Georg Bauer


Mac::AssistantFrames - GUI-Class to build an assistant-like line of frames resembles the standard OS assistants/wizards.


This uses a static predefined sequence. This is easy to set up and easy to process.

  use Mac::AssistantFrames;
  my $assist = Mac::AssistantFrames->new();
  $assist->addToSequence(sub { $assist->startFrame("title", "description"); });
  $assist->addToSequence(sub { $assist->yesnoFrame("title", "description"); });
  $assist->addToSequence(sub { $assist->finishFrame("title", "description"); });
  my $res = $assist->processSequence();
  if (defined($res)) {
     print join(":", @$res);

This is for handcoded sequencing through dialogs - this allows a flexible sequence and shows some more of the methods.

  use Mac::AssistantFrames;

  my $assist = Mac::AssistantFrames->new();

  while ($assist->running()) {
     my $last = $assist->getLastFrame();
     if ($last eq "<empty>") {
        $assist->startFrame("title", "description");
     } elsif ($last eq "<start>") {
        $assist->constantFrame("dlg1", "title", 
                               "description", "value");
     } elsif ($last eq "dlg1") {
        $assist->singleSelectionFrame("dlg2", "title", 
                                      ["v1", "v2", "v3"]);
     } elsif ($last eq "dlg2") {
        $assist->constantHiddenFrame("dlg3", "value");
     } elsif ($last eq "dlg3") {
        $assist->finishFrame("title", "description");
  if ($assist->getLastFrame eq "<finish>") {
     print $assist->joinedAnswersr(":"), "\n";
  } else {
     print "aborted\n";


This Module implements simple assistant style frames for MacPerl. You can use it if you need to ask the user some questions in sequence to accomplish a task. This could be done with one dialogbox, too. But the assistant approach is often easier to understand, especially if the user doesn't know much about the subject at hand. This is the case most often with configuration of new software packages, where the user has to be given much more detailed descriptions of what to do as would fit on a simple dialog.

The AssistantFrame allows backward navigation in case the user erred on some of his answers. It allows complete backwind of the frames (abortion of the process) and it has a uniform userinterface that resembles a lot the Mac-style assistants.



This constructor creates a new frame sequence object.


This method returns the version of the module.



This checks if the assistant object is in running state. If the "<start>" frame is aborted, this is reset to 0. If the "<finish>" frame is accepted, this is reset to 0.


This method backs up one frame. This is internally used, you seldom have to invoke it yourself.

continueOne(name, value)

This method adds a successfull frame to the sequence. This is used internally, so you shouldn't need to call this yourself.


This method stops the assistant. If "text" is given, it creates an alert dialog. If it is not given, the assistant is just canceled. This can be used to react on errors in a assistant processing.

standardAction(name, dlg)

This method is internally used to process the events from the dialog. Just ignore it.


This method returns the last frame the user completed. This is needed to allow backing up and sequencing correctly. If the sequence of frames is empty, it returns "<empty>".


This method is used to get the last frame, as is getLastFrame. Only difference: getLastFrameRaw delivers the frame-name in "raw" format - names of hidden constant elements is bracketed in []. This function is used internally to distinguish frames from constants.


This returns the last answer given. It is usefull to make frames dependend on older frames.


This returns a reference to the array of the answer-strings.


This returns a string created by joining all answers together, separated by sep.


This returns the number of accumulated answers.


This adds the closure to the sequence array of the assistant. The sequence array allows a simple processing of a static sequence of frames.


This processes the sequence array and returns a reference to the array of answers.


startFrame(title, description)

This frame has the special name "<start>". It must be the first frame in the sequence and should give the user a short introduction into the task at hand. The user can only abort the sequence if he is at this frame and backs up, or by closing the window of the current frame (this can be done in any frame). The startframe produces the empty string as value. Any other frame can take over the rule of the startframe by giving it the name "<start>".

finishFrame(title, description)

This frame has the special name "<finish>". It must be the last frame in the sequence and should give the user a description of the effect this whole sequence would have if completed. It produces the empty string as value. Any frame can take over the rule of the finish-frame by giving it the name "<finish>".

constantFrame(dlg, title, description, value)

This frame is just an informational Message that is associated with a constant value. It is often needed if you have to give more detailed descriptions.


This frame is no frame - it is just a constant value that is spliced into the answer list. This might be needed by your application, if you want to construct a string out of the answer-list with join. If backed-up, this frame is ignored.

textEntryFrame(dlg, title, description, value)

This frame allows the entry of free text into a frame. This text is then delivered as answer.

extendedTextEntryFrame(dlg, title, description, value, format, [pattern])

This is identical to textEntryFrame, except that it shows some additional description on the format of the text to be entered. An optional additional parameter gives you the possibility to give a regexp that must match with the entered string.

numberEntryFrame(dlg, title, description, value)

This is identical to textEntryFrame, but it expects you to enter a number and does check the syntax of your entry. Numbers are always delivered with a sign, even if that is "+".

extendedNumberEntryFrame(dlg, title, description, value, format, from, to)

This is identical to numberEntryFrame, except that you can give an additional parameter that gives a description about the number to be entered. Two more additional parameters make a range of numbers you are allowed to enter.

yesnoFrame(dlg, title, description)

This frame asks a simple yes-no question. This may be used for asking for optional parts of the assistant. It delivers a Y or a N as answer.

radioFrame(dlg, title, description, values, labels [, offset])

This frame presents a selection using radio buttons. Only one value can be selected. This is usefull for small selections. The strings from labels are used for the frame, the strings from values are delivered in the answer. The offset is used for the positioning of the elements.

singleSelectFrame(dlg, title, description, [val1, val2, val3])

This frame allows a single selection out of a list of values. This should be used if there are more than 5 values to choose from, or if the number of values is not known at compiletime.


  Copyright 1998, Georg Bauer

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


The latest version of this library is likely to be available from:

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