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Feb 95 Newsbits
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:2
Column Tag:Newsbits

Newsbits

By Scott T Boyd, Editor

URL Standard Apple Event Suite

Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) are a standard notation for identifying the locations of files and other resources on the Internet. Mac TCP/IP networking programs often make use of each other as “helper programs”. To make it easier to do this, some Mac Internet software developers have designed a simple standard for Apple Events programs can send to each other to ask them to process URLs. Here’s a brief overview of the events. Suite code: ‘GURL’

The geturl event

Get an object referenced by an URL and display it in a window or save it to a file:

geturl <URL: > [to <file>]

retrieve the object reference by the URL

Result: small integer - result code

The fetchurl event

Get an object referenced by an URL and return the object as the event result

fetchurl <URL: >

Result: the referenced object, usually text

Servers must support the following formats for the URLs:

(1) scheme: (the “canonical form”)

(2) <scheme: >

(3) URL:scheme:

(4) <URL:scheme: >

This standard was designed by John Hardin, Peter Lewis, Steve Dorner, Farhad Anklesarian, Aleksandar Totic, and other Mac TCP/IP developers. It was edited by John Norstad <URL:mailto:j-norstad@nwu.edu>, and is available in full at:

    ftp://ftp.acns.nwu.edu/pub/newswatcher/url-ae-standard.txt

BBEdit 3.1

Bare Bones Software, Inc. announced version 3.1 of their BBEdit text editor. The new version includes “soft” text wrapping, interaction with development environments not previously supported, electronic documentation, and an all-new packaging and delivery system.

BBEdit 3.1 features new “soft” text wrapping. Previous versions of BBEdit required users to insert carriage returns in order to break lines, and to manually re-format the text while editing. BBEdit 3.1 now offers the option to wrap lines without inserting carriage returns, and will automatically re-flow lines as necessary when the user inserts or deletes text.

BBEdit now supports integration with THINK C, Symantec C++, and CodeWarrior. BBEdit provides a unified user interface for interacting with all supported environments, and lets the user easily switch between them. Metrowerks added services in the new CW5 CodeWarrior release to support close integration. BBEdit 3.1 also supports the upcoming version 8.0 of Symantec C++ for Power Macintosh.

The new version of BBEdit ships on CD-ROM, and includes full documentation for BBEdit in machine-readable form (a printed and bound manual is available at a nominal extra cost), demos of products from Bare Bones Software and other developers, promotional information and special offers from various third-parties, and a collection of BBEdit extensions contributed by BBEdit users from all over the world.

SRP US$119. Customers who purchase BBEdit 3.0 (the current version) after December 1, 1994 will be eligible to receive a free upgrade to version 3.1. All other owners of BBEdit 3.0 will be able to upgrade to the new version for US$39. An upgrade path is also available for users of older versions of BBEdit (including freeware versions), and for selected competing and complementary products; contact Bare Bones Software for more information.

    Bare Bones Software, Inc. P.O. Box 108 Bedford, MA 01730 (508) 651-3561 voice,  (508) 651-7584 fax. 
E-mail bbsw@netcom.com, AppleLink BARE.BONES, eWorld BareBones, CIS: 73051,3255.

The Internet Configuration System

Quinn “The Eskimo” announces the release of the Internet Config system, a development that makes Internet access by a Macintosh even easier.

We all use many different programs to access the Internet and each of these programs has its own preference dialog, wherein you set things like your Email address, your FTP helper application and your preferred program to open “.jpg” files. Keeping these preferences in sync in all your Internet applications is increasingly difficult. Worse yet, many simple applications do not even have a mechanism for setting these preferences and so you are stuck with the author’s default preferences.

The Internet Configuration system is a solution to this problem. Internet Config is an application that allows you to set these preferences once. Internet Config stores these preferences in a shared database and any “IC-Aware” application will get its preferences from this database.

Internet Config has broad-based support from a wide range of Macintosh Internet developers. A number of applications have already been programmed to be “IC-Aware” and many more are expected soon.

Internet Config will run on all Macintosh Plus or newer machines running System 6 or later. Internet Config is available at the MacGifts, Info-Mac and UMich ftp sites (and their mirror sites), and also any site that holds Peter Lewis’ software (see p. 66). Internet Config is available as a NewsWatcher helper at ftp://ftp.acns.nwu.edu/pub/newswatcher/helpers/ and on the TidBITS site ftp://ftp.tidbits.com/pub/tidbits/

Internet Config has been placed in the public domain and can be freely redistributed by any means. This means that you’re legally entitled to:

• sell it or its source code commercially

• distribute it as part of any other product

• distribute it on CD, disk, network or any other medium

• do anything else you like with it

From a programmer’s point of view, Internet Config is an application programmer interface (API) that lets you read and write shared preferences. This API calls through to the Internet Config component (if it is present) so that the actual implementation of the preference database code is dynamically linked in to your application. This means that as the Internet Config system gets smarter, your applications will become smarter, without the need for any work on your part (other than supporting Internet Config in the first place).

The Internet Config Application automatically installs the Internet Config component when it is first run. If the Internet Config component is not available, then the API will use a statically linked version of the current database code, so IC-Aware programs do not rely on having the component available.

Internet Config manages the following groups of preferences: Personal, Email, News, File Transfer, Other Services (e.g. Gopher and Ph), Fonts, File Types, and Helpers (for mapping URLs to their help applications).

Full source code to the Internet Config system has been placed in the public domain. The system is essentially ‘open’, not a proprietary add-in which may become a liability in the future.

You can get the Internet Config Programmer’s Kit from

ftp://ftp.share.com/internet-configuration/

and

ftp://redback.cs.uwa.edu.au//Others/Quinn/Config/

It has all the information you need to develop for Internet Config in Pascal or C using any of the common development environments (Metrowerks, Think and MPW). The kit also contains the source code to the Internet Config Extension. The same sites also have the Internet Config Application Source Kit, which contains the source code to the Internet Config application (in Think Pascal).

About adding IC support to NewsWatcher, “I’m pleased, too. I figured this would be reasonably easy to support, and it turned out to be even easier. There were no major problems or stumbling blocks - just a bunch of really easy code, and it worked with no major hassles.” - John Norstad

Hierarchical or Relational? - Why Not Have Both?

iD de Magellan is a new external package for 4th Dimension. It allows 4D programmers to manage and present their relational data in a hierarchical manner. Whatever the structure of the data, iD de Magellan can create and maintain a hierarchical representation of it. Relational and hierarchical database systems, the two most common types in today’s database market, are normally completely separate. iD de Magellan allows you to integrate the two representations.

iD de Magellan adapts itself to any relational structure, generating a hierarchical representation of the data. Moreover, iD de Magellan can generate more than one hierarchical representation of the same relational structure. Once integrated into an external zone, iD de Magellan manages all data processing, navigation, formatting, importing, exporting, printing, etc., in an outliner-like interface.

    Logiciels Magellan (514) 344-1056 voice, (514) 344-2970 fax, AppleLink  LOG.MAGELLAN, CompuServe 
76506,1656.
    Demo available ($10 CDN) by post to 919 Dunlop ave. Outremont, QC Canada H2V 2W9, or on CompuServe/MACDEV/Library 
6, file name: ID.SEA, or  AppleLink/Third Parties/ACI/ACI Information/Third-Party Information.

Apple Support Programs Update

Apple Computer introduced the Newton Associates Program, and enhancements to the Newton Partners and Macintosh Partners programs. The Newton Associates Program is a low cost (US$400 annual fee), high quality, self-help development support program for Newton developers, and includes:

• Support services from Apple’s Developer Support Center

• Discounted rates for online technical information

• Access to a technical Q&A reference library

• Discounts on Newton and Macintosh hardware

• A Newton Orientation Kit

• A monthly Newton developer mailing, including the Newton Developer CD and Newton
Technology Journal

• Use of Apple’s third party compatibility lab

• Discount on a Newton development class

• Invitation to Newton and Worldwide Developer Conferences

• Eligibility to participate in StarCore’s Affiliate Label Program

The Newton Partners Program (formerly PIE Partners Program) price is now US$2500 annually, and includes all the features of the Newton Associates Program plus services such as expert-level programming support via e-mail, free updates to Newton development tools, and participation in select Apple marketing and PR opportunities.

The Macintosh Partners Program has been enhanced with new features such as seeding on most Macintosh technologies, pre-release documentation for new CPU’s, one free Mac OS SDK subscription. Macintosh Associates may purchase the Mac OS SDK subscription at a substantial discount directly from APDA.

The Apple Multimedia Program (AMP) no longer requires membership in the Associates Program. Members of the Apple Multimedia Program will continue to receive all the core services available through the Apple Developer Programs, as well as the benefits received through the Apple Multimedia Program.

For more information on joining the Newton Associates Program or any of the Apple Developer Programs, 
please contact the Apple Developer Support Center at (408)974-4897, link DEVSUPPORT or e-mail devsupport@applelink.apple.com.

 
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