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

Capto 1.2.9 - $29.99
Capto (was Voila) is an easy-to-use app that takes capturing, recording, video and image editing to the next level. With an intelligent file manager and quick sharing options, Capto is perfect for... Read more
Opera 51.0.2830.40 - High-performance We...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
GarageSale 7.0.13 - Create outstanding e...
GarageSale is a slick, full-featured client application for the eBay online auction system. Create and manage your auctions with ease. With GarageSale, you can create, edit, track, and manage... Read more
1Password 6.8.7 - 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
Evernote 7.0.1 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
MacUpdate Desktop 6.2.0 - $20.00
MacUpdate Desktop brings seamless 1-click app installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on... Read more
HoudahSpot 4.3.5 - Advanced file-search...
HoudahSpot is a versatile desktop search tool. Use HoudahSpot to locate hard-to-find files and keep frequently used files within reach. HoudahSpot will immediately feel familiar. It works just the... Read more
EtreCheck 4.0.4 - 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
WhatsApp 0.2.8361 - 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
iClock 4.2 - Customize your menubar cloc...
iClock is a menu-bar replacement for Apple's default clock but with 100x features. Have your Apple or Google calendar in the menubar. Have the day, date, and time in different fonts and colors in the... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The best games like Florence
Florence is a great little game about relationships that we absolutely adored. The only problem with it is it's over a little too soon. If you want some other games with some emotional range like Florence, check out these suggestions: [Read more] | Read more »
Angry Birds Champions adds cash prizes t...
Collaborating with developer Rovio Entertainment, GSN Games has released a twist on the Angry Birds formula. Angry Birds Champions features the same bird-flinging gameplay, but now you can catapult Red and co for cash. | Read more »
Around the Empire: What have you missed...
148Apps is part of a family. A big family of sites that make sure you're always up to date with all the portable gaming news. Just like a real family, I guess. I don't know, my mum never told me anything about Candy Crush to be fair. [Read more] | Read more »
The Battle of Polytopia Guide - Tips for...
The addition of multiplayer to The Battle of Polytopia has catapulted the game from a fun enough time waster to a fully-fledged 4X experience on your phone. We've been playing quite a few matches over the past week or so, and we've put together a... | Read more »
All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
Hi there, and welcome to our round up of all the best games that are on sale for iOS at the moment. It's not a vintage week in terms of numbers, but I'm pretty sure that every single one of these is worth picking up if you haven't already played... | Read more »
Disc Drivin' 2 Guide - Tips for the...
We're all still playing quite a bit of Disc Drivin' 2 over here at 148Apps, and we've gotten pretty good at it. Now that we've spent some more time with the game and unlocked more powerups, check out some of these more advanced tips: | Read more »
Alto's Odyssey Guide - How to Tackl...
Alto’s Odyssey is a completely stunning and serene runner, but it can also be a bit tricky. Check out these to try and keep your cool while playing this endless runner: Don’t focus too much on tasks [Read more] | Read more »
Here's everything you need to know...
Alto's Odyssey is a really, really good game. If you don't believe me, you should definitely check out our review by clicking this link right here. It takes the ideas from the original Alto's Adventure, then subtly builds on them, creating... | Read more »
Alto's Odyssey (Games)
Alto's Odyssey 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Just beyond the horizon sits a majestic desert, vast and unexplored. Join Alto and his friends and set off on an endless... | Read more »
Vainglory 5v5: Everything you need to kn...
Vainglory just got bigger. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple AirPods in stock today for $159, free s...
Adorama reports stock of Apple AirPods today for $159 including free shipping, plus pay no sales tax outside of NY & NJ. See our Apple AirPod Price Tracker for the latest prices and stock status... Read more
Saturday Sale: Amazon offers 12″ 1.3GHz MacBo...
Amazon has Silver and Gold 2017 12″ 1.3GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $250 off MSRP. Shipping is free: – 12″ 1.3GHz Silver MacBook: $1349.99 $250 off MSRP – 12″ 1.3GHz Gold MacBook: $1349.99 $250... Read more
Use your Apple Education discount and save up...
Purchase a new Mac using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $400 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution with a .edu email address qualify for the discount... Read more
Apple Canada offers 2017 21″ and 27″ iMacs fo...
 Canadian shoppers can save up to $470 on the purchase of a 2017 current-generation 21″ or 27″ iMac with Certified Refurbished models at Apple Canada. Apple’s refurbished prices are the lowest... Read more
9″ iPads available online at Walmart for $50...
Walmart has 9.7″ Apple iPads on sale for $50 off MSRP for a limited time. Sale prices are for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: – 9″ 32GB iPad: $279.99 $50 off – 9″ 128GB iPad: $379.99 $... Read more
15″ Apple MacBook Pros, Certified Refurbished...
Save $360-$420 on the purchase of a 2017 15″ MacBook Pro with Certified Refurbished models at Apple. Apple’s refurbished prices are the lowest available for each model from any reseller. An standard... Read more
Amazon restocks MacBook Pros with models avai...
Amazon has restocked 15″ and 13″ Apple MacBook Pros with models on sale for up to $251 off MSRP. Shipping is free. Note that stock of some Macs may come and go (and some sell out quickly), so check... Read more
Lowest price of the year: 15″ 2.8GHz Apple Ma...
Amazon has the 2017 Space Gray 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro on sale today for $251 off MSRP. Shipping is free: – 15″ 2.8GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray (MPTR2LL/A): $2148, $251 off MSRP Their price is... Read more
Apple restocks full line of Certified Refurbi...
Apple has restocked a full line of Apple Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ MacBook Pros for $200-$300 off MSRP. A standard Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
Lowest sale price available for 13″ 1.8GHz Ma...
Focus Camera has the 2017 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB Apple MacBook Air on sale today for $829 including free shipping. Their price is $170 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a current 13″... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Media Products Commerce Engineering...
# Apple Media Products Commerce Engineering Manager Job Number: 56207285 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 26-Jan-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
Digital Platforms Lead, Today at *Apple* -...
# Digital Platforms Lead, Today at Apple Job Number: 56178747 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 23-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
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* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform 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.