TweetFollow Us on Twitter

CompileIt! 2.0
Volume Number:7
Issue Number:9
Column Tag:Tools of the Trade

CompileIt! 2.0!

By Dave Kelly, MacTutor Editorial Board

Most of you have seen Heizer Software’s CompileIt! 2.0 advertised. Let’s take a look at CompileIt! and what it can do for you. HyperCard is an easy going environment to work with. Because of that, HyperTalk has not been a favored language of developers. As you’ll see here, CompileIt! 2.0 overcomes nearly all of the objections to using HyperTalk as a serious development environment.

Objection #1: HyperTalk is too slow. You pay a price for convenience and ease of use. HyperTalk 1.2.x is an interpreted language. When messages are caught by a handler, the words in the handler script are turned into tokens that are interpreted by HyperCard. In HyperTalk 2.0, the handler scripts are turned into tokens and then compiled into machine language. Thus HyperCard 2.0 is faster once the handler scripts are compiled (memory permitting though since compiled handlers are purged to make room for new ones). Still, most of us don’t think that this is enough. With CompileIt! 2.0 you can boost the speed of most if not all of your handlers.

Objection #2: You can’t create a stand-alone application with HyperCard. CompileIt! doesn’t provide a solution for this problem, but there are other products appearing in the market that claim they can do this such as SuperCard which can save projects as stand-alone applications. Unless you are really short on disk space, you shouldn’t care about this that much anyway since nearly everyone has HyperCard.

Objection #3: HyperTalk doesn’t have complete access to the Macintosh ROMs. XCMDs and XFCNs provide support for virtually any ROM routine. This excuse is usually used by people that can’t or won’t program in C or Pascal. Creating externals with CompileIt! from your scripts is as easy as writing them in HyperTalk. Extensions added by CompileIt! make toolbox support much easier.

Objection #4: Protection of sensitive program code is difficult in HyperCard. Even though you can protect a stack, there are ways to break that protection. Compiled code doesn’t allow users to readily view the source code. With CompileIt! you can protect your valuable work by compiling sensitive code.

CompileIt! was designed to:

° Speed up HyperCard scripts

° translate HyperTalk scripts into 68000 machine language resulting in XCMDs and XFCNs that can be used by any HyperCard script.

° provide extensions to HyperTalk

USING CompileIt!

Although using CompileIt! comes fairly easy, it is highly recommended that you are experienced with HyperTalk scripts. You should be familiar with handlers, messages, and properties before using CompileIt!.

It’s very tempting to just paste in a script and begin compiling. The CompileIt! 2.0 program consists of a HyperCard stack that allows you to paste your script from the clipboard and then compile. It’s very interesting to note that CompileIt! 2.0 is much faster than earlier versions of CompileIt! That’s because CompileIt! 2.0 has been compiled with CompileIt! The compiling engine consists entirely of resources and only a single line of code that ties the HyperCard interface to the engine. This means that CompileIt! 2.0 can be totally customized to fit the developers needs - even going as far as creating a stand-alone application to hold it or moving it into other environments like Microphone II v3. All that is required to use the engine is a subset of the HyperCard 1.x XCMD interface.

Before using CompileIt! there are a few things that should be understood about the way CompileIt! works. The first part of CompileIt!’s 200 page manual helps you get started with a sample script. Experienced HyperTalk scripters will be able to get started quickly by going through about 7-10 pages of CompileIt! basics. Not every script can be made to run faster by compiling. Scripts that deal with HyperCard structures (that is menus, buttons, fields, cards, etc.) will not go much faster. They must still pass messages to HyperCard routines that still run the same speed. Get, Put, all forms of Repeat, Next (repeat), all forms of If-Then-Else, Abs, Add, Atan, Average, CharToNum, Cos, Delete, Divide, Exit, Exp, Exp1, Global, Length, Ln, Ln1, Log2, Min, Max, Multiply, Number(chunks), NumToChar, Offset, Param, Params, ParamCount, Pass, Random, Result, Return, Round, Sin, Sqrt, Subtract, Tan, Trunc, HyperTalk operators: Div, Mod, +, -, *, &, &&, , ¾, =, , <, >, And, Or, Not, Is Not, Is, /, ^, Constants, Ordinals, and Toolbox calls will all run faster after compiled with CompileIt!

You may need to optimize existing scripts to be sure that they don’t use too many callbacks to HyperCard. For example, the statement put x into y in the script below will make the routine run faster than if x was used throughout the script instead of y. Otherwise, the compiler would have to generate code to convert the string variable x each time it is used. Instead, the conversion from string x to local variable y is done only once. It is helpful to keep in mind that HyperTalk does a lot of conversion for you. By minimizing the amount of conversion that has to be done, the routine can run faster. Unlike HyperCard, where all variables are strings, variables can be declared at the start of a compiled handler. CompileIt! allows many more data types to be declared than are available in HyperCard. Short integers, long integers, Pointers, Handles, P-Strings (including short P-Strings), 0-terminated strings (call these HyperCard strings), OSTypes, Boolean, Character, Floating point (12-byte SANE values), and Records (default is 32 bytes but user can specify any size).

--1

-- calculate ( y)
-- by subtracting odd numbers
function squarroot x
 put x into y
 put 0 into ans
 put 1 into oddint
 repeat while y 0
 subtract oddint from y
 add 1 to ans
 add 2 to oddint
 end repeat
 return ans-1
end squarroot

Normally, Apple’s SANE routines will be used to perform all of CompileIt!’s calculations, although SANE can be turned off to force some variables to integer type. Several techniques can be used to tell CompileIt! that a particular value is floating point - putting 0.0 into a variable to initialize it, adding ^1 after the variable, or declaring it as floating point using shared variables. The manual discusses the pros and cons of using SANE vs. integer math.

Except for the routines specifically marked as “NOT IN ROM” in Inside Macintosh, all procedures and functions are included from Inside Macintosh vol. I-V. Also, selected “NOT IN ROM” routines are included such as the High-Level file manager and Print Manager (NOT IN ROM routines are included based on user demand). Many of the record structures and low-memory globals are also included. Many (but not all) of the Inside Mac VI routines and record structures are also included. CompileIt!’s Custom Symbol Edit card allows users to add additional record structures, low-memory globals, user defined constants, direct calls to other external commands (avoids a slow text callback), and other symbols on their own. Using these calls requires you to convert Inside Macintosh Pascal notation to HyperTalk/CompileIt notation. For example, a common procedure from Inside Macintosh would be: Procedure DrawString (S: Str255); the HyperTalk/CompileIt! equivalent would be: DrawString anystring. You’ll also have to setup record structures to match those in Inside Macintosh. Fortunately, CompileIt! supplies the property names for many of the common types used in Inside Macintosh. If you are not an experienced programmer, it will take some study of the CompileIt! manual sections on programming with the toolbox. Experienced programmers won’t have any trouble with it.

The process of compiling a script begins by copying your script into the clipboard. Open CompileIt! and click on the Enter New Script button. Select the destination stack where CompileIt! will put the external code. CompileIt! will use the name of the handler of the script. That is, if the script started with on mouseup then the name of the external would be mouseup and it would respond to a mouseup message. When you click on the CompileIt! button, the compile begins. It is highly recommended that users not use system messages as XCMD or XFCN names since they tend to get executed when users least expect them too. Better to use On Foo or some such. Also, the word ‘On’ results in an XCMD while the word Function results in an XFCN.

An equally great part of the CompileIt! XCMD Development System is the DebugIt! source level debugger. When you compile a script with DebugIt! turned on, debugging code is added to your external function. When you execute your compiled external, the DebugIt! window will open and execution will halt before the first line is executed. Now you can set breakpoints, view variables, and single step through the external. This gives you as much flexibility in debugging your external as you could ask for. You may find it interesting that DebugIt! is not tied to HyperCard. Externals with DebugIt! attached can be run in just about any environment that supports even a limited subset of the HyperCard 1.x XCMD interface (FoxBase, Microphone II v3, XLINK, and SuperCard are all good examples).

CompileIt! can be used to create xWindoids (external windows) for HyperCard 2.0. CompileIt! simplifies the code you need to write to support an xWindoid by treating events like system messages. HyperCard automatically tells xWindoids about various system events that apply to them such as mouseDowns, updates, menubar clicks, etc. xWindoids are a new feature of HyperCard 2.0.

CompileIt! also works with SuperCard 1.5. Since CompileIt! is shipped as HyperCard 1.2 format, SuperCard users will need to convert to SuperCard format. An appendix in the CompileIt! manual spells out what to do and what to be aware of when using SuperCard and CompileIt!

There are several reasons to go with CompileIt! The price is right at $99, and there are no fees for distribution of your compiled externals. The compile process is a snap, but you should have a good knowledge of HyperTalk. CompileIt! is a great way to speed up and protect sensitive scripts.

CompileIt! 2.0 is distributed exclusively by:

Heizer Software

P. O. Box 232019

Pleasant Hill, CA. 94523

Phone: 800--888-7667 or 415-943-7667

FAX 415-943-6882

Price: $99 (working model: $10.00 compiles scripts up to 10 lines long. The Working Model includes a $10 rebate towards the purchase of CompileIt! 2.0).

Requires: Any Macintosh that can run HyperCard. Supports all versions of HyperCard, including 2.0, and SuperCard 1.5. A moderate level of programming ability is required.

Not copy protected and no runtime fees or licenses are required to distribute externals created with CompileIt!

 
AAPL
$102.50
Apple Inc.
+0.25
MSFT
$45.43
Microsoft Corpora
+0.55
GOOG
$571.60
Google Inc.
+2.40

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VueScan 9.4.41 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.1.2 - 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
SlingPlayer Plugin 3.3.20.505 - Browser...
SlingPlayer is the screen interface software that works hand-in-hand with the hardware inside the Slingbox to make your TV viewing experience just like that at home. It features an array of... Read more
Get Lyrical 3.8 - Auto-magically adds ly...
Get Lyrical auto-magically add lyrics to songs in iTunes. You can choose either a selection of tracks, or the current track. Or turn on "Active Tagging" to get lyrics for songs as you play them.... Read more
Viber 4.2.2 - 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,... Read more
Cocktail 7.6 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
LaunchBar 6.1 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
BBEdit 10.5.12 - Powerful text and HTML...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This Week at 148Apps: August 25-29, 2014
Shiny Happy App Reviews   | Read more »
Qube Kingdom – Tips, Tricks, Strategies,...
Qube Kingdom is a tower defense game from DeNA. You rally your troops – magicians, archers, knights, barbarians, and others – and fight against an evil menace looking to dominate your kingdom of tiny squares. Planning a war isn’t easy, so here are a... | Read more »
Qube Kingdom Review
Qube Kingdom Review By Nadia Oxford on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: KIND OF A SQUARE KINGDOMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Qube Kingdom has cute visuals, but it’s a pretty basic tower defense game at heart.   | Read more »
Fire in the Hole Review
Fire in the Hole Review By Rob Thomas on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: WALK THE PLANKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Seafoam’s Fire in the Hole looks like a bright, 8-bit throwback, but there’s not enough booty to... | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwi...
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwide Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Dodo Master Review
Dodo Master Review By Jordan Minor on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEST EGGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Dodo Master is tough but fair, and that’s what makes it a joy to play.   | Read more »
Motorsport Manager Review
Motorsport Manager Review By Lee Hamlet on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MARVELOUS MANAGEMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite its depth and sense of tactical freedom, Motorsport Manager is one of the most... | Read more »
Motorsport Manager – Beginner Tips, Tric...
The world of Motorsport management can be an unforgiving and merciless one, so to help with some of the stress that comes with running a successful race team, here are a few hints and tips to leave your opponents in the dust. | Read more »
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Add...
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Adds Lots of New Stuff Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Baseball Battle Review
Baseball Battle Review By Jennifer Allen on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SIMPLE HITTINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Simple and cute, Baseball Battle is a fairly fun baseball game for those looking for something... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Labor Day Weekend MacBook Pro sale; 15-inch m...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
Labor Day Weekend iPad mini sale; $50 to $100...
Best Buy has the iPad mini with Retina Display (WiFi models) on sale for $50 off MSRP on their online store for Labor Day Weekend. Choose free shipping or free local store pick up. Price is for... Read more
13-inch 1.4GHz MacBook Air on sale for $899,...
Adorama has the new 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
It’s Official: Apple Issues Invitations To Se...
Apple has issued one of its characteristically cryptic press invitations for a special event to be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in hometown Cupertino on Sept. 9, 2014 at 10:00 am... Read more
Tablet Shipments To See First On-year Decline...
TrendForce analyst Caroline Chen notes that when the iPad launched in 2010, it was an instant hit and spurred a tablet PC revolution, with tablets so popular that that notebook PC sales stagnated and... Read more
SOBERLINK Releases Apple iOS Compatible Handh...
Cypress, California based SOBERLINK, Inc., creator of the first handheld Breathalyzer designed to improve recovery outcomes, continues to show prominence in the mobile alcohol monitoring space with... Read more
New 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale again for $999, s...
Best Buy has the new 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $999.99 on their online store. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pick up. Price is for online orders only, in-... Read more
Smartphone Outlook Remains Strong for 2014, U...
According to a new mobile phone forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, more than 1.25 billion smartphones will be shipped worldwide in 2014,... Read more
Save up to $60 with Apple refurbished iPod to...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Many, but not all... Read more
12-Inch MacBook Air Coming in 4Q14 or 2015 –...
Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that according to Taiwan-based upstream supply chain insiders, Apple plans to launch a thinner MacBook model either at year end 2014 or in 2015, and that... 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
*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
*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
*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
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.