TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Sprocket is Here
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:1
Column Tag:Getting Started

Sprocket is Here!

Getting started requires getting in to gear!

By Dave Mark, MacTech Magazine Regular Contributing Author

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

In the last few columns, I told you about a new framework that was going to form the basis for much of the code written for this magazine. Well, as you can see from the title, Sprocket is here! Though Sprocket has existed in various incarnations for a while, I’ve only recently had the chance to really get into it. (I’ve been completely consumed with the goal of getting Ultimate Mac Programming out the door in time for January MacWorld).

This month, we’ll take a walk through the Sprocket architecture, focusing on the files and routines you’ll work with as you customize Sprocket to fit your needs.

Getting Sprocket

The first thing you’ll need to do is get a copy of the latest version of Sprocket. It’s included on the monthly MacTech source code disks and is archived at the usual online sites (which are listed every month on page 2).

Hopefully, by the time you read this, there will be versions of Sprocket for both Symantec C++ and Metrowerks CodeWarrior. As I write this, I’ve only got the CodeWarrior version, so bear with this unintended bias. Hopefully, there won’t be too many differences between the two versions.

As you get into Sprocket, it’s important to realize that we are at the beginning of a long evolutionary process. Sprocket was just born and there will no doubt be lots of design changes, bugs, and what have you. Here’s your chance to get in on the ground floor. If you find a bug, or have any specific comments about or feature requests for Sprocket, send a complete description to sprocket@hax.com.

The Sprocket Files

Open the Sprocket folder and launch the Sprocket project (mine was called SprocketSample.µ). You’ll notice that the files are organized into three different groups.

On the 680x0 side of the fence, each of these groups takes the form of a segment. On the PowerPC side, segments are a thing of the past, so the file groupings are more for aesthetics.

The first group of files is called Sprocket Code (see Figure 1), and is made up of the files that are private to Sprocket. These are the files that implement things like the event loop, the main base classes, the required Apple events, etc. For now, just ignore these files. As you get to know Sprocket and have a few Sprocket applications under your belt, you might want to explore these files and possibly tweak a few things to fit your specific needs.

The second group of files is labeled GX Graphics Libraries and contains routines you’ll need to work with Quickdraw GX. By the time you read this, the file(s) in this section may have been rolled in with the rest of the files in the Sprocket Code section.

The third group of files is labeled Application Specific. This is where you’ll put your code. As you’ll see, contained within the files in this section are a series of 9 routines that you must provide to make Sprocket run. These routines do things like perform application initialization, dispatch menu selections, and create new documents. Every Sprocket application has these routines, including the generic Sprocket application that came with Sprocket in the first place. Each time you create a new Sprocket application, you’ll duplicate the folder containing the application specific files, then edit the routines in those files as you see fit. At the very least, you’ll need to make sure that the 9 critical routines do what you need them to.

Figure 1. My Sprocket project file, as implemented by CodeWarrior.

A Quick Sprocket Test Drive

Before we get to them, let’s take Sprocket for a quick spin, just to get a feel for what it looks like. Once again, keep in mind the fact that I’m writing this in November and that things will undoubtedly change by the time you read this.

When you launch the generic Sprocket application, two new windows appear. The window on the left is a palette or tool window (Figure 2). It floats, meaning that it always appears in front of all other windows. Imagine this window filled with tool icons. When the user clicks on an icon, you’ll change the cursor to reflect the new tool and implement the tool’s behavior as the user clicks and drags in a document window.

Figure 2. The generic Sprocket tool window.

The other window that appears (Figure 3) is a document window, customized to include a nifty pair of spinning arrows in their own pane, a pair of horizontal lines that separate this pane from the main content region, and a pair of scroll bars. If you select New from the File menu, a new, untitled document window will appear. When you create your own sprocket applications, you’ll have complete control over the look and behavior of your document windows. Customizing the window (as Dave did with his spinning arrows) is up to you. Sprocket handles generic window behavior like clicks in a window’s close, grow, or zoom area. When drawing is necessary, Sprocket will call the window’s Draw() method, which you’ll override with your own Draw routine. You’ll see how to do that in next month’s column.

Figure 3. A generic Sprocket document window with the spinning cursors.

If you select Preferences... from the File menu, the preferences dialog in Figure 4 will appear. This will eventually evolve into a scrolling list of icons, each of which gives the user access to a different portion of the application preferences. Got any ideas for this dialog? Send ‘em in!

The Sprocket menu bar is pretty generic (appropriately so). It features standard File and Edit menus, as well as a not-so-standard Debug menu. If your Mac is AOCE aware (if you have PowerTalk installed, for example), the Debug menu will feature an an item that lets you create a new window with an AOCE mailer attached to it.

If you want to explore this topic further (we won’t get into it for a while) search for the flag qAOCEAware. If you won’t be supporting AOCE, you’ll want to turn this flag off, since it will save you considerably in code size.

Figure 4. The Sprocket generic preferences dialog as it appeared in November.

Let’s take a look at two of the files in the Application Specific group. The first of these files, AppSpecific.rsrc, holds the resources you want to add to Sprocket. The second file, App.cp, holds the nine routines that you’ll need to provide to customize Sprocket. We’ll get to the rest of the Application Specific files in next month’s column.

AppSpecific.rsrc

Sprocket divides its resources between two resource files. Sprocket.rsrc contains the resources that are private to Sprocket, while AppSpecific.rsrc contains the resources you’ll add to the project yourself. Take some time to look through the resources that come with the generic Sprocket project. As you look through AppSpecific.rsrc, you’ll notice that there are MENU resources for the Apple and Debug menus, but that there are no MENUs for the File and Edit menus. The File and Edit menus are defined in Sprocket.rsrc. Notice that the Debug menu is not included in the MBAR resource used by Sprocket (MBAR 128). The Debug menu was added by Sprocket using a call to InsertMenu() (Look in App.cp for the constant mDebug to follow this process). Take all this with a grain of salt, since it will most likely change in the near future. By the time you read this, a new version of Sprocket that gives you complete control over the menu bar will be released. The plan is that you will provide an MBAR resource and MENU resources to go along with the MENU ids listed in the MBAR resource. At this point, it’s not clear how the File and Edit menus will be handled. More on this as Sprocket evolves.

App.cp

This is the most important of your source code files. Here’s where the aforementioned 9 mandatory routines reside. As you get started, you’ll want to edit a copy of App.cp, using the existing 9 routines as the basis for your own code. Here’s the function prototypes for these 9 routines which you must supply (the prototypes are at the very bottom of <Sprocket.h>):

// initialization & tear down
extern  OSErr  SetupApplication(void);
extern  voidTearDownApplication(void);

// menu handling:
extern  voidHandleMenu(TWindow * topWindowObj,long menuCode);

// scrap coercion hooks:
extern  voidWriteLocalClipboardToScrap(void);
extern  voidReadLocalClipboardFromScrap(void);

// document handling routines:
extern  OSErr  CreateNewDocument(void);
extern  OSErr  OpenDocument(LetterDescriptor *,void *);
extern  OSErr  PrintDocument(LetterDescriptor *,void *);
extern  Boolean  QuitApplication(void);

SetupApplication() is where you’ll do your application specific initialization. You’ll have to learn what Sprocket does and doesn’t do for you. For example, Sprocket doesn’t set up QuickTime and it only installs handlers for the four required Apple events.

In TearDownApplication(), your documents have already been closed and you know that your application is going down. Here’s a chance to write out your preferences file, shut down any network connections, etc.

HandleMenu() is your menu selection dispatch routine. The first parameter is a pointer to an object that represents the active window at the time the selection was made. The second parameter is a standard four byte menu/item combination you can take apart with HiWord() and LoWord(). You can dispatch menu selections using C or C++, whichever works for you. That’s one of the nice things about Sprocket. Though it is definitely C++ based, it doesn’t force you to work in C++. The generic Sprocket application does all its menu item processing inside the HandleMenu() routine, but you’ll probably want to shift the processing into a separate file.

The routines ReadLocalClipboardFromScrap() and WriteLocalClipboardToScrap() load the scrap into the local clipboard and write the local clipboard back out to the scrap. You’ll fill these routines in when you’re ready to support the Cut, Copy, and Paste Edit menu items.

CreateNewDocument() gets called by the oapp Apple event handler. No matter what horrid error you encounter, do not exit the program inside this routine or you will completely hose the Apple Event Manager. Use this routine to create a new document object. If you encounter an error, return the error code, otherwise return noErr.

OpenDocument() gets called by the odoc Apple Event handler for each document used to launch the application. A recordable application will also create and send an odoc event to itself when the user selects Open... from the File menu. At this point, Sprocket is not recordable (sounds like an idea for a future column). OpenDocument() should use the information in the LetterDescriptor parameter to open a file and use the information in the file to create a new document object. A LetterDescriptor is a union, holding either an FSSpec or an AOCE letter spec. The union starts with a boolean that indicates which type it is. Again, be sure you don’t exit directly from this routine. If you encounter an error, return the error code, otherwise return noErr.

PrintDocument() will get called in response to a pdoc Apple event. Sprocket doesn’t have printing support yet, so leave this routine until printing is there.

QuitApplication() gets called in response to a quit Apple event. QuitApplication() should close every open document. You might want to maintain a list of open document objects, then have QuitApplication() step through the list, calling each document’s Close() member function (also known as the document’s Close() method). If a document has been changed since it was opened, the Close() method should put up the standard “Save changes” alert, giving the user the chance to cancel the quit. If the user cancels the quit, QuitApplication() should return false. If all the documents close successfully, QuitApplication() should return true, and Sprocket will call TearDownApplication().

Till Next Month

In next month’s column, we’ll take a look at the files that define the window objects used by Sprocket. We’ll customize Sprocket by overriding some of the different window Draw() methods. Between now and then, take some time to read through the files App.cp, DocWindow.cp, ToolWindow.cp, PreferencesDialogWIndow.cp, and MailableDocWindow.cp. Experiment. Open up the “.h” file associated with each of these files and check out the class definition that forms the basis for each file. You’ll see that each of these window classes is derived from Sprocket’s TWindow class. Check out the DocWindow class. Notice that it overrides the TWindow Draw() method. If you want to affect what gets drawn in a DocWindow, you’ll want to edit the DocWindow Draw() method. Try it! Just be sure to make a copy of the Sprocket project file and AppSpecific folder so you’ll maintain your original copy of Sprocket (just in case).

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

BBEdit 11.6.4 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
beaTunes 4.6.12 - Organize your music co...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music Library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
Tinderbox 7.0.1 - Store and organize you...
Tinderbox is a personal content management assistant. It stores your notes, ideas, and plans. It can help you organize and understand them. And Tinderbox helps you share ideas through Web journals... Read more
FotoMagico 5.4 - Powerful slideshow crea...
FotoMagico lets you create professional slideshows from your photos and music with just a few, simple mouse clicks. It sports a very clean and intuitive yet powerful user interface. High image... Read more
Direct Mail 4.3.9 - Create and send grea...
Direct Mail is an easy-to-use, fully-featured email marketing app purpose-built for OS X. It lets you create and send great looking email campaigns. Start your newsletter by selecting from a gallery... Read more
Tinderbox 7.0.1 - Store and organize you...
Tinderbox is a personal content management assistant. It stores your notes, ideas, and plans. It can help you organize and understand them. And Tinderbox helps you share ideas through Web journals... Read more
Direct Mail 4.3.9 - Create and send grea...
Direct Mail is an easy-to-use, fully-featured email marketing app purpose-built for OS X. It lets you create and send great looking email campaigns. Start your newsletter by selecting from a gallery... Read more
FotoMagico 5.4 - Powerful slideshow crea...
FotoMagico lets you create professional slideshows from your photos and music with just a few, simple mouse clicks. It sports a very clean and intuitive yet powerful user interface. High image... Read more
beaTunes 4.6.12 - Organize your music co...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music Library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
Spotify 1.0.49.125. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more

The best sales on the App Store this wee...
The App Store has quite an exciting lineup of discount games this week that range across a variety of genres. It's a great opportunity to catch up on some of the premium games you may have been holding off on -- and some you can even grab for free... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week
Ah, here we are again at the close of another busy week. Don't rest too easy, though. We had a lot of great new releases in mobile games this week, and now you're going to have to spend all weekend playing them. That shouldn't be too much of a... | Read more »
Rollercoaster Tycoon Touch Guide: How to...
| Read more »
Rabbids Crazy Rush Guide: How to unlock...
The Rabbids are back in a new endless running adventure, Rabbids Crazy Rush. It's more ridiculous cartoon craziness as you help the little furballs gather enough fuel (soda) to get to the moon. Sure, it's a silly idea, but everyone has dreams --... | Read more »
Tavern Guardians (Games)
Tavern Guardians 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Tavern Guardians is a Hack-and-Slash action game played in the style of a match-three. You can experience high pace action... | Read more »
Slay your way to glory in idle RPG Endle...
It’s a golden age for idle games on the mobile market, and those addictive little clickers have a new best friend. South Korean developer Ekkorr released Endless Frontier last year, and players have been idling away the hours in the company of its... | Read more »
Tiny Striker: World Football Guide - How...
| Read more »
Good news everyone! Futurama: Worlds of...
Futurama is finding a new home on mobile in TinyCo and Fox Interactive's new game, Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow. They're really doing it up, bringing on board Futurama creator Matt Groening along with the original cast and writers. TinyCo wants... | Read more »
MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL (Games)
MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ENDLESS UPGRADES. CONSTANT DANGER. ANCIENT WISDOM. BOUNCY BALLS. Launch Sale, 40% OFF for a very limited time!!! MUL.... | Read more »
Dungeon Rushers (Games)
Dungeon Rushers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Dungeon Rushers is a 2D tactical RPG combining dungeon crawler’s gameplay and turn based fights. Manage your team, loot dusty... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch 2.0GHz Apple MacBook Pros on sale for...
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 sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (... Read more
15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for up...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks on sale for $1150, $1...
B&H has 12″ 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1149 $150 off MSRP - 12″ 1.1GHz... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 11-inch MacBook Ai...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models recently discontinued by Apple), available for up to $170 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each... Read more
Apple Park Opens to Employees in April With T...
Apple has announced that Apple Park, the company’s new 175-acre campus, will be ready for employees to begin occupying in April. The process of moving more than 12,000 people will take over six... Read more
Manhattan Neighbors for Safer Telecommunicati...
A new education and advocacy group focused on cell phone and wireless risks, Manhattan Neighbors for Safer Telecommunications, launched today at http://www.ManhattanNeighbors.org. Manhattan... Read more
Portable Dual DisplayPort Monitor Dock Enable...
IOGEAR has announced the launch of its USB-C Dual DisplayPort Monitor Portable Dock (GUC3CMST). The dock enables users to easily connect two DisplayPort monitors to a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 laptop to... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon.com has restocked the 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A) for $200 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1099 $200 off MSRP This model tends to... Read more
Apple’s New iPad Ads Don’t Address Pro Users’...
Apple launched a new tranche of iPad Pro TV ads last week addressing actual queries and challenges from the Twitterverse, albeit using actors for the visuals. That’s great. As an iPad fan and heavy... Read more
Free Verbum Catholic Bible Study App For iOS
The Verbum mobile app runs on Logos’ powerful Bible software and is an advanced resource for mobile Catholic study. The Verbum app surrounds the Bible with the Tradition. Verbum comes with 15 free... Read more

Jobs Board

*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- Chicago...
SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and 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
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.