Browse Prior Art Database

Multi-window System Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012248D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Apr-23
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Apr-23
Document File: 2 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue



Overview: The objective of this invention is to improve the usability of GUI-based window system equipped with overlapping windows commonly used everywhere, by introducing the following additional functions.

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JP820020788 Koichiro Kato/Japan/IBM Kimihiro Saitoh, Teruhiko Yoshida, Takahiro Hanai

Multi-window System

Problem to be solved by this invention: In the existing GUI-based window systems equipped with overlapping windows, the terminal screen becomes more and more complicated as a user opens more and more windows. Some windows are often hidden partly or entirely by other windows and the controllability of the hidden windows is deteriorated rapidly.

1. Introduction of Fully-overlapped-window In this invention, we introduce the notion of Fully-overlapped-window. Fully-overlapped-window is a group of windows that share one particular corner (for example, upper left corner) of them at some point in a terminal screen. User can make Fully-overlapped-window in the terminal screen by drag and dropping a predefined area (for example, menu bar) of a window onto that of another window or another Fully-overlapped-window. Fully-overlapped-window is equipped with a context menu which has the following selection items.

Resize all windows to the bottom window Sort all windows in the size order Move all
Minimize all
Maximize all
Detach the top window Detach the bottom window

This context menu is introduced as complements of functions limited by complete overlap of windows described above.

2. Multi-dispatch of window messages

In the existing window systems, an user operation corresponds to a window. When a user input is detected by a window system, the window system generates a window message and send it to an active window to notify the user operation. An application program which owns the active window executes some actions according to the window message. In a typical window system the window message is sent to just an active window. If a user wants to apply the same operation to multiple windows, user must iterate the same action to all windows. In this invention, we introduced the multi-dispatch mechanism to solve this problem.

The multi-dispatch mechanism is realized by duplicating multiple window messages from one window message which is generated by a user input, and send them to the windows belonging to Fully-overlapping-window group. Figure. 1 shows the operational flow of this idea.

Figure. 1

* see the Table. 1 about Message Translation Table

When duplicating messages, message translation can be applied in order to absorb the difference of messages' meaning between applications. They can be implemented by using the message translation table as shown in Table. 1.

Table. 1

  Before After Input Message Win...