Cat_Draw 32-bitted

No, just because it’s on the internet and it’s called Cat_Draw, that doesn’t mean there are cute pictures of cats.

Long time RISC OS user Martin Carradus popped up on the RISC OS Open forums in February in response to a comment about his application, Cat_Draw, not being 32-bit compatible. Martin initially offered to supply his source code, presumably to allow someone else to make the application 32-bit compatible, but a couple of hours later posted again to say that he had now recompiled it himself.

The purpose of Cat_Draw is to produce, in Drawfile format, a tree diagram representation of any directory fed to the application, with options to control the font (and size) used in the file.

However, the current version of the software does have a couple of problems.

Firstly, according to the help file, the application displays a banner when it is first launched, which isn’t shown again if the Cat_Draw is quit and subsequently launched in the same session. However, on my Raspberry Pi – and presumably other RISC OS 5 computers – that banner manifested itself as an error message, reporting a call to OS_PlatformFeatures with an unknown reason code. A quick investigation revealed that the banner is displayed by a second application, Banner, called from the !Run file of Cat_Draw before the main application itself, so it’s easy to prevent it from running – but Martin confirmed to me that the problem is caused by a simple oversight: When he updated Cat_Draw, he neglected to update Banner.

The second problem is that when running, Cat_Draw prevents directories from being opened – the result of double clicking on a directory is that the application presents you with its dialogue for producing a drawfile of its contents, instead of the directory being opened. This happens with both ordinary directories, and when an application directory is shift-double-clicked – an unmodified double-clock on an application is unaffected. Martin, who has also written a children’s book called “The Hammer of Thor” under the pen-name Martin D. Kendall, agreed that this was an annoying feature and should be removed from the software.

As well as updating Cat_Draw so that it would work on modern machines, Martin also updated a related application, Text_Draw [zip], which takes a text file as input and produces a Drawfile of its contents, ready for further editing in Draw.

As with Cat_Draw, this application also displays a banner when launched, and is therefore subject to the same problem, which should be corrected when the Banner application is updated.

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