TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Oct 99 Factory Floor

Volume Number: 15 (1999)
Issue Number: 10
Column Tag: From the Factory Floor

A Palm Update, Part 2

by Eric Cloninger and Dave Mark

Web apps with Lasso and FileMaker Pro

Last month's Factory Floor got us back in sync with the Palm development universe. We checked out some of the new features in the upcoming Palm OS SDK and CodeWarrior for Palm OS releases. This month, Eric Cloninger will take us through the process of developing an internationalized Palm OS application.

Eric Cloninger is the product manager and technical lead for CodeWarrior for Palm OS. When he isn't working on CodeWarrior, he spends way too much time on his research project - how to rid the world of the affliction known as the 'designated hitter rule'. He can be reached at ericc@metrowerks.com.

Dave: Tell me about the application you'll be taking us through.

Eric: This month, I'm going to go through an application I wrote using CodeWarrior for Palm OS Release 6 (available in October 1999). The application, called Base X, takes advantage of several new features that Palm has added to the OS, the SDK and the tools.

Since our goal is to make an international Palm OS application, I chose an example that is simple to describe but is also useful in a real-world sense. This example, called Base X, provides four edit fields that display the same 4 byte value as decimal, hexadecimal, octal, and binary. In addition to the user interface elements on the main form, Base X has a menu bar, an alert and an info string, all of which have been localized from English to German, French, and Japanese.

I started by creating a new project from the "Palm OS C App" stationery project. CodeWarrior for Palm OS provides stationery projects for Palm OS 3.1 (for the original Pilot, PalmPilot, Palm III, and Palm V), Palm OS 3.2 (for the wireless Palm VII), as well as Japanese examples.

I renamed the resource file to BaseX_english.rsrc and opened it with Constructor for Palm OS. Constructor for Palm OS is very similar to Constructor for PowerPlant - you can create menus, menu bars, pictures, icons, etc. In fact, all of these elements use standard MacOS resource types, so you can edit them with ResEdit or Resourcerer. The thing that is unique about Constructor for Palm OS is that it lets you create the Palm-specific resource types that define how forms look. Figure 1 is from Constructor for Palm OS - it shows the main form for Base X as it appears in the English resource file.


Figure 1. Constructor for Palm OS editing a Palm OS form.

After I created the user interface, I moved the resources that are language neutral into a separate resource file called BaseX_Common.rsrc. Then, I moved the English resource file into a directory named "English" and duplicated it for German, French, and Japanese and renamed the files appropriately.

In my CodeWarrior project, I created four targets, one each for English, German, French, and Japanese. Next, I added the common resources to all four targets and the language-specific resources to each of the language targets. At this point, for each target I have a source file, a common resource file, and a language-specific resource file. I have not yet written any code to operate my user interface, but the starter application has enough code in it to display my form.

Next came the localization part. First, I browsed to babelfish.altavista.com and tried their web interface. The engine that provides the translation on the web page is available as a commercial product called SYSTRAN. I used the web interface to convert my strings, but I found that the translations weren't quite right and it doesn't translate to Japanese. Since Metrowerks has offices in many parts of the world, I asked employees to do the translations instead. These employees aren't in our Austin office and they didn't have immediate access to the Palm tools, so I had to find a way to get the strings to them easily.

Using the CodeWarrior IDE, I created an empty target in my project called "DeRez". Then I added the English resource file to that target and changed the settings for the target to use the 68K linker (to activate preference panels - no linking occurred in this target). Next, I changed the "File Mappings" panel so that files of type "PLob" (Palm OS Constructor files) are compiled with the "Rez" compiler. Finally, I entered a file called PalmTypes.r for the Prefix file in the "Rez" panel. I saved these settings and returned to the "Files" view of the project window.

From the files view, I clicked on BaseX_english.rsrc and held the mouse button for a second until the pop-up menu appeared with an item called "Disassemble". The Rez compiler will disassemble resource files into .r files if it has type definitions for the resources, which is what PalmTypes.r provides. The result of the disassembly is a new text file that I sent to my colleagues. PalmTypes.r is available from Palms' developer web site, by the way.

I knew it would be several thousand Swatch beats before I got my replies back, so I decided to jump into the programming task.

Base X has four edit fields into which the user can enter text for decimal, hexadecimal, octal and binary numbers. When the user enters a character, Base X sees if the character is valid for the field with the edit focus and converts all the fields if it is. The code for all of BaseX is too long to include in this article, so I've put it on Metrowerks web site at the address shown at the end of this article. The code segment below is the part that converts strings from one base to another and is where I had to use the Palm OS internationalization manager.

// This struct describes how to convert strings 
// into different bases. It’s OK for this to be 
// single-byte chars because it’s never shown.
struct {      
 char *digits;
 char multiplier;
} cvtTable[4] = {
 {“0123456789”, 10},
 {“0123456789abcdef”, 16},
 {“01234567”, 8},
 {“01”, 2}
};

// Convert a string to a number using base ‘x’
ULong ToLong(WChar *str, short table_index) {
 unsigned long accum = 0;
 WChar ch = 0;
 short str_index = 0;
 short accum_index = 0;
 
 // Go through the input string, pull each 
 // character off and find the index of that
 // character in the table. That index is 
 // the amount to add to the accumulator.
 while (str_index < EDIT_SIZE) {
  str_index += TxtGlueGetNextChar(
     (Char *) str, str_index, &ch);
  if (ch)
  {
   accum_index = 0;
   while ((accum_index <
     StrLen(cvtTable[table_index].digits)) &&
     (WChar)
     cvtTable[table_index].digits[accum_index]
     != ch)
    accum_index++;

   accum *= cvtTable[table_index].multiplier;
   accum += accum_index;
  }
 }
 
 return accum;
}

// Creates a string of base ‘x’ from a long value
void ToString(ULong value, WChar *str, short table_index)
{
 short masked_value;
 char temp_str[EDIT_SIZE];
 char *p = temp_str;
 short str_index = 0;
 
 while (value > 0) {
  masked_value = value % 
      cvtTable[table_index].multiplier;
  *p++ = cvtTable[table_index].digits[masked_value];
  value /= cvtTable[table_index].multiplier;
 }

 // At this point, temp_str is in reverse order.
 // Create output by walking temp_str in reverse.
 str_index = 0;
 while ( — p >= temp_str) 
  str_index += TxtGlueSetNextChar(
    (Char *) str, str_index, (WChar) *p);
}

The functions prefixed by 'TxtGlue' are notable because they are implemented through a library called PalmOSGlue.lib instead of the A-trap mechanism used by most of the OS calls. These functions are safe to use on devices running version 2.0 or later of the Palm OS, regardless of whether it is a single-byte or multi-byte OS.

By the time I had the code working for English, my translations were done. Thanks to Andreas Hommel, Christophe Escobar, and Shoji Ueda for providing this service. Next came the task of getting the converted resources into the project without re-entering the text myself.

Developers who work with localized applications are faced with the same situation I found myself in - whether to keep localized resources in a text file where the text can be modified easily, or to keep them as resource files where their properties can be modified with a visual editor. Either method is fine and CodeWarrior allows me to use resource files or Rez files, so I chose to set up my project so that I could use either method.

I created a new target called 'Rez French' cloned from the 'French' target. I modified the settings so that the output file created by the MacOS linker is different from the output file generated by the resource file target. I also modified the 'Rez' panel to include the 'PalmTypes.r' file as the prefix file. Into this target, I added the translated BaseX_french.r file. Then, I built the project.

The output from the linker and post linker was the translated Palm OS application. An artifact of the build process is a file that also contains all my application's resources before they were modified by the post linker. I opened this intermediate file, called BaseXRsrc.tmp, with ResEdit and copied all the resources except 'CODE' and 'DATA' into my French resource file named BaseX_french.rsrc. At this point, I can create a French Palm OS application using either the .r file that is compiled by the Rez compiler or I can build the same application using resources included from the Constructor file. Next, I duplicated this work for the English, German, and Japanese targets.

After building my applications, I want to run them and see how they work. I could download them individually to my Palm OS device over the serial connection or I can use an extremely useful application called the Palm OS Emulator, or POSE for short. POSE is an application that contains a 68K emulator and it runs the Palm OS image that is in ROM. You must own a Palm device to get the ROM image, which is downloaded from your Palm device using an application called ROM Transfer.

Figure 2 shows the Palm OS Emulator running the Japanese version of BaseX. Any Palm device is capable of displaying English, French, and German applications. Japanese applications require a Japanese-enabled ROM to display the text correctly.


Figure 2. Palm OS Emulator and CodeWarrior debugger.

Let's suppose that I decide I don't like the way one of the Japanese screens looks - perhaps I want to change the text of the info string shown in the about box. Instead of sending the text file to Tokyo where it's early in the morning, I use Constructor for Palm OS to modify the strings myself. Palm has modified Constructor to work with the Japanese Language Kit. With the JLK installed on my Mac, I need only change the selection for the "Palm OS Target" in Constructor to "Palm OS for Japan" and then I can begin editing in Japanese.

Now, I open the editor for the string that I want to modify. I select Japanese mode input by clicking on the blue triangle on the menu bar in the upper right corner. As I type, the MacOS pops up a text entry window that converts the 'sounds' I am typing into the correct characters, as shown in Figure 3.



Figure 3. Constructors' string editor with Japanese text input.

At this point, BaseX is completed. I hope that I've been able to show that CodeWarrior for Palm OS and the Palm OS SDK provide a rich toolkit for developers who want to or need to write international applications. CodeWarrior Professional users who want to try out the Palm OS tools can do so after October by visiting the Metrowerks web site and downloading the tools.

Users who want to play with the BaseX project file or the application can download the archive from the Metrowerks Palm OS web site listed at the end of the article.

Resources

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Firetask Pro 4.2.2 - Innovative task man...
Firetask Pro uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask Pro's "Today" view shows all... Read more
Bookends 13.4.3 - 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
LibreOffice 6.4.5.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
Thunderbird 68.10.0 - Email client from...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more
Firefox 78.0.1 - Fast, safe Web browser.
Firefox offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals and casual... Read more
BetterTouchTool 3.389 - 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
Slack 4.7.0 - Collaborative communicatio...
Slack brings team communication and collaboration into one place so you can get more work done, whether you belong to a large enterprise or a small business. Check off your to-do list and move your... Read more
OsiriX Lite 11.0.3 - 3D medical image pr...
OsiriX Lite is an image processing software dedicated to DICOM images (".dcm" / ".DCM" extension) produced by medical equipment (MRI, CT, PET, PET-CT, ...) and confocal microscopy (LSM and BioRAD-PIC... Read more
Wireshark 3.2.5 - Network protocol analy...
Wireshark is one of the world's foremost network protocol analyzers, and is the standard in many parts of the industry. It is the continuation of a project that started in 1998. Hundreds of... Read more
Dabble 1.6.1 - Organize your manuscript,...
Dabble organizes your manuscript, story notes, and plot. Dabble simplifies the story, leaving more room in your brain to create, which is what being a writer is really about. Organize your story.... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Pokemon Go's July Community Day wil...
Pokemon Go developers have announced the details concerning the upcoming Gastly Community Day. This particular event was selected by the players of the game after the Gas Pokemon came in second place after a poll that decided which Pokemon would... | 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 »
Detective Di is a point-and-click murder...
Detective Di is a point-and-click murder mystery set in Tang Dynasty-era China. You'll take on the role of China's best-known investigator, Di Renjie, as he solves a series of grisly murders that will ultimately lead him on a collision course with... | Read more »
Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia is se...
Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia, one of Square Enix's many popular mobile RPGs, has announced a plethora of in-game events that are set to take place over the summer. This will include several rewards, Free Multi Draws and more. [Read more] | Read more »
Sphaze is a neat-looking puzzler where y...
Sphaze is a neat-looking puzzler where you'll work to guide robots through increasingly elaborate mazes. It's set in a visually distinct world that's equal parts fantasy and sci-fi, and it's finally launched today for iOS and Android devices. [... | Read more »
Apple Arcade is in trouble
Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Apple is disappointed in the performance of Apple Arcade and will be shifting their approach to the service by focusing on games that can retain subscribers and canceling other upcoming releases that don't fit... | Read more »
Pixel Petz, an inventive platform for de...
Pixel Petz has built up a sizeable player base thanks to its layered, easy-to-understand creative tools and friendly social experience. It revolves around designing, trading, and playing with a unique collection of pixel art pets, and it's out now... | Read more »
The King of Fighters Allstar's late...
The King of Fighters ALLSTAR, Netmarble's popular action RPG, has once again been updated with a plethora of new content. This includes battle cards, events and 21 new fighters, which increases the already sizeable roster even more. [Read more] | Read more »
Romancing SaGa Re;univerSe, the mobile s...
Square Enix latest mobile spin-off Romancing SaGa Re;univerSe is available now globally for both iOS and Android. It initially launched in Japan back in 2018 where it's proven to be incredibly popular, so now folks in the West can finally see what... | Read more »
Away: Journey to the Unexpected is a sto...
Away: Journey to the Unexpected looks really quite lovely. Stylish, cute, and clearly heavily inspired by Japanese animation, it's amongst the best-looking mobile games on the horizon. Developed by a two-person team, this story-driven rogue-lite... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

July 4th Sale: Woot offers wide range of Macs...
Amazon-owned Woot is blowing out a wide range of Apple Macs and iPads for July 4th staring at $279 and ranging up to just over $1000. Models vary from older iPads and 11″ MacBook Airs to some newer... Read more
Apple Pro Display XDR with Nano-Texture Glass...
Abt Electronics has Apple’s new 32″ Pro Display XDR model with the nano-texture glass in stock and on sale today for up to $144 off MSRP. Shipping is free: – Pro Display XDR (nano-texture glass): $... Read more
New 2020 Mac mini on sale for up to $100 off...
Amazon has Apple’s new 2020 Mac minis on sale today for $40-$100 off MSRP with prices starting at $759. Shipping is free: – 2020 4-Core Mac mini: $759 $40 off MSRP – 2020 6-Core Mac mini: $998.99 $... Read more
July 4th Sale: $100 off every 2020 13″ MacBoo...
Apple resellers have new 2020 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off Apple’s MSRP as part of their July 4th sales. Starting at $899, these are the cheapest new 2020 MacBooks for sale anywhere: (1) B... Read more
This hidden deal on Apple’s site can save you...
Are you a local, state, or federal government employee? If so, Apple offers special government pricing on their products, including AirPods, for you as well as immediate family members. Here’s how... Read more
Apple Watch Series 3 models on sale for new l...
Amazon has Apple Watch Series 3 GPS models on sale for $30 off MSRP, starting at only $169. Their prices are the lowest available for these models from any Apple reseller. Choose Amazon as the seller... Read more
Deal Alert! Get these refurbished 2018 13″ Ma...
Apple has restocked and lowered prices on select Certified Refurbished 2018 13″ MacBook Airs, starting at only $679. Each MacBook features a new outer case, comes with a standard Apple one-year... Read more
July 4th Sale: 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros for $2...
B&H Photo has new 2020 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros on sale for $200 off Apple’s MSRP as part of their July 4th sale. Prices start at $1599. These are the same MacBook Pros sold by Apple in their... Read more
July 1 only: $100 off Apple iPhone 11, 11 Pro...
Boost Mobile is offering Apple iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max models for $100 off MSRP with service. Their discount reduces the cost of an iPhone 11/64GB to $599, iPhone 11 Pro to $899 for... Read more
Apple offers $50-$100 Education discount on i...
Purchase a new 12.9″ or 11″ iPad Pro at Apple using your Education discount, and Apple will take $50-$100 off their MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution with a .edu... Read more

Jobs Board

Operating Room Assistant, *Apple* Hill Surg...
Operating Room Assistant, Apple Hill Surgical Center - Full Time, Day Shift, Monday - Saturday availability required Tracking Code 62363 Job Description Operating 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
Product Manager, *Apple* Commercial Sales -...
Product Manager, Apple Commercial Sales Austin, TX, US Requisition Number:77652 As an Apple Product Manager for the Commercial Sales team at Insight, you Read more
*Apple* Mac Product Engineer - Barclays (Uni...
Apple Mac EngineerWhippany, NJ Support the development and delivery of solutions, products, and capabilities into the Barclays environment working across technical Read more
Blue *Apple* Cafe Student Worker - Pennsylv...
…enhance your work experience. Student positions are available at the Blue Apple Cafe. Employee meal discount during working hours. Duties include food preparation, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.