Browse Prior Art Database

Smart Output Formatting for OS Shell Programs

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021653D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Jan-29
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Jan-29
Document File: 6 page(s) / 79K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Smart Output Formatting for OS Shell Programs - Away to isolate and control the formatting and display of output data generated by shell-programs.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 20% of the total text.

Page 1 of 6

Smart Output Formatting for OS Shell Programs

Introduction:

All current OS shell programs need to contain considerable code that is solely dedicated for formatting the output of these applications so that it can be displayed on the screen or the printer in a readable and user friendly way.

    Such code becomes very important in cases where the programs are globalized, in such cases the programs should contain code that can format the generated output according to the rules of the language to which the application is translated.

The Problem:

    The main process of formatting the output of OS shell programs for screen or printer display has a lot of problems:

Almost all OS shell programs contains considerable code to perform this

operation. Globalizing such applications becomes more difficult as developers need to add

special code for formatting the output for every supported language. Developers will need to add special code for every supported output device other

than the screen ie applications that support printing their output etc. New output formatting code needs to be added for every new shell application

which means spending a lot of time, money, and resources for this repetitive job. Changing the style and output formatting of applications will be more difficult as

every application should be modified.

    Currently there are no known solutions for this problem as every shell application has its own output formatting code.

    This solution provides a way to overcome the above limitations & problems in formatting the output of command line shell programs.

    The core idea of the solution is to isolate output formatting functionality from command line shell programs, so that command line programs will only include the code needed to do the real work and will not include any code to format the output generated by the program.

  There are a lot of advantages for this solution, some of these are: Programs will concentrate on doing the real work and will not care about having

special code to format the output. Program size will be smaller as it will not include extra code for formatting the

output. Supporting different screen resolutions and formatting styles will be easy as

formatting the output can be totally controlled by the OS shell instead of the applications.

Supporting different & more output devices (printers, multiple screens...etc etc)

will be easy as the OS shell will control output formatting instead of the applications. Power users and OS shell developers will have the ability to develop, improve,

and add more features to output formatting in the form of OS shell extensions, in other words, developers will be able to add more output formatting SKINS for shell programs that will affect all available shell programs without the need to modify or recompile any program. The process of globalization will become easier as shell applications will not need


1.


2.


3.


4.


5.


1.


2.


3.


4.


5.


6.

Page 2 of 6

more than translating its output to the des...