Much-Larger-Than-Display Dynamic Desktops with Overview and Super-Maximize Capability
Original Publication Date: 2004-Sep-21
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Sep-21
Currently, the user's desktop space is usually restricted by the capabilities of the user's video card and/or display device. Some displays (such as many LCD displays) support setting a higher resolution than the display supports, thereby allowing the user the use of a larger desktop. However, since the display cannot show the entirety of the desktop all at once, the LCD screen becomes a "window" for viewing the desktop, with the desktop perpetually having portions lying off-screen. The problems in using this type of display are several. First, the video card is still rendering the entire desktop at once, though the display is only repositioning itself within the screen buffer. As such, the size of the user's desktop is still restricted by the capabilities of the video card, even if no longer restrained by the user's display. Second, the user is inconvenienced to use the current solution because the user has to search for items off-screen, rather than having everything within view at once. Disclosed herein is a windowing and navigation system that allows for an arbitrarily large desktop area that is independent of video capabilities, dynamically sized without user intervention and also deploys mechanisms to remain highly usable, minimizing the need to hunt for off-screen items.
Much-Larger-Than-Display Dynamic Desktops with Overview and Super -Maximize Capability
First, the resolution of the video card should only be responsible for rendering the visible area of the desktop. While all items fit within the confines of that visible area, this invention will largely function how the current art functions. When the user has grabbed something with the mouse, however, they will be allowed to drag this item beyond the boundaries of the current desktop. In fact, the desktop will expand in the x and/or y axis to accommodate items dropped in the corresponding directions. The screen will follow the mouse pointer as it drags items to the edge of the screen. Once the item is dropped, the new desktop's boundaries will be newly defined. Thusly the mechanism for expanding the desktop operates.
When an item is dragged back towards the origin and released, the desktop will then also contract to as to trim any slack space left behind. Thusly the mechanism for contracting the desktop operates. As such, the size of the desktop is completely dynamic, depending on the layout and placements of items on the workspace.
Should the user wish to inhibit the dynamic nature of the desktop, the user could be allowed to place an "anchor" object. This could be a notch like marker that could be dragged anywhere across any axis so as to limit either the maximum or minimum constraints of this expansion/contraction mechanism.
Further, in order to facilitate navigation with the mouse in situations where the user is operating in an area that is very close to one side of the desktop, yet far from the side to which the user wishes to visit, a desktop that is larger than the viewable area will allow a mouse that is not holding any visual components to scr...