Browse Prior Art Database

Focus-defined Application Meta-Toolbar

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032273D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Oct-28
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Oct-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 30K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) toolbar which is dockable but disconnected from a specific application: a Meta-Toolbar. The Meta-Toolbar will contain, as icons or text menus, common application operations. The host computer's underlying windowing system interprets a user's click on a toolbar operation in the context of the user's current application window focus.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Page 1 of 2

THIS COPY WAS MADE FROM AN INTERNAL IBM DOCUMENT AND NOT FROM THE PUBLISHED BOOK

TUC820040084 Jean Barkley/Tucson/IBM Richard Kisley, J M Lake

Focus-defined Application Meta-Toolbar

Disclosed is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) toolbar which is dockable but disconnected from a specific application: a Meta-Toolbar. The Meta-Toolbar will contain, as icons or text menus, common application operations. The host computer's underlying windowing system interprets a user's click on a toolbar operation in the context of the user's current application window focus.

Applications have graphical user interfaces today which have many common elements in window managed desktop environments. Most applications have a 'File' menu with 'open', 'save', 'close' operations. Most also have an edit menu with 'cut', 'paste', and such; as well as a help menu, view menu, etc. Every application implements these menus, often making use of common libraries of pre-compiled code, whether provided by the operating system, the window manager, or by the application family. Some large applications have dockable toolbars with operations that are active across the applications sub-windows, this is a special case of the Meta-Toolbar.

The problem with the common approach is that each application uses up screen real estate with common menus and icons. Often the file menu is duplicated in icon form on another application toolbar, wasting even more space.

With the Meta-Toolbar, for example, a user may have an Adobe Acrobat window, an MS Word window and a Lotus Notes window open. Given that user focus is on the Adobe Acrobat window, the user clicks 'file'->'open' on the dockable toolbar. There are a couple implementations, 2 examples of which are:

     1. Meta-Toolbar as application proxy. The Meta-Toolbar will query the windowing system to find out which application had focus before the Meta-Toolbar was activated, discover that it was Adobe Acrob...