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Cocoa® Programming Developer’s Handbook, Second Edition by David Chisnall

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Chapter 20. Services

One of the most underrated parts of OS X is the system services. On OPENSTEP, every application had a top-level Services menu. On OS X, this was relegated to a submenu of the application menu. A large part of the reason for this was marketing. When OS X was launched, the majority of applications were ported from MacOS 9, using the Carbon API, and Carbon applications could not use Services. Making a user interface element prominent when most applications couldn’t use it would not have been a good idea.

This limitation no longer applies. Services can now be used by any application that uses pasteboards. The system-wide spell checker is an example of a service that is pervasive throughout OS X. It does not expose itself via ...

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