The assignee for this patent application, patent application serial number 366181, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This disclosure relates generally to the field of computer graphics. More particularly, but not by way of limitation, this disclosure describes reentrant window server software.
"A compositing window manager is software that draws a graphical user interface on a computer display--it positions windows, draws additional elements on windows (e.g., borders and title bars), and controls how windows interact with each other and with the rest of the desktop environment. In operation, a compositing window manager provides each application off-screen memory for window memory and composites these windows/buffers into designated memory (e.g., an assembly buffer), the contents of which represent the screen or desktop environment. Because compositing window mangers have access to all application window memory, they may also perform additional processing such as, applying two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) animated effects such as blending, fading, scaling, rotation, duplication, bending and contortion, shuffling, blurring, redirecting applications, and translating windows into one of a number of displays and virtual desktops.
"Referring to FIG. 1, prior art composite window manager 100 uses window server application 105 to composite application window buffer memory 110, 115, and 120 into assembly buffer 125 in a back-to-front order (i.e., 110.fwdarw.115.fwdarw.120) such that later drawn windows (e.g., window 120) may wholly or partially occlude, such as through transparency, prior composited windows (e.g., windows 110 and 115). The centralized nature of composite window manager 100 and modern system design in which each application is allocated its own distinct and non-shared memory space, inhibits run-time applications from generating visual effects based on prior composited window memory. While window server 105 can account for prior composited content when generating a graphic effect (e.g., a blur or reflection), applications themselves cannot. Thus, it would be beneficial to provide a mechanism by which individual applications can take into account the effect of prior composited window memory without disturbing (or violating) modern memory management schemes."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In one embodiment the invention provides a method to use a reentrant window manager application. The method includes a window manager application (a.k.a., a window server) compositing one or more bitmap objects (e.g., application backing stores) into an assembly buffer memory so that the assembly buffer memory has a first bitmap content. Identifying, during compositing operations, a hierarchically structured object and passing control for compositing the object to a second application (one designed to process hierarchically structured objects). Compositing the first bitmap content into a memory in response to receiving control for doing so from the second application and, thereafter, returning control to the second application. A computer executable program to implement the method may be stored in any non-transitory media that is readable and executable by a computer processor.
"In another embodiment, the invention provides a method to generate graphical user interface elements. This implementation includes receiving a hierarchically structured object from a window server application, the hierarchically structured object including elements of a first type (e.g., hierarchical elements) and bitmap content (or reference to bitmap content). Once received, at least some of the first type of elements may be composited into the window server's assembly buffer memory. When the bitmap content is encountered while processing the hierarchical object, a request may be sent to the window server to composite the bitmap content into a memory. On receiving notification from the window server that the bitmap content has been composited into the memory, the remainder of the elements of the first type may be composited into the memory and, after the entire hierarchical object in processed (including causing the bitmap content to be composited into a memory by the window server), transferring control to the window server application. This embodiment too may be implemented using computer program instructions.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 shows, in block diagram form, a compositing window manager in accordance with the prior art.
"FIG. 2 shows, in schematic form, a layer tree in accordance with one embodiment.
"FIGS. 3A and 3B show, in flowchart form, a reentrant window manager method in accordance with one embodiment.
"FIGS. 4A and 4B provide screen shots of a development environment illustrating certain features of the disclosed memory manager technique.
"FIG. 5 shows, in block diagram form, a system that may implement the window manager operation of FIG. 3."
For more information, see this patent application: Harper, John S.;
Keywords for this news article include: Software,
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