Browse Prior Art Database

Architecture for Separate User-Interface Software Development

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000102356D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-17
Document File: 3 page(s) / 107K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Fleming, SS: AUTHOR

Abstract

This invention allows the use of a different software development environment for the user interface of an application while preserving existing application function code. This is accomplished by providing a run-time environment consisting of two processes: one process for the existing application function and one process for the user interface.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Architecture for Separate User-Interface Software Development

       This invention allows the use of a different software
development environment for the user interface of an application
while preserving existing application function code.  This is
accomplished by providing a run-time environment consisting of two
processes:  one process for the existing application function and one
process for the user interface.

      This invention applies to graphical windowing computer user
interfaces where the underlying operating system supports
communication between processes.

      This invention makes use of the fact that current applications
are built using a number of areas (windows) including the action bar,
a client area where the application objects are drawn, pop-up
windows, and others.

      It is desirable to enhance the user interface of an existing
application.  The enhancement of the user interface is facilitated by
use of an object-oriented software development environment.  However,
the existing application function may not be developed in a
compatible software development environment.  For example, it is
desirable to write software to support the user-interface action bar
and pop-up windows in Smalltalk while the existing chart application
drawing and calculation routines are written in the C programming
language.  The problem to be solved is how to have the
object-oriented user interface software work with the existing
application function without rewriting the application function.

      The underlying operating system provides support for creating
nested groups of windows, where the windows can be under the control
of different processes.  This invention provides the following:
1.  An application process which controls display of the application
objects within a window, called the client window.
2.  A user-interface process which controls display of the action bar
window and associated pop-up windows.  This user-interface process
may also support display of context menu windows (also called pop-up
menus).
3.  A protocol for communication between the application process and
the user-interface process.  When the user invokes commands using the
action bar or pop-ups, messages are sent to the application process
causing execution of the desired commands.  The user-interface
process also queries the application process to determine application
state data presented in the action bar and pop-up windows.
4.  Support for the communication protocol is added to the existing
application function code using ap...