TweetFollow Us on Twitter

A4, Code Resources
Volume Number:9
Issue Number:12
Column Tag:Think Top 10

Code Resources
and the A4 World

By Scott Shurr, Symantec Technical Support, Symantec Corp.

This article will describe the various kinds of code resources, and talk about the differences between writing applications and code resources. In applications, the machine code produced by the compiler uses the A5 register as a base address from which to access the applications global variables. Code resources are intended to be run simultaneously with applications, so they use a scheme designed to prevent interference with the application which called them up. In this case the A4 register is used as the base address for the resource’s global variables, as illustrated in the following diagram:

It is important when writing a code resource to be aware of how and when to set up A4. The different types of code resources require different declarations of the main() routine. The example consists of a single segment code resource which takes 2 arguments, which are a number of beeps, and the address of a string to receive a value. The code resource beeps the appropriate number of times, and then puts “Hello world” into the string. Here is the first version of the code resource:

/* 1 */

/* CodeResource.c */
void CRdoBeep(int beepSize);

void main(int beepSize, char *receiveString)
{
static char sLiteral[] = "Hello world"; 

strcpy(receiveString,sLiteral);
CRdoBeep(beepSize);
}

void CRdoBeep(int beepSize)
{
int i;

for (i=0; i<beepSize; i++)
  SysBeep(beepSize);
}

Create a new project, Resource.pi, and add the CodeResource.c file and the ANSI-A4 library to the project. Go to Set Project Type... and select the Code Resource button. Set Name to myCodeResource, Type to CODE, and ID to 31. One of the effects of changing the project type to anything other than Application is to cause the compiler to use the A4 register instead of the A5 as the address of the beginning of the application globals. Now select Build Code Resource..., and save the resource into Main.pi.rsrc. Another project called Main.pi will be used to test the code resource, and it will expect to find the code resource in that file in the folder. Create another new project in the same folder as Resource.pi, and add this program to it:

/* 2 */

/* UsesCodeResource.c */
#include <stdio.h>

typedef void (*CRPtr) (int,char*);

void main()
{
char myString[20];
Handle myCRhandle;

myCRhandle = GetNamedResource('CODE',"\pmyCodeResource");
HLock(myCRhandle);
(* (CRPtr) (*myCRhandle))(5,myString);
HUnlock(myCRhandle);
printf("myString=\"%s\"\n",myString);
}

Add UsesCodeResource.c and the ANSI library, and give it a try. The code resource will be loaded, it will beep 5 times, and then display some garbage instead of “Hello world”. The Disassemble command is useful in pointing out the problem. For the code resource:

main:
00000000: 4E56 0000          LINK      A6,#$0000
00000004: 486C 0000          PEA       sLiteral(A4)
00000008: 2F2E 000A          MOVE.L    receiveString(A6),-(A7)
0000000C: 4EAC 0000          JSR       strcpy(A4)
00000010: 3EAE 0008          MOVE.W    beepSize(A6),(A7)
00000014: 4EAC 0000          JSR       CRdoBeep(A4)
00000018: 4E5E               UNLK      A6
0000001A: 4E75               RTS
0000001C

CRdoBeep:
00000000: 4E56 0000          LINK      A6,#$0000
00000004: 2F07               MOVE.L    D7,-(A7)
00000006: 7E00               MOVEQ     #$00,D7
00000008: 6008               BRA.S     *+$000A      ; 00000012
0000000A: 3F2E 0008          MOVE.W    beepSize(A6),-(A7)
0000000E: A9C8               _SysBeep
00000010: 5247               ADDQ.W    #$1,D7
00000012: BE6E 0008          CMP.W     beepSize(A6),D7
00000016: 6DF2               BLT.S     *-$000C      ; 0000000A
00000018: 2E1F               MOVE.L    (A7)+,D7
0000001A: 4E5E               UNLK      A6
0000001C: 4E75               RTS
0000001E

Notice the instruction PEA sLiteral(A4). This depends on having A4 set to the address of the beginning of the code resource, so that sLiteral can be found. If MacsBug is used by putting a Debugger() call in CallsCodeResource.c, it can be seen that upon entry to the code resource’s main, A0 is set to the correct place, but A4 isn’t. Global variables always use offsets from A4 in code resources. In multi-segment code resources, all string literals also use an A4 offset. This works the same in C++, except that C++ has an option “Put string literals in code”, that will keep them from using A4. To fix the bug, change the code resource to look like this:

/* 3 */

/* CodeResource.c */
#include <SetUpA4.h>
void CRdoBeep(int beepSize);

void main(int beepSize, char *receiveString)
{
static char sLiteral[] = "Hello world"; 

RememberA0();
SetUpA4();
strcpy(receiveString,sLiteral);
CRdoBeep(beepSize);
RestoreA4();
}

void CRdoBeep(int beepSize)
{
int i;

for (i=0; i<beepSize; i++)
  SysBeep(beepSize);
}

To understand why this change makes the code resource work, see the disassembly of CallsCodeResource.c:

main:
00000000: 4E56 FFEC          LINK      A6,#$FFEC
00000004: 2F0C               MOVE.L    A4,-(A7)
00000006: 42A7               CLR.L     -(A7)
00000008: 2F3C 434F 4445     MOVE.L    #$434F4445,-(A7)
  ; 'CODE'
0000000E: 486D 0000          PEA       "\pmyCodeResource"
00000012: A9A1               _GetNamedResource
00000014: 285F               MOVEA.L   (A7)+,A4
00000016: 204C               MOVEA.L   A4,A0
00000018: A029               _HLock
0000001A: 486E FFEC          PEA       myString(A6)
0000001E: 3F3C 0005          MOVE.W    #$0005,-(A7)
00000022: 2054               MOVEA.L   (A4),A0
00000024: 4E90               JSR       (A0)
00000026: 204C               MOVEA.L   A4,A0
00000028: A02A               _HUnlock
0000002A: 486E FFEC          PEA       myString(A6)
0000002E: 486D 0000          PEA       "myString="%s""
00000032: 4EAD 0000          JSR       printf
00000036: 286E FFE8          MOVEA.L   $FFE8(A6),A4
0000003A: 4E5E               UNLK      A6
0000003C: 4E75               RTS

The _GetNamedResource trap returns a handle to the code resource on the stack. It is saved in A4 (A4 is not special in this case, it’s just what the compiler chose to use). Its dereferenced value is placed in A0, and the program does a JSR to the address in A0, the start of the code resource. The code resource itself begins with a header. It is possible to write your own header by including it in the source code for the code resource, and checking the Custom Header option in the Set Project Type dialog. In most cases, the option will not be selected, and the compiler will provide a default header for the code resource, like this:

00000000: BRA.S  *+$0010
     ...
00000010: LEA    start-of-resource,A0
00000014: NOP
00000016: NOP
00000018: BRA    main-of-code-resource

This sets A0 to the current address of the beginning of the code resource, and then jumps to the LINK instruction in the main function of the resource. A commented version of SetUpA4.h is useful in seeing the change made in the second version of the code resource:

/* 4 */

/*
 *  SetUpA4.h
 *
 *  Copyright (c) 1991 Symantec Corporation.
 *   All rights reserved.
 *
 *  This defines "SetUpA4()" and "RestoreA4()" routines that 
 *  will work in all A4-based projects.
 *
 *  "RememberA4()" or "RememberA0()" must be called in advance 
 *  to store away the value of A4 where it can be found by 
 *  "SetUpA4()".  The matching calls to "RememberA4()" (or 
 *  "RememberA0()") and "SetUpA4()" *MUST* occur in the same 
 *  file.
 *
 *  Note that "RememberA4()", "RememberA0()" "SetUpA4()", and
 *  "RestoreA4()" are not external.  Each file that uses them 
 *  must include its own copy.
 *
 *  If this file is used in the main file of a code resource 
 *  with "Custom Headers", be sure to #include it *AFTER* the 
 *  custom header!  Otherwise, the code resource will begin 
 *  with the code for the function "__GetA4()", defined below.
 *
 */

static void
__GetA4(void)
{
 asm {
 bsr.s  @1;  PC, (points to next line) goes on the stack
 ;  Branch to @1
 
 dc.l 0 ;  store A4 here
@1 move.l (sp)+,a1 ;  pop item from stack (which points
 ;  to previous line) into a1
 }
}

#define RememberA4() do { __GetA4(); asm { move.l a4,(a1) } } while (0)
 // __GetA4() puts pointer to spot for storing a4 in a1
 // move a4 to spot a1 points to
 
#define RememberA0() do { __GetA4(); asm { move.l a0,(a1) } } while (0)
 // __GetA4() puts pointer to spot for storing a4 in a1
 // move a0 to spot a1 points to
 
#define SetUpA4()do { asm { move.l a4,-(sp) } __GetA4(); /
  asm { move.l (a1),a4 } } while (0);
 // push a4 onto the stack
 // Call __GetA4 which puts a pointer to the space into a1
 // move whatever a1 is pointing to into a4
 
#define RestoreA4()do { asm { move.l (sp)+,a4 } } while (0)
 // pop item from stack into a4
 
/* In other words:

 RememberA4 puts the value in A4 in special spot.
 RememberA0 puts the value in A0 in special spot.
 
 SetUpA4 puts current value in A4 on the stack and gets 
 value in special spot and puts it in A4.
 RestoreA4 pops saved value of A4 from stack into A4.
*/

Here is the disassembly of the changed portion of the code resource:

__GetA4:
00000000: 6104               BSR.S     *+$0006      ; 00000006
00000002: 0000 0000          ORI.B     #$00,D0
00000006: 225F               MOVEA.L   (A7)+,A1
00000008: 4E75               RTS
0000000A

main:
00000000: 4E56 0000          LINK      A6,#$0000
00000004: 4EAC 0000          JSR       __GetA4(A4)
00000008: 2288               MOVE.L    A0,(A1)
0000000A: 2F0C               MOVE.L    A4,-(A7)
0000000C: 4EAC 0000          JSR       __GetA4(A4)
00000010: 2851               MOVEA.L   (A1),A4
00000012: 486C 0000          PEA       sLiteral(A4)
00000016: 2F2E 000A          MOVE.L    receiveString(A6),-(A7)
0000001A: 4EAC 0000          JSR       strcpy(A4)
0000001E: 508F               ADDQ.L    #$8,A7
00000020: 3F2E 0008          MOVE.W    beepSize(A6),-(A7)
00000024: 4EAC 0000          JSR       CRdoBeep(A4)
00000028: 548F               ADDQ.L    #$2,A7
0000002A: 285F               MOVEA.L   (A7)+,A4
0000002C: 4E5E               UNLK      A6
0000002E: 4E75               RTS
00000030

The RememberA0() in the source creates the 2 instructions after the LINK. It first does a JSR to __GetA4, whose job it is to get an address into A1. Notice that the second line of __GetA4 is a DC.L, which allocates 4 bytes, which are used for storing the addresses. The fact that the SetUpA4.h actually reserves some memory, unlike most other header files, is why it must always be included in each segment that uses any of RememberA4(), RememberA0(), SetUpA4(), or RestoreA4(). The BSR.S pushes the address of the 4 bytes onto the stack and then jumps over the 4 bytes. Then the address is popped from the stack into A1, and the function returns. The value of A0 is then saved at that address. The next 3 instructions in the code resource’s main are generated from SetUpA4(). It first pushes the current value of A4 onto the stack, so that it can be restored before returning to the application, which was probably using A4 for its own purposes. Then, the JSR to __GetA4 again gets the address of the storage area into A1. The address stored there is then placed into A4, which now holds the correct base address for the code resource. After the code resource does its work, it finishes up with RestoreA4(). That generates the MOVEA.L instruction which restores the old value of A4 from the stack before the code resource returns to the application which called it. This example may have raised some more questions, which I will try to answer here.

Q. Does this work the same in C++ as it works in C?

A. The code produced by C++ for a code resource that contains #include <SetUpA4.h> is almost identical to that produced by C, but the mechanism for producing it is different. If you look at SetUpA4.h (in Mac #includes: THINK #includes) you will see #if THINK_C which will select the C or the C++ version of the source. The __GetA4 is essentially the same for both versions, but the C++ version reflects its less powerful asm capabilities. In C, the calls like RememberA4() are implemented as #defines, while in C++ they are inline functions.

Q. Does any of this also apply to the other non-application projects, like Desk Accessories and Device Drivers?

A. The non-application projects are similar in that they all use offsets from A4 instead of A5 to access globals. You don't need to use SetUpA4 for desk accessories and device drivers, because the compiler provides a header which sets up the A4 for you.

Q. Why would one want to use a custom header in a code resource?

A. You can use the 18 bytes of the header for any purpose, as long as the first word is reserved for the code which will branch to where the resource is to begin execution. You could put flags for the version of the resource, or similar information, to be read by the code resource or by the program that is calling it. Just remember when you do that to put the #include <SetUpA4.h> after the header, or the code resource will start in the code SetUpA4.h generates, which isn’t desireable.

Q. What are the prototypes for the main() functions of various kinds of code resources?

A.

CDEF control definition
pascal long main(short varCode, ControlHandle theControl, 
 short message, long param);
FKEY function key
main();
INIT
main();
LDEF list definition
pascal main(short lMessage, Boolean lSelect, Rect lRect, 
 Cell lCell, short lDataOffset, short lDataLen, 
 ListHandle lHandle);
MDEF menu definition
pascal main(short message, MenuHandle theMenu, 
 Rect *menuRect, Point hitPt, short *whichItem);
WDEF window definition
pascal long main(short varCode, WindowPtr theWindow, 
 short message, long param);

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Adobe Lightroom 6.10.1 - 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
iPhoto Library Manager 4.2.7 - Manage mu...
iPhoto Library Manager allows you to organize your photos among multiple iPhoto libraries, rather than having to store all of your photos in one giant library. You can browse the photos in all your... Read more
Smultron 9.4 - Easy-to-use, powerful tex...
Smultron 9 is an elegant and powerful text editor that is easy to use. Use it to create or edit any text document. Everything from a web page, a note or a script to any single piece of text or code.... Read more
TextSoap 8.4 - Automate tedious text doc...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more
Merlin Project 4.2.3 - $349.00
Merlin Project is the leading professional project management software for OS X. If you plan complex projects on your Mac, you won’t get far with a simple list of tasks. Good planning raises... Read more
QuarkXPress 13.0.0.0 - Desktop publishin...
QuarkXPress 2017 is the new version that raises the bar for design and productivity. With non-destructive graphics and image editing directly within your layout, you no longer have to choose between... Read more
Path Finder 7.5 - Powerful, award-winnin...
Path Finder makes you a master of file management. Take full control over your file system. Save your time: compare and synchronize folders, view hidden files, use Dual Pane and full keyboard... Read more
Path Finder 7.5 - Powerful, award-winnin...
Path Finder makes you a master of file management. Take full control over your file system. Save your time: compare and synchronize folders, view hidden files, use Dual Pane and full keyboard... Read more
Merlin Project 4.2.3 - $349.00
Merlin Project is the leading professional project management software for OS X. If you plan complex projects on your Mac, you won’t get far with a simple list of tasks. Good planning raises... Read more
TextSoap 8.4 - Automate tedious text doc...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Magikarp Jump splashes onto Android worl...
If you're tired ofPokémon GObut still want something to satisfy your mobilePokémon fix,Magikarp Jumpmay just do the trick. It's out now on Android devices the world over. While it looks like a simple arcade jumper, there's quite a bit more to it... | Read more »
Purrfectly charming open-world RPG Cat Q...
Cat Quest, an expansive open-world RPG from former Koei-Tecmo developers, got a new gameplay trailer today. The video showcases the combat and exploration features of this feline-themed RPG. Cat puns abound as you travel across a large map in a... | Read more »
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels (Games)
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** WARNING: iPad 2, iPad Mini 1 & iPhone 4S are NOT compatible. ** *** Special Launch Price for a limited... | Read more »
Subdivision Infinity (Games)
Subdivision Infinity 1.03 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.03 (iTunes) Description: Launch sale! 40% Off! Subdivision Infinity is an immersive and pulse pounding sci-fi 3D space shooter. https://www.... | Read more »
Clash of Clans' gets a huge new upd...
Clash of Clans just got a massive new update, and that's not hyperbole. The update easily tacks on a whole new game's worth of content to the hit base building game. In the update, that mysterious boat on the edge of the map has been repaired and... | Read more »
Thimbleweed Park officially headed to iO...
Welp, it's official. Thimbleweed Park will be getting a mobile version. After lots of wondering and speculation, the developers confirmed it today. Thimbleweed Park will be available on both iOS and Android sometime in the near future. There's no... | Read more »
Pokémon GO might be getting legendaries...
The long-awaited legendary Pokémon may soon be coming to Pokémon GO at long last. Data miners have already discovered that the legendary birds, Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos are already in the game, it’s just a matter of time. [Read more] | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
If you’ve got the Monday blues we have just the thing to cheer you up. The week is shaping up to be a spectacular one for sales. We’ve got a bunch of well-loved indie games at discounted prices this week along with a few that are a little more... | Read more »
Honor 8 Pro, a great choice for gamers
Honor is making strides to bring its brand to the forefront of mobile gaming with its latest phone, the Honor 8 Pro. The Pro sets itself apart from its predecessor, the Honor 8, with a host of premium updates that boost the device’s graphical and... | Read more »
The 4 best outdoor adventure apps
Now that we're well into the pleasant, warmer months, it's time to start making the most of the great outdoors. Spring and summer are ideal times for a bit of trekking or exploration. You don't have to go it alone, though. There are plenty of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pros on sale for $100...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1699. That’s $300 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a 15″ MacBook Pro. An Apple one-year warranty is... Read more
Apple refurbished 9-inch and 12-inch iPad Pro...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 9″ and 12″ Apple iPad Pros available for up to $160 off the cost of new iPads. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 32GB 9″... Read more
Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available f...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
Sale! 15-inch 2.6GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook...
DataVision has the 15″ 2.6GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MLW72LL/A) on sale for $2199 including free shipping. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model (... Read more
A Kaby Lake Processor Upgrade For The MacBook...
Now they tell me! Well, actually Apple hasn’t said anything official on the subject, but last week Bloomberg News’s Mark Gurman and Alex Webb cited unnamed “people familiar with the matter”... Read more
Kodak’s Camera-First Smartphone EKTRA Launche...
The Eastman Kodak Company and Bullitt Group have announced the availability of a U.S. GSM version of the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone. The U.S. launch coincides with a software update addressing requests... Read more
Apple Launches App Development Curriculum for...
Apple today launched a new app development curriculum designed for students who want to pursue careers in the fast-growing app economy. The curriculum is available as a free download today from Apple... 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
9.7-inch 2017 iPad available for $298, save $...
Sams Club has 32GB 9.7″ Apple iPads available for $298 for Sams Club members. That’s $21 off MSRP. Order online and choose free local store pickup (if available) or free shipping. Read more

Jobs Board

Data Engineer - *Apple* Media Products - Ap...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more Read more
*Apple* Store Leader Program - Apple, Inc (U...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on Read more
*Apple* Integration Specialist - A3 Solution...
Apple Integration Specialist Contract-To-HireWe are searching for dedicated, well-experienced and energetic individuals for an information technology corporation Read more
Sr. Software Engineer, *Apple* Online Store...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more Read more
Senior Engineering Project Manager, *Apple*...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.