Actions in the abstract user interface tree

The abstract user interface identifies all possible actions that can be received by the current interactive instruction with a list of Action nodes. The list of possible actions are held by a Dialog node. An Action node is identified by the 'name' attribute and defines common properties such as the accelerator key, default image, and default text.

Interactive elements are bound to Action nodes by the 'name' attribute. For example, a toolbar button (a.k.a toolbar item) with the name 'cancel' is bound to the Action node having the name 'cancel', which in turn defines the accelerator key, the default text, and the default image for the button.

Figure: AUI Tree binding

AUI Tree binding diagram

When an interactive element is used (such as a form field input, toolbar button click, or menu option selection), an ActionEvent node is sent to the runtime system. The name of the ActionEvent node identifies what Action occurred and the 'idRef' attribute indicates the source element of the action.