Browse Prior Art Database

Multi-state Icon

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000108582D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 76K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Smith, SE: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a multi-state icon for representing the state of processes (executing programs) in a computer system. Each multi-state icon is described by a finite state machine (1), which has associated with each state an icon image defined by a bitmap, and foreground and background colors (2). The image of the icon presented to the user changes as state changes occur within the icon.

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Multi-state Icon

       Disclosed is a multi-state icon for representing the
state of processes (executing programs) in a computer system. Each
multi-state icon is described by a finite state machine (1), which
has associated with each state an icon image defined by a bitmap, and
foreground and background colors (2).  The image of the icon
presented to the user changes as state changes occur within the icon.

      In UNIX* operating systems, the multi-state icon can be
implemented  as a separate process created as a child of the process
being represented by the icon.  The icon process maintains the state
of the icon and maintains the icon image on the display screen.  The
connection between  the icon process and the creating parent process
can be either passive or active.

      With a passive connection between the parent and icon
processes, the parent process only creates the icon process, after
which time the icon process proceeds without direct communication
from the parent.  In this case, the possible states of the icon are a
function of the possible states of the parent process, as recorded
within the operating system. This can be simply "executing" vs.
"waiting" or can be more complicated, such as a function of the ratio
of CPU time to number of page faults.  The icon process is timer
driven, repeatedly waking up after a specified time interval.  Each
time it wakes up, it interrogates the operating system state of its
parent process, computes the new state of the icon, and changes the
icon image accordingly.

      With an active connection between the parent and icon
processes, the parent process takes direct control of the state
changes within the icon, and thus of the icon image. When the child
icon process...