Experimenting with INIT/cdev support

This previous weekend, while helping Pukka to fix a mysterious coordinate calculation bug in Fool’s Errand intro, I decided to experiment with one weird idea: How about adding support for System Extensions and Control Panels? Therefore, yesterday I added the After Dark ‘cdev’ control panel to MacPaint app’s build settings to be included in the System Folder, and took some time to look what it would take to make it work.

Basically, INITs and cdevs are loaded during the startup by Mac OS by checking a few bits (such as file type, visibility, etc), opening the resource map of each file, and executing the first ‘INIT’ code resource found. At this experimental stage, we don’t yet have full INIT/cdev scanning, but instead have just a hard-coded filename to load INIT code from which works ok enough for this test case.

Our boot-time heap wasn’t quite properly set up yet, as the boot stack was too high, not leaving enough space between MemTop and BufPtr, which on the first attempt of running the INIT caused After Dark’s InitZone call to actually end up at top of the stack, causing all sorts of havoc. Besides that, there were a ton of bugs/improvements:

  • 68k-to-68k trap calls did not work correctly (i.e. calling a trap patched with 68k from 68k code)
  • InitZone parameter block handling was completely broken from the last year’s trap refactor, so it was fixed
  • Memory Manager’s Handle validation had not taken into account the case where handle’s “relative handle” field would point to invalid memory location in some “fake” handles (as one in After Dark), for which validation was added
  • Empty stubs were added for Notification Manager calls to allow After Dark to call them during activation/deactivation of screen saver
  • Locking of 68k mutex was not done early enough, so After Dark’s VBL handler was making the initial call Launch trap to have invalid register values
  • After Dark uses grafProcs to call QuickDraw, so one missing case used by it was added (ovalProc for ovals)

After that bunch of minor tweaks, we have now at least After Dark working nicely!

After Dark icon displayed during loading of MacPaint

Although the INIT code itself works, there is not yet any UI for displaying cdevs (Control Panels), so modules cannot be configured yet, and thus only the default “Starry Night” built-in module is displayed.

“Starry Night” (default module) running in After Dark inside MacPaint application bundle

There’s also a short video to demonstrate After Dark running:

Although not very usable feature at the moment, this will definitely allow interesting possibilities in the future, as theoretically we should be able to run applications requiring certain application-specific extensions to be present in the System Folder. This experimenting with After Dark has anyway allowed us to find a number of important bugs (as previously mentioned), and also works as a very good “compatibility” test to see how well our Toolbox API and 68k implementation can handle one very quirky control panel, as it patches a ton of toolbox traps and does a lot of low-level stuff which all appear to be compatible with our emulation.