TweetFollow Us on Twitter

PP Commanders
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:2
Column Tag:Getting Started

PowerPlant and Commanders

By Dave Mark, MacTech Magazine Regular Contributing Author

Note: Source code files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks.

This month, we’re going to explore a brand new aspect of PowerPlant: the concept of commands, commanders, and the LCommander PowerPlant class. PowerPlant commands are similar to messages. You’ve already seen how messages are sent from a broadcaster (such as a button) to all listeners registered to listen to that broadcaster. The command model is slightly different.

Commands are associated with menus and keyDown events. To respond to menu selections and user keystrokes, you’ll need to create a class derived (at least in part) from the LCommander class. There are three key functions you’ll inherit and override from the LCommander base class.

• HandleKeyPress() - receives an EventRecord containing a character typed by the user.

• ObeyCommand() - receives a command number associated with a specific menu command. When we create this month’s project, you’ll see how to associate a command number with a specific menu item.

• FindCommandStatus() - gives your LCommander subclass a chance to update (i.e. enable, disable, check, uncheck, change item text) the status of the menu item associated with a specified command.

Basically, PowerPlant handles the administrative work of keeping track of which menu items need to be enabled, which pane should receive which event, etc. Every PowerPlant application has a chain of command. The chain (really a tree) starts with the LApplication object and flows downward through other objects that handle commands to the panes that will become the targets of the commands. Think of the current target as the application’s current focus. If a keystroke is entered, the corresponding keyDown event will be sent to the current target pane (perhaps a window, perhaps a textEdit pane within the window).

As you’ll see in this month’s program, you’ll have a little setup work to do, and then you’ll override the three LCommander functions described above. That’s pretty much it. Of course, as you get deeper into PowerPlant you’ll discover that there is much more you can do, but for now, concentrate on understanding the basics.

A Sneak Preview of BeepCommander

This month’s program is called BeepCommander. It features a single window type that responds to keyDowns by displaying the typed character in the window. Figure 1 shows a BeepCommander window.

Figure 1. A BeepCommander window.

BeepCommander also features a menu named Special with a single item named Beep. When you select Beep, your computer beeps (gasp!). The sneaky thing is, the Beep item is only enabled when the letter ‘x’ is typed. I know, I know, weird user interface. That’s fine. The point is to show the relationship between menus, keystrokes and the LPane and LCommander functions you’ll be overriding.

Let’s get started.

Create a New Project

The first thing you’ll need to do is create a new project, based on the PowerPlant stationery.

• Create a new folder called BeepCommander.

• Launch CodeWarrior and create a new project named BeepCommander.µ.

• In the project window, double-click on the file <PP Starter Resource>.rsrc. This will open the file in Constructor.

• In Constructor, do a Save As... and save the file in the BeepCommander folder as BeepCommander.rsrc.

(This last step tells Constructor to completely duplicate the file, and not just the resources it uses. This is definitely the right way to replace the stationery resource file.)

• Quit Constructor and return to CodeWarrior.

• Add the file BeepCommander.rsrc to the project.

• Delete the file <PP Starter Resource>.rsrc from the project.

• In the project window, double-click on the file <PP Starter Source>.cp.

• Select Save As... from the File menu and save the file as BeepCommander.cp.

Notice that the stationery file name changed from <PP Starter Resource>.rsrc to BeepCommander.cp in the project window. You might want to dog-ear this page and refer back to it the first few times you create your own PowerPlant projects. These first nine steps make a good starting point for all your new PowerPlant stationery-based projects.

Creating the Project Resources

Your next task is to add a new menu to the project and associate a command number with the menu’s item.

• Launch your favorite resource editor.

Be sure you install the appropriate resource editing templates for your resource editor. You’ll find the files PowerPlant Resorcerer TMPLs and PowerPlant ResEdit TMPLs buried in subfolders within the Metrowerks CodeWarrior folder. To install the Resorcerer templates, drag the file PowerPlant Resorcerer TMPLs into the folder Resorcerer® Templates. To install the ResEdit templates, duplicate ResEdit, then use ResEdit to edit the copy. Open the file PowerPlant ResEdit TMPLs and copy the 'TMPL' resources into your copy of ResEdit. Your copy now has the templates installed. As always, keep your original around in case things get screwed up.

• Select Open... from the File menu and open the file BeepCommander.rsrc.

• Create a new 'MENU' resource. Change its id to 131 (be sure it gets changed in both places if you are using ResEdit). Give the new menu a title of Special and create a single item called Beep. If you like, give Beep a command-key equivalent of AppleB.

• Create a 'Mcmd' resource, also with an id of 131. Add a single item with a command number of 1000.

The 'Mcmd' resource you just created associates a command number of 1000 with the Special menu’s Beep item.

Figure 2 shows the hex version of this resource in ResEdit in case you can’t get your 'Mcmd' resource template working or if you just want to check your handiwork.

Figure 2. The hex version of 'Mcmd' 131.

• Modify 'MBAR' 128, adding the new 'MENU' id (131) to the list of other 'MENU' ids already in the resource.

• Save your changes and quit your resource editor.

Constructor

Now we’ll use Constructor to create the views we’ll use in this program.

• Back in CodeWarrior, double-click on the file BeepCommander.rsrc to open the file in Constructor.

• In Constructor, delete the existing “<Replace Me>” view.

• Select New Resource from the Edit menu to create a new view.

• When the New Resource dialog appears, type Single Char Window in the textEdit field, be sure the popup menu is set to LWindow, then click OK.

• Close the new view window.

• Be sure the new view is highlighted in the master view list, then select Resource Info from the Edit menu.

• When the view info window appears, change the resource id to 1000.

• Close the view info window.

• Double-click on the view name in the master view list to reopen the view editing window.

This view represents our main window, the window that will be created when you select New from our application’s File menu. We’re now going to add a pane to the window that will be reflected in our source code by the class CSingleCharPane. Just as a heads up, CSingleCharPane will be partially derived from the LCommander class and will be the target for both menu selections from our new 'MENU' and for keystrokes. More on all this later.

• Drag an LPane from the palette into the center of the view editing window.

• Double-click on the LPane to open a pane info window.

• Set the Location coordinates according to those shown in Figure 3.

• Check all four of the Binding to Superview checkboxes, keeping the pane proportional to its enclosing window.

• Change the Pane ID to 2000.

• Change the Class ID to Cmdr.

This last step is extremely important. The Class ID is what ties this view resource to the CSingleCharPane class we’ll define when we get to the source code. By the way, just as Apple reserves all lower case resource types, Metrowerks reserves all lower case Class IDs (for example, 'abcd' is reserved, but 'Abcd' is just fine).

• Save your changes and quit Constructor.

Figure 3. The pane info window for our LPane.

Adding the Source Code

Your next step is to return to CodeWarrior and type in some new source code.

• Back in CodeWarrior, create a new source code file, save it under the name CSingleCharPane.cp.

• Type in the following source code:

#include <LPane.h>
#include <LCommander.h>
#include "CSingleCharPane.h"

CSingleCharPane *
CSingleCharPane::CreateSingleCharPaneStream(
 LStream *inStream )
{
 return( new CSingleCharPane( inStream ) );
}


CSingleCharPane::CSingleCharPane( LStream *inStream ) :
 LPane( inStream )
{
 mChar = 'x';
}
 

Boolean 
CSingleCharPane::HandleKeyPress(
 const EventRecord &inKeyEvent )
{
 mChar = inKeyEvent.message & charCodeMask;
 
 SetUpdateCommandStatus( true );
 Refresh();
 
 return true;
}


Boolean
CSingleCharPane::ObeyCommand( CommandT inCommand,
 void *ioParam )
{
 if ( inCommand == 1000 )
 {
 SysBeep( 20 );
 return true;
 }
 else
 return LCommander::ObeyCommand(inCommand, ioParam);
}


void
CSingleCharPane::FindCommandStatus( 
 CommandT inCommand,
 Boolean&outEnabled,
 Boolean&outUsesMark,
 Char16 &outMark,
 Str255 outName )
{
 if (inCommand == 1000)
 outEnabled = (mChar == 'x');
 else
 LCommander::FindCommandStatus(inCommand, outEnabled,
 outUsesMark, outMark, outName);
}


void
CSingleCharPane::DrawSelf()
{
 Rect   frameRect;
 short  x, y, frameWidth, frameHeight;
 const shortk  FontSize = 128;
 FontInfo myFontInfo;
 
 CalcLocalFrameRect( frameRect );
 
 frameWidth = frameRect.right - frameRect.left;
 frameHeight = frameRect.bottom - frameRect.top;
 
 TextSize( kFontSize );
 
 x = (frameWidth - CharWidth( mChar )) / 2
  + frameRect.left;
 
 GetFontInfo( &myFontInfo );
 y = frameRect.bottom - ((frameHeight - 
 myFontInfo.ascent + myFontInfo.descent) / 2);
 
 MoveTo( x, y );
 DrawChar( mChar );
}

Save your work, and add the file to the project.

Comments on SingleCharPane.cp

SingleCharPane.cp starts off with a creation function. We’ll pass that in when we register this new class by calling URegistrar::RegisterClass(). Notice that the creation routine actually creates the CSingleCharPane object. Get used to this way of doing things in PowerPlant.

Next comes the constructor. Notice that the constructor maps the input parameter to the LPane constructor. CSingleCharPane is derived from both LPane and LCommander. The data member mChar holds the last character typed. We initialize it to ‘x’, since that’s the magic character that enables the Beep item.

The function CSingleCharPane::HandleKeyPress() is inherited from the LCommander class and gets called in response to a keyDown event. The function returns true if the keystroke was handled correctly (in our case, we always return true). LCommander::SetUpdateCommandStatus(true) marks the menu bar as needing its status updated. LPane::Refresh() forces an update on the visible portion of the pane.

CSingleCharPane::ObeyCommand() is also inherited from LCommander and returns true if the command was obeyed. If we get command 1000 (that’s the command number of the Beep item), we’ll beep once and return true. Any other command causes a call to the inherited ObeyCommand(). This passes the command back up the chain to our commander. The LApplication class is the ultimate commander and has no supercommander. If the LApplication class can’t handle your command, you are out of luck!

CSingleCharPane::FindCommandStatus() is inherited from LCommander. It checks to see if the command sent to it is 1000 (the Beep item). If so, it sets the enable parameter depending on whether mChar is set to ‘x’. We could also have put a mark next to the Beep item or changed its name (try messing with these two: make the item name change to Beep followed by the current letter in the window, or add a checkmark next to the item when you type an ‘x’). If the command wasn’t a 1000, we’ll pass it back up the chain.

DrawSelf() is an LPane member function. DrawSelf() is paired with a member function named Draw(). Draw() gets called to set up the pane’s drawing environment in preparation for drawing (sort of like a call to SetPort()) and DrawSelf() is called to do the actual drawing. You might call an inherited Draw() method to prepare your derived pane for drawing, but you’ll override the DrawSelf() method to provide your own drawing method.

CSingleCharPane() calls CalcLocalFrameRect() to get our pane’s Rect. We’ll then set the font size to kFontSize, do some font calculations and draw the character in the window.

By the way, if you are trying to figure out the calling sequence for an overriding function, check out the function you are overriding. For example, when you are creating CSingleCharPane::ObeyCommand(), check out LCommander::ObeyCommand() or, even better, CPPStarterApp::ObeyCommand(). Also, get yourself a copy of Inside PowerPlant, which comes on your CodeWarrior CD and contains complete descriptions of all of these routines. You can also buy a printed copy of Inside PowerPlant directly from Metrowerks.

Adding the Include File CSingleCharPane.h

Next, we’ll create the include file CSingleCharPane.h that defines the CSingleCharPane class.

• Create a second source code file and save it as CSingleCharPane.h.

• Type in this source code:

#include <LPane.h>
#include <LCommander.h>


class CSingleCharPane : public LPane,
 public LCommander {
public:
 enum { class_ID = 'Cmdr' };
 
 static CSingleCharPane *CreateSingleCharPaneStream(
 LStream *inStream );
 
 CSingleCharPane( LStream *inStream );
 virtual Boolean HandleKeyPress(
 const EventRecord &inKeyEvent );
 virtual Boolean ObeyCommand( 
 CommandT inCommand, void *ioParam );
 virtual void    FindCommandStatus( 
 CommandT inCommand,
 Boolean&outEnabled,
 Boolean&outUsesMark,
 Char16 &outMark,
 Str255 outName );
 virtual void    DrawSelf();
 
protected:
 char   mChar;
};

• Save your typing and close the window.

The CSingleCharPane class is derived from both LPane and LCommander. The class definition starts off by creating the enumeration constant class_ID which has a value of 'Cmdr', the same value you typed into the LPane’s Class ID field in Constructor. Next comes all of the member function declarations and, finally, the declaration of the data member mChar.

Editing BeepCommander.cp

Your final bit of work is to add a few lines of code to BeepCommander.cp.

• Open the file BeepCommander.cp.

• Add these lines to ObeyCommand(), just after the call of LWindow::CreateWindow() and just before the call to theWindow->Show():

 CSingleCharPane *theCharPane =
 (CSingleCharPane *)theWindow->FindPaneByID( 2000 );
 theWindow->SetLatentSub( theCharPane );

• Add this line to top of the file at the end of the #include list:

#include "CSingleCharPane.h"

• Go to the top of the file and change the const window_Sample to have a value of 1000, like this:

const ResIDTwindow_Sample = 1000;  // EXAMPLE

• Finally, add this code to the constructor:

 URegistrar::RegisterClass( CSingleCharPane::class_ID,
 CSingleCharPane::CreateSingleCharPaneStream );

Till Next Month

Well, that’s about it for BeepCommander. Once all your code is in, run the darn thing. The window shown in Figure 1 will appear. Type some characters and watch the letters flash by. Notice that the Special menu is enabled only when you type the letter ‘x’. Why is the entire menu disabled and not just the Beep item? This is a feature, not a bug. PowerPlant disables a menu title when all of its items are disabled.

Next month, we’ll expand our horizons a bit more and explore yet another corner of PowerPlant. See you then...

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Macs Fan Control 1.5.0.0 - 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
Daylite 6.7.7 - Dynamic business organiz...
Daylite helps businesses organize themselves with tools such as shared calendars, contacts, tasks, projects, notes, and more. Enable easy collaboration with features such as task and project... Read more
OpenOffice 4.1.7 - Free and open-source...
OpenOffice.org is both an Open Source product and a project. The product is a multi-platform office productivity suite. It includes the key desktop applications, such as a word processor, spreadsheet... Read more
Backup and Sync 3.46 - File backup and s...
Backup and Sync (was Google Drive) is a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you're working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a... Read more
iClock 5.5 - Customizable menu bar clock...
iClock replaces the old Apple's default menu bar clock with more features, customization and increases your productivity. Features: Have your Apple or Google calendar instantly available from the... Read more
Garmin Express 6.18.0.0 - Manage your Ga...
Garmin Express is your essential tool for managing your Garmin devices. Update maps, golf courses and device software. You can even register your device. Update maps Update software Register your... Read more
MarsEdit 4.3.5 - Quick and convenient bl...
MarsEdit is a blog editor for OS X that makes editing your blog like writing email, with spell-checking, drafts, multiple windows, and even AppleScript support. It works with with most blog services... Read more
Xcode 11.0 - Integrated development envi...
Xcode includes everything developers need to create great applications for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Xcode provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing... Read more
DaisyDisk 4.8 - $9.99
DaisyDisk allows you to visualize your disk usage and free up disk space by quickly finding and deleting big unused files. The program scans your disk and displays its content as a sector diagram... Read more
VMware Fusion 11.5.0 - Run Windows apps...
VMware Fusion and Fusion Pro - virtualization software for running Windows, Linux, and other systems on a Mac without rebooting. The latest version includes full support for Windows 10, macOS Mojave... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Marvel Strike Force is adding Agent Coul...
Marvel Strike Force, the popular squad-based RPG, is set to receive a bunch of new content over the next few weeks. [Read more] | Read more »
Lots of premium games are going free (so...
You may have seen over the past couple weeks a that a bunch of premium games have suddenly become free. This isn’t a mistake, nor is it some last hurrah before Apple Arcade hits, and it’s important to know that these games aren’t actually becoming... | Read more »
Yoozoo Games launches Saint Seiya Awaken...
If you’re into your anime, you’ve probably seen or heard of Saint Seiya. Based on a shonen manga by Masami Kurumada, the series was massively popular in the 1980s – especially in its native Japan. Since then, it’s grown into a franchise of all... | Read more »
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special...
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special Delivery is a terrifying new nightmare from developer Illumix. Last week, FNAF fans were sent into a frenzy by a short teaser for what we now know to be Special Delivery. Those in the comments were quick to... | Read more »
Rush Rally 3's new live events are...
Last week, Rush Rally 3 got updated with live events, and it’s one of the best things to happen to racing games on mobile. Prior to this update, the game already had multiplayer, but live events are more convenient in the sense that it’s somewhat... | Read more »
Why your free-to-play racer sucks
It’s been this way for a while now, but playing Hot Wheels Infinite Loop really highlights a big issue with free-to-play mobile racing games: They suck. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying going for realism, cart racing, or arcade nonsense, they’re... | Read more »
Steam Link Spotlight - The Banner Saga 3
Steam Link Spotlight is a new feature where we take a look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry talked about Terry Cavanaugh’s incredible Dicey Dungeons. Read about how it’s a great mobile experience... | Read more »
Combo Quest (Games)
Combo Quest 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Combo Quest is an epic, time tap role-playing adventure. In this unique masterpiece, you are a knight on a heroic quest to retrieve... | Read more »
Hero Emblems (Games)
Hero Emblems 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** 25% OFF for a limited time to celebrate the release ** ** Note for iPhone 6 user: If it doesn't run fullscreen on your device... | Read more »
Puzzle Blitz (Games)
Puzzle Blitz 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Puzzle Blitz is a frantic puzzle solving race against the clock! Solve as many puzzles as you can, before time runs out! You have... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Amazon is offering new 10.5″ iPad Airs for up...
Amazon has Apple’s new 10.5″ iPad Airs on sale today for up to $50 off MSRP, starting at $469. Shipping is free: – 10.5″ 64GB WiFi iPad Air: $469 $50 off MSRP – 10.5″ 256GB WiFi + Cellular iPad Air... Read more
Apple now offering a full line of 13″ 2.4GHz...
Apple has a full line of Certified Refurbished 2019 13″ 2.4GHz 4-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros now available starting at $1529 and up to $300 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, shipping... Read more
2019 iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP,...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2019 21″ & 27″ iMacs now available starting at $929 and up to $350 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, shipping is free, and each... Read more
Get a clearance 2018 13″ 2.3GHz Quad-Core Tou...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2018 13″ 2.3GHz 4-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros available starting at $1489. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, shipping is free, and each MacBook has a new outer... Read more
11″ WiFi iPad Pros on sale today for up to $2...
Amazon has new 2018 Apple 11″ WiFi iPad Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $200 off Apple’s MSRP. These are the same iPad Pros sold by Apple in its retail and online stores. Be sure to select... Read more
Select 12″ iPad Pros on sale for $200 off App...
Amazon has select 2018 Apple 12″ iPad Pros in stock today and on sale for $200 off Apple’s MSRP. These are the same iPad Pros sold by Apple in its retail and online stores. Be sure to select Amazon... Read more
Get one of Apple’s new 2019 iPhone 11 models...
Boost Mobile is offering the new 2019 Apple iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max for $100 off MSRP. Their discount reduces the cost of an iPhone 11 to $599 for the 64GB models, $899 for the 64GB... Read more
13″ 1.4GHz Silver MacBook Pros on sale for $1...
B&H Photo has new 2019 13″ 1.4GHz 4-Core Touch Bar Silver MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off Apple’s MSRP. Overnight shipping is free to many addresses in the US. These are the same MacBook Pros... Read more
4-core and 6-core 2018 Mac minis available at...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2018 Mac minis available on their online store for $120-$170 off the cost of new models. Each mini comes with a new outer case plus a standard Apple one-year warranty... Read more
$250 prepaid Visa card with any Apple iPhone,...
Xfinity Mobile will include a free $250 prepaid Visa card with the purchase of any new iPhone, new line activation, and transfer of phone number to Xfinity Mobile. Offer is valid through October 27,... Read more

Jobs Board

Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**734646BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 001220-Issaquah-Store **Job Description:** The Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**734517BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000685-El Camino Real-Store **Job Description:** **What does Read more
*Apple* Mobility Pro - Best Buy (United Stat...
**734830BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobility Pro **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000423-West Broad-Store **Job Description:** At Best Buy, our Read more
Systems Analyst ( *Apple* & Android) (Jo...
Systems Analyst ( Apple & Android) (Job ID: 572513) + 11751 Meadowville Ln, Chester, VA 23836, USA + Full-time Company Description Computer Consultants International, Read more
*Apple* Mobile App Developer - eiWorkflow So...
…eiWorkflow Solutions, LLC is currently looking for a consultant for the following role. Apple Mobile App Developer Tasks the role will be performing: ? Mobile App Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.