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Listing the running user applications under osx using Delphi

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The NSWorkspace class provides a set of methods and properties which allow open and manipulate files, applications and others useful tasks. One of these properties can be used to list the running applications. The property is runningApplications , this will return an array of NSRunningApplication elements representing the running applications. Unfortunately the definition of this interface (NSRunningApplication) in the Macapi.AppKit is incomplete.

  NSRunningApplication = interface(NSObject)
    ['{96F4D9CA-0732-4557-BA1F-177958903B8F}']
    function activateWithOptions(options: NSApplicationActivationOptions): Boolean; cdecl;
    function activationPolicy: NSApplicationActivationPolicy; cdecl;
    function executableArchitecture: NSInteger; cdecl;
    function forceTerminate: Boolean; cdecl;
    function hide: Boolean; cdecl;
    function isActive: Boolean; cdecl;
    function isFinishedLaunching: Boolean; cdecl;
    function isHidden: Boolean; cdecl;
    function isTerminated: Boolean; cdecl;
    function processIdentifier: Integer; cdecl;
    function terminate: Boolean; cdecl;
    function unhide: Boolean; cdecl;
  end;

As you can see in the above definition there is not a property to retrieve the application name or path. So the first task in order to retrieve the list of the running applications is add the missing properties like so.

  NSRunningApplicationEx = interface(NSObject)
    ['{96F4D9CA-0732-4557-BA1F-177958903B8F}']
    function activateWithOptions(options: NSApplicationActivationOptions): Boolean; cdecl;
    function activationPolicy: NSApplicationActivationPolicy; cdecl;
    function executableArchitecture: NSInteger; cdecl;
    function forceTerminate: Boolean; cdecl;
    function hide: Boolean; cdecl;
    function isActive: Boolean; cdecl;
    function isFinishedLaunching: Boolean; cdecl;
    function isHidden: Boolean; cdecl;
    function isTerminated: Boolean; cdecl;
    function processIdentifier: Integer; cdecl;
    function terminate: Boolean; cdecl;
    function unhide: Boolean; cdecl;

    //Added functions(properties)
    //Indicates the URL to the application's executable.
    function executableURL : NSURL; cdecl;//@property (readonly) NSURL *executableURL;
    //Indicates the name of the application.  This is dependent on the current localization of the referenced app, and is suitable for presentation to the user.
    function localizedName : NSString; cdecl;//@property (readonly) NSString *localizedName;
    //Indicates the URL to the application's bundle, or nil if the application does not have a bundle.
    function bundleURL : NSURL; cdecl;//@property (readonly) NSURL *bundleURL;
    //Indicates the CFBundleIdentifier of the application, or nil if the application does not have an Info.plist.
    function bundleIdentifier : NSString; cdecl;//@property (readonly) NSString *bundleIdentifier;
    //Indicates the date when the application was launched.  This property is not available for all applications.  Specifically, it is not available for applications that were launched without going through LaunchServices.   */
    function launchDate : NSDate;cdecl;//@property (readonly) NSDate *launchDate;
    //Returns the icon of the application.
    function icon : NSImage;cdecl;//@property (readonly) NSImage *icon;
  end;
  TNSRunningApplicationEx = class(TOCGenericImport<NSRunningApplicationClass, NSRunningApplicationEx>)  end;

Now using a TStringGrid we can list all the user applications running

var
  LWorkSpace : NSWorkspace;
  LApp       : NSRunningApplicationEx;
  LFormatter : NSDateFormatter;
  i : integer;
  LArray     : NSArray;
begin
  LWorkSpace:=TNSWorkspace.create;//or TNsWorkspace.Wrap(TNsWorkSpace.OCClass.sharedWorkspace);
  LArray:=LWorkSpace.runningApplications;
  //NSDateFormatter Class Reference
  //https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/Cocoa/Reference/Foundation/Classes/NSDateFormatter_Class/Reference/Reference.html
  TNSDateFormatter.OCClass.setDefaultFormatterBehavior(NSDateFormatterBehavior10_4);
  LFormatter:=TNSDateFormatter.Create;
  LFormatter.setDateFormat(NSSTR('HH:mm:ss YYYY/MM/dd'));
  if LArray<>nil then
  begin
    StringGrid1.RowCount:=LArray.count;
   for i := 0 to LArray.count-1 do
   begin
     LApp:= TNSRunningApplicationEx.Wrap(LArray.objectAtIndex(i));
     StringGrid1.Cells[0,i]:=LApp.processIdentifier.ToString();
     if LApp.launchDate<>nil then
     StringGrid1.Cells[1,i]:=string(LFormatter.stringFromDate(LApp.launchDate).UTF8String);
     StringGrid1.Cells[2,i]:=string(LApp.localizedName.UTF8String);
     StringGrid1.Cells[3,i]:=string(LApp.executableURL.path.UTF8String);

     if LApp.bundleIdentifier<>nil then
       StringGrid1.Cells[4,i]:=string(LApp.bundleIdentifier.UTF8String);

     if LApp.bundleURL<>nil then
       StringGrid1.Cells[5,i]:=string(LApp.bundleURL.path.UTF8String);

      case LApp.executableArchitecture of
        NSBundleExecutableArchitectureI386  :   StringGrid1.Cells[6,i]:='I386';
        NSBundleExecutableArchitecturePPC   :   StringGrid1.Cells[6,i]:='PPC';
        NSBundleExecutableArchitecturePPC64 :   StringGrid1.Cells[6,i]:='PPC64';
        NSBundleExecutableArchitectureX86_64:   StringGrid1.Cells[6,i]:='X86_64';
      end;
   end;
  end;
end;

And this is the final result.

Mac OS X Lion

Note : The runningApplications property only list the user applications and does not provide information about every process on the system. In order to access to all the process you can use the sysctl function with the CTL_KERN, KERN_PROC, KERN_PROC_ALL values.

Download the sample Firemonkey project from Github.

Author: Rodrigo

Just another Delphi guy.

8 thoughts on “Listing the running user applications under osx using Delphi

  1. nice post,,, like this…

  2. Thanks for your post. Keep up your good works. I need more experience in OSX developer.

  3. Nice example. Is there a reason you don’t declare the properties as returning a NSURL, NSString or NSImage though…?

  4. Very interesting!
    I try to use getFileSystemInfoForPath:isRemovable:isWritable:isUnmountable:description:type in NSWorkspace. This function doesn’t exist in the Delphi part so i try to declare a NSWorkspaceEx with the original Nsworkspace plus
    function getFileSystemInfoForPath(fullPath: NSString; out isRemovable, isWritable, isUnmountable :Boolean; description, Atype: PPointer): Boolean; cdecl;
    All works iin execution until the call of this function where i had an “unrecognized selector sent to instance” error.
    Any idea?

  5. Nice!
    The sample project isn’t available anymore in the DropBox link, can you upload it somewhere else please?
    Thanks.

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