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Re: Mac interface...

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  • Re: Mac interface...

    I'm looking for some interesting alternatives for the Mac platform. Basicly, AMS for the Mac. Right now, when clients ask me to offer cross-plattform compatability, I'm left writing an html document for the Mac and using a program like CDEverywhere to both autorun (autostart for those Mac users out there) the html file in the Mac and hide it from the Windows PC. Then using AMS as usual on the Windows OS side of the ROM.

    I've played around with javascript and ran into several dead-ends, not to mention the fact that the mac user will still have to have javascript enabled. The requirements for this query/developer challenge are:

    It has to be cheap...very cheap. (I've gone waaay over budget with developer tools,'s only for the Mac! [img]/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif[/img] ).

    It has to be somewhat stable on most versions of the Mac (a few OS's back and as far as plugin support goes).

    It would be great to be able to hide the files in some manor (I don't want any files out on Napster or whatever the next day).

    It has to be adaptable to multiple client's needs (hence no flash since I am a flash-moron [img]/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif[/img] )

    You get the idea...

    This was the last idea I came up with. It has some major flaws, but it may be the right direction for everyone here who may need to offer a quick and easy menu for our Mac clients:

    Using a PDF document (made very version-friendly: perhaps version 3.0) made from an html file, the Mac autoruns the PDF document.

    Once loaded the document welcomes you to the program and explains about the business, tells them how to enable the javascript settings, talks about the weather...whatever. It's real function is to hide the file names and code while acting as a sort of host-like pre-interface.

    The page then has a hyperlink entitled "Click here to explore the ROM". Once clicked, the hyperlink fires a java command defined by perameters in the html/PDF document (is that possible)?

    The javascript command is a pop-up window about the size of your AMS Windows PC version. The pop-up has no borders or scrolls, and could even use the image background that you used in the PC version. Let's assume that the Mac pop-up window fired by the PDF hyperlink is 200x200 pixels.

    If you make the background image of the pop-up 201x201 pixels, then the image will be out of range of the window and the user will not be able to access the html source code behind the image, but they will be able to click on all of the links and access all of the content as if they were browsing the web. Only it looks exactly like a CD-ROM menu. Perhaps even identical to the PC version, only more basic in function.

    Since the pop-up window is actually an html document that is fired from a javascript command, the html can be very easily altered to meet the needs of your Mac clients. Not to mention that all of the called-upon files are sort of hidden (at least by name).

    So here's how it could look (if it's possible at all):

    Windows PC user pops in CD, AMS kicks in and everyone's happy (Yeeeaaahh!!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif[/img] ). Then someone in the group (PR department) complains that they need the information that's on the ROM on their Mac computer for publication work. After a brief laughing spell, the group hands the Mac user the ROM and the Mac user storms off with the disc.

    (sorry...a little Dilbert humor there).

    The Mac user pops the disc into their drive and the autorun calls upon the PDF file (assuming that just about everyone has some driver for it).

    The PDF opens and welcomes the user to the disc. Perhaps even tells them where to get an html browser like "IE for Mac" or "Navigator" (if they don't have a browser..I don't know, maybe they deleted it...they're Mac users...who knows [img]/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif[/img] ).

    In the intro written on the PDF is a "Click here" link in big, bold letters. Once clicked a pop-up window that looks like your AMS interface pops up on their desktop over the PDF.

    The interface looks and acts sort of like the AMS one (we're talking text and links here folks...don't expect system commands).

    Since all of the actions performed in the pop-up window call upon functions defined in the html document, which is further burried inside a PDF shell, the user should have no knowledge of what's going on. *Trying to hold back from another Mac-user joke*

    Some pretty cool Mac-bandaids could be extracted from this method assuming the PDF doesn't eat the html functionality (Which it may), but there may be some future in javascript pop-ups for the Mac version since Mac supports all three formats mentioned above and obviously doesn't support general system commands or window parameters like .ini files do on the Win PC.

    So far, I have the PDF document with the link, but when I fire it, the javascript pops up a blank window instead of the called upon html file. I'll have to play with it some more. Please, anybody, help with this. And if you have any freeware or cheap solutions, please advise so we can make both sides of the office cubical happy: PC and Mac.

    (Adobe has a really cool file converter for those out there who need to turn documents into pdf files. It costs as little as $10 per month and they give you 5 conversions for free! How cool is that)? Maybe someday I'll get "uncheap" and just buy acrobat. Until then, this could be your quick solution.

    *No Mac users were harmed in the writing of this post*



  • #2
    Re: Mac interface...

    I've been needing an autorun menu for the MAC too. My last few projects I did like you and used HTML and javascript but kept running into too many problems.

    I finally bit the bullet and went with Flash. I too am a flash moron but it only took me a day to figure out how to do it.

    I essentially built a flash projector (executable) and reused all my images from my AMS project to make it look nearly identical to the PC MENU.

    Using the Flash menu and some Applescript I can now launch Executables, HTML, Websites, PDF, .DOC from the mac menu.

    Not sure what you are trying to do but...

    Let me know if you want to try building the menu in flash for the MAC and I'll try to help.

    I'll warn you that it will not be as easy as doing it in AMS.

    It's the blind leading the blind