21 Pen Object Library

The Pen Library provides routines and object classes which work together to form the backbone of a note-book style database storing pen input.

An Ink object is a visual object and may be used by any application that wants to work with pen input. Though any targetable object may accept ink (see “Input,” Chapter 11 of the Concepts Book), InkClass has many optimizations for working with ink.

The Ink Database routines provide a front end to the standard GEOS Database (DB) library routines well suited for storing and organizing several small pieces of information. These routines allow the storage of notes within a hierarchical arrangement of folders. Each note may contain one or more pages of textual or ink information.

If you wish to work directly with the incoming pen input, read “Input,” Chapter 11 of the Concepts Book to find out how to intercept pen events. To understand the inner workings of the Ink Database routines, you should be familiar with the DB library.

21.1 The Ink Object

InkClass provides methods for storing multiple pen inputs in a compact form. It automatically handles all queries about pen input. It handles display, with the power to display the ink in any color, and it allows the use of standard or custom background pictures.

To change the way the Ink class (or any other appropriate class) handles ink, the messages to subclass are MSG_META_NOTIFY_WITH_DATA_BLOCK (with the notification type MANUFACTURER_ID_GEOWORKS, NT_INK), MSG_META_QUERY_IF_PRESS_IS_INK, and MSG_VIS_QUERY_IF_OBJECT_HANDLES_INK.

21.1.1 Instance Data and Messages

When setting up an Ink object, probably the only pieces of instance data the application will be concerned with will be II_flags, II_dirtyOutput, and II_dirtyMsg.

Most of the flags are easy to understand, with the possible exceptions of the IF_HAS_TARGET and IF_DIRTY fields, which should not be set when creating the object in any case.

Code Display 21-1 InkClass Instance Data

/* 	II_flags:
 * 	This field holds flags governing the object's behavior:
 *		IF_CONTROLLED, (Set if to be used with an InkControl)
 * 		IF_HAS_UNDO */
@instance 	InkFlags 			II_flags = IF_HAS_UNDO;

/* 	II_tool:
 * 	This field keeps track of how the user is interacting with the Ink. There
 * 	are three possible tools: IT_PENCIL, IT_SELECTOR, and IT_ERASER. */
@instance 	InkTool 		II_tool;

/* 	II_penColor:
 * 	The color to use when drawing ink. */
@instance 	Color 		II_penColor = C_BLACK;

/* 	II_segments:
 * 	Do not set this field explicitly. This field is a handle to the chunk array
 * 	containing the pen segments. The segments are stored as an array of Point
 * 	structures. The stored coordinates are all positive; any x coordinate with
 * 	its sign bit set belongs to the last point in a gesture. Thus, a small 
 * 	cross shape centered at (72, 72) might be stored:
 * 		(0x0048, 0x0046) 
 * 		(0x8048, 0x004A) [note sign bit set in x coordinate]
 * 		(0x0046, 0x0048)
 * 		(0x804A, 0x0048) [sign bit set in x coordinate]	*/
@instance 	ChunkHandle 		II_segments;

/* 	II_dirtyMsg, II_dirtyOutput:
 * 	Together, these fields form an Action Descriptor. When the Ink processes
 * 	a point of pen information, erases anything, or handles an undo event the
 * 	IF_DIRTY flag will be set. If the flag was not set already, then the Ink
 *	will send the AD's message to the AD's object. The handler for this message
 * 	should probably clear the IF_DIRTY bit. */
@instance optr			II_dirtyOutput;
@instance Message	 	II_dirtyMsg;

@instance Rectangle 	II_selectBounds;	/* Internal */
@instance GStateHandle	II_cachedGState;	/* Internal */
@instance TimerHandle 	II_antTimer;		/* Internal */
@instance word 			II_antTimerID;		/* Internal */
@instance byte			II_antMask;			/* Internal */

Most of the Ink messages just change or retrieve the values of the instance fields. The exceptions are two messages will help those applications which need to save or transfer the Ink object’s pen data. Use MSG_INK_SAVE_TO_DB_ITEM to save the pen data to an arbitrary DB item. If the application changes this information and wishes to pass it back to the ink object, use MSG_INK_LOAD_FROM_DB_ITEM.


		InkTool 	tool);

This message allows the Ink to switch between pencil and eraser tools, changing the II_tool field.

Source: Unrestricted.

Destination: Any Ink object.

tool - A tool, either IT_PENCIL or IT_ERASER.

Return: Nothing.

Interception: Unlikely.



This message returns the Ink’s present tool, as stored in II_tool.

Source: Unrestricted.

Destination: Any Ink object.

Parameters: None.

Return: The present tool, either IT_PENCIL or IT_ERASER.

Interception: Unlikely.


		Color 	clr);

This message changes the color used to draw the ink, changing the value in II_penColor.

Source: Unrestricted.

Destination: Any Ink object.

clr - Index to a palette (e.g. C_RED).

Return: Nothing.

Interception: Unlikely.


		word	 method,
		optr	 object);

This message sets the Action Descriptor to be activated when the user dirties the object, changing the values in II_dirtyMsg and II_dirtyOutput.

Source: Unrestricted.

Destination: Any Ink object.

method - The message to send when the object is dirty.

object - The object which should receive the above message.

Return: Nothing.

Interception: Unlikely.


		InkFlags 	setFlags,
		InkFlags 	clearFlags);

This message changes the value of the II_flags field. Note that something which sets the IF_DIRTY bit should probably also perform the action stored in the II_dirtyMsg and II_dirtyOutput fields.

Source: Unrestricted.

Destination: Any Ink object.

setFlags - The flags to turn on.

clearFlags - The flags to turn off.

Return: Nothing.

Interception: Unlikely.



This message gets the value of the II_flags field.

Source: Unrestricted.

Destination: Any Ink object.

Parameters: None.

Return: The present value of the II_flags field.

Interception: Unlikely.


		DBReturn		* RetValue,
		InkDBFrame		* ptr);

This message saves the Ink’s pen data into the passed DB item. The pen data will be stored compressed. Calling this message sets the object not dirty.

Source: Unrestricted.

Destination: Any Ink object.

ptr - A pointer to an InkDBFrame structure, shown below.

RetValue - A pointer to an empty DBReturn structure, to be filled by the handler.

Return: The structure pointed to by RetValue will contain the returned information.

Structures: The InkDBFrame and DBReturn structures are defined below:

typedef struct {
	Rectangle			IDBF_bounds;
		/* The bounds of the Ink data */
	VMFileHandle		IDBF_vmFile;
		/* VM file to write to*/
	DBGroupAndItem 		IDBF_DBGroupAndItem;
		/* DB Item to save to 
		 * (or NULL to create a new one) */
	word 				IDBF_DBExtra;
		/* Extra space to skip at start
		 * of block */
} InkDBFrame;

typedef struct {
	word		DBR_group;
	word		DBR_item;
	word		DBR_unused1;
	word		DBR_unused2;
} DBReturn;

Interception: Unlikely.


		InkDBFrame 	*ptr);

This message loads the compressed data into the Ink from the passed DB item. If a NULL handle is passed, then the Ink is cleared. This message marks the Ink as clean.

Source: Unrestricted.

Destination: Any Ink object.

ptr - A pointer to an InkDBFrame structure.

Return: Nothing.

Structures: For the InkDBFrame structure, see MSG_INK_SAVE_TO_DB_ITEM.

Interception: Unlikely.

21.1.2 Storing Ink to DB Items

Pen information comes in as a MSG_META_NOTIFY_WITH_DATA_BLOCK of type NT_INK accompanied by an array containing the coordinates visited by the pen. The pen data keeps track of the coordinates of the pen input. Every time pen input comes in, the ink object notes the coordinates. The ink object is optimized to save space. For instance, the Ink object eliminates collinear points: if three pen events are collinear, it will not record the middle one, recognizing it as redundant.

The non-redundant points are written out to the II_segments field, a chunk array of Point structures. Note that the coordinates are unsigned. If a point’s x coordinate’s sign bit is set, that does not mean that the x coordinate is negative; if this sign bit is set this is a signal that this point is the last point of a gesture.

image info
Figure 21-1 Typical Pen Input
Normally, pen input to an Ink object will be mostly made up of horizontal or vertical strokes.

When writing pen data to a DB item, the Ink object does some more compression. Applications which work with the items used by MSG_INK_SAVE_TO_DB_ITEM and MSG_INK_LOAD_FROM_DB_ITEM must work with this compression. Since the user is dragging the pen around in a continuous gesture, the pen events tend to occur close together. Thus, it is nice to have a way to record a coordinate as a small offset from another coordinate. Since many strokes are almost horizontal or vertical, quite often the horizontal or vertical offset will be zero or one.

To take advantage of these tendencies, the ink object stores pen input as a bitstream. Coordinates may be recorded either as absolute positions or as offsets from the last coordinate. See Table 21-1 for a list of components of this bitstream.

Table 21-1 Components of the Ink’s Bitstream

Bit Pattern					Meaning						Total Bits
00							0 offset							2
01							+1 offset							2
10 00 000					terminate segment					7
10 00 001					+2 offset							7
10 00 010					+3 offset							7
10 00 011 					+4 offset							7
10 00 100					+5 offset							7
10 00 101 					+6 offset							7
10 00 110 					+7 offset							7
10 00 111 					+8 offset							7
10 01 000					(reserved for future use)			7
10 01 001 					-2 offset							7
10 01 010					-3 offset							7
10 01 011 					-4 offset							7
10 01 100					-5 offset							7
10 01 101 					-6 offset							7
10 01 110 					-7 offset							7
10 01 111 					-8 offset							7
10 10 xxxxxx 				6-bit keyword (reserved)			10
10 11 xxxx xxxx xxxx xxx	15-bit (unsigned) absolute position	19
11 							-1 offset							2

When writing out a gesture to a DB item, the first point will always be recorded as an absolute position. Thus, first the x coordinate will be recorded, then the y coordinate. Each coordinate will be marked as absolute by the 1011 bit pattern.

For each subsequent pen point, the algorithm will first make sure that the new point is not collinear with the previous two. If it is, then the algorithm will make the incoming pen event overwrite the previous event’s coordinates.

For each event, the algorithm will first write out the x coordinate, then the y coordinate.

  • If the coordinate is at 0 or 1 offset from the previous coordinate, the algorithm will write out the appropriate two-bit code (00, 01, or 11).

  • If the coordinate is at an offset from the previous coordinate between 2 and 8, then the algorithm will write out the appropriate 7 bit code (1000xxx for a positive offset, 1001xxx for a negative offset).

  • If the coordinate is more than 8 points from the previous coordinate, the algorithm writes out 1011 followed by the absolute coordinate, represented as a 15 bit unsigned quantity.

When the input is finished, the algorithm writes a 1000000 bit pattern, signalling the end of the segment.

Decompressing the data is a matter of traversing the bitstream and detecting the appropriate patterns.

As an example of how the algorithm compresses pen input, suppose the Ink object were writing the following gesture to a DB item:

(72, 71)
(82, 74)
(84, 74)
(85, 72)

The first coordinate is 72, so the algorithm will write out:
1011 (signals absolute coordinate) 000000001001000
The second coordinate is 71, so after handling the second coordinate, the stream will be:
1011 000000001001000 1011 000000001000111
The x coordinate of the second point is 82, which is 10 points away from the previous x coordinate. Unfortunately, this is too far to express as a short offset, so the algorithm writes another absolute coordinate (the new part of the stream is shown in italics):
1011 000000001001000 1011 000000001000111 1011 000000001010010
The y coordinate of the second point is 74, at a positive 3 offset from the previous y value, so the algorithm will write out the appropriate offset code instead of an absolute position code:
…1011 000000001000111 1011 000000001010010 10 00 010
The third point’s x coordinate is 84, at a +2 offset from 82. The y coordinate is 74, the same as the previous point’s y coordinate:
…1011 000000001000111 1011 000000001010010 10 00 010 10 00 001 00
The last point’s x coordinate is one higher than the previous; its y coordinate is two less.
…1011 000000001010010 10 00 010 10 00 001 00 01 10 01 001
Since it has reached the end of the pen input (this was a suspiciously short gesture, a somewhat contrived example), the algorithm then writes an end-of-segment code:
…1011 000000001010010 10 00 010 10 00 001 00 01 10 01 001 10 00 000
If the Ink object were holding more than one gesture of information, it would write the next gesture’s elements starting after the end-of-segment code of the first.

21.2 Working with the Ink DB

The Ink Database provides a simplified, specialized API to the database library. It allows the user to organize pieces of information on notes stored in a hierarchy of folders. Each note may have one or more pages, with each page corresponding to the contents of an ink or text object. The data stored in each page is a DB item returned by MSG_INK_SAVE_TO_DB_ITEM (for Ink objects) or MSG_VIS_TEXT_GET_ALL_DB_ITEM (for Text objects).

Notes and folders are specified by means of a dword identifier. This identifier has nothing to do with where the note’s (or folder’s) data is stored, or where it appears in the folder tree. Applications should use the InkLoadPage() and InkSavePage() routines to work with a note’s data, and use the routines described below to determine where a note or folder appears in the folder tree.

21.2.1 Getting Started

InkDBInit() To create an Ink Database, an application needs a file handle, perhaps the  file holding a GenDocument's data. Before calling any other Ink Database  functions, call **InkDBInit()** to set up the file correctly; this routine should be  called exactly once per Ink DB. If the database is part of a GenDocument,  then this routine should be called within the  MSG_GEN_DOCUMENT_INITIALIZE_DOCUMENT_FILE. Other routines  (described below) which might be appropriate when first setting up an Ink  Database include **InkSetDocPageInfo()** and **InkSetDocGString()**.

21.2.2 Displaying the Data

InkNoteLoadPage(), InkNoteSavePage(), InkGetDocPageInfo(), 
InkSetDocPageInfo(), InkSetDocGString(), 
InkGetDocGString(), InkNoteGetNoteType() Assuming that the application is using text and ink objects to display the  information held in the Ink DB, use **InkNoteLoadPage()** and  **InkNoteSavePage()** to transfer information between the Ink object and the  Ink DB. **InkNoteLoadPage()** loads an ink or text object with the data stored  within the passed note. Use **InkNoteGetNoteType()** to determine what  sort of data is stored within the note. Once the user has made changes, those  changes should be stored to the database. Call **InkNoteSavePage()** to write  the changes. 

To find out the document size associated with an Ink Database, call InkGetDocPageInfo(). To change the page size, call InkSetDocPageInfo().

The Ink DB routines support the notion of a background picture for ink information. There is one background picture for the entire database. To set the background picture, use InkSetDocGString(). To find out the current background picture, call InkGetDocGString().

The background GString is stored in VM; call GrLoadGString() and GrDrawGString() to draw it.

21.2.3 Titles and Keywords

InkNoteSetKeywords(), InkNoteSetKeywordsFromTextObject(), 
InkNoteGetKeywords(), InkNoteSendKeywordsToTextObject(), 
InkGetTitle(), InkSendTitleToTextObject(), 
InkFolderSetTitle(), InkFolderSetTitleFromTextObject(), 
InkNoteSetTitle(), InkNoteSetTitleFromTextObject() Each note may have two text strings which are helpful for identification: a  title and a set of keywords. These words may be used as the fields for a  computed search if the application supports these; regardless, the user will  certainly find these fields useful for organizing notes.

To set a note’s title, call InkNoteSetTitle(). There is a corresponding InkFolderSetTitle() for setting the title of a folder. Since applications may wish to set the titles of these items based upon the user’s entry in a text object, there are two routines InkNoteSetTitleFromTextObject() and InkFolderSetTitleFromTextObject() which take an item’s name from a text object. InkGetTitle() gets any item’s title, and InkSendTitleToTextObject() is a specialized function used to update the passed text object’s text to hold the item’s title. The maximum length of any title should be INK_DB_MAX_TITLE_SIZE.

Notes may have keywords: words which should not appear in the title but which are still useful for searches. Folders do not have keywords. To set a note’s keywords, use InkNoteSetKeywords(); to use the contents of a text object as the keywords, use InkNoteSetKeywordsFromTextObject(). To retrieve the keywords, call InkNoteGetKeywords(). InkNoteSendKeywordsToTextObject() replaces a text object’s text with the passed note’s keywords. The maximum length of any keyword should be INK_DB_MAX_NOTE_KEYWORDS_SIZE.

21.2.4 Navigating the Folder Tree

InkDBGetDisplayInfo(), InkDBSetDisplayInfo(), 
InkDBGetHeadFolder(), InkGetParentFolder(), 
InkFolderGetContents(), InkFolderGetNumChildren(), 
InkFolderDisplayChildInList(), InkFolderGetChildInfo(), 
InkFolderGetChildNumber(), InkNoteGetNumPages() Assuming the application allows the existence of more than one folder, it  must allow some way to move around within the folder tree. If the application  allows the user to change the structure of the folder tree, then it will need UI  which allows the user to navigate an arbitrary tree. There are routines to find  out and change which page is being displayed. For those applications which  will need to get information about the folder tree, there are routines to get  information about the folder tree.

To find the application’s current location within the DB, call InkDBGetDisplayInfo(). This routine returns the current folder ID, the note ID if any is selected, and the page number within the note. To go to a different location, call InkDBSetDisplayInfo(). To use this routine, the application must pass a folder ID, along with a valid note ID and page number if a note is to be selected.

Chances are the user will be maneuvering within the folder tree. To get the ID of the root folder, use InkDBGetHeadFolder(). To find the parent folder of the passed parent or note, call InkGetParentFolder(). InkFolderGetContents() returns two chunk arrays, one containing the double word identifiers of all the folder’s subfolders, the other containing the identifiers of the folder’s child notes. InkFolderGetNumChildren() returns the number of subfolders and notes within a folder.

To display a note or folder’s name in a GenDynamicList, use InkFolderDisplayChildInList(). This routine comes in handy when constructing UI for navigating the folder tree. To copy the icon and folder or note name of a folder or note into the visual moniker of an entry in a list, call InkNoteCopyMoniker().

To get information about a folder’s child, call InkFolderGetChildInfo(). This routine returns a bit specifying whether the child is a folder or note, along with the child’s ID number. The InkFolderGetChildNumber() routine returns the passed child’s place number within the folder.

21.2.5 Managing Notes and Folders

InkFolderCreateSubFolder(), InkFolderMove(), 
InkFolderDelete(), InkNoteCreate(), InkNoteDelete(), 
InkNoteMove(), InkNoteCreatePage() Some Ink DB applications might just create a hierarchy of notes and not  allow the user to move or change notes. Applications that will move notes and  folders should use the following functions to make changes.

The InkFolderCreateSubFolder() routine creates a new folder as a child of the passed existing folder. Use InkFolderMove() to move a folder to a new parent folder. InkNoteMove() similarly moves a note to a new parent folder. InkFolderDelete() deletes a folder and all subfolders and notes that folder contained. InkNoteCreate() creates a new note. InkNoteDelete() deletes a note. InkNoteCreatePage() adds a new page to a note.

21.2.6 Manipulating Notes

InkNoteGetPages(), InkNoteGetNumPages(), 
InkNoteGetModificationDate(), InkNoteGetCreationDate(), 
InkNoteSetNoteType(), InkNoteGetNoteType()

Normally, the note will store information supplied by an Ink or Text object. However, applications may work with a note’s information directly. Call InkNoteGetPages() to get the DB item in which the note’s information is stored. The DB item contains a chunk array; each entry of the array contains the information for one page (the DB item associated with an Ink or Text object). To find out how many pages there are in a given note, call InkNoteGetNumPages().

The note will be expecting either text or ink; call InkNoteSetNoteType() to specify what sort of data will be coming in. The note type is specified by means of a NoteType value: NT_INK or NT_TEXT. To find out a note’s type, call InkNoteGetNoteType().

When writing changes, you may wish to update the note’s modification date. Call InkNoteSetModificationDate() to update this information. To find out the date last modified, call InkNoteGetModificationDate(). To find out the date the note was created, call InkNoteGetCreationDate().

21.2.7 Searching and Traversing the Tree

InkNoteFindByTitle(), InkNoteFindByKeywords(), 
InkFolderDepthFirstTraverse() Sometimes the user will remember what a note is called, but has lost it in the  tree of folders. Sometimes the user will want to find all notes which contain  a certain keyword. Use **InkNoteFindNoteByTitle()** to get a buffer  containing IDs of all notes whose titles match the passed string.  **InkNoteFindNoteByKeywords()** similarly returns a buffer containing the  IDs of all notes with matching keywords.

For more complicated commands, InkFolderDepthFirstTraverse() allows the application to perform a depth-first traversal of the folder tree, calling the passed routine with all encountered folders.

21.3 InkControlClass

InkControlClass, a subclass of GenControlClass, provides a menu which allows the user to select an Ink tool for use with an Ink object.

Code Display 21-2 InkControlClass Features

typedef ByteFlags 	InkControlFeatures;
/* These features may be combined using | and &:

typedef ByteFlags 	InkControlToolboxFeatures;
/* These features may be combined using | and &:


/* Add this controller to the application's self-load options GCN list. */

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