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Encyclopedia > Resource (Macintosh)

The resource fork is a construct of the Mac OS operating system and implemented in all of the filesystems used for system drives on the Macintosh, MFS, HFS and HFS Plus (However later versions of mac OS could read and write to disks in formats that didn't support resourse forks like fat), used to store structured data in a file, alongside and tightly bound to unstructured data within the data fork. While the resource fork is probably mostly used by applications and other executables, every file is able to have a resource fork, and so its use is not limited to applications alone. For example, a word processing file might store its text in the data fork, while storing any embedded images in the same file's resource fork. Original 1984 Mac OS desktop Current 2005 Mac OS X desktop Mac OS, which stands for Macintosh Operating System, is Apple Computer’s name for the first operating systems for Macintosh computers. ... In computing, an operating system (OS) is the system software responsible for the direct control and management of hardware and basic system operations. ... See Filing system for this term as it is used in libraries and offices In computing, a file system is a method for storing and organizing computer files and the data they contain to make it easy to find and access them. ... The iMac G5, Apples flagship consumer desktop. ... Macintosh File System (MFS) is a volume format (or disk file system) created by Apple Computer for storing files on 400K floppy disks. ... Hierarchical File System (HFS), is a file system developed by Apple Computer for use on computers running Mac OS. Originally designed for use on floppy and hard disks, it can also be found on read-only media such as CD-ROMs. ... HFS Plus or HFS+ is a file system developed by Apple Computer to replace their Hierarchical File System (HFS) as the primary file system used on Macintosh computers. ... Look up fat in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Unlike most prior microcomputer systems, in which programs directly accessed hardware and were responsible for user interaction and input/output themselves, the Macintosh provided operating system services for many I/O functions, notably the graphical user interface. Many of the data structures used by these routines, including the layout of GUI elements such as menus and windows, are stored in structured formats known as resources. Resources are stored in the resource fork of each application or other file. While access to the data fork works like file access on any other operating system — pick a file, pick a byte offset, read some data — access to the resource fork works more like extracting structured records from a database. In computing, an operating system (OS) is the system software responsible for the direct control and management of hardware and basic system operations. ... A graphical user interface (or GUI, sometimes pronounced gooey) is a method of interacting with a computer through a metaphor of direct manipulation of graphical images and widgets in addition to text. ...


Each resource has an OSType identifier (a four byte value) and an ID (a signed word), as well as an optional name. There are standardised resource types for dialog boxes ('DITL'), images ('PICT'), sounds ('snd ') — and even for executable binaries ('CODE'), which were until the advent of the PowerPC processor without exception stored in the resource fork. Subroutines for rendering windows are stored in their own type of resources ('WDEF'), subroutines for rendering menus in theirs ('MDEF'), and if there is a type of data you think does not fit any of the standardised categories, you can just as well use a type of your own (eg. 'John') — actually any four characters or 32-bit value can serve as a resource type. This arrangement enabled users to easily customise not only individual applications but also the operating system itself, using tools such as ResEdit to modify the resources of an application file or any of the system files. OSType (also known as FourCC or ResType) is the name of a four-byte type commonly used as an identifier in Mac OS. The four bytes could in principle have any binary value, though they are usually ASCII or characters from the Mac Roman character set. ... Sign can denote any of the following: Within a writing system, a sign is a basic unit. ... A computer word is a measurement of the size of the natural amount of computer memory a particular computer uses. ... Dialog boxes are special windows which are used by computer programs or by the operating system to display information to the user, or to get a response if needed. ... PICT is a graphics file format introduced on the original Apple Macintosh computer as its standard metafile format. ... PowerPC is a RISC microprocessor architecture created by the 1991 Apple-IBM-Motorola alliance, known as AIM. Originally intended for workstations, PowerPC CPUs have since become popular embedded and high-performance processors as well. ... A CPU The exact term processor is a sub-system of a data processing system which processes received information after it has been encoded into data by the input sub-system. ... A window is a visual area, usually rectangular in shape, containing some kind of user interface, displaying the the output of and allowing input for one of a number of simultaneously running computer processes. ... ResEdit version 2. ...


Within an application or other code, resources can be loaded simply using a combination of their type, ID or name, without regard to how and where they are stored in the resource fork. The client is returned a Handle to the loaded resource which can then be accessed like any other heap-based data. The OS component that facilitates this is the Resource Manager. In addition to abstracting the details of the data storage from the data itself, the Resource Manager also arranges sets of open resource forks into a stack, with the most recently opened file on top. When trying to load a resource, it will look in the top of the stack first, (perhaps the current document's resource fork), then the next one down (the application's resource fork), then the next one (system resource forks). This arrangement is very powerful — it permits local resources to override more global ones lower down — so an application can provide its own icons or fonts in place of the standard system ones, for example. It also allows an application to load resources from the system using the same API as any other resource, without regard to where or how that resource is stored — to the application, all resources are equally available and easy to use. The system reserves resource IDs in a certain range to help avoid resource conflicts arising from this. Resource Manager APIs allow the programmer to manipulate the stack and modify the search behaviour. Look up Handle in Wiktionary, the free dictionary The word handle may refer to any of several things: a device attached to a movable object, that is gripped to move or use the object; see handle (grip) (especially in citizens band radio and online) a pseudonym; see user name ans...


This complexity has led to compatibility problems with other filesystems in the past. In order to transmit a Macintosh file over a network or other medium, the data and resource forks must be serialized together. A number of file formats, such as MacBinary and BinHex, have been used to implement this. In addition, a file server seeking to present filesystems to Macintosh clients must accommodate the resource fork as well as the data fork of files; Unix servers usually implement this with hidden directories. Due to the Mac OS forked file structure, transferring Mac OS files to non-Macintosh computers is problematic. ... BinHex, short for binary-to-hexadecimal, is an ASCII armoring system that was used on the Mac OS for sending binary files through E-mail. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Unix-like. ...


Other operating systems

The concept of a resource is now largely universal in all modern operating systems. However, the concept of the resource fork remains a Mac-only one. Most operating systems used a binary file containing resources, which is then "tacked onto" the end of an existing program file. This solution is used on Microsoft Windows for instance, and similar solutions are used with the X Window System, although the resources are often left as a separate file. Microsoft Windows is a range of operating environments for personal computers and servers. ... In computing, the X Window System (commonly X11 or X) is a windowing system for bitmap displays. ...


Although the Windows NT NTFS can support forks (and so can be a file server for Mac files), the native feature providing that support, called an alternate data stream, has never been used extensively — certainly not as a true resource fork. However, Windows operating system features (such as the standard Summary tab in the Properties page for non-Office files) and Windows applications are using them more often now, (and Microsoft is developing a next-generation file system that has this sort of feature as basis). Windows NT is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, and was succeeded by Windows 2000 (still based on Windows NT). ... NTFS or New Technology File System is the standard file system of Windows NT and its descendants Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. ... In computing, an alternate data stream (ADS) is additional data associated with a file system object. ... In computing, WinFS is the code name of a Windows storage subsystem, being developed by Microsoft for use on its Windows operating system. ...


Early versions of the BeOS implemented a database within the filesystem, which could be used in a manner analogous to a resource fork. Performance issues led them to change this in later releases, to a system of complex filesystem attributes. Under this system resources were handled in a fashion somewhat more analogous to the Mac. BeOS was an operating system for personal computers which began development by Be Incorporated in 1991. ...


PalmOS uses a resource fork heavily inspired by the MacOS, with resources defined by OSTypes and IDs, with standardized formats for alerts, dialogs, menus, icons, bitmaps and other resources. Palm OS is an operating system made by PalmSource, Inc. ...


Perhaps the best solution to the problem was implemented on the NeXT operating systems NeXTSTEP and OPENSTEP, and its successor, Mac OS X, and other systems like RISC OS. Under these systems the resources are left in an original format, for instance, pictures are included as complete TIFF files instead of being encoded into some sort of container. These resources are then placed in a directory using a Unix filesystem along with the executable code and "raw data". The directory (called a "bundle") is then presented to the user as the application itself. This solution provides all of the same functionality as the resource fork, but allows the resources be easily manipulated by any application – a "resource editor" (like ResEdit) is not needed. From the command line interface, the bundle appears to be a normal directory. This approach was not an option on the original Macintosh OS, since the file system (MFS) did not support folders/directories. Mac OS X does retain the classic Resource Manager API as part of its Carbon libraries for backward compatibility. However, the resources themselves can now be stored in separate data files within the OSX filesystem — the Resource Manager now hides this implementation change from the client code. The NeXT logo, designed by Paul Rand. ... NeXTSTEP Desktop NEXTSTEP is the original object-oriented, multitasking operating system that NeXT Computer, Inc. ... OpenStep is an open object-oriented API specification for an object-oriented operating system that uses any modern operating system as its core, principally developed by NeXT. It is important to recognize that while OpenStep is an API specification, OPENSTEP (all capitalized) is a specific implementation of this OpenStep developed... Mac OS X (pronounced Mac OS Ten) is the latest version of the Macintosh operating system, and is designed and developed by Apple Computer to run on their Macintosh line of personal computers. ... RISC OS (Reduced Instruction Set Computing Operating System) is a British GUI operating system for ARM-processor based computers or similar devices. ... This article is about TIFF, the computer image format. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Unix-like. ... Rxvt is a VT102 terminal emulator A command line interface or CLI is a method of interacting with a computer by giving it lines of textual commands (that is, a sequence of characters) either from keyboard input or from a script. ... Mac OS is the operating system developed by Apple Computer. ... Macintosh File System (MFS) is a volume format (or disk file system) created by Apple Computer for storing files on 400K floppy disks. ... API redirects here. ... Carbon is the codename of Apple Computers APIs for the Macintosh operating system, which permits a good degree of backward compatibility between source code written to run on the classic Mac OS, and the newer Mac OS X. The APIs are published and accessed in the form of C...


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