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AOCE SMPReadContent Function


This Technical Note attempts to clarify certain aspects of the AOCE Standard Mail Package SMPReadContent routine, as described in Inside Macintosh: AOCE Application Interfaces, pages 3-98 through 3-102, and also discusses some undocumented features of the call.

[Sep 01 1994]


The AOCE Standard Mail Package SMPReadContent routine is used to read a segment from a letter's standard-interchange-format block. The routine is defined as follows (refer to Inside Macintosh: AOCE Application Interfaces, pages 3-81 through 3-84 for a complete description):

pascal OSErr SMPReadContent(WindowPtr window,
                    MailSegmentMask segmentTypeMask,
                    void *buffer,
                    unsigned long bufferSize,
                    unsigned long *dataSize,
                    StScrpRec *textScrap,
                    ScriptCode *script,
                    MailSegmentType *segmentType,
                    Boolean *endOfScript,
                    Boolean *endOfSegment.
                    Boolean *endOfContent
                    long *segmentLength,
                    long *segmentID);

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Some Sample Code, Explained

Shown below is some sample code that demonstrates the proper usage of the call. The code reads all of the styled text blocks from a letter's standard-interchange-format block.

#define kBufferSize 1024

OSErr DoReadMyContent(WindowPtr window);

OSErr DoReadMyContent(WindowPtr window)
Ptr dataBuffer;
unsigned long bufferSize,dataSize;
StScrpRec *textScrap;
ScriptCode script;
MailSegmentType segmentType;
Boolean endOfScript,endOfSegment,endOfContent;
long segmentLength,segmentID;
OSErr err;

   /* allocate data buffer */

   dataBuffer = NewPtr(kBufferSize);
   if (MemError()!=noErr)
     return MemError();
   bufferSize = kBufferSize;

   /* allocate scrap record */

   textScrap = (StScrpRec *)NewPtr(sizeof(StScrpRec));
   if (MemError()!=noErr)
     return MemError();

   /* read all of the styled text blocks */

     textScrap->scrpNStyles = sizeof(ScrpSTTable)/sizeof(ScrpSTElement);

     segmentID = 0;
     err =


     if (dataSize>0)
       /* we got a styled text block */
       /* process the styled text block here */

   } while ((err==noErr) && (endOfContent==false));


   return err;

The segmentID parameter represents the ID of the segment. It is important to note that this parameter is passed by reference. It is both an input and an output. Basically, segmentID is used to provide random-access reference to the content in a letter. If you repeatedly pass 0 for segmentID, SMPReadContent will sequentially give you all of the content blocks in the letter. Upon return from each of the SMPReadContent calls, segmentID will be set to the ID of the segment returned. This is so you can later call SMPReadContent to read a specific block of content out of a letter.

This is useful in case you want to know what all of the blocks are in a letter without actually reading the data associated with all of the blocks. For example, you might only want to download a QuickTime movie in a letter if the user clicks on the spot where the movie is in the letter.

Also, it is possible to determine the size of a given segment without actually having to read the data into a buffer. Simply pass 0 in the bufferSize parameter and the length of the segment will be returned in the segmentLength parameter. This is nice in that it enables you to see ahead of time how much buffer space you will need to allocate for a given segment (in case you need to retrieve it at a later time, for example).

In our example above we always set segmentID to 0, since we just want to index through all of the available content.

Some other things to note in the above code:

  • it's necessary to re-set segmentID to 0 for each call, otherwise, the system will treat the non-zero segmentID as an index into the content you just read, and you'll get the same content over and over:
  • it's necessary to set textScrap->scrpNStyles for each call to SMPReadContent that returns scrap information. Again, this field is both an input and output. On input, it specifies how many styles your scrap record can hold, and on output, it returns how many were read
  • even though we're only requesting data on styled text content blocks (kMailStyledTextSegmentMask), SMPReadContent will return the segmentID, segmentLength, and segmentType for other non-styled text blocks in the letter. However, SMPReadContent will always return a dataSize of 0 for these blocks, and will always set endOfBlock to true for these blocks (since you don't want to read them at all). This is useful, since you could set the segmentTypeMask to 0 and still get a list of all the blocks in a letter without actually reading any information
  • the segmentID, segmentLength, and segmentType fields are only valid for the first SMPReadContent call within a segment. Our buffer size in the above code is 1024 bytes. If the styled text block we were reading were bigger than 1024 bytes, SMPReadContent would return information out of this larger block across multiple calls. Only in the first call for the block are these three parameters valid as outputs. You should still always reset segmentID to 0 (or the segment you want to read from), however.
  • this last point seems obvious, but don't declare your scrap record as a non-dynamically allocated local variable. This structure is huge and will eat up all of your stack space. Use NewPtr to allocate the structure instead.

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Inside Macintosh : AOCE Application Interfaces

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Acrobat version of this Note (52K)


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