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Technical Note TN1142
Mac OS 8.5



Being a compendium of revised and new features of interest to software developers in release 8.5 of the Mac OS.

This Technote discusses changes and corrections in the next generation of Mac OS: Mac OS 8.5. This system follows Mac OS 8.1 and contains several new and revised features including:

  • more PowerPC code
  • consolidated control panels
  • faster system startup time
  • improved AppleScript performance
  • new Unicode text drawing facilities
  • new HTML-based help facilities

 Updated: [Oct 26 1998]

Hardware Requirements

Mac OS 8.5 can be installed on any Macintosh that originally shipped with a PowerPC processor that has at least 16 megabytes of physical RAM and a minimum of 24 megabytes of logical RAM. Also, Mac OS 8.5 can be installed in the Mac OS X Server DR2 Blue Box by way of standard install.

Mac OS 8.5 is tested and qualified by Apple to run on Apple PowerPC-based Mac OS computers. (Mac OS 8.5 is not tested or qualified by Apple for use on clone Mac OS-based systems.)

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Install Mac OS 8.5

This is an improved version of the "Install Mac OS" application provided with Mac OS 8.0 and 8.1. This new "Install Mac OS" application offers an improved user experience by allowing the user to customize components before any installation begins and not requiring further user intervention until the installation is complete.

The "Install Mac OS" application program requires System 7.0 or later to run. Typically, users will boot from the installation CD.

The "Install Mac OS" application will update a System Folder whose version is 7.1 or later. The installer will perform a "clean" installation onto volumes that contain earlier versions of the system software (or no system software at all).

New and improved features include:

  • File & Target Lists -- a more compact way of storing file copy commands to get around Resource Manager limitations.

  • Alias Atom -- an atom for creating aliases during installations.

  • Enhancements to the Installer Engine AE suite.

Related Materials:

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Finder 8.5

Finder 8.5 offers improved window redraw performance, faster file copies, and several other new, improved, or extended user interface elements. Specific additions include:

  • A new dialog allows users to repair broken aliases.

  • Using contextual menus, an alias of any Finder object can be added to the "Favorites" folder.

  • Using contextual menus, AppleScript scripts triggered by various Finder actions can be attached to any folder.

  • Sounds now play in response to many user actions.

  • Finder's resource fork is now read-only. In many cases, this will prevent accidental corruption of Finder.

  • The system stability warning dialog box is now displayed when Finder is re-launched after a system error.

  • It is now once again possible for an application to specify 'alis' as a file type in its bundle resources to indicate that unresolved alias files should be sent to its "open documents" Apple event handler.

  • Developers can designate certain files as "busy" files. Busy files are files that are in the process of being created or copied, regardless of whether File Manager has them open. The Finder will treat any file whose type is set to zero or to a type within the range 'bzy ', 'bzy!', ..., 'bzy?' as a busy file and will not attempt to change its type or creator. The range 'bzy ', 'bzy!', ..., 'bzy?' is provided for developers wishing to animate a file's icon during its creation.

Compatibility Note:
Archive developers should store the entire contents of both the FInfo and FXinfo records and the DInfo and DXInfo records when archiving files and directories. All fields in these records should be preserved, including flags and fields marked as reserved (with the exception of the "inited" bit for files containing desktop database information).

Compatibility Note:
Although frFlags and fdFlags are located at the same offset in catalog records, some of the flags now have different meanings when the catalog record refers to a file versus when the catalog record refers to a directory. Developers should not assume flags that are only defined for files are unused when the catalog record refers to a directory. See the flag descriptions in <Finder.h> for more information about individual flags.

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Autorouting and Extended Routing

  • Finder now exclusively uses Folder Manager for auto-routing items dropped into the System Folder (see the Finder Interface Reference chapter of Inside Macintosh: Mac OS 8 Toolbox Reference for more information).

  • Finder attempts to utilize extended routing information stored in the resource fork of a file if the file's extended routing info bit is set in its Finder flags. When such files are dropped into the System Folder, Finder will attempt to read a 'rout' (ID=0) resource, which should contain a list of routing information entries. Typically, there will be only one entry in the list. When the list contains more than one entry, Finder walks through each entry and uses the last one that matches.

    The 'rout' resource entries are defined as follows:

typedef struct
  OSType creator;           // set to zero
  OSType fileType;          // set to zero
  OSType targetFolder;      // set to 'macs'
  OSType destinationFolder; // the folder to route into
  OSType reserved;          // set to zero

The creator, fileType, and reserved fields should be set to zero.

When the file is dropped into a folder of the type specified in targetFolder, it will be routed to the folder specified in destinationFolder. Currently, only the System Folder is supported for the targetFolder field, so this field should be set to the System Folder's FindFolder ID ('macs'). Example: if the file should be routed to the "Preferences" folder, the destinationFolder field should contain 'pref'.

Before the Finder will look for the 'rout' resource in a file, the routing information flag in the ioFlXFndrInfo.fdXFlags must be turned on. Developers can access this flag using the kExtendedFlagHasRoutingInfo mask defined in <Finder.h>.

Compatibility Note:
Some of the fields documented in FInfo, DInfo, FXInfo, and DXInfo no longer accurately reflect how these fields are actually used by the system. Now, the accurate definition is provided by the FileInfo, FolderInfo, ExtendedFileInfo, and ExtendedFolderInfo data structures, respectively. In particular, they contain the definition of where to find the routing bit.

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New Finder display facilities

  • The Get Info window can now display multiple panels of information.

  • Finder preferences are now consolidated into a single multiple panel window.

  • A new control has been added to the View Options window, allowing users to revert the current view to a standard view.

  • List view columns are now resizable.

  • The new Finder can display badged icons.

  • Support for proportional scroll bars has been added.

  • Proxy icons are displayed in window title bars.

  • View font and size is now set in the Appearance control panel.

  • To override the default message displayed by the Finder when a file cannot be opened, developers may include a 'STR ' ID = -16397 resource in any file's resource fork. This message text will be displayed when the user attempts to open a file that cannot be opened, overriding the Finder's default message.

  • In previous versions of the Finder, files with their custom icon bit set that did not contain a suite of custom icons were not handled correctly. The Finder now resets the custom icon bit and uses the default icon for these files.

Compatibility Note:
Starting with Finder 8.5, the invisible "Icon<cr>" file placed in directories may contain resource-based information used by the Finder other than an icon suite. It should only be deleted if it contains no resources at all.

  • The Finder now uses the new gestaltVMInfoType Gestalt selector to determine how information about virtual memory will be displayed in the "About This Computer" window. Developers wishing to control how the Finder displays virtual memory information may redefine this selector to return any of the values shown in Table 1. Table 1 describes the various virtual memory information display modes available in this version of the Finder.

Table 1. Finder virtual memory display modes determined by the value of the gestaltVMInfoType ('vmin') selector.

Selector Name

VM Information Displayed



Display either the string "virtual memory on" or the string "virtual memory off", the size of the backing store, and the name of the volume where the store is located (the default).



Display either the string "virtual memory on" and the size of the backing store or the string "virtual memory off".



Display either the string "virtual memory on" or the string "virtual memory off".



No virtual memory information will be displayed, even when virtual memory is turned on.

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Internet Location Files and Clipping Files

  • Finder supports enhanced text clipping naming. Text clipping file names are now generated using the first few characters in the text supplied as the text clipping (truncated using the ellipse character as appropriate). Previous Finders would name text clippings as 'text clipping', 'text clipping 1', and so on. For example, the new Finder may name a text clipping generated using this sentence as "For example, the...". This new facility supplements the clipping file naming facilities introduced with MacOS 8.0 (see the "Controlling Clipping File Names" section of Technote TN1102, "Mac OS 8" for more information).

  • Both Internet location files and clipping files are created by the Finder when it receives a Drag-and-Drop command. The type of file created depends on the contents of the drag as described below.

  • Clipping files created by the Finder will have one of the types listed in Table 2. All clipping files have a creator type of kClippingCreator ('drag').

Table 2. Clipping file types created by Finder.

Constant Name





a QuickDraw picture ('PICT')



contains ASCII text ('TEXT')



contains a sound resource of type 'snd '



unknown data

Finder will create an Internet location document when it receives a drag containing an Universal Resource Locator (URL). A drag containing an URL will be noticed by the Finder in one of two ways:

  • If the drag contains data of flavor type 'url ', then the data will be treated as an URL.

  • If the drag contains data of flavor type 'TEXT', then Finder will examine the text data attached to the flavor and determine if it is an URL.

When it finds URL information, Finder will create an Internet location file assigning the file type according to the URL type. Table 3 lists the file types the Finder will assign to Internet location files. Internet location files created by the Finder will have a creator type of kInternetLocationCreator ('drag').

Table 3. Internet location file types assigned by the Finder.

Constant Name





an http address



a ftp server address



a file on disk



an email address



news group or article



Apple Filing Protocol address



an AppleTalk address



some other resource

Compatibility Note:
Specific file formats and contents of both clipping files and Internet location files are undocumented and subject to change without notice.

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AppleScript Support

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Help View

Apple Help

Apple Help provides system-wide instructional help services for virtually all aspects of Mac OS. The Apple Help technology has two main components: Help Viewer and Apple Guide.

Apple Guide 2.3

In Mac OS 8.5, Apple Guide is used to coach users through sequences of commands required to perform a task. Apple Guide 2.3 provides the following features:

  • supports calling a specific Apple Guide sequence by name from AppleScript

  • backwards compatibility with older guide files

  • integrated with Help Viewer

Help Viewer 1.0

Help Viewer is a lightweight HTML-rendering application that allows users to conveniently browse online help materials. Help Viewer provides the following facilities:

  • Uses the Apple Information Access Toolkit (AIAT) with the installed help files. The results are displayed in a dynamically generated HTML page.

  • AppleScript support allows callers to search for any topic or string and display the results.

  • URL links can be used to run AppleScript scripts.

  • URL links can be used to open Apple Guide sequences.

Apple recognizes many developers are interested in more information, but no further developer-level information is available at this time.

Related Materials:

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Inside the System File

The System file contains code and resources for running the computer. This section describes new features, changes, and bug fixes in the System file. The functionality provided by the System file is always present under Mac OS 8.5, even when the shift key is held down at system startup.


  • In Mac OS 8.5, the emulated 68K processor runs in user mode even when VM is off. All 68K interrupt code runs in supervisor mode. As a result, all 68K interrupt code utilizes the interrupt stack pointer instead of the user stack pointer (the stack used by non-interrupt code). This change reduces the chance of the stack overrunning the application's heap zone during interrupt processing.

Developers should not assume the emulated 68K processor is running in supervisor mode when Virtual Memory is OFF.

Developers who require access to supervisor mode 68K instructions can use the _EnterSupervisorMode trap to switch the processor mode. The assembler code shown in Listing 1 illustrates the correct way to call the _EnterSupervisorMode trap and enter supervisor mode. Here, the result returned by DebuggerGetMax is examined to determine if _EnterSupervisorMode (selector 8) is available. If it is available, _EnterSupervisorMode is called.

Listing 1. The correct way to ensure the 68K processor is in supervisor mode.

; Is _DebugUtil available?
; Code running on a IIci or later can skip this step.
    move.w  #_Unimplemented,d0
    move.l  a0,-(sp)
    move.l  #$A08D,d0         ; get _DebugUtil
    cmpa.l  (sp)+,a0          ; was this previously
                              ; unimplemented?
    beq.s   @noEnterSupervisorMode

; Is the _EnterSupervisorMode selector available?
    _DebuggerGetMax           ; check how many _DebugUtil
                              ; selectors are implemented
    cmpi.l  #8,d0             ; is selector 8 available?
    blt.s   @noEnterSupervisorMode  ; EnterSupervisorMode isn't
                             ; available

    _EnterSupervisorMode     ; switch to supervisor mode
                             ; (switches stacks)
    move.w  d0,-(sp)         ; and save the previous SR contents
                             ; on the stack
    bra.s   @inSupervisorMode

; If _EnterSupervisorMode wasn't available, then put
; sr on the stack
    move    sr,-(sp)         ; save the current SR


; ...
; do stuff in supervisor mode
; remember that the stack has been swapped if we switched
; from user mode to supervisor mode.
; ...

    move    (sp)+,sr         ; restore the SR

Compatibility Note:
DebuggerGetMax is available on all machines supported by Mac OS 8.5. On other systems, developers must test for the _DebugUtil trap before calling DebuggerGetMax.Testing for VM to determine if the _EnterSupervisorMode trap should be used is considered a programming error: developers should use the above method instead.

  • Various managers, in particular Font Manager, are considerably less memory-hungry, both on a per-process and system-wide basis.

  • Several of the managers are now entirely implemented in PowerPC code.

  • The dialog informing the user that an improper shutdown occurred has been redesigned. It now includes an option to run Disk First Aid before continuing the startup process and will time out after two minutes.

    Related Materials:

Alias Manager

The Alias Manager is the part of the operating system that communicates with the File Manager to maintain alias records used to store references to file and folder locations. The Alias Manager does not create Finder alias files: the Finder creates these files and stores alias records created by the Alias Manager in them.

  • The Alias Manager's search methods have been broadened to include cases where the simple search for an existing file on a mounted volume fails, yet the absolute path stored in the alias record resolves to an existing file. In these cases, the Alias Manager will return a reference to the file found using the absolute path.

  • The Alias Manager API now provides the following new routines: IsAliasFile

    OSErr IsAliasFile(const FSSpec *fileFSSpec,
                      Boolean *aliasFileFlag,
                      Boolean *folderFlag);

    fileFSSpec is a pointer to a file specification record referring to a file.

    aliasFileFlag is a pointer to a Boolean variable set to true if the file is an alias file created by the Finder.

    folderFlag is a pointer to a Boolean variable set to true if the alias refers to folder.

    The function IsAliasFile sets *aliasFileFlag to true if the file referred to by the fileFSSpec parameter is an alias file created by the Finder.


    OSErr ResolveAliasWithMountFlags(const FSSpec *fromFile,
                      AliasHandle alias,
                      FSSpec *target,
                      Boolean *wasChanged,
                      unsigned long mountFlags);

    fromFile, if not NULL, is used to resolve relative aliases.

    alias is the AliasHandle to resolve.

    target contains a pointer to an FSSpec record that will refer to the file or directory referred to by the alias when the function completes successfully.

    wasChanged refers to a Boolean variable that will be set to true if the alias record has been modified by ResolveAliasWithMountFlags.

    mountFlags can be set to kResolveAliasFileNoUI to prevent any user interaction, including disk switch alerts, while the alias is being resolved.

    The routine ResolveAliasWithMountFlags is identical to ResolveAlias with the exception that it provides the mountFlags parameter, allowing callers to suppress disk switch alerts.


    OSErr ResolveAliasFileWithMountFlags(FSSpec *theSpec,
                      Boolean resolveAliasChains,
                      Boolean *targetIsFolder,
                      Boolean *wasAliased,
                      unsigned long mountFlags);

    theSpec on input refers to a FSSpec record that refers to an alias file. If the function completes successfully, it will refer to the file or the directory that was referred to by the alias file.

    resolveAliasChains turns on or off resolution of chains of alias files (for example, an alias file that refers to an alias file that finally refers to the target file).

    targetIsFolder points to a Boolean variable that will be set to true if the target referenced by the alias file was found to be a folder.

    wasAliased returns true if theSpec referred to an alias file.

    mountFlags can be set to kResolveAliasFileNoUI to prevent any user interaction, including disk switch alerts, while the alias is being resolved.

    The routine ResolveAliasFileWithMountFlags is identical to ResolveAliasFile with the exception that it provides the mountFlags parameter, allowing callers to suppress disk switch alerts.

Compatibility Note:
Before calling IsAliasFile, ResolveAliasWithMountFlags, or ResolveAliasFileWithMountFlags, developers must determine if these routines are available by testing the Alias Manager gestalt value's gestaltAliasMgrResolveAliasFileWithMountOptions bit. Also, see the InterfaceLib section for important information about linking with the new InterfaceLib.

  • The routines NewAliasMinimal or NewAlias could cause heap corruption if an invalid FSSpec record with the length of the name field greater than 63 bytes was provided as a parameter. These routines now return a paramErr error when they receive an invalid FSSpec record.

    Related Materials:

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Appearance Manager 1.1

The Appearance Manager provides facilities for providing a consistent appearance for graphical user interface elements. The Appearance Manager is not to be confused with the Appearance extension, which is compatible only with previous versions of Mac OS, and provides updates to Control Manager, Dialog Manager, Menu Manager, and Window Manager, as well as providing the 1.0.X versions of Appearance Manager. Appearance Manager 1.1 is delivered as part of the Mac OS 8.5 System File and includes the following new features:

  • Switchable visual appearances.

  • Support for data-driven appearances (though no appearance files are included with Mac OS 8.5).

  • Many new theme brushes and text colors.

  • Drawing primitives for most interface elements.

  • Support for saving and restoring the GrafPort state regardless of whether the current appearance draws using a color or pattern.

  • Several different styles of scroll bars and check boxes.

  • Appearance and font change notifications are provided by way of Apple Events. Each event uses kAppearanceEventClass as its class and one of the constants listed in Table 4 as its ID. There are no parameters to any of the events, and these events are sent only to those processes that have called RegisterAppearanceClient to register as an Appearance Manager client. Table 4 lists the new Apple Events sent to Appearance Manager clients.

Table 4. Appearance and font change Apple Events. These events use the Apple Event class kAppearanceEventClass ('appr').

Constant Name




appearance changed



system font changed



small system font changed



views font changed

  • Animated cursor support.

  • Support for sound during various user interactions.

  • An Appearance folder has been added to the System Folder. The Appearance folder is used as a common location to store Appearance-related data files, and it is also the location of the Theme Files, Sound Sets, and Desktop Pictures folders. Appearance files are autorouted to their appropriate folders when dropped into the System Folder. Table 5 lists the new Appearance folders present in Mac OS 8.5.

Table 5. New folders for Appearance and their FindFolder selectors.

Folder Name




Appearance-related materials

Theme Files


location for theme files

Sound Sets


location for appearance-related sound sets

Desktop Pictures

'dtpDesktop Pictures'

location for desktop picture files. Files of type 'JPEG' are auto-routed into this folder when dropped into the System Folder.

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ATSUI (Apple Type Services for Unicode Imaging)

Unicode is a character set which encodes the characters of many languages in a flat 16-bit number space. ATSUI extends the QuickDraw API and makes it possible for Mac OS applications to draw Unicode text. ATSUI provides both low-level services for drawing Unicode text as well as much of the high-end typographical control previously provided by QuickDraw GX.

  • Provides text imaging services for 16-bit Unicode (UTF-16).

  • ATSUI fully conforms to The Unicode Standard, Version 2.1.

  • ATSUI fully supports the Unicode bidirectional algorithm, including the bidirectional ordering codes.

  • ATSUI text-drawing can be integrated within a QuickDraw-only application (unlike QuickDraw GX, ATSUI does not require developers to adopt a non-QuickDraw API for all text drawing).

  • For fonts which lack a Unicode 'cmap' table, ATSUI will automatically generate one "on the fly". The font file is not modified, but the conversion makes certain assumptions about character encodings. For best results, it is recommend that Japanese fonts include a Unicode 'cmap'.

    Related Materials:

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Code Fragment Manager

The Code Fragment Manager (CFM) is responsible for loading and preparing PowerPC executables. Almost all of the PowerPC Mac OS and all PowerPC applications depend on the services of the CFM in some way.

  • Code Fragment Manager calls to ResolveAliasFile at system startup would attempt to put up the "Please Insert The Disk" alert before any drawing environment was established. CFM now calls ResolveAliasWithMountFlags to disable the disk switch alerts.

  • The Virtual Memory Manager's file mapping code in Mac OS 8.1 makes large chunks of file-mapped memory resident that are certain or very likely to be used in the near future. In Mac OS 8.5, that functionality has been moved into the Code Fragment Manager. Application launch performance should be approximately the same in most cases. However, files that have multiple code fragments (for example, fat CFM 68K/PowerPC applications) may benefit from this refinement.

  • CFM provides an optional facility where an application can specify a special folder to be searched for shared libraries. A field in the 'cfrg' resource provides the resource ID of an 'alis' resource. If this field is non-zero, CFM attempts to read the resource from the application's resource file and resolve it. (The assumption is that this is a relative alias to a subfolder of the application folder -- for example, a repository for plug-ins.) The Code Fragment Manager now calls the new Alias Manager routine ResolveAliasWithMountFlags to resolve aliases referenced by the 'cfrg' resource to prevent any user interaction while libraries are being loaded.

  • The Application Support folder is now part of the CFM search path.

  • CFM defines a new bit in the 'cfrg' resource which forces the fragment's code into the application heap. See the constant kCFragLibUsageMapPrivatelyMask in <CodeFragments.h> for more info. [Radar 2205428]

    Related Materials:

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Control Manager

The Control Manager provides facilities for drawing and processing user interaction with controls. New features for the Control Manager include:

  • The Control Manager is now implemented in PowerPC code.

  • There is a new edit text control variant supporting inline input.

  • The edit text control now supports locking (disabling of user input).

  • The static text control now supports text truncation.

  • The icon control's icon can now be changed dynamically.

  • Check boxes and radio buttons now support automatic toggling.

  • Proportional scrolling is now available.

  • Support for 32-bit control values has been added.

  • Facilities for associating tagged data with controls (properties) have been added.

  • A scrolling text box control (read-only text) has been added.

  • A control region API has been added.

  • A control validation API has been added.

  • Control Manager now validates ControlHandle parameters and returns an error if they are invalid.

  • Fonts used by controls can now be specified as a standard system font plus modifications.

  • The clock control now returns more part codes.

  • The edit text control now supports a validation callback procedure.

    Related Materials:

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Device Manager

The Device Manager provides a programming interface for communications between applications and device drivers (typically code that communicates with particular hardware devices, although some device drivers do not actually drive devices).

  • There are three new Driver Gestalt selectors allowing developers to return, among other things, color icons for their disk drives. Table 6 describes the new selectors.

Table 6. Driver Gestalt selectors introduced in Mac OS 8.5.

Selector Name


Information Returned



A pointer to a IconFamily ('icns') data structure that can be used to represent the disk driver's physical drive (formerly in csCode 22) in driverGestaltResponse.



A pointer to a IconFamily ('icns') data structure for representing the disk driver's media (formerly in csCode 21) in driverGestaltResponse.



A pointer to a Pascal string describing the disk driver (formerly in csCode 21) in driverGestaltResponse.

Related Materials:

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Dialog Manager

The Dialog Manager manages user interactions with dialogs. New features in the Dialog Manager include:

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Display Manager

The Display Manager manages changes in both the display settings and the arrangement of monitors attached to the computer.

  • With some display cards, resolutions that were marked as non-preset resolutions by the display card were not showing up in the recommended list of resolutions in the Monitors & Sound control panel. The Monitors & Sound control panel was checking the non-preset bit, while the Display Manager was not. The Display Manager would strip the lower timing and Monitors & Sound would strip the higher (not preset) timing so neither would appear in the timing list used to build the recommended list. The Display Manager now correctly observes the non-preset bit and the recommended list is built correctly.

  • In some cases, an unreadable character was appended to the end of some names returned by the Display Manager. This has been corrected.

  • A problem in the Display Manager and Monitors & Sound control panel that could cause a crash when a multiscan monitor was attached to a PowerBook has been corrected. This problem would occur upon waking a PowerBook when the monitor was disconnected during sleep if the PowerBook was put to sleep with the Monitors & Sound control panel open.

  • A problem on some machines where the display enabler would not load at startup if a smart display was plugged into the built-in monitor connector has been corrected.

    Related Materials:

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Disk Initialization Package

The Disk Initialization Package supports the formatting of disks.

  • DILoad was loading foreign file system resources into the current heap zone (usually, the current application's heap) that could cause a crash if the application quit before the resources were unloaded. These resources are now loaded into the system heap.

  • File System Manager-based file systems that support bad block sparing are now called to spare blocks when a disk driver verify request fails. This feature was unavailable in Mac OS 8.0 and Mac OS 8.1.

  • The initial value of the Format popup menu in the disk initialization dialog now indicates the current format of the disk.

    Related Materials:

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Drag Manager

The Drag Manager supports Drag-and-Drop operations between windows and applications. New features for the Drag Manager include:

  • ShowDragHilite now uses the highlight color chosen by the user in the Appearance control panel.

  • A potential crashing problem that could occur with translucent drags has been corrected in this version of the Drag Manager. In previous versions of the Drag Manager, a pointer to an unlocked relocatable block (a handle's master pointer) was being used in SetDragImage.

    Related Materials:

    • Technote TN1043, "On Drag Manager Additions (Release 1.1)"
    • Technote TN1085, "Using the Drag Manager to Interact with and Manipulate File System Entitles"
    • Q&A TB28, "Drag Manager and windowKind 20"
    • The Drag Manager SDK

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Driver Services Library

DriverServicesLib provides utility routines for native drivers ('ndrv's). The following improvements in virtual memory support have been added to the DriverServicesLib:

  • PrepareMemoryForIO now uses LockMemoryForOutput instead of LockMemory when the IOPreparationOptions are kIOIsOutput, but not kIOIsInput.

  • With Mac OS 8.5, GetPageInformation returns the kPageIsLockedResident (kPageIsLocked) PageStateInformation bit correctly. When Virtual Memory is on, kPageIsLockedResident indicates that a page has been locked with LockMemory, or LockMemoryForOutput. Before Mac OS 8.5, resident pages with the kPageIsInMemory (kPageIsResident) PageStateInformation bit set always had the kPageIsLockedResident bit set even when they were not locked.

  • With Mac OS 8.5, GetPageInformation returns a new PageStateInformation bit, kPageIsHeldResident. When Virtual Memory is on, kPageIsHeldResident indicates that a page is held in physical memory (but not necessarily locked) with HoldMemory, LockMemory or LockMemoryForOutput.

    Related Materials:

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Event Manager

The Event Manager manages the delivery of events to applications. Changes in the Event Manager include:

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File Manager

The File Manager provides services for storing and retrieving disk-based information. New features for the File Manager include:

  • PBXGetVolInfo was returning an incorrect value in ioVNmFls when ioVRefNum contained either a working directory id or volume number zero (the default directory) when the call referred to a FSM-based file system volume. As described in the File System Manager section, this has been corrected so the File Manager now passes the working directory id or zero through to FSM-based file systems, rather than converting the value to a real volume reference number first.

  • Under some circumstances, the hard disk on some PowerBook models would not spin down when it was instructed to do so by the Control Strip module. This has been corrected.

  • UnmountVol would sometimes return fBsyErr (File busy) errors when called for some server-mounted volumes because the File Manager was leaving some working directories open. This has been corrected.

  • The pleaseCacheBit (bit 4) in the ioPosMode field is now supported by the disk cache. Read/Write requests to HFS/HFS Plus volumes can now set the pleaseCacheBit in ioPosMode to request caching for larger blocks of data. File System Manager clients can also set this bit in the cacheOptions parameter to UTCacheReadIP, UTCacheWriteIP, UTVolCacheReadIP, and UTVolCacheWriteIP requests. Setting this bit does not guarantee a request will be cached; however, it does increase the probability of a request being cached.

  • PBGetFPos now clears all 16 bits of ioPosMode.

  • The routines PBAllocate and PBAllocContig have been modified so they set the value of ioActCount before they return even if an error occurs during their execution.

  • The minimum size for the disk cache is now 128K.

  • Previously, the colons occurring in file names were returned as-is, making such files unreachable using the Pascal string-based APIs. Colons are now converted to question marks (as are other non-representable characters) and the File ID is inserted in the name.

  • Calls to PBCatMove on HFS Plus-formatted volumes were creating oversized catalog file thread records, leaking space in the catalog file. This has been corrected.

  • A problem where PBGetCatSearchSync could return inconsistent results when searching HFS Plus volumes has been corrected.

  • When the HFS Plus code was saving the Volume Header information, it was sign-extending the attributes field, causing the upper bits to be set when the software lock bit (bit 15) was set. This sign extension no longer occurs.

  • PBCatSearch has been modified so it does not return catChangedErr as often as it did in previous system releases.

  • Placing a file ID in the directory ID field of a CInfoPBRec and calling PBGetCatInfo now correctly returns dirNFErr. Under Mac OS 8.1, this would incorrectly produce information about a file as if it were a directory. Before 8.1, it would return fnfErr.

  • Added a new call, PBHTrashVolumeCaches, that flushes a volume and invalidates that volume's caches in the File Manager and disk cache. Bit 2 of the vMAttrib field returned by GetVolParams is set if a volume supports this call.

  • HFS Plus volumes store all dates in UTC. In Mac OS 8.1, those dates were converted to/from local time using the current time zone and daylight savings time settings, which would cause the dates to appear to change by one hour when switching to/from daylight savings time. In Mac OS 8.5, the dates are converted using the daylight savings time setting that would have been in effect as of the date being converted.

  • In Mac OS 8.1, when a HFS or HFS Plus volume was extremely fragmented and an operation required the extents B-tree to grow beyond its maximum number of extents, the File Manager would return error -127 and leave extra bits set in the volume bitmap. (Disk First Aid would report this as a minor problem in the volume's allocation bitmap.) The File Manager has been corrected so that under these circumstances it will return a dskFulErr and it will not leave extra bits set in the volume bitmap.

  • A problem where a crash could occur when saving a log in MacsBug has been corrected. The File Manager was attempting to jump to location zero.

  • The File Manager was not properly invalidating some caches when a volume was unmounted. The most common symptoms were missing items in Finder windows when mounting/unmounting a series of floppies or disk images (such as installing software from floppies), or a disk switch dialog appearing asking for a disk with a garbage or blank name. The File Manager now correctly invalidates a volume's caches when it is unmounted.

  • A problem that could occur when mounting a CD-ROM has been corrected. In these cases, mounting a CD-ROM would sometimes lead to a dialog stating the volume needed to be repaired. Under certain conditions after a crash this could cause corruption of writable volumes when they were mounted.

  • A PBAllocContig call requesting more space than was available contiguously would return the correct error but still allocate a smaller amount of space. PBAllocContig has been changed so that under these conditions it no longer allocates any space.

  • The File Manager no longer writes to the first sector of a resource fork every time it is closed. Formerly, the first sector of a resource fork contained a copy of the 112-byte MFS directory entry intended for use by the Finder and disk repair utilities in older versions of Mac OS. No current disk repair utilities rely on this information, nor does the Finder. Removal of this extra read/write cycle speeds up Finder copies for files containing resource forks.

  • A problem that could occur when booting from a HFS volume has been corrected. If aliases to shared library files located on a Mac OS Extended volume were present in the Extensions folder, then these aliases would be modified in such a way that they would fail to resolve every time the system was rebooted. In Mac OS 8.5, such aliases resolve correctly.

  • A problem where PBDelete could return -127 and corrupt the volume bitmap when trying to delete a file on a HFS Plus volume has been corrected. This problem would occur when a filename was originally converted to Unicode using the wrong text encoding (e.g., an application creating a file using a Japanese filename without the language kit installed, but later attempting to delete the file with the language kit installed).

  • Fixed a problem where foreign (external) file systems could sometimes be called with asynchronous requests while interrupts were partially disabled. While this rarely occurred, when it did, it caused problems for some foreign file systems (such as AppleShare) that use Open Transport to communicate with file servers. All asynchronous requests to foreign file systems now start at deferred task time or at system task time, with interrupts fully enabled.

Copying files near the 2 GB HFS file size limit to an HFS volume will fail when the destination file's physical size goes beyond the 2 GB size limit due to larger allocation block sizes being used on the destination volume.

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File System Manager

The File System Manager provides a general means by which foreign file systems can be installed, identified, and interfaced to the operating system.

  • XGetVolInfo requests (like GetVolInfo requests) to a FSM-based file system are now passed a working directory number or the default volume number (the value zero) in ioVRefNum if the File Manager caller used a working directory number or the default volume number. Under Mac OS 8.1, ioVRefNum would always contain the real volume reference number when passed to a FSM-based file system. This change lets the FSM-based file system determine what to return in ioVNmFls correctly.

  • UTTrashBlocks now correctly returns an OSErr result (either noErr, rfNumErr, or fnOpnErr). Before Mac OS 8.5, UTTrashBlocks returned the file reference number passed in as the fileRefNum parameter.

  • The File Manager's disk cache now range-checks the buffer parameter passed to UTReleaseBlock and UTMarkDirty. If the buffer parameter is bad, those calls will no longer crash the system.

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Folder Manager

The Folder Manager provides facilities for locating "special" folders (for example, the Extensions folder) without relying on the names of those folders. This aids developers in application localization.

  • Folder Manager defines new auto-routings for preferences files of type 'pref' (the Preferences folder), shared libraries (the Extensions folder), data fork fonts (the Fonts folder), Open Font Architecture plug-ins (the Extensions folder), and AppleTalk extensions (the Extensions folder).

  • FindFolder now returns the actual location of the Printer Descriptions folder.

  • Auto-routing has been added for files of type 'issp' (to Internet Search Sites).

  • Files of type 'JPEG' are now auto-routed to the Desktop Pictures folder.

  • As in pre-Mac OS 8.0 versions of the system software, the FindFolder folder cache now detects volume changes and keeps the cache up to date. In Mac OS 8.0 and Mac OS 8.1, it was possible for FindFolder to return stale data.

  • Several new folders have been defined for Mac OS 8.5. Table 7 lists these new folders and their types.

Table 7. New folders for Mac OS 8.5.

Folder Name



Launcher Items


Items appearing in the Launcher control panel. Items included in folders with names beginning with a bullet (option-8) character will appear as a separate panel in the Launcher window.

Internet Search Sites


Internet search site specification files used by the Find application when it accesses Internet search sites. Files of type 'issp' are auto-routed to this folder.

TheFindByContent Folder


An invisible folder located in a volume's root directory. This folder is used to store files created by 'Find by Content'.



Contains files used by the Find facilities in Mac OS 8.5. This folder is located in the Extensions folder.

Installer Logs


A location for saving installer log files.

ColorSync Profiles


A location for storing ColorSync profiles.



Appearance-related materials

Theme Files


The location for storing theme files

Sound Sets


The location for storing appearance-related sound sets

Desktop Pictures

'dtp'Desktop Pictures

The location for storing desktop picture files. Files of type 'JPEG' are auto-routed into this folder when dropped into the System Folder.



The location for storing Internet location files, aliases, and aliases to other frequently used items. Facilities for adding items into this folder are found in Contextual Menus, the Finder, and Navigation Services, et al.


'scroption F'

A location for saving AppleScript scripts.

Recent Applications


Apple Menu Items saves aliases to recent applications here.

Recent Documents


Apple Menu Items saves aliases to recently opened documents here.

Recent Servers


Apple Menu Items saves aliases to recently mounted servers here.

Speakable Items


A location for scripts and items recognized by speech recognition.


'intOption F'

A location for saving Internet-related applications, resources, and tools.

Location Manager Modules


Location manager modules are stored here.

Location Manager Prefs


Location manager preferences files are saved here.



Files containing configuration information for different locations are stored here.

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Font Manager

The Font Manager provides system-wide services for the retrieval of glyphs for display of textual information.

  • The Font Manager is now PowerPC-native.

  • A problem where an italic bitmap font would incorrectly override a TrueType font of the same size displaying letters with the wrong style has been corrected. Now, the TrueType font will be displayed unless the style of the bitmap font matches exactly.

  • Font Manager no longer allocates or de-allocates caches on a per-processes basis. A system-wide font cache is allocated at system startup in the system heap. All processes share this same cache.

  • The Font Manager does more parameter checking than in previous versions.

  • Font Manager now purges fonts from the font cache more aggressively.

  • All fonts shipping with Mac OS 8.5 (except VT102) include the new Euro glyph.

  • The US version of Mac OS 8.5 ships with the following new fonts: Capitals, Gadget, Sand, Techno, and Textile.

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Help Manager

The Help Manager is responsible for the drawing and display of Help Balloons and the Help menu.

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Icon Services

New for Mac OS 8.5, Icon Services provides fast and efficient facilities for retrieval of appropriate icon information used to represent files, directories, or other commonly used icons (for example, the caution alert icon, the note alert icon, and the help icon).

  • Icon Utilities is now implemented in PowerPC code. (Icon Services is also native.)

  • Icon Services is Appearance Manager-aware, and will return information consistent with the active appearance as appropriate. (If your program retrieves icons from the System file via Icon Utilities or other means, these icons will not differ according to appearance.)

  • To avoid duplication of data and for better performance, Icon Services maintains a system-wide icon cache shared by all applications. Icon data returned is common to all applications, so it is possible for two different applications to obtain an icon reference that refers to the same icon data. A reference count is maintained for icons loaded into the cache, and icons are removed from the cache only if the reference count falls to zero.

  • The new 'icns' resource contains data for 4 icon sizes (mini, small, large, huge) at 4 color depths (1-bit, 4-bit, 8-bit, and 32-bit) and two kind of masks (1-bit masks and 8-bit masks). Deep (8 bit) masks allow for the specification of transparent drawing effects. Each pixel in a deep mask indicates the level of transparency desired for drawing a particular pixel. Transparency levels range from 0 (transparent) through 255 (opaque).

  • Prior to Mac OS 8.5, Icon Utilities allowed only 34 arbitrary colors to highlight properly (they were known as the Apple icon colors). This limitation has been removed.

  • Drivers can now provide color icons by implementing the kdgMediaIconSuite Driver Gestalt selector as described in the Device Manager section.

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InterfaceLib provides a Code Fragment Manager interface to many of the Mac OS routines on PowerPC-based computers. The following additions and changes are present in this most recent version of the InterfaceLib.

  • The low-memory accessor LMGetABusVars is now deprecated and should not be used, as it behaves differently on 68K and PowerPC computers. The new accessor LMGetABusGlobals that retrieves the long at 0x02D8 should be used in its place. LMGetABusVars will continue to return the value 0x02D8. The following new accessors were added: LMGetABusGlobals, LMSetABusGlobals, LMGetABusDCE, and LMSetABusDCE.

  • The following low-memory accessors have been added. They are useful for determining how long it has been since any user activity has occurred.

    • LMGetKeyTime -- the value returned by TickCount when the last keystroke was received.

    • LMGetMBTicks -- the value returned by TickCount when the mouse button was last pressed.

    Formerly, these values could be accessed using the routines shown in Listing 2.

    Listing 2. Low-memory accessors for KeyTime and MBTicks.

    long LMGetMBTicks (void)
    { return (*(long *)0x016E); } long LMGetKeyTime (void)
    { return (*(long *)0x0186); }

    Also, routines for setting these values have also been added: LMSetKeyTime and LMSetMBTicks.

  • AddDrive

    There was a problem in the parameter handling of the PowerPC AddDrive glue code in InterfaceLib that would mangle the drive number before it was called through to the 68K code. This problem has been corrected.

  • New Alias Manager routines

    IsAliasFile, ResolveAliasWithMountFlags, and ResolveAliasFileWithMountFlags are now included in InterfaceLib.

  • New routines added to InterfaceLib that were previously only available from 68K code:

    DriverInstall, DriverInstallReserveMem, DIXFormat, DIXZero, DIReformat, PBUnmountVolImmed, ReallocateHandleSys, LockMemoryForOutput, MakeMemoryResident, ReleaseMemoryData, MakeMemoryNonResident, FlushMemory, InstallExtensionNotificationProc, RemoveExtensionNotificationProc, InstallExtensionTableHandlerProc, RemoveExtensionTableHandlerProc, FlushCodeCacheRange, NewCServiceWindow, UCTextServiceEvent, and ataManager

  • The rest of the PurgeSpace calls that were previously only available from 68K code have been added to InterfaceLib:

    PurgeSpaceTotal, PurgeSpaceContiguous, PurgeSpaceSysTotal, and PurgeSpaceSysContiguous

  • All the File System Manager calls have been added to InterfaceLib:

    UTAllocateFCB, UTReleaseFCB, UTLocateFCB, UTLocateNextFCB, UTIndexFCB, UTResolveFCB, UTAllocateVCB, UTAddNewVCB, UTDisposeVCB, UTLocateVCBByRefNum, UTLocateVCBByName, UTLocateNextVCB, UTAllocateWDCB, UTReleaseWDCB, UTResolveWDCB, UTFindDrive, UTAdjustEOF, UTSetDefaultVol, UTGetDefaultVol, UTEjectVol, UTCheckWDRefNum, UTCheckFileRefNum, UTCheckVolRefNum, UTCheckPermission, UTCheckVolOffline, UTCheckVolModifiable, UTCheckFileModifiable, UTCheckDirBusy, UTParsePathname, UTGetPathComponentName, UTDetermineVol, UTGetBlock, UTReleaseBlock, UTFlushCache, UTMarkDirty, UTTrashVolBlocks, UTTrashFileBlocks, UTTrashBlocks, UTCacheReadIP, UTCacheWriteIP, UTBlockInFQHashP, UTVolCacheReadIP, UTVolCacheWriteIP, InstallFS, RemoveFS, SetFSInfo, GetFSInfo, InformFSM, and InformFFS

  • The following DriverServicesLib calls have been added to InterfaceLib:

    BlockZero, BlockZeroUncached, IncrementAtomic, DecrementAtomic, AddAtomic, BitAndAtomic, BitOrAtomic, BitXorAtomic, CompareAndSwap, IncrementAtomic8, DecrementAtomic8, AddAtomic8, BitAndAtomic8, BitOrAtomic8, BitXorAtomic8, IncrementAtomic16, DecrementAtomic16, AddAtomic16, BitAndAtomic16, BitOrAtomic16, BitXorAtomic16, TestAndSet, and TestAndClear.

    Previously these routines were documented as only available to native drivers ('ndrv's). The InterfaceLib versions of these routines can be called by other types of code.

Compatibility Note:
Developers linking against newer versions of InterfaceLib who would like to have their products run with previous versions of the system software should weak-link against the new symbols. Unless this is done, the Code Fragment Manager will refuse to launch applications using the new symbols when an older version of InterfaceLib is being used. Developers weak-linking against any of the new symbols in InterfaceLib should check to ensure that the routines they weak-link against are defined before calling them.

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List Manager

The List Manager provides a standard user interface for drawing and managing user interaction with lists of items.

  • The List Manager is now implemented in PowerPC code.

  • Support for live scroll bar indicator dragging has been added.

  • The proportional scroll bar indicator is now supported.

  • When deleting or adding cells to a list while drawing is turned off -- by calls to LSetDrawingMode (a.k.a. LDoDraw) -- in certain cases it was possible for the ListHandle's bounds to become slightly scrambled and draw incorrectly when drawing was turned back on. This problem has been present in the List Manager since its introduction, and it has been corrected in Mac OS 8.5.

  • List click loops can now be written in PowerPC-native code using the Mixed Mode glue available in "Lists.h".

Writing list click loops in PowerPC-native code is not backward-compatible with system releases prior to Mac OS 8.5. For compatibility with all systems prior to Mac OS 8.5, you must still write click loops using 68K assembly or a 68K assembly stub.

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MathLib provides a software implementation of floating point support routines for PowerPC computers. All PowerPC processors contain built-in floating point processing capabilities. The routines provided in MathLib supplement those facilities.

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Memory Manager

The Memory Manager is the part of the operating system responsible for managing memory allocation requests.

  • Under some circumstances, the RAM Disk could not be turned off. This has been corrected.
  • The Memory Manager is now present in the System file's data fork, and as such it is eligible for paging.

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Menu Manager

The Menu Manager is the part of the operating system responsible for both drawing the menu bar, and drawing menus and pop-up menus on the screen while the mouse is being held down.

  • Most of the Menu Manager is now implemented in PowerPC code.

  • Support for associating tagged data with menus and menu items (properties) has been added.

  • Menu contents for menus that use the system 'MDEF' are now cached even when is VM on.

  • It is now possible to remove the current application's name from the application menu.

  • Support for disabling icons appearing in menus has been added.

  • The menu bar is now drawn in condensed-style text, and long menu titles are truncated if the screen is too narrow to display the entire menu bar contents.

  • Support for excluding the menu mark column has been added.

  • Support for more than 255 submenus has been added. SetMenuItemHierarchialID can be used to set the full range of menu IDs (-32767 to 32767).

  • Support for enabling and disabling menu items at indexes greater than 31 has been added.

  • Sorting in AppendResMenu was not working as expected in non-English languages. RelString was being called instead of CompareString. AppendResMenu now uses CompareString so sorting now works as expected with non-English languages.

  • Support for showing and hiding the menu bar has been added.

  • New append/insert APIs without meta-character interpretation have been added.

  • The system 'MDEF' now supports all keyboard modifiers and glyphs.

  • Support for setting the font used to draw a menu has been added. Developers should use this new API rather than setting the low-memory globals SysFontFam and SysFontSize.

Compatibility Note:
In Mac OS 8.5, the Menu Manager does not attempt to modify the behavior of third-party 'MDEF's for correct colorization. Application vendors including custom 'MDEF's with their products must revise their products to support Appearance.

Compatibility Note:
The Menu Manager does not modify the behavior of the Event Manager to force Button to return true while tracking sticky menus. 'MDEF' authors who depend on Button returning false values must modify their products.

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Navigation Services 1.1

Navigation Services provides new Open and Save dialogs, allowing users to locate and select files and other resources. Navigation Services 1.0 is delivered as a separate shared library in the Navigation Services SDK. In Mac OS 8.5, Navigation Services 1.1 is built in to the System file.

  • Event procedures now receive appropriate mouseDown events before they are processed by Navigation Services.

  • Event procedures now receive a slightly different parameter block (which is backward-compatible with 1.0 callers) that allows them to see the dialog item index of an item that has been selected by the user.

Compatibility Note:
Navigation Services effectively obsoletes the Standard File package. Developers interested in future Mac OS compatibility are encouraged to replace their calls to Standard File with calls to Navigation Services.

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Notification Manager

The Notification Manager provides a mechanism for programs which are not the frontmost application to notify the user of specific events.

  • The Notification Manager was calling GetResource when the interrupt level mask was set to 7 (even though it wasn't executing at interrupt time). This has been corrected.

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PC Card Manager

The PC Card Manager handles software issues related to PC Cards.

  • If a PC Card was ejected during sleep (using the pin hole method) and replaced with a different card, the new card would not be recognized after sleep and the old card icon would remain on the desktop. The PC Card Manager now registers the new card correctly when a card is replaced in this way.

  • The PC Card Manager has been changed to accommodate PC Cards that do not contain a CIS (Card Information Structure -- information normally stored on a card which describes the card). Prior to this change, such a card would simply be ejected. Now, the PC Card Manager uses other data, such as the PCI configuration registers, to establish information about such cards.

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PPC Toolbox

The Program to Program Communications Toolbox provides process-to-process communications facilities both for processes running on the same machine and for processes running on different computers connected by an AppleTalk network.

  • The PPC Browser now handles low memory situations without crashing.

  • In previous versions of the PPC Browser, the NBP lookup for the list of computers was using too short of a delay. As a result, the list of computers would flicker over slower network connections. The NBP lookup now uses a longer delay so the list is drawn with less flicker.

  • The PPC Browser now performs extensive internal error checking.

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Process Manager

The Process Manager shares the processor among multiple applications. Mac OS 8.5 includes the following new features in the Process Manager:

  • Under some circumstances, the cursor would not change to the cross hairs as expected for small area screen captures. This has been corrected.

  • LaunchApplication now honors alias files.

  • Process Manager is slightly more strict about when it will call jGNEFilter for "fake" keyDown events created by the Text Services Manager, eliminating some duplicate events.

  • During application switches, the Process Manager now checks if a mousedown was pending in the event queue for the foreground application, or any floating windows in the Text Services Manager layer. This correction eliminates the possibility of a mouse click in one of the foreground application's windows sneaking through to the application being switched in.

  • The Process Manager will no longer launch invisible 'appe' files.

  • If a process unmounted a volume that was the default volume for one or more other processes, the default volume was not correctly updated for those other processes when they were switched in. This could result in a File Manager disk switch dialog appearing asking for a disk with a garbage or blank volume name. The Process Manager now ensures that the File Manager's default volume is valid when switching processes.

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QuickDraw is the part of the Mac OS used for drawing and displaying graphical information on the screen and other raster devices.

  • Most of QuickDraw is now PowerPC-native (with the exception of the Palette Manager and the Picture Utilities).

  • Previously, QuickDraw pictures containing invalid 0x9A (direct 24-bit images) opcodes recorded on 68K machines would not play back correctly on PowerPC machines. This has been corrected.

  • A problem where the 16-bit encoding routines for QuickDraw pictures would sometimes produce invalid data has been corrected.

  • A problem where larger font sizes would not draw has been corrected. Fonts are now drawn at their largest possible size if a size larger than the maximum font display size is requested.

  • The Roman Script Utilities (DrawJustified, CharToPixel, etc.) have been moved into QuickDraw Text.

  • 'sbit' support, currently available only via a WorldScript II patch, has been rolled into the standard system. This allows systems using two-byte characters to be booted with extensions turned off.

  • All CopyDeepMask transfer modes now work correctly.

  • QuickDraw now performs extensive parameter checking. For parameter errors, QDError will return the paramErr result code. In many cases, QDError returns errors where it did not before.

  • A problem where passing bkPixPat either to FillCRgn or FillCRect would corrupt the current graphics port has been corrected. It is now possible to provide the current background pixpat as a parameter to either the FillCRgn or the FillCRect routine.

Calling either

FillCRect(&myRectangle, ((CGrafPtr) qd.thePort)->bkPixPat);


FillCRgn(myRegion,((CGrafPtr) qd.thePort)->bkPixPat);

...or... any version of color QuickDraw prior Mac OS 8.5 will destroy the current bkPixPat in the GrafPort.

  • When recording pictures, QuickDraw would read frame buffers for raster images one byte at a time. This produced some compatibility problems when reading frame buffer data from some non-Apple devices. For greater compatibility, frame buffers are now read in pixel size chunks that are buffered internally before being passed to the RLE encoding routines.

  • Nearly all of QuickDraw is now present in the system file's data fork, and as such it is eligible for paging. The cursor management parts of QuickDraw are not eligible for paging and remain in memory at all times.

Compatibility Note:
The new QuickDraw does more parameter checking than all previous versions of QuickDraw. As a result, developers will find the new QuickDraw will facilitate their debugging efforts by bringing to light problems that may not have been so obvious before. It is strongly suggested that developers verify their products against the new QuickDraw to ensure they are calling QuickDraw correctly.

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QuickDraw Text

QuickDraw Text is the part of the MacOS used for drawing and displaying textual information on the screen and other raster devices.

  • A new Gestalt selector, gestaltQDTextVersion ('qdtx'), has been defined in this release of QuickDraw Text. With this release of QuickDraw Text, the value returned is gestaltAllegroQDText.

Compatibility Note:
The new QuickDraw Text routines described in this section are available only if the result returned by a call to Gestalt with the selector gestaltQDTextVersion is greater than or equal to the constant gestaltAllegroQDText.

  • Support for anti-aliased text has been added to QuickDraw Text. Anti-aliased text drawing will occur if it is enabled, the destination device pixel depth is greater than or equal to 8 bits, there is sufficient memory available, the requested font size for drawing is larger than the minimum size for anti-aliased drawing, and the font being drawn is an outline font. Two new routines for accessing the state of anti-aliased text drawing can be called from PowerPC applications linking against the shared library FontManager included in the System file. The routines are defined as follows: IsAntiAliasedTextEnabled

    Boolean IsAntiAliasedTextEnabled(SInt16* outMinFontSize);

    outMinFontSize is an optional parameter and may be set to NULL. If outMinFontSize is not NULL, then the sixteen bit integer at that address will be set to the current lower size limit for antialiasing text (as set in the Appearance Control Panel).

    The function IsAntiAliasedTextEnabled returns true if anti-aliased text display is enabled.


    OSStatus SetAntiAliasedTextEnabled(Boolean inEnable,
                                       SInt16 inMinFontSize);

    inEnable indicates the desired state of the anti-aliased text drawing. If inEnable is true, then both anti-aliased text drawing will be turned on and the QuickDraw Text global variable outlinePreferred will be turned on.

    inMinFontSize defines the smallest size font that should be drawn as anti-aliased text. This value must be in the range 1 through 128. If the inMinFontSize parameter is outside of this range, then the default value 12 is used.

    SetAntiAliasedTextEnabled always returns noErr.

    NOTE: For fonts which have both bitmaps ('NFNT's) and outlines ('sfnt's), the implicit change in outlinePreferred may change the metrics for the bitmap font sizes.

Calls to SetAntiAliasedTextEnabled should only be made under special circumstances when greater control over text display during particular operations is desired. Developers changing the state of anti-aliased text drawing must restore its original state before returning control to the system. Failure to do so may result in other parts of the system, most notably the Appearance control panel, becoming out of sync with the actual state of anti-aliased text drawing.

  • Two new routines for retrieving the pixel dimensions of text that will be drawn on the screen have been added to QuickDraw Text. These routines can be called from PowerPC applications linking against the shared library FontManager in the System file. The new routines are defined as follows: QDTextBounds

    void QDTextBounds(short byteCount,
                      const void* textAddr,
                      Rect* bounds);

    byteCount is the number of bytes of text contained in the buffer located at the address contained in the value textAddr.

    textAddr points to byteCount bytes of textual data.

    bounds is a pointer to a Rect structure whose coordinates will be calculated by QDTextBounds. On return, bounds will contain the bounding coordinates for the entire image (including parts of the image that may extend beyond the first and last pen positions after the text has been drawn) that will be drawn for the text (given the font settings in the current GrafPort). Note that the coordinates returned are relative to the current pen position (as if the pen were located at the origin). For example, in Listing 3, we use QDTextBounds to draw a rectangle around the text's image. Notice how in this example the bounds returned by QDTextBounds are offset using the current pen position, so that the text drawing and the rectangle drawing occur using the same coordinate system.

    Listing 3. Using QDTextBounds to discover where text will be drawn.

    Rect bounds;
    char *text = "sample text";
    Point where;
    SetPt(&where, 100, 100);
    MoveTo(where.h, where.v);
    QDTextBounds(text, strlen(text), &bounds);
    OffsetRect(&bounds, where.h, where.v);
    InsetRect(&bounds, -1, -1);
    DrawText(text, 0, strlen(text));

    The leftmost edge of the text's image can either be to the right or the left of the pen position, and the rightmost edge of the text's image may be to the left or the right of the final pen position.


    OSErr FetchFontInfo(SInt16 fontID,
                        SInt16 fontSize,
                        SInt16 fontStyle,
                        FontInfo* info);

    fontID is the font ID number for a font.

    fontSize is the font size in pixels.

    fontStyle contains the font style flags for the font.

    info is a pointer to a font information record where the result will be stored.

    FetchFontInfo returns the same information as GetFontInfo, except, rather than gathering information about the font settings from the current GrafPort, this information is provided as parameters to the routine. If FetchFontInfo returns an error, the fields in the FontInfo record will be set to zero. (The error code returned is the value returned by FMSwapFont.)

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Script Manager

The Script Manager provides functions for controlling, modifying, and accessing the features of both Roman and non-Roman script systems.

  • Simple scripts (scripts not requiring the Worldscript extension) were not being loaded when the system was booted with extensions turned off. This has been changed; now, simple scripts are loaded when extensions are turned off.

  • The keyboard menu bar icon was being drawn twice whenever a new keyboard layout was selected. This has been fixed.

  • WorldScript Power Adapter is not loaded if it is installed by a language kit or other installer, since Mac OS 8.5 has this functionality built into the System file. WorldScript II is no longer loaded differently than other extensions.

  • Support for Unicode scripts and Unicode keyboard layouts has been added.

  • Font and keyboard synchronization can now be turned off. This can be done either in the Keyboard control panel or by setting the smfDisableKeyScriptSync flag in the smGenFlags Script Manager variable. Calls to KeyScript check this flag to determine if the current keyboard script should be synchronized with the current script. To force keyboard script synchronization for individual calls to KeyScript while keyboard script synchronization is turned off, developers can set bit 7 (smKeyForceKeyScriptBit) in the code argument passed to KeyScript. Calls to KeyScript will not synchronize the current keyboard script if the smfDisableKeyScriptSync flag in the Script Manager variable smGenFlags is set, unless the smKeyForceKeyScriptBit bit is set in the KeyScript call's code parameter.

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Serial Driver

The Serial Driver provides software support for serial communications hardware using the Device Manager API. The Mac OS 8.5 Serial Driver includes the following change:

  • A problem where some machines would not reboot without the "Serial (Built-in)" extension in the Extensions folder has been corrected.

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Sound Manager

The Sound Manager provides facilities for playback and recording of digitized sounds.

  • The siActiveChannels SPBSetDeviceInfo call was not being accepted on 6100, 7100, or 8100 PowerMacs. This has been corrected.

  • It is now possible to change recording quality while recording.

  • Chained calls to SPBRecord now work when the recording buffer size is smaller than the hardware interrupt buffer size.

  • Sound input source settings made in Monitors & Sound are now remembered across boots on 6100, 7100, and 8100 machines.

  • siRecordingQuality now works as expected.

  • The Power Mac 4400/200 always reported that the microphone is not connected regardless of whether it actually was. This problem has been corrected.

    Related Materials:

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Standard File

Standard File provides a consistent user interface for accessing files by way of the Open and Save As dialog boxes.

  • The number of file types that can be specified for Standard File's SFGetFile,SFPGetFile, StandardGetFile, and CustomGetFile routines has been increased from 32 types to 256 types.

  • A problem where the arrow navigation keys were not working as expected on some PowerBook models has been corrected.

  • Aliases to special folders (for example, the Fonts folder) no longer show up in Standard File as applications.

Compatibility Note:
Navigation Services effectively obsoletes the Standard File package. Developers interested in future Mac OS compatibility are encouraged to replace their calls to Standard File with calls to Navigation Services.

Related Materials:

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Text Services Manager 1.5

The Text Services Manager provides facilities for applications to communicate with various text processing utilities that provide services such as special text input methods, spell checking, hyphenation, etc.

  • The Text Services Manager (TSM) has removed the restriction of input methods and text services to Japanese, Korean, and Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) scripts, and now supports input methods in all scripts such as Roman, Indic, and Thai.

  • Keyboards and input methods can now generate Unicode directly. Applications that support TSM and create Unicode TSM Documents with the new interface type kUnicodeDocument can receive all input as arbitrary-length Unicode text directly via Apple events. Unicode text in TSM Apple events is always contained in a descriptor with AEKeyword keyAETheData, DescType typeUnicodeText. Apple events with AEEventID kUpdateActiveInputArea continue to be used for input processed by an Input Method. The new AEEventID kUnicodeNotFromInputMethod is used for any other type of input, such as when the input source is a keyboard layout (Unicode or otherwise) or when an input method does not handle a key event. This Apple event also contains the original low-level key event record as AEKeyword keyAETSMEventRecord and DescType typeLowLevelEventRecord, so that most key event processing formerly done in an application's event loop can now be performed in the application's Apple event handlers.

  • For compatibility, text is converted between Unicode and Mac OS encodings as necessary. Text from Unicode input sources is automatically converted to Mac encodings for delivery to applications that don't use Unicode TSM Documents; text from Mac OS encoding input sources is converted to Unicode for delivery to applications using Unicode TSM Documents. Similarly, application text requested by an input method (with the kGetSelectedText Apple event) is converted as necessary.

  • TSM calls the new Input Method API UCTextServiceEvent instead of TextServiceEvent when sending input text to a Unicode input method.

  • TSM has absorbed functionality previously available as TSM trap patches, and itself no longer installs patches.

  • TSM has been modified to support optional font and keyboard synchronization. If the smfDisableKeyScriptSync flag is set in the smGenFlags Script Manager variable, calls to ActivateTSMDocument will not synchronize the current keyboard script with the internal keyboard script state of the TSMDocument. The ActivateTSMDocument call is the only TSM call that calls through to KeyScript. For more information about optional font and keyboard synchronization, see the Script Manager section.

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Time Manager

The Time Manager provides millisecond and microsecond timing facilities for Mac OS-based computers.

  • The Time Manager will now return an error if PrimeTime is called after RmvTime was called.

Compatibility Note:
The current C and Pascal Time Manager APIs do not return the result from InsTime, InsXTime, PrimeTime, and RmvTime. The result from Time Manager functions is returned in the 68K register D0. Simple 68K inline or PowerPC Mixed Mode glue code can be used to call those Time Manager functions and get their results.

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Translation Manager

The Translation Manager provides file and scrap translation to allow data to be used by applications other than those that originally created the data. The following changes have been made in the Translation Manager:

  • The Translation Manager implementation has been moved to the System file, and the user interface has been moved from the now-obsolete Mac OS Easy Open control panel to the File Exchange control panel's "File Translation" panel.

  • The Translation manager is now implemented in PowerPC code.

  • The available translator lists are now rebuilt dynamically. If a translation extension component is registered sometime after startup, the Translation Manager will recognize it immediately.

  • Contents of the "Translated Documents" folder are now removed at system startup time. The Translation Manager places automatically translated documents into this folder before passing them on to applications.

  • With both QuickTime and MacLinkPlus for Easy Open installed, there are more than 64 possible translation configurations for Desktop Translators, but Desktop Translators could only be configured to use one of the first 64 translations available. This limitation for Desktop Translators has been removed.

  • Applications which open files of a given type may do so without translation. Prior to File Exchange 3.0, if an application claimed (through its bundle and/or 'open' resource) that it could open files of a given type, documents of that type with a different creator type than the application's creator type would be translated rather than opened directly. Now, such documents are opened directly without translation. To see an example of this behavior, under Mac OS 8.1 drop a MoviePlayer movie onto SimpleText. It will open as a picture rather than a movie (as it will be translated by the QuickTime translator first). Now, the movie will open as expected.

  • Translation Manager no longer creates a temporary heap zone for translation extension components. Instead, translation extension components are loaded into the system heap. This means that translation extensions are no longer allowed to "leak" memory, as their calls to NewPtr and NewHandle now operate in the system heap. Contrary to what is stated in Inside Macintosh: More Macintosh Toolbox, the Translation Manager now disposes of the translation advertisement when tearing down the translation progress dialog (since the translation advertisement is now allocated in the system heap rather than a temporary heap).

Compatibility Note:
Developers of PowerPC translation extensions are advised to package them as specified in Technote TN1004, rather than as is done in the Mac OS Easy Open SDK.

Related Materials:

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Virtual Memory Manager

The Virtual Memory Manager provides virtual memory services for the Mac OS. The following changes have been made in the Virtual Memory Manager:

  • All code needed to run VM on 68040 processors has been removed.

  • GetPageState now correctly returns the state of pages in file-mapped space. Before Mac OS 8.5, GetPageState returned kPageOnDisk for unmapped pages. With Mac OS 8.5, GetPageState returns kNotPaged for unmapped pages (as it does for all other memory not controlled by the Virtual Memory).

  • DeferUserFn previously returned a garbage result if the user function was called immediately. It now returns noErr.

    Related Materials:

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Window Manager

The Window Manager provides facilities for drawing and maintaining windows on the screen.

  • The Window Manager is now implemented in PowerPC code.

  • An extensible, collection-based window resource format ('wind') has been added.

  • Floating window support has been added with the routines CreateNewWindow, GetWindowClass, ShowFloatingWindows, HideFloatingWindows, and AreFloatingWindowsVisible.

  • Extensive error and parameter checking has been added to all routines.

  • New, advanced window positioning support routines have been added, including SetWindowBounds, GetWindowBounds, MoveWindowStructure, ZoomWindowIdeal, and IsWindowInStandardState.

  • Support for associating tagged data with windows (properties) has been added.

  • GetWindowRegion is a new call that always returns the visible state of the specified region, even for invisible windows.

  • Update events will no longer occur in foreground application windows when overlapping windows in background applications become visible.

  • A window's background can now be set to a specific color or pattern without the use of a 'wctb' resource.

  • Routines for modifying a window's update region without changing the current port have been added (InvalWindowRgn/Rect, ValidWindowRgn/Rect).

  • Support for window title popup menus has been added.

  • The TransitionWindow routine has been added for attaching animation and sound to a window for different on-screen actions such as showing or hiding a window.

  • Under some circumstances, parts of the desktop were not being redrawn correctly. This has been corrected.

  • Support for window proxies has been added.

  • Window titles are now drawn using condensed and truncated text if the window's title is too large to be displayed in the title bar.

Applications using the undocumented and unsupported Layer Manager interface for floating windows will not work with Mac OS 8.5.

Applications writing directly to the low-memory window list global, either by direct access or by LMSetWindowList, may have problems in Mac OS 8.5. It is strongly recommended that developers interested in future compatibility treat the window list as read-only.

Applications writing directly to the GrayRgn may cause problems in Mac OS 8.5, and may cease to work properly in future versions of Mac OS. Developers interested in future compatibility should use the new ShowMenuBar/HideMenuBar routines instead.

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Control Panels

Control Panels

Control Panels provide user interface facilities for custom configuration of the system.

In Mac OS 8.5, several related control panels have been consolidated into individual control panels.

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Appearance 1.1

The Appearance control panel provides a user interface for configuring the appearance of graphical user interface elements.

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Apple Menu

Apple Menu Options 1.1.4

The Apple Menu Options control panel provides user interface configuration facilities for the appearance and behavior of the Apple Menu. There are some corrections present in this implementation of the Apple Menu Options control panel.

  • A problem occurred where the Apple Menu was not being drawn correctly when the system font was changed to a font of a different size. This has been corrected.

  • Balloons no longer appear when the Apple Menu Options control panel is frontmost and the mouse is not over its window.

  • A problem where Apple Menu Options' patch to UnmountVol could cause a big disk thrash has been corrected. This would happen if the volume passed to UnmountVol is not identified by a volume reference number.

  • AppleScript support includes:

    • Query and set all Control Panel settings, including count of recently opened items to remember.

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ColorSync 2.5

ColorSync provides system-level color management that enables publishing software to achieve repeatable, reliable, and consistent color on-screen, in print, and for electronic delivery.

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Control Strip 2.0

Control Strip is a control panel providing configuration facilities for the control strip.

  • Control Strip 2.0 is now an application ('APPC') and contains fewer trap patches.

  • Control Strip 2.0 corrects a number of problems with the previous version and adds several features that expand the user experience.

  • Version 2.0 adds module drag-and-drop install capability. Control strip modules can now be installed by dragging and dropping the module into the control strip.

    Related Materials:

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Date & Time

Date & Time 8.1

The Date and Time control panel provides a user interface for setting the system clock and configuring the display format for both dates and times.

  • Internet time synchronization by way of Network Time Protocol (NTP) and automatic daylight savings time support have been added.

  • Location information is now set in the Date & Time control panel.

  • Added Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada to the list of time zone locations.

  • Fixed incorrect spelling of the city name "Tientsin" to "Tianjin".

    Related Materials:

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File Exchange

File Exchange 3.0

File Exchange allows users to set mappings from filename extensions (ex.: ".TXT") to Mac OS file types (ex.: 'TEXT'), to mount DOS SCSI disks and drive containers, and to set File Translation preferences. The following changes have been made in File Exchange:

  • File Exchange Features

    • PowerPC-native.

    • Consolidated interface for PC Exchange and File Translation (formerly Mac OS Easy Open).

    • Supports AppleScript.

    • Integrated editing of Internet Config extension mappings.

  • PC Foreign File System Features

    • PowerPC-native.

    • Mounts all available PC volumes at startup.

    • Can also mount all available PC volumes "on the fly".

    • Supports multiple SCSI busses.

    • Uses HDI driver (from DiskCopy) to mount PC disk images.

    • Improved read/write/cache code path.

    • Internet Config integration.

    • Desktop Database support.

    • Permits File Sharing of PC volumes and disk images.

  • AppleScript support includes:

    • Query and create translation and extension mappings.

    • Query or change control panel settings.

  • Corrected a problem where a particular data file format saved to PC disk was unreadable. The error returned by SetFPos was not being handled correctly when an attempt to set the mark past EOF was being made.

  • Two-byte characters in traditional DOS FAT "8.3" format file names weren't being displayed in Get Info. This has been corrected.

  • Determines disk type (FAT12, FAT16, FAT32) using disk geometry; this fixes problems with low-capacity FAT16-formatted PC cards.

  • The PC foreign file system's "mimicry" of HFS has been improved. Now, under as many circumstances as possible, the PC foreign file system behaves the same as HFS.

  • Allows use of PC disks with allocation block size of 32K or larger (for example, 2 GB disks).

    Related Materials:

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File Sharing

File Sharing 8.0

The File Sharing control panel allows for user configuration of file sharing services on the computer.

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Internet Control Panel

Internet 1.0.1

A new control panel application ('APPC') which provides user interface for creating and editing Internet Config preferences, including support for switchable preference sets for handling multiple locations or users. Provides AppleScript support utilizing some of this configuration information, including the following commands:

  • Go to a URL

  • Read Mail

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Keyboard 8.1

The Keyboard control panel provides a user interface for configuring connected keyboards.

  • A control for turning on or off font and keyboard synchronization has been added.

  • The Keyboard menu now correctly displays balloon help for items beyond the seventh.

  • Balloon help messages for the keyboard menu items have been reworded in some cases.

  • The keyboard menu now has a "Customize..." menu item as the last menu item. Choosing it will open the Keyboard control panel.

    Related Materials:

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Location Manager

Location Manager 2.0

Apple Location Manager is an extension that allows mobile users to save and restore sets of configurations ("locations") under a single name. For example, a user can define a group of printers, network settings, and extension sets for different computing environments.

  • The maximum number of locations has been increased.

  • A problem where the system startup screen was not being redrawn correctly after the Location Manager extension window was dismissed has been corrected.

  • AppleScript support includes:

    • Query or change the current location.

    Related Materials:

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Memory 8.0

The Memory control panel provides a user interface for the configuration of virtual memory, RAM disk storage, and the size of the disk cache.

  • The Memory control panel is now an 'APPC'.

  • Fully supports the Appearance Manager.

  • By default, the disk cache size is now automatically calculated. Users can still customize the disk cache size setting, or they can allow the system to calculate a default setting for them.

    Related Materials:

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Monitors & Sound

Monitors & Sound 1.4.2

The Monitors & Sound control panel provides a user interface for configuring and adjusting various settings for AppleVision monitors attached to the computer, along with services formerly provided by the Monitors control panel and by the Sound control panel.

  • The Monitors and Sound control panel has been updated to support new hardware.

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Remote Access

Remote Access 3.1

The new Remote Access control panel provides user interface facilities for configuring PPP and ARA connections.

  • ARA 3.1 includes support for both TCP/IP and AppleTalk (ATCP) over a PPP link.

  • Apple Remote Access 2.1 and OT/PPP 1.0.1 have been replaced by ARA 3.1; version 3.1 will now be the default, consolidating remote client software supporting both PPP and ARAP protocols.

  • The Remote Access and PPP control panels have been consolidated into the Remote Access control panel.

  • ARA 3.1 contains a few feature enhancements and many bug fixes since ARA 3.0, ARA 2.1, and OT/PPP 1.0.1.

  • The PPP client now supports MS-CHAP and includes other improvements for better Windows NT compatibility.

  • This release includes the latest modem scripts for Apple and popular third-party modems.

    Related Materials:

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TCP/IP 2.0.1

The TCP/IP control panel provides a user interface for configuring TCP/IP protocols.

  • To cut down the amount of typing required to manually configure TCP/IP, the "IP Address" field now allows addresses to be entered in "address/mask" notation. For example, if the address "" is entered, the 24-contiguous-ones mask value ( is automatically entered in the "Subnet mask" field, and the "Router address" field, if empty, is automatically initialized to the first valid address on that subnet ( in this example). The "Subnet mask" and "Router address" fields remain editable should the user wish to change the automatically entered values.

  • A new field has been added allowing users to enter their DHCP "client id".

    Related Materials:

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Users and Groups

Users and Groups 8.0.1

This control panel allows the user to designate which people are allowed to establish network connections with the computer.

AppleScript support includes:

  • Query or set privileges of users and groups.

  • Create and delete users and groups.

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Web Sharing

Web Sharing 1.5.1

Web Sharing allows users to configure and set up the "Web Sharing" folder on their computer to act as a World Wide Web site. Web Sharing runs as an HTTP server, allowing users to access files stored in the Web Sharing folder using any web browser program available on any computer platform. New features for Web Sharing include:

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System Extensions

System Extensions

System extensions are located in the Extensions folder inside the System Folder. For a system extension to be active, it must be located in the Extensions folder when the system starts up. Extensions are not loaded if the shift key is held down while the system is starting up.

The "Extensions Disabled" message has been replaced with the text "Extensions Off" for consistency with documentation and terminology.

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Apple CD/DVD

Apple CD/DVD Driver 1.0.1

The Apple CD-ROM driver contains some enhancements for support of new Apple products and corrects some problems found in previous versions of the driver.

  • Apple CD-ROM and Apple DVD-ROM drivers have been combined into a single file called Apple CD/DVD Driver.

Compatibility Note:
Non-Apple CD drives are not supported by the Apple CD-ROM driver.

Related Materials:

  • Technote DV18, "CD-ROM Notes (Most Excellent)"
  • Technote DV22, "CD-ROM Driver Calls"
  • Technote DV505, "CD-ROM QAs"
  • Technote FL36, "Apple Extensions to ISO 9660"
  • Q&A DV18, "Detecting a CD-ROM"
  • Q&A OPS05, "Disconnected aliases on CD-ROM and Alias Manager"

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Apple Ethernet

Apple Enet 2.0

The Apple Ethernet driver provides support for Apple's built-in Ethernet and cards on newer machines. Features include:

  • Improved performance.

  • Obsoletes a number of older drivers and consolidates their functionality into one file.

    Related Materials:

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AppleScript 1.3.2

AppleScript is a component of the operating system that provides a scripting interface for users to automate actions that would normally require use of the menus and keyboard. Even more importantly, it allows users to access functionality of applications which would be difficult or impossible to access by hand.

  • AppleScript is now PowerPC-native. Raw AppleScript execution is up to five times faster as compared to the same script run under Mac OS 8.1.

  • Unit Types and Coercions (built-in)

    This version introduces the concept of units of measurement and some basic units. Applications or scripting additions can extend these easily. The types defined include:

    • length
    • area
    • volume (liquid and solid)
    • temperature

    A complete list of specific types can be found in the Help Center in the AppleScript section. (Note: the Help Center claims AppleScript has support for quarts; this is not the case.) Constants can be found in <ASRegistry.h>.

    The basic manner of use in AppleScript scripts is by coercion, e.g. "5 as inches". A value of one class can be coerced into another similar class, such as "5 as feet as inches", so long as both classes share a common unit type (in this case, length, whose base unit is meters).

    To compile the displayed results of a command that returns a unit-type value, a global Get Data handler has been added to resolve the unit type object specifier and coerce it to a value.

  • Unicode Types and Coercions (built-in)

    This version introduces the type Unicode text. Its basic structure is a stream of Unicode text. It can be coerced to and from the normal typeText, typeStyledText, and typeIntlText.

  • Consolidated Scripting Additions

    The following scripting additions, which previously were delivered as separate files in previous versions of Mac OS, have been consolidated into the "Standard Additions" scripting addition:

    • AGStart
    • Beep
    • Choose Application
    • Choose File
    • Current Date
    • Display Dialog (now allows you to specify a timeout)
    • File Commands
    • Load Script
    • Numerics
    • String Commands
    • Read/Write Commands
    • Run Script
    • Store Script
    • Time To GMT

Compatibility Note:
The interface and functionality of the consolidated scripting additions listed above is unchanged from AppleScript 1.1.2.

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AppleShare Workstation Client 3.8

AppleShare Workstation Client provides file sharing services for computers networked with file servers.

Compatibility Note:
AppleShare Workstation Client 3.8 can be used with Mac OS 7.5.3 and later.

  • A new UAM (User Authentication Module) API has been added that allows UAMs to use TCP/IP.

    Related Materials:

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Application Switcher

Application Switcher 1.0

The Application Switcher is a new user interface element that appears as a floating window, providing a clickable list of active processes running on the computer.

Compatibility Note:
Application Switcher uses command-tab as a keyboard shortcut for switching between open applications. It is possible to disable or change the keyboard shortcut for switching between open applications using the AppleScript script on the Application Switcher Help page.

AppleScript support for the application window includes:

  • Query and set location, size, and properties of the Application Window

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Desktop Printing

Desktop Printing 2.2.1

Desktop Printing provides easy access to printers by locating them on the desktop. Users can access information about their print jobs by opening these icons, and they can print documents by dropping them into the printer icon.

  • Third party desktop printing is now supported.

    AppleScript support includes:

    • Get a list of all desktop printers.

    • Create a new desktop printer.

    • Set the current printer to an existing desktop printer.

    Related Materials:

    • The LaserWriter 8 section
    • Technote TN1097, "Desktop Printing Revealed"
    • Technote TN1113, "Customizing Desktop Printer Utility"
    • Technote TN1131, "Creating Desktop Printers on the Fly"

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Find by Content

Find By Content 2.0

Provides system-wide search facilities for finding related files based on their content.

  • A CFM-based interface is available for developers wanting to access the Find By Content services to search files on disks from within their applications.

    Related Materials:

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Internet Config

Internet Config 2.0.2

Internet Config provides a centralized storehouse of information for various settings utilized by Internet applications. It provides methods for applications to both retrieve and store configuration information.

  • Support for switchable sets of preferences has been added for handling multiple locations or users.

  • A new API for interrupt-safe file extension mapping designed for file system developers has been added.

  • Additional file types have been added to the file extension mapping database.

  • Internet Config clients can now link against a CFM library.

    Related Materials:

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LaserWriter 8 version 8.6

LaserWriter 8 provides the ability to print to PostScript printers. The new LaserWriter 8 software provides many enhancements and new features of interest to developers including the following:

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Mac OS Runtime for Java 2.0

Mac OS Runtime for Java (MRJ) is Apple's implementation of the Java runtime environment. MRJ allows Java functionality to be embedded in Mac OS applications, and applications using MRJ's JManager API are able to run Java applets and applications.

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Network Setup

Network Setup Extension 1.0

The Network Setup Extension provides for programmatic configuration of the AppleTalk, TCP/IP, Infrared, and Remote Access settings.

  • The Network Setup Extension provides both AppleScript and CFM-based APIs for configuration of network settings.

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Open Transport

Open Transport 2.0.1

Open Transport is the networking technology for Mac OS 8.5. Open Transport 2.0.1 contains SNMP and OT SNMP Admin, DHCP enhancements for improved compatibility with Windows NT, including Client ID, new APIs for manipulating configurations, scriptability for AppleTalk, TCP, Modem, Remote Access, Infrared control panels, and bug fixes.

  • The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) implementation now supports a number of much-requested features, including Client Identification, retention of the lease on a given IP address across boots, better user feedback in the event that the DHCP server is unavailable, and better support of RFC 2131. Many of these changes address customer concerns about OT's DHCP compatibility with Windows NT DHCP servers.

  • Support for the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is available for Open Transport. Support for the version 2 Management Information Base (MIB II), instrumentation for AppleTalk and TCP/IP protocols and transports, administrative tools, and system agent support for the PCI bus will be provided.

  • Minor changes to Open Transport support for Apple Remote Access to allow feature requests such as support for MS-CHAP Authentication support and RFC 1877 to automatically negotiate DNS address with a server. These changes address customer concerns about OT's compatibility with Windows NT PPP servers.

  • If Open Transport TCP/IP is configured to use DHCP and it receives no response from any DHCP server within 30 seconds, it will dynamically assign a temporary address in the local non-routable self-assignment range (169.254.x.x) and operate using this address until a DHCP server becomes available. This allows hosts on the same Ethernet to communicate with each other using IP (for example, to allow high-performance TCP/IP access to an AppleShare IP server) even if no connection to the Internet is available.

    Related Materials:

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PlainTalk 1.5.3

PlainTalk provides both speech recognition services and services for the translation of text into audible speech. Mac OS 8.5 installation ships with English Text to Speech 1.5.3, Speech Recognition, and Mexican Spanish Text to Speech. English Text to Speech is installed as part of the default Mac OS 8.5 installation. Speech Recognition can be installed as a custom install option.

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QuickTime 3.0

QuickTime provides various multimedia services for the Mac OS, including the ability to display movies, and facilities for the translation and display of various audio and visual data file formats.

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QuickDraw 3D

QuickDraw 3D 1.5.4

QuickDraw 3D provides 3D drawing services for the Mac OS.

Related Materials:

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Apple Menu Items

Apple Menu Items

Items in the Apple Menu Items folder appear in the Apple Menu. Files of type 'APPD' are auto-routed to the Apple Menu Items folder when they are dropped on the System Folder's icon.

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Apple System Profiler

Apple System Profiler 2.1.1

The Apple System Profiler provides a simple way to obtain information regarding the current system configuration. Information provided by the Profiler is useful for customer support representatives in assisting users.

  • AppleScript support includes:

    • Query or set which data options to gather in a system profile report.

    • Create a system profile report (document).

    • Save a report to disk.

    • Print a report.

  • Added a close box to Quit the application.

  • The Apple System Profiler now searches and reports more hardware and software configuration information than did previous versions.

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Key Caps

Key Caps 8.1

Key Caps provides a user interface for displaying and viewing the characters produced by various key combinations.

  • Key Caps will work with System 7.5.3 and later versions of the Mac OS.

  • Key Caps is now an 'APPD'-type application.

  • Key Caps provides Unicode support for 'uchr' system resources.

  • For better display of multiple Unicode characters that map to a single key, as in the Indic and Unicode keyboard layouts, the Key Caps window can now be zoomed to a larger size. When the cursor is on a key that displays multiple Unicode characters, a yellow floating popup window showing all the characters will appear below the key.

  • Dead keys are outlined using a gray color instead of a gray pattern.

  • Support for inline text entry has been added.

  • KeyCaps supports 'fn' and 'num-lock' mode display on PowerBook G3 computers.

  • To allow for better character visibility, Key Caps now draws small keys with a smaller font and less 3D styling than other square keys. For example, the arrow keys on the PowerBook G3 are drawn in this way.

  • Any new keys with either the standard 21-pixel width or 21-pixel height (defined in 'KCAP' resources) will be correctly drawn without requiring any new supporting 'kbit' or 'kpdr' resource in Key Caps.

  • The Key Caps Preferences file in the Preferences folder now contains the version of the last instance of Key Caps that wrote into the Preferences file.

  • A problem where a crash could occur when pasting a large amount of text into the text box has been corrected.

    Related Materials:

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Network Browser

Network Browser 1.0

  • The Network Browser application allows for convenient access to file servers available on AppleTalk networks.

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Sherlock 2.0.1

Sherlock provides search facilities for Mac OS computers. In addition to the traditional capabilities of the Find application, Sherlock supports searching by content and Internet searches.

  • Sherlock passes additional information to applications along with 'odoc' events, allowing applications to display information about how a file was found.

  • Sherlock utilizes search plug-in files describing Internet search sites. Specifications are available for search site administrators to create their own search plug-in files, thereby making their search sites available to the Sherlock application.

  • Sherlock provides AppleScript support for searching by content, indexing volumes, searching the Internet, and searching for files by name.

    Related Materials:

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Apple Extras

Apple Video Player

Apple Video Player 1.7.1

The Apple Video Player provides facilities for live video playback.

  • AppleScript support includes:

    • Play video from any source.

    • Capture video to QuickTime movie or PICT.

    • Capture Teletext or Closed Caption data.

    • Navigate Teletext screens.

    • Change channel, volume, Teletext page, bass/treble, brightness/sharpness, etc.

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SNMP Admin

SNMP Administrator 1.0

Open Transport now supports SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol). SNMP Administrator provides a user interface for configuring SNMP.

  • AppleScript support includes the ability to address and send e-mail.

    Related Materials:

    • Technote NW19, "How the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) Manager Finds Network Cards"
    • Technote NW22, "SNMP Transports"
    • The MacSNMP 1.1.1 SDK

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Disk Copy

Disk Copy 6.3.1

Disk Copy allows for disk image creation, mounting, and writing.

  • AppleScript support includes:

    • Query and set all application preferences.

    • Mount a Disk Copy image as a disk volume.

    • Unmount Disk Copy volumes.

    • Check and verify Disk Copy images and checksums.

    • Make a floppy from a Disk Copy document.

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Disk First Aid

Disk First Aid 8.5.1

Disk First Aid is an application program that provides disk diagnostic and repair services. It is normally located in the Utilities directory in the startup disk's root directory.

  • Code from Disk First Aid runs whenever the "improper shut down" dialog appears.

  • Unlike previous versions of Disk First Aid, the new Disk First Aid program allows you to repair the startup volume and other volumes with open files.

  • Disk First Aid now verifies and repairs the "HFS wrapper" on HFS Plus volumes.

  • Disk First Aid can now repair many kinds of damage caused by older disk utilities that are not compatible with HFS Plus volumes.

    AppleScript support includes:

    • Verify and/or repair a volume.

    Related Materials:

    • The Disk First Aid "Read Me" file

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Drive Setup

Drive Setup 1.6

Drive Setup provides drive initialization services for Apple hard drives.

  • Drive Setup can now reinitialize a drive maintaining the former partition scheme and formats.

  • Drive Setup warns before updating a driver.

  • Contains bug fixes.

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Apple Developer Utilities

Mac OS 8.5 requires updated copies of the following Apple Developer Utilities:


MacsBug 6.5.4a6

MacsBug is Apple's low-level debugger, providing a user interface for the disassembly and perusal of machine-level instructions.

Compatibility Note:
Mac OS 8.5 will not load versions of MacsBug earlier than 6.5.4a5. If Mac OS 8.5 finds an unsupported version of MacsBug in the System Folder, it will attempt to rename the MacsBug file to "MacsBug Obsolete" (where " Obsolete" is a localized string).

Compatibility Note:
In Mac OS 8.5, the Font Manager has its own private heap zone. This heap has no free blocks. As a result, Macsbug 6.5.4 reports the heap is corrupt. This is a harmless condition, not a real corrupt heap; Macsbug is reporting the wrong thing.

Related Materials:

  • MacsBug Reference and Debugging Guide
  • Download MacsBug

Macintosh Programmer's Workshop (MPW)

Some versions of MPW Shell and StdCLib can cause problems under Mac OS 8.5. Developers should use MPW 3.5 or later when using Mac OS 8.5 or later. Information about retrieving the most recent version of MPW can be found at the address:

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Items No Longer Supported

Appearance Extension

The Appearance Extension is no longer in the Extensions folder. Its functionality has been incorporated into the System file.

Apple Remote Access Client

Apple Remote Access Client has been integrated into Remote Access 3.1.


Cyberdog is no longer included with Mac OS.

Desktop Pictures control panel

The Desktop Pictures control panel is no longer installed. Its functionality has been incorporated into the Appearance control panel.

Mac OS Easy Open

The Mac OS Easy Open control panel is no longer installed. Its interface has been incorporated into the File Exchange control panel, and its functionality has been moved to the System file.

Map control panel

The Map control panel is no longer supported. Its functionality has been incorporated into the Date & Time control panel. For backwards compatibility, it is provided in the Apple Extras folder.


OpenDoc is no longer included with the Mac OS.

AppleShare IP 6.1 will require and include OpenDoc when it ships, and will be supported on Mac OS 8.5 in that configuration.

Open Transport/PPP 1.0.1

Open Transport/PPP has been integrated into Remote Access 3.1.

WorldScript Power Adapter

The World Script Power Adapter has been obsoleted by changes to Script Manager, the Font Manager, et al.

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Acrobat version of this Note (400K).


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