ENHANCED GRAPHICAL DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT FOR CONTROLLING PROGRAM FLOW
 Inventors: Eric Weeren, Carrollton; Myra Hambleton, Piano, both of Tex.
 Assignee: InterVoice Limited Partnership, Reno, Nev.
[ * ] Notice: This patent issued on a continued prosecution application filed under 37 CFR 1.53(d), and is subject to the twenty year patent term provisions of 35 U.S.C. 154(a)(2).
 Appl. No.: 08/599,134  Filed: Feb. 9, 1996
 Int. CI. G06F 9 44
 U.S. CI 395/703; 345/348; 345/967
 Field of Search 395/701, 702,
395/703, 680, 682; 345/333, 334, 335, 348, 349, 967
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
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Heck et al., "All The Screen's a Stage", Infoworld, pp. 100-114, Oct. 1994.
Glinert et al., "The User's View of SunPict, an Extensible Visual Environment for Intermediate-Scale Procedural Programming", Comp. System & Software Engg. Conf., 1989, pp. 49-58.
"Constraint-Based Layout in Visual Program Design", Graf W. H. et al., Proc. IEEE Int'l Symp. On Visual Languages, IEEE, pp. 116-117, Sep. 1995.
InterVoise, Inc.; InterForm User's Guide—Document No. 60.01.21; Dec. 1, 1994; pp. 2-72, 3-73 and C-.
Primary Examiner—Tariq R. Hafiz
Assistant Examiner—Kakali Chaki
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.
A graphical development environment for developing the program flow of an application. The environment represents the program flow as an arrow between starting and end points. A developer can modify the program flow by adding an icon representing a subroutine to any point on the arrow. Loops and possible returns of a subroutine are graphically represented by the environment. If the developer modifies the API of a subroutine, the environment graphically represents the calling routines that are affected by the API change. The environment also allows functional components of subroutines to be overwritten by the caller. In such a case, the overwritten components are executing within the caller's environment space. Different overwritten instances of an overwritable subroutine may exist in the same program flow.
18 Claims, 4 Drawing Sheets