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Static Frame Descriptors Stored With Menu Text

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000039738D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bullock, GR: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A method is described which shields application code from changes in user interface design. Static Frame Descriptors (SFDs) are data structures that provide information about a particular menu to the Menu Manager. This information includes things such as locations and lengths of fields in the menu, field types, valid input data, where video reversing should occur, Help Panel ids, etc. The information stored here is 'static' information. It does not change from one iteration of the menu to another. In some application programs the SFDs are part of the application's code. This means that any time a field is moved, added, or deleted from a menu, the application's code must be changed. If the user interface guidelines change, then the application's code was affected.

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Static Frame Descriptors Stored With Menu Text

A method is described which shields application code from changes in user interface design. Static Frame Descriptors (SFDs) are data structures that provide information about a particular menu to the Menu Manager. This information includes things such as locations and lengths of fields in the menu, field types, valid input data, where video reversing should occur, Help Panel ids, etc. The information stored here is 'static' information. It does not change from one iteration of the menu to another. In some application programs the SFDs are part of the application's code. This means that any time a field is moved, added, or deleted from a menu, the application's code must be changed. If the user interface guidelines change, then the application's code was affected. This also puts a very tight restriction on the translation of each menu to a foreign language. The application's code must be language independent. Therefore, the fields on a menu must always start in the same place, accept the exact same input data, video reverse the exact same number of characters, etc. In accordance with the new method, the SFDs are stored in the Main Message/Menu File with the menu text instead of being created as part of the application's code. A new interface is provided to allow the Menu Manager to retrieve a pointer to the SFDs at the same time it is retrieving the menu text. With the new method, menus can change appearance and behav...