TweetFollow Us on Twitter

May 95 Tips
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:Tips & Tidbits

Tips & Tidbits

By Scott T Boyd, Editor

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

TIP OF THE MONTH

Flush Out Your Bugs

Before releasing an application to your testers, load these three extensions: EBBE (Even Better Bus Error), DisposeResource, and DoubleTrouble. They check for NIL dereferences, improperly-disposed resources, and multiply-disposed memory manager blocks. [You can find these extensions in many places, including our ftp and other online sites - Ed stb] Run your application. You may be surpised at what you find.

Using these debugging tools, I caught a bug in an application based on the 1/18/95 release of Sprocket. This bug was fixed in the 1/25/95 Sprocket release, and does not exist in the 12/94 release. I’m using this code both as an example and a suggested patch if you are using the 1/18 version of Sprocket.

TSplashWindow::~TSplashWindow()
        {
        if (fSplashPicture)
                DisposeHandle((Handle) fSplashPicture);  // Oops!
        this->Close();
        }

TWindow::Close(void)
        {
        WindowPtr       newFrontWindow = nil;
        if (FrontNonFloatingWindow() == fWindow)
          newFrontWindow = (WindowPtr)((WindowPeek)fWindow)->nextWindow;
        this->Activate(false);
        DisposeWindow(fWindow);
        if (newFrontWindow)
           HiliteAndActivateWindow(newFrontWindow,true);
        return true;
        }

When I ran the executable, I dropped into my low level debugger, and looked at the stack. Return addresses on the stack from the MacsBug stack crawl sc7:

  Stack Addr  Frame Addr   Caller
   01C6ECD0               01B6D6D2 'CODE 0001 2690 Sprocket Lib'+0172
   01C6ECC8               01B6D692 'CODE 0001 2690 Sprocket Lib'+0132
   01C6ECAA    01C6ECA6   01B6E9F8 main+01F2
   01C6EC9E    01C6EC9A   01B6EF7A TSplashWindow::~TSplashWindow()+002C
   01C6EC88               01B6FA3C TWindow::Close()+0034
   01C6EC80    01C6EC7C   408578C4 _DisposeWindow+0004
   01C6EC6C               4085A846 _FrontWindow+0096
   01C6EC54               40877EB4 _KillPicture+0004
   01C6EC40               4085785C _NewWindow+010C
   01C6EC34               40877EB4 _KillPicture+0004
   01C6EC30               4085785C _NewWindow+010C

From this stack trace I saw that fSplashPicture got disposed again by DisposeWindow(fWindow); A review of the code showed the offending extra Dispose in ~TSplashWindow().

Why not leave these debugging resources on your system all the time? Well, it appears that not everyone uses these tools religiously and several other of my favorite (nameless) applications write to location Zero and trigger EBBE. I’ve sent in bug reports to the offenders, but I am still waiting for all the update releases.

Happy Bug Trails!

- Gary W. Powell
gpowell@mv.us.adobe.com

Powering Up The RTM Instruction

For you power programmers out there, here’s a little tip on taking advantage of the PowerPC architecture. Where you might have used the 68020 RTM instruction (Return from Module), you can get a lot of mileage by using the new PowerPC RTFM instruction instead. We can assure you that you will save literally hours of time.

- David Gorkan and Allan Foster

Save a Little Time

Here is a great and easy way to supercharge File Open... File Save and File Save As... operations from any application, especially if you use the Apple Menu Items to store aliases to folders: Make an alias of the Apple Menu Items folder and put it on the Desktop.

What does that get you? Well, since the Standard file Get and Put Dialogs all have a Desktop button, you can easily get to the Apple Menu Items, and hence access any aliases that are stored there. Just Click on the Desktop folder and the Apple Menu Item Alias appears as a supercharged Volume of Aliases.

But wait, there’s more! You get a real bonus from using System 7.5 because, if you put the Apple Menu Items alias onto the desktop, System 7.5 maintains automated folders, so the Apple Menu Items Alias can be used to get to “Recent Documents”. The “Recent Servers” can be used to log onto to any server without leaving the application that you are running.

- Mark Tillinghast
XXCAL, Testing And Systems Division
mark_tillinghast@lamg.com

Debugging For Fun and Profit

When you have routines that return OSErrs, finish them with the following bit of code:

 
ReportError ( err );
return err;
}

which is defined as:

#ifdef qDEBUG
#define ReportError(err) do { if (err != noErr ) DebugStr ( “
\pError” ); } while (false)
#else
#define ReportError(err)  /* nothing */
#endif

With this macro, you can tell every time that one of your routines returns an error, and it’s easy to follow your error handling code.

- Marshall Clow
Aladdin Systems

What’s My Modifier?

To quickly get the status of modifier keys, use these simple lines:

typedef struct kbd_bits {
 int command : 1;
 int : 5;
 int space : 1;
 int tab : 1;
 int : 4;
 control : 1;
 option : 1;
 capslock : 1;
 shift : 1;
} kbd_bits;

#define KeyModifiers (*(kbd_bits *)0x17A)

Then you can say simply:

if (KeyModifiers.control) {
 Debugger(); // drop into a debugger
}

This works across all Macs, including foreign versions and keyboard maps. For maximum compatibility with a minimal speed hit, call GetOSEvent with a null event mask and examine the modifiers field of the event returned.

- Jorg Brown
The Mac Group

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Warcher Defenders (Games)
Warcher Defenders 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Warcher Defenders is a tiny castle defense action RPG with a very unique and challenging gameplay! Join this epic archery... | Read more »
The best value players on UEFA EURO 2016...
With Euro 2016 kicking off on June 10th, time's running out to pick your 15-man fantasy squad in UEFA EURO 2016 Fantasy. [Read more] | Read more »
How to become the ultimate robot warrior...
Chrono Strike is a delightfully immersive beat ‘em up with a sense of humor (any game with a good Sims reference gets points in my book). [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Snow Roll is a devilish endless runner very much in the vein of Flappy Bird. It revels in its dastardly level of difficulty, and doesn’t really care how angry you get at it as it knows you’ll keep coming back for more. [Read more] | Read more »
How to win big in Slots Deluxe
Cheating while gambling is illegal and morally wrong, and in some parts of the world it leads to men with names like Vinnie "Six Knuckles" Manchenzo beating you to a pulp in a dark alley. [Read more] | Read more »
How to take over the world in Dictator 2
Running a country isn't easy - especially when you're a dictator who wants to take over the world and crush everyone in your path while you do it. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Tank.iois - you guessed it! - another multiplayer arena battler likeAgar.io and Slither.io. It does differentiate itself by putting you in a tiny tank though, so it's not exactly the same. To help you get that all-important high score, we've got a... | Read more »
How to unlock characters in One Tap Tenn...
As the title suggests, One Tap Tennis requires only a single tap to play its particular brand of tennis, and rewards you with a ton of unlockable characters if you perform well. Fortunately for you, we at 148Apps have got a few tips and tricks to... | Read more »
Grab it now: Game Craft’s Legend of War...
The real time strategy game is now available for you to sink your teeth into, through the App Store and Google Play. Combining elements of skill, strategy and empire building, Legend of War is a real gamers’ game. [Read more] | Read more »
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka (Gam...
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Skateboard Party is back! This third edition of the popular sports franchise features professional skater... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Dell Launches World’s First 17-inch Convertib...
Apple and other laptop makers have stepped away from the 17-inch display laptop form factor, frustrating users who liked the vast expanse of screen real estate. Having used a 17-inch PowerBook for... Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook avai...
Amazon has the new 12″ 1.2GHz/512GB Space Gray Retina MacBook (Apple model #MLH82LL/A) available for $1549 including free shipping. Their price is $50 off MSRP. B&H has the 12″ 1.2GHz/512GB Space... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac Pros available for up t...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
Enterprise Workers Pick Technology Over Perks...
New Adobe study shows surprising attitudes about office jobs and where the future of work is heading. Adobe has released survey findings revealing that a surprising 70 percent of U.S. office workers... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sale: $50-$100 off 11-in...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 11″ MacBook Airs with 256GB SSDs on sale for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100 off MSRP... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple MacBook Pro...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple iMacs and M...
Take up to $150 off the price of a new iMac or Mac mini at the following Apple resellers this Memorial Day weekend: iMacs: B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP... Read more
Apple refurbished Retina MacBook Pros availab...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Goal Zero and OtterBox Partner to Expand iPh...
Goal Zero, specialists in portable power, have announced a partnership with OtterBox, brand smartphone case protection, to offer the Slide and Slide Plus Batteries as modules compatible with the new... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Project Engineer - Smart Source Inc...
SmartSource is in need of an Apple Project Engineer for a 12 month contract opportunity in Pittsburg, PA. Role: Apple Project Engineer Location: Pittsburg, PA Read more
Senior *Apple* Engineer - Signature Technol...
One-year contract for an Apple consultant. The resource should be an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator or get the certification within 60 days of starting Read more
Senior *Apple* Engineer - Signature Technol...
One-year contract for an Apple consultant. The resource should be an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator or get the certification within 60 days of starting Read more
*Apple* Architect - AECOM (United States)
**Requisition/Vacancy No.** 132759BR **Position Title** Apple Architect **Job Category** Information Technology **Business Line** Government **Country** United Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.