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Direct Manipulation Services Cross-Protocol Features

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000105988D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-20
Document File: 4 page(s) / 171K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hindocha, N: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A feature which is becoming increasingly standard in graphical applications is direct manipulation, or drag-and-drop. This provides the user the ability to click with the mouse button when the pointer is over an object, move the mouse elsewhere and release the button. The object is then moved or copied from one location to another, or an application is invoked with the object as data, or another effect is defined by the two.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 31% of the total text.

Direct Manipulation Services Cross-Protocol Features

      A feature which is becoming increasingly standard in graphical
applications is direct manipulation, or drag-and-drop.  This provides
the user the ability to click with the mouse button when the pointer
is over an object, move the mouse elsewhere and release the button.
The object is then moved or copied from one location to another, or
an application is invoked with the object as data, or another effect
is defined by the two.

      For efficiency and maintainability, it is desirable that the
application programmer has access to a programming interface (API)
that is as consistent as possible across all the target platforms.
Thus instead of learning all the details of different systems that
support direct manipulation, the programmer writes to a single API
which is translated by a building tool into the native environment.

      No graphical building tool yet allows the programmer to perform
direct manipulation in a platform-independent manner, because of the
very different protocols and mechanisms available on the target
platforms.  This discloure describes a generalized mechanism and
programming interface to address this problem and enable the
programmer to write platform-independent (rather than
platform-specific) code for direct manipulation.  Specifically, the
necessity to reimplement platform specific Direct Manipulation
protocols that an application uses for each specific platform is
avoided.

      Direct Manipulation Services Cross-Protocol Features (DMSCPF)
defines and implements a low-level protocol for performing Direct
Manipulation operations between two applications which is transparent
to the applications.  Where there are standard platform specific
protocols which enable drag-and-drop then DMSCPF may use them, such
as the OS/2* 2.0 Presentation Manager* facilities and the
drag-and-drop support which is due to appear in X-based systems.
However, the actual protocol used is transparent to the application.

      Additionally, DMSCPF interacts transparently with drop
protocols that are used by particular applications on the target
machines.  When DMSCPF is ported to any machine that defines its own
drop protocol, dropins to and from native applications will be
supported.

      In each case applications that use DMSCPF send and receive
dropins transparently; information indicating that the dropin is from
a non DMSCPF-based application is provided if appropriate.

      DMSCPF recognizes whether the target window belongs to an
application which uses DMSCPF, or whether it is a native system
provided application such as those mentioned above.  In the former
case, the full range of information may be passed in a dropin, while
in the latter case only that information that the native application
can use should be passed.  DMSCPF does not enforce this limitation,
but returns the application type along with the target window so that
the sending...