Browse Prior Art Database

Beaconing Significant Desktop Objects

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000115352D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 94K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Johnson, WJ: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a system which enables the user to invoke a desktop beaconing function in order to visually determine the relationships among various objects. This is accomplished by examining said relationships then beaconing (i.e., flashing, etc.) the appropriate desktop objects.

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

Beaconing Significant Desktop Objects

      Disclosed is a system which enables the user to invoke a
desktop beaconing function in order to visually determine the
relationships among various objects.  This is accomplished by
examining said relationships then beaconing (i.e., flashing, etc.)
the appropriate desktop objects.

      The primary embodiment enables the user to determine the
current usage of a specified resource.  The user simply selects any
object, such as a file or printer icon, then invokes the beacon
function via the beacon function key.  The system interrogates the
Process IDs, and Thread IDs of all applications currently running,
and determines which applications are currently using the specified
resource.  Finally, the system then beacons each object on the
desktop which is using that resource.  When activated, the beacon
simultaneously flashes all those objects for five seconds.

      For example, users frequently attempt to delete a file or a
directory, only to find that a particular DLL cannot be deleted
because it is currently being used by another process.  The user
simply selects that DLL, then selects the beacon function key.  The
system responds by simultaneously flashing the icons for all the
applications on the desktop which are currently using that DLL.  Once
the beaconing makes the user aware of said applications, an
intelligent decision can be made as to whether or not to close said
applications and proceed with deleting the file, or to leave the file
resident since the application using it is an important one, although
the user didn't realize this at the point of requesting its deletion.

      This scenario involving a locked DLL is only one of many
examples of usage that would be applicable and helpful as a result of
this embodiment.  This system would prove beneficial any time the
user would like to know which applications are using a particular
resource.

      A secondary embodiment enables the user to invoke the beaconing
function in order to easily and quickly identify which objects on the
desktop belong to the various applications currently being run in the
various sessions on the multitasking desktop.  This is accomplished
by associating the beacon function with the current art function of
displaying the task list, which shows all active sessions and the
applications being run in each one.  In this embodiment, the beacon
function simultaneously beacons all the objects associated with each
application for each session in the task list.

For example, suppose there are currently 3 sessions in the task list
as foll...