Browse Prior Art Database

Technique for Automatic Updating of Pulldown Menu Item State

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000122194D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 1 page(s) / 48K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Brininstool, CD: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article describes an extension to a Smalltalk/V* object-oriented system to allow automatic updating of pulldown menu items' state. In this article 'state' is used to mean either enabled or disabled. This state is typically indicated graphically to the end user by graying of menu item or items which are disabled. In the prior art for display of pulldown menu item state, the programmer is required to use either additional program variables to retain the state or code to update the state after each user action. This results in additional cost to produce the programming code required and results in a degradation in the user perceived performance.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 64% of the total text.

Technique for Automatic Updating of Pulldown Menu Item State

      This article describes an extension to a Smalltalk/V*
object-oriented system to allow automatic updating of pulldown menu
items' state.  In this article 'state' is used to mean either enabled
or disabled.  This state is typically indicated graphically to the
end user by graying of menu item or items which are disabled.  In the
prior art for display of pulldown menu item state, the programmer is
required to use either additional program variables to retain the
state or code to update the state after each user action.  This
results in additional cost to produce the programming code required
and results in a degradation in the user perceived performance.

      In the following, it is important to understand that 'menu item
state' has two possible states, enabled or disabled, as previously
described. 'Enabled' indicates that the user can currently use the
menu item. 'Disabled' indicates that the user cannot currently use
the menu item.

      In this technique each menu item is treated as an object.  The
'menu item object' maintains a 'zero argument block' called a 'gray
block' which returns a Boolean value to indicate whether the menu
item is enabled or disabled. The gray block is a set of code which is
associated with the menu item object when the menu item is created.
The gray block can vary in complexity from simply always answering
'true' to querying some other state of the system, such as...