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Using Dynamic Elements for Status Display, Selection, & Control of Large Numbers of Entities via the Web

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020234D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Nov-04
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Nov-04
Document File: 1 page(s) / 7K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Described is a web browser based interface for: displaying the status of a large number of entities; selecting one of these entities to learn additional status details; and to control the operation of that entity.

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  Using Dynamic Elements for Status Display, Selection, & Control of Large Numbers of Entities via the Web

  Web browser interfaces are used for displaying status and controlling entities in different ways. This article describes how combining icons and HTML image maps can be used to display status and control a large number of objects (over a thousand) and still fit in a relatively small area of the screen. Some current techniques use icons to show overall status and facilitate retrieval of detailed status but do not allow for direct control of the object represented by the icon. Other techniques allow control of an object but that object must be selected from a long list

A grid of icons is used to represent the entities to be monitored and controlled. One icon per entity.

The grid can be rectangular or the icons can be laid out in a specific pattern to further aid the user in understanding the icon's significance. The icons can even be in motion, if that is helpful. The overall status for each entity can be conveyed by the shape, texture, color, pattern, speed, or direction of each icon. Additional detail can be provided for a specific entity by using HTML image maps - for example, showing the name, location, or vital statistics of an entity when the mouse is positioned over the corresponding icon.

In addition to displaying status about an entity, clicking on the icon initiates a dialog to allow the user to actually control the operation of the entity. This can inc...