TweetFollow Us on Twitter

New PrGeneral

Volume Number: 13 (1997)
Issue Number: 6
Column Tag: develop

The New PrGeneral Version Opcode

by Ingrid Kelly

For the past 12 years, printer driver developers have used the print record's wDev field in the TPrStl data structure to store their device information. Specifically, they've consistently used the high-order byte of this field - commonly known as the wDev ID - to store the device code. Unfortunately, due to the design limitations of the print record and the wDev field, the Printing Manager allowed for a maximum of only 256 IDs. Surprisingly enough (ha ha), with the expansion of the printer market, we're running out of numbers! As a result, with LaserWriter driver version 8.4, we've added a PrGeneral opcode and new structures to the Printing Manager so that developers can work around this limitation.

Both printer driver and application developers need to add code to support this new information, but the changes are minimal. Accompanying this column on the MacTech Web site is a sample application, called PrGeneral Version, that shows you how to properly retrieve the new version information when your application is looking for the features of a particular printer driver.

The New PrGeneral Opcode:

kprversionop

LaserWriter driver version 8.4 introduced several new PrGeneral opcodes, including a new opcode for driver version information: kPrVersionOp. Using kPrVersionOp is now the recommended way for applications to find out the printer driver currently in use. Remember that for printer drivers that haven't updated to use this new PrGeneral opcode, your application needs to keep its wDev-checking code as well.

For more information on the extended print record opcodes introduced with LaserWriter version 8.4, read the Print Hints column "The All-New LaserWriter Driver Version 8.4" in develop Issue 27. There you'll find a table that lists all the other PrGeneral opcodes supported in Apple printer drivers. See the article "Meet PrGeneral, the Trap That Makes the Most of the Printing Manager" in develop Issue 3 for more information on PrGeneral.

What Printer Driver Developers Need to Know

From now on, Apple's Developer Support Center will assign all printer drivers a wDev ID of 255. If you have an old wDev ID number (which is less than 255), you should still use the number you were assigned so that you don't break any applications that vary their behavior based on your driver's wDev. In addition, you should implement the new kPrVersionOp opcode as described here so that new applications can take advantage of it with your driver.

Listing 1 shows the new opcode and structures that you'll need to implement in your PDEF 7 resource. You need to place your creator type in the driver.creator field of the TPrVersion structure. You should also place your version number in driver.release so that application developers know what version of the driver is available.

Listing 1. The new version opcode and structures

enum {
   ...
   kPrVersionOp = 22             // LaserWriter version 8.4 and later only
};

typedef struct {
   OSType     architecture;      // Architecture (for example, 'pwpc', 'm68k')
   OSType     creator;           // Driver's creator type (for example, 'AAPL')
   unsigned longrelease;         // Release number (for example, 0x8480)
   unsigned longinterfaces;      // Interfaces version (for example, 0x8480)
} TVersion;

typedef struct {
   short       iOpCode;          // Must be kPrVersionOp
   short       iError;           // For returning errors
   long        lReserved;        // Reserved, set to 0
   TVersion    driver;           // Driver information
   TVersion    reserved;         // Reserved, set to 0
} TPrVersion;

The release and interfaces fields have the same format as the first long in a 'vers' resource - that is, the following four 1-byte values: a major version number, a minor version number, a revision stage (development = 0x20, alpha = 0x40, beta = 0x60, and release = 0x80), and a prerelease version number.

That's all you'll need to do to support the new PrGeneral opcode in your driver - hard to believe, but true!

What Application Developers Need to Know

Although Apple doesn't recommend that application developers check the wDev field of the print record, many do. They assume that the wDev value means they can count on certain features being present in the printer. For instance, many developers assume that a wDev of 3 means the printer driver supports PostScript. In fact, it indicates only that the current printer uses the Apple LaserWriter driver. This leaves out the possibility that a user has a non-Apple PostScript printer driver with an ID of, say, 243.

Even though Apple doesn't recommend that application developers rely on the wDev field (or the new PrGeneral opcode, for that matter), if you're going to change application behavior based on the number or creator returned, at least do so properly so that your applications don't break with future releases of printer drivers. We recommend that you use the PrGeneral kPrVersionOp opcode, if available, to get the structure and then check the driver.creator and driver.release fields to determine the current printer driver and version (see Listing 1). You should also continue to support the old wDev method for printer drivers that have not yet updated to the new PrGeneral opcode. For your reference, the PrGeneral Version sample that accompanies this column shows how to properly retrieve the version and wDev information.

Go Forth and Print!

As you can see, the changes that printer driver and application developers need to make to support the new PrGeneral opcode are minimal. We've already adopted this new method with the LaserWriter version 8.4.x drivers. We hope you will, too!


WDEV Registration

Although from now on all printer drivers will be assigned a wDev ID of 255, we still request that you register your printer driver with Apple's Developer Support Center, to avoid creator type conflicts. To do so, register at http://www.devworld.apple.com/dev/wdev/. Here is the information you need to provide:

  • Company name and address
  • Contact name, phone number, and e-mail address
  • Make and model of device supported (for example, Apple LaserWriter 16/600)
  • Type of connection (for example, serial)
  • Creator type (for example, 'AAPL')

You'll receive confirmation of your registration within five to ten working days. If you have questions about wDev registration, write to devsupport@apple.com.


Related Reading

  • "Print Hints: The All-New LaserWriter Driver Version 8.4" by Dave Polaschek, develop Issue 27.
  • "Meet PrGeneral, the Trap that Makes the Most of the Printing Manager" by Pete "Luke" Alexander, develop Issue 3.

Ingrid Kelly (inge@apple.com) provides technical support for developers as a member of the Multimedia, Printing, Imaging, and Graphics group in Apple's Developer Technical Support. When she's not answering developer e-mails or trying to hold the record for most Technotes written in DTS, Ingrid can be found refilling her office candy bin, trying to come up with the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe, or attending Navy Blue Angels flight team demonstrations with her husband, Lance.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VOX 2.8.6 - Music player that supports m...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
MacUpdate Desktop 6.1.3 - Search and ins...
MacUpdate Desktop 6 brings seamless 1-click app installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on... Read more
ExpanDrive 5.4.1 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
Espionage 3.6.6 - Simple, state-of-the-a...
Espionage offers state-of-the-art encryption and plausible deniability for your confidential data. Sometimes, encrypting your data isn't enough to protect it. That's why Espionage 3 goes beyond data... Read more
Pinegrow Web Designer 2.94 - Mockup and...
Pinegrow Web Designer is desktop app that lets you mockup and design webpages faster with multi-page editing, CSS and LESS styling, and smart components for Bootstrap, Foundation, Angular JS, and... Read more
1Password 6.3.3 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Sublime Text 3126 - Sophisticated text e...
Sublime Text is a sophisticated text editor for code, markup, and prose. You'll love the slick user interface, extraordinary features, and amazing performance. Features Goto Anything. Use Goto... Read more
ForkLift 3.0 Beta 2 - Powerful file mana...
ForkLift is a powerful file manager and ferociously fast FTP client clothed in a clean and versatile UI that offers the combination of absolute simplicity and raw power expected from a well-executed... Read more
OmniFocus 2.7.1 - GTD task manager with...
OmniFocus helps you manage your tasks the way that you want, freeing you to focus your attention on the things that matter to you most. Capturing tasks and ideas is always a keyboard shortcut away in... Read more
CleanApp 5.1.1 - Application deinstaller...
CleanApp is an application deinstaller and archiver.... Your hard drive gets fuller day by day, but do you know why? CleanApp 5 provides you with insights how to reclaim disk space. There are... Read more

Leaf for Twitter (Social Networking)
Leaf for Twitter 1.0.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Social Networking Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Banner Saga 2 (Games)
Banner Saga 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The epic award winning story-based role-playing game continues its emotional journey across a breaking world. Lead your Viking... | Read more »
Concrete Jungle (Games)
Concrete Jungle 1.16 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.16 (iTunes) Description: A follow up to the puzzle hit 'MegaCity'! Concrete Jungle is a new take on the city building genre that swaps micro-... | Read more »
5 great apps for the budget traveller
Travelling abroad, or even within your home country, has never been easier thanks to our handy smartphone companions. There are hundreds of apps on the market that promise to make your world journeys hassle-free, but we've selected five of the... | Read more »
Zip—Zap (Games)
Zip—Zap 1.01 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.01 (iTunes) Description: Touch to contract.Release to let go.Bring the clumsy mechanical beings home. · · · over 100 levelsno adsno in-app-purchases Zip—... | Read more »
Paperback: The Game (Games)
Paperback: The Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: You are an author trying to finish kitschy paperback novels. Complete Westerns, Science Fiction, Romance or even a Crime... | Read more »
How to Rule With a Firm Hand in My Majes...
My Majesty is a kingdom management sim not unlike August’s magisterial hit, Reigns. It’s essentially a reskin of developer Tigrido’s previous management sim, Dictator. As supreme ruler of the land, you must consult with a number of subjects to... | Read more »
Our 5 Favorite iMessage Sticker Packs
At long last, iMessage joins the ranks of messaging apps the likes of LINE and Whatsapp, adding an impressive collection of stickers. They’re a great way to add a little something extra to your daily conversations. [Read more] | Read more »
How to get past Vulture Island's tr...
Vulture Island is a colorful and quirky mish-mash of platforming and puzzles. It’s creative and fresh, but sometimes the game can throw a curveball at you, leaving you stuck as to how you should progress. These tips will help you explore smoothly... | Read more »
The new Clash of Kings is just for Weste...
If you’ve played the original Clash of Kings, you’ll probably recognise the city building, alliance forging and strategic battles in Clash of Kings: The West. What sets this version apart is that it’s tailor made for a Western audience and the... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished Mac minis available startin...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $928...
Overstock has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $927.99 including free shipping. Their price is $171 off MSRP. Read more
Buying McLaren Would Give Apple Instant Car C...
Apple “iCar” rumors have waxed and waned over the years, piquing interest and speculation as to whether Apple is seriously interested in getting into the automotobile business, either in a joint... Read more
Aetna to Transform Members’ Consumer Health E...
Health care benefits company Aetna, which has an estimated 46.3 million clients, today announced a new initiative to revolutionize members consumer health experience by combining the power of iOS... Read more
USB-IF Announces USB Audio Device Class 3.0 S...
USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the support organization for the advancement and adoption of USB technology, today announced the USB Audio Device Class 3.0 specification to establish USB Audio over... Read more
Clearance 12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks, App...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks available for $1189, or $410 off original MSRP. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free... Read more
Logitech SmartDock and Skype For Business Com...
Logitech has announced Logitech SmartDock, an AV meeting room solution designed in collaboration with Microsoft. Logitech SmartDock works with Skype for Business and qualified devices, including... Read more
27-inch iMacs on sale for up to $220 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1899.99 $... Read more
Apple Macs and iPads available for up to $300...
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
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available 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 following... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Chicago...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Raleigh...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
User Support Specialist *Apple* Product Spe...
…Description:Ciber, Inc. is seeking a User Support Specialist - Apple Product Support in Nashville, TN!Responsibilities:Support, implementation, and upgrade of Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
US- *Apple* Store Leader Program - Apple (Un...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.