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 Security Update 2015-001 - For OS...
Apple Security Update 2015-001 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.... Read more
Drive Genius 4.0.1 - Powerful system uti...
Drive Genius 4 gives you faster performance from your Mac while also protecting it. The award-winning and improved DrivePulse feature alerts you to hard drive issues before they become major problems... Read more
OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 - Apple's lat...
OS X Yosemite is Apple's newest operating system for Mac. An elegant design that feels entirely fresh, yet inherently familiar. The apps you use every day, enhanced with new features. And a... Read more
Apple iOS 8.1.3 - The latest version of...
The latest version of iOS can be downloaded through iTunes. Apple iOS 8 comes with big updates to apps you use every day, like Messages and Photos. A whole new way to share content with your family.... Read more
SpamSieve 2.9.19 - Robust spam filter fo...
SpamSieve is a robust spam filter for major email clients that uses powerful Bayesian spam filtering. SpamSieve understands what your spam looks like in order to block it all, but also learns what... Read more
RapidWeaver 6.0.5 - Create template-base...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
Duet 1.2.2 - Use your iPad as an externa...
Duet is the first app that allows you to use your iDevice as an extra display for your Mac using the Lightning or 30-pin cable. Note: This app requires a $14.99 iOS companion app. Version 1.2.2:... Read more
Alfred 2.6 - Quick launcher for apps and...
Alfred is an award-winning productivity application for OS X. Alfred saves you time when you search for files online or on your Mac. Be more productive with hotkeys, keywords, and file actions at... Read more
1Password 5.1 - Powerful password manage...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
GarageSale 6.9.2 - Create outstanding eB...
GarageSale is a slick, full-featured client application for the eBay online auction system. Create and manage your auctions with ease. With GarageSale, you can create, edit, track, and manage... Read more

Storm & Skye – Magical Adventure Sto...
Storm & Skye – Magical Adventure Story For Kids Review By Amy Solomon on January 28th, 2015 Our Rating: iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad The first book in the Storm & Skye series includes... | Read more »
New WOTA: U-Boat Compass ‘Wets’ Your App...
New WOTA: U-Boat Compass ‘Wets’ Your Appetite for WOTA: Wolves of the Atlantic. Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Warship Solitaire Review
Warship Solitaire Review By Nadia Oxford on January 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: A WAR OF NUMBERSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Warship Solitaire might lack frills and looks, but it offers some thought provoking... | Read more »
Keep Track of Your Hectic Work Schedule...
Keep Track of Your Hectic Work Schedule With Shifts Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
All Star Quarterback Review
All Star Quarterback Review By Campbell Bird on January 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: PLAY YOUR PARTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Train your way to the Super Bowl in this free-to-play sports management game.   | Read more »
Sentinel 4: Dark Star Adds New Campaign...
Sentinel 4: Dark Star Adds New Campaign and More Posted by Ellis Spice on January 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Wheel & Deal Review
Wheel & Deal Review By Tre Lawrence on January 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: SIMPLE FUNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A simple arcade shooter that has a retro feel.   | Read more »
Join the NAVY in a Big New Update for WW...
Join the NAVY in a Big New Update for WW2: Sandbox. Strategy & Tactics Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Earthworm Alchemy Review
Earthworm Alchemy Review By Campbell Bird on January 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: FEED THE WORMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Feed this funny looking worm and dodge bombs in this charming, free-to-play arcade game.   | Read more »
Graphic Novel App netwars – The Butterfl...
Graphic Novel App netwars – The Butterfly Attack has Received Some New Episodes Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

iPad Turns Five – The ”Book Mystique
Five years ago this week, the late Steve Jobs took the stage at an Apple special press event to unveil the first Apple iPad — a slab-shaped, hand-holdable device that was to shake the personal... Read more
Sale! 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros for up to $...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $150 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1889.99... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis for up to $150 of...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz... Read more
Apple Releases New Tranche Of OS Updates For...
Apple has released incremental bugfix and security updates for its most recent Mac and iOS versions. OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Update Apple says this update includes the following improvements: Resolves... Read more
Samsung To Be Main Supplier Of A9 Chips For i...
Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper reports that Samsung has beat out its chipmaking rivals, Taiwan’s Qualcomm and TSMC, as supplier of chipsets for the next generations of both its own Galaxy S6 and... Read more
Save up to $340 on iMacs with Apple Certified...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $340 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
AppleCare Protection Plans on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 3-Year AppleCare Warranties on sale for up to $105 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - Mac Laptops 15″ and Above: $244 $105 off MSRP - Mac Laptops 13″ and... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available sta...
The Apple Store has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for up to $60 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $255... Read more
3TB AirPort Time Capsule on sale for $349, $5...
B&H Photo has 3TB AirPort Time Capsules on sale for $349 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model (except... Read more
16GB iPad Air 2 on sale for $446, save $53
Walmart has 16GB WiFi iPad Air 2s on sale for $53 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online orders only, in-... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
As an ambassador of the Apple brand, the ASC is accountable for driving sales performance by: Connecting with customers. Discovering customers' needs and values. Showing Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
As an ambassador of the Apple brand, the ASC is accountable for driving sales performance by: Connecting with customers. Discovering customers' needs and values. Showing Read more
*Apple* Tree Children's Center is hirin...
Apple Tree Learning Center is Hiring Preschool Teachers! Phoenix Childrens Academy is a national leader in the early childhood education industry and we are currently Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
As an ambassador of the Apple brand, the ASC is accountable for driving sales performance by: Connecting with customers. Discovering customers' needs and values. Showing Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.