TweetFollow Us on Twitter

May 96 Tips
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:Tips & Tidbits

Tips & Tidbits

By Steve Sisak

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

Invoking Handlers in Scripts, by Name

This is completely undocumented, as far as I know, but it may help. Suppose you have a script application containing a function:

on DoSomething(param1,param2)
 return param1+param2
end DoSomething

From C, you just have to send the script application an Apple event like this one:

CLASS: ascr

type: psbr

direct object: "----" "LIST"

(the list of AEDescs of parameters to pass to the script function)

additional parameter: "snam" "TEXT"

containing the name of the function to call (in our example: “DoSomething”)

et voilà.

This method allows to write “clean” scripts, using more memorable handler names, not using the «CLASStype» syntax.

Pierre-Loic Raynaud

[This event is called “Subroutine Call” and is described in more detail in Chapter 10 of the Apple Event Registry, “The AppleScript Suite”. On the Developer Mailing Reference Library CD, the pdf file is named “AppleScript Suite”, and the information is on pdf page 5 (paper page 7). - jk]

Swapping Bytes in a High Level Language,
the Saga Continues!

You have probably been swamped with everyone’s comments regarding the “Anti-Tip of the Month” that appeared in MacTech Magazine 11.10 (October 1995).

Greg Poole had the right idea when he submitted his tip about byte-swapping. You can tweak code until your fingers fall off, but often the best way to make something faster is by finding a better way of doing the same thing.

I have attached two files to this message: ByteSwap.c & ByteSwap.h. In a nutshell, we do our swapping as follows:

ByteSwap.h
#define SwapShort(myUnsignedShort)  \
 ((myUnsignedShort)>>8)|((myUnsignedShort)<<8)

In use:

{
    unsigned short someValue = 0x3210;
    someValue = SwapShort(someValue);
}

We quite simply move the hi-byte right, and the lo-byte left, then OR them back together.


ByteSwap.c
#include "byteswap.h"

unsigned long TransposeLong(unsigned long value)
{
  unsigned long   returnValue;
  ((unsigned char *) &returnValue)[3] = 
 ((unsigned char *) &value)[0];
  ((unsigned char *) &returnValue)[2] = 
 ((unsigned char *) &value)[1];
  ((unsigned char *) &returnValue)[1] = 
 ((unsigned char *) &value)[2];
  ((unsigned char *) &returnValue)[0] = 
 ((unsigned char *) &value)[3];
  return returnValue;
}

David Most

The Technical Editor Responds

There are quite a few methods available for byte swapping, but which algorithm is the best depends a great deal on the compiler and processor you are using. For instance, the PowerPC (and many other processors) have instructions specifically for this purpose. Unfortunately, since the C and C++ languages have not kept up with current processors (C is basically processor-independent PDP-11 assembly language), it is our job to trick the compiler into generating the correct code.

Some compilers provide directives for this purpose. For instance, if you are using CodeWarrior on a PowerPC you can just say:

inline long SwapLong(long val)
{
    return __XXXXX(val);  //  <<<need intrinsic for load byte-swapped>>>
}

You may notice that I’m using C++ inline functions here instead of C #defines. To quote the “Apple Unofficial C++ Style Guide” (develop 2, p. 209): “One of the most powerful features of the C++ language is the C preprocessor. Don’t use it.” Inline functions are not only more readable than preprocessor macros, but, because they limit side effects, allow the compiler more latitude in optimizing your code.

Barring that, we need to find something that we can say in C that can get bytes swapped without generating egregiously bad code. David’s solution is probably a good one for shorts because it is a pure mathematical expression, allowing the compiler to optimize it in any way it chooses. For longs, his solution is one of the safest, if you know nothing about the compiler and/or processor you’re building for. (I would, however, convert both to inline functions.)

However, if you do know something about your processor, you can do better. In the case of the PPC, you really want to get your compiler to emit a load byte-swapped instruction. On a 680x0, you have a little latitude. One trick that comes to mind is that the 680x0 has predecrement and postincrement addressing modes. This means that:

foo = *p++ and foo = *--p

are fast and (1 instruction)

foo = *++p and foo = *p--

are slow (3 instructions). Therefore we can swap a long on a 680x0 with:

inline long SwapLong(long val)
{
    Byte* p = ((Byte*) val)[4];  // 680x0’s are big-endian

 long val = *--p;
 val  = (val << 8) | *--p;
 val  = (val << 8) | *--p;
  return (val << 8) | *--p;
}

The PowerPC has only post-increment instructions, so this will generate lousy code. (If someone would like to time a bunch of approaches, I’d be glad to publish the results.)

I must say that the bottom line is: this is all a bunch of work that would be completely unnecessary if the C language had kept up with reality. Here’s my proposal to the ANSI committee:

Make littleendian and bigendian storage classifiers like const and volatile. Then I could just type:

typedef struct Foo
{
    littleendian long    bar;
    bigendian short      baz;
} Foo;

void blah(Foo* foo)
{
    long  bar = foo->bar;
    short baz = foo->baz;

    ...
}

...and let the compiler deal with it while I spend my time writing code which does real work.

- sgs

Fix For Tip Of The Month, January 1996

I’m sending this short note just to point out that, although Greg Poole is right in writing that a file or directory can be moved by the CatMove function only if both the source and destination are on the same volume, he seems to forget that every Macintosh volume, not just the System volume, has a Trash folder.

Thus, if we pass to the FindFolder function the volume reference number of the file to be deleted instead of the constant kOnSystemDisk, we will be able to find the directory ID of the local Trash.

Line #44 of “FSpTrashFile.c” source file should be changed from:

theErr = FindFolder( kOnSystemDisk, kTrashFolderType, 
  kDontCreateFolder, &vRefNum, &dirID );

to:

theErr = FindFolder( (*theFile).vRefNum, kTrashFolderType, 
  kDontCreateFolder, &vRefNum, &dirID );

Live Long and Prosper!

Luigi Belverato

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

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 »
Cubious (Games)
Cubious 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubious – How smart are you? How high is your IQube? Solve the impossible puzzles to find out, and help a lost little cube find his... | Read more »
Goat Simulator Waste of Space (Games)
Goat Simulator Waste of Space 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** | Read more »
Wildfulness - Unwind in nature and calm...
Wildfulness - Unwind in nature and calm your mind with nature sounds and illustrations 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Healthcare & Fitness Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Spending time in nature helps you to... | Read more »
Dr. Panda Racers (Education)
Dr. Panda Racers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: STEP ON THE GAS, RACE AND WIN!Fasten your seat belts and get ready to race! Speed your way to the finish line while doing... | Read more »
ROMANCING SAGA 2 (Games)
ROMANCING SAGA 2 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $17.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Romancing SaGa 2, originally released only in Japan in 1993, has been completely remastered and now receives its first... | Read more »
WRIO Keyboard (Utilities)
WRIO Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Utilities Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 40% OFF DURING LIMITED INTRODUCTORY OFFER | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

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
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
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 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 Retina... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple TVs available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs available for up to $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... 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″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1379.99 $120 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1189 $110 off MSRP - 21″ 1... Read more
Kanex Introduces GoPower USB-C Rechargeable B...
Kanex has announced its GoPower USB-C portable battery for the USB-C MacBook, featuring the new industry standard connector and cable used for connectivity and power. Providing users with a new... Read more
Convertible and Detachable Devices Winning Ov...
According to the latest figures published by International Data Corporation (IDC), Western European shipments of ultraslim convertibles and detachables posted positive growth (44.7%) to account for... Read more
New MacBook Pros And Will MacBook Air Be Upgr...
With my mid-2013 13-inch MacBook Air closing on its third anniversary come November, I’m in system upgrade mode. Actually the Haswell CPU equipped Air is still doing a fine job, but my good wife is... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more

Jobs Board

Service Assistant - *Apple* Chevrolet *App...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive, we Read more
Editor, *Apple* News - APPLE (United States...
Job Summary The Apple News team is looking for a passionate and knowledgeable editor with experience covering entertainment/pop culture and experience running social Read more
*Apple* Nissan Service Technicians - Apple A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
ISCS *Apple* ID Site Support Engineer - APP...
…position, we are looking for an individual who has experience supporting customers with Apple ID issues and enjoys this area of support. This person should be Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.