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Personalized Cursor Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107332D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 93K

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Vincent, JP: AUTHOR


In a visual computer interface, a method is given for using the cursor as a means of showing the user which of a set of preferences is active.

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

Personalized Cursor

       In a visual computer interface, a method is given for
using the cursor as a means of showing the user which of a set of
preferences is active.

      Consider a computer system which as a graphic user interface,
such as OS/2* Presentation Manager*.  A file is kept containing the
user's preferences for color, language, format for number, date, and
time, and others.  A user of such a system may use several
application programs, each of which may need some of these preference
values.  Current art requires that each program know the location and
format of the file containing the preferences and must issue a read
operation to extract the needed values.

      This article describes a better way of maintaining, setting and
making available user preferences.  It also provides a way to select
from a pre-determined set of preferences to be used as a group, or as
a starting point for preference customization by the user.

      Graphical user interfaces have a pointer device, such as a
mouse or roller ball, and a cursor, such as an arrow, a cross-hairs,
a hand, or a finger, showing the current logical position of the
cursor.  The cursor can change shape based on one or more factors.
For example, an hour glass cursor appears when the user should wait
for processing or a slashed circle appears showing that no action can
be taken at that screen position.  These shapes are controlled by
messages.  These messages are small amounts of data sent to the
program controlling the cursor.  These messages change the cursor
shape and screen location.

      The proposed method is to provide a message to the cursor to
set and query the user's preferences.  The message and response may
take several forms; the exact form is not important to this
disclosure.  The method is simple.  Only a few new messages need to
be supported by programs which control the mouse.  The method makes
the user's preferences available uniformly to all programs.  And,
finally, the shape of the cursor can be used to show the user which
set of preferences are active.  In effect, the user's preferences
become qualities of the cursor, and since the cursor is available to
all active programs, so, too, are the user's preferences.

      These messages would be available:
      1.   Set - this message would indicate the preference to be set
and its new value, for example, "SET LANGUAGE ENGLISH".
      2.   Query - this message would return the value for a
preference, for examp...