ProDOS Prefixes

One of the changes that I think needs to be introduced with Deja IIx is some additional prefix specifiers.

Currently, the APLWORKS.SYSTEM is set to most likely live at somethng like:
/Volumes/Users//Library/Application Support/Deja IIx/

As you can tell, that is a very, very log pathname — and that’s just the starting point. Obviously , we have already have a special specifier for this location “*/”.

What this points out, however, is that files are likely to sit fairly deep in the hierarchical file structure on your Mac drive. This gets more complicated when you take into account that ProDOS name limitations are a fraction of the Mac’s.

So what to do. Well, I’m looking at adding additional special prefixes which can be set in the Mac environment. On the Mac side, these are always expanded out to their specified location, so matter where it sits on the hard drive.

So, you’ll be able to specify a path with something like “#01/filename.awp” and it will read the “filename.awp” from the location specified for “#01/” which will reduce a 60-70 character path down to 4 characters. Not all the details are worked out, but it should help mitigate some of the Mac HFS+ <-> ProDOS path issues.

4 Replies to “ProDOS Prefixes”

  1. Mark,

    Thanks for putting in the time and effort to keep AppleWorks 5.1 going.

    Even in 2006, AppleWorks enhanced with UltraMacros remains a truly remarkably useful program and tool. I continue to use it to run the core office operations of my manufacturing business, running on both real Apple IIgs’s and on a PowerMac. It seems there is almost nothing you can’t do with AW and UltraMacros.

    On top of that, it is just plain FUN to use. Heck, my wife was out of town for a week last month. That allowed me drop into ‘focus’ mode, and I updated your TimeOut TextTools application ‘Glossary’ for AW 5.1. I know glossaries are built into AW 5.1, but they are a different animal and just not the same. Of course, it chokes on mousetext/inverse in glossary entries, but that’s not that big a deal. I’m working on TO.Copyblock, too, but the wife is back in town and I’ve gotten bogged down in the changes to the internal WP Code.

    Likewise, that same week I wrote a fairly simple macro that changes the AppleWorks input routine from the keyboard to the serial port. Anything coming in the serial port is typed into the word processor. I use it in combination with a combo PostScript/PCL printer to get back status messages in sort of a ‘dumb terminal’ mode for AppleWorks. I suppose it would also be good for data transfers between machines, or perhaps for a serial bar code reader or other data acquisition.

    I also use it with an HP 4050 LaserJet printer for PJL/PCL status messages and for managing the printer’s hard disk. You can store all sorts of logos and forms on the printer’s hard disk/flash DIMM (either PostScript or PCL stuff) and can use it from AppleWorks with a very few simple commands. For example, I take forms that are in PDF format and convert them to straight PostScript on the Mac. You add a few PostScript variables for the stuff in the forms that changes regularly and save the rest of the form (using AppleWorks) to the printer’s hard disk. Your AWP file only has to call the form and insert the variable information. Huge forms print damn near instantly. Anyway…

    I rambled on just to let you know that there are those of us out here who still thinks AppleWorks rocks. Thanks for your current as well as past efforts.

    FWIW, features that I feel are important are clipboard exchange between AW and the Mac, and (difficult) some type of implementation for direct serial communication with outside devices. I know there are no serial ports now unless you use a PCI card or USB adapter, so this could be tuff.

    Hugh Hood
    Waco, Texas

  2. Hugh,

    The clipboard conversion shouldn’t be a major issue. The serial port, however, is definitely a lot more tricky. 10 years ago, serial ports were common and the OS provided routines (the Comm Toolbox) to access those ports directly.

    With OS X and the newer Macs, it is definitely a different situation. I’m not a “low-level” writing to the hardware developer, so I can’t promise serial port support. Perhaps we can find someone in the community that will help with this.

  3. Re: prefixes. I was wondering if aliases would work as an alternative to special prefixes. eg:

    alias apple2 “/Volumes/Users/Library/Application Support/DejaIIx/”

    then a short ProDOS pathname like apple2/Applworks/APLWORKS.SYSTEM would be correctly expanded on the Mac OS ?

  4. Steve,

    There isn’t much difference between your alias concept and special prefixes. I think it should be possible do an alias-type substitution. In either case, there will probably still be a special marker (#) to make it easier to spot.

    In fact, #01/ would just be the alias named “01”, so it shouldn’t require much change.

Comments are closed.