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

Box Sync 4.0.6567 - Online synchronizati...
Box Sync gives you a hard-drive in the Cloud for online storage. Note: You must first sign up to use Box. What if the files you need are on your laptop -- but you're on the road with your iPhone? No... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.4 - Easy-to-use b...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 6.3.1 - Create diagrams,...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
Monosnap 3.1.2 - Versatile screenshot ut...
Monosnap lets you capture screenshots, share files, and record video and .gifs! Capture: Capture full screen, just part of the screen, or a selected window Make your crop area pixel perfect with... Read more
Alfred 2.7.2 - Quick launcher for apps a...
Alfred is an award-winning productivity application for OS X. Alfred saves you time when you search for files online or on your Mac. Be more productive with hotkeys, keywords, and file actions at... Read more
Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.19 - Connec...
With Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help... Read more
OmniGraffle 6.3 - Create diagrams, flow...
OmniGraffle helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use Graffle to... Read more
PDFKey Pro 4.3.2 - Edit and print passwo...
PDFKey Pro can unlock PDF documents protected for printing and copying when you've forgotten your password. It can now also protect your PDF files with a password to prevent unauthorized access and/... Read more
Ableton Live 9.2.2 - Record music using...
Ableton Live lets you create and record music on your Mac. Use digital instruments, pre-recorded sounds, and sampled loops to arrange, produce, and perform your music like never before. Ableton Live... Read more
Macs Fan Control 1.3.1.0 - Monitor and c...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more

ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard (Utilit...
ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Do everything within the keyboard without switching apps! If you are in WhatsApp, how do you schedule a... | Read more »
Tiny Empire (Games)
Tiny Empire 1.1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.3 (iTunes) Description: Launch cannonballs and blow tiny orcs into thousands of pieces in this intuitive fantasy-themed puzzle shooter! Embark on an... | Read more »
Astropad Mini (Productivity)
Astropad Mini 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off introductory price! ​*** Get the high-end experience of a Wacom tablet at a fraction of the price with Astropad... | Read more »
Emo Chorus (Music)
Emo Chorus 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Realistic Choir simulator ranging from simple Chorus emulation to full ensemble Choir with 128 members. ### introductory offer... | Read more »
Forest Spirit (Games)
Forest Spirit 1.0.5 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.5 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Ski Safari 2 (Games)
Ski Safari 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The world's most fantastical, fun, family-friendly skiing game is back and better than ever! Play as Sven's sister Evana, share... | Read more »
Lara Croft GO (Games)
Lara Croft GO 1.0.47768 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.47768 (iTunes) Description: Lara Croft GO is a turn based puzzle-adventure set in a long-forgotten world. Explore the ruins of an ancient... | Read more »
Whispering Willows (Games)
Whispering Willows 1.23 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.23 (iTunes) Description: **LAUNCH SALE 50% OFF** - Whispering Willows is on sale for 50% off ($4.99) until September 9th. | Read more »
Calvino Noir (Games)
Calvino Noir 1.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: The film noir stealth game. Calvino Noir is the exploratory, sneaking adventure through the 1930s European criminal underworld.... | Read more »
Angel Sword (Games)
Angel Sword 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Prepare to adventure in the most epic full scale multiplayer 3D RPG for mobile! Experience amazing detailed graphics in full HD.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple and Cisco Partner to Deliver Fast-Lane...
Apple and Cisco have announced a partnership to create a “fast lane” for iOS business users by optimizing Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps. The alliance integrates iPhone with Cisco enterprise... Read more
Apple offering refurbished 2015 13-inch Retin...
The Apple Store is offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $270 (15%) off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Apple refurbished 2015 MacBook Airs available...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 1.4GHz iMac: $999.99 $100 off - 21″ 2.7GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off - 21″ 2.9GHz iMac... Read more
5K iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP, fre...
B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. They have the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2149.99 $2199.99, $... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini, refurbished, available for $...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 1.4GHz Mac minis available for $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Their price is $80 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest... Read more
iPad Air 2 on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more
Big Grips Lift Handle For iPad Air and iPad A...
KEM Ventures, Inc. which pioneered the extra-large, super-protective iPad case market with the introduction of Big Grips Frame and Stand in 2011, is launching Big Grips Lift featuring a new super-... Read more
Samsung Launches Galaxy Tab S2, Its Most Powe...
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. has announced the U.S. release of the Galaxy Tab S2, its thinnest, lightest, ultra-fast tablet. Blending form and function, elegant design and multitasking power,... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Evangelist - JAMF Software (United S...
The Apple Evangelist is responsible for building and cultivating strategic relationships with Apple 's small and mid-market business development field teams. This 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
*Apple* Desktop Analyst - KDS Staffing (Unit...
…field and consistent professional recruiting achievement. Job Description: Title: Apple Desktop AnalystPosition Type: Full-time PermanentLocation: White Plains, NYHot Read more
*Apple* Systems Engineer (Mclean, VA and NYC...
Title: Apple Systems Engineer (Mclean, VA and NYC) Location: United States-New York-New York-200 Park Ave (22005) Other Locations: United States-Virginia-Vienna-Towers Read more
*Apple* Systems Engineer (Mclean, VA and NYC...
…Assist in providing strategic direction and technical leadership within the Apple portfolio, including desktops, laptops, and printing environment. This person will Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.