Browse Prior Art Database

Application-Defined Control Key List for Menu

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000039746D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 14K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bullock, GR: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A method is described which allows applications to specify the exact controls which are allowed in each parametric menu option. A software module called the Prompt Manager is responsible in some word processing programs for data prompts and their operator interaction. The Prompt Manager has a table of control characters, each of which can be typed in any data prompt. There are three disadvantages to that arrangement: 1. It is obvious that control characters are not appropriate in document name prompts and numeric options, while some or all controls are appropriate in other data prompts. During a data prompt in which some controls are inappropriate, the user can key in any control characters.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 59% of the total text.

Page 1 of 2

Application-Defined Control Key List for Menu

A method is described which allows applications to specify the exact controls which are allowed in each parametric menu option. A software module called the Prompt Manager is responsible in some word processing programs for data prompts and their operator interaction. The Prompt Manager has a table of control characters, each of which can be typed in any data prompt. There are three disadvantages to that arrangement: 1. It is obvious that control characters are not appropriate in

document name prompts and numeric options, while some or all

controls are appropriate in other data prompts.

During a data

prompt in which some controls are inappropriate,

the user can

key in any control characters. After the user

terminates the

prompt, a message stating that his input was

invalid is

displayed. It would have been more helpful to

display an

error message earlier.

2. All applications which received data from these prompts are

required to detect the invalid control characters.

By not

filtering out these characters, the applications

are obliged

to handle them. An application requiring

alphanumeric data

only has to scan for multi-byte control characters

in the text

returned from a data prompt.

3. If one application required a new control character not

previously supported for its data prompt, then the

Prompt

Manager is obliged to change its source code to add

a new

entry to its control key table. Furthermore, all

other ap plications are obliged to detect the new

control and recognize

that it is not valid in their prompts. In accordance with the new method, data prompts evolved into what is called parametric menu options.

The Prompt Manager evolves into a module of the Menu

Manager which defines five types of parametric menu

options: Freekey, Special Case Freekey, Numeric,

Special Case Numeric, and Mapped. The Menu Manager does not allow typing control characters in Numeric, Special Case Numeric, and Mapped options, since they are never appropriate in those options. The application which owns the menu therefore does not need special logic to handle the control characters. An application which owns a

1

Page 2 of 2

Freekey or Special Case Freekey option chooses one of the following alternatives when defining the option via the Menu Generator. 1. Accept the Menu Generator's default, which is: all controls

are invalid in this option. This makes sense for file names,

for example.

2. Define the...