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Jul 92 Tips
Volume Number:8
Issue Number:3
Column Tag:Tips & Tidbits

Tips & Tidbits

By Neil Ticktin, Editor

MacTutor has a new column called “Tips and Tidbits”. This column is your opportunity to spread the word about little bits of information that you find out about. These tidbits can be programming related or they can be user tips that are particularly useful to programmers.

This column is fed by you the readers, so send those tips in. MacTutor will pay $25 for every tip used, and the Tip of the Month will receive $50. To submit a tip, send in a letter to the magazine. Remember, AppleLink is our preferred method of communication, but feel free to send something via US Mail. If you do send mail, enclose a printed copy and a disk copy of the letter so that it does not have to be retyped.

Tip of the month

The MPW programming environment is not a speed demon. But here’s a trick to speed up compiling Pascal programs. The Pascal compiler has the ability to save its symbol tables in another directory. Put the tables for the interfaces into a folder called SymbolTables and use them in subsequent compiles. Here’s how its done. First the folder “SymbolTables” has to exist in the MPW folder at the top level. The first $K directive instructs Pascal to look in that directory for the symbol tables of the “USES” in the folder named SymbolTables, the second “resets” the compiler to look in the directory where the source code is.

{1}

 { $K :SymbolTables: }
 USES Types, QuickDraw, ToolUtils, Events, Controls, Windows, Dialogs, 
Menus, Lists, Desk, Devices, SegLoad, Files, OSEvents, Traps, GestaltEqu, 
Fonts, OSUtils, Picker, Resources, Memory, Packages, Sound, SANE, Errors, 
Retrace, Script, Scrap, SysEqu, Palettes,  { i.e., Everything under the 
sun... }

 { $K }
 Constants, Utilities;

The first time this is done, there won’t be an increase in speed since the tables must be built. The second time through, the compile time will be noticeably better (at least in my experience).

- John Cebasek, Ottawa, Ontario

Organizing yourself

Often when you’re trying to figure out how to use a specific toolbox routine it would be nice to see an example, especially an example in the programming language you’re using. I’ve found that using OnLocation to index all of the sample code lets me quickly find examples of most toolbox calls. The source code can even be on backup disks. Once OnLocation has found the examples you can view them directly from within OnLocation assuming the files are on a mounted disk. [We at Xplain Corp. agree. That is why in the new CD-ROM containing every MacTutor article since 1984, the main search engine used is OnLocation 2.0 (shipped as part of the CD). This way, you can not only search MacTutor, but your own code as well.-- Ed.]

Also, code reuse can really save a lot of time but it’s often hard to keep track of in a generic enough way to be recycled. I use a database to store the code, along with relevent keywords and language identification. Under System 7, any database will do, or if you’re using Finder, databases such as DeskFile or DAtabase are hard to beat.

- Tom Trinkos

 
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