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Managing Menus using Object Oriented Methods

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117607D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 4 page(s) / 162K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Gross, AE: AUTHOR [+6]

Abstract

Disclosed is a User Interface which was developed using Object Oriented methods. The User Interface must manage menus and their relationships to one another, must have options on the menus that can be valid or invalid depending on the state of the product, must display menus in different languages, and call the appropriate code to run the option selected in a menu. The concept of using trees and nodes in trees is used in this solution.

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Managing Menus using Object Oriented Methods

      Disclosed is a User Interface which was developed using Object
Oriented methods.  The User Interface must manage menus and their
relationships to one another, must have options on the menus that can
be valid or invalid depending on the state of the product, must
display menus in different languages, and call the appropriate code
to run the option selected in a menu.  The concept of using trees and
nodes in trees is used in this solution.

      The "Menu Manager" uses the concept of trees and nodes in trees
to sort through menus.  For the User Interface (LCD Panel), several
trees were developed to represent menus and how they are related to
each other.  Each option in a menu is represented by a node in a
tree.  Each tree represents one set of menus; for example, there is a
set of menus for operators of the device, a set of menus for service
personnel, and some general use menus (for example "ARE YOU SURE?"
menus).  A sample tree is shown in the following diagram.

      A tree consists of three types of nodes: root nodes, middle
nodes, and leaf nodes.  A root node does not have a parent node in a
tree and forms the top of a menu tree.  A middle node represents an
option in a menu that brings up another menu, so it has both a parent
node and child nodes.  This allows an association between menus;
i.e., selecting a middle node as an option causes a new menu to be
displayed, and the middle node contains the menu title and its child
nodes contain the options.  A leaf node represents an option that
performs an action, so it has a parent node and no child nodes.  Each
tree contains one root node, several middle nodes, and many leaf
nodes.

      Each node has text from menus associated with it.  A root node
has the root menu title associated with it, middle nodes have both
option text and a sub-menu title, and leaf nodes have option text.
The OOA diagram shows these relationships.  The Root_Node object is
related to the Root_Menu_Title_Text object, which contains the menu
title for the first menu in the tree.  Middle nodes are related to
both an option text and menu title text object.  This arrangement
allows middle nodes to be selected as an option and to have a menu
title for its child nodes.  This is shown in the OOA diagram by the
Middle_Menu_Title_Text object containing a menu title and the
Middle_Option_Text containing option text.  Leaf nodes only need
option text because there is never a menu below them (they do not
have child nodes).  In the OOA diagram, the Leaf_Node object is
associated with a Leaf_Option_Text, which contains option text.

      Leaf nodes are special nodes.  They are associated with an
action.  Whenever a leaf node is selected, the "Menu Manager" sends
an event to an action object associated with the leaf node.  The
Action object does the work for the option selected from the menu and
returns to the leaf node when it is done.

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