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

Shadow Blade: Reload guide - How to hack...
Shadow Blade: Reload is the kind of action-platformer that would have happily sucked up hours of your time on a console a few years back.Now, you can take it with you wherever you go, and its mobile conversion is not too shabby at all. To help you... | Read more »
Tomb of the Mask guide - How to increase...
Tomb of the Mask is a great endless arcade game from Happymagenta in which quick reflexes and a persistent attitude can go a long way toward earning a top score. Check out these tips to see if you can give yourself an edge on the leaderboards. [... | Read more »
Smooth Operator! (Games)
Smooth Operator! 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Smooth Operator is a weird, weird two-player kissing game. Squeeze in for 2 player fun on a single iPad, creating awkward... | Read more »
Sinless: Remastered (Games)
Sinless: Remastered 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
_PRISM Guide - How to solve those puzzle...
_PRISM is a rather delightful puzzle game that’s been tailor made for touch screens. While part of the fun is figuring things out as you go along, we thought we’d offer you a helping hand at getting in the right mindset. Don’t worry about messing... | Read more »
Fractal Space (Games)
Fractal Space 1.3.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.3.1 (iTunes) Description: Live the memorable experience of Fractal Space, a unique first person adventure & puzzle game by Haze Games! Will you... | Read more »
Set off on an adventure through the Cand...
Like match three puzzlers? If so, Jelly Blast, the innovative iOS and Android game which launched last year, is worth a look. Jelly Blast sees you head off on an epic adventure through the Candy Kingdom with your friends Lily, Mr. Hare, and Mr.... | Read more »
Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. (...
Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Abzorb (Games)
Abzorb 1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1 (iTunes) Description: Abzorb is a tilt game about consuming orbs by getting as close as you can to them without touching. By tilting your mobile device, collect... | Read more »
A Short Tale (Games)
A Short Tale 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It’s been years since I lost Ben, so long yet it doesn’t seem long enough. I never thought I’d return here, to where everything... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

cb Hardcase – Handmade and Premium Protective...
Baden-Baden, Germany based company cb innovations has introduced the new cb Hardcase for iPhone. Featuring fine Italian Premium leather that makes for a unique look and feel, the cb Hardcase... Read more
Sale! B&H Photo offers 12-inch Retina Mac...
B&H Photo has 12″ Retina MacBooks on sale for $300 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $999 $300 off MSRP - 12″ 1.... Read more
App Annie Reveals Future of the App Economy:...
App Annie, a San Francisco based mobile app data and insights platform, has launched its first comprehensive app economy forecast. This new offering will provide brands, agencies, investors and app... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
What iPad Pro Still Needs To Make It Truly Pr...
I love my iPad Air 2. So much that I’m grudgingly willing to put up with its compromises and limitations as a production tool in order to take advantage of its virtues. However, since a computer for... Read more
21-inch 3.1GHz 4K on sale for $1399, $100 off...
B&H Photo has the 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac on sale $1399 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP: - 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac (MK452LL/A): $... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
Save up to $240 with Apple Certified Refurbis...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 12″ Retina MacBooks for up to $240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available for...
Apple has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for $120 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $179, $120 off - 3TB... Read more

Jobs Board

Lead Engineer *Apple* OSX & Hardware -...
Lead Engineer Apple OSX & Hardware **Job ID:** 3125919 **Full/Part\-Time:** Full\-time **Regular/Temporary:** Regular **Listed:** 2016\-02\-10 **Location:** Cary, Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
Job Title Apple Mobile Master **Brand** Best Buy **Job Description** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** At Best Buy, our mission is to leverage the Read more
Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac - Rem...
…part of a team Requires proven problem solving skills Preferred Additional: Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) Read more
Lead Engineer - *Apple* OSX & Hardware...
Lead Engineer - Apple OSX & Hardware **Job ID:** 3125919 **Full/Part\-Time:** Full\-time **Regular/Temporary:** Regular **Listed:** 2016\-02\-10 **Location:** Cary, Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.