TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Feb 98 - Tips

Volume Number: 14 (1998)
Issue Number: 2
Column Tag: Tips & Tidbits

Tips & Tidbits

by Steve Sisak

Logical Names

Unfortunately, the Macintosh doesn't have a system-level mechanism for dealing with the notion of logical paths. Aliases don't work when files get moved, and using paths with device names doesn't work because everybody uses different device names (besides, device names aren't guaranteed to be unique).

As a kluge for MPW Shell, AppleScript and Macintosh Common Lisp, we create a folder in the system folder called "Logical Names" and place aliases to other files and folders in this folder. The name of each alias is then defined, in some application specific way (q.v, below), as a symbol bound to the file found by resolving the alias. This allows us to put aliases like "ProjFolder" or "MoreFilesFolder" in the logical names folder and have a chance of being able to use build scripts, Makefiles, etc. on other folks' machines without having to do a major re-write of the files in question.

Usage

To make use of any of the specific implementations described below, you need first create your logical names folder. This folder must be immediately in your system folder, and it must be named "Logical Names" (note the space).

Then, create some useful aliases in this folder. For example, we typically place the following in our logical names folders:

  TempFolder - an alias to the RAM Disk
  HomeFolder - an alias to the folder containing user folders
  ProjFolder - an alias to the folder containing project folders
  ArchivesFolder - an alias to the folder containing archives
  TransferFolder - an alias to a folder used as transient storage

You may place aliases within folders within the logical names folder, though you should avoid name conflicts between folders.

MPW Shell

This implementation is distributed in the file: UserStartup*!LogicalNames

For the MPW Shell implementation of Logical Names, we use a start-up script to create an environment variable for each alias in the logical names folder. The name of each variable is the same as the name of the alias. The value of each variable is the resolution of the alias. In addition, the LogicalNames variable is set to a list of the installed logical names.

To make use of this script, simply place it in your MPW folder (leaving it named "UserStartup*!LogicalNames").

For example, if you've created the "ArchivesFolder" logical name alias, once you launch MPW the following should report the full path to your archives folder:

  echo {ArchivesFolder}

AppleScript

This implementation is distributed in the file: LogicalNames.as.

For the AppleScript implementation of LogicalNames, we use a function to lookup and resolve a logical name alias given its name. For this implementation only, if the alias is in a sub-folder of the logical names folder, then a partial path must be supplied. LogicalNames.as also supplies a utility function which converts an item into a full path string.

To make use of these functions, you must first load and compile LogicalNames.as using the Script Editor. Then, you must save the compiled script as a Compiled Script to the file "LogicalNames" in your Scripting Additions folder. Now it's in a well-known location. Then, insert the following at the beginning of every script in which you want to use logical names:

  tell application "Finder"
    set LogicalNames to -
      (load script file -
        (name of startup disk & ":" & -
          name of system folder & ":" & -
          "Extensions:Scripting Additions:LogicalNames"))
  end tell

This will bind the LogicalNames variable to the (previously saved) compilation of the LogicalNames.as script, from which you may use the logicalNameGetItem(aName) and fullPathFromItem(anItem) functions.

For example, if you've created the "ArchivesFolder" logical name alias, a script such as the following should report the full path to your archives folder:

  tell application "Finder"
    set LogicalNames to -
      (load script file -
        (name of startup disk & ":" & -
          name of system folder & ":" & -
          "Extensions:Scripting Additions:LogicalNames"))
  end tell
  set myArc to logicalNameGetItem("ArchivesFolder") of LogicalNames
  fullPathFromItem(myArc) of LogicalNames

Macintosh Common Lisp

This implementation is distributed in the file: logical-names.lisp

MCL has a concept similar to logical names in its "logical hosts", but no reasonable built-in mechanisms for defining them in terms of the generalized Mac file system. So, for the MCL implementation of Logical Names, we simply provide functions for defining a logical host for each alias in the logical names folder. The name of each logical host is the same as the name of the alias. The target of each logical host is the resolution of the alias.

To make use of these functions, simply place logical-names.lisp in your MCL folder, then add the following to your init.lisp (or .fasl/.pfsl) file:

  (load "logical-names.lisp")
  (define-all-logical-names)

For example, if you've created the "ArchivesFolder" logical name alias, once you launch MCL the following should report the full path to your archives folder:

  (full-pathname (make-pathname :host "ArchivesFolder"))

Mike Webb, mjw@codewell.com and
Jeff Mallatt, jjm@codewell.com

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

BetterTouchTool 2.291 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.18 - Easy-to-use...
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
Hopper Disassembler 4.2.14- - Binary dis...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32- and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about its... Read more
VOX 2.8.30 - Music player that supports...
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
Default Folder X 5.1.6b3 - Enhances Open...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click on... Read more
CleanMyMac 3.8.6 - $39.95
CleanMyMac makes space for the things you love. Sporting a range of ingenious new features, CleanMyMac lets you safely and intelligently scan and clean your entire system, delete large, unused files... Read more
Postbox 5.0.17 - Powerful and flexible e...
Postbox is a new email application that helps you organize your work life and get stuff done. It has all the elegance and simplicity of Apple Mail, but with more power and flexibility to manage even... Read more
Amazon Chime 4.6.5852 - Amazon-based com...
Amazon Chime is a communications service that transforms online meetings with a secure, easy-to-use application that you can trust. Amazon Chime works seamlessly across your devices so that you can... Read more
coconutBattery 3.6.3 - Displays info abo...
With coconutBattery you're always aware of your current battery health. It shows you live information about your battery such as how often it was charged and how is the current maximum capacity in... Read more
VueScan 9.5.82 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more

The best 2v2 card combos in Clash Royale
2v2 is making it's grand return toClash Royalequite soon. 2v2 has quickly become one of the game's most popular gameplay modes, though they still have yet to make it a permanent fixture in the game. 2v2 is exciting and adds some new flavor to... | Read more »
The best games we played this week - Aug...
Another busy week has come to a close. We played a lot of excellent games this week and now it's time to look back and reflect on some our favorites. Here are our picks for the week of August 18. [Read more] | Read more »
War Wings beginner's guide - how to...
War Wings is the newest project from well-established game maker Miniclip. It's a World War II aerial dogfighting game with loads of different airplane models to unlock and battle. The game offers plenty of single player and multiplayer action. We... | Read more »
How to win every 2v2 battle in Clash Roy...
2v2 is coming back to Clash Royale in a big way. Although it's only been available for temporary periods of time, 2v2 has seen a hugely positive fan response, with players clamoring for more team-based gameplay. Soon we'll get yet another taste of... | Read more »
Roll to Win with Game of Dice’s new upda...
Joycity’s hit Game of Dice gets a big new update this week, introducing new maps, mechanics, and even costumes. The update sets players loose on an exciting new map, The Cursed Tower, that allows folks to use special Runes mid-match. If you feel... | Read more »
Bottom of the 9th (Games)
Bottom of the 9th 1.0.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Play the most exciting moment of baseball in this fast-paced dice and card game! | Read more »
The best apps for viewing the solar ecli...
If you somehow missed the news, many parts of the United States will be witness to a total solar eclipse on August 21 for the first time in over 90 years. It'll be possible to see the eclipse in at least some capacity throughout the continental U... | Read more »
The 5 best mobile survival games
Games like ARK: Survival Evolved and Conan Exiles have taken the world of gaming by storm. The market is now flooded with hardcore survival games that send players off into the game's world with nothing but maybe the clothes on their back. Never... | Read more »
Portal Walk (Games)
Portal Walk 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Portal Walk is adventure and relaxing platform game about Eugene. Eugene stuck between worlds and trying to find way back home.... | Read more »
Technobabylon (Games)
Technobabylon 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: City of Newton, 2087. Genetic engineering is the norm, the addictive Trance has replaced almost any need for human interaction,... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Weekend sale: 13-inch MacBook Pros for up to...
Amazon has new 2017 13″ MacBook Pros on sale today for up to $200 off MSRP, each including free shipping: – 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (MPXV2LL/A): $1599.99 $200 off MSRP – 13″ 3.1GHz/... Read more
Back To School With The Edge Desk All-in-one...
Back to school is just around the corner, and the ergonomically correct Edge Desk all-in-one portable kneeling desk is ideal for students living in dorms and small apartments, Edge Desk features:... Read more
Norton Core Secure Wi-Fi Router Now Available...
First introduced at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Norton Core, a secure, high-performance Wi-Fi router, fundamentally changed the concept of Wi-Fi routers by making security the primary... Read more
ViewSonic Adds New 27-inch 4K UHD Monitor to...
ViewSonic Corp. has introduced the VP2785-4K, a 27-inch 4K UHD (3840×2160) monitor that delivers precise and consistent color representation and performance to ensure incredible image quality. Built... Read more
Apple now offering Certified Refurbished 2017...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2017 27″ iMacs for up to $350 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: – 27″ 3.... Read more
13-inch 2.3GHz MacBook Pros on sale for $100...
Amazon has the new 2017 13″ 2.3GHz MacBook Pros on sale today for $100 off MSRP, each including free shipping: – 13″ 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (MPXQ2LL/A): $1199.99 $100 off MSRP – 13″ 2.... Read more
Clearance 2016 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available for up to $200 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MMGF2LL... Read more
Clearance 21-inch and 27-inch iMacs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs available for up to $500 off original MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $1799 $500 off... Read more
New iOS 11 Productivity Features Welcome But...
The iOS community is in late summer holding mode awaiting the September arrival of the iPhone 8 and iOS 11. iOS 11 public betas have been available for months — number six was released this week —... Read more
Samsung Electronics Launches New Portable SSD...
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. has announced the launch of Samsung Portable SSD T5 – its newest portable solid state drive (PSSD) that raises the bar for the performance of external memory... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Development Operations and Site Reliability E...
Development Operations and Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Payment Gateway Job Number: 57572631 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jul. 27, 2017 Read more
Frameworks Engineering Manager, *Apple* Wat...
Frameworks Engineering Manager, Apple Watch Job Number: 41632321 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jun. 15, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Summary Read more
Development Operations and Site Reliability E...
Development Operations and Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Payment Gateway Job Number: 57572631 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jul. 27, 2017 Read more
Frameworks Engineering Manager, *Apple* Wat...
Frameworks Engineering Manager, Apple Watch Job Number: 41632321 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jun. 15, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Summary Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.