Metadata driven menus through hierarchical lists
Original Publication Date: 2001-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Disclosed is a mechanism for defining menus through hierarchical lists of metadata. In this particular case, a hierarchical series of menu screens is required for user selection. The menus contain different numbers of elements and they have variable depths. Each of the menu elements should be displayed as a button having a name, a hotkey, and an icon. This invention handles the menus as a series of lists, modeled in metadata. Each list contains a series of elements and each element contains a sub-list, with the exception of the "leaf" elements. This solution has the advantage of being generic, reusable, and easy to implement. Also, the solution follows the Model-View-Controller pattern, allowing the visual representation of the menu elements to be changed easily, without any changes to the metadata. The menus are defined as a series of hierarchical metadata lists. When a menu element is selected, it points to a sub-menu list. Each of the metadata menu elements contains properties for the element, such as the menu name, the hotkey for the menu, and the icon for the menu element. The "leaf" element contains an additional property that describes the action that should occur when the menu option is selected. Table 1 depicts an example of the invention.