Zeus Productions Banner

Zeus Productions

zOpen Capabilities FUQ

(Last substantive change to this page made May 15, 1997)
Copyright © 1996-1997. Zeus Productions. All Rights Reserved.

Please consult the following list for answers to the most common pre-sales questions regarding zOpen, as well as additional technical information not covered on the zOpen Summary Page. Refer to our Needs Analysis FAQ to determine if zOpen or some other tool is right for you.

Details on zOpen's Capabilities

A. Can zOpen locate a document to open?

You must generally specify the path to the document you wish to open, even if you may not know the location of the application with which to open it (see below). You will need to know either the absolute path or the relative path (relative to the location of the Projector or the root of the current drive).

A. How can I determine the path to a file on a CD?

If you are constructing the parameter list dynamically via Lingo, you can use Lingo's the pathName function to determine the current path, including the drive letter.

If you are using a configuration file to specify the parameters, zOpen will automatically insert the current drive letter if you omit it. For example, if you specify a directory such as:
"\mydemo\mystuf", zLaunch will automatically insert the current drive letter, resulting in something equivalent to "d:\mydemo\mystuff".

A. Can zLaunch determine the name and/or location of the application to launch?

zOpen will locate the executable associated with a given extension, such as .HTML. Using zOpen, you do not need to know the application's name, so long as it is associated with a file type in the WIN.INI or Windows Registry File.

A. Can zOpen return the path to an application?

zOpen will return the path to an application, so long as it is associated with a particular document type, such as PDF or HTML.

A. Does zOpen cover the desktop of a large monitor while the launched application is active?

zOpen optionally covers the desktop around the launched application's window on large monitors. When the launched application terminates, the window will be dismissed.

A. Does zOpen always cover the desktop in black?

Under Windows, you can specify the color of the background as an RGB value. Although you ordinarily would want the background covered, you can also turn this feature off.

It is often a good idea to use a black screen during transitions between applications. Black can be used to ensure that any palette changes go unnoticed, because black is constant in all palettes.

A. Will zOpen perform a visual transition as it opens the external application?

zOpen itself does not perform transitions. You would generally perform the transition in Director before opening the external application, and/or in the external application, such as PowerPoint. It is usually most seamless to transition to a black screen in Director before opening the external application. If necessary, you can perform a palette switch while the screen is black, to prevent a palette flash.

A. Will zOpen trap mouse clicks outside the application's window?

Yes, if you use a desktop cover, zOpen will trap mouse clicks. This prevents another applications, such as Director or the Program Manager from accidentally being brought to the foreground.

A. Can I pass command line parameters to the launched executable?

zOpen allows you to pass parameters to the executable that it launches, as you could from the Windows command line. This can be used to tell Acrobat to print a PDF file, while specifying any applicable flags, for example.

A. Does zOpen allow Director to control or communicate with other applications? Does zLaunch support OLE?

zOpen is designed primarily for locating an external application and using it to print or open documents, and as such, offers a certain degree of control over other applications.

zOpen does not support OLE, but, on the Macintosh, Zeus Productions sells the zScript Xtra that can control other applications which respond to Apple Events.

A. Can zOpen launch a second projector from the primary projector?

Because Director projectors attempt to install temporary drivers into the Windows directory, the two projectors will conflict when you attempt to start a second projector using Lingo's open command or zOpen. Instead, use Lingo's "go movie" or "play movie" command to branch to a different DXR or DIR file.

If you only have access to the DXR files, you can still open the movie with the "play movie" command. An implicit "play done" will be issued at the end of the movie.

If it is impossible to obtain DIR or DXR files, you can launch one projector from another with zLaunch for Windows. This is because zLaunch allows the first projector to quit before launching the second projector, reducing potential conflicts. Again, however, this is not the preferred method.

If you are using Projectors from earlier versions of Director, you should instead try to update the DIR files to the most recent version and link to them as described above.

A. Can zOpen set the working directory for an application?

Yes, you can set the Windows working director for the launched application.

A. Will zOpen solve "Protection violation" or "Files in use" errors (error -49 or -51)?

You do not need zOpen to solve this problem. Refer to the TechNote, "Solving Protection Violation Errors".

A. Will zOpen resolve palette conflicts?

You would ordinarily jump to a black screen before opening another executable to reduce any palette conflicts. Palette problems within Director itself are discussed in the TechNote, "Using Palettes in Director".

A. Is zOpen supported when running over a network?

Whereas it may work in certain situations, this is not a supported configuration.

Don't forget to check out the questions addressed in the General zOpen FAQ.

Home (Spotlight) | Table of Contents | Links | Contact Info

Place an Order | Products for Sale | Licensing | Downloads

TechNotes | FAQs | E-Mail Zeus | GuestBook | Glossary

[End of Page]

Copyright © 1996-1997. Zeus Productions. All Rights Reserved.