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Non-Metaphoric Interaction Techniques for Application Builder Operations

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000113627D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 73K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Li, SG: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a non-metaphoric approach to building software in a visual builder environment. This approach allows the user to use the same direct manipulation and menu techniques in both design mode and run mode. Thus, the user does not have to be over alert in memorizing the current mode and using the proper manipulation techniques. When applying visual programming techniques in defining Application Builder operations, most application builders adopt the metaphoric approach, such as using a meta-mouse for allowing user manipulation. The meta-mouse is displayed on the screen resembling a physical mouse device.

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Non-Metaphoric Interaction Techniques for Application Builder Operations

      Disclosed is a non-metaphoric approach to building software in
a visual builder environment.  This approach allows the user to use
the same direct manipulation and menu techniques in both design mode
and run mode.  Thus, the user does not have to be over alert in
memorizing the current mode and using the proper manipulation
techniques.  When applying visual programming techniques in defining
Application Builder operations, most application builders adopt the
metaphoric approach, such as using a meta-mouse for allowing user
manipulation.  The meta-mouse is displayed on the screen resembling a
physical mouse device.  In this example, the user will use a pointing
device to move the meta-mouse simulating the user's mouse moving
operation, to click on a button (a special region) in the meta-mouse
for defining the operation of clicking the corresponding button in
the pointing device, etc. However, metaphoric approach is still
controversial.  The user will have to use a "real" pointing device to
manipulate the meta_mouse in the design mode for defining the
semantics of mouse operations in the run mode.  Many people think the
metaphor in this approach is awkward.

      This disclosure describes a design that takes the
non-metaphoric approach.  The user is allowed to use the same user
interaction techniques, including direct manipulations and menu
operations, in both design and run modes in an application builder
environment.  Contrary to the metaphoric approach, the user is not
asked to manipulate a meta-object in the design mode.  To the user,
the operation techniques, especially the direct manipulation
techniques, used to act on objects are mostly the same in both modes.
The most significant visual indication to differentiate the design
mode from the run mode may include a different cursor shape and
color, a different background color, etc.

      A possible implementation of t...