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

Logic Pro X 10.3 - Music creation and au...
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 creative... Read more
iMazing 2.1.8 - Complete iOS device mana...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
Civilization VI 1.0.2 - Next iteration o...
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is the next entry in the popular Civilization franchise. Originally created by legendary game designer Sid Meier, Civilization is a strategy game in which you attempt to... Read more
TurboTax 2016 - Manage your 2016 U.S. ta...
TurboTax guides you through your tax return step by step, does all the calculations, and checks your return for errors and overlooked deductions. It lets you file your return electronically to get... Read more
Microsoft Office 2016 15.30 - Popular pr...
Microsoft Office 2016 - Unmistakably Office, designed for Mac. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote provide the best of both worlds for Mac users - the familiar Office... Read more
FotoMagico 5.3 - Powerful slideshow crea...
FotoMagico lets you create professional slideshows from your photos and music with just a few, simple mouse clicks. It sports a very clean and intuitive yet powerful user interface. High image... Read more
Acorn 5.6.1 - Bitmap image editor.
Acorn is a new image editor built with one goal in mind - simplicity. Fast, easy, and fluid, Acorn provides the options you'll need without any overhead. Acorn feels right, and won't drain your bank... Read more
Dash 3.4.3 - Instant search and offline...
Dash is an API documentation browser and code snippet manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use (for a full... Read more
Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.37 - Connec...
With Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help... Read more
Macs Fan Control 1.4.7.0 - Monitor and c...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more

Turbo League Guide: How to tame the cont...
| Read more »
Fire Emblem: Heroes coming to Google Pla...
Nintendo gave us our first look at Fire Emblem: Heroes, the upcoming mobile Fire Emblem game the company hinted at last year. Revealed at the Fire Emblem Direct event held today, the game will condense the series' tactical RPG combat into bite-... | Read more »
ReSlice (Music)
ReSlice 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Audio Slice Machine Slice your audio samples with ReSlice and create flexible musical atoms which can be triggered by MIDI notes or... | Read more »
Stickman Surfer rides in with the tide t...
Stickson is back and this time he's taken up yet another extreme sport - surfing. Stickman Surfer is out this Thursday on both iOS and Android, so if you've been following the other Stickman adventures, you might be interested in picking this one... | Read more »
Z-Exemplar (Games)
Z-Exemplar 1.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.4 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
5 dastardly difficult roguelikes like th...
Edmund McMillen's popular roguelike creation The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has finally crawled onto mobile devices. It's a grotesque dual-stick shooter that tosses you into an endless, procedurally generated basement as you, the pitiable Isaac,... | Read more »
Last week on PocketGamer
Welcome to a weekly feature looking back on the past seven days of coverage on our sister website, PocketGamer. It’s taken a while for 2017 to really get going, at least when it comes to the world of portable gaming. Thank goodness, then, for... | Read more »
ROME: Total War - Barbarian Invasion set...
To the delight of mobile strategy fans, Feral Interactive released ROME: Total War just a few months ago. Now the game's expansion, Barbarian Invasion is marching onto iPads as a standalone release. [Read more] | Read more »
Yuri (Games)
Yuri 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It's night. Yuri opens his eyes. He wakes up in a strange forest.The small, courageous explorer rides on his bed on casters in this... | Read more »
Space schmup Xenoraid launches on the Ap...
10Tons Xenoraid is out today on the App Store, bringing some high-speed space action to your mobile gadgets just in time for the weekend. The company's last premium title, another sci-fi game titled Neon Chrome, did quite well for itself, so... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Laptop Market – Flight To Quality? – The ‘Boo...
Preliminary quarterly PC shipments data released by Gartner Inc. last week reveal an interesting disparity between sales performance of major name PC vendors as opposed to that of less well-known... Read more
IBM and Bell Transform Canadian Enterprise Mo...
IBM and Bell Canada have announced they are joining forces to offer IBM MobileFirst for iOS market-ready enterprise applications for iPad, iPhone or Apple Watch. Bell, Canada’s largest communications... Read more
Otter Products is Closing… For a Day of Givin...
On Thursday, Feb. 9, Otter Products is closing doors to open hearts. In partnership with the OtterCares Foundation, the company is pausing operations for a day so all employees can volunteer with... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon has 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros (MJLQ2LL/A) available for $1799.99 including free shipping. Apple charges $1999 for this model, so Amazon’s price is represents a $200 savings. Read more
Back in stock: Apple refurbished 13-inch Reti...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $360 off original MSRP, starting at $1099. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is... Read more
CalcTape for macOS 1.2 Adding Machine App for...
schoettler Software has announced CalcTape 1.2, an update to their desktop calculator for macOS. When it comes to adding long columns of numbers, doing complex calculations or playing around with... Read more
New MacBooks And MacBook Pros WIth Kaby Lake...
Digitimes’ Joseph Tsai cites a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report that unnamed market watchers are predicting Apple MacBook shipments to grow 10 percent in 2017, and projecting 15... Read more
New 2016 13-inch MacBook Pros on sale for up...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro... Read more
New 15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock a...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more
Opera Announces Neon Concept Browser For Mac
Opera is inviting users to get a glimpse of what Opera for computers could become with its Opera Neon browser concept. Each Opera Neon feature is described as “an alternate reality” for the Opera... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (Multi-L...
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 - 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
*Apple* & PC Desktop Support Technician...
Apple & PC Desktop Support Technician job in Stamford, CT We have immediate job openings for several Desktop Support Technicians with one of our most well-known Read more
*Apple* macOS Systems Integration Administra...
…most exceptional support available in the industry. SCI is seeking an Junior Apple macOS systems integration administrator that will be responsible for providing Read more
*Apple* Premier Retailer - Service Technicia...
DescriptionSimply Mac is the largest premier retailer for Apple products and solutions. At Simply Mac we are all Apple , all the time. Same products. Same prices. Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.