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Citrix Systems : Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Methods and Apparatus for Generating Graphical and Media Displays at a Client", for Approval

06/18/2014 | 07:38pm US/Eastern

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Robinson, David (Carlington, AU); Laborczfalvi, Lee George (Wollstonecraft, AU); Semaan, Pierre (Forestville, AU); Roychoudhry, Anil (Woodcroft, AU); Duursma, Martin (West Pennant, AU); Panasyuk, Anatoliy (Bellevue, AU); Momchilov, Georgy (Coconut Creek, FL), filed on February 10, 2014, was made available online on June 12, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Citrix Systems, Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The invention generally relates to distributed processing, and, more particularly, to generating a display having graphical and/or media components at a client.

"A thin-client protocol is used for displaying output, produced by an application running on a server, on a client with limited processing capabilities. Two exemplary thin client protocols are ICA, Independent Computing Architecture from Citrix Systems, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and RDP, Remote Desktop Protocol from Microsoft, Inc., Redmond, Wash. The client is also sometimes referred to as a remote terminal session. One thin-client protocol intercepts commands by the application program to the server operating system ('OS') to draw to a display screen. The intercepted commands are transmitted to the remote session using, for example, one or more presentation layer packets. When the remote session (e.g., thin-client) receives the command, the remote session passes the received commands to the remote session OS. The thin-client draws the application program output on its display using the received commands. In this manner, the application program appears to be executing on the thin-client.

"Typically, when the application program draws images to the display screen, the image is represented as a bitmap. A bitmap format of an image is generally a very large data set. Thus, the thin-client protocol must transmit over the network the bitmap representation of an image, which is a large amount of data, along with the applicable commands on how to display the bitmap representation. For networks of low bandwidth, this results in a large time delay before the complete image is received and displayed on the client. This can result in inconvenience and unhappiness for the user of the client. Also, if the user is paying directly for bandwidth used, for example in a wireless network, transmission of these large bitmap formats results in large costs associated with each transmission.

"A similar problem exists when the application program renders a media presentation. Typically, a video, file is rendered as a series of bitmaps and audio information is rendered using pulse code modulation. Accordingly, the thin-client protocol transmits the series of bitmaps representing the video file and/or the pulse code modulated signal representing the audio information over the network. This transmission is inefficient, requiring excessive bandwidth and significant CPU usage. Moreover, even where sufficient bandwidth is available, an unresponsive graphical user interface may result at the client. Video playback, for example, is often of low quality, may appear 'jerky,' and may synchronize poorly with the audio presentation.

"There is, therefore, a need for an improved approach to rendering images and media presentations in a remote terminal session."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The invention, according to one advantage, lowers the time and cost of transmitting images and other non-textual elements, originally represented in large bitmap formats, by substituting, prior to transmission, available compressed formats for the bitmap formats. Typically, transmitting the compressed formats instead of the bitmap formats can significantly reduce the necessary bandwidth. The client decompresses the received data using available libraries. The client then substitutes the decompressed image for the original bitmap representations using, for example, modified thin-client protocol commands with other identifying data.

"According to another advantage of the invention, a compressed data set, representing at least a portion of a media stream, is intercepted on a first computing device before it is decompressed. Alternatively, where the compressed data set is decompressed on the first computing device, the resulting decompressed data set is re-compressed on the first computing device. By transmitting the compressed data set, rather than the decompressed data set, over a network, which may have limited bandwidth, the time and cost of transmitting the data set is consequently reduced.

"In one aspect, the invention relates to a method for generating a graphical display at a client. The method includes transmitting output from an application program executing on a server to the client, identifying a bitmap representation within the application output, and determining a check value for the bitmap representation. The method also includes retrieving a compressed data format of the bitmap representation using at least in part the check value and transmitting to the client the compressed data format in place of the bitmap representation.

"In another aspect, the invention relates to a method for generating a graphical display at a client. The method includes transmitting output from an application program executing on a server to the client and identifying a non-textual element within the application output. The method also includes retrieving a compressed data format associated with the non-textual element and transmitting to the client the compressed data format in place of the non-textual element.

"In one embodiment of this aspect of the invention, the method includes identifying a textual element within the application output and transmitting to the client the textual element. In another embodiment, the method includes receiving the compressed data format, and optionally the textual element, at the client and generating a display at the client using the compressed data format, and optionally the textual element. In another embodiment, the method includes transmitting the compressed data format using at least one presentation layer protocol packet. In yet another embodiment, the method includes transmitting the at least one presentation layer protocol packet using a command for transmitting a file in its native format.

"In another embodiment, the method includes conforming the at least one presentation layer protocol packet to a remote access protocol, a thin-client protocol, and/or a presentation protocol. In still another embodiment, the non-textual element is a bitmap representation and the method includes replacing the bitmap representation with the compressed data format. In another embodiment, the method includes determining the capability of the client to render the non-textual element using the compressed data format. The method further includes, upon determination that the client cannot render the non-textual element using the compressed data format, transmitting an image-rendering library capable of rendering the non-textual element using the compressed data format.

"In another embodiment, the method includes intercepting the application output and inspecting the intercepted output for a bitmap representation of the non-textual element. In yet another embodiment, the method includes calculating a first check value for a bitmap representation of the non-textual element and searching an image store for the compressed data format having a check value identical to the first check value.

"In another aspect, the invention relates to a system for generating a graphical display at a client. The system includes an output filter module and a server agent. The output filter module is configured to intercept output produced by an application program, identify a non-textual element of the output, and retrieve a compressed data format associated with the non-textual element. The server agent is configured to transmit to the client the compressed data format in place of the non-textual element.

"In one embodiment of this aspect of the invention, the system includes a server node, which includes the server agent and the output filter module. In another embodiment, the system includes a client node. The client node includes a client agent and a display. The client agent is configured to receive the compressed data format and to generate a display of the non-textual element using the received compressed data format. In another aspect, the system further includes a network.

"In another aspect the invention relates to an article of manufacture having computer-readable program means embodied therein for generating a graphical display at a client. The article includes computer-readable program means for performing any of the aforementioned methods.

"In an additional aspect, the invention relates to a method for generating a media presentation at a client. The method includes transmitting output from an application program executing on a server to the client, identifying a media stream within the application output, intercepting an original compressed data set representing at least a portion of the media stream before processing by the application program, and transmitting the original compressed data set to the client.

"In another aspect, the invention relates to another method for generating a media presentation at a client. This method includes transmitting output from an application program executing on a server to the client, identifying a media stream within the application output, intercepting a first decompressed data set representing at least a portion of the media stream, compressing the intercepted first decompressed data set, and transmitting the compressed data set to the client in place of the first decompressed data set.

"In yet another aspect, the invention relates to still another method for generating a media presentation at a client. This method includes informing a server of at least one media format supported by a client agent installed on the client, receiving a compressed data set of a media stream at the client, decompressing the compressed data set at the client to generate a decompressed data set, and generating the media presentation at the client using the decompressed data set.

"In a further aspect, the invention relates to an article of manufacture that embodies computer-readable program means for generating a media presentation at a client. The article includes computer-readable program means for transmitting output from an application program executing on a server to the client, computer-readable program means for identifying a media stream within the application output, computer-readable program means for intercepting an original compressed data set representing at least a portion of the media stream before processing by the application program, and computer-readable program means for transmitting the original compressed data set to the client.

"In still another aspect, the invention relates to another article of manufacture that embodies computer-readable means for generating a media presentation at a client. This article includes computer-readable program means for transmitting output from an application program executing on a server to the client, computer-readable program means for identifying a media stream within the application output, computer-readable program means for intercepting a first decompressed data set representing at least a portion of the media stream, computer-readable program means for compressing the intercepted first decompressed data set, and computer-readable program means for transmitting the compressed data set to the client in place of the first decompressed data set.

"In yet another aspect, the invention relates to yet another article of manufacture that embodies computer-readable means for generating a media presentation at a client. This article includes computer-readable program means for informing a server of at least one media format supported by a client agent installed on the client, computer-readable program means for receiving a compressed data set of a media stream at the client, computer-readable program means for decompressing the compressed data set at the client to generate a decompressed data set, and computer-readable program means for generating the media presentation at the client using the decompressed data set.

"In various embodiments of these last six aspects of the invention, the methods further include, and the articles of manufacture further include computer-readable program means for, capturing timing information associated with the media stream, transmitting the timing information to the client, receiving the compressed data set and, optionally, the timing information at the client, decompressing the compressed data set at the client to generate a decompressed data set, and generating the media presentation at the client using the decompressed data set and, optionally, the timing information. In other embodiments of the last six aspects of the invention, the methods further include, and the articles of manufacture further include computer-readable program means for, transmitting non-media graphical information from the application output to the client, receiving the non-media graphical information at the client, and generating the media presentation at the client using the decompressed data set and the non-media graphical information.

"In an additional aspect, the invention relates to a system for generating a media presentation at a client. The system includes an application program and an output filter module. The application program is configured to identify a media stream within output produced by the application program. The output filter module is configured to intercept an original compressed data set representing at least a portion of the media stream before processing by the application program and transmit the original compressed data set to the client.

"In another aspect, the invention relates to another system for generating a media presentation at a client. This system includes an application program and an output filter module. The application program is configured to identify a media stream within output produced by the application program. The output filter module is configured to intercept a first decompressed data set representing at least a portion of the media stream, compress the intercepted first decompressed data set of the media stream, and transmit the compressed data set in place of the first decompressed data set to the client.

"In yet another aspect, the invention relates to another system for generating a media presentation at a client. This system includes a server and the client in communication with the server. The client includes a client agent configured to inform the server of at least one media format supported by the client agent, receive a compressed data set of a media stream, decompress the compressed data set at the client to generate a decompressed data set, and generate the media presentation using the decompressed data set.

"In various embodiments of these last three aspects of the invention, the output filter module of the systems is further configured to capture timing information associated with the media stream and to transmit the timing information to the client. In various other embodiments of the last three aspects of the invention, the system further includes a client agent configured to receive the compressed data set and the optional timing information, decompress the compressed data set to generate a decompressed data set, and generate the media presentation using the decompressed data set and the optional timing information. In still other embodiments of the last three aspects of the invention, the client agent is further configured to receive non-media graphical information and to generate the media presentation at the client using the decompressed data set and the non-media graphical information.

"In another aspect, the invention relates to another system for generating a media presentation at a client. This system includes a network, a server in communication with the network, and the client in communication with the network. The server includes an application program and at least one output filter module. The application program is configured to identify a media stream within output produced by the application program. The output filter module is configured to intercept a compressed data set representing at least a portion of the media stream before processing by the application program, and transmit the compressed data set to the client. The client includes a client agent. The client agent is configured to inform the server of at least one media format supported by the client agent, receive the compressed data set, decompress the compressed data set at the client to generate a decompressed data set, and generate the media presentation at the client using the decompressed data set.

"In a further aspect, the invention relates to an article of manufacture that embodies computer-readable program means for generating a media presentation at a client. The article includes computer-readable program means for intercepting an original compressed data set of a media stream, and computer-readable program means for transmitting the original compressed data set to the client using a thin client protocol such as ICA or RDP.

"In another aspect, the invention relates to another article of manufacture that embodies computer-readable program means for generating a media presentation at a client. The article includes computer-readable program means for intercepting a decompressed data set of a media stream, computer-readable program means for compressing the intercepted decompressed data set, and computer-readable program means for transmitting the compressed data set to the client using a thin client protocol such as ICA or RDP.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The above and further advantages of the invention may be better understood by referring to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an illustrative embodiment of a system to generate a graphical display for a remote terminal session in accordance with the invention;

"FIG. 2 is a flow diagram of an illustrative embodiment of a process to generate a graphical display for a remote terminal session in accordance with the invention;

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an illustrative embodiment of a system for generating a media presentation at a client in accordance with the invention; and

"FIGS. 4A, 4B, & 4C are a flow diagram of an illustrative embodiment of a method for generating a media presentation at a client in accordance with the invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Robinson, David; Laborczfalvi, Lee George; Semaan, Pierre; Roychoudhry, Anil; Duursma, Martin; Panasyuk, Anatoliy; Momchilov, Georgy. Methods and Apparatus for Generating Graphical and Media Displays at a Client. Filed February 10, 2014 and posted June 12, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=665&p=14&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140605.PD.&OS=PD/20140605&RS=PD/20140605

Keywords for this news article include: Citrix Systems Inc.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2014 NewsRx LLC

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