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Metaphor for Connection for an Object Oriented Application Builder

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000113686D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 34K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Coskun, N: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

When creating an object oriented application builder, the most difficult concept to visually communicate to the user is the connection. For most visual programming environments, a connection consists of an event which activates some function or method. In some builders, there are also intermediate methods which may be activated between the event and the final method. These intermediate methods are called action slots. Each action slot is activated through an object called an activator. There are activators for methods and action slots. These concepts are very difficult to communicate to the end user. An appropriate metaphor is needed which handles action slots, activators, methods, and events.

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Metaphor for Connection for an Object Oriented Application Builder

      When creating an object oriented application builder, the most
difficult concept to visually communicate to the user is the
connection.  For most visual programming environments, a connection
consists of an event which activates some function or method.  In
some builders, there are also intermediate methods which may be
activated between the event and the final method.  These intermediate
methods are called action slots.  Each action slot is activated
through an object called an activator.  There are activators for
methods and action slots.  These concepts are very difficult to
communicate to the end user.  An appropriate metaphor is needed which
handles action slots, activators, methods, and events.

      The metaphor that seems to work the best is an electrical
circuit with plugs.  Activators are plugs.  Action slots are power
strips.  Methods or functions are appliances.  Events are power
sources.  It works like this.

      For a builder, an event usually triggers some action.  For
example, when a mouse button is pressed, some menu selection is
activated.  With this metaphor, the event is the battery, or power
source, for the circuit.  In some builders, an event triggers an
action slot, which may contain more than one action object.  The
action slot is a power strip.  Each method is an appliance which has
a plug.  The plug is an activator for the appliance.  Of cours...