Apple is working on ways to terminate an application (in other words, make sure it’s not running in the background) per a new patent (number 20130047167) that has appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. The patent is for the “efficient mechanism for terminating applications.”
In one embodiment, in response to a request for exiting from an operating environment of a data processing system, an operating system examines an operating state associated with an application running within the operating environment, where the operating state is stored at a predetermined memory location shared between the operating system and the application.
The operating system immediately terminates the application if the operating state associated with the application indicates that the application is safe for a sudden termination. Otherwise, the operating system defers terminating the application if the operating state associated with the application indicates that the application is unsafe for the sudden termination. Other methods and apparatuses are also described.
Here’s Apple’s background on the invention: “An operating system is a set of computer code that performs a variety of functions, including interacting with the computer hardware; insulating the programmer from the specifics of the computer hardware; and providing general functionality that many application programs require.
“An application, in contrast, addresses a particular problem to be solved. Examples of applications software are word processors, etc. An application and operating system communicate using a series of standardized instruction codes passed between the two. The operating system software interprets these standardized instruction codes, and controls the computer’s hardware resources in response thereto. Oftentimes, information in the form of data or messages is passed back to the applications software.
“Typically, when a user instructs the operating system to shut down the computer in which applications and operating system are running, it takes a relatively long time to shut down. For example, the operating system may ask an application to exit itself which may take a long time. Alternatively, the operating system may prompt the user to manually terminate the application, which sometimes requires too much user interaction.”
The inventors are David Alexander Zarzycki, Curtis Rothert, Ali T. Ozer and Mark Andrew Piccirelli.