TweetFollow Us on Twitter

File Dialog
Volume Number:3
Issue Number:2
Column Tag:ToolBox Tricks

Not So Standard File Dialogs

By Paul Snively, Contributing Editor, Icom Simulations, Inc.

Last month I discussed how INIT resources could be debugged using TMON, as I did in developing my Set/Boot Paths desk accessory, used in TML Pascal 2.0. Set Paths allows the user to specify what path to use via what I prefer to call the Not-So-Standard File dialog. It's Not-So-Standard because it doesn't display file names at all, only folder names. That's not so weird (nor is it particularly difficult to code), but the "Open" button has become "Select" and, the tricky part, double-clicking on a folder name opens it exactly the way you'd expect, whereas highlighting a folder name and clicking on "Select" returns you to your program with pertinent information about the selection.

Experienced Standard File hackers may knot their brows at this (as I did when I was asked to do it that way) because they know that the Standard File internally coerces double-clicks on names to be a single click followed by a click on the "Open" button, so that the Standard File hook can filter double-clicks. The trick, then, is being able to use a user-written Standard File hook to distinguish between a double-clicked name and a selected name followed by a "Select" click.

Note that my solution is a kludge by just about any definition of the word, and would be universally spurned (even by me) were it not for one simple, overriding fact: it does NOT rely on internal knowledge of Standard File's workings AT ALL, and it was simple and obvious enough to have gone from concept to implementation in less than twelve hours (an important consideration for me; I modemed the resultant files to TML Systems Sunday evening; TML Pascal 2.0 started shipping the next day)!

To start off on an embarrassing note, in the process of writing Set Paths I discovered a bug in my McAssembly Pascal interface macros. Those were published in MacTutor Vol. 2, No. 3, in March 1986, which says two things to me: I need to be more careful in my testing of things before I publish them, and no one has done anything significant with those macros, otherwise they would have encountered the bug and, hopefully, written a letter to the editor about it! I'm profoundly disappointed

Anyway, the bug is in the "Exit" macro. There's a line which is responsible for adjusting the stack back to normal by dropping input parameters. It says:

add.l    #.fsize-.parms,sp

This is a definite boo-boo, because it totally neglects the space that we allocated for the stacked A6 register and the return address of the function. The line SHOULD read:

add.l   #.fsize-.parms-8,sp.

Boy, do I feel appropriately chastized!

Having cleared that up, I can talk safely about using those macros to implement the Not-So-Standard File dialog.

First we need to come up with a way to display NO files at all. The first time I tackled this, ol' Paul thought he'd be tricky and just set the numTypes parameter to _SFGetFile to zero, thereby forcing _SFGetFile to ignore all files, right? Wrong! Even though I had a typeList consisting of all zeros and a numTypes of zero, _SFGetFile insisted on displaying ALL files on the volume, and it took forever to do it, too!

I decided to do something about the INCREDIBLY slow response I was getting from the above scheme. Besides, it didn't work! I changed numTypes to one and used a fileType of '????' to get as few files as possible (theoretically zero). Since every so often you will indeed see a file of type '????' it behooved me to ensure that they didn't show up in the file list. To do that I had to use that fileFilter that I had tried to avoid.

The fileFilter proc is, like most such things for the Macintosh, designed with the expectation that it will be written conforming to Pascal-style parameter passing conventions. It is (in Pascal terms, anyway) a function, not a procedure, since it returns a value. It takes one parameter, a pointer to a low-level parameter block a lá the file system, and returns a boolean. It seems a little backwards: the boolean should be TRUE if the file is NOT to be displayed, and FALSE if the file IS to be displayed. So, since we want to display NO files, we should simply set the boolean to TRUE and we are done! In Pascal this would look something like this:

FUNCTION MyFileFilter(PB : ParamBlockRec;) : BOOLEAN;

BEGIN {MyFileFilter} 
 MyFileFilter := TRUE;
END; {MyFileFilter}

In McAssembly, with my Pascal macros, it's almost as easy: (See MacTutor Vol. 2, No. 3 March 1986 for the definition of these Macros.)

 MyFileFilter  EQU *
 ;
 SFBegin
 WordResult MyFilterResult
 Long   MyParamBlock
 SFEnd
 ;
 Enter
 move.w #-1,MyFilterResult
 Exit

The combination of the file type of '????' and the above fileFilter works like a charm; by golly, no files show up!

SFHook

The remaining magic is in an underdiscussed piece of code called a SFHook. Apple describes the SFHook as something that can be used to make a non-standard get or put file (which I almost do) or to make the normal one behave in non-standard ways (which is EXACTLY what I do)!

The SFHook is also a Pascal-like entity; it takes two parameters; the item number (an integer), and the DialogPtr to the Standard File dialog. It returns an integer (an item number also, although it may or may not be the same as the one that was passed to it)!

The SFHook is called constantly throughout the operation of the Standard File dialog; it's called before the dialog is drawn, it's called when there are significant events, and it's even called when there are NO significant events!

The key to understanding the Standard File dialog as it applies to writing a SFHook is the item number. The item number is ordinarily simply the item number of whatever the user clicked on in the dialog box. In addition to that there have always been a few "phony" items numbers, such as item # 100 (which is what was passed when nothing interesting was going on) or keystrokes (item # 1000 plus the ASCII value of the key). Another useful value is -1, which is the value passed before the dialog is displayed. By trapping on this value we can do neat things like changing the title of the "Open" button to "Select." You'll see an example of that a bit later.

The introduction of HFS added a whole new wrinkle to the issue of the Standard File dialog. It had to be expanded in a way that retained the power and flexibility of the original design, yet also remain upwardly compatible. WDRefNum's and a few new phony item numbers fit the bill rather nicely.

As all users of the Standard File dialog are aware of at one level or another, "Opening" a folder doesn't return you to the application, it simply makes that folder the current directory and shows you the files in it, etc. You must open a FILE to get back from _SFGetFile.

Internally what happens is that opening a folder passes a phony item # 103 to the SFHook, as opposed to a file open, which passes item # 1 (the item # of the "Open" button). So we could catch the 103, coerce it to a 1, and pass it back. The problem there, of course, is the one mentioned before: double-clicks on filenames and filename select/"Open" click sequences are equivalent by the time you get to the SFHook! The result is that double-clicking on a foldername returns from _SFGetFile just as surely as selecting one and clicking "Open" does!

Argh!!!

Ok, enough beating around the bush. Obviously the solution to the problem is to find out which item we clicked on, the file list or the "Select" button. I decided that the Mac was fast enough that I could determine within the SFHook where the mouse was, check to see if it was over the file list and, if it was not, coerce the 103 to a 1. Fortunately, one of the things passed to the SFHook is the DialogPtr, making calls to _GetDItem possible. Among other things, _GetDItem returns the viewRect of the item - just what the doctor ordered! _GetMouse gives us our mouse location in local coordinates (another stroke of luck) and _PtInRect answers the burning question: are we pointing to this item or aren't we?

Pulling it all together into a nice, not-so-neat package gives us the following:

UseSF  move.w  #100,-(sp) Top = 100
 move.w #100,-(sp) Left = 100
 pea  PromptString Use promptstring
 pea  myFileFilter Use brief fileFilter
 move.w #1,-(sp) No. of filetypes
 pea  MyListPoint to my list
 pea  myDlgHook  Point to our dlgHook
 pea  myReplyRec Point to reply rec
 _SFGetFile Use std file dialog
 
myDlgHook
;
 sfbeginDeclare stack frame
 wordresult myDlgResult Function result
 word mySFItem Which item was hit?
 long theDialog  SFGetFile dialog ptr
 sfend  That's all!
;
 enter  Set up stack frame
 move.w mySFItem,d0Get the item#
 cmp.w  #-1,d0 Is this first time?
 bne  NotFirst Go if not
 sub.l  #14,sp Room for VAR params
 move.l theDialog,-(sp) Stack DialogPtr
 move.w #getOpen,-(sp)  Stack item # of "Open"
 pea  18(sp)VAR itemType
 pea  18(sp)VAR itemHandle
 pea  14(sp)VAR dispRect
 _GetDItemTell me about button
 movea.l8(sp),a0 Get handle
 add.l  #14,sp Drop data structure
 move.l a0,-(sp) Stack item handle
 pea  myTitle  Pass title address
 _SetCTitle Make title = STR
 moveq  #-1,d0 Make sure we're here
NotFirstequ *
 cmp.w  #103,d0  Was it "Select?"
 bne.s  NotSelectGo if not
;***********************************************************
;***  This is where we will do all kinds of nifty magic ***
;**********************************************************
 sub.l  #14,sp Room for VAR params
 move.l theDialog,-(sp) Stack DialogPtr
 move.w #7,-(sp) Stack File List item#
 pea  18(sp)VAR itemType
 pea  18(sp)VAR itemHandle
 pea  14(sp)VAR dispRect
 _GetDItemTell me about File List
 clr.l  -(sp)  Room for pt
 pea  (sp)Point to the point
 _GetMouseHere, mousie, mousie...
 pea  4(sp) Point to the rect
 _PtInRectAre we in File List?
 move.w #103,d0  Just to make sure
 move.b (sp)+,d1 Get answer
 add.l  #12,sp Drop remaining data
 bne.s  NotSelectIf in File List, leave
 move.w #1,d0  Treat like file open
NotSelect equ  *
 move.w d0,myDlgResult  Store function result
 exit   Exit the function
;
myFileFilterequ  *
 loc  New locals here; needed for McAssembly
;
 sfbeginStack Frame Begin
 wordresult myFilterResultA boolean
 long parmBlkPtr A pointer
 sfend  Stack Frame End
;
 enter  Set up stack frame
 move.w #-1,myFilterResultTRUE;
 exit   Clean up and leave
;
PromptStringequ  *
 text # "Highlight a folder and click /"Select/""
 align
myTitle equ *
 text # "Select" title for "Open" button
 align
myList  equ *
 text "????"Any old file type will do
 dcb.b  12,0Remaining are nulls

Now that I've given the code that does the trick, I should probably say a few words about how the replyRec looks when you've opened a folder instead of a file.

First of all, you can forget about the fName field. It won't be valid. Instead, vRefNum will contain the vRefNum of the folder, just like it does for a file, and - get this - fType will return the DirID of the folder ("Sorry about the type conflict," says Apple in the software supplement...obviously talking to Pascal programmers). Of course, the vRefNum and DirID are sufficient for all HFS OSTraps that deal with folders or files within a specific folder. Another thing that you can do if you want or need to is convert the vRefNum and DirID to a pathname extending from the root to the folder (or more precisely, from the folder to the root). One implementation of that algorithm appeared in MacTutor's special HFS issue (January '86). It was written in C by Mike Schuster. Translating it to the language of the reader's choice is an exercise left to the reader (the assembler version is actually rather simple).

That just about covers it. Feel free to use the Not-So-Standard File dialog anytime you have a reason to want to select a folder instead of a file!

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

RoboForm 8.9.0 - Password manager; syncs...
RoboForm is a password manager that offers one-click login, mobile syncing, easy form filling, and reliable security. Password Manager. RoboForm remembers your passwords so you don't have to! Just... Read more
Remotix 6.1.6 - Access all your computer...
Remotix is a fast and powerful application to easily access multiple Macs (and PCs) from your own Mac. Features: Complete Apple Screen Sharing support - including Mac OS X login, clipboard... Read more
Sibelius 2020.6 - Music notation solutio...
Sibelius is the world's best-selling music notation software for Mac. It is as intuitive to use as a pen, yet so powerful that it does most things in less than the blink of an eye. The demo includes... Read more
Bookends 13.4.2 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 7.16 - Create diagrams,...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
Drive Genius 6.1.0 - $79.00
Drive Genius features a comprehensive Malware Scan. Automate your malware protection. Protect your investment from any threat. The Malware Scan is part of the automated DrivePulse utility. DrivePulse... Read more
Tor Browser 9.5 - Anonymize Web browsing...
The Tor Browser Bundle is an easy-to-use portable package of Tor, Vidalia, Torbutton, and a Firefox fork preconfigured to work together out of the box. It contains a modified copy of Firefox that... Read more
VueScan 9.7.28 - 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
OmniGraffle 7.16 - Create diagrams, flow...
OmniGraffle helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use Graffle to... Read more
WALTR 2 2.6.26 - $39.95
WALTR 2 helps you wirelessly drag-and-drop any music, ringtones, videos, PDF, and ePub files onto your iPhone, iPad, or iPod without iTunes. It is the second major version of Softorino's critically-... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Star Chef 2 is a restaurant and cooking...
Star Chef 2 is the follow up to the financially successful Star Chef and it's available now for iOS and Android. 99 Games' original has reportedly pulled in over $30 million in lifetime revenue. [Read more] | Read more »
Clash Royale Tier List - Best and Worst...
To kick off Clash Royale's twelfth season, we thought it would be fun to start a new feature for the game where we rank cards. And what better cards to start with than the oh-so-rare Legendaries that can really transform the kinds of decks you can... | Read more »
Willy Jetman: Astromonkey's Revenge...
Barcelona-based developer Last Chicken Games are set to bring their game Willy Jetman: Astromonkey's Revenge to both iOS and Android on 9th July. The Metroidvania is already available on the likes of PS4, Switch and PC but now mobile folk will be... | Read more »
The 5 Best Mobile Real Time Strategy Gam...
Real-time strategy games feel like they’d be a perfect fit for mobile, but they’re trickier to pull off that you might think. The traditional mold of base-building and micro management can work on touch screens, but needs to be carefully honed so... | Read more »
Using your phone in a protest
I can't write about games today. There is a struggle happening in the streets right now and it needs everyone's attention. Here's some good info on how you can use your iOS device safely amidst a protest. | Read more »
Dungonian is a card-based dungeon crawle...
Dungonian is a card-based dungeon crawler from developer SandFish Games that only recently launched as a free-to-play title. It offers an extensive roster of playable heroes to collect and enemies to take down, and it's available right now for iOS... | Read more »
Steam Link Spotlight - Signs of the Sojo...
Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry was XCOM: Chimera Squad. Read about how it plays using Steam Link's new mouse and keyboard support over here. | Read more »
Steampunk Tower 2, DreamGate's sequ...
Steampunk Tower 2 is a DreamGate's follow up to their previous tower defence game. It's available now for both iOS and Android as a free-to-play title and will see players defending their lone base by kitting it out with a variety of turrets. [... | Read more »
Clash Royale: The Road to Legendary Aren...
Supercell recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and their best title, Clash Royale, is as good as it's ever been. Even for lapsed players, returning to the game is as easy as can be. If you want to join us in picking the game back up, we've put... | Read more »
Pokemon Go Fest 2020 will be a virtual e...
Niantic has announced that Pokemon Go Fest will still take place this year although understandably it won't be a physical event. Instead, it will become a virtual celebration and is set to be held on 25th and 26th July. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Amazon has Apple Watch Series 5 models on sal...
Amazon has Apple Watch Series 5 models on sale for $100 off Apple’s MSRP this weekend. Shipping is free. These are the same Apple Watch models sold by Apple in their retail and online stores, and... Read more
Take $200 off the new 2020 13″ 1.4GHz/512GB M...
B&H Photo has the new 2020 13″ 1.4GHz/512GB Space Gray MacBook Pro on sale today for $1299 including free expedited shipping. Their price is $200 off Apple’s MSRP, and it’s the cheapest price... Read more
Apple restocks 27″ iMacs, Certified Refurbish...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2019 27″ iMacs starting at $1529 and up to $350 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, shipping is free, and each iMac features a... Read more
Apple’s new 2020 13″ 4-Core MacBook Airs on s...
B&H Photo has Apple’s new 2020 13″ 4-Core MacBook Airs on sale today for $100 off Apple’s MSRP, only $1199. Expedited shipping is free to many addresses in the US. The MacBook Airs are the same... Read more
New Verizon promo: $150 off any Apple Watch w...
Verizon is offering $150 off any Apple Watch when purchased alongside an iPhone through June 10, 2020. They’re also offering up to $100 on any Apple Watch trade-in. Here are the details: “Get $150... Read more
Last year’s 13″ 2.4GHz MacBook Pros are avail...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2019 13″ 2.4GHz/256GB 4-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros available for $1359, $440 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, shipping is free, and each... Read more
Apple’s new 2020 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for...
Apple reseller Abt Electronics has new 2020 13″ MacBook Pros on sale today for up to $140 off MSRP, starting at $1208. Shipping is free, and most configurations are in stock today. Note that Abt’s... Read more
Apple CEO Reacts To Nationwide Protests Over...
NEWS: 06.03.20 – With the recent death of a black man in the custody of a white police officer igniting outrage among Americans from all walks of life, which resulted in protests and civil unrest... Read more
At up to $420 off MSRP, these Certified Refur...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2019 16″ MacBook Pros available for up to $420 off the cost of new models, starting at $2039. Each model features a new outer case, shipping is free, and an Apple 1-... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 3rd generation 12....
Apple restocked select 3rd generation 12.9″ WiFi iPad Pros starting at only $699 and up to $330 off original MSRP. Each iPad comes with a standard Apple one-year warranty, outer cases are new, and... Read more

Jobs Board

Blue *Apple* Cafe Student Worker - Fall - P...
…to enhance your work experience. Student positions are available at the Blue Apple Cafe. Employee meal discount during working hours is provided. Duties include food Read more
*Apple* Architect - SAIC (United States)
**Description** We are currently seeking a motivated, career and customer oriented Apple Architect to join our team in Washington, DC to begin an exciting and Read more
*Apple* Support Engineer - SAIC (United Stat...
**Description** We are currently seeking a motivated, career and customer oriented Apple Support Engineer to join our team in Washington, DC to begin an exciting and Read more
Perioperative RN - ( *Apple* Hill Surgical C...
Perioperative RN - ( Apple Hill Surgical Center) Tracking Code 60593 Job Description Monday - Friday - Full Time Days Possible Saturdays General Summary: Under the Read more
Senior Practice Manager - *Apple* Hill Eye...
Senior Practice Manager - Apple Hill Eye Center Tracking Code 61713 Job Description Apple Hill Medical Center General Summary: Under general supervision, manages Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.