Using Win32 functions in Visual FoxPro Image Gallery
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Before you begin:
The PathFindOnPath function is anything but special. Whatever it does, can be accomplished by using FILE() and GETENV() FoxPro functions. Though it gives me a chance to demonstrate a technique of assembling an array of strings for being passed to external function.

More comments below the source code.

DECLARE INTEGER PathFindOnPath IN shlwapi;
    STRING @pszFile, STRING @ppszOtherDirs

LOCAL cFile, oPath1, oPath2, oPath3, cPathArray

* The first parameter is not just a file name to search;
* If the search is successful, this parameter is used 
* to return the fully qualified path name.
* For that reason it must be long enough to accomodate
* a path of maximum length
cFile = PADR("wininet.dll", MAX_PATH, CHR(0))

* PChar class wraps GlobalAlloc and GlobalFree calls
oPath1 = CREATEOBJECT("PChar", "c:\dir1" + CHR(0))
oPath2 = CREATEOBJECT("PChar", "c:\dir2" + CHR(0))
oPath3 = CREATEOBJECT("PChar", "c:\documents\dir1" + CHR(0))

* the null-terminated array contains three memory addresses
* padded with zero bytes
cPathArray = num2dword(oPath1.GetAddr()) +;
    num2dword(oPath2.GetAddr()) +;
    num2dword(oPath3.GetAddr()) +;
    num2dword(0) + CHR(0)

IF PathFindOnPath(@cFile, @cPathArray) = 0
    ? "File not found..."
    * at this point cFile contains the fully qualified path
    * padded to MAX_PATH length with zero bytes
    cFile = STRTRAN(cFile, CHR(0), "")
    ? cFile
* end of main

FUNCTION num2dword(lnValue)
#DEFINE m0  256
#DEFINE m1  65536
#DEFINE m2  16777216
    IF lnValue < 0
        lnValue = 0x100000000 + lnValue
    LOCAL b0, b1, b2, b3
    b3 = Int(lnValue/m2)
    b2 = Int((lnValue - b3*m2)/m1)
    b1 = Int((lnValue - b3*m2 - b2*m1)/m0)
    b0 = Mod(lnValue, m0)
RETURN Chr(b0)+Chr(b1)+Chr(b2)+Chr(b3)


PROCEDURE Init(lcString)
    THIS.hMem = 0
    THIS.setValue (lcString)


FUNCTION GetAddr  && returns a pointer to the string

FUNCTION GetValue && returns string value
    LOCAL lnSize, lcBuffer
    lnSize = THIS.getAllocSize()
    lcBuffer = SPACE(lnSize)

    IF THIS.hMem <> 0
        DECLARE RtlMoveMemory IN kernel32 As MemToStr;
        = MemToStr(@lcBuffer, THIS.hMem, lnSize)
RETURN lcBuffer

FUNCTION GetAllocSize  && returns allocated memory size (string length)
    DECLARE INTEGER GlobalSize IN kernel32 INTEGER hMem
RETURN Iif(THIS.hMem=0, 0, GlobalSize(THIS.hMem))

PROCEDURE SetValue (lcString) && assigns new string value

    DECLARE RtlMoveMemory IN kernel32 As StrToMem;

    LOCAL lnSize
    lcString = lcString + Chr(0)
    lnSize = Len(lcString)
    THIS.hMem = GlobalAlloc(GMEM_FIXED, lnSize)
    IF THIS.hMem <> 0
        = StrToMem(THIS.hMem, @lcString, lnSize)

PROCEDURE ReleaseString  && releases allocated memory
    IF THIS.hMem <> 0
        DECLARE INTEGER GlobalFree IN kernel32 INTEGER
        = GlobalFree (THIS.hMem)
        THIS.hMem = 0
ENDDEFINE  && pchar

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2847 bytes  
Created: 2005-04-27 19:35:53  
Modified: 2005-04-28 09:32:16  
Visits in 7 days: 54  
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My comment:
The second parameter of the PathFindOnPath is a memory address of null-terminated array of pointers to strings. Members of such array must be 4-byte numbers, format called UINT or DWORD. Each array member is an address of allocated in memory string that contains a directory name.

In this code sample, I want to make this function search for the file in three directories:

As the first step, I use the GlobalAlloc to allocate each directory name in memory. Three GlobalAlloc calls return three memory addresses.

To become a null-terminated array, these memory addresses must be put one after another to a memory buffer and padded by some null characters. As I said, each address must occupy four bytes.

So far these numbers are in FoxPro numeric format. This is something similar to managed objects in .Net. Technically I can not say how many bytes each numeric value takes and where exactly it resides in memory.

Somehow I need to convert them to 4-byte DWORDs. Three addresses, as three directories are searched, and five zero bytes, produce the total length of 17 bytes. I use num2dword() function to convert each number to 4-character string, which is the binary character representation of the DWORD format. In VFP9 you probably can use BINTOC() for this conversion.

So now I have created the binary character representation for the array -- a string 17 characters long. I could use the GlobalAlloc again to allocate this string in memory and obtain its address.

But more elegant solution is declaring this parameter as STRING @ -- a reference to a string, cPathArray in the code above. That makes the FoxPro to take care about all memory operations: memory allocation, passing the pointer to the PathFindOnPath and releasing the memory in the end.

PChar class hides certain complexity of memory API calls. In particular, it calls the GlobalFree, whenever a PChar instance is destroyed or re-allocated, preventing memory leaks.
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