Additional Information











ResEdit, which Apple describes as "an extensible, stand-alone resource editor for the Mac OS," allows users to "create icons, menus, and other resoures for applications and files." Servant incorporates some of the functionality of ResEdit, allowing users to examine application Resources directly from the desktop, and in some cases actually edit these resources.


From the Servant Finder one can easily examine the components, or Resources, that comprise a Macintosh application. Single-clicking an icon, going to the File menu in the Servant Finder and selecting Open Resource allows the user to view the Resources in the selected application. Additionally, Option-double-clicking an icon will also open up its Resources for examination, as shown in the image below.






While by no means as complete an application as ResEdit, where Servant shines is its ability to allow users to easily edit icons. In a desktop environment so dependent upon icons for navigation, it makes sense that Servant would allow users to customize their icons. With Servant, editing an icon is as simple as selecting the icon in the Finder, going to the Special Menu and selecting Custom Icon. This brings up the icon editor, pictured below. Icons can also be edited by opening the application's Resources, tracking down the appropriate Resource (in the case of Bus'd Out, pictured above, ICN# 128 corresponds to the icon used in the Finder) and double-clicking it to open and edit the icon. In the event that the icon gets modified and the user wishes to revert to the original icon, Option-clicking Revert in the icon editor window will restore the icon to its original appearance.



While Servant is quite capable of editing icons, other Resources are not as easily edited. As originally conceived, Servant was supposed to facilitate the creation of new applications because of the modular nature of an application as viewed in Servant: the various Resources that make up an application, like those pictured above for Bus'd Out, are interchangeable and can be dragged and dropped from project to project, thus facilitating the programming process. Programming would no longer require the knowledge of how to program; instead, it is merely a process of combining elements to make the whole. However, Servant never got this far in development, and for now Code is examinable but not editable from the desktop, as shown below.



It would seem that Servant was also intended to be a development environment, judging from the fact that Resources are so easily examined in the Servant's Finder, and from the unimplemented New File under the File Menu. Contemporary reviews of Servant suggest that users would be able to create their own applications directly in Servant, access common tools, and assemble their applications with drag-and-drop simplicity. However, these features, like many in Servant, were glimpses of technology that would be not be implemented as Apple further refined its System Software.



copyright 2002 Josh Burker



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