Common Desktop Environment: ToolTalk Messaging Overview

Integrated Toolsets

Another significant application for which the Desktop Services Message Set can be implemented is integrated toolsets. These environments can be applied in vertical applications (such as a CASE developer toolset) or in horizontal environments (such as compound documents). Common to both of these applications is the premise that the overall solution is built from specialized applications designed to perform one particular task well. Examples of integrated toolset applications are text editors, drawing packages, video or audio display tools, compiler front-ends, and debuggers. The integrated toolset environment requires applications to interact by calling on each other to handle user requests. For example, to display video, an editor calls a video display program; or to check a block of completed code, an editor calls a compiler.

The following scenario shows how the Desktop Services Message Set might be implemented as an integrated toolset:

  1. Bruce is working on a compound document using his favorite editor.

    He decides to change the some of the source code text.

  2. Bruce double-clicks on the source code text.


    The Document Editor first determines the text represents source code and then determines which file contains the source code.


    The Document Editor sends an edit message request, using the file name as a parameter for the message.


    The ToolTalk session manager matches the pattern in the edit message to a registered application (in this case, the Source Code Editor), and finds an instance of the application running on Bruce's desktop.

    Note -

    If the ToolTalk session manager does not find a running instance of the application, it checks the statically-defined ptypes and starts an application that best matches the pattern in the message. If none of the ptypes matches, the session manager returns failure to the Document Editor application.


    The Source Code Editor accepts the edit message request.


    The Source Code Editor determines that the source code file is under configuration control, and sends a message to check out the file.


    The Source Code Control application accepts the message and creates a read-write copy of the requested file. It then passes the name of the file back to the Source Code Editor.


    The Source Code Editor opens a window that contains the source file.

  3. Bruce edits the source code text.