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Developer's Corner at the GX Fan Club

This page is devoted to listing different sources of QuickDraw GX-related developer information on the Internet, including downloadable files. If you are aware of information that is not presented here, please let me know.

SPECIAL SECTION : GXDevList members are discussing a common Font Feature Controller interface.

Developer information about QuickDraw GX

QuickDraw GX Home Page
The official GX Home Page is headquartered at Apple. There are sections devoted to graphics, printing and typography (including the Font Feature Registry) with examples and sample code.

GX Programming Intro
Lawrence D'Oliveiro, a frequent contributor to these pages, has recently set up some pages on the Web dealing with QuickDraw GX from a programmer's standpoint. Entitled the GX Programming Intro, these pages offer alot of good information, including GX programming tips and tricks, interviews with members of the GX development team at Apple, and much more.

Inside Macintosh
Apple has put the entire series of Inside Macintosh - QuickDraw GX on the Internet. Each volume is available directly on the web and as a downloadable, DocViewer or Acrobat

Apple Developer Technical Support has also published some documents detailing errors in the original Inside Macintosh series of books. See the Technotes section on this page for the necessary links.

Technical Q & As
Apple also maintains a section on their Developer Technical Support web devoted to answering more technical questions about QuickDraw GX and other topics. Oriented towards programmers, there are specific pages for each of the three elements of the GX technology. I have also included some related topics. :

develop, the Apple Technical Journal
develop is Apple's magazine for developers. Articles in develop focus on different aspects of programming for QuickDraw GX. They are usually written by the engineers who develop QuickDraw GX and they offer many helpful hints. Links in this mini-section refer to other html pages or to Adobe Acrobat files (pdf)

Technotes is a collection of technical notes collected and maintained by Apple Developer Technical Support. They provide you with "programming tips and techniques, code samples, fixes and updates to Inside Macintosh and other sources of Apple documentation. The Notes have been reviewed by Apple engineers for technical accuracy and robustness."

1996 WorldWide Developers Conference Presentations
QuickDraw GX is tightly integrated into the next versions of the Macintosh Operating System, MacOS 8 (aka Copland). There were three different presentations at the 1996 WorldWide Developers Conference that discussed how GX will integrate into MacOS 8 and what the future brings. These presentations are available as Adobe Persuasion documents that you may playback with Persuasion Player

Other sources

Utilities, debuggers and tools

QuickDraw GX SDK
The QuickDraw GX SDK is the official Apple SDK for GX developers. It includes sample code, GX 1.1.3 debugging inits, documentation and more

GraphicsBug is a simple debugger to check the graphics objects that GX produces. (from description at Apple)

GX Graphics Bug
This is a debugging INIT, intended only for developers. It enables validation and warning notices. Note: This will slow down your system because there are many error checks. There is a known incompatibility between this INIT and QuickTime. It will be fixed in a future release of GXGraphics(debug). (from description at Apple)

GXifier Tool
Recent versions of the GXifier come with the GXifier Tool, which can be used in MPW (Macintosh Programmer's Workshop).

GXOverride Tool
The GXOverride tool is written by Daniel Lipton to aid in the development of GX drivers and extensions. It allows the developer to maintain a single source file describing the message overrides in a driver or printing extension. The tool generates the resource files and the assembly files that would otherwise have to be written by hand and maintained.

PDD Reader
PDD Reader, written by Chris Kempke allows you to view Portable Digital Document PDD files produced by QuickDraw GX. Among the features that PDD Reader offers ( compared to SimpleView and SimpleText) is the ability to "Show Shape Tags", allowing you to the tags (4-character type) associated with QuickDraw-GX shapes in the PDD file.

Font Tools

TrueEdit is very much like a ResEdit for fonts. It allows you to create and edit different characteristics of a font. Presently, it only works with TrueType and TrueType GX. While there is no official documentation with it, a kind and generous Net citizen, documentation for TrueEdit in PDD format.

Mutator allows you to work with TrueType variation axes ex : Skia)

GX Waterfall
GX Waterfall generates complete runs of glyphs in various sizes for font proofing purposes.

Font Validator
Font Validator is the main tool used to check the correctness of a font. It reports all kinds of errors and warnings about a font. It is under active development, so expect future versions.

GXifier allows you to transform TrueType fonts into GX fonts. The GXifier adds QuickDraw GX tables to the TrueType fonts you specify. Once these tables have been added, you will have access to all the glyphs in your fonts, including some you didn't have access to before, when you use applications that support QuickDraw GX typgraphy. Some of the documentation is in PDD format, requiring you to have GX installed to read it.

Font Compare

Sample Code

Color Layout Library
The latest version of the Color Layout Library, it has been compiled with the latest headers (Universal Headers 2.1).

IW-Half-Dither GX Printer Driver
From the Read Me file : "IW-Half-Dither" is a GX printer driver designed to allow an ImageWriter II to render and print in halftone using the 'rdip' resource. Includes sample code.

GX Printing Kit 1.0
The GX Printing Kit for PowerPlant is a set of classes for making an application GX-aware. A GX-aware application is one which uses the new Page Setup and Print dialogs and so can take advantage of printing extensions, drag-n-drop printing and so forth. The permanent home of the GX Printing Kit is at Alastair Rankine's web site

Custom GX Printer Drivers
GX Extension Shell (CW7)
GX Metrowerks Samples

Mailing lists

The QuickDraw GX Fan Club has set up two mailing lists, with one geared especially for developers. GXDevList is devoted to QuickDraw GX programming and development issues. It may at times be highly technical. Among the members of GXDevList you will find members of Apple's GX engineering team, members of Apple Developer Technical Services (DTS), developers who have shipped GX-based products (including printer drivers), and many more.

See the subscription page for more information including an online subscription form.

Searching for more information

The Internet is rich with other sources of information. Apple maintains a search engine for searching its Developer Services site, including Technotes. The Alta Vista search-engine is probably the best Internet-wide engine available.

Search the Apple Developer Services archive

Enter words describing a concept or keywords you wish to find information about:

Documentation about making queries is available.

Search Altavista

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