Browse Prior Art Database

A USER CONFIGURABLE UI (XSTUFF)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000006671D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Jan-22
Document File: 3 page(s) / 213K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Richard O. Lee: AUTHOR

Abstract

Whenever a supplier of CAD or other large soft- ware tools provides an end user with sofhvare, inevita- bly the end user wants control over how the tool runs in his/her environment. This may include control of colors/fonts/print drivers as well as possible desire to control the type of tools available in this environment. He/She may want to replace the schematic capture tool with one of their own choosing. All of the needs mentioned and more have been met in the tool XStuff.

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INC. Technical Developments Volume 17 December 1992

A USER CONFIGURABLE UI (XSTUFF)

by Richard 0. Lee

1.0 BACKGROUND INFORMATION

  Whenever a supplier of CAD or other large soft- ware tools provides an end user with sofhvare, inevita- bly the end user wants control over how the tool runs in his/her environment. This may include control of colors/fonts/print drivers as well as possible desire to control the type of tools available in this environment. He/She may want to replace the schematic capture tool with one of their own choosing. All of the needs mentioned and more have been met in the tool XStuff.

1.1 FUNCTIONAL DESCRIPTION OF XSTUFF

  The function of the sofhvare tool XStuff is to pro- vide a seamless framework which allows an end user to transition through the design of an Integrated circuit from schematic capture, to simulation, to physical layout of the chip. The tool automatically drives netlisting to many different tool formats and tracks the versions of the files produced, providing them as input into the next tool or set of tools in the process. The tool then includes a num- ber of design steps with menus of user selectable tools contained in menus under each of these design steps. It also provides a transcript pad for invoking internal or external tools. There is also the provision for other generic functions like directory traversal, and OS commands as well.

  The user is provided the ability to change the attri- butes of the system via the use of an 'rc' tile similar to many other X Widows based UNIX applications. The user is allowed the ability to control the colors, and fonts in the user interface. When the software is invoked the 'rc' tile is read and the user controlled parameters are read and the user interface is changed accordingly.

This extends to allowing the user to detine new design steps in the user interface and to define new interfaces

to tools not provided by the sofhvare vendor. The fde contains a specific syntax which allows for the descrip- tion of these new elements.

  Every entry in the 'rc' file follows a specific format, Keyword followed by Value. An example of what the fde looks lie follows:

Workstation = "apollo"; Deactivate = "layout_menu.caeco"; Printer = "/user/mot/corn/page -pr iafde_name"; Workstation = "sun";

Editor = "/usr/bin/Xll/xedit "tile_name";

  The keyword "Workstation" is used to divide the tile into sections allowing one tile in your home direc- tory to be used for more than one machine type. The values set following the Workstation designator relate to the machine specified. You will also notice that the keyword Deactivate appears. This will cause the system to remove the "caeco" entry from the menu of available layout tools. The printer driver (Printer =) is also speci- fied here with a qualified path and options needed to drive it. Notice the use of the symbolic variable ^fde_name. This is simply a placeholder in the print drivers command line. When the system invokes the...