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Interactive Rearrangement of Columnar Data on a Display Terminal

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000036693D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 4 page(s) / 44K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

White, JA: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed are two algorithms which, when imbedded in a display program, allow a user to easily rearrange columns of data presented on a terminal.

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Interactive Rearrangement of Columnar Data on a Display Terminal

Disclosed are two algorithms which, when imbedded in a display program, allow a user to easily rearrange columns of data presented on a terminal.

The viewer places the cursor anywhere within the column of least interest and presses a function key. The data in the indicated column moves to the rightmost area of the display (or the rightmost column of the logical display when the table being displayed is wider than the display terminal). By repeatedly removing columns of lesser interest, the display is rearranged to have the columns of most interest clustered together.

For example, suppose a table of baseball batting statistics contains the columns shown in Fig. 1. If a user wishes to compare the batting averages for players on a single team and if the table is ordered by team or displays only rows for one team, then the "team" column is not useful on the display. It wastes valuable space and the separation makes the association of "player" to "batting average" and other columns more difficult than if the "team" column was temporarily removed from the display.

Using the rearrange function, the viewer can move the team name column to the rightmost side by placing the cursor anywhere in the "team" column and pressing the appropriate function key. The team name can still be viewed by scrolling right shown in Fig. 2.

The rearrange function can be used repeatedly on several columns to completely reorganize the display. If a user next wishes to see which teams have the home run leaders, the team column becomes important and the columns could be arranged (by moving uninteresting columns to the right of the display area) so that the team name is next to the "home runs" column on the display.

ALGORITHMS: The algorithms are described here using pseudo code. Certain boundary conditions may be left out of the algorithms to avoid cluttering the general function.

Data are in an array of records called RECORD. Each record contains fields of character data corresponding to a line of data (player, team, and_bats, etc.). Variable #RECORDS contains the number of records.

The offset in a record to the various fields (player, team, at_bats, etc.) is in array OFFSET.

Array LENGTH contains the corresponding space required to display each field, e.g., LENGTH(1) = 20, LENGTH(2) = 20, etc.

Array INDEX is the order in which fields are displayed. Initially INDEX(1) = 1, INDEX(2) = 2, etc. If INDEX(5) = 2, then the 5th column on the display, counting left to right, is RECORD field 2 (or 'TEAM').

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Array DISPLAY_LINE contains the formatted lines displayed on the terminal, where ROW is the relative row number from 1 to the number of lines displayed. DISPLAY_LINE(1) is the first formatted line displayed, etc. The formatted lines are constructed by concatenating the various fields together in the order specified by INDEX.

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