TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Date FKEY
Volume Number:9
Issue Number:2
Column Tag:Pascal/FKEY

Related Info: Event Manager

A Date-Typing FKEY

A one hour project

By Rob Spencer, East Lyme, Connecticut

This is a one-hour project with two goals: first, to provide a minor but useful tidbit for everyday use, and second, to present a short example of an FKEY that posts and modifies its own events.

For newcomers, an FKEY is a small routine that’s invoked when the user types a command-shift-number sequence, such as the command-shift-3 FKEY that captures the screen to a MacPaint document (under System 6) or Teach Text PICT document (System 7). An FKEY consists of stand-alone code with no global variables and usually little or no user interface; see Roy Lovejoy’s recent article (“FKEYs in THINK Pascal, Easy...”, MacTutor, June 1992, p. 53-55) for more discussion.

This FKEY does something simple and useful for those of us who type letters and memos every day: when the user types command-shift-6 (or whatever number from 0 to 9 you choose), the FKEY types the current date into the current document or edit field. It does this by getting the date from the Toolbox and sending it to the event queue as a sequence of keyDown events. The text appears in your document exactly as if you had typed it.

ASSEMBLE THE EVENT

The heart of the FKEY is the SendAString routine that posts each character of its input string as a keyDown event for the current application to catch. All that’s necessary is to assemble the appropriate message (a longint) for each character.

The low byte of message is charCode, which is just ord(theStr[i]). The next byte is the keyCode, which specifies which key was pressed. For most uses keyCode can be zero, since most keyDown dispatch routines ignore the keyCode and look only at charCode, like this:

with myEvent do begin
 myChar := CHR(BitAnd(message, charCodeMask));
 if BitAnd(modifiers, cmdKey) <> 0 then...

However, my testing with keyCode = 0 showed that some applications didn’t receive the proper string, so to be safe I had to do a little more work to fill in the correct keyCode byte.

Key codes are defined in the System’s KCHR resource, but rather than retrieve and parse that, we use a small bit of it in a fixed look-up table string (called keyMap in the listing). This contains the correct keyCode values for all letters, numbers, and the comma. The space character is handled separately, rather than make keyMap too long. Finally, keyCode is shifted to the second byte and added to charCode to produce the correct message.

REMOVE THOSE MODIFIERS

In the first version of the FKEY I simply used PostEvent and got unexpected results: since the user must have the command and shift keys down to invoke the FKEY, the keyDown events that it posts come with the cmdKey and shiftKey modifier bits set. Thus if the month is September, the first keyDown that the application sees will be command-S, and it will promptly save the current document! What we want is the FKEY to send the keyDowns without any modifiers; the solution is to use PPostEvent and then clear the appropriate bits from the new event, as shown in the listing.

TESTING and DEBUGGING

As both Roy Lovejoy and the THINK Pascal demo FKEY “BlockComment” point out, debugging an FKEY is simple. Just build a tiny program that includes the FKEY unit and then call the obligatory FKEY entry point called main. In my program I then use THINK’s Text window to receive the keyDown events, so we can see what day it is.

USING THE FKEY

Use ResEdit to paste the FKEY resource into the word processing application of your choice, or, if you want the FKEY universally available, paste it into the System file. That’s it!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Though FKEY’s are as old as the Mac, they aren’t widely appreciated. Perhaps this is partly because of what I just wrote above: “Use ResEdit...”. I decided to provide an easier way, though for the sake of brevity I’ll only mention it here: on the code disk for this month is a HyperCard stack which does a one-button installation of the FKEY to your System file.

Figure 1: bonus installation stack

This stack does this job with an original XFCN and XCMD. The XFCN, SystemResources, returns a list of System resources of a given type (to see if the FKEY already exists), while the XCMD, InstallFKEY, does the actual installation. The stack also includes the THINK Pascal source code for these externals.

LISTINGS
unit DateFKEY;
{ Types today’s date when the user types }
{ cmd-shift-6. In THINK Pascal 4.0 by    }  
{ Rob Spencer, August 1992.              }

interface

 procedure main;

implementation

 procedure main;

 { ----------------------------- }

 function SendAString (theStr: str255): OSErr;

 const
 { keyMap is a subset of the }
 { KCHR System resource.     }
 keyMap = 
 'ASDFHGZXCV*BQWERYT123465=97*80*OU*IP*LJ*K**,*NM';
 space = char(32);

 var
 i, keyCode: integer;
 theChar: char;
 theErr: OSErr;
 message, modifiers, modifierMask: longint;
 myQPtr: EvQElPtr;

 begin
 theErr := noErr;
 modifierMask := BitNot(shiftKey + cmdKey);

 if theStr <> '' then
 begin
 FlushEvents(keyDown, 0);
 for i := 1 to length(theStr) do
 begin
 { Get the proper keyCode. }
 theChar := theStr[i];
 if theChar in ['a'..'z'] then
 { Make theChar uppercase for }
 { our look-up string.        }
 theChar := char(ord(theChar) - 32);
 if theChar = space then
 keyCode := $31
 else
 keyCode := pos(theChar, keyMap) - 1;
 if keyCode = -1 then
 keyCode := 0;

 { Assemble the message.   }
 message := BitShift(keyCode, 8) +
 ord(theStr[i]);

 { Post the keyDown event. }
 theErr := PPostEvent(keyDown, message,
 myQPtr);
 if theErr <> noErr then
 leave;

 { Now strip off the cmdKey }
 { and shiftKey modifiers.  }
 modifiers := BitAnd(myQPtr^.evtQModifiers, 
 modifierMask);
 myQPtr^.evtQModifiers := modifiers;
 end;
 end;
 SendAString := theErr;
 end;

 { ============== main ============== }

 var
 dateStr: str255;
 tempLong: longint;

 begin
 { The queue can only hold 20 characters, }
 { so we strip off the day of the week.   }
 GetDateTime(tempLong);
 IUDateString(tempLong, LongDate, dateStr);
 if dateStr <> '' then
 if pos(char(32), dateStr) > 0 then
 Delete(dateStr, 1, pos(char(32), dateStr));
 if SendAString(dateStr) <> noErr then
 SysBeep(10);
 end;

end.

{ ====== shell program for debugging ===== }

program DateFKEYtest;

 uses
 DateFKEY;

 var
 myStr: str255;

begin
 main;  { Call our FKEY }
 { Make an active input window    }
 { to receive the keyDown events. }
 ShowText;
 read(myStr);
 writeLn;
 writeLn(myStr);
end.

{ =========== end of listings =========== }

Figure 2: the project window for debugging

Figure 3: the project window for the stand-alone FKEY

Figure 4: set up for FKEY #6.

 
AAPL
$111.78
Apple Inc.
-0.87
MSFT
$47.66
Microsoft Corpora
+0.14
GOOG
$516.35
Google Inc.
+5.25

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

LibreOffice 4.3.5.2 - 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
CleanApp 5.0.0 Beta 5 - Application dein...
CleanApp is an application deinstaller and archiver.... Your hard drive gets fuller day by day, but do you know why? CleanApp 5 provides you with insights how to reclaim disk space. There are... Read more
Monolingual 1.6.2 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more
NetShade 6.1 - Browse privately using an...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
calibre 2.13 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Mellel 3.3.7 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
ScreenFlow 5.0.1 - Create screen recordi...
Save 10% with the exclusive MacUpdate coupon code: AFMacUpdate10 Buy now! ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your... Read more
Simon 4.0 - Monitor changes and crashes...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
BBEdit 11.0.2 - Powerful text and HTML e...
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
ExpanDrive 4.2.1 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Make your own Tribez Figures (and More)...
Make your own Tribez Figures (and More) with Toyze Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
So Many Holiday iOS Sales Oh My Goodness...
The holiday season is in full-swing, which means a whole lot of iOS apps and games are going on sale. A bunch already have, in fact. Naturally this means we’re putting together a hand-picked list of the best discounts and sales we can find in order... | Read more »
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode f...
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode for Angry Birds Epic Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minec...
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minecraft: Story Mode – A Telltale Games Series Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their...
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their New Game: Tempo Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] WarChest Ltd and Splash Damage Ltd are teaming up again to work | Read more »
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary...
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary with a Bunch of Free Games Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] BulkyPix has | Read more »
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking F...
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking Fever’s new sushi-themed update Posted by Simon Reed on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Lithuanian developer Nordcurrent has yet again updated its restaurant simulat | Read more »
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to C...
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to Celebrate 20 Million Downloads Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Desti...
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny, and Beyond – AppSpy Takes a Look at AAA Companion Apps Posted by Rob Rich on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] These day | Read more »
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Fre...
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Free for the Holidays Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

The Apple Store offering free next-day shippi...
The Apple Store is now offering free next-day shipping on all in stock items if ordered before 12/23/14 at 10:00am PT. Local store pickup is also available within an hour of ordering for any in stock... Read more
It’s 1992 Again At Sony Pictures, Except For...
Techcrunch’s John Biggs interviewed a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) employee, who quite understandably wished to remain anonymous, regarding post-hack conditions in SPE’s L.A office, explaining “... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Pros for...
 B&H Photo has new MacBook Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP as part of their Holiday pricing. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1699... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Airs for...
B&H Photo has 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP, for a limited time, for the Thanksgiving/Christmas Holiday shopping season. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: iMacs for up to $...
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software: - 21″ 1.4GHz... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac minis availab...
B&H Photo has new 2014 Mac minis on sale for up to $80 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $459 $40 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $629 $70 off MSRP... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: Mac Pros for up t...
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $500 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2599, $400 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3499, $... Read more
Save up to $400 on MacBooks with Apple Certif...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Save up to $300 on Macs, $30 on iPads with Ap...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
iOS and Android OS Targeted by Man-in-the-Mid...
Cloud services security provider Akamai Technologies, Inc. has released, through the company’s Prolexic Security Engineering & Research Team (PLXsert), a new cybersecurity threat advisory. The... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Store Leader Program (US) - Apple, I...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on experience, Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and 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...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.