Browse Prior Art Database

Simulating the Workplace Shell Support of Shadow Objects

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000112777D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 4 page(s) / 122K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Johnson, KD: AUTHOR

Abstract

In the OS/2* 2.X Workplace Shell environment a shadow object represents the original of an object and its contents. A shadow can be created by pressing and holding the Ctrl+Shift keys while dragging an object or by choosing the Create shadow option from the pop-up menu for an object. A shadow object has certain characteristics such as grey foreground text, drawing of a line between the original object and the shadow object during drag/drop creation, etc., that allow a user to identify the object as being a shadow. An OS/2 2.X Workplace Shell user quickly becomes accustomed to shadow objects being an integral part of the user interface.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 35% of the total text.

Simulating the Workplace Shell Support of Shadow Objects

      In the OS/2* 2.X Workplace Shell environment a shadow object
represents the original of an object and its contents.  A shadow can
be created by pressing and holding the Ctrl+Shift keys while dragging
an object or by choosing the Create shadow option from the pop-up
menu for an object.  A shadow object has certain characteristics such
as grey foreground text, drawing of a line between the original
object and the shadow object during drag/drop creation, etc., that
allow a user to identify the object as being a shadow.  An OS/2 2.X
Workplace Shell user quickly becomes accustomed to shadow objects
being an integral part of the user interface.

      The Workplace Shell defines a shadow object class and provides
various methods that can be used to manipulate instances of this
class.  However, there are many applications that for various reasons
will choose not to use the Workplace Shell class libraries but will
still want their icon to appear as an object on the desktop that will
be launchable via double clicking and will want their program to
exhibit many behaviors found in the Workplace Shell.  An application
that involves a container may very well want to provide some level of
shadow support similar to that available in the Workplace Shell.
Presentation Manager* or Presentation Manager extension tools may be
used to provide this support.

      This disclosure describes a solution implemented by the Window
Management System (a Presentation Manager-based extension tool) which
will simulate much of the Workplace Shell's support for shadow
objects as well as extend this support in some areas.  This
Presentation Manager-based solution increases the usability and
effectiveness of an application that wishes to provide shadow support
but does not want to use the Workplace Shell class libraries.  This
is true whether or not the application is launched from the Workplace
Shell.  However, any applications that are launched from the
Workplace Shell will provide the added consistency of having the same
"look and feel" as the Workplace Shell when shadow objects are used.

      The Window Management System (WMS) Presentation Manager-based
solution for shadow support includes several parts:

1.  The user must be able to query a particular object (container
    record) and determine if that record is a shadow.  Similarly, the
    user must be able to set a particular object to be a shadow.  WMS
    provides a boolean field in the container record structure that
    indicates whether or not the object in question is a shadow.
    Container records may be queried via WMS messages and may be set
    in the following three ways:

    a.  A shadow object may be indicated at compile time via a flat
        ASCII file which adheres to certain WMS defined syntax rules
        and is parsed via a WMS tag language compiler into files that
    ...