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Inside Macintosh: Files /

Preface - About This Book

This book, Inside Macintosh: Files, describes the parts of the Macintosh Operating System that allow you to manage files. It shows in detail how your application can handle the commands typically found in a File menu. It also provides a complete technical reference to the File Manager, the Standard File Package, the Alias Manager, and other file-related services provided by the system software.

If you are new to the Macintosh Operating System, you should begin with the chapter "Introduction to File Management." This chapter describes the basic structure of Macintosh files and the hierarchical file system (HFS) used with Macintosh computers, and it shows how you can use the services provided by the Standard File Package, the File Manager, the Finder, and other system software components to create, open, update, and close files. Because this chapter is designed to be largely self-contained, the reference and summary sections in this chapter are subsets of the corresponding sections from the other chapters in this book.

Once you are familiar with basic file management on Macintosh computers, you might want to read other chapters in this book. The chapter "File Manager" describes how your application can manage shared files; search
for specific files in a volume; obtain information about files, directories, and volumes; and perform other advanced operations. This chapter also describes how the File Manager organizes file and directory data on disk and in memory. Much of this information is of interest only to designers of very specialized applications or file-system utility programs.

If you want to customize the user interface for naming and identifying files, you need to read the chapter "Standard File Package." It provides complete information on how to customize and display the dialog boxes that let the user specify the names and locations of files to be saved or opened.

If your application needs to keep track of particular files, directories, or volumes, you might want to use the Alias Manager. It helps you find objects in the file system, even if those objects have been moved or renamed. See the chapter "Alias Manager" for complete details.

The chapter "Disk Initialization Manager" shows how you can initialize disks and erase the contents of previously initialized disks. The Disk Initialization Manager provides a routine that allows you to present the standard user interface for initializing and naming disks. Most applications should call that routine whenever they receive a disk-inserted event and the inserted disk
is invalid.

Preface Contents
Format of a Typical Chapter
Conventions Used in This Book
Special Fonts
Types of Notes
Assembly-Language Information
Development Environment

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© Apple Computer, Inc.
2 JUL 1996