Browse Prior Art Database

Instance versus Class Menus in an Object-Oriented Environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000111724D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 81K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Malcolm, JW: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In the current desktop paradigm used by the WorkPlace Shell* on OS/2* 2.1, popup context menus need to be provided for every object within a folder. For an application like Lan NetView*, which creates its menus dynamically and stores them to disk, and which can display hundreds of objects within a single folder, the disk storage space requirements for all of these menus can become prohibitive. There is also a performance delay when the menu is initially created and stored to disk.

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Instance versus Class Menus in an Object-Oriented Environment

      In the current desktop paradigm used by the WorkPlace Shell* on
OS/2* 2.1, popup context menus need to be provided for every object
within a folder.  For an application like Lan NetView*, which creates
its menus dynamically and stores them to disk, and which can display
hundreds of objects within a single folder, the disk storage space
requirements for all of these menus can become prohibitive.  There is
also a performance delay when the menu is initially created and
stored to disk.

      All applications should attempt to minimize their disk storage
usage and maximize their menu display performance whenever possible.
This disclosure describes how Lan NetView minimizes the disk storage
used by the dynamically built and stored popup context menus that
each object must have, while also minimizing the initial performance
display penalty caused by this type of menu creation.

      As discussed in other disclosures, Lan NetView creates its
menus dynamically and stores the created menu structures to disk.
The initial creation can be slow, but subsequent requests for the
menu need only read the stored structures from disk, which is much
faster.

      Since every object in a folder needs its own menu, and there
can be hundreds of such objects in a single folder, this technique
can use a large amount of disk storage when every object's menu is
stored to disk.  However, one special aspect of an object-oriented
application can be used to help alleviate this potential problem.

      The key is that in an object-oriented environment, some menus
are unique to an instance level and some are unique only to a class
level.  This difference is determined by the needs of the
application, and is thus application-controlled.

      When a context menu is requested to be displayed for an object
in a folder, its class can be easily ascertained.  The class can then
be queried as to whether instances of that class require unique
menus, or whether all instances of the class can use the same menu.

      For instance-specific objects, their menus are...