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Common table and property dialog controls for multiple object types Disclosure Number: IPCOM000132355D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Dec-09
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Dec-09
Document File: 2 page(s) / 39K

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It is commonly desired to represent a number of instances of an object in a table on a screen, each instance being shown as a row of the table and the object name and object properties being shown as columns of the table. This can be implemented by means of a table class and an associated property dialog. This reduces the workload required to provide tables and property dialogs.

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Common table and property dialog controls for multiple object types

Consider a computer system where there a number of different objects, each having many properties that can be set. These properties can have different characteristics, for example some might be character strings, while others may be numeric values. Different character string parameters might be constrained to only permit certain characters; and different numeric value parameters might be constrained to have values only in a certain range, or one of a number of specific values.

    A common requirement of such a system is to be able to represent a number of instances of such an object in a table on the screen, with each instance shown in a row in the table, and table columns for the name of the object and for each of the object properties. When a particular instance is selected in the table, a properties dialog can be launched which allows the user to modify the object's properties.

    Typically each table and each property dialog needs to be designed and coded individually, to cater for the varying number and type of parameters; so that if there are a large number of object types, and/or each object type has a large number of properties, this can require in a large development effort. In addition if the properties of objects change from release to release, or their permitted values change, this also results in significant work modifying the individually designed tables and property dialogs.

    The solution is to have a common table class, and associated common property dialog, both of which are able to display the various object types, by means of additional information provided by an object about its properties.

    A number of classes are created, which define the different types that a property value might have - for example character string, restricted character string, array of character strings, numeric value, numeric value constrained to a range of values, and so on. These type classes also define the default column position for that property, and the sub-page and position the property should appear in the property dialog. For each object type, static tables are used to construct instances of the appropriate type class to define the characteristics of each of its properties.

    When an inst...