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Built-In Processor for Interface of Graphics Workstation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000060862D
Original Publication Date: 1986-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 3 page(s) / 16K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Anthias, T: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

An interactive graphics workstation uses a built-in processor employing table entries in its interface to provide a technique allowing a hybrid between a declarative description of the operator protocols and a procedural interface to allow complicated responses. Simple operations such as moving a cross-hair cursor in response to movements of a mouse can be described simply with a single table entry. More complex operations, such as tracing tablet movement to allow signature capture, can be achieved by adding "verbs" to the table entries so that they behave more like a procedural interface. The design allows a unique programming interface to be resident in the display yet visible to an application program.

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Built-In Processor for Interface of Graphics Workstation

An interactive graphics workstation uses a built-in processor employing table entries in its interface to provide a technique allowing a hybrid between a declarative description of the operator protocols and a procedural interface to allow complicated responses. Simple operations such as moving a cross-hair cursor in response to movements of a mouse can be described simply with a single table entry. More complex operations, such as tracing tablet movement to allow signature capture, can be achieved by adding "verbs" to the table entries so that they behave more like a procedural interface. The design allows a unique programming interface to be resident in the display yet visible to an application program. The design allows control and servicing of the various 'ports' via which secondary devices, such as tablets, make their presence known to the display, reduces host interaction by allowing local operator activity to update locally the graphic picture content and subsequently to return these updates to the application, provides better visual performance on interactive graphic programs by speeding up the processing, and allows a modest amount of application decision making to take place in the display rather than back in the application. The traditional way of driving devices has used either a non-procedural approach (such as that used by the IBM 3270 family) or a procedural interface (such as 2250/3250 buffer programming). The non- procedural approach lacks the flexibility required to cater for the variety of operator protocols required to support applications such as interactive graphics. On the other hand, the buffer programming approach requires fairly complex programming to control the input devices and the segment storage, which is then difficult to extend with additional protocols. The program of the built-in processor is coded in a device code and loaded from local disk with the device code at device initialization (no down loading). The code is driven by tables which are produced within the application to a well-defined interface. The interface can be divided into the following classes: 1. Alphanumeric. This conforms to the existing 3270E datastream. 2. Character set (alphanumeric and graphic). This uses the existing Load PS structured fields, extended to support graphic sets. 3. Graphic picture definitions. This consists of new outbound structured fields (graphic picture structured fields) within which commands are imbedded to define segments. These commands allow the definition of a new segment (and replacement of an existing segment of that name), the extension of an existing segment, and a partial redefinition of an existing segment (including achange to the segment's properties). 4. Drawing control instructions. These are imbedded within graphic control structured fields and allow immediate execution from within the datastream of basic segment control functions s...