TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MPW Menus
Volume Number:9
Issue Number:10
Column Tag:MPW Workshop

Dynamically Customizable Menu in MPW

Launching applications from an MPW Script

By Lee D. Rimar, Absoft Corporation

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

When I first started programming on the Macintosh, the text editor I used had a “Transfer” menu for launching other applications. When I switched to MPW a few years ago, I missed this feature. This was before the advent of System 7 with its “Apple Menu Items” folder, so I had to create my own solution.

Because it is easy to add custom menus to MPW, I created a special “Run” menu. This menu initially had only 2 items: “Add Application...” and “Add Document...”. These let you add commonly used applications and documents to the Run menu.

Each of the “Add...” items also updates a UserStartup•RunMenu file, which reloads the menu each time you launch MPW. Apart from its general usefulness, there is a technically interesting side to this script. To keep the Run menu in alphabetical order, the UserStartup•RunMenu file is automatically sorted, rewritten, and executed every time you add an item to Run menu. You don’t often see “self-modifying” gymnastics like this in a scripting language.

I usually use the Run menu to launch my word processor or communications software with a specific setting file, from inside of MPW. I could do the same thing from the System 7 Apple menu, but I find the Run menu easier to maintain. Also, I sometimes intentionally kill the Finder under System 7 to get extra memory for MPW and other programs. Without Finder running, custom items on the Apple Menu are unavailable.

To create your own Run menu and UserStartup•RunMenu file, the MPW script below should be copied to your MPW folder as “NewRunMenu,” and executed just once.

# Script: NewRunMenu
 
# A dynamically customizable menu for sublaunching commonly used files.
# To install, type NewRunMenu in the Worksheet window and hit Enter.
 
# This adds a "Run" menu to the MPW menu bar.  It also creates a file 
called
# UserStartup•RunMenu in the MPW folder (or the MPW PrefsFolder, if using 
MPW
# 3.3 or newer), to re-create the menu each time you load MPW.
# UserStartup•RunMenu is updated every time you add an item to the menu
 
# When you select Add Application, you can choose any application and 
specify
# how it should appear on the menu.  When you select Add Document, you 
can
# select a document, an application to open it with, and how it should
# appear on the menu.
 
# The Run menu does not provide for DELETING an item.  To do that, open 
the
# UserStartup•RunMenu file and delete the unwanted Addmenu lines.
 
# Important typographic notes:
 
# 1) The Add Application and Add Document menu item names start with 
one space,
# so they sort alphabetically to the top of the menu.
 
# 2) The script for each AddMenu item is one long, continued command, 
so
# most of the lines end with semi-colon ; and option-d  characters.
 
# 3) Some of the prompt strings that appear in this script contain underscores.
# I did this so they would be visible on a printed page.  However, in 
my
# working copy of the script, the underscores are replaced with non-breaking
# spaces (typed in MPW as option-space).  Strings containing non-breaking
# spaces don't have to be placed in quotes.
 
# 4) Any place you see ... in this script, it really is 3 periods, not 
the
# option-colon ellipsis   character.
 
# 5) Quote " apostrophe ' and grave accent ` are not interchangeable!
 
Set Exit 0
 
DeleteMenu Run   Dev:Null
 
# "Add Application..." presents a Standard GetFile dialog, filtered for
# applications only.  After you choose an application, it prompts you 
for
# how the item should appear in the menu.  The default is the full path
# and filename, which I usually edit to just the filename.
 
AddMenu Run ' Add Application...' 
'Begin ; 
  Set Exit 0 ; 
  Set menuChanged 0 ; 
  Set theAppl "`getfilename -b Add -m Select_application... -t APPL`" 
; 
  Exit If {theAppl} == "" ; 
  Set menuItem "`request -d {theAppl} How_should_the_menu_item_read...`" 
; 
  Exit If {menuItem} == "" ; AddMenu Run "{menuItem}" "{theAppl}" ; 
  Set menuChanged 1 ; 
  Unset theAppl ; 
  Unset menuItem ; 
  If ({menuChanged}) ; 
    Set savedDir `Directory` ; 
    Directory "{MPW}" ; 
    Echo Set Exit 0 >"{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu ; 
    Echo DeleteMenu Run   Dev:Null >> "{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu 
; 
    AddMenu Run | Sort -u -quote >> "{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu 
; 
    Echo Set Exit 1 >> "{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu ; 
    Execute "{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu ; 
    Directory "{savedDir}" ; 
    Unset savedDir ; 
  End ; 
  Unset menuChanged ; 
  Set Exit 1 ; 
End   Dev:Null'
 
# Add Document... works a lot like Add Application..., except that you 
are
# prompted to select TWO files.  The first can be any document, the second
# must be an application which can open that document.
 
AddMenu Run ' Add Document...' 
'Begin ; 
  Set Exit 0 ; 
  Set menuChanged 0 ; 
  Set theDoc "`getfilename -m Select_document_to_open...`" ; 
  Exit If {theDoc} == "" ; 
  Set theAppl "`getfilename -b With -m To_open_with... -t APPL`" ; 
  Exit If {theAppl} == "" ; 
  Set menuItem "`request -d {theDoc} How_should_the_menu_item_read...`" 
; 
  Exit If {menuItem} == "" ; 
  AddMenu Run "{menuItem}" "{theAppl} {theDoc}" ; 
  Set menuChanged 1 ; 
  Export menuChanged ; 
  Unset theAppl ; 
  Unset menuItem ; 
  If ({menuChanged}) ; 
    Set savedDir `Directory` ; 
    Directory "{MPW}" ; 
    Echo Set Exit 0 >"{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu ; 
    Echo DeleteMenu Run   Dev:Null >> "{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu 
; 
    AddMenu Run | Sort -u -quote >> "{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu 
; 
    Echo Set Exit 1 >> "{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu ; 
    Execute "{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu ; 
    Directory "{savedDir}" ; 
    Unset savedDir ; 
  End ; 
  Unset menuChanged ; 
  Set Exit 1 ; 
End   Dev:Null'
 
# Add a separator line, which will appear between the default and user
# configured menu items.
 
AddMenu Run '-' ''
 
# Create the UserStartup•RunMenu file.  This will be placed in either 
the
# MPW folder, or MPW's PrefsFolder if using MPW 3.3 or newer.
 
# The UserStartup•RunMenu contains all of the commands needed to initialize
# the Run menu, without any formatting or script comments.
 
Set savedDir `Directory`
Directory "{MPW}"
Echo Set Exit 0 > "{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu
Echo DeleteMenu Run   Dev:Null >> "{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu
AddMenu Run >> "{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu
Echo Set Exit 1 >> "{PrefsFolder}"UserStartup•RunMenu
Directory "{savedDir}"
Unset savedDir
 
# Announce completion
 
Alert -s Run Menu successfully installed.
 
# End of NewRunMenu script

A word of warning: If you plan to type this in from the magazine pages, you may be in for a rough time. The MPW scripting language is powerful, but it can be a typographic nightmare. A single character error can give bizarre results, and may be very hard to track down.

This is an excellent reason to buy MacTech magazine source code on disk, or to power up the modem and download this file. If you don’t have an account any place where MacTech source code is available, you can also find this script on the Absoft Technical Support BBS, at 313-853-0000.

 
AAPL
$524.94
Apple Inc.
+5.93
MSFT
$40.01
Microsoft Corpora
-0.39
GOOG
$536.10
Google Inc.
-20.44

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VMware Fusion 6.0.3 - Run Windows apps a...
VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac... Read more
Tweetbot 1.5.1 - Popular iOS twitter cli...
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 4.1.7 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
PDFpenPro 6.2 - Advanced PDF toolkit for...
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Create... Read more
PDFpen 6.2 - Edit and annotate PDFs with...
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
Monolingual 1.5.9 - 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
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
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 1.1.1.180...
Download the patch by launching the Starcraft II game and downloading it through the Battle.net connection within the app. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is a strategy game played in real-time. You... Read more
Sibelius 7.5.0 - Music notation solution...
Sibelius is the world's best-selling music notation software for Mac. It is as intuitive to use as a pen, yet so powerful that it does most things in less than the blink of an eye. The demo includes... Read more
Typinator 5.9 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This Week at 148Apps: April 14-18, 2014
Spring Into Our App Reviews   | Read more »
Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Bas...
Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Basket Full of Goodies, Courtesy of Madfinger Games Posted by Rob Rich on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Dead Trigger 2 | Read more »
Almost All of Playdek’s Library is on Sa...
Almost All of Playdek’s Library is on Sale Right Now, and You Should Check it Out Posted by Rob Rich on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Playdek has released quite a few great iOS ports of board and card games over the years, and now most of them... | Read more »
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Exper...
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Experience with Farmville 2: Country Escape Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
David. Review
David. Review By Cata Modorcea on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MINIMALISTIC IN A DIFFERENT WAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad David is a minimalistic game wrapped inside of a soothing atmosphere in which the hero... | Read more »
Eyefi Unveils New Eyefi Cloud Service Th...
Eyefi Unveils New Eyefi Cloud Service That Allows Users to Share Media Across Personal Devices Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair...
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair Review By Jennifer Allen on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY ADVENTURINGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Treading a safe path, Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair is a... | Read more »
Yahoo Updates Flickr App with Advanced E...
Yahoo Updates Flickr App with Advanced Editing Features and More Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
My Incredible Body - A Kid's App to...
My Incredible Body - A Kid's App to Learn about the Human Body 1.1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.00 (iTunes) Description: Wouldn’t it be cool to look inside yourself and see what was going on... | Read more »
Trials Frontier Review
Trials Frontier Review By Carter Dotson on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: A ROUGH LANDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Trials Frontier finally brings the famed stunt racing franchise to mobile, but how much does its... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Deal Alert! 13-inch MacBook Pro on sale for $...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $200 off MSRP. Price is valid... Read more
Free HopTo 2.2 Helps Enhance Your Productivit...
The HopTo app helps you do more on your iPad by providing more and easier adaccess to files and documents. Version 2.2 adds Egnyte and HopTo’s Mac OSX File Connector. If you already have the hopTo... Read more
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month:...
As the country recognizes National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Sprint is reminding wireless consumers to focus on driving while behind the wheel, to not text or email while driving, and to... Read more
13-inch 2.4GHz Retina MacBook Pro available f...
Abt has the 13″ 2.4GHz 128GB Retina MacBook Pro available for $1229 including free shipping. Their price is $70 off MSRP. Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP this we...
Best Buy has iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free home shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Prices are valid for online orders only, in-store... Read more
iPad Airs on sale this weekend for up to $100...
Best Buy has WiFi iPad Airs on sale for $50 off MSRP and WiFi + Cellular iPad Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time, with prices now starting at $449. Choose free... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis starting...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished Mac minis for up to $150 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 2.5GHz Mac... Read more
Hyundai Brings Apple CarPlay To The 2015 Sona...
Hyundai Motor America has announced it will bring Apple CarPlay functionality to the 2015 Sonata. CarPlay is pitched as a smarter, safer and easier way to use iPhone in the car and gives iPhone users... Read more
Updated iPads Coming Sooner Than We Had Thoug...
MacRumors, cites KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, well-respected as an Apple product prognisticator, saying that Apple will introduce an upgraded iPad Air and iPad mini in 2014/Q3, meaning the... Read more
Toshiba Unveils New High And Low End Laptop M...
Toshiba has announced new laptop models covering both the high-end and low-end of the notebook computer spectrum. Toshiba 4K Ultra HD Laptop Toshiba’s new Satellite P55t features one of the world’s... Read more

Jobs Board

Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…customers purchase our products, you're the one who helps them get more out of their new Apple technology. Your day in the Apple Store is filled with a range of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Inc. Research Data Specialist - Appl...
…of Worldwide Market Research & Intelligence. The team is responsible for conducting Apple branded consumer market research. It is also responsible for analyzing data Read more
*Apple* Automotive Parts Department position...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer…and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive, we Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.