Browse Prior Art Database

Improved Method for Collapsing and Reordering Columns in a Web Table

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028017D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Apr-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The invention described herein is for the addition a few controls on individual columns of a web table that allow the user to move the order of an individual column as well as to expand/collapse an individual column.

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Improved Method for Collapsing and Reordering Columns in a Web Table

Due to the limited resource of screen real estate in any application, user interfaces require that they be designed to make the most of the space that they have. Within the past serveral years, due to the the introduction of applications which run in mobile devices such as PDAs and cell phones, as well as the introduction of portlets, the price of screen real estate has gone through the roof. Applications must be revamped to be usable in even smaller amounts of space then they do on a full sized web page or installed application window running on the PC desktop.

One of the most common ways to present data to the user is in the form of a table. Typically a table will show a user several columns of data, some of which he will not always be interested in a particular viewing of the table. The installed client application solves this problem by allowing the user to drag the column to resize it or drop it into a new order location. While this is a preferable solution, it is technically not practical in any web application at this point in time. In order to produce this behavior, the solution would have to require a significant amount of javascript which would require divergant code paths for different browsers. Additionally, it is unsupported in many mobile devices.

The known solution to this problem on the web is to allow a user to set a preference for the size, visibility and order of each column in a table. However, this is typically an administrators decision, and requires more round trips to get to the screen to create this setting. Another common solution is to introduce scrolling. However, this is certainly not the preferred method of viewing information on a screen. Scrolling is especially inconvenient when you want to vi...