DW Artifice, Inc.

Power MachTen Configuration Details
for Users of Radiance with DesignWorkshop



From an overall point of view, Power MachTen is extremely well integrated into the Macintosh System 7.x environment. However, there are two areas in which the basic concepts of the Mac file system and the Unix file system don't mesh automatically, and so in these two areas some special attention is called for from MachTen system users and operators.

The two areas have to do with 1) Unix file and folder permissions, and 2) with Macintosh file type and creator codes. Both of these issues can be readily handled so as to allow smooth and trouble-free integration of DesignWorkshop and Radiance using Power MachTen.

However, the best approach to take in each case varies according to the style of how the particular MachTen installation is organized and used. To make sense of that, we need to get into the gnarly details.


Unix File and Folder Permissions

First let's look at the issue of Unix file and folder permissions.

When you are working from the Unix command line, inside MachTen, it behaves just like any generic Unix. Unix is inherently complex and picky, but beyond that, there are no special issues with MachTen from the Unix command line.

However, when you use the Macintosh Finder to open windows onto the MachTen file system, you are entering a realm of powerful inter-OS communication, and you need to be somewhat careful about what you do when dragging Macintosh files into any folder which is part of the MachTen Unix directories.

The essence of the issue is that when a file or folder appears in the MachTen file system from the Macintosh world, MachTen needs to assign Unix-style access permissions to that file. By default, MachTen is configured so that the permissions assigned to incoming files allow reading by most accounts, but editing and deleting only form the root account.

This finally brings us to the problem. If you take unmodified MachTen, and drag a file into a user's home folder from the Finder, that user will be able to read or copy that file, but they won't be able to edit or delete it. That's not really satisfactory -- unless you happen to have one of the new infinite hard disks ;) .

If you are in the special case of running MachTen in a private, one-person environment, probably the easiest way to handle this is to simply do all your work from the "root" account, including running Radiance. The root account has permission to do just about anything anywhere, so this approach let's you generally just ignore the access permission issues.

However, this is not generally considered to be a good practice. For one thing, with all the power of the root account, it is all too easy to make a small mistake which causes great damage to the Unix system. like erasing a whole swath of critical files. So it is generally much preferable to use the root account only for serious system administration tasks, and do your regular work from a separate user account.

If more than one person is going to use the MachTen Radiance system, it is almost a necessity to have separate user accounts. This is also very important for general system and network security.

So, in the general case, where you will be running Radiance from a general user account, there are two different reasonable approaches for getting the file permissions correct.

In the first approach, you leave the MachTen system as it is, and simply don't drag files in to MachTen using the Finder. Instead, move the files in to MachTen by ftp, using Fetch. Fetch also automatically takes care of some file conversion issues (see below), especially when Fetch is fully configured (see below). If users are connecting to MachTen primarily or entirely over a network, this is a very natural approach.

In the second approach, you can edit the MachTen kernel application so that it gives lighter permissions to dragged-in files. For one person direct-desktop installations, or for mixed network and direct-desktop setups, this is probably the best way to go.

To set light default permissions for dragged-in files, backup the MachTen application, and then use ResEdit to edit the 'FMOD' resource, so it contains the decimal equivalent of the octal code for the Unix permissions you want. (For read, write, execute, and delete by everyone, for instance, the octal code is "777", which converts to hexadecmial 1FF.)

To set light default permissions for dragged-in folders, use ResEdit to similarly edit the 'DMOD' resource.

See the MachTen Technical Note at URL ftp://ftp.tenon.com/pub/tech_notes/Configuration_Resources.txt for more details.


Macintosh File Type and Creator

When files move in either direction between the MachTen and Macintosh file systems, the file type and creator codes need to be handled correctly. Depending on the operation, the file types may need to be reset, either manually with a utility like Snitch version 2.1.1 (or better) or using the ResEdit "Get Info" command, or automatically during transfer ftp using properly configured Fetch.

Binary files brought into MachTen, like the Radiance installation ".tar.gz" file, need to have the file type "BINA" and creator "MUMM".

Text files which already have Unix-style line feeds should be given the type "TEXT" and the creator "MUMM".

Text files with Macintosh-style line feeds should not have the creator type "MUMM". Normally they will have the creator code for whatever Mac application created them, which is how they should be to begin the conversion. Use the Unix<->Text utility application, provided with MachTen, to convert these files for proper operation in MachTen Unix. This little drag-and-drop converter changes the end-of-line character from Mac-style to Unix-style, and sets the file creator to "MUMM". (The file type should already be "TEXT").

If you ftp text files into the MachTen folder using Fetch, instead of dragging files them in with the Finder, the ends of lines will be fixed automatically by Fetch as part of the communication process, and the creator code for text files doesn't matter.

For Fetch file transfers from MachTen back to the Macintosh file system, the type and creator code handling is established using the Customize menu Suffix Mapping... command, together with the Preferences... command.

PICT format images files created with Radiance and the ra_pict command need to have their type set to "PICT" before they are opened for viewing on the Mac. For SimpleText to open when the file is clicked, set the creator to "ttxt", and for Photoshop to open, set the creator to "8BIM".

Do you have comments, questions, or suggestions? Send us feedback by e-mail.

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