Micol Desktop Construction Set

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Micol Desktop Construction Set

Does anyone have any idea how to actually use Micol's Desktop Construction Set. While there is 'documentation' (attached), it is not at all clear what to do. It 'looks' like it is 'easy' to use, but I need instructions written for a 10 year old. Programmers/Developers should absolutely NEVER be allowed to write user documentation. They almost always make assumptions about the skill level of a user and while this 'documentation' contains lots of information, it is not written is a way that facilitates a first time user to create anything. Read it and see if you can create a simple window or even recreate the 'desktop' metaphor that exists as a demonstration program that is included. This is extremely frustrating !

Any help is sincerely appreciated.

CVT
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It seems pretty well documented

It seems pretty well documented for an SDK of that era. You can't really compare it to the typical documentation of modern SDKs, that often target casual programmers and contain lots of working examples that run directly in your browser with just a click of the mouse. The target user here is a programmer proficient in Micol Advanced Basic.

 

Being a programmer was much more challenging in those days!

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Some sample desktop construction set code

While I maintain my opinion that the Desktop Construction Set ‘documentation’ is very poorly written leaving a great deal of relevant information missing, it provides enough to provide a fundamental grasp of how to create ‘windows’ in an old style interface as is shown in the attached ‘windemo.po’ disk image. It is obviously necessary to also consult the Micol Advanced Basic documentation as well.  

One odd behavior when trying to create something using the ‘desktop’ metaphor with menus and windows is that if one window is open on the desktop, closing it also closes the entire user program. One ‘hack’ could be to simply ‘paint’ over the area occupied by a window that is created simply to remain open while others can be opened and closed without causing the entire application to close. While it would probably work, it is a very crude ‘hack’. A better approach is probably to fiddle with the ‘window_level%’ variable such that any single remaining open window on the ‘desktop’ would be ‘fooled’ into believing that it is not the only open window thereby preventing the entire desktop from closing when that window is closed. I’ll save that as an example for next time.

In any case, here is the code to the attached ‘windemo’ program ...Package iconwindemo.zip Plain text iconwin1.3 10.29.23.txt

Comments welcomed...

 

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