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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Vivaldi 1.9.818.44 - An advanced browser...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
Skim 1.4.29 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
1Password 6.7.1 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
FontExplorer X Pro 6.0.2 - 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
VOX 2.8.24 - Music player that supports...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
OmniPlan 3.7.1 - Robust project manageme...
With OmniPlan, you can create logical, manageable project plans with Gantt charts, schedules, summaries, milestones, and critical paths. Break down the tasks needed to make your project a success,... Read more
Dropbox 24.4.17 - Cloud backup and synch...
Dropbox is an application that creates a special Finder folder that automatically syncs online and between your computers. It allows you to both backup files and keep them up-to-date between systems... Read more
WhatsApp 0.2.4238 - Desktop client for W...
WhatsApp is the desktop client for WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for... Read more
SteerMouse 5.1 - Powerful third-party mo...
SteerMouse is an advanced driver for USB and Bluetooth mice. It also supports Apple Mighty Mouse very well. SteerMouse can assign various functions to buttons that Apple's software does not allow,... Read more
OmniPlan Pro 3.7.1 - Professional-grade...
With OmniPlan Pro, you can create logical, manageable project plans with Gantt charts, schedules, summaries, milestones, and critical paths. Break down the tasks needed to make your project a success... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Fire Emblem Heroes event announces new m...
As reported yesterday, Nintendo was gearing up a live press event for their popular mobile game,Fire Emblem Heroes. While the stream revealed a lot of new things, the event was entirely in Japanese. Luckily we have a rundown of what was announced... | Read more »
Best games we played this week
Another week, another slate of new mobile games. Although there weren't as many big name releases as last week, there were plenty of unique video game titles that came out that's sure to keep you interested over the weekend. Everything from classic... | Read more »
Olli by Tinrocket (Photography)
Olli by Tinrocket 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get drawn in with Olli by TinrocketOlli instantly turns your everyday moments into hand-drawn art and animations. • Watch... | Read more »
Penarium (Games)
Penarium 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Fire Emblem Heroes is way more profitabl...
Profits for Nintendo's mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes are apparently impressive enough to beat out other Nintendo titles likeSuper Mario Run, despite having 10 times fewer downloads. [Read more] | Read more »
Classic series Robot Unicorn Attack 3 no...
The classic Adult Swim browser game, Robot Unicorn Attack, branched off into a series of popular mobile games. Now, the latest entry into the series, Robot Unicorn Attack 3, is available for iOS and Android mobile devices. [Read more] | Read more »
Sudoku Sweeper (Games)
Sudoku Sweeper 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A minimalist mashup of Minesweeper and Sudoku. Logic puzzle perfection. Every row, column and zone contains a bomb and one of... | Read more »
Under Leaves (Games)
Under Leaves 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Journey into the forest, the jungle or the depths of the deep blue sea. Find chestnuts for the pigs, a caterpillar for the... | Read more »
Ninja Pizza Girl (Games)
Ninja Pizza Girl 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: In the not-so-distant future, rampart traffic congestion has resulted in only one way to deliver pizzas across town in thirty... | Read more »
SCRAP (Games)
SCRAP 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: That day, for no apparent reason, SCRAP decided to wake up and run. He had to, because his activation was a mistake the "Factory" could... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook P...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $2599…$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
13-inch 2.9GHz/256GB Space Gray Touch Bar Mac...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz/256GB Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $150 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/256GB Touch... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $151 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $151 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1348 $151 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off MSRP... Read more
Weekend deal: Up to $420 off new MacBook Pros...
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
Price drop: 15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro...
Amazon has dropped their price on 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros (MJLQ2LL/A) to $1709.99 including free shipping. Their price is $290 off MSRP for this model. Note that stock may sell out quickly at... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini on sale for $899, save $100
B&H Photo has the 2.8GHz Mac mini (model number MGEQ2LL/A) on sale for $899 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
New System Clock for macOS by B-Eng Now Avail...
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based B-Eng has announced the release and immediate availability of System Clock, the company’s new system monitor and information app developed exclusively for macOS. System... Read more
DEVONtechnologies Celebrates 15th Anniversary...
DEVONtechnologies celebrates its 15th company anniversary with a 30% discount on all its software products from May 1st through 5th, 2017. In spring 2002, DEVONtechnologies opened its website and... Read more
WaterField Designs Invites Customers to Help...
San Francisco based WaterField Designs invites customers and air travelers to participate in developing the next generation in-flight travel case, the Air Porter. Frustrated with limited legroom,... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Mac Computer Technician - GeekHampto...
…complex computer issues over the phone and in person? GeekHampton, Long Island's Apple Premium Service Provider, is looking for you! Come work with our crew Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**501505BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000849-Gurnee-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** At Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**498428BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Location Number:** 000293-Rockville-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Read more
*Apple* Mac Computer Technician - GeekHampto...
…complex computer issues over the phone and in person? GeekHampton, Long Island's Apple Premium Service Provider, is looking for you! Come work with our crew Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Chicago...
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.