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

iDefrag 5.0.0 - Disk defragmentation and...
iDefrag helps defragment and optimize your disk for improved performance. Features include: Supports HFS and HFS+ (Mac OS Extended). Supports case sensitive and journaled filesystems. Supports... Read more
PCalc 4.2 - Full-featured scientific cal...
PCalc is a full-featured, scriptable scientific calculator with support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations, as well as an RPN mode, programmable functions, and an extensive set of unit... Read more
FileZilla 3.10.2 - Fast and reliable FTP...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface. Version 3.10.2: Note: Now requires a 64-bit Intel processor.... Read more
The Hit List 1.1.11 - Advanced reminder...
The Hit List manages the daily chaos of your modern life. It's easy to learn - it's as easy as making lists. And it's powerful enough to let you plan, then forget, then act when the time is right.... Read more
Bartender 1.2.32 - Organize your menu ba...
Bartender lets you organize your menu bar apps. Features: Lets you tidy your menu bar apps how you want. See your menu bar apps when you want. Hide the apps you need to run, but do not need to... Read more
ClamXav 2.7.5 - Free virus checker, base...
ClamXav is a free virus checker for OS X. It uses the tried, tested, and very popular ClamAV open source antivirus engine as a back end. I hope you like and use ClamXav a lot and that it helps keep... Read more
xScope 4.1.2 - Onscreen graphic measurem...
xScope is powerful set of tools that are ideal for measuring, inspecting, and testing on-screen graphics and layouts. Its tools float above your desktop windows and can be accessed via a toolbar,... Read more
MacFamilyTree 7.3.3 - Create and explore...
MacFamilyTree gives genealogy a facelift: it's modern, interactive, incredibly fast, and easy to use. We're convinced that generations of chroniclers would have loved to trade in their genealogy... Read more
Skype 7.5.0.738 - Voice-over-internet ph...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
PushPal 3.0 - Mirror Android notificatio...
PushPal is a client for Pushbullet, which automatically shows you all of your phone's notifications right on your computer. This means you can see who's calling or read text messages even if your... Read more

It Came From Canada: Jurojin: Immortal N...
At this point it’s pretty safe to say that no MOBA is going to dethrone Dota 2 and League of Legends anytime soon. After all, if Batman can’t do it, nobody can. However, with a genre as popular and profitable as this one, there’s still room for... | Read more »
Tiny Farm – Animals, Tractors and Advent...
Tiny Farm – Animals, Tractors and Adventures! Review By Amy Solomon on March 3rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: LIVELY LANDSCAPESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Tiny Farm – Animals, Tractors and Adventures! includes farm-related... | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: February 23-27, 20...
Final February Fun at 148Apps   How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out... | Read more »
GDC 2015 – Does Not Commute is Definitel...
GDC 2015 – Does Not Commute is Definitely a Game You Should Keep an Eye on Posted by Rob Rich on March 2nd, 2015 [ permalink ] We were teased about Mediocre Games’ (Smash Hit, | Read more »
F84 Games & POW! Announce Stan Lee V...
F84 Games has announced that it is working with legendary comic creator Stan Lee and POW! Entertainment to produce Stan Lee’s Hero Command. The game will be a action adventure of heroic proportions. | Read more »
Setlyst Keeps Your Set Straight So You C...
Setlyst Keeps Your Set Straight So You Can Focus On Rocking Out. Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 2nd, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Space is Vast, So Space Agency Has a Vas...
Space is Vast, So Space Agency Has a Vast New Update! Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 2nd, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Size DOES Matter Review
Size DOES Matter Review By Campbell Bird on March 2nd, 2015 Our Rating: :: HARD TO BEATUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad This rhythm game has a unique control scheme and performance system that make it feel like a true... | Read more »
The first ever action 3D card battler Al...
On the other hand, you probably haven’t played an action 3D card battler – until now. Step forward, All Star Legion. All Star Legion is a 3D QTE-based action RPG card battler, but fear not – the game itself isn’t as convoluted as its description.... | Read more »
Travel Back to the 1980s With the Making...
Headup Games has released a hilarious making of video for its upcoming title, Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic. The game is a RPG/Roguelike where you control three heroes set to save the township of Pixton from an evil cult called The Sons of Dawn.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sale! 15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro for $...
 Best Buy has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1774.99 $1799.99, or $225 off MSRP. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price valid for online orders... Read more
27-inch 3.5GHz 5K iMac in stock today and on...
 B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac in stock today and on sale for $2299 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for... Read more
Apple Launches Free Web-Based Pages and Other...
Apple’s new Web-only access to iWork productivity apps is a free level of iCloud service available to anyone, including people who don’t own or use Apple devices. The service includes access to Apple... Read more
Survey Reveals Solid State Disk (SSD) Technol...
In a recent SSD technology use survey, Kroll Ontrack, a firm specializing in data recovery, found that while nearly 90 percent of respondents leverage the performance and reliability benefits of SSD... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
The Apple Store is offering Apple Certified Refurbished Mac Pros 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... Read more
Updated Mac Price Trackers
We’ve updated our Mac Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers: - 15″ MacBook Pros - 13″ MacBook... Read more
Apple CEO Tim Cook to Deliver 2015 George Was...
Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver the George Washington University’s Commencement address to GWU grads on May 17, at which time he will also be awarded an honorary doctorate of public service from the... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis for up t...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple 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... Read more
Save up to $50 on iPad Air 2s, NY tax only, f...
 B&H Photo has iPad Air 2s on sale for $50 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $469.99 $30 off - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $549 $50 off - 128GB iPad Air 2... Read more
16GB iPad Air 2 on sale for $447, save $52
Walmart has the 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi on sale for $446.99 on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for online orders only,... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Pay Automation Engineer - iOS System...
**Job Summary** At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring passion and dedication to your job Read more
Sr. Technical Services Consultant, *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple Professional Services (APS) has an opening for a senior technical position that contributes to Apple 's efforts for strategic and transactional Read more
Event Director, *Apple* Retail Marketing -...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global engagement strategy and team. Delivering an overarching brand Read more
*Apple* Pay - Site Reliability Engineer - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.