 
 return( outH );
}

pascal void main( paramPtr )
 XCmdPtrparamPtr;
{
 Handle answer = NIL;
 char *str;
 long len;
 
 paramPtr->returnValue = NIL;

 /** The first thing that a well-behaved           **/
 /** HC2.0 XCMD should do is check to see    **/
 /** whether the first (and only) parameter  **/
 /** is the user request for information or  **/
 /** or usage information.  If so, just pass **/
 /** your answer back to the user, otherwise **/
 /** go ahead and perform your xcmd services **/
 
 if (paramPtr->paramCount == 1){
 if ( **(paramPtr->params[0]) == ‘!’ ){
 paramPtr->returnValue = strToParam(“Simple XCMD, version 1.0, ©Donald 
Koscheka, 1990”);
 return;
 }
 
 if ( **(paramPtr->params[0]) == ‘?’ ){
 paramPtr->returnValue = strToParam(“Simple takes no parameters and does 
nothing with them.”);
 return;
 }
 }
}

Listing 1. SimpleXCMD.c

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Apple macOS Sierra 10.12.3 - The latest...
With Apple macOS Sierra, Siri makes its debut on Mac, with new features designed just for the desktop. Your Mac works with iCloud and your Apple devices in smart new ways, and intelligent... Read more
Lyn 1.8.5 - Lightweight image browser an...
Lyn is a fast, lightweight image browser and viewer designed for photographers, graphic artists, and Web designers. Featuring an extremely versatile and aesthetically pleasing interface, it delivers... Read more
iClock Pro 3.4.7 - Customize your menuba...
iClock Pro is a menu bar replacement clock for Apple's default clock. iClock Pro is an update, total rewrite and improvement to the popular iClock. Have the day, date and time in different fonts and... Read more
Opera 42.0.2393.137 - High-performance W...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Apple Security Update 2016-003 Supplemen...
Apple Security Update is recommended for all users and improves the security of OS X. For detailed information about the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/... Read more
Apple iOS 10.2.1 - The latest version of...
iOS 10 is the biggest release of iOS ever. A massive update to Messages brings the power of the App Store to your conversations and makes messaging more personal than ever. Find your route with... Read more
BetterTouchTool 1.992 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Viber 6.5.5 - Send messages and make cal...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device, so... Read more
Lyn 1.8.5 - Lightweight image browser an...
Lyn is a fast, lightweight image browser and viewer designed for photographers, graphic artists, and Web designers. Featuring an extremely versatile and aesthetically pleasing interface, it delivers... Read more
Apple iOS 10.2.1 - The latest version of...
iOS 10 is the biggest release of iOS ever. A massive update to Messages brings the power of the App Store to your conversations and makes messaging more personal than ever. Find your route with... Read more

Clash Royale gets some serious balance u...
| Read more »
Ironhide Game Studio prepares for a busy...
Kingdom Rush breathed fresh life into the tired tower defense genre way back in 2012. The game was a robust challenge that somehow managed to lift you up, rather than leaving you feeling crushed and hopeless. The rich array of unit types and... | Read more »
Collect pets and sling arrows in Arcane...
Mobile gaming is a crowded market, but regular updates are a good way to keep us attention-short players keen. The brand new content in Arcane Online is a prime example. Published by Japanese developer Gala, Arcane Online is a fantasy MMO that... | Read more »
Super Mario Run dashes onto Android in M...
Super Mario Run was one of the biggest mobile launches in 2016 before it was met with a lukewarm response by many. While the game itself plays a treat, it's pretty hard to swallow the steep price for the full game. With that said, Android users... | Read more »
WarFriends Beginner's Guide: How to...
Chillingo's new game, WarFriends, is finally available world wide, and so far it's a refreshing change from common mobile game trends. The game's a mix of tower defense, third person shooter, and collectible card game. There's a lot to unpack here... | Read more »
Super Gridland (Entertainment)
Super Gridland 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Match. Build. Survive. "exquisitely tuned" - Rock Paper Shotgun No in-app purches, and no ads! | Read more »
Red's Kingdom (Games)
Red's Kingdom 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Mad King Mac has kidnapped your father and stolen your golden nut! Solve puzzles and battle goons as you explore and battle your... | Read more »
Turbo League Guide: How to tame the cont...
| Read more »
Fire Emblem: Heroes coming to Google Pla...
Nintendo gave us our first look at Fire Emblem: Heroes, the upcoming mobile Fire Emblem game the company hinted at last year. Revealed at the Fire Emblem Direct event held today, the game will condense the series' tactical RPG combat into bite-... | Read more »
ReSlice (Music)
ReSlice 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Audio Slice Machine Slice your audio samples with ReSlice and create flexible musical atoms which can be triggered by MIDI notes or... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Deal alert! 13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pros for $...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 13″ 2.0GHz non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $225 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro... Read more
Free LibreOffice Portable 5.2.4 Complete Offi...
PortableApps.com and The Document Foundation have announce the release of LibreOffice Portable 5.2.4. LibreOffice Portable is an Open Source full-featured office suite — including a word processor,... Read more
Apple Planning Three New Tablets For 2017 – D...
Digitimes’ Rebecca Kuo and Joseph Tsai say that unnamed insider sources report Apple having three new tablets in the pipeline for 2017 release: a 9.7-inch model with a friendly price range, a new mid... Read more
Roundup of 15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro sale...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Pros available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 9″ and 12″ Apple iPad Pros available for up to $160 off the cost of new iPads. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 32GB 9″... Read more
16GB iPad Air 2, Apple refurbished, available...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 16GB iPad Air 2s available for $319 including free shipping. A standard Apple one-year is included. Their price is $60 off original MSRP for this model. Read more
Apple iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2199 $100 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple TVs available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs available for up to $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more
Save up to $350 with Apple Certified Refurbis...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
2015 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refurbish...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks available for up to $410 off original MSRP. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* & PC Desktop Support Technician...
Apple & PC Desktop Support Technician job in Manhattan, NY Introduction: We have immediate job openings for several Desktop Support Technicians with one of our most Read more
*Apple* & PC Desktop Support Technician...
Apple & PC Desktop Support Technician job in Stamford, CT We have immediate job openings for several Desktop Support Technicians with one of our most well-known Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Site Security Manager - Apple (Unite...
# Apple Site Security Manager Job Number: 54692472 Culver City, California, United States Posted: Jan. 19, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Apple Read more
*Apple* macOS Systems Integration Administra...
…most exceptional support available in the industry. SCI is seeking an Junior Apple macOS systems integration administrator that will be responsible for providing Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.