Yet Another interim progress report on XRay II.

Turns out some of my problems with the hex editor were due to overuse of the idea to have my scrollview’s delegate do everything (including standing in for the First Responder). So I changed back to a simpler model. I now have a single view inside my scroll view as the delegate, and it stays in place – it just checks the scrollbar’s status to decide what to draw.

As this subview is declared as NSView<NSTextInput> – meaning it’s a plain subclass of NSView that obeys the NSTextInput protocol – it’s also a descendant of NSResponder, and now stuff started “just working”. Seems obvious in retrospect, of course. There’s lots of details about implementing that protocol, but it’s mostly working now; I’m still not doing any actual editing, but that’s the top item on my list of things to do next.

Several other issues are being worked on in the meantime. Many things are more complex than I anticipated, but I believe the final result will be worthwhile. The actual plugin interface is still mutating from day to day, mostly because the actual usage patterns are hard to anticipate. I have two plugins partially working: File Metadata and File Forks (which use the basic hex editor to do its work).

I’m now making a separate version of the main XRay II application to be used as the plugin developer base. This will be a stripped-down version of the application: it’ll run only the two basic plugins and a third one, the one being developed. It will also have some debugging infrastructure in place.

Next, I’ll use this to start up projects for at least two more, perhaps more, plugins of different types, both reusing basic UI elements from the main application. Hopefully this will give me enough variations to publish a rich but robust plugin interface. I envision stopping development on the main application as soon as possible – perhaps even this year, if all goes well – and doing all the rest inside plugins.