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Oct 97 - NewsBits

Volume Number: 13 (1997)
Issue Number: 10
Column Tag: Newsbits


by Jessica Courtney

The First Universal Communications API for all Types of Protocols and Media

Griffin Technologies, LLC and Langner GmbH are pleased to announce the release of the Langner Universal Communications API (LUCA), the first programming component for data communications that integraes support for all of the popular transmission media and protocols in use today. LUCA supports TCP/IP services including FTP, HTTP, Telnet, SMTP, TCP sockets and UDP sockets; async protocols including fax, dial-up modems, Zmodem, Xmodem and 3964R; ISDN services including X.75, HDLC, voice and fax; and sync protocols such as HDLC, BSC, SDLC and Frame Relay.

All of these protocols and the corresponding transmission media are accessed using the same, concise set of API functions, making it possible for the first time to write reusable, media independant code for data communications. This universal architecture enables LUCA to support many sophisticated communications tasks including block transmission and networked links.

A free evaluation CD of the Langner Universal Communications API is available. This CD contains working libraries, fuill online documentation and ready-to-run sample programs including source code.,

Stairways Releases StreamWatcher 1.0

Stairways Software, Pty Ltd, announced the release of version 1.0 of StreamWatcher, an Open Transport TCP Stream debugging utility.

What is StreamWatcher?

StreamWatcher allows you to examine the data transmitted through Open Transport TCP streams. This is useful for debugging network applications and network problems, learning about networking protocols, or watching for strange or unwanted TCP traffic.

If you have ever wondered what your computer was saying when it was talking to other machines on the network, this program is the answer. StreamWatcher requires a PowerPC (Power Macintosh or clone) and Open Transport.

StreamWatcher is shareware, single user licenses cost US$35, site and company-wide licenses are available.


  • StreamWatcher can examine all Open Transport TCP streams (using "OT AutoPush Support" from Quinn), allowing you to examine networking traffic for any application on your computer.
  • StreamWatcher can display multiple streams simultaneously, either in a single window, or one stream in each window. This allows you to watch sessions where many different connections are made (such as a web browser downloading a page with pictures).
  • StreamWatcher can display the stream data in text or binary mode (automatically or manually).

More Detail

StreamWatcher displays all the data sent through any TCP stream on your macintosh, whether the connection originated on your Mac or not. It displays each stream in its own window (or if you prefer, all data can be directed to a single window).

StreamWatcher can examine any connection without requiring special versions of applications, so it opens up networking to closer scrutiny. This in turn allows you to find problems that might otherwise go unnoticed. Also, because it can watch many streams of data simultaneously, it can allow you to debug complex problems involving interactions between multiple clients and servers that might otherwise be very difficult.

Tyrell and ActiveState Resolve PerlScript Name Conflict

Name Conflict Ends with Agreement to Cooperate with Marketing and Development of Perl Tools

In a move typical of the Perl community, Tyrell Software Corp. and ActiveState Tool Corp. have resolved the PerlScript name conflict in a friendly, cooperative manner. Last month, Tyrell started marketing a product named PerlScript on the Internet. Confusion quickly ensued between ActiveState's PerlScript ActiveX scripting engine and Tyrell's PerlScript.

PowerPerl brings the power of CGI programming within the scripting ease of HTML using the number one CGI language Perl. Both novice and advanced users can immediately take advantage of PowerPerl's abilities. Suited for both the Internet and intranets, ISPs and system administrators can offer the power of Perl to their business clients and users without security risks by using PowerPerl's built in security features. Included is the PowerPak Starter Kit, an initial set of PowerPerl libraries designed by leading CGI developers from around the country. This library contains the most requested CGIs gathered by Webmasters and Consultants for their clients.

PerlScript is an ActiveX scripting engine implementation of Perl that allows any ActiveX scripting host to use the powerful Perl scripting language. Popular ActiveX scripting hosts include Microsoft Internet Explorer and Internet Information Server.

In addition, and will be maintained by Tyrell but will direct users to both products.,

ServletExec Plugin Runs Java Servlets on Mac OS Web Servers

New Atlanta Communications, LLC announces the ServletExec plugin for Mac OS web servers. ServletExec is a WebSTAR API (W*API) compatible plugin that enables Mac OS web servers to run industry-standard Java servlets. ServletExec is built on the Mac OS Runtime for Java (MRJ) which Apple is shipping as a standard component of Mac OS 8.

The servlet application programming interface (API) was developed by JavaSoft, a business unit of Sun Microsystems, Inc., and implemented in their recently released Java Web Server. JavaSoft has also developed servlet adapters for Netscape and Microsoft web servers, as well as the Apache web server. By enabling Mac OS web servers to also run servlets, the ServletExec plugin helps realize Java's goal of "write once, run anywhere."

Feature Summary

  • Run industry standard, 100% pure Java servlets on your Mac OS web server.
  • Use any Mac OS web server that supports the W*API standard.
  • Based on Apple's Mac OS Runtime for Java (MRJ).
  • Supports Java 1.0.2; support for Java 1.1 will be added in a free upgrade when Apple's MRJ 2.0 ships with Java 1.1 support.
  • Built-in server-side includes (SSI) for embedding servlets in HTML pages.
  • Supports servlet chaining and filtering.
  • Supports remote loading of servlets over the Internet.
  • Reloads modified servlets without restarting the web server.
  • Includes servlets for supporting image maps, page counters, forms-based email, and more.
  • Includes sample projects for servlet developers using Metrowerks CodeWarrior, Roaster Technologies Roaster R3, and Symantec Visual Cafe.

The final release is planned for early October.

PowerKey Pro, Model 600

Sophisticated Circuits, Inc., based in Bothell, WA, USA, announced the immediate availability of the PowerKey Pro Model 600.

PowerKey Pro Model 600 is a major new version of the company's PowerKey power management devices for Mac OS-based computers. PowerKey Pro Model 600 provides new levels of convenience, productivity, and capability. The device is a six outlet, programmable power strip that offers software control over individual outlets, energy conservation features, the ability to execute timed macros, and remote power management features.

Each of the six receptacles on PowerKey Pro Model 600 can be controlled by the manual switches on the unit, or under software control using the PowerKey Pro software included with the product. The PowerKey Pro Model 600 can also be controlled by telephone or from another application program using Apple Events or scripts generated with scripting tools such as AppleScript.

The convenience of keyboard startup

With PowerKey Pro, users can turn on an entire Macintosh system, including up to five peripheral devices, simply by pressing the "power on" key on their keyboard. In addition, the device enables the user to delay or sequence the start up of the CPU or selected peripherals. Using this capability, users can set PowerKey Pro to delay CPU startup until SCSI devices are initialized.

Individual peripherals can also be turned on or off directly from the keyboard by assigning the device to a user-defined "hot key" combination. For example, a printer could be started by pressing the assigned function key.

PowerKey Pro also allows the user to shut down the entire system automatically simply by selecting the Shut Down command from the Special menu.

Sophisticated remote power control

In the past, a mobile computer user who wished to access their desktop Macintosh would leave it turned on while traveling. With PowerKey Pro, the desktop machine can be left off when leaving the office. Then, by dialing their desktop modem number, the user can remotely start up their desktop computer. Using a PowerBook with remote access software, the user can transfer files, perform remote operations, or read e-mail. When the user has finished, PowerKey Pro will safely shut down the desktop system.

PowerKey Pro Model 600 provides the ability for users to assign telephone tone codes to various actions, giving them complete control over their system from a telephone anywhere in the world. Tone sequences can act as a "security code" for starting up a computer, or allow users to control different outlets with different codes. This provides greater security and control over your computer system while on the road.

PowerKey Pro also includes software that allows users to define which outlets should be powered on during a remote start-up. For example, if a user doesn't need to start up their entire system, PowerKey Pro can start the modem and CPU while leaving monitors, printers, or other devices off. Users can even pre-determine the hours available for remote start-up.

Launch macros automatically

With PowerKey Pro, users can perform time-consuming tasks in the off-hours. The device includes sophisticated scheduling software that can start up the CPU and a selection of devices at a pre-determined time, launch applications or AppleScripts to control unattended events, then shut the devices down again. This capability can be used for routine operations such as system backups, file transfers, e-mail retrieval from online services or document printing. These tasks can be performed in the middle of the night, enabling the user to focus on productive tasks during the day.

Objective Software announces the new release of OneStep 1.1

OneStep is an extension that transforms your Mac's user interface. Features include custom windows, menus, pop-ups, scroll bars, buttons, folder and trash icons, and more.

OneStep comes with a number of ready to use interfaces, such as "True NeXT" (a genuine NeXT-like interface), "Jump to Eight" (guess what it is?), Back To Seven, Grand Prix, etc. Each interface is contained in an Appearance file. Advanced users will be able to design and distribute their own customized Appearance files.

OneStep requires a Macintosh or MacOS-compatible computer running System 7.0 or later.

OneStep was written by Harry Alloul, Bernard Frangoulis and Alessandro Levi Montalcini. It is distributed as shareware. The registration fee is $15; registrations are handled by the Kagi Shareware service.

Florent Pillet Announces PowerGlot, the Software Localization Tool for MacOS

PowerGlot is a new software localization tool for the MacOS. Fast and easy to use, PowerGlot allows developers to localize their software to any language available on the MacOS platform, including 2-byte languages like Japanese and Chinese.

The software is WorldScript aware, scriptable, supports drag-and-drop, balloon help and AppleGuide, all this wrapped in a convenient and intuitive interface.

Visual Balloons for PowerPlant

Tools & Toys unleashed Developer Release 1 of Visual Balloons for PowerPlant, a set of libraries and editors that allow easy creation of standard Mac OS Balloon Help for PowerPlant projects. Using PowerPlant Constructor's simple drag & drop interface and only two lines of C++ code, MacOS Codewarriors can now add Help Balloons that are not limited to plain text only, but instead support pictures and styled text as well.

Until today, developers who wanted to integrate BalloonHelp into their software had to use Apple's ResEdit or Mathemaesthetic's Resourcerer and were limited to the user interface elements built into the Mac OS.

Visual Balloons includes the following new PowerPlant classes:

  • Visual Balloon String - the String balloon embeds up to 255 characters for direct editing in PowerPlant Constructor.
  • Visual Balloon 'STR ' - displays a 'STR ' resource in a balloon help.
  • Visual Balloon 'STR#' - this balloon takes a string from a string list resource.
  • Visual Balloon 'TEXT' - a help balloon that displays styled text from a 'TEXT' resource.
  • Visual Balloon 'PICT' - a class for viewing PICT resources in a help balloon.
  • Visual Balloon Toggler - attached to a Control, this class turns Balloon Help on or off without any additional programming.

Key Features

  • Seamless integration with PowerPlant Constructor.
  • Easy to use through Drag & Drop.
  • No subclassing required.
  • Installs in less than 5 minutes.
  • Only two additional lines of code to write.
  • Supports "embedded" strings, styled text, 'STR ' and 'STR#' resources, and PICTs.

The Debugger and MacNosy

Jasik Designs posted the latest versions of it's product: 'The Debugger & MacNosy' on their ftp site. Notices were also e-mailed to all registered users. If you did NOT recieve an update notice from Jasik, then you should e-mail Jasik at with you name, address and current e-mail address.

The update consists of the release notes, The Debugger, NosyII and a newer xDbgr_Startup (better error messages).

This version of The Debugger is compatable with MacOS 8, and the recently released 'Speedbump' Macintoshes and upcoming CHRP boxes.

WebObjects Adapter for WebSTAR

StarNine announced the availability of a W*API based WebObjects Adapter. With a WebObjects Adapter, it is now possible to integrate your Mac OS-based WebSTAR server with WebObject applications running on Solaris, OPENSTEP, NEXTSTEP, Windows NT and soon Rhapsody.

WebSTAR users interested in testing the WebObjects Adapter with their current WebObjects applications are invited to download a development version of the Adapter at It is also requested that you subscribe to the Beta mailing list by sending a message to with a Subject of "subscribe".

MacLine Offers Free Marketing and Press Release Distribution For Mac Developers

MacTimes MacLine press release service, located on the web at, offers Macintosh software developers a free and effective way to broadcast information about their latest products or upgrades to the Mac news community.

MacLine offers developers the ability to post an unlimited number of press releases on the MacLine web site, with no cost. In addition the press releases can be broadcast to Mac news agencies across the world, once again at no cost to the developer.


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