Release 3.3 Copyright ©1995 by NeXT Computer, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.


active application
The application currently associated with keyboard events.  Menus are visible on-screen only for the active application, and only the active application can have the current key window and main window.

anchor point
When the user drags to define a range, the position of the cursor when the mouse button is pressed.  See also end point.

A program with a graphical user interface that the user can run from the workspace, such as Edit, FaxReader, or Preferences.

application dock
The column holding application icons at the right of the screen.

Application KitTM
The Objective C classes and C functions available for implementing the NeXT window-based user interface in an application. The Application Kit provides a basic program structure for applications that draw on the screen and respond to events.

arrow key
One of the four keys with arrows on them, to the left of the numeric keypad on the NeXT keyboard.  They move the insertion point in the indicated direction.

To choose a menu command that controls a submenu, causing the submenu to appear on-screen next to the supermenu (the menu with the controlling command).  Moving or closing a supermenu also moves or closes its attached submenu; choosing the controlling command a second time detaches and hides the submenu.

attention panel
A panel that demands the user's attention.  Until the user acts to dismiss the panel from the screen, no other action within the application is possible.  Attention panels permit the user to rescind a command (such as Close), ask the user to complete a command (such as Save As), and give warnings that the user must acknowledge.  See also panel and ordinary panel.

background color
In the Application Kit, the color that fills the content area of a window and provides a background for all the drawing done within the window, or the color that fills a View as a background for any drawing the View or its subviews do.

The part of a slider or a scroller that holds the moveable knob.  See also knob.

busy cursor
The cursor image (a spinning disk) that indicates that an application is busy.

character code
The code that identifies a character in a given character set; an index into the character set's encoding vector.

character keys
The keys that transmit characters to the NeXT computer.  This includes not only the usual letters, numbers, and symbols, but also Return, Enter, Delete, Tab, Esc, and the arrow keys.

character set
The set of characters for a particular font or fonts; either the NEXTSTEP character set (an extension of ASCII) or Symbol.

In the Objective C language, a prototype for a particular kind of object.  A class definition declares instance variables and defines methods for all members of the class.  Objects that have the same types of instance variables and have access to the same methods belong to the same class.  See also class object.

To press and release a mouse button while the cursor is positioned over an object on-screen.  Clicking an object may select it or cause it to act in some way.  Users can also click to select a particular location (for the insertion point, for example).

close button
The button that can appear at the far right in a window's title bar.  Clicking the button closes the window (removes it from the workspace).

content area
The area within a window that's available for the application to use.  It excludes only the window's border, title bar, and resize bar.

Graphical objects--such as buttons, sliders, text fields, and scrollers--that the user can operate to give instructions to an application.

The small image (usually an arrow) that moves on the screen correspondingly as you move the mouse.

In the Application Kit, an object that acts on behalf of another object.  Window, Application, Text, Listener, NXBrowser, NXImage, and other objects can be assigned delegates.

See folder.

See application dock.

docked icon
An icon in the application dock.

document window
A window that displays the contents of a user-created file.

To press and release a mouse button twice in succession while the cursor is positioned over an object on-screen.  To count as a double-click rather than as two separate clicks, the mouse cannot move and the mouse button must be pressed the second time within a short interval of the first.

To move the mouse (and the cursor on screen) while a mouse button is held down.

end point
When the user drags to define a range, the position of the cursor when the mouse button is released.  See also anchor point.

The direct or indirect report of a user's action on the keyboard or mouse.

event mask
A long integer associated with a window.  It controls which types of events will be associated with the window and passed to the application that owns the window.  A 1 in the bit corresponding to a particular event type means the window will accept that type of event.

A collection of related information stored on a disk, such as a document, report, letter, or application.

file package
A folder that the Workspace Manager presents as a file, allowing the user to manipulate a group of files as if they were one file. A file package for an application executable should have the same name as the executable file, plus a ".app" extension.  File packages for documents should bear the same extension as the one assigned to the application's document files.

file system
The collection of all the files the user can access through the computer.

floating panel
A panel, such as a palette, that stays in front of standard windows and other panels.  See also tiers.

A place in the file system that contains files and other folders.  In documentation for programmers, folders are usually called directories.

freestanding icon
An application icon standing alone in the workspace.  Freestanding icons represent running applications and can be dragged into the dock.  See also docked icon.

To make something such as a command, text, icon, or title bar stand out visually. Highlighting usually indicates that something has been chosen to perform an action, or selected to receive an action.

hot spot
The point in the cursor image whose location on the screen is reported as the cursor's location.  The cursor is said to be "over" the location at its hot spot.

insertion point
The point where whatever you type or paste in an application will be inserted.  In text, it's typically marked by a blinking vertical bar.

inspector panel
A panel that displays information about the object that's currently selected.

Interface BuilderTM
A tool that lets you graphically specify your application's user interface.  It sets up the corresponding objects for you and makes it easy for you to establish connections between these objects and your own code where needed.

key-down event
An event that occurs when the user generates a character by pressing a key.  Holding the key down generates subsequent key-down events at regular intervals.

key equivalent
In the Application Kit, the character that can be used as the keyboard alternative for a given object.

key-up event
An event that occurs when the user releases any key except Alternate, Shift, Control, or Command.

key window
The window in the active application that receives keyboard events.  The title bar of the key window is highlighted in black.

keyboard alternative
A way of using the keyboard, rather than the mouse, to choose a menu command, operate a button in a panel, or pick an item from a pop-up or pull-down list.  While holding a Command key down, the user types a character associated with the command, button, or item.  See also key equivalent.

The part of a slider or scroller that the user can drag.  See also bar.

linked information
Copied information, such as a graphic image, that can be automatically updated when the original information is modified.

main menu
The principal menu in an application, usually identified by the name of the application in its title bar.  The main menu lacks a close button and cannot be made the submenu of another menu.

main window
The standard window that's affected by actions in a panel and certain menu commands.  If the main window isn't also the key window, its title bar is highlighted in dark gray.

A small window that displays a list of commands.  Only menus for the active application are visible on-screen.

In object-oriented programming, the method selector (name) and arguments that are sent to an object; the message tells the receiving object what to do.

In object-oriented programming, a procedure that can be executed by an object.

miniaturize button
The button that can appear at the far left in a window's title bar.  Clicking the button removes the window from the screen and replaces it with its miniwindow counterpart.

A small, icon-sized window that stands in for a window that has been miniaturized.  Double-clicking the miniwindow reverses the miniaturization, returning the full window to the screen.

A period of time when the user's actions are interpreted in a special way.

modifier keys
Keys that change the meaning of other keys or of the user's actions with the mouse; the Shift, Alternate, Command, Control, and Help keys.

mouse-down event
An event that occurs when the user presses a button on the mouse.  There's one type of mouse-down event for the left (or only) mouse button and one for the right button.

mouse-dragged event
An event that occurs when the user moves the mouse while holding down a mouse button.  There's one type of mouse-dragged event for when the mouse is moved with the left (or only) mouse button down, or with both buttons down, and another type for when it's moved with the right button down.

mouse-moved event
An event that occurs when the user moves the mouse without holding down a mouse button.

mouse scaling
The responsiveness of the cursor to movements of the mouse.  Usually, the faster the mouse is moved, the farther the cursor travels.

mouse-up event
An event that occurs when the user releases a mouse button.  There's one type of mouse-up event for the left (or only) mouse button and one for the right button.

multiform panel
A panel that has a pop-up list or set of graphical radio buttons at the top that lets the user choose which form the panel takes.

Describes an operating system that allows the concurrent execution of multiple programs.  Mach, the operating system of all NeXT computers, is multitasking.

NeXT's application development and user environment, consisting of the Workspace Manager, various applications such as Project Builder and Interface Builder, various software kits such as the Application Kit and the Database Kit, and the Window Server.

A programming unit that groups together a data structure (instance variables) and the operations (methods) that can use or affect that data; the central focus of object-oriented programming.

one-state button
A button that initiates actions, as opposed to one that sets a state.  Also known as an action button.  See also two-state button.

ordinary panel
Any panel that isn't an attention panel.  See also attention panel and panel.

A window that holds objects that control what happens in other windows (such as a Font panel) or in the application generally (such as a Preferences panel), or a window that presents information about the application to the user (such as an information panel).  See also attention panel and ordinary panel.

The smallest unit that can be assigned a color or coverage value for showing images on the screen or printed page.

pop-up list
A menu-like list of items that appears over (or next to) an on-screen button when the button is pressed.  The user can choose an item by dragging to it and releasing the mouse button.  When the mouse button is released, the pop-up list disappears.

To press a mouse button and keep it down for a period of time while the cursor is positioned over an object on-screen.  Pressing an on-screen object (such as a scroll button) may cause it to take repeated action, or may produce another object (such as a pop-up list) that the user can drag into.

Project Builder
A tool that lets you create and maintain your application's project and source file hierarchy.  Project Builder provides a user interface for building your application from its source files., as well as connections with other NeXT developer applications for interactive debugging.

pull-down list
A menu-like list that appears under an on-screen button when the button is pressed.  The user can drag into the list to choose an action from it.  When the mouse button is released, the pull-down list disappears.

resize bar
The bar, located along the bottom of a window, that the user can grab and drag to resize the window.

scroll buttons
Any of the buttons that the user can press to scroll a display, such as the buttons in a scroller.  Each scroll button is labeled by a small triangular arrow indicating the direction of scrolling.

search path
An ordered set of folders used by programs to search for files or folders.

standard windows
The principal windows of an application; the windows where its primary work is done.  All windows are standard windows, except those with specialized functions (menus, panels, pop-up and pull-down lists, miniwindows, and docked and freestanding icons).

Any menu that can be brought to the screen through a command in another menu.  All menus except the main menu are submenus of another menu.  See also supermenu, main menu, and attach.

A menu containing a command that controls another menu, its submenu.

system control keys
The keys that control the computer's basic functions; the Power, brightness, and volume keys.

In the NEXTSTEP user interface, what the user selects to be acted on by a menu command or a control within a panel--for example, text that's to be deleted by the Cut command.  In the Application Kit, the object that receives action messages from a Control.

tear off
To drag an attached submenu away from its supermenu.  Tearing off a submenu detaches it from its supermenu and gives it an independent life on-screen.  Torn-off menus are the only menus with close buttons.

The sections of the screen list.  Each tier is occupied by a different type of window, with spring-loaded windows such as pop-up lists in the frontmost tier, attention panels in the second tier, menus in the next two tiers, docked icons in the tier below menus, and floating panels below docked icons.  All other windows are in the bottom tier.

To press and release a mouse button three times in succession while the cursor is positioned over an object on-screen.  The mouse button must be pressed the second time within a short interval of the first, and the third time within a short interval of the second.

two-state button
A button that sets a state, as opposed to initiating an action.  See also one-state button.

Window Server
A process that dispatches user events to applications and renders PostScript code on behalf of applications.

Page-like rectangular areas where applications can draw on-screen.  Windows can be moved and reordered front to back.

The screen environment in which the user works on a NEXTSTEP computer.

workspace window
The window that fills the entire workspace on the screen and provides the dark gray background for other windows.