Browse Prior Art Database

Vectored Visual Programming

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000113404D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 4 page(s) / 102K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Coulombe, JS: AUTHOR

Abstract

A method is disclosed that provides an alternative method for the visual representation of the logic programming relationships between objects. This method is based on eight key points:

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Vectored Visual Programming

      A method is disclosed that provides an alternative method for
the visual representation of the logic programming relationships
between objects.  This method is based on eight key points:

1.  Separating visual layout from the logic programming
    representation.

2.  Separating the main categories of programming relationships.

3.  Displaying the logic programming separately from the visual
    layout.

4.  Displaying separately the main programming categories.

5.  Creating one to one relationships between programmable objects.

6.  Displaying the objects and programming categories in columns.

7.  Displaying relationships as vectors.

8.  Using digital logic neatness guidelines to display the vectors.

      In some products, such as IBM's VisualAge, the visual layout is
combined with the visual representation of the programming logic.  In
this solution, these are separated, that is, the visual layout of
user interface components is not attempted in the same view as the
layout of programming logic.  Each object, whether a user interface
component or a programming element, has a standard visual
representation, usually an icon.  In the figures, these objects are
shown in a center justified column.  All programmable objects appear
in this column including the user interface components, such as
buttons and entry fields, and logic components, such as a summation
device.

      Another principle of this solution is the separation of the
main programming categories: events and data.  All graphical user
interfaces today are built upon an event messaging system.  These
events are orthogonal but often closely related to the values of the
various programmable objects.  For example, an entry field contains a
value entered by a user.  That entry field can also generate several
messages, for example, "character entered," or "lost focus" or
"changed."

      In this solution, events for an object are represented
separately from the values that an object may contain.  This gives
the programmer the ability to route and display the events and values
separately.

      In the example below, events and values are displayed in two
columns, one on either side of the column of objects.  A line is
drawn horizontally through the object and extending in both
directions through the events and values to aid the programmer in the
specification of relationships between the objects.

Events               Objects                   Value
   ------------------------ O -------------------------
   ------------------------ O -------------------------
   ------------------------ O -------------------------
   ------------------------ O -------------------------

      In this solution, specifying the relationships between objects
is done by drawing a line between objects.  Normally this is done by
direct manipulation using a pointing device such as a mouse or pe...