TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Script Think C
Volume Number:9
Issue Number:8
Column Tag:Scripting

Related Info: Apple Event Mgr

Scripting Think C with Frontier

How to customize THINK C with a scripting language.

By Dave Winer, UserLand Software

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

Introduction

Think C is a wonderful development environment. Lots of commercial and in-house developers use Think C because of its incredibly fast builds, integrated project management and text editing features. It’s a very rationally designed system, it works, and it’s well supported. But it’s always been one major missing feature -- there was no way to automate it. So there was a major penalty for organizing your work as reusable libraries of solved problems -- when you made a change to one of your base libraries, you had to manually rebuild all projects that depend on it.

When we heard that Think C and Symantec C++ 6.0 would support scripting, we got very excited. We wanted to see how using scripts to drive Think Project Manager, or TPM, would impact our development work.

We learned that there are two types of scripts: ones that add features to TPM that everyone can use, and customizations that streamline work for individual programmers and development teams.

For scripts that everyone can use, check out the Scripting Starter Kit for Think C. You can download it from any of UserLand’s on-line services, listed in the last section.

This article is a case study in customization. It takes you thru the development process of a single script, starting with a first proof-of-concept version, all the way to a very useful and complete script that saves us time every day.

Background: The Iowa Plug-Ins folder

At UserLand, we have a set of Think C projects that share a common .h and .c file. They all live in the same folder:

There are two Frontier desktop scripts; one that rebuilds all the projects, producing code resource files, and another that installs the code resources in the System Folder. ioa.c and ioa.h are the common files used in all the projects. When these files change, all the projects must be rebuilt.

Looking inside one of the sub-folders:

Each sub-folder has a common set of files: a project file, a C source file, a Resorcerer resource file and a code resource file produced by building the project.

In the following four sections we develop the script, starting with a basic script, then enhance it to include error checking, and then producing a final version that maintains a log of the compilations it does.

Version 1 - The basic script

Here’s the first version of the buildIOAs script, viewed in a Frontier script editing window:

The script loops over all files contained in the folder it was launched from. system.deskscripts.path contains the full path to the script file. It uses that path to determine which files it’s supposed to operate on.

Two locals are set up: f is the loop parameter of the fileloop, folder contains the full path to the folder that contains the desktop script. Each time thru the loop, f contains the full path to one of the files contained within the folder. Frontier’s fileloop construct takes an optional value determining the number of levels to traverse. We ask it to go infinitely deep, so we get to look at all files contained in all sub-folder levels.

The script displays the name of each file in Frontier's main window. It only operates on files that are Think C project files, whose creator id is 'KAHL' and file type is 'PROJ'.

For each project file the script calculates the name of the output file:

local (outputfile = (f - ".Π") + ".IOA")

The variable outputfile is created locally to the script. f is a string containing the full path to the project file. The .Π extension is subtracted, using string artithmetic, and then .IOA extension is added. If f’s value is “System:Iowa Plug-Ins:Checkbox:checkbox.Π” the value of outputfile would be “System:Iowa Plug-Ins:Checkbox:checkbox.IOA”.

We check to see if the output file exists; if it does, it is deleted. If the build failed due to a syntax error, we won’t be left with an incompatible code file. The script then opens the project, dirties all changed files, recompiles the dirtied files, creates the output file and closes the project. These Frontier verbs work exactly as their interactive counterparts work. But they take variables as parameters, and as we’ll see in the next version of this script, they can return error values.

Version 2 - Add error checking

The first version of the script was useful, but what if one of the projects didn’t compile because of a syntax error, linker error, or if we ran out of disk space? We wouldn’t be totally out of luck, because the script deleted each output file before building it. Even so, we could be left with an inconsistent setup if we weren’t watching the script run. And of course, that’s one of the major benefits of using a script to do the dirty detail work for you. You can read the paper, return a phone call or play with your dog while the script is running.

So, in the second version of the buildIOAs script, we add some rudimentary error checking, so at least the script will stop running and leave an error message explaining why it stopped. In the next version, we’ll make the script even better.

Here’s the second version of the buildIOAs script:

/* 1 */

local (f, folder = file.folderFromPath (system.deskscripts.path))
fileloop (f in folder, infinity)
 msg (file.fileFromPath (f))
 if think.isProjectFile (f)
 local (outputfile = (f - ".Π") + ".IOA")
 if file.exists (outputfile)
 file.delete (outputfile)   
 think.openProject (f)
 if not think.make (think.makeOptions.useDisk)
 scriptError ("think.make failed on " + file.fileFromPath (f))
 if not think.buildProject (outputfile)
 scriptError ("think.buildProject failed on " +                
 file.fileFromPath (f))
 think.closeProject (true) «close and compact

Several things have changed in this version. First, we changed:

if (file.type (f) == 'PROJ') and (file.creator (f) == 'KAHL')

to:

if think.isProjectFile (f)

This takes advantage of a standard verb that makes it easier to determine if a file is a project file. Scripts that work with Think C seem to do this a lot, so we made it simpler to do.

We also check the returned value of each of the verbs where errors are important:

/* 2 */

if not think.make (think.makeOptions.useDisk)
 scriptError ("think.make failed on " + file.fileFromPath (f))
if not think.buildProject (outputfile)
scriptError ("think.buildProject failed on " + file.fileFromPath (f))

If there’s a syntax error in checkbox.c, the Error Info window opens in Frontier:

Since the script is terminated by the scriptError call, Think C will be left pointing to the error when you come back from playing with the dog. If you click on the Go To button, the script editor opens the line that called scriptError, with Frontier’s debugger active.

Version 3 - Maintain an audit trail

It would be nice if the script did as much work as possible, reporting any errors in a list window, and then moving on to the next project.

We’ll keep that list in a Frontier outline window. Every time the script runs, it adds a major headline to the outline:

Building all IOA projects on 4/28/93; 12:43:29 PM

And for every build it attempts, the script will report the result:

colorpopup.Π: clean build

When it’s done, not only will we know which projects built and which ones didn’t, but we’ll also accumulate a record of all the builds done. Here’s what the log outline looks like after the first run:

Building all IOA projects on 4/28/93; 12:43:29 PM
 button.Π: clean build
 checkbox.Π: make failed
 colorpopup.Π: clean build
 edittext.Π: clean build
 formula.Π: clean build
 frame.Π: clean build
 icon.Π: clean build
 picture.Π: clean build
 popup.Π: clean build
 radio.Π: clean build
 rect.Π: clean build
 static.Π: clean build

Here’s what version 3 of the script looks like:

/* 3 */

local (log = @think.log)
local (dir = right)
on startLog (headline)
 if not defined (log^) «the outline isn’t there, create it
 new (outlineType, log)
 editmenu.setFont ("geneva")
 editmenu.setFontSize (9)
 edit (log) «open the log in a window
 target.set (log) «all outline verbs apply to this window
 op.firstSummit () «move to the first line in the outline
 op.go (down, infinity) «move to the last top-level line
 op.insert (headline, down)
on addToLog (subhead)
 msg (subhead) «display string in Frontier's main window
 op.insert (subhead, dir) «insert it in the outline
 dir = down
on closeLog ()
 target.clear ()
local (f, folder = file.folderFromPath (system.deskscripts.path))
startLog ("Building all IOA projects on " + clock.now ())
fileloop (f in folder, infinity)
 msg (file.fileFromPath (f))
 if think.isProjectFile (f)
 local (outputfile = (f - ".Π") + ".IOA", result)
 if file.exists (outputfile)
 file.delete (outputfile)   
 think.openProject (f)
 if think.make (think.makeOptions.useDisk)
 if think.buildProject (outputfile)
 result = "clean build"
 else
 result = "build failed"
 else
 result = "make failed"
 addToLog (file.fileFromPath (f) + ": " + result)
 think.closeProject (true) «close and compact
closeLog ()

Several new techniques are being used in this version. It adds two new locals to support the log outline, and defines three local subroutines, startLog, addToLog and closeLog. In Frontier, as in Pascal, scripts can have local subroutines, nested to any level that makes sense to the programmer. startLog creates a new log outline if one doesn’t exist, and opens it in a window. It adds the main headline for this script. addToLog adds a new headline subordinate to the main headline. closeLog does whatever cleaning up is necessary (for this version not much cleaning up is needed).

Calls to startLog, addToLog and closeLog have been added in the main body of the script.

By the way, this script is much easier to read in Frontier's script editor because you can collapse and expand headings to see as much or as little detail as you like.

Version 4 - Factor the script

Here’s the final version of the script:

/* 4 */

local (f, folder = file.folderFromPath (system.deskscripts.path))
think.notebook.start ("Building all IOA projects on " + clock.now ())
fileloop (f in folder, infinity)
 msg (file.fileFromPath (f))
 if think.isProjectFile (f)
 local (outputfile = (f - ".Π") + ".IOA", result)
 if file.exists (outputfile)
 file.delete (outputfile)   
 think.openProject (f)
 if think.make (think.makeOptions.useDisk)
 if think.buildProject (outputfile)
 result = "clean build"
 else
 result = "build failed"
 else
 result = "make failed"
 think.notebook.add (file.fileFromPath (f) + ": " + result)
 think.closeProject (true) «close and compact
think.notebook.close ()

We’ve made the script a lot simpler this time by moving most of the code for maintaining the log outline into a sub-table of the Think table, called Think.notebook. Of course this makes the script simpler, but it also makes it possible to use the notebook scripts from other Think C-related scripts.

That’s it! There may be other improvements we could make to the script, but there has to be a time to stop and this is it.

Having invested about an hour in creating thIs script, we reap the benefit every time the header file changes and all the plug-ins need to be rebuilt. In the first week, we recouped much more than the hour we invested. Plus, the cost to make a change is much smaller, so we make more changes. The result is more powerful, more reliable and easier to use software.

Finally, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please get in touch through one of UserLand’s on-line services. If you’re an AppleLink user, check out the UserLand Discussion Board under the Third Parties icon. On CompuServe, visit the UserLand Forum in the Computing Support section, or enter GO USERLAND at any ! prompt. On America Online, enter the keyword USERLAND.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

iMazing 1.2.2 - Complete iOS device mana...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
Audio Hijack 3.2.0 - Record and enhance...
Audio Hijack (was Audio Hijack Pro) drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio... Read more
FontExplorer X Pro 5.0.1 - Font manageme...
FontExplorer X Pro is optimized for professional use; it's the solution that gives you the power you need to manage all your fonts. Now you can more easily manage, activate and organize your... Read more
Calcbot 1.0.2 - Intelligent calculator a...
Calcbot is an intelligent calculator and unit converter for the rest of us. Featuring an easy-to-read history tape, expression view, intuitive conversion, and much more! Features History Tape -... Read more
MTR 5.0.0.1 - The Mac's oldest and...
MTR (was MacTheRipper)--the Mac's oldest and smartest DVD-backup app--is now updated to version 5.001 MTR -- the complete toolbox, not a one-trick, point-and-click extractor. MTR is intended for... Read more
LibreOffice 4.4.5.2 - Free, open-source...
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
Adobe Lightroom 6.1.1 - Import, develop,...
Adobe Lightroom is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $9.99/month bundled with Photoshop CC as part of the photography package. Lightroom 6 is also available for purchase as a... Read more
File Juicer 4.41 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. It finds and... Read more
A Better Finder Rename 9.52 - File, phot...
A Better Finder Rename is the most complete renaming solution available on the market today. That's why, since 1996, tens of thousands of hobbyists, professionals and businesses depend on A Better... Read more
OmniFocus 2.2.3 - GTD task manager with...
OmniFocus helps you manage your tasks the way that you want, freeing you to focus your attention on the things that matter to you most. Capturing tasks and ideas is always a keyboard shortcut away in... Read more

Cosmonautica (Games)
Cosmonautica 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Cast off! Are you ready for some hilarious adventures in outer space? | Read more »
Rescue humanity from a Demon horde in An...
Angel Stone is Fincon's follow up to the massively successful Hello Hero and is out now on iOS and Android. You play as a member of The Resistance, a group of mighty human warriors who have risen up in defiance of the Demon horde threatening to... | Read more »
Gallery Doctor (Photography)
Gallery Doctor 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Free up valuable iCloud and iPhone storage with Gallery Doctor, the only iPhone cleaner that automatically identifies the... | Read more »
You Against Me (Games)
You Against Me 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A simple game… You. Me. Claim, steal, lock, score, win! | Read more »
Yep, it's True - Angry Birds 2 is O...
The not exactly rumors were true and the birds are back. Angry Birds 2 has come to the App Store and the world will... well I suppose it'll still be the same, but now we have more bird-flinging options! [Read more] | Read more »
You Could Design Your Own Card for Chain...
If you've ever wanted to create your own item, weapon, trap, or even monster for Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night, this is your chance. Auroch Digital is currently holding a contest so that fans can fight to the death (not really) to see which... | Read more »
Bitcoin Billionaire is Going Back in Tim...
If you thought you managed to buy everything there is to buy in Bitcoin Billionaire and make all the money, well you though wrong. Those of you who made it far enough might remember investing in time travel - and it looks like that investment is... | Read more »
Domino Drop (Games)
Domino Drop 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Domino Drop is a delightful new puzzle game with dominos and gravity!Learn how to play it in a minute, master it day by day.Your... | Read more »
OPERATION DRACULA (Games)
OPERATION DRACULA 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: 25% off launch sale!!! 'Could prove to be one of the most accurate representations of the Japanese bullet hell shmup... | Read more »
Race The Sun (Games)
Race The Sun 1.01 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.01 (iTunes) Description: You are a solar craft. The sun is your death timer. Hurtle towards the sunset at breakneck speed in a futile race against time.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sale! 13-inch MacBook Pros on sale for $100 o...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.5GHz/500GB MacBook Pro: $999.99 save $100 - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina... Read more
Sale! Save $100 on 13-inch MacBook Airs this...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model.... Read more
Worldwide Tablet Market Decline Continues, Ap...
The worldwide tablet market declined -7.0% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2015 (2Q15) with shipments totaling 44.7 million units according to preliminary data from the International Data... Read more
TP-LINK TL-PA8030P KIT Powerline Featuring Ho...
Consumer and business networking products provider TP-LINK is now shipping its TL-PA8030P KIT AV1200 3-Port Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Starter Kit that expands your home’s network over its... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available for u...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2s available for up to $140 off the price of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB... Read more
Updated Apple iPad Price Trackers
We’ve updated our iPad Air Price Tracker and our iPad mini Price Tracker with the latest information on prices and availability from Apple and other resellers. Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch 128GB MacBook...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $759. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
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
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3719.99... Read more

Jobs Board

*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
*Apple* Online Store UAT Lead - Apple (Unite...
**Job Summary** The Apple Online Store is a fast paced and ever evolving business environment. The User Acceptance Testing (UAT) lead in this organization is able to Read more
*Apple* MAC Support Services Subject Matter...
Title: Apple MAC Support Services Subject Matter Expert Location: Pleasanton, CA Type of position: Temporary Contract for approximately 6 weeks Tasks The tasks for the Read more
Lead Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac P...
…of a team * Requires proven problem solving skills Preferred Additional: * Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) * Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) 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.