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Browse Prior Art Database

Process Termination via Mouse Cursor Direct Manipulation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000111841D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 80K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bender, TR: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Users of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) often use Direct Manipulation (DM), (or "drag and drop") operations on desktop objects, which often take the form of application programs. Occasionally, a process may be initiated which has a high priority and which monopolizes the system's resources. In these cases, the mouse cursor typically changes into either an hourglass or a clock. As a result, the user is locked out from the application (or potentially even the entire operating system) and has no intuitive way to terminate the offending process.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Process Termination via Mouse Cursor Direct Manipulation

      Users of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) often use Direct
Manipulation (DM), (or "drag and drop") operations on desktop
objects, which often take the form of application programs.
Occasionally, a process may be initiated which has a high priority
and which monopolizes the system's resources.  In these cases, the
mouse cursor typically changes into either an hourglass or a clock.
As a result, the user is locked out from the application (or
potentially even the entire operating system) and has no intuitive
way to terminate the offending process.

      In the command line environment, users can traditionally break
out of a process by some keyboard action, such as 'Control + Z' or
'HX', for DOS and VM respectively.  Traditional GUI environments
haven't provided users with a way to cancel out of a running process.

      Provided is a novel method for the user to terminate a locking
process in a GUI by performing a DM operation directly on the mouse
cursor itself.  The mouse cursor (in the form of clock, hourglass,
etc.) may be dragged from its location on an active application to
the shredder/wastebasket.  The user may specify the desire to
terminate the offending application by performing a unique mouse
and/or keyboard sequence (e.g., both left and right mouse buttons
held down while cursor is dragged).

      In order for the operating system to terminate the offending
application, it must first determine which process is to be
terminated.  Depending on the operating system and the situation,
this could be done in several ways.  If the user is locked out from a
single application, the operating system could merely check for the
process that has the active input focus.  If the user is locked out
from the entire system, as happens in a message-queue-based operating
system, the system always keeps track of which application has been
sent the last message.  This is the application that is halting the
system.  For a multi-threaded GUI operating system, the system could
scan the priority of all active threads to determine...