Browse Prior Art Database

Enabling Fast Cursoring through Menu Items with Information Line Text

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000113076D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 103K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Morgan, SA: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In an OS/2* Presentation Manager* (PM) application, a window can have an information line that provides a one line contextual help for the control that currently has the focus. As the user tabs from one control to another, the information line will change to reflect the information text for the new control.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Enabling Fast Cursoring through Menu Items with Information Line Text

      In an OS/2* Presentation Manager* (PM) application, a window
can have an information line that provides a one line contextual help
for the control that currently has the focus.  As the user tabs from
one control to another, the information line will change to reflect
the information text for the new control.

      This is particularly helpful when the user is cursoring through
menu items of an action bar.  To get detailed contextual help for a
menu item, as with other controls, the user needs to press the F1
help key, which displays the Help Manager with the help text.  When
the Help Manager window is displayed, however, a dropdown menu
retracts and the menu item for which help is requested is no longer
visible.

      When a menu is dropped down from the action bar and the user
hits the left or right arrow key, the current dropdown menu is
retracted and the dropdown to the left or right is displayed.  The
focus moves from the current menu item to the first menu item on the
newly displayed dropdown.

      This presents a problem when information line text is being
used for all menu items on the action bar.  When the user keys left
or right, the information line text will be updated as the selected
menu item changes, as it should.  Unfortunately, the process PM
follows is to retract the dropdown and select the menu item on the
action bar, then select the menu item on the action bar above the
next dropdown, then select the menu item on the dropdown itself.
This causes the information line text to update for each of these
menu items in sequence as the selection rapidly changes, causing a
flashing effect on the information line that is unattractive to the
user.  Fast keystroking to the left or right will make this effect
even more pronounced.

      This disclosure describes a technique that can be used so that
this type of keystroking through an action bar will not cause the
information line to flash, while still allowing an application to key
on the menu selections from PM to display the information line text.

      The solution to this problem lies in understanding how PM
handles painting updates of windows.  Windows can be updated either
synchronously or asynchronously.  A syncpaint window will repaint
immediately when an event has occurred that requires the repaint.  A
non-syncpaint window, however, does not update immediately.  It's
request to repaint causes a WM_PAINT message to be posted to the
message queue, and the repaint occurs when the message procedure
processes the message.

      When a WM_PAINT message is about to be processed, PM will
ensure that all paint messages for the given window be processed at
the same time.  If they all concern repainting the same area of the
window, on...