TweetFollow Us on Twitter

WorldViewer
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:4
Column Tag:Macapp Adventures

Documentation Viewer Lite

Help save a tree today!

By Matthew Clark, WorldView Information Technology

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

Introduction

This article documents the creation of an ad hoc application using MacApp. Our goal was simple: build a documentation viewer for our manual, presentation slides, scripting dictionary, and product screen-shots. A quick survey of the existing viewer tools had led us to the conclusion: “What? They want how much money? Hey, we don’t need all those features!” (Of course, this all happened back before Adobe dropped its per-reader fee for Acrobat from $25 to zero.) So we decided to do it ourselves.

The requirements for this application are straightforward. The screen must display an exact duplicate of the original printed pages. Access to the pre-formatted documentation source is denied, but the user can copy and print the displayed pages. Simple page navigation is needed, but not content-based searching. The last requirement is the name: we’re working at WorldView, so it is natural to title the application WorldViewer.

Approach

The first hurdle is to create the on-line documents from a variety of publishing applications. If a bitmapped picture approach is used, the documentation files will be huge, printed pages cannot rescale text for maximal printer resolution, and zooming will show “jaggies”. On the other hand, if a picture ('PICT') file or resource is used, then the image will scale correctly. An added benefit is that the Mac toolbox routine DrawPicture substitutes fonts if the original fonts are not present. Our solution is to use the shareware utility Print2Pict, by Baudouin Raoult. It is placed into the Extensions Folder and activated by using the Chooser to select it as the “printer”. When you “print”, Print2Pict records each output page as a 'PICT' resource in a scrapbook file.

The WorldViewer application itself is based on MacApp 3.3 (actually, it was originally done with MacApp 3.1, and source code for both versions is provided). As many Macintosh programmers already know, MacApp is an object-oriented framework for writing applications. The main advantage is that the developer can leverage tens of programmer-years of work and have instant support for AppleEvents, the Scrap Manager, window management, event handling, printing, and other modules required of almost all Macintosh programs. Our application was written in only a few days and contains less than a thousand lines of source code.

Figure 1. A sample document in WorldViewer

Human Interface

Figure 1 illustrates the final screen interface. It evolved during development (as so often happens), but let’s pretend the design was fully completed first.

Separate tools are needed for navigating forward and backward, scrolling the page within the window, and zooming. The navigation operation should be context-dependent: the next-page cursor icon is displayed when the cursor is on the right-hand side of the screen and clicking goes to the next page; whereas, clicking the left side of the view goes to the previous page. Important information is to be displayed: the document name (in the window title), the page number (in lower-left), and the selected tool (hilited at bottom, also in the cursor icon). Modifier keys must switch between tool types, for power users; for example, holding the shift-key down changes from zoom-in to zoom-out, and depressing the option-key activates the hand (scrolling) tool. Dialogs are needed for selecting specific pages to jump to, and exact zoom amounts. A mechanism to navigate by sections or chapters instead of pages would be helpful for large documents.

Figure 2 shows the menu interface, without command-key equivalents. The menu titled Section should change to reflect the make-up of the document file in the frontmost window.

Figure 2. Menu structure for WorldViewer

Implementation

The object-oriented design of MacApp is ideal for our project. The document class can be used to identify each open documentation file. A view class can be used to draw a page of the documentation file. The control classes can be used as bases for writing both the page number control and the tools palette.

In all, eight classes were needed to implement WorldViewer. The following is a listing of the class declarations from the interface source file. MacApp-required source lines such as MA_DECLARE_CLASS; have been removed to reduce clutter (see the complete source code online).

TWVApplication class

class TWVApplication : public TApplication {
 public:
 void IWVApplication(void);
 virtual TFile* DoMakeFile(CommandNumber aCommandNumber);
 virtual TDocument* DoMakeDocument(
 CommandNumber itsCommandNumber, TFile* itsFile);
 virtual void DoMenuCommand(CommandNumber aCommandNumber);
};

The TWVApplication is descended from TApplication, the base application class of MacApp. The DoMakeFile method overrides the default method so that the document file’s resource fork remains open. If each documentation file stays on disk and 'PICT' files are loaded only when needed, the application memory partition is minimal. The only purpose of the DoMenuCommand method is to intercept calls to the About menu command.

TWVDocument

class TWVDocument : public TFileBasedDocument {
 public:
 void IWVDocument(TFile* itsFile, OSType itsCreator);
 void SetupFile(void);
 virtual void Close(void);
 virtual void DoMakeViews(Boolean forPrinting);
 virtual void DoSetupMenus(void);
 virtual void DoMenuCommand(CommandNumber aCommandNumber);
 virtual long GetChangeCount(void);
};

The TWVDocument class is responsible for interacting with the documentation file. The SetupFile method is used to set the documentation file as frontmost in the resource chain. Without this method, the viewer may load in incorrect 'PICT' resources from documentation files with identical resource numbers. The DoMakeViews method specifies which 'View' resource to use to display the document. A 'View' resource specifies the placement of dialog items, like a 'DITL' resource souped up to handle more versatile display objects.

The purpose of overriding the DoSetupMenus and DoMenuCommand methods is to have the ability to create multiple windows to view the same document. It’s easy using MacApp - only a few lines of code are needed!

TPageView

class TPageView : public TView {
 public:
 short  fMaxPages, //     max. number of pages
 fPage, //    page number
 fZoom; //    zoom amount
 void SetupFile(void);
 virtual void DoPostCreate(TDocument* itsDocument);
 void SetPage(short newPage);
 void SetZoom(short newZoom, VPoint center);
 void SetTool(short newTool);
 virtual void DoSetupMenus(void);
 virtual void DoMenuCommand(CommandNumber aCommandNumber);
 virtual void DoEvent(EventNumber eventNumber,
 TEventHandler* source, TEvent* event);
 virtual void DoKeyEvent(TToolboxEvent* event);
 virtual void Draw(const VRect& area);
};

The documentation page, scrollbars, and controls are displayed within the TPageView class. The method SetupFile operates identically to the same-named method of TWVDocument. In DoPostCreate, the default view and window sizes are set to the size of the first 'PICT' stored in the document file. The DoSetupMenus and DoMenuCommand methods are for implementing the zooming and navigation menu commands. The Draw method first makes a call to SetupFile before drawing the containing view objects. This assures that the correct 'PICT' resource is drawn by the picture object.

TPagePicture

class TPagePicture : public TPicture {
 public:
 short fTool;    //    [arrow,hand,zoom]
 CCrsrHandle fCursor;//      color cursor
 TPagePicture(); //    constructor
 virtual void Activate(Boolean entering);
 virtual void DoSetCursor(const VPoint& localPoint,
 RgnHandle cursorRegion);
 virtual void DoMouseCommand(VPoint& theMouse,
 TToolboxEvent* event, CPoint hysteresis);
};

The TPagePicture class displays the 'PICT' resource from the documentation file. The field fTool stores the tools status, either navigation arrow, hand, or zoom. The fCursor field caches the color cursor, reducing the number of times a color cursor must be created from a resource.

The Activate method instructs the application to always track the cursor; this provides instantaneous change in the cursor icon when a modifier key is pressed. The method DoSetCursor sets the cursor to reflect the appropriate tool, based on the fTool field, keyboard modifiers, and page number; see Figure 3 for the cursor icon set. In DoMouseCommand, the appropriate command is dispatched given the tool and keyboard modifier states.

Figure 3. Color cursors

TScrollCmd

class TScrollCmd : public TTracker {
 public:
 CCrsrHandle fCursor;//      closed hand cursor
 VRect fOrigRect;//    original visible rectangle
 VPoint fOrigPoint;//     original anchor point (window coords)
 void IScrollCmd(TPagePicture* aPagePicture,
 const VPoint& aMouse);
 virtual void TrackFeedback(TrackPhase trackPhase,
 const VPoint& anchorPoint,
 const VPoint& previousPoint,
 const VPoint& nextPoint,
 Boolean mouseDidMove,
 Boolean turnItOn);
 virtual TTracker* TrackMouse(TrackPhase trackPhase,
 VPoint& anchorPoint, VPoint& previousPoint,
 VPoint& nextPoint, Boolean mouseDidMove);
};

The TScrollCmd is used for scrolling the documentation page within the view. The open-hand cursor is replaced by a closed-hand cursor, and the scrolling parameters of the view are changed as the cursor moves. The scrolling operation is straightforward using MacApp: the display rectangle of the TPageView object is modified based on the cursor location, the screen image is scrolled, and the revealed areas of the picture are drawn.

TPageText and TPageIcon

class TPageIcon : public TIcon {
 public:
 virtual void Hilite(void);
 virtual void SuperViewChangedFrame(const VRect& oldFrame,
 const VRect& newFrame, Boolean invalidate);
};
class TPageText : public TStaticText {
 public:
 virtual void Hilite(void);
 virtual void SuperViewChangedFrame(const VRect& oldFrame,
 const VRect& newFrame, Boolean invalidate);
};

The display of the page number in the lower-left corner of the window is handled by the TPageText class. The TPageIcon class displays the selected tool at the bottom of the window. The Hilite methods change the control hiliting method from a simple inversion (the default MacApp method) to coloring the empty area with the system selection color. The SuperViewChangedFrame methods are required so that the control relocates itself in the bottom-left corner when the window is resized.

TPagePrintHandler

class TPagePrintHandler : public TStdPrintHandler {
 public:
 void IPagePrintHandler(TView* aView);
 virtual Boolean Print(CommandNumber itsCommandNumber);
 virtual Boolean SetupPrintOne(void);
 virtual void SetPage(long aPageNumber);
 virtual void CalcPageStrips(VPoint& pageStrips);
 virtual void DrawPageInterior(void);
};

The printing of a document page requires some special handling. The default MacApp mechanism divides a view into printer page-sized output pieces and prints the pages sequentially. The methods of TPagePrintHandler collectively make sure that the selected page is the correct 'PICT' resource from the document file.

Dialogs

Two dialogs are needed to input specific values for going to a page number or setting the zoom amount. Figure 4 shows them.

Figure 4: Go to and Zoom dialog boxes

The MacApp utility application ViewEdit was used to create all dialogs. Note that no application-specific classes are needed to instantiate, activate, and get the results from these dialogs. This illustrates the fact that new subclasses are not needed for every different operation. Here is a code snippet from the method TPageView::DoMenuCommand processing the GoTo menu command (some error-checking and declaration code have been removed).

TPageView::DoMenuCommand [excerpt]
// create new window containing dialog
aWindow = gViewServer->NewTemplateWindow(kGoToView, NULL);
// set current page in text edit object
aEditText = (TEditText*) aWindow->FindSubView('tPg#');
NumToString(fPage + 1, string);
aEditText->SetText(string, kDontRedraw);
// pose the dialog window
if (aWindow->PoseModally() == 'bOK ') {
    //    get new page number
 aEditText->GetText(string);
 if (!string.IsEmpty()) {
 StringToNum(string, &page);
 this->SetPage(page);
 };
};
aWindow->CloseAndFree();

Sections

One feature not yet covered is the ability to move forward and backwards through the documentation pages by sections or chapters. This is accomplished by adding the resource 'indx' to the documentation file that lists the section names and the starting page number of each section. When a documentation file is opened and activated within WorldViewer, the menu items under the Section menubar are changed to the section names. When one of these menu items is selected, the page associated with the section start is automatically displayed. Here we show the MPW Rez source file used to create the section resource.

dictionary.r
// Creates an ‘indx’ resource for a WorldViewer documentation file

#include "Types.r"

type 'indx' {
 integer = $$Countof(IndexArray);
 array IndexArray { integer; pstring; align word; };
};

resource 'indx' (1000, "index", purgeable) {
 {
 1,"Title",
 2,"Required Suite",
 3,"Core Suite",
 7,"Miscellaneous Standards",
 9,"Reality Suite",
 }
};

Creating a Document

Here is an example of creating a WorldViewer documentation file. First, install the Print2Pict utility and select it using the Chooser. Open the Print2Pict options and choose to print to a new scrapbook file. If you like, you can reduce the default page size to a screen-sized amount, such as 4 by 6.

Next, start your favorite word processing program and enter the following lines, separated by a page break.

 Hello, WorldViewer!
 This is the second page.

Print this document using Print2Pict and find the scrapbook file named {Program}•-Untitled•001 that was created (the bracketed “{Program}” is the name of your word processing program).

Rename the file to Hello. Start the ResEdit utility and change the file’s creator to 'WVMN' and the file type to 'manl'. Save the file and quit the application.

Double-click the documentation file Hello from the Finder. Figure 5 shows this documentation file opened within WorldViewer.

Figure 5: The Hello documentation file

Remember that a documentation file can be created from any printable source, including publishing applications, drawing programs, and label-makers. With ResEdit and a little finagling, 'PICT' resources from different source applications can be placed into a single WorldViewer documentation file.

In Conclusion

WorldViewer was not intended to replace Apple Computer’s DocViewer or other documentation viewers, but rather to create a home-grown reduced-feature version. As more software products are distributed using CD-ROM media and networks, the inclusion of on-line documentation will become more widespread. For those developers who need an easy (and cheap!) method to include their documentation, WorldViewer is a solution. Further, the ease with which it was implemented (as well as the simplicity of updating for MacApp 3.3, including the generation of a FAT binary) is a recommendation for the MacApp approach.

Related Reading

Cox, B., Object Oriented Programming: An Evolutionary Approach, Addison-Wesley, 1986.

Wilson, D., Rosenstein, L., and Shafer, D., Programming with MacApp, Addison-Wesley, 1990.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Parallels Desktop 10.2.0 - Run Windows a...
Parallels Desktop is simply the world's bestselling, top-rated, and most trusted solution for running Windows applications on your Mac. With Parallels Desktop for Mac, you can seamlessly run both... Read more
LaunchBar 6.2 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
Firefox 37.0 - Fast, safe Web browser. (...
Firefox offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals and casual... Read more
Arq 4.11 - Online backup to Google Drive...
Arq is super-easy online backup for the Mac. Back up to your own Google Drive storage (15GB free storage), your own Amazon Glacier ($.01/GB per month storage) or S3, or any SFTP server. Arq backs up... Read more
MacFamilyTree 7.3.4 - 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
Yummy FTP 1.10.2 - FTP/SFTP/FTPS client...
Yummy FTP is an FTP + SFTP + FTPS file transfer client which focuses on speed, reliability and productivity. Whether you need to transfer a few files or a few thousand, schedule automatic backups, or... Read more
VueScan 9.5.08 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Iridient Developer 3.0.1 - Powerful imag...
Iridient Developer (was RAW Developer) is a powerful image conversion application designed specifically for OS X. Iridient Developer gives advanced photographers total control over every aspect of... Read more
Monodraw 0.8.4.1 - Powerful ASCII art ed...
Monodraw allows you to easily create text-based art (like diagrams, layouts, flow charts) and visually represent algorithms, data structures, binary formats and more. Because it's all just text, it... Read more
Air Video Server HD 2.1.0 - Stream video...
Air Video Server HD streams videos instantly from your computer on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple TV. No need to worry about converting or transferring files. We took everything that was... Read more

Marvel Mighty Heroes, the Ultimate Marve...
DeNA and Marvel Entertainment have brought us a new action-packed brawler: Marvel Mighty Heroes. You can play with up to four of your friends as you favorite marvel heroes like Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man, Captain America, Star-Lord, Hulk, and... | Read more »
Take Note - The Jot Script 2 Evernote Ed...
Adonit's Jot Script 2 sylus has an all-new edition that's meant to be Evernote's BFF. The sylus has been redesigned to work better with iPads and give you faster stroke tracking, smoother line rendering, and better tip-to-line accuracy. | Read more »
INFINIT Lets Mobile Users Send Files of...
Infinit  is a file sharing app that ignores file size limits. It maintains the original quality of your photos and videos so you can be sure they look awesome after sending. You can move entire albums of photos or full HD films from your iPhone to... | Read more »
Serious Sam Double D Developer is Making...
There's nothing like the thrill of watching a horse race, especially when the horses are drunk.  | Read more »
2K Announces WWE 2K, Mobile's First...
It seems like this month has been pretty big for wrestling. First Wrestlemania, then 2K has announces that they're releasing  WWE 2K for iOS. It's a simulation-based WWE game where you'll get to play with several WWE superstars such as John Cena, ... | Read more »
How the Apple Watch Could Change the Fac...
The Apple Watch is still a ways out, but my previous musings on the wearable’s various features got me thinking: what might it be like a year after launch? Two years? Five years? What if it becomes a symbiotic part of the iOS framework to the point... | Read more »
You Can Start Challenging Your Friends t...
Last year we reported that Sebastian Gosztyla's new game, Dual, was theorized to be released sometime during the summer of 2014. Sadly that did not become a reality, but the good news it there is now an official release date. | Read more »
Forgotten Memories : Alternate Realities...
Forgotten Memories : Alternate Realities, from Psychoz Interactive, is planned for release on April 23. The Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and Alone in the Dark inspired horror game puts you in the shoes of Rose Hawkins as she searches for a missing... | Read more »
Pie In The Sky: A Pizza Odyssey (Games)
Pie In The Sky: A Pizza Odyssey 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A game about delivering pizza. In space. | Read more »
Chosen Gives Hopeful Singers, Songwriter...
If YouTube videos and reality TV shows like The Voice have taught us one thing, it’s that there are a lot of people out there who are anxious to show the world their talents. And if they’ve taught us a second thing, it’s that there’s an almost... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Will Microsoft’s Surface 3 Give The 12-inch M...
The more I ruminate over the new 12-inch MacBook, the more it occurs that it’s probably going to be more of a cannibalization threat to high-end iPads (including a new 12-inch ‘Pad when/if that... Read more
13-inch 2.4GHz Retina MacBook Pro available f...
MacMall has the 2013 13″ 2.4GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro available for $949.99 for a limited time. Shipping is free. Their price is $350 off original MSRP, and it’s the only sub-$1000 new Retina... Read more
Adobe Brings Powerful Layout-Design Capabilit...
Adobe today announced the availability of Adobe Comp CC, a free iPad app that enables rapid creation of layout concepts for mobile, Web and print projects. With Comp CC, designers can rough out and... Read more
13-inch 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pro avail...
Best Buy has clearance 2014 13″ 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pros available for $1199.99 including free shipping. Their price is $300 off original MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model.... 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
21-inch 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $999, save $1...
Best Buy has the 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $999.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pick up. Price is for online orders only, in-store prices may vary. Their price is... Read more
2.6GHz Mac mini on sale for $649, save $50
Amazon has the 2.6GHz Mac mini on sale for $649.99 including free shipping. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
Textkraft Professional 3.2 Powerful iPad Text...
Finally it’s springtime, at least theoretically in my neck of the woods, where we’re still navigating canyons between towering snowbanks with temperatures well below freezing in winter weather that... Read more
Apple offering refurbished 27-inch 5K iMacs f...
The Apple Store is offering Apple Certified Refurbished 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMacs for $2119 including free shipping. Their price is $380 off the price of new models, and it’s the lowest price available for... Read more
16GB iPad mini on sale for $199, save $50
Walmart has 16GB iPad minis (1st generation) available for $199.99 on their online store, including free shipping. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Online orders only. Read more

Jobs Board

DevOps Software Engineer - *Apple* Pay, iOS...
**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
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the 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
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail...
**Job Summary** Job Summary The Lead ASC is an Apple employee who serves as the Apple business manager and influencer in a hyper-business critical Reseller's store 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.