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Issue 3.1


Sheet Programming

Improve Your Grasp of Asynchronous Design

Issue: 3.1 (September/October 2004)
Author: Charles Yeomans
Author Bio: Charles Yeomans is a software developer in Lexington, Kentucky.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 17,415
Starting Page Number: 27
Article Number: 3112
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

MacOS X introduced the idea of a sheet; a dialog attached to a window that drops down to provide document-modal interaction. Dialogs in prior versions of MacOS were usually application-modal. Sheets allow better modularity in the user interface of an application. However, unlike application-modal dialogs, sheets are not blocking; that is, their appearance does not suspend the execution of application code. This takes some getting used to, and REALbasic doesn't provide a built-in framework for communication involving sheets. In this article, we'll take a look at how that communication should work, and develop a simple framework that allows us to use sheets more effectively.


Recall that a dialog is a window displayed to the user that requires a response. This response may be as simple as acknowledgement ('OK'), or it may require a choice ('Save', 'Cancel', 'Don't Save'). In addition, it may require other information from the user.

Prior to Mac OS X, dialogs were application-modal; that is, they prevented the user from performing any other action in the application, and sometimes other applications as well, until a response to the dialog was given.


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