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Browse Prior Art Database

Level-based information display window

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015386D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Nov-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 4 page(s) / 66K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for enhancing the display of messages (in this example an error message) by allowing software developers to provide different levels of information that users will find useful when running into errors. Providing different levels of information will also satisfy novice and expert users to troubleshoot errors more efficiently since depending on the degree of knowledge a user will find different levels of information to be better suited to their typical usage. The invention also eliminates the problems that customers phase when limited information is presented. It also provides an alternative to competitors' designs for presenting message displaying products. The invention is based on the notion of levels of information for messages. Messages used in software product have several levels of information which range from simple explanation of the message to language-specific error message (such as Java traces) to information provided on a help file. Figure 1. A 4-level Java message Figure 1 presents a 4-level Java message being outlined by the type of content that will be found at each level. It is important to note that the number of levels can vary depending on the type of message, the complexity of the product, information available regarding the message, and the language used to implement the product.

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Level-based information display window

Disclosed is a method for enhancing the display of messages (in this example an error message) by allowing software developers to provide different levels of information that users will find useful when running into errors. Providing different levels of information will also satisfy novice and expert users to troubleshoot errors more efficiently since depending on the degree of knowledge a user will find different levels of information to be better suited to their typical usage. The invention also eliminates the problems that customers phase when limited information is presented. It also provides an alternative to competitors' designs for presenting message displaying products.

The invention is based on the notion of levels of information for messages. Messages used in software product have several levels of information which range from simple explanation of the message to language-specific error message (such as Java traces) to information provided on a help file.

Figure 1. A 4-level Java message

Figure 1 presents a 4-level Java message being outlined by the type of content that will be found at each level. It is important to note that the number of levels can vary depending on the type of message, the complexity of the product, information available regarding the message, and the language used to implement the product.

The proposed invention presents a design of how the levels of information can be used to present an error message in a product. The accompanying screen will present an example of an error message being displayed on a dialog window.

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Figure 2. Displaying leveled messa

Figure 2 presents a proposed solution for displaying leveled messages. The solution consists of the following components:

message name - provides the identity of the message which is being presented to the user. the error message must be unique among messages that belong to the same context. (such as same operation, same section of the product, same component) message identifier - an optional presentation of the type of message. The identifier can be used to provide a graphical severity of the problem or an identity of the message. message area - an scrollable message area which is used to provide information to users regarding the message and the level of the message level-selection bar - a bar which allows user to switch between the different levels of information provided to the users.

The use-case scenario for this particular example is the following:

- user encounters an error, upon which the program displays respective message window. -user will read the error and have a low level of information displayed as an...