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Providing control of an interruptible display activity to a background task provides a means for efficiently managing presentation of information to an operator.
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Posting the Foreground Context Field by a Background Process
Providing control of an interruptible display activity to a background task
provides a means for efficiently managing presentation of information to an
Printing is an example of a background task stored in system memory of a
keyboard/display word processing system and performed by a background
process. A review of diskette contents is a foreground task performed by a
foreground process also stored in the system memory. The timing and content of
presenting an activity indication to the operator in a context field on the display is
manageable if the activity is related to only one set of tasks, such as foreground
tasks. However, during printing tasks, the background process handles all
printing activity. As such, the foreground process cannot post printing activity in
the context field. One reason is an absence of knowledge of printing starting and
stopping. It is therefore necessary for the background process to post the
context field. Any foreground asks, however, can interrupt the ongoing activity
and post the context field, and upon termination, restore the previous contact
A preferred solution, therefore, is to have the background process use the
foreground process location in system memory as a "mailbox" to deposit its own
information for the context field. Upon termination, the background process will
use the information in this "mailbox" to restore the context field.