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Method of Providing On-Screen Keyboard for Touch-Sensitive Systems Without Affecting Application Programs

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000102099D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-17
Document File: 3 page(s) / 127K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Piazza, WJ: AUTHOR

Abstract

A technique is described whereby an on-screen keyboard, as used in touch-sensitive personal computer systems, can be provided without requiring changes in application programs. A software implementation provides an interface extension to the BIOS of the system so that applications, which meet certain criteria, can immediately be run and remain compatible with other non-touch-sensitive systems. The concept does not require special maintenance, or support, other than a special software driver.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 51% of the total text.

Method of Providing On-Screen Keyboard for Touch-Sensitive Systems Without Affecting Application Programs

       A technique is described whereby an on-screen keyboard,
as used in touch-sensitive personal computer systems, can be provided
without requiring changes in application programs. A software
implementation provides an interface extension to the BIOS of the
system so that applications, which meet certain criteria, can
immediately be run and remain compatible with other
non-touch-sensitive systems.  The concept does not require special
maintenance, or support, other than a special software driver.

      Typically, in generic keyboard-based applications, the
application program places instructions, questions, and prompts on
the screen and the user responds by pressing the appropriate sequence
of keys on the keyboard to direct the application to perform a
specific task. When using a touch screen for input, a piece of
software must supply each operational display unit with a touch
target to be placed on the screen and determine when the user has
touched and released a specific touch target.  These functions can
either be provided by the application program itself, or by means of
a device driver or operating system extension.  In either case, the
application program must be changed to support a touch-based system.
In the first case, where the application program manages the touch
screen, the application must acquire many screen management routines
and touch drivers beyond what a keyboard- based version would need.
In the second case, where a resident device driver is used, the
application must be changed so that the application program can
define the choices that are available, where positioning must be on
the screen, etc. Locating and rewriting every occurrence of video
output and keyboard input in a major application is time consuming
and error prone.  In touch-based keyboard systems, difficulty arises
in printing a message or requesting a keystroke.

      The concept described herein provides a means of utilizing
certain characteristics that application programs may have so as to
allow keyboard-based software to run on touch-based systems with no
modifications.   Examples of the characteristics are as follows:
   In applications which run on a forty-column screen, the right half
of an eighty-column screen is left blank while the application is
running.  All instructions, questions, and prompts use only the left
half of the screen.
        The application may provide a number of menus with
information about the system and options for running the application
and allow option select by number or letter.  In some cases, such as
setting the date and time, longer input sequences are required.
  The application may not require use of shift, ALT, or control keys,
which typically require the simultaneous depression of more than one
key...