Browse Prior Art Database

Contextual User Actions Design for Multi-Language Debugging

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000017884D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jul-23
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jul-23
Document File: 2 page(s) / 56K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

When stepping through and debugging a multi-language application, we propose a context-menu design that enhances existing context menus by displaying currently relevant actions at the main-level of the context menu and displaying currently irrelevant (potential) menu items in a compact, less obtrusive way but still remain discoverable by users.

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Contextual User Actions Design for Multi-Language Debugging

The basic structure of our proposed context menu is the following:

Structure Description

Core actions These are a core set of actions or menu items that are always displayed. These are actions that are always relevant.

These are actions or menu items that are currently relevant to the current context and are displayed.

Other potential actions These are actions or menu items that are currently not relevant but could become relevant as the (debug) context changes In the current context, the currently relevant actions are displayed in the main level of the context menu while the other potential actions are less obtrusive (e.g., displayed at the bottom of the menu, compacted into sub-menus and tucked away, and are disabled). When the context changes a new set of currently relevant actions are moved from the "Other potential actions" and now are displayed in the main level of the context menu. Any irrelevant actions are now moved into the "Other potential actions" and tucked away.

    To illustrate the proposed design, assume that a user is debugging an application in Java code. The user sees the context menu, much like in the figure below. The Core actions in this example are "Cut", "Copy", and "Paste". Since the user is stepping through Java code, the applicable Java-relevant menu actions are displayed at the main level and can be quickly accessed by the user. These currently relevant actions for Java in the fi...