Announcement Letter Number 284-282 dated August 14, 1984
US - Last Revised on August 14, 1984

Brief Description of Announcement, Charges, and Availability

     The IBM Personal Computer TopView program and TopView
Programmer's ToolKit provide windowing capability with concurrent
execution of multiple applications

Customer Letter Section

*   Windowing capability provided.
*   Concurrent execution of multiple applications (multitasking)
*   A user-supplied 'mouse" as a pointing device.
*   A user-supplied 'mouse" as a pointing device.
*   Both text and graphics applications allowed.
*   User may cut/copy and paste between windows.
*   Interactive tutorial and HELP text included.
*   IBM Personal Computer, IBM Personal Computer XT, IBM Portable
    Personal Computer, IBM Personal Computer AT, and IBM 3270-PC
*   Existing applications supported include:
    -   DisplayWrite 2 Version 1.1
    -   EasyWriter 1.1, 1.151
    -   Multiplan 1.12
    -   Personal Editor
    -   Professional Editor
    -   Word Proof
    -   VisiCalc 1.23
    -   PC Cluster
    -   PC Writer
    -   Pascal Compiler
    -   Personal Communications Manager
    -   BASIC Compiler
    -   FORTRAN compiler
    -   Macro Assembler
    -   DisplayWrite 1
    -   BASIC
    -   Advanced BASIC
    -   COBOL Compiler
    -   3101 Emulation
    -   Script PC
    -   IBM Graphing Assistant
    -   IBM Filing Assistant
    -   IBM Reporting Assistant
    -   IBM Writing Assistant
1  Trademark of Information Unlimited Software, Inc.
2  Trademark of Microsoft Corporation
3  Trademark of VisiCorp
*   Mechanism for developing filters for existing applications to
    allow use of the pointing device and to perform cut/copy and
    paste operations
*   Window-design aids and panel utilities for application developers
*   Language interfaces to TopView
*   Application-development guidelines for writing well-behaved
It is IBM's intention to have TopView capabilities available for the
IBM PC Network in the future.
TopView provides the operating environment for the IBM Personal
Computer that a user needs to improve productivity by:
*   Providing user control of the work flow on the IBM Personal
    Computer so that interruptions are easier to handle.
*   Reducing program start/stop time and media handling.
*   Overlapping program execution time to get more total throughput
    (work) when running multiple applications.
       TopView is friendly and easy-to-use. It provides easy access
to its many varied functions by selection of a TopView function from
popup menus. The main TopView menu is always displayed with one
keystroke or mouse button press.  Popup menus allow applications to
use the full-display screen area, since they appear only when
requested by the user and disappear after the desired function is
selected. A tutorial program provided with TopView allows its
functions to be tried in a controlled environment. TopView also
provides HELP support for some TopView functions.
       TopView supports the use of pointing devices that control the
pointer on the screen. A typical pointing device is a mouse or the
keyboard. This TopView facility greatly enhances the movement of the
selection pointer on TopView menus and allows the user additional
flexibility in moving the pointer around the display screen.  The
pointer is used to point to an option on a TopView menu (for example,
a list of functions that can be selected). A mouse pointing device is
recommended but not required.
       TopView provides the facilities for applications to have one
or more windows. The application can determine the initial placement
of the window on the screen. Existing applications normally use one
window that covers the entire screen (25 rows by 80 columns). TopView
maps the windows of applications onto the physical screen, thereby
providing the facilities for displaying multiple windows on the
screen at one time.  The windows of all applications that are
executing concurrently are updated as directed by the applications,
even when the applications are executing in the background.
       The windows of applications that write directly to the video
buffer cannot be windowed (that is, sized, moved, or scrolled) by
TopView. These windows occupy the full screen and are updated only
when the associated applications are running in the foreground.
       A user can size, move, and scroll application windows only if
the application does not write directly to the video buffer. A window
may be defined as the space (rows and columns) the application uses
on the display device. A window that occupies less than the full
screen can be moved to any convenient location on the display. This
function becomes important when files from several different
applications must be compared on the same physical display screen. It
allows the foreground application to be displayed along with one or
more background applications on the same display screen. Sizing,
placement, and scrolling of the various application windows on the
physical display screen is at the user's discretion. Scrolling allows
a user to view all of a window's data by moving the data (to the
left, right, up or down) within a window that has been reduced in
size. Applications may provide an additional level of scrolling to
display other data (for example, next page, next record, and so on).
       TopView also permits the user to invoke data transfer within
an application or between applications. It provides applications with
the facilities for performing data movement operations where they are
applicable. The copy function copies a block of text that has been
marked by the user for use as input for a paste operation. The copy
function is available for applications. The cut function is the same
as the copy function except that the marked text block is deleted
from the window (and the application) by the application. The paste
function allows the data to be inserted at the location marked by the
user. The cut-and-paste functions are not available for all
applications, since all applications do not support block delete
and/or block inset functions. The user performs the cut, copy, and
paste operations by using the TopView popup menus.
       TopView supports graphics applications by giving them control
of the full screen when the graphics application is in the
foreground. Both medium-resolution color (320 x 200 four-color
pixels) and high-resolution black and white (640 x 200 two-color
pixels) video modes can be used for graphics applications. Since most
graphics applications write directly into display adapter memory,
graphics applications can run only in the foreground with a
full-screen window. Several graphics applications can be started at
the same time under TopView, but they are not allowed to run as
background tasks. Windowing functions are not supported for graphics
       In the TopView environment, the user can manage as many
applications as will fit in memory. Switching between applications is
accomplished through menu selections or cycling from one application
to another through simple keyboard or mouse button presses. The
user's applications may all be different, or the user may select
multiple copies of some applications. TopView not only allows
switching from application to application, but also has the ability
to run multiple applications concurrently by allotting small amounts
of time to the applications that are eligible for concurrent
execution. One application will be interactive in the foreground
(receives all user input), while other applications that do not write
directly to the video buffer (and are otherwise 'well-behaved") may
directly to the video buffer (and are otherwise 'well-behaved") may
be executing in the background. Even applications that are not
well-behaved can be loaded and run under TopView at the same time.
These applications will be suspended while they are not the
foreground application, however, and users of these applications
cannot take advantage of the TopView windowing functions.
       TopView allows the user to use some frequently used DOS
functions while working with active applications. The applications
and TopView need not be ended before invoking DOS function.  Many

popular functions, such as PRINT, RENAME, ERASE, and COPY are
supported. A complete list of supported commands will be provided in
the TopView User's Guide.
The TopView Programmer's ToolKit provides a powerful set of tools to
assist programmers in designing and developing application programs
that utilize TopView's facilities. The Programmer's ToolKit allows
the application developer to take advantage of the facilities of
TopView by providing utilities and system-related information to
create TopView-compatible applications that use TopView's
multitasking, windowing, and data-transfer features. All development
can be done on an IBM Personal Computer, IBM Personal Computer XT,
IBM Portable Personal Computer, or IBM Personal Computer AT.
       TopView Programmer's ToolKit gives the developer language
interface routines to access TopView facilities through interrupts
and associated subcodes. The interrupt provides the contact to
TopView, and the subcode defines the request for some specific
action.  TopView receives the request and dispatches the action
       Several macros are also supplied to complement the TopView
language link. Language interfaces are provided for the IBM Personal
Computer Macro Assembler and the IBM Personal Computer Pascal
Compiler.  The Pascal interface is provided as an example to
developers who may wish to write an interface to other languages. The
programmer's ToolKit facilities allow applications to create and
manipulate windows, to route TopView messages to other applications
in the system, and to support requests for multitasking functions.
       The window design aid is an interactive tool that can be used
to design and store text-mode windows for later use by an application
running in the TopView environment. This tool, which runs as an
application under TopView, can be used to develop HELP menus, forms,
error messages, and screens for an application. It can be used to
define the attributes of all fields, text, window background, and so
on, for windows created using the window design aid. The design aid
uses an internal cut-and-paste feature to allow easy duplication of
fields and text when creating windows. Duplicated data can be easily
placed anywhere on the window being developed. A draw feature allows
easy positioning of lines and boxes.
       The window design aid also allows a user to quickly set
attributes for windows, sections of windows, and text. The created
windows are stored in files and may be recalled by the application
program as needed. If changes are required on the created window, the
design aid can be used to quickly retrieve the created window and to
reset the appropriate attributes.  This action remains independent of
the application program and greatly reduces dependencies on changing
application program code.
       TopView requires information about the unique operating
characteristics of an application prior to running that application.
This information is made available through a file called the program
information file. The developer is told how to include this
information in the build process for the application so that it is
available to TopView when the application is installed. Program
information files for many existing IBM Personal Computer software
programs that are compatible with TopView will be provided with
TopView. The developer is also given information on how to create
filter tablets that are used by existing applications to provide
copy, cut, and paste capabilities for the application by defining
equivalent keystrokes for application commands that cause the
application to insert (paste) or delete (cut) a marked block of text.
When the appropriate TopView command (cut or paste) is entered, these
keystrokes are passed to the application just as if the user had
entered them.
       These guidelines are provided to help developers create
applications compatible with TopView.
       In addition, guidelines are provided to write device drivers
for pointing devices other than those currently supported by TopView.
The planned availability date is first quarter 1985.
HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS: An IBM Personal Computer, IBM Personal
Computer XT, IBM Portable Personal Computer, or IBM Personal Computer
AT requires a minimum of 256Kb of memory. Since the amount of memory
required will vary according to the size and number of applications,
512Kb of memory is recommended.
The PC DOS partition of an IBM 3270 Personal Computer requires a
minimum of 512Kb of memory, using the 3270-PC Control Program Version
1 Release 2. A system of 512Kb of memory will have approximately
144Kb of memory to run PC applications.
       In addition, two dual-sided diskette drives or one dual-sided
diskette drive and one fixed-disk drive, the IBM Color Display, or
equivalent, with the IBM Color/Graphics Monitor Adapter, or the IBM
Monochrome Display and the IBM Monochrome Display and Printer Adapter
are required.
       The use of a customer-supplied mouse is optional. Supported
mouse devices are:
*   Microsoft Mouse for IBM Personal Computers (Parallel Interface),
    Part Number 037-0991
*   Microsoft Mouse for IBM Personal Computers (Serial Interface),
    Part Number 039-099
*   PC Mouse, Part Number 900120-214 by Mouse Systems, Inc.2
*   Visi-On-Mouse, Part Number 69910-10113
1 Trademark of Microsoft Corporation
2 Trademark of Mouse Systems, Inc.
3 Trademark of VisiCorp
       IBM has tested the use of these devices with TopView function.
IBM does not endorse or recommend one non-IBM product over another,
however, and does not warrant these devices in any way. Other
pointing devices can be used if a device driver exists or is written
according to the guidelines described in the TopView Programmer's
ToolKit Reference.
SECURITY, AUDITABILITY, AND CONTROL These products can be used and
managed to limit the risk of unintended modification, destruction, or
disclosure of sensitive data. The customer is responsible for the
selection, implementation, and adequacy of appropriate measures. The
customer is also responsible for the accuracy and integrity of
       User management is responsible for evaluation, selection, and
implementation of security features, for administrative procedures,
and for appropriate controls in application systems.
       If sensitive data is sent over external communication
facilities, user management may wish to pursue the application of
CUSTOMER RESPONSIBILITY: The customer is responsible for reading
either the TopView User's Guide for instructions on installing
TopView or the application TopView Programmer's ToolKit Reference for
installation instructions for the application development tools.
       The customer is also responsible for making backup copies of
the appropriate diskettes. The customer should submit the TopView
and/or TopView Programmer's ToolKit registration card to receive news
and information about TopView.
INSTALLABILITY: Instructions for installing TopView and the TopView
Programmer's ToolKit are included in the TopView User's Guide and the
TopView Programmer's ToolKit Reference, respectively.
PACKAGING: TopView is distributed with:
*   One diskette containing the TopView program
*   One diskette containing the interactive tutorial
*   TopView User's Guide
*   TopView Quick Reference Card
*   A registration card
       TopView Programmer's ToolKit is distributed with:
*   Two diskettes containing the TopView Programmer's ToolKit
*   TopView Programmer's ToolKit Reference
*   TopView Programmer's ToolKit Reference Card
The IBM Personal Computing Assistance Center (PCAC) will provide
assistance to eligible IBM customers for the period of their
qualifying contract.
Orders for quantities less than 20 may be taken by the IBM Product

Centers. Each Product Center will take and process orders within its
trading area.
       Orders for quantities may be taken by NAD/NMD marketing
       Orders for TopView should be entered as a stand-alone IBM
Personal Computer feature. Orders connected to IBM Personal Computer
system units may cause a system-unit deferral.
       These programs are available as features for 5150, 5160, or
5155 as follows:
Part         Feature
Number       Number
6024131      4131
6024133      4133
                        Part       Feature   One-Time
Description             Number     Number    Charge
TopView                 6024131    4131      $149.00
TopView Programmer's    6024133    4133       395.00
Program  Warranty  -  No.  The  provisions of the IBM Program License
Agreement apply.
THE IBM PROGRAM  LICENSE  AGREEMENT:  A  copy  of  the  Agreement  is
packaged and shipped with each program and is visible to the customer
before  the  diskette package is opened. The customer is advised that
opening the diskette package indicates acceptance of these terms  and
conditions. No signature is required.
QUANTITY  DISCOUNT  AGREEMENT (QDA): These programs are available for
discounts as an eligible licensed programs according to the terms and
conditions of the IBM Personal Computer  Licensed  Program,  Quantity
Discount Agreement (Z125-3412) and its Exhibit (Z125-3413).
Quantity of Qualified
Eligible Licenses           Discount
20 - 49                     12%
50 - 149                    16%
150 or more                 20%
       The  QDA  is  not  available  at IBM Product Centers. However,
customers may qualify for a quantity discount at the  Product  Center
if they take delivery of the entire order at one time, as follows:
Quantity            Discount
3 - 9               5%
10 - 19             8%
EDUCATIONAL  ALLOWANCE:  Educational allowance of 20% is available to
qualifying institutions. The educational allowance is not additive to
any other discount or allowance.