Browse Prior Art Database

Latch Control for Tables

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032412D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Nov-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Nov-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The essence of this invention is to provide an integrated and surface-level latching mechanism to give users control to quickly open and close groups of columns in a table, and also per-column latching control too. Because this would allow users easy and powerful control to display desired groups of columns in a table, it would have the ultimate desirable effect of allowing products to present users more columns in tables without having to be quite as concerned with limiting issues such as the horizontal scrolling, providing multiple sub-tables instead of one integrated table, or with providing additional UI panels to handle column customizations, etc.

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Latch Control for Tables

Tabular displays are becoming increasingly pervasive as well as core to user tasks. Most of IBM's admin-oriented products are currently loaded with many of them. These tables present users with many rows, each representing the instances (e.g., "volume 3456", "volume 3457", etc.), and many columns, each representing an attribute for all instances (e.g., name, status, device, pool, size, description, etc.).

A problem with tables today is that their number of columns can greatly exceed the optimal number that can be handled by typical screen resolution widths (e.g., 1024 or 1200 pels). For example, DFSMS has some tables that have 40+ columns, which would need 3 or 4 monitor widths to entirely show. SAN File System's GUI didn't surface some attributes in columns because we ran out of horizontal space. For other designs we are considering providing multiple tables as an alternative to one mega table in order to avoid horizontal scrolling of a single table, which also has some disadvantages (more independent tables to support, more fragmentation to UI, etc.).

There have been some recent advances for users to enable them to quickly sort and filter rows in tables. This invention addresses a related type of inline advancement to help users quickly control the table space, but for the other dimension of tables - their columns. Inline latching controls are provided for column headers as well as groups of column headers to enable and give users the e...