Loading Auxiliary Nib files


Hi all,

I'm trying to use lazy loading of nib files when a user click at the menu item in a Cocoa application. After looking at several examples (I'm new to Objective-C although with solid C/C++ background), I decided that some panels like the Preferences only require shared instances. I split all my windows (about 9 created from clicking menu items) in different nib files and tried to share instances. I seem to be able to load the files (all the methods are called) including awakeFromNib....and showWindow, however no window displays. Only the main window loads. I have tried different ways of loading nibs, and nothing worked. What is the standard practice for loading other nibs besides MainMenu? I have looked at endless tutorials including "Learning Cocoa" (no help) and Cocoa Dev Central, etc. All help is appreciated.

Here is how I setup my code just in case it helps someone. Let me know if you see something wrong:

I have my AppDelegate where all the actions from the menu's are connected to, then I have the auxiliary nib (say Preferences.nib), and a frozen object in the nib with all the connections and a controller in my application that owns the nib.

I derive all my controllers from a common object subclass of NSWindowController that has this code in init (and I keep the naming of the controller object the same as the nib file:)

- (id) init {

// Continue the designated initializer chain:

[super init];

// here's a fuller invocation of "loadNibNamed:" which shows the loading of the // dictionary with the key-value pair NSOwner, which has a value of "self".

[NSBundle loadNibFile:[[NSBundle mainBundle] pathForResource:NSStringFromClass([self class]) ofType:mad:"nib"] externalNameTable:[NSDictionary dictionaryWithObjectsAndKeys:self, @"NSOwner", nil] withZone:[self zone]];

// place other initialization code here

return self;


Then the Preferences.m, the controller for Preferences.nib, inherits the init above and has the shareInstance method below:

+ (id) sharedInstance {

static Preferences *_shared = nil;

if (!_shared) {

NSLog(@"This means the instance was not created yet");

_shared = [[Preferences allocWithZone:[self zone]] init];


return _shared;


Then the frozen object (PreferencesCO.m) has the usuals: IBOutlets/actions and some reference code just to know they are being called:

- (id) init {

[super init];

NSLog(@"In init of PreferencesCO");

return self;


- (void) awakeFromNib {

NSLog(@"in awakeFromNib in PreferencesCO");


Finally when a user clicks Preferences... in the menu the corresponding IBAction is called in the application delegate and this code runs:

- (IBAction)showPreferences:(id)sender {

NSLog(@"I'm in Preferences...");

[[Preferences sharedInstance] showWindow:sender];

NSLog(@"Just loaded the Preferences in AppdDelegate");


All input and ideas are more than welcome, I have ran out of ideas and I can't move forward on this. Please help and feel free to use the ideas here for your own...


- Take a little, give a little - Hi all,

I've never tried working with multiple windows in that fashion--only documents, and even then I've only dabbled.

I seem to recall that I used the openUntitledDocumentOfType:display: method of an NSDocumentConroller instance to open a new window, but it sounds like it's not documents you're opening, it's other kinds of utility/prefs/etc panels.

I can only confirm that I also could not quite figure out how to make other windows load up dynamically.

If you haven't already, maybe check out some sample code from the OmniGroup's AppKit ( http://www.omnigroup.com ) to see if they do something like what you're doing. Maybe check the OpenUp package ( http://www.stepwise.com/Software/OpenUp ) too.

Good luck.