TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Bedrock Intro
Volume Number:9
Issue Number:7
Column Tag:New Technologies

Introducing Bedrock

No it’s not Fred Flintstone, but it is at least as important as Fred is to developers!

By Patrick Rigney, Director of Core Technology, Symantec Corporation

Note: Source code files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks. These Bedrock samples and headers are not listed here.

Over the past decade, a number of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) have become popular in desktop and workstation computing. On PCs the most notable GUIs are Apple’s Macintosh System Software and Microsoft’s Windows.

As the demand for GUI-based applications has increased, so has their complexity. Users demand powerful functionality, access to the latest operating system and hardware features, and What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editing. For developers, the GUIs’ Application Program Interfaces (APIs) present a broad range of functionality, a substantial portion of which must be learned to build such complex applications. Applications that were once small and manageable by one or a small number of engineers now require a larger team. Software developers are searching for solutions to these problems.

ENTER BEDROCK

Bedrock is a library of C++ classes and tools that provide a toolkit and an object-oriented application framework. An application framework is a skeleton application that contains functionality common to most applications. The developer builds an application on top of this framework.

Bedrock’s mission is to reduce the time and effort spent on many complex yet common cross-platform issues, and to provide simpler interfaces to system features (such as the Clipboard and AppleEvents), allowing more time to be spent on quality, maintainability, or additional features that make the application stand out.

Many of Bedrock’s classes are designed to hide implementation details of the target platform from the application. In effect, Bedrock acts a translator between the application and the Macintosh and Windows systems, taking high-level requests and invoking the appropriate forms for each platform. While Bedrock hides these issues, it still allows the developer free access to them when necessary. Application code written on top of Bedrock can coexist with code written directly to the platform.

Bedrock also provides classes and methods for features specific to individual platforms. This points out another major goal of Bedrock: to provide simplified interfaces to complex system functionality. Without these, Bedrock would be reduced to a “least common denominator” solution.

A LAYER- AND COMPONENT-BASED DESIGN

The Bedrock design allows the developer to use pieces that best suit the application’s needs. Conceptually, Bedrock’s classes are segregated into four layers, each of which contains various components. A component is an abstraction that contains one or more C++ classes and provides a related set of capabilities.

The architecture is layered to organize the information flow between layers. The components of an upper layer request services from and depend upon the lower layers, but components in the lower layers do not call components in the layers above them. Figure 1 shows a sampling of the major components in their parent layers.

Figure 1. Bedrock Layers

This layer-and-component architecture actually makes Bedrock appear and function like many small class libraries, rather than one large one. The relationships between layers and components are more formal and distinct, as opposed to the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) and Apple’s MacApp, in which most classes are derived from a single root class. This makes the framework easier to learn, and more scalable.

THE APPLICATION FRAMEWORK LAYER

When using Bedrock, much of the programming time is devoted to building on top of classes in the Application Framework layer. This layer contains the Application, Document, Clipboard, and Chore components, which are highly interdependent. For example, if the developer changes the way the document component works, this application component will likely also need to be changed.

The Application

Bedrock’s Application component provides the structure of functionality common to most GUI applications, including support for application-level menu items in the File, Edit, and Help menus, the Apple menu on the Macintosh platform, and managing undo/redo of tasks. The Application component depends on the GUI Layer of Bedrock to dispatch events and provide the user interface, and on the Document component to control windows and the user’s access to data.

The Document

The application framework model of Bedrock has been strongly influenced by the Macintosh and Windows document architectures. The document is responsible for directing the interaction between the data and the user’s view of that data. It supports document-level commands in the File, Edit, and Help menus, printing, undoing of commands, and multiple open documents.

Clipboard and Scrap

The Bedrock clipboard is closely tied to the document. The document creates a scrap object, which is copied to the clipboard. The scrap object knows what formats it can translate to and from, and knows how to install a view in the Clipboard window to view the current contents of the clipboard.

Bedrock supplies some common scrap objects, including a text object, a Macintosh PICT object, and a Windows MetaFile object. This functionality is extended by providing a scrap object that knows how to deal with new data types.

Chores

Chores are tasks that are performed at various times in the application. Bedrock provides an implementation for the following kinds of chores:

• Timer chores-executed at a regular intervals, specified at creation time.

• Idle chores-performed whenever the application is not performing any other tasks.

• Urgent chores-performed immediately, whenever they are assigned.

Chores can be used in limited circumstances to simulate multi-threading.

Actions

Actions are typically created in response to events, such as choosing the “Cut” command from the Edit menu. They provide basic protocol and interfaces for managing changes to the document’s data. The application object can track the last action committed and will direct it to undo in response to a user’s “Undo” command.

A mouse action is created in response to a mouse button press. The mouse action object continues to exist, providing such functions as visual feedback, until the user releases the button.

An action informs the application whether it is undoable and should be tracked, because some actions are normally not considered undoable (e.g. saving a file or resizing a window).

THE GUI LAYER

Besides the all-important concept of the Application Framework layer, Bedrock provides a layer to handle the GUI. The components in this layer include Event Handling, Menus, Views, Windows, Controls, Cursors, Carets, Icons, and Drag/Drop.

Event Handling

A characteristic of modern event-driven systems is that users can choose to take any of several actions at any one time. These actions, which are typically menu choices, button selections, and keystrokes, result in the generation of operating system events. Procedural applications typically trap the event and take action on it based upon a switch statement somewhere in the event dispatching loop.

System events trigger the creation of a Bedrock event object, which is dispatched to an event-handling object. Every event-handling object has a supervisor, which is also an event handler. The supervisor is specified when the event handler is instantiated. If an event handler does not wish to handle an event, it passes it on to its supervisor.

Behaviors are objects that can be associated with an event-handling object at runtime. They may be associated with a particular instance of an object, or an entire class of objects. When an event is dispatched to an event handler, Bedrock first looks to see if an instance or class behavior can handle the event, before looking at the static event handling methods. This mechanism provides a way to add or change event responses at runtime. For example, a behavior can be added to a button that allows it to be dragged when clicked, as opposed to the normal “execute command” behavior associated with buttons.

The highest-level event handler in Bedrock is the application object, which supervises the application desktop and the event handlers for dialogs.

Views

Every object that can appear on the screen (with the exception of some menu objects) is drawn within a view. As the highest level visible object, views have the following properties:

• Are contained in a visual hierarchy,

• Can be hidden, shown, resized and clipped,

• Can be enabled or disabled,

• Can receive the focus, and it can receive mouse clicks and keyboard events,

• Can change background color,

• Can change cursor shape as the mouse passes over it,

• Have a local coordinate system.

Every view has an enclosure, which is another view that usually encompasses every visual point of the enclosed view. An enclosure always owns all of its enclosed views. This enclosure relationship results in a runtime hierarchy referred to as the visual hierarchy. The application desktop is at the top of this hierarchy, and typically encloses one or more windows. In turn, the windows enclose one or more views. Bedrock uses this hierarchy to dispatch mouse events to views and to handle activation/deactivation of views.

A scroller is a special class of view that can be used when the visual representation of data is larger than the allotted visual area. The scroller knows how to scroll its enclosed subviews in response to the user’s actions; conversely, these subviews do not need to know how to scroll. Scrollers are typically associated with scrollbars, and manage all interaction with them. Scrollers also manage scrolling via autoscrolling (that is, dragging the mouse) and the keyboard (for example, Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys).

Canvases

Bedrock renders views on a canvas. There are four major canvases in Bedrock: window, printer, metafile, and bitmap. Each implements a common rendering interface, allowing a view to be drawn on either a window or a printer by merely switching the target canvas and telling the view to draw itself.

Each canvas also implements specific behavior for its type. For example, windows can be tiled, cascaded, iconized, and obscured by other windows. Bitmaps and metafiles can be in-memory or disk-based.

Controls

Controls in Bedrock are views that encapsulate the platform’s native controls, so the buttons look like Macintosh buttons on the Macintosh and Windows buttons under Windows.

Bedrock provides scroll bars, buttons, checkboxes (including tri-state checkboxes), radio buttons, push buttons, group boxes, static text controls, edit controls, and list boxes.

Dialogs

Dialogs consist of a dialog box, a director, and one or more subviews (typically controls). The appearance of a dialog conforms to the GUI standards for the platform. Bedrock supports Modal and Modeless dialogs on both platforms, and Application Modal dialogs on Windows.

A director acts as the mediator between controls. For example, a director may enable the “Open” button on a dialog in response to a file name selection in a list box. In addition, directors handle keyboard navigation and default button presses.

Bedrock provides the following dialogs:

• Color Selection

• Open File

• Save File

• Confirm File-Close

• Confirm File-Revert

• Font Selection

• Printer Setup

• Print Job Initiate

• Print Job Progress/Status

Menus

Bedrock allows the developer to create multiple menu bars, and alternate between them by sending messages to the desktop.

Bedrock supports pull-down , pop-up , bitmap and custom-drawn menus. Each menu can have other menus added to it, or removed from it, as well as have individual menu items added. Menus and menu items can also be enabled and disabled (with appropriate highlighting changes occurring automatically).

Text Editing

Bedrock supplies basic text-editing capabilities. This component is useful mainly in the context of controls containing editable text.

Cursors, Carets, and Icons

Every view has a cursor associated with it. The cursor associated with the view will be displayed whenever the mouse is positioned over a visible region of the view. The application can create any number of cursors, but only one may be associated with a view at a given time.

A caret (usually marked with an I-beam cursor) marks the current insertion point in text. Bedrock provides the caret in its default text-editing services, and provides methods for setting the caret in a text view.

Icons are one of the significant characteristics of a GUI. Bedrock provides support for loading icons from resources and displaying them in a view.

Drag-and-Drop Support

Drag-and-Drop is the ability to drag “objects” (data) between locations. A good example of this is in the Macintosh Finder, which allows the user to delete a file by dragging its icon to the Trash.

Bedrock fully supports the Drag-and-Drop feature, both within an application (between views) and between applications, on both platforms.

THE OPERATING SYSTEM LAYER

Bedrock provides basic components that help hide the underlying operating system from the application. At this layer, the application will normally be using the services that Bedrock provides, with little subclassing or overriding.

Components in this layer include Graphics Support, System Configuration, Memory Management, Files, and Resources.

Graphics support

Bedrock supports platform-independent drawing with the following primitives: Line, Polyline, Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Region, Ellipse, Chord, Pie, Arc, Bitmap, Picture (Macintosh PICT and Windows MetaFile), Icon, and Text.

Bedrock also provides a logical coordinate system that supports translation and scaling. By default, Bedrock’s coordinate system defines the origin as the top left corner of the view. The coordinate system can easily be changed as necessary. to accommodate, for example, Cartesian coordinates with the origin at the bottom left. In addition, it is possible to independently transform and scale the x and y axes.

System Configuration

The system configuration abstraction provides information about the system upon which the Bedrock application is being run. Thus, the application can request system-wide (as opposed to application-specific) attributes and actions, such as current directory, screen resolution, or (on the Macintosh) hardware configuration flags (Macintosh Gestalt information).

Memory Management

Bedrock provides a general-purpose allocation scheme that shields the developer from the details of managing memory across platforms. Bedrock’s allocator requests large blocks from the system and suballocates them on demand to the application. When freed by the application, adjacent free blocks are coalesced in to larger blocks.

Bedrock objects are pointer-based. Handle-based objects are not supported.

Files

The Bedrock file components provide platform-independent file I/O and uniform handling of errors. The FileAccess component is extensible to allow network- or memory-based random access to data.

Resources

Most applications use resources to store small pieces of code or data that can be changed without recompiling the application. For example, all strings used by an application can be stored in resources for easy localization.

Bedrock supplies tools to improve the portability of resources. The Bedrock Resource Compiler (BEDRC) takes resources defined in Bedrock resource statements and compiles them into the native resources of the platform. The Bedrock Resource Language syntax is an extension of Apple’s Rez language, adding type declaration (typedef statements) and complex type creation (struct, class, union). The syntax is C++ compatible, and the compiler supports the ANSI C preprocessor directives, allowing it to read and derive type information directly from C++ header files. The developer can then use these new types in resources.

Bedrock’s resource mechanism allows the application to instantiate objects by name from a resource definition. For example, a view hierarchy may be defined in a Bedrock resource, and later be instantiated by name from the resource file. By modifying the resource file, users can modify the view hierarchy without recompiling the application.

THE FOUNDATION LAYER

Bedrock’s Foundation Layer provides basic services to the higher layers, or directly to application code. The components at this level are largely independent of one another. The Foundation Layer components, in turn, depend only upon the facilities of the C++ language. These components include Streams, Sinks, Strings, Collections, Exceptions, and International support.

Streams and Sinks

Streams provide a generalized interface for reading and writing data, including protocol for higher-level entities (integers, floats, strings, and so on), and thus provide platform- and device-independence for all kinds of I/O. Streams are generally heterogeneous; that is, they operate on many types of data.

Streams read from and write to sinks. A sink is a “device” that can be a source or destination for a stream of bytes. Sinks provide only a byte-oriented, untyped interface. Bedrock provides file sinks and memory block (resizable and nonresizable) sinks. Sinks may be extended to construct, for example, serial interface sinks and network interface sinks.

Strings

A string is a run of text, composed of characters. Strings always use characters as the units of transfer, so type-safety is guaranteed and access is fast and efficient. Bedrock stores characters in Unicode format, and provides ways to export characters to other character systems such as ASCII.

International Support

Bedrock provides support for localization through resources (as discussed earlier), writing systems, and locales.

A writing system encompasses all the information a Bedrock application needs to edit, display, store, and retrieve text strings. It depends on the locale abstraction to supply basic information such as date format, thousands separator, and so on.

Together, the writing system and the locale track and implement script properties, sort orders, word-breaking and boundary behavior, mapping and translation tables, and formatting for times, dates, and numbers.

Data Structures and Collections

Bedrock’s collections are a subset of the Rational C++ Booch Components, consisting of Collection, Ordered Collection, Map (a dictionary of domain/range pairs), Queue, Stack, and Tree.

Tools and iterators are used to act on a collection. Bedrock includes tools for searching and sorting collections.

Collections, tools and iterators are implemented using C++ templates, and can therefore store and operate on any data type, rather than just objects.

Exception Handling

The components in each layer detect errors that the application must handle. In those cases where the library does not know how to handle an error, it can throw an exception object. The application can catch this object and respond.

Bedrock’s exception handling is based on that described in The C++ Programming Language and The Annotated C++ Reference Manual (ARM). The Bedrock Exception Library (BEL) is included to emulate this mechanism on compilers that do not support ARM Exception Handling. BEL’s syntax is slightly different from the ARM syntax, but is designed to easily translate to that syntax. When using a compiler that supports C++ exceptions, one can remove the BEL emulation.

BROAD RANGE OF FUNCTIONALITY

Bedrock’s varied components provide a broad range of functionality to the application developer. Complexity in the framework is reduced by layering the components, which helps organize their interactions. Within the layers, each component acts as a class library in itself, making the entire system easier to learn and use.

By combining this architecture with the general benefits of object oriented programming, Bedrock provides cross-platform capabilities and simplifies the interface to system features (both cross-platform and platform-specific). The developer using Bedrock can more quickly deliver high-quality applications on both the Macintosh and Windows.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

TextSoap 8.4.1 - Automate tedious text d...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more
TextSoap 8.4.1 - Automate tedious text d...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more
Backblaze 4.3.0.44 - Online backup servi...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac. With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Numi 3.15 - Menu-bar calculator supports...
Numi is a calculator that magically combines calculations with text, and allows you to freely share your computations. Numi combines text editor and calculator Support plain English. For example, '5... Read more
EtreCheck 3.3.3 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
BusyContacts 1.1.8 - Fast, efficient con...
BusyContacts is a contact manager for OS X that makes creating, finding, and managing contacts faster and more efficient. It brings to contact management the same power, flexibility, and sharing... Read more
TunnelBear 3.0.14 - Subscription-based p...
TunnelBear is a subscription-based virtual private network (VPN) service and companion app, enabling you to browse the internet privately and securely. Features Browse privately - Secure your data... Read more
Apple Final Cut Pro X 10.3.4 - Professio...
Apple Final Cut Pro X is a professional video editing solution.Completely redesigned from the ground up, Final Cut Pro adds extraordinary speed, quality, and flexibility to every part of the post-... Read more
Hopper Disassembler 4.2.1- - Binary disa...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32-bit and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about... Read more
Slack 2.6.2 - Collaborative communicatio...
Slack is a collaborative communication app that simplifies real-time messaging, archiving, and search for modern working teams. Version 2.6.2: Fixed Inexplicably, context menus and spell-check... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The best new games we played this week
We were quite busy this week. A bunch of big mobile games launched over the past few days, alongside a few teeny surprises. There're lots of quality games to load your phone with. We've gone and picked out five of our favorites for the week. [... | Read more »
Magikarp Jump beginner's guide
Magikarp Jump is a mystifying little game. Part Tamagotchi, part idle clicker, there's not a whole lot of video game there, per se, but for some reason we can't help coming back to it again and again. Your goal is to train up a little Magikarp to... | Read more »
Goat Simulator PAYDAY (Games)
Goat Simulator PAYDAY 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICES **iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better Goat Simulator: Payday is the most... | Read more »
GRID Autosport delayed until autumn
Sorry mobile racing fans -- GRID Autosport has been delayed a few months. The game is now expected to launch this fall on iOS. Feral Interactive announced that they wanted more time to work on the game's UI and overall performance before launching... | Read more »
Zombie Gunship Survival Beginner's...
The much anticipated Zombie Gunship Survival is here. In this latest entry in the Zombie Gunship franchise, you're tasked with supporting ground troops and protecting your base from the zombie horde. There's a lot of rich base building fun, and... | Read more »
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish (Games)
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish 1.2.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.2.2 (iTunes) Description: Explore the ruins of the City of Mordheim, clash with other scavenging warbands and collect Wyrdstone -... | Read more »
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish brings tablet...
Legendary Games has just launched Mordheim: Warband Skirmish, a new turn-based action game for iOS and Android. | Read more »
Magikarp Jump splashes onto Android worl...
If you're tired ofPokémon GObut still want something to satisfy your mobilePokémon fix,Magikarp Jumpmay just do the trick. It's out now on Android devices the world over. While it looks like a simple arcade jumper, there's quite a bit more to it... | Read more »
Purrfectly charming open-world RPG Cat Q...
Cat Quest, an expansive open-world RPG from former Koei-Tecmo developers, got a new gameplay trailer today. The video showcases the combat and exploration features of this feline-themed RPG. Cat puns abound as you travel across a large map in a... | Read more »
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels (Games)
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** WARNING: iPad 2, iPad Mini 1 & iPhone 4S are NOT compatible. ** *** Special Launch Price for a limited... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Memorial Day savings: 13-inch Touch Bar MacBo...
B&H Photo has the 2016 Apple 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 11-inch MacBook Ai...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models recently discontinued by Apple), available for up to $170 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each... Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up...
B&H has 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1449.99 $150 off... Read more
15-inch 2.7GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro o...
MacMall has the 15-inch 2.7GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MLW82LL/A) on sale for $2569 as part of their Memorial Day sale. Shipping is free. Their price is $230 off MSRP. Read more
Free Tread Wisely Mobile App Endorsed By Fath...
Just in time for the summer driving season, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company has announced the launch of a new Tread Wisely mobile app. Designed to promote tire and vehicle safety among teens and... Read more
Commercial Notebooks And Detachable Tablets W...
Worldwide shipments of personal computing devices (PCDs), comprised of traditional PCs (a combination of desktop, notebook, and workstations) and tablets (slates and detachables), are forecast to... Read more
Best value this Memorial Day weekend: Touch B...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros available for $230 to $420 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2.6GHz... Read more
13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for up to $130 o...
Overstock.com has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $130 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $869.99 $130 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (sku... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini available for $973 with free...
Adorama has the 2.8GHz Mac mini available for $973, $16 off MSRP, including a free copy of Apple’s 3-Year AppleCare Protection Plan. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Media Products - Commerce Engineerin...
Apple Media Products - Commerce Engineering Manager Job Number: 57037480 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Apr. 18, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**509643BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Location Number:** 001482- Apple Valley-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Read more
*Apple* Media Products - Commerce Engineerin...
Apple Media Products - Commerce Engineering Manager Job Number: 57037480 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Apr. 18, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Read more
*Apple* Mac and Mobility Engineer - Infogrou...
Title: Apple Mac and Mobility Engineer Location: Portland, OR Area Type: 12 month contract Job: 17412 Here's a chance to take your skills to the limit, learn new Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, White P...
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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.