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

calibre 2.17 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 6.1.2 - 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
OmniGraffle 6.1.2 - Create diagrams, flo...
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
RoboForm 2.0.2 - Password manager; syncs...
RoboForm is a password manager that offers one-click login, mobile syncing, easy form filling, and reliable security. Password Manager. RoboForm remembers your passwords so you don't have to! Just... Read more
Apple MainStage 3.1 - Live performance t...
Love the sound you got on your recording? MainStage 3 makes it easy to bring all the same instruments and effects to the stage. Everything from the Sound Library and Smart Controls you're familiar... Read more
Freeway Pro 7.0.2 - Drag-and-drop Web de...
Freeway Pro lets you build websites with speed and precision... without writing a line of code! With its user-oriented drag-and-drop interface, Freeway Pro helps you piece together the website of... Read more
A Better Finder Rename 9.44 - File, phot...
A Better Finder Rename is the most complete renaming solution available on the market today. That's why, since 1996, tens of thousands of hobbyists, professionals and businesses depend on A Better... Read more
Stacks 2.6.9 - New way to create pages i...
Stacks is a new way to create pages in RapidWeaver. It's a plugin designed to combine drag-and-drop simplicity with the power of fluid layout. Features: Fluid Layout: Stacks lets you build pages... Read more
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Ea...
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is a new science-fiction-themed entry into the award-winning Civilization series. Set in the future, global events have destabilized the world leading to a... Read more
Logic Pro X 10.1 - Music creation and au...
Apple Logic Pro X is the most advanced version of Logic ever. Sophisticated new tools for professional songwriting, editing, and mixing are built around a modern interface that's designed to get... Read more

Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destr...
Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destructamundo on iOS This Month Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] Choice Provisions – home stable to | Read more »
King of Thieves – An Interview With Zept...
Ahead of the release of ZeptoLab’s King of Thieves, we were able to ask ZeptoLab’s co-founder, Semyon Voinov, a few questions about the inspiration behind the game and what that means for the Cut the Rope franchise. | Read more »
Handle Review
Handle Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: SPEEDY ORGANIZINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Handle is a very convenient way of juggling your emails, To Do list, and Calendar all through one... | Read more »
The New Disney Inquizitive App Offers a...
The New Disney Inquizitive App Offers a Place for Fans to Take Disney Quizzes Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Hands-On With Cut the Rope Developer Zep...
Marking quite a departure from ZeptoLab’s past successes, namely the Cut The Rope series, King of Thieves is shaping up to be quite promising. Due for release in February, we were lucky enough to have some time with a preview build to see exactly... | Read more »
Fast Fishing Review
Fast Fishing Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: LIVES UP TO ITS NAMEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fishing is far from relaxing in Fast Fishing, but it is fun.   | Read more »
The LEGO Movie Video Game is Available N...
The LEGO Movie Video Game is Available Now for iOS Posted by Ellis Spice on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Satellina Review
Satellina Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: TWITCHY BUT TACTICALUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Satellina requires quick thinking and twitchy fingers, and it’s pretty fun.   | Read more »
Tail Drift, the Crazy 360 Degree Flyer,...
Tail Drift, the Crazy 360 Degree Flyer, Has Gone Free-to-Play in a New Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 22nd, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
PureSkate 2 Review
PureSkate 2 Review By Tre Lawrence on January 22nd, 2015 Our Rating: :: ALMOST ALL AIRUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad PureSkate 2 lets one’s fingers do the skateboarding.   | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

College Student Deals are back, additional $5...
Take an additional $50 off all MacBooks and iMacs at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through April 11, 2015. Anyone with a valid .EDU email address can take advantage... Read more
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus GIve Apple Half Of US Mob...
Chicago-based Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (CIRP) have released analysis of the results of its research on mobile phone manufacturers for the calendar quarter that ended December 31,... Read more
Save $100 on MacBook Airs with 256GB of stora...
B&H Photo has 256GB MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100 off MSRP - 13″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook... Read more
21-inch 2.7GHz iMac on sale for $1179, save $...
B&H Photo has the 21″ 2.7GHz iMac on sale for $1179 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any... Read more
iPhone Usage Rates by State Correlate With Ed...
Chitika Insights notes that despite iPhones being the largest source of smartphone Internet traffic in North America, their latest study finds a relatively high degree of variation of iPhone usage... Read more
ProGearX Extendable Pole “Pov/Selfie Stick” M...
There’s something inescapably narcissistic about the concept of selfies as they’ve developed as a smartphone-driven social (particularly social media) phenomenon that rubs me the wrong way. However,... Read more
iPad Air 2 on sale for up to $100 off MSRP, 2...
 Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for the next two days. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online... Read more
Roundup of Apple refurbished MacBook Pros and...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Sale! 13-inch 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro for $...
 B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1599 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model... Read more
Next OS X/iOS Version Upgrades Should Concent...
On stage at Apple’s World Wide Developers’ Conference in June 2009, Bertrand Serlet, the company’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering at the time, announced that the forthcoming OS X... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*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* Lead Operator, GSOC - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** Apple is seeking an exceptional, customer service oriented and experienced persons to fulfill the role of Apple Lead Operator (ALO) as part of the Read more
Order Support Supervisor- *Apple* Online Sto...
**Job Summary** The Apple Online Store (AOS) Order Administration team is looking for an Order Support Supervisor to manage and lead a team of Specialists through the Read more
Senior Program Manager, *Apple* Online Supp...
**Job Summary** The Apple Online Support Planning team is looking for an experienced Senior Project Manager to lead key Quality program initiatives across the Online Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.