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Mar 99 Tips

Volume Number: 15 (1999)
Issue Number: 3
Column Tag: Tips & Tidbits

Mar 99 Tips

by Jeff Clites <online@mactech.com>

Shortening Verbose 'aete' Resources

AppleScriptability is a very useful feature to implement in your applications. The best way to edit 'aete' (scripting terminology) resources is to keep them in text form and compile them into your application with Rez. One problem with this is the large numbers of "reserved" lines that make it hard to see much of the real information at once. However, you can compact these lines down with the help of macros like the following:

     /* "reserved10" expands to 10 lines of "reserved" */
      #define reserved10 \
            reserved, \
            reserved, \
            reserved, \
            reserved, \
            reserved, \
            reserved, \
            reserved, \
            reserved, \
            reserved, \
            reserved

and similarly defining "reserved11" to expand to 11 lines of "reserved", and so on for "reserved12" and "reserved13".

Once you've done this, you can use these macros to make your terminology entries much more compact. For example, here's a complete definition for the "quit" event in one of my applications:

            "quit",
            "quits the application",
            kCoreEventClass,
            kAEQuitApplication,
            noReply,
            "",
            replyOptional,
            singleItem,
            notEnumerated,
            reserved13,
            noParams,
            "",
            directParamOptional,
            singleItem,
            notEnumerated,
            changesState,
            reserved12,
             { /* OtherParams */
               "saving",
               keyAESaveOptions,
               enumSaveOptions,
               "what to do about saving changes",
               optional,
               singleItem,
               enumerated,
               reserved10,
               notFeminine,
               notMasculine,
               singular,
              }, /* OtherParams */

Here's another macro for shortening verbose 'aete' resources, this time for convenient definitions of plural forms of class names:

      #define PluralForm \
         { /* Properties */ \
            "", \
            kAESpecialClassProperties, \
            cType, \
            "", \
            reserved, \
            singleItem, \
            notEnumerated, \
            readOnly, \
            reserved11, \
            plural, \
         }, /* Properties */ \
         { /* Elements */ \
         }

and here's a partial example of its use in a class definition from another of my scriptable applications:

         "serial port",
         SerialPortClassID,
         "an RS232/RS422 serial port.",
          { /* Properties */
            "name",
            pName,
            typeChar,
            "the name of the port",
            reserved,
            singleItem,
            notEnumerated,
            readOnly,
            reserved11,
            singular,

            ...
          }, /* Properties */
          { /* Elements */
          },
         "serial ports",
         SerialPortClassID,
         "every serial port",
         PluralForm,

Lawrence D'Oliveiro
<ldo@geek-central.gen.nz>

Disappearing Apple Menu Submenus

I was asked about this several times during MacWorld SF this year, so I thought it warranted a tip. The question was, "Why are there no submenus under the AppleMenu in my program? My Mac programming texts don't mention anything, but they show the submenus present in their screen shots." Well, here's the scoop: Apple Menu Options, which creates these submenus, automatically disables this feature if it detects that memory is low when it initializes. If you call MaxApplZone() at the beginning of your program, right after you initialize the managers, then you will get your submenus - this call expands the application heap zone to the application heap limit, so that Apple Menu Options no longer mistakenly thinks that it is out of memory. Incidentally, this is the same circumstance which can cause Navigation Services to silently fail. (This call will also help to minimize heap fragmentation, and you should use it anyway.) So now you know.

Got a tip? Write to tips@mactech.com

 
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