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Method for Enhancing Visual Perception of Menu Box Displayed in Multiple Steps

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000040759D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 14K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Adair, JG: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

In DisplayWrite 4, each menu is displayed in a multiple-step process. This is a restriction imposed by available random-access memory (RAM). A method is described in which the operator's perception of the display of the menu approaches that of a single-step process. A requirement of the DisplayWrite 4 User Interface is that the menus be displayed within a box or menu border. This is in a multi- step process as follows: 1. Display the menu border, 2. Display the menu title (if any), 3. Display the menu text, 4. Display the menu select line (if any), and 5. Display blobs and mnemonic underscoring (Directive menus only). With this approach, the DisplayWrite 4 main task selection menu (taken as a typical example) requires a menu text buffer size of 181 bytes.

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Method for Enhancing Visual Perception of Menu Box Displayed in Multiple Steps

In DisplayWrite 4, each menu is displayed in a multiple-step process. This is a restriction imposed by available random-access memory (RAM). A method is described in which the operator's perception of the display of the menu approaches that of a single-step process. A requirement of the DisplayWrite 4 User Interface is that the menus be displayed within a box or menu border. This is in a multi- step process as follows: 1. Display the menu border,

2. Display the menu title (if any),

3. Display the menu text,

4. Display the menu select line (if any), and

5. Display blobs and mnemonic underscoring (Directive menus

only). With this approach, the DisplayWrite 4 main task selection menu (taken as a typical example) requires a menu text buffer size of 181 bytes. If the menu was displayed in a single step by assembling the border characters and menu text in the buffer, the buffer size required would be 684 bytes or 378% larger. This percentage varies with menus according to the amount of blank space within the menu border, but it is clear that a significant amount of RAM can be saved by implementing the multi-step approach. A performance problem common to either approach is the processing overhead required to display the menu text (which is an L3P Datastream). In all-points-addressable (APA) processing mode, the processing time is compounded because of the need to write display data to multiple memory planes of the screen refresh buffer.

However, for the multi-step approach, the performance degradation caused by these factors allows the incremental nature of the menu display to be clearly perceived by the operator. It is critical to the operator's perception of the product performance that the visual effect of the multi-step menu display be minimized. This is especially important when DisplayWrite 4 is compared to menu-driven products whose menus are displayed almost instantly and in a single step. The display of the menu border was chosen as the part of the multi-step process that could be improved upon most easily in appearance and display time. The following process is implemented for APA mode only where menu display performance and appearance is the most critical. The process includes two steps: 1. Display menu background palette. This step occurs, for all

practical purposes, instantaneously. The speed is

achieved by

code...