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External Windows 2
Volume Number:7
Issue Number:4
Column Tag:XCMD Corner

Related Info: Window Manager Event Manager

More on External Windows

Donald Koscheka, Contributing Editor

Note: Source code files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks.

Let’s see, the last time we left off, we were busy examining the external window system in HyperCard 2.0. Over the past few months, I’ve had an opportunity to explore the innards of HyperCard 2.0 in great detail. On balance, I ‘m not altogether disappointed although I do find that the windowing system can get a little awkward for very sophisticated applications. For example, I found that it would be nice to have one xcmd create an external window and have yet another xcmd manage that window. HyperCard 2.0 does not allow this; the xcmd must be created in the xcmd that will “own” that window. This is important to note when programming xcmds for external windows. When an event occurs in your window, the event will be dispatched to the xcmd that created the window. HyperCard must keep some sort of internal list of which xcmds own which windows.

In my last column, I presented an event loop for handling external windows. As I mentioned, external window events fall into two categories: “toolbox” level events such as update, activate and the like and “HyperCard” events that are created and dispatched by HyperCard. This month, we will look at some of the more arcane window management functions in HyperCard 2.0 and try to cast them in a light that makes them more useful than esoteric.

Window XCMDs

For the most part, xcmds that manage windows look like standard Macintosh event loops without the loop. The xcmd does not call getnextevent or waitnextevent directly. Rather, it gets an event from HyperCard. Each activation of the xcmd responds to exactly one event and then passes control back to HyperCard. This means that you don’t need to loop back to the beginning of the event loop. You process the current event and then return.

The significance of this last paragraph cannot be overstated. If you are an experienced xcmd programmer, you know that Hypercard unloads your xcmd resource after each activation. Much of the slownesss of xcmds can be attributed to the loading in of the resource on each activation.

This is not acceptable for windowing systems that need to flash a cursor on null events or do some reasonably fast processing of events. In these cases, you might do well to try your luck with a new Hypercard callback: XWHasInterrupt():

in Pascal:


Procedure XWHasInterruptCode( paramPtr : XCmdPtr; window :WindowPtr; 
HaveCode: Boolean);

in “C”:

/* 2 */

pascal void XWHasInterruptCode( XCmdPtr paramPtr, WindowPtr window, boolean 
HaveCode );

This routine will permanently lock the owning xcmd into memory. Apple advises that the routine should be used with extreme prudence as it can seriously tax HyperCard’s heap. By keeping the routine locked in memory, the code should theoretically perform faster although I haven’t noticed any dramatic improvements. By the way, the affected window must have been created using a call to NewXwindow. Don’t mix toolbox windows with HyperCard external windows -- your system will behave unpredicably if it behaves at all. HyperCard uses this window pointer to determine which xcmd is being affected by the callback. Get in the habit of always declaring your windows in the xcmd layer. If you have any old code lying around that creates windows directly, either fix it to work with the HyperCard windowing scheme or throw the code out. I rewrote all my window management code and found that the stuff works a lot better that way. It’s not a big deal: you first create the window with newxwindow and then wait for the xopenevt to be passed to the xcmd that owns the window. For further details, refer to the March, 91 issue of this column.

Now back to the fragmentation problem: XWHasInterruptCode locks your resource into memory making it a non-relocatable object for the duration (this implies that you can store pointers to routines et al in the source code but this is better avoided as a point of practice). Locked objects can seriously impact memory management in HyperCard which massages the heap rigorously. You can mitigate fragmentation by moving your code high in the heap where it will do the least amount of harm. Of course, you can’t move the code from inside itself, (not that this is impossible, you should consider this as an interesting problem in its own right). You can’t move your xcmd directly because HyperCard has locked it down so that it can invoke the callback libraries as subroutines. To move the xcmd height in memory, you call yet another callback:


Procedure XWAlwaysMoveHigh( paramPtr : XCmdPtr; window: WindowPtr; moveHigh 
: Boolean );


/* 4 */

pascal void XWAlwaysMoveHigh( XCmdPtr paramPtr, WindowPtr window, boolean 
movehigh );

If you set the movehigh flag to true, your xcmd will be moved high when it is loaded. Now this will ordinarily slow the xcmd down because first it must be loaded into memory and then moved up to the top of the heap. It seems to me that if you’re going to call this routine, you should lock the xcmd in memory also so that this process does not get repeated on every invocation of the xcmd (remember that xcmds get unloaded after each invocation as rule).

Now that the xcmd is high in the heap and is locked into memory, we can really start having some fun. The next callback we will look at allows us to make our xcmd reentrant:


Procedure XWAllowReentrancy( paramPtr; XCmdPtr; window: windowPtr; allowSysEvts: 
Boolean; allowHCEvts: Boolean );


/* 6 */

pascal void XWAllowReentrancy( XCmdPtr paramPtr, windowPtr window, boolean 
allowSysEvts, boolean allowHCEvts);

Use this callback to tell HyperCard that the xcmd can accept re-entrant events. Apple provided the xcmd mainly to handle the case where an xcmd executes a script and, during the script execution, may receive an event for one of its windows. This is actually more common than you might expect -- the user may switch out of HyperCard using Multifinder in which case your xcmd needs to be called back to handle the suspend/resume events. Another case for reentrancy is when your xcmd creates a window that needs to be updated while the xcmd is still running. You reach this state by implementing a modaldialog loop in your xcmd or by executing a script from within the xcmd. While the script is executing, the user may change the window ordering causing the your window to receive an update event (if it’s invalRgn changes of course).

In the documentation I received with Hypercard 2.0, Apple warns us that writing re-entrant code is difficult and that some development systems may not support re-entrancy. Apple refers the programmer to tech note #256 for further details (Stand Alone Code ad nauseum). Whether you ever plan to support re-entrancy or not, I suggest you read this tech note. It’s chock full of really good information -- the kind of tech note that I like to leave on my coffee table for guests to browse through when they come visiting.

An Example

Listing 1 depicts a window management xcmd that uses these callbacks and more. This xcmd allows us to specify three pieces of information for each window: the name, the rectangle and the type. Notice that the rectangle is converted to a QuickDraw rectangle from a HyperCard rectangle using the callback STRTORECT. This is a new callback that accepts a single string of the form below and converts it to a qd rect (in HyperCard, rects are specified as left, top, right, bottom: in QuickDraw they are specified as top,left,bottom, right). It’s important to allow the user to specify the rect in the most common vernacular, in this case, HyperTalk.

The xwindoids xcmd is invoked thusly:


 xwindoids “Name of the new window”, “left,top,right,bottom”, style

where style can be any of the window styles specified in Inside Macintosh plus the floating HyperCard window type: “Palette”. To create a standard window, do this:


 xwindoids “Hello World”, “0,0,300,200”, “documentProc”

Notice that the window is set to the upper left portion of the screen. The xcmd automatically centers the window so you need not worry about the actual screen coordinates. If this is not acceptable, comment out the center window code or write a move window xcmd, whichever you’re more comfortable with.

Dialogs present a different problem to window management in HyperCard. When we create a new window in the document layer of HyperCard, it shares the event loop with HyperCard (if effect, document windows in HyperCard are modeless dialogs). To make a modal dialog, we need to “take over” the event loop. This cannot be done easily once the window is in the HyperCard document layer. The solution is to bypass the layer from the outset. In listing 1, we first check to see if the window is a dBoxProc type (modal dialog). If not, we add it to the appropriate window layer with a call to NewXWindow (notice that Palettes automatically float).

If the window is to be a modal dialog, we first move the xcmd high and then lock it down. Reentrancy is not needed since we won’t return control to HyperCard until the user dismisses the dialog. Notice also that dialog windows need a fourth parameter:


 xwindoids “DialogWindow”, “0,0,300,200”, “dBoxProc”, DITL_ID

where DITL_ID is the resource id of the ditl to be used by this dialog. If you are using a dialog window, you must specify the DITL or the xcmd will fail.

Once the xcmd is moved and locked, we can load in the DITL and detach it from the resource fork (this must be done or the window will crash on its next invocation -- DisposDialog disposes the DITL). From this point out, we run the dialog using modal dialog. The modalFilter proc checks to see if return or enter was pressed and also hilites item 1 which I ALWAYS specify as the default action button.

Once the dialog is dismissed, we close it down and return to HyperCard.

Listing 1 works for all styles of windows although its approach is rather unconventional. I haven’t found a way to put modal windows in the HyperCard document layer yet so you may want to play around with the code to see what you can discover. If you do move the modal dialog code into the HyperCard event processor, you MUST specify that the xcmd has interrupt code since modaldialog relies on a pointer to modalFilter. Time and energy prevent me from exploring this avenue any further but I’d love to hear from anyone who is successful in makeing this happen (no cheating -- you can’t rewrite ModalDialog which is the easy solution).

Have fun, see what you can discover on your own and let me know what you’d like to see in the future.

One last thing. You will notice that my callbacks are specified in Uppercase. This is because I converted the MPW HyperXLib to a Think Library without knowing about the option in the converter that would have permitted me to use the actual entry point names. I haven’t bothered to change this yet because Symantec just sent me their version of the Library. I will be using that in the future and my callbacks will have the correct case sensitivity.

Listing 1

/* A sample XCMD for Hypercard*/
/* 2.0 that displays and handles */
/* external windows and dialogs. */
/* */
/* Well-behaved XCMDs for HC2.0  */
/* will respond to the ! and ?*/
/* requests by returning version*/
/* and usage information  */
/* respectively. */
/* */
/* ----------------------------  */
/* ©1991, Donald Koscheka */
/* All Rights Reserved    */


 HyperXLib-- Hypercard 2.0 callback library available from 
 Apple Computer, Inc.
 xwindoid.c (contents of listing 1)

 Set Project Type:
 Type == XCMD | XFCN
 Name == xwindoid
 id == -32768..32767
 xwindoid “?”    -- XCMD 
 xwindoid “!”
 put the result
 OR     -- XFCN
 Put xwindoid( “?” )
 Put xwindoid( “!” )
 xwindoid “name”, rect, style, dlgID
 name == the name of the window
 rect == the rect of the window
 style== dBoxProc, documentProc, palette,  
 dlgID== dialog id( modal dialogs only).

#ifndef NIL
 #define NIL(void *)0L

#define ETX 0x03 
#define BS0x08   
#define TAB 0x09
#define LF0x0A
#define NEWLINE  0x0D
#define CR0x0D
#define LEFT_ARROW 0x1C
#define RIGHT_ARROW0x1D
#define UP_ARROW 0x1E
#define DOWN_ARROW 0x1F

/* Multifinder events and masks  */
#ifndef MouseMovedEvt

#ifndef SuspendResumeEvt
 #defineSuspendResumeEvt  0x01

#ifndef ResumeEvtMask

#ifndef ConvertScrapMask
 #defineConvertScrapMask  0x02

#define palette  0x80

pascal void HandleHCEvent( XCmdPtr pp );
pascal Boolean modalFilter( DialogPtr dlg, EventRecord *evt, short *itemhit 

void  CenterWindow( WindowPtr wptr, short isFront )
* Center a window in the current
* screen port.  Note: Does not
* attempt to work with multi-screen
* systems.
* This code is courtesy of Steve
* Maller of Apple Computer Inc.
* Thanks Steve.
 short  hWindSize = wptr->portRect.right - wptr->portRect.left;
 short  vWindSize = wptr->portRect.bottom - wptr->;
 short  hSize = wptr->portBits.bounds.right - wptr->portBits.bounds.left;
 short  vSize = wptr->portBits.bounds.bottom - wptr->;
 MoveWindow( wptr, 
 ( hSize - hWindSize ) / 2, 
 ( vSize - vWindSize + 20) / 2,

void Concat( char*str1, char*str2 )
* Append string 2 to the end of
* string 1.  Both strings are 
* pascal-format strings.
* str1 must be large enough to hold
* the new string and is assumed to 
* be of Type Str255 (a pascal string)
 BlockMove( str2 + 1, str1 + str1[0] + 1, (long)str2[0]);
 str1[0] += str2[0];

pascal void main( XCmdPtr pp )
* params[0] = the name of the window
* params[1] = the rect of the window (left,top,right,bottom)
* params[2] = the window style (dBoxProc, documentProc, palette)
 Handle answer = NIL;
 char   *str;
 long   len;
 TEHandle hTE;
 Rect   bounds;
 short  style    = documentProc;
 char   title[32];
 char   temp[64];/* no need to hog the stack here */
 long   dlgID    = 0;
 pp->returnValue = NIL;

 if( pp->paramCount < 0 ){/* Have an event for one of our windows */
 HandleHCEvent( pp );
 if (pp->paramCount == 1){
 if ( **(pp->params[0]) == ‘!’ ){
 pp->returnValue = PASTOZERO(pp,”\pxwindoid XCMD, version 1.1, ©1991, 
Donald Koscheka”);
 if ( **(pp->params[0]) == ‘?’ ){
 pp->returnValue = PASTOZERO(pp,”\pxwindoid name,rect,style”);
 /* if we get this far, the caller must be creating a new window */
 title[0] = 0; /* the default name */
 Concat( title, “\pUntitled”);
 if( pp->params[0] ){
 HLock( pp->params[0] );
 ZEROTOPAS( pp, *(pp->params[0]), &title );
 HUnlock( pp->params[0] );
 /* the default rectangle if one not specified */ = bounds.left = 0;
 bounds.bottom = 200;
 bounds.right = 300;
 if( pp->params[1] ){
 HLock( pp->params[1] );
 ZEROTOPAS( pp, *(pp->params[1]), &temp );
 STRTORECT( pp, temp, &bounds );
 HUnlock( pp->params[1] );
 if( pp->params[2] ){
 HLock( pp->params[2] );
 ZEROTOPAS( pp, *(pp->params[2]), &temp );
 /* the poor man’s parser */
 if( STRINGEQUAL( pp, temp, “\pDOCUMENTPROC” )) style = documentProc;
 if( STRINGEQUAL( pp, temp, “\pDBOXPROC” )) style = dBoxProc;
 if( STRINGEQUAL( pp, temp, “\pPALETTE” )) style = palette;
 HUnlock( pp->params[2] );
 /* these callback will bomb if window is not valid */

 if( style == dBoxProc ){
 short  itemHit;
 Handle items;
 if( pp->params[3] ){
 HLock( pp->params[3] );
 ZEROTOPAS( pp, *(pp->params[3]), &temp );
 dlgID = STRTONUM( pp, temp );
 HUnlock( pp->params[3] );
 items = GetResource( ‘DITL’, dlgID );
 DetachResource( items ); 
 wind = NewDialog( NIL, &bounds, title, FALSE, dBoxProc,-1L,FALSE,0L, 
items );
 CenterWindow( wind, TRUE );
 GetPort( &oldPort );
 SetPort( wind );
 ShowWindow( wind );
 ModalDialog( modalFilter, &itemHit );
 }while( itemHit != OK );
 HideWindow( wind );
 DisposDialog( wind );
 SetPort( oldPort );
 wind = NEWXWINDOW( pp, &bounds, title, FALSE, style, 
 FALSE, style==palette);
 CenterWindow( wind, TRUE );

pascal Boolean modalFilter( DialogPtr dlg, EventRecord *evt, short *itemhit 
* general filter proc, accepts return and
* enter as ok and hilites the ok button.
* the ok button is always item 1.
* Notice that ModalDialog always accesses
* this routine via a pointer.  If your
* code implemented modalDialog in HandleHCEvent
* then you will need to make sure that
* XWHasInterrupt is set to true.
 int    thenum;
 Handle theitem;
 Rect   thebox;
 char   cc;
 short  iTyp;
 Handle iHdl;
 Rect   iBox;
 ControlHandle okbutn;
 switch( evt->what ){
 case keyDown:
 cc = (char)evt->message & charCodeMask;
 GetDItem( dlg, OK, &iTyp, &okbutn, &iBox);
 if( (*okbutn)->contrlHilite != 255 ){
 SetCtlValue( okbutn, 1 );
 if(cc == CR || cc == ETX ){
 *itemhit = OK;
 return TRUE;
 case updateEvt:
 GetDItem( dlg, OK, &iTyp, &okbutn, &iBox);
 if( (*okbutn)->contrlHilite != 255 ){
 }/* event switch */

 return FALSE;

pascal void HandleHCEvent( XCmdPtr pp )
* Handle events in our xWindows  
* returns true if the event was handled ok
 XWEventInfoPtr  ip= pp->params[0];
 short  windoPart;
 TEHandle hTE;
 Rect   bounds;
 Point  hit;
 char   theKey;
 short  extend;
 pp->passFlag = TRUE;/* seems to be more often the case */
 switch( ip->event.what ){
 case mouseDown:
 windoPart = FindWindow( ip->event.where, &whichWindow );
 if( whichWindow )
 switch ( windoPart ){
 case inGoAway:
 if (TrackGoAway( whichWindow, ip->event.where) ){
 CLOSEXWINDOW( pp,whichWindow );
 pp->passFlag = FALSE;

 case inDrag:
 /* handled by hypercard */
 case inGrow:
 case inContent:
 if (whichWindow == FrontWindow() ){
 GetPort( &oldPort );
 SetPort( ip->eventWindow );
 SetPort( oldPort );
 SelectWindow( whichWindow );

 pp->passFlag = FALSE;
 }/* window part */
 case mouseUp:
 case keyDown:
 case autoKey: 
 /* the command key will be handled by hypercard */
 GetPort( &oldPort );
 SetPort( ip->eventWindow );
 theKey  = ip->event.message & 0xFF;
 SetPort( oldPort );
 pp->passFlag = FALSE;
 case activateEvt:
 if ( ip->event.modifiers & activeFlag )
 BEGINXWEDIT( pp, ip->eventWindow );
 ENDXWEDIT( pp, ip->eventWindow );
 case updateEvt:
 /* hypercard converts dialogs to 0x14 kind? */
 if(((WindowPeek)(ip->eventWindow))->windowKind != 0x14) {
 BeginUpdate( ip->eventWindow );
 EndUpdate( ip->eventWindow );
 case app4Evt:
 unsigned char *evtType = &(ip->event.message);
 switch( *evtType ){
 case MouseMovedEvt:
 case SuspendResumeEvt:

 case xOpenEvt:
 SetPort( ip->eventWindow );
 ShowWindow( ip->eventWindow );
 case xCloseEvt:
 HideWindow( ip->eventWindow );
 case xGiveUpEditEvt:

 case xEditUndo:
 case xEditCut:
 case xEditCopy:
 case xEditPaste:
 case xEditClear:
 GetPort( &oldPort );
 SetPort( ip->eventWindow );
 GetMouse( &hit );
 pp->passFlag = FALSE;
 SetPort( oldPort );
 }/* switch theEvent->what */

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