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Menu Definition Utility and Menu Presentation Utility

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000121341D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 105K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Jacob, BL: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This article describes a method for use in a personal computer (PC) system for defining a menu of applications available to an end user and of associating context-sensitive help with each potential menu selection. The applications may exist in multiple emulator environments transparent to the end user. It supports application programmer interface (API) commands to invoke these applications without further user intervention. It allows the application programmer to customize warning and error messages. Also, described is a method for displaying a previously defined menu of applications available in a PC operating system or emulator environment. It provides an easy to use tool for linking all applications to a unified user interface with common screens, contextual help, and user-defined warning and error messages.

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

Menu Definition Utility and Menu Presentation Utility

      This article describes a method for use in a personal
computer (PC) system for defining a menu of applications available to
an end user and of associating context-sensitive help with each
potential menu selection. The applications may exist in multiple
emulator environments transparent to the end user.  It supports
application programmer interface (API) commands to invoke these
applications without further user intervention.  It allows the
application programmer to customize warning and error messages.
Also, described is a method for displaying a previously defined menu
of applications available in a PC operating system or emulator
environment.  It provides an easy to use tool for linking all
applications to a unified user interface with common screens,
contextual help, and user-defined warning and error messages.

      The menu definition utility disclosed herein provides an
application programmer with the means to integrate applications
requiring different execution environments into a common user access.
The application is presented to the end user as a selection from a
menu.  The operation parameters and execution environment are
transparent to the end user.  Different menu selections may execute
in stand-alone mode or via emulator connections to distant computer
hosts.  The host environment may be any emulation supported by the
terminal.

      Menu definition commands allow the application programmer to
associate actions with menu entries, to invoke the individual appli
cations and initiate the communication and emulation environment
required by the applications.  The utility will allow the application
programmer to pass predefined key sequences to a host to automate
handling of screens produced by host applications and reduce
knowledge of host environment required of the application user.  In
effect, this reduces the need for the end user to know how to move
from host logon to invoke the specific application desired.  However
complex the application invocation may actually be, to the end user
it is merely a selection of a desired action from a menu.  If the
application selected requires unique information in terms of input
parameters, these can be elicited from the end user by sub-menu
selections or prompted responses from the keyboard.  The user
interface can be customized to the expected audience of the terminal
in lieu of a generic interface to all users of an application or
computer system.

      The menu definition utility also gives the application
programmer a means to specify the visual presentation of the menu to
the end user in terms of the size and location of men...