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Architecture for Platform and Presentation Independent User Interface for Applications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114671D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-29
Document File: 6 page(s) / 341K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Elder, B: AUTHOR [+6]

Abstract

The ability of a software application to easily port to multiple platforms (e.g., MVS, OS/2*, AIX*, or UNIX** systems, etc.) is very valuable. However, the task of porting applications to multiple platforms is often made difficult due to the differences in the presentation services (e.g., Graphical Data Display System, Presentation Manager* or X-Windows*** systems, etc.) provided on various platforms. For example, the user interface controls that can be supported through Graphical Data Display Manager (GDDM) for a non-programmable terminal display are very different from the graphic controls that can be supported on a programmable workstation through the Presentation Manager system.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 17% of the total text.

Architecture for Platform and Presentation Independent User Interface
for Applications

      The ability of a software application to easily port to
multiple platforms (e.g., MVS, OS/2*, AIX*, or UNIX** systems, etc.)
is very valuable.  However, the task of porting applications to
multiple platforms is often made difficult due to the differences in
the presentation services (e.g., Graphical Data Display System,
Presentation Manager* or X-Windows*** systems, etc.) provided on
various platforms.  For example, the user interface controls that can
be supported through Graphical Data Display Manager (GDDM) for a
non-programmable terminal display are very different from the graphic
controls that can be supported on a programmable workstation through
the Presentation Manager system.  While applications must change some
code to port to multiple platforms with different presentation
services, the porting effort can definitely be reduced if
applications have:
  o  a platform and presentation independent method of specifying the
      components of user interface; and
  o  a clean separation of presentation specific code from rest of
the
      application logic.

      This technical disclosure describes an architecture for
software applications that can be used to improve the portability of
applications in the windowing environment to multiple platforms and
presentation services.

      The proposed architecture is described in three sections.  The
first section describes the major components of the architecture:
Single Panel Definition Source Module, Build-time Translator, and the
Run-time Module.  The second section provides an example of how user
interface controls can be specified independent of platform and
presentation services in the single panel definition source module of
the architecture.  The third section focuses on the details of
standardized interface between the application and the presentation
logic that is needed to make applications portable across multiple
platforms and presentation services.
  1.  Major Components of the Architecture - The architecture for
       portability of software applications to multiple platforms and
       presentation services consists of three major components.  The
       first is the Single Panel Definition Source Module that
contains
       presentation independent specification of panel definitions.
The
       second is the Build-time Translator that converts the single
       panel definition source into the presentation specific source.
       The third is the Run-time Module which consists of two
       asynchronous processes, an application process and a
presentation
       service process, which communicate via a standardized
interface.
       The three components of this architecture are illustrated in
       Fig. 1.
      a.  Single Panel Definition Source Module - All software
     ...