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Generating Common Menus for Multiple Objects

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117751D
Original Publication Date: 1996-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 4 page(s) / 124K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bennett, PW: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for generating a common menu using menus taken from multiple, non-homogeneous objects, with the common menu containing each of the menu items supported by all of the objects.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 50% of the total text.

Generating Common Menus for Multiple Objects

      Disclosed is a method for generating a common menu using menus
taken from multiple, non-homogeneous objects, with the common menu
containing each of the menu items supported by all of the objects.

      The Workplace Shell* of OS/2 for the Power PC* conventionally
allows multiple Workplace Shell objects to be selected.  When a
context, or popup, menu of one of the selected objects is summoned,
Workplace Shell generates a common menu that is comprised of the
intersection of the selected menus of the selected objects.  When one
of the menu items is selected, it is applied serially to each of the
selected objects.

      Figs. 1 and 2 show an example of this process.  Fig. 1 shows
the icons of three objects to be selected, with each icon being
located directly below the context menu of the object.  When these
three objects are selected, their individual menus are used to form
the common menu of Fig. 2.  In this example, all of the menu items
are predefined system menu items, each of which is represented by a
bit in a 32-bit string.  Each selected object is asked to return a
32-bit string, with bits turned on for each of the predefined menu
items supported by the object.  In the figures, each of the menu IDs
corresponding to an individual bit associated with a menu item is
shown in parentheses.  The Workplace Shell performs an AND operation
on these strings, determining the system menu items supported by all
of the selected objects.  Thus, the conventional method of the
Workplace Shell limits common menus to a set of predefined system
menu items.

      Fig. 3 shows an example of a user-defined menu item called
"Compress," added to both of two menus which are subsequently
selected.  In this case, the common context menu conventionally
created by Workplace Shell with the selection of these objects does
not contain the "Compress" item, since it is not one of the
predefined system menu items.  Each item in a menu has descriptive
text, called "menu text," and an associated number, called the "menu
ID," which is unique within the menu.  The menu text identifies the
menu item to the user, describing the action that will be taken when
the item is selected.  However, different classes having the same
menu item typically used different menu IDs for the item, unless it
is one of the predefined system menu items.  In the example of Fig.
3, the menu item "Compress" has a menu ID of 92 in the object "Drive
C" and of 75 in the menu object "MYFILE.TXT."  The action to be taken
following a menu selection may also vary according to the class of
the object to which it is applied.  For example, "Compress" may mean
to compress the files on a hardfile when it is applied to "Drive C,"
or to apply a form of compression to a single file when it is applied
to "MYFILE.TXT."

      With the presently-disclosed method, a common menu is created
without being limited to a set of predefine...