Modes of Operation: Functional and Stimulus
mode of operation differs from the stimulus
mode in the way meaning is attributed to events. For example, a given
telephone has a button labeled "Transfer." When this button is pressed, one of two
things can happen: the phone can send a message to the switch stating that the
Transfer button was pressed, or it can send a message stating that "button number
18" was pressed. In the functional model, the button's function is indicated.
It allows more flexibility in the phone hardware, because the switch doesn't
need to know anything about the layout of the buttons, but the telephone will
likely be more expensive, because it has more intelligence.
The stimulus model means that the event is simply indicated in a more raw,
hardware fashion, such as by button number
even down to separate button-up and button-down events. In a stimulus-based
system, telephones can cost less, but more intelligence is required in the switch
so that it can recognize different types of telephones and translate their
buttons into features. The stimulus model can provide more flexibility because
different people can configure their phone buttons to mean different things
through switch programming rather than by changing the phone itself.
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