Feeds

Spice up your Apple applications

Splash of Aqua

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Mac Secrets Apple's "Professional" range of applications such as Final Cut Studio, Aperture or Logic Express have a completely different look to the standard Aqua color scheme. This comes courtesy of a private framework called ProKit.framework, intended to make Apple's professional software stand out from the crowd.

And stand out it does. Personally, I'm not a huge fan. The relentlessly grey color scheme is drab and I find the default font small and fiddly. From a visual perspective, I hate the cramped little dialogs that appear in Aperture, such as at the Preferences dialog.

A standard Aqua look would have been much cleaner, in my view. If any other developer had come up with this, they'd be roundly castigated for his non-standard user interface but, being Apple, they get away with it.

With that in mind, I'm going to show you how to use the ProKit library to customize your applications.

Framework uncovered

First, create yourself a new Xcode Cocoa application in the usual way and then add ProKit.framework to the list of linked frameworks by dragging it from its hiding place in /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/. You should find that the app will still build and run just fine.

On background, I believe that ProKit.framework is installed as standard under Leopard, so if you're adventurous enough to use the techniques described here in a production app, then you'd be wise to specifically target Leopard. If you need to support Tiger, direct your users here.

Now go into Interface Builder, select the application window, bring up the Inspector and change its class name from NSWindow to NSProWindow. Also be sure to select the "Textured" checkbox before saving and returning to Xcode. If you now rerun the app, a wondrous sight will meet your eyes: your program will sport the same monochrome look as Apple's pro-level tools.

This is cool, but what we really want to do is use some of those ProKit controls, right? Before you can do this, you need to make one small change to your main.m source file. Just open the file and change the call to NSApplicationMain into a call to NSProApplicationMain. You might also want to add an extern reference to the new call so as to stop the compiler from whinging. When you're done, things should look like this:

extern int NSProApplicationMain (int argc, const char *argv[]);

int main (int argc, char *argv[])
{
        return NSProApplicationMain (argc,  (const char **) argv);
}

With that small change, various parts of the ProKit framework get initialised behind the scenes, so we're now ready to use those new controls.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Next page: Take control

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.