Browse Prior Art Database

Self-Adjusting Data on Non-Programmable Terminal Via Externally Described Files

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000105450D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
Document File: 4 page(s) / 128K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Donovan, RJ: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A method for selecting which fields to display in each line of a window with limited horizontal size is disclosed. Individual fields are prioritized by using an externally described file format definition, and the most important fields remain in the window and the least important fields are dropped. The method is employed on Non-Programmable terminals (NPT screens) but could be used by other display terminals.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 40% of the total text.

Self-Adjusting Data on Non-Programmable Terminal Via Externally Described Files

      A method for selecting which fields to display in each line of
a window with limited horizontal size is disclosed.  Individual
fields are prioritized by using an externally described file format
definition, and the most important fields remain in the window and
the least important fields are dropped.  The method is employed on
Non-Programmable terminals (NPT screens) but could be used by other
display terminals.

To handle cases where all the data from a record will not fit into a
window, the amount of data to be displayed can be made variable,
based on available space in the window.  An applications programmer
can designate via a format definition the most important fields for
display when only some of the fields (or part of the record) will fit
in a window.  In some cases, the window can be used to ignore all
fields but one and display as many iterations of that field as
possible within the window.  The application can use a single record
format to specify multiple options for display to make the best use
of available space in a given window.  When the amount of data
displayed in the window is not sufficient, the user could then cause
a reapportionment of window space to give more attention to one
window while leaving enough data displayed in other windows to serve
as "placemarkers" or reminders.

This method uses a format specification language to allow each field
in a format to specify what to do when there is not enough space in
the window.  The format compiler will do compile time checking of
correct syntax and, therefore, still be able to detect illogical
field definitions.  The Workstation Functional Manager (WS FM)
handles the manipulation of the data stream and displays the data in
the window, dependent on the size of the window driven by the ruleset
defined for each field by the format.

 The system itself adjusts the data displayed in the window so the
user can see as much meaningful data as the window display allows.
If a mouse or another mechanism is used to re-size the windows on the
screen, the data automatically adjusts to present the most
significant data in the space remaining in each window.

The following format options are provided to permit implementation:

1.  Per-field basis.

    a.  TIGHT WINDOW PRIORITY VALUE - a value which ranks the
        importance of fields for display.  When limited space is
        available width-wise in a window, the least important fields
        are not displayed.  This ranking is independent of the
        columnar position within a display.

    b.  TIGHT WINDOW ANCHOR FIELD - a value which identifies a field
        to always be displayed with all fields - least or most
        important - to visually "anchor" the line for the user.

    c.  TIGHT WINDOW OFFSET/LENGTH - a pair of values which
        identifies an offset and lengt...