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alt.sources.mac FAQ

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Archive-Name: macintosh/alt-sources-mac
Submitted-by: (Mark Pilgrim)
Last-modified: 22-apr-94
Version: 7

This compilation is intended to answer some of the most frequent questions
about alt.sources.mac.  It is posted every week (usually Thursday) to
alt.sources.mac and every other week (usually Thursday) to alt.answers and
news.answers.  Please read it thoroughly before posting _anything_ to
alt.sources.mac.  If you've read it and still aren't clear on why/what/how
to post, e-mail the FAQ maintainer ( or the group's creator
( instead of posting a "What do I do" post.

Many FAQs, including this one, are available on the archive site
in the directory pub/usenet/news.answers. The name under which a FAQ is
archived appears in the "Archive-Name:" line at the top of the article.  This
FAQ is archived as "macintosh/alt-sources-mac".

To find a particular topic by number, search for the number surrounded by
rounded parentheses; i.e. to find information about acceptable content of
posts, search for "(2.3)".  To find references to a topic, search for the
number surrounded by less-than and greater-than signs; i.e. to find references
to acceptable content of posts, search for "<2.3>".

Table of contents:
1. Why (and why not) to post to alt.sources.mac
   1.1. Reasons to post here / general introduction
   1.2. Reasons to post elsewhere
   1.3. Reasons alt.sources.mac is called alt.sources.mac and not
        anything else
2. What (and what not) to post to alt.sources.mac
   2.1. Acceptable platforms/systems/environments
   2.2. Unacceptable platforms/systems/environments
   2.3. Acceptable content of posts
   2.4. Unacceptable content of posts
3. How (and how not) to post to alt.sources.mac
   3.1. General posting formatting guidelines
   3.2. Small posts, snippets, cross-posts from other newsgroups
   3.3. Larger posts
4. FTP sites
   4.1. FTP sites which carry alt.sources.mac archives
   4.1.1. FTP sites which will carry alt.sources.mac archives real soon now
   4.2. FTP sites which carry other Macintosh source code
5. Things not included in this classification
   5.1. Copyrights of posts
   5.2. FAQ credits
   5.3. ObSource

(1.1) Reasons to post here / general introduction

The alt.sources.mac newsgroup is intended to be a repository for Macintosh
source code of all sorts that people wish to distribute and share with others.
There are no restrictions on the type of source code you can post here --
any mac, any language, any system version, any purpose. (see <2.1> and <2.3>
below for details).

A common reason to post to alt.sources.mac is when you are posting a useful
bit of source code to some other newsgroup, and you think that it might prove
useful to other people in the future, in which case you can cross-post it

Alt.sources.mac is unmoderated, so your source code will be distributed
throughout the USENET (or, at least, the portion of the USENET that receives
alt.sources.mac -- see <1.2> below) immediately, without having to wait for a
moderator's approval, like you have to do for some of the other newsgroups.

Furthermore, alt.sources.mac is archived at several anonymous ftp sites (see
<4.1> below), so people will be able to get your software from the archive
after you've posted it, rather than having to ask you to mail it to them.

Finally, you might have a snippet of mac source code that is really too
small to submit as a package to one of the other major source newsgroups (see
<3.2> below).

(1.2) Reasons not to post here

Alt.sources.mac IS NOT for requests for source code; the alt.sources.wanted
newsgroup is for that.  Alt.sources.mac IS NOT for comments and discussion
about source code, even source code posted in alt.sources.mac; the
alt.sources.d newsgroup is for that.  Only source code should be posted to

Alt.sources.mac isn't as widely propagated as the source newsgroups in the
"comp" hierarchy, since more sites tend to get "comp" than "alt".  Therefore,
if you want your source code to have as wide a distribution as possible, you
might want to use the comp.sources.mac newsgroup instead of, or in addition
to, alt.sources.mac.

(1.3) Reasons alt.sources.mac is called alt.sources.mac and not anything else

A bunch of clever linguists have asked on alt.sources.mac why the group is
not called alt.source.code.mac, alt.source-code.mac, or alt.sourcecode.mac.
Some people feel that "sources" is an ambiguous term which implies that
people can freely post questions like "Where can I find X?"  In fact, they
are right, but their linguistic arguments are largely irrelevant.

Alt.sourcecode.mac does not fit into the Usenet naming hierarchy.  Like it
or not, there is an established naming scheme, and source groups like
alt.sources, alt.sources.amiga, alt.sources.d, alt.sources.index,
alt.sources.patches, and alt.sources.wanted were around long before
alt.sources.mac came into existence.  There is no alt.sourcecode.* hierarchy.
This name policy is enforced by a group of influential news administrators
who manage the large sites (like that directly or indirectly provide
newsfeeds to most of the world.  This naming scheme has been around for a
long time, is very widely accepted, and was an important consideration when
these people agreed to create alt.sources.mac.

In short, there is nothing we can do about the name "alt.sources.mac".  It
may be confusing to people who are unfamiliar with the group's purpose, but
that's what FAQs are for.  If you're really adamant about trying to change
the name, please discuss it in alt.config, NOT in alt.sources.mac.

(2.1) Acceptable platforms/systems/environments

Source code can be for the entire Macintosh line (including the Centris and
Quadra lines), Newton, and the new PowerMac line of Macintosh computers.

Source code can be for any Macintosh operating system (6, 7, 7Pro, etc.), as
well as Bento, A/UX (as long as the source is A/UX specific and does not apply
to UN*X in general), etc.

(2.2) Unacceptable platforms/systems/environments

Anything not mentioned in <2.1> above.  No UN*X, VAX, IBM, Apple //, TRS-80,
Commodore, Amiga, or HP programs allowed.  Really.  All these other
platforms have their own newsgroups or list-servers.  If it's not for the
Mac, Newton, or PowerMac, it doesn't belong in alt.sources.mac.

(2.3) Acceptable content of posts

Alt.sources.mac is EXCLUSIVELY for posting source code.  The source code
may be in any form, textual or otherwise (i.e. Prograph files).  Also
appropriate sources would include:

Resources:  Resources used in Macintosh programs.  These can include
            CDEF's, MDEF's, as well as any other resource.

Scripts:    Scripts for either AppleScript, QuicKeys, Userland
            Frontier, as well as any other scripting system.

Projects:   This includes project files for the Think compilers, as
            well as Makefiles, AppMaker or Marksman project files, etc.

Source code can be for a full software product, library, patches, glue, or
even code snippets.  See <3.3> below for how to post large archives.

Note on project files: in some programming environments (e.g. THINK C), the
newest version of a project file is not backwardly-compatible.  For instance,
THINK C 6 project files can not be read by THINK C 5.  Along with the project
file, you should include a text file in the archive explaining how to set up
the project from scratch.  

(2.4) Unacceptable content of posts

Do not post copyrighted source code that is not yours unless you have
permission from the original author.  This includes posts you see on
other newsgroups; always consult the original author before cross-posting.

Do not post something that can only be decompressed with a commercial
decompression program.  If you insist on compressing your source archive
with a commercial compression program, make sure that either (a) it can be
decompressed with a free/shareware program, or (b) it is self-extracting.

Do not post source code to viruses or intentionally malicious software.

Do not post anything that doesn't include some sort of Mac source code (see
<1.3>, <2.1> above).

(3.1) General format for all posts

Choose a good subject line for your posting that accurately describes what
it contains.  The alt.sources.mac archive site generates its indices of the
newsgroup from the subject lines of the postings in it, so try to make sure
that there are relevant keywords in your subject that people can search for
when looking for your source code later.  For source code archives spread
over several posts (see <3.3> below), the subject lines should include not
only the archive name, type, and platform, but also the part number:
        Ghost 1.0 (word game, THINK C, part 0 of 10)
        Ghost 1.0 (part 1 of 10)
        Ghost 1.0 (part 10 of 10)

Put a Followup-To: header line in your posting which directs followups
somewhere other than alt.sources.mac.  This is especially important if you
cross-post your alt.sources.mac posting from some other newsgroup, because
people will often respond to the posting in that newsgroup without realizing
it was cross-posted to alt.sources.mac.

At the top of your posting, separated from the main header of the posting
by a blank line, include "Archive-name:" and "Submitted-by:" lines:
        Archive-name: ghost-10.hqx

The "name" on the first line should be a short one-word string that can serve
as a "tag" for the package.  If your post is a complete program with a unique
name, you can just use the name of the program as the archive name.  If you
are posting a patch to a previously posted bit of source code, you would do
something like "name/patchN", where N is the number of the patch.  If you post
source code in multiple parts, do "name/part1", "name/part2", etc.  The second
line should contain a return mail address for you.

This informational header (note that it is an auxiliary header, in the body of
the posting, NOT part of the main message header) is used by some automatic
archiving software to maintain alt.sources.mac archives automatically.  There
are other useful fields you may want to put in the auxiliary header; if you
are curious, see the documentation for the "rkive" program in the
comp.sources.misc archives to find out what they are.

Other than the informational header, each post should include the following
additional information about the content of the post: the type of code, a
brief description of the code, the language of the code, and (if necessary)
the specific programming environment the code was written in (e.g. THINK C
vs. MPW C, QuickBASIC vs. Visual BASIC).  Answer all these questions early
in the post; people should not have to search through the entire package
just to figure out what it is.

For large posts (more than a few pages), this information should constitute
the entire first post (part 0).  See <3.3> below for details.

(3.2) Small posts, snippets, cross-posts from other newsgroups

Any small amount of source code (less than a few pages) can be posted as
straight text.

If you post a single function to comp.sys.mac.programmer and feel it would
serve the general community to have it on alt.sources.mac (and therefore
archived on ftp sites around the world as well), cross-post it with a
descriptive subject line.  Please remember to include a "Followup-To:" line
to the original newsgroup or your own e-mail address.

If the source code, however small, relies on resources in a resource file,
or if it is in two or more separate files, use the format for larger posts
(see <3.3> below).

(3.3) Large posts

Large source archives (for instance, code and resources for an entire
program) are problematic, because some users must download an entire news
article to read it.  Also, some newsreaders will cut off very large posts
(over 1000 lines).  Therefore, put all relevant information about the
source code in the first post, labeled "part 0 of n", where n is the number
of posts the source code is split into.

After the informational post, the source code itself should be compressed
and BinHexed.  (Compact Pro and Stuffit Lite are the favored compression
programs, and the compressed archive should then be converted to BinHex 4.0
format with any program that does that sort of thing.  Compact Pro and
BinHex both do this quite well.)

The BinHex file should be split into sections of no more than 800 lines each.
In unix, this can be accomplished with the command
        split -800 filename

Each post should have a subject line that contains the part number ("part 0
of n" for the informational post, "part 1 of n" for the first 800 lines of
BinHexed source code, "part 2 of n", etc.).  Remember, these subject lines
are used as indices when your source code gets archived on ftp sites (see
<4.1> below).

(4.1) FTP sites which carry alt.sources.mac archives ( - /pub/alt.sources.mac ( - /mac/development/source (entire
programs) and /mac/development/source/snippets (code fragments).

(4.2) FTP sites which carry other Macintosh source code ( - /info-mac/dev/src ( - /dts/mac - Apple's primary FTP site.  It has
lots of goodies that you won't find anywhere else, sample code and snippets
and tech notes, programming tools and so on. ( - Not much code here, but it does have the
MacTCP docs. ( - /software/mac/src - This is a fountain of
source of all kinds, perhaps the most comprehensive source code archive for
the Mac. It has source for lots of unix ported utilities as well as lots of
"normal" mac source code. ( - /pub - Source code for Disinfectant 2.4
(except the anti-virus code) and NewsWatcher. ( - /mac/eudora - Source code for Eudora. ( - /Mac - lots of NCSA source code
(Telnet, Mosaic etc) and classes for Think Class Library. ( - /others/PeterLewis - stuff written
by Peter Lewis. ( - /mac/think-c - Home of the think-c mailing list,
has lots of code & classes, etc., for THINK C. ( - /Mac-Develop/Source - Home of the
develop mailing list, also has lots of misc stuff not found elsewhere.

(5.1) Copyrights of posts

Source code that is posted on alt.sources.mac is copyrighted by the author
unless otherwise stated.  Permission must be granted by the author of the
code before being submitted by a second party.  Source code that is
distributed via this newsgroup can be archived and distributed in any form
as long as the source is in its original posted form.

(5.2) FAQ credits

This FAQ compilation is maintained by Mark Pilgrim (  It
draws information and phrasing from many sources, including:
  - the original welcome message for alt.sources.mac, by Dave Nebinger
  - the original welcome message for alt.sources, by Jonathan Kamens
  - the original RFD for alt.sources.mac, by Dave Nebinger
  - the beta FAQ compilation for alt.sources.mac, by Peter N. Lewis

(5.3) ObSource

Since alt.sources.mac is exclusively for posting Macintosh source code, here
is some C code to convert a char to its rot-13 equivalent:

unsigned char Rot13(unsigned char theChar)
  return (((theChar|0x20)<'a') || ((theChar|0x20)>'z')) ? theChar :
         ((theChar|0x20)<='m') ? theChar+13 : theChar-13;

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM