Browse Prior Art Database

Mechanism and User Interface for Remote Mirroring of Application Windows

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000104946D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 112K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Baldwin, TJ: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Described is a simple mechanism and user interface by which individual VDU windows can be mirrored between users during a personal electronic conference. Advances in communications, workstation and multi-media technologies have made possible the concept of Person-to-Person communications (P2P). One application of P2P is the sharing of screen 'windows' i.e., to allow one or more users in a P2P session to see an exact copy of a window on the screen of another user. This disclosure solves the problem of how such 'mirroring' action is achieved.

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Mechanism and User Interface for Remote Mirroring of Application Windows

      Described is a simple mechanism and user interface by which
individual VDU windows can be mirrored between users during a
personal electronic conference.  Advances in communications,
workstation and multi-media technologies have made possible the
concept of Person-to-Person communications (P2P).  One application of
P2P is the sharing of screen 'windows' i.e., to allow one or more
users in a P2P session to see an exact copy of a window on the screen
of another user.  This disclosure solves the problem of how such
'mirroring' action is achieved.

      P2P represents the convergence of high performance
communication channels (e.g., LAN, ISDN) with advanced workstation
and multi-media technologies (e.g., video compression), to provide
interactive communication of data, voice and video between desktop
workstations.  Like teleconferencing, it permits collaboration
without the users having to be in the same place at the same time.

      With P2P, real-time communication of data involves the transfer
of information in several ways.  Conventional transfer of files and
messages is well understood, but a more powerful means of exchanging
information is to allow one user to see the entire screen or a part
thereof from another user.  In this way, one user can show another
data presented in a window of a graphical user interface (GUI) such
as OS/2* Presentation Manager* or Microsoft Windows.  Such a window
could be 'owned' by any one of the hundreds of standard application
programs which present their data to the user through a GUI window.
This is achieved with P2P by means of the Chalkboard, an electronic
analogue of the standard Chalkboard (otherwise known as a Whiteboard
or Blackboard) that most technical professionals have on their office
walls.  The difference now is that the electronic version is
presented as a window on the workstation screen.  Drawing tools such
as a pen and eraser are provided, these being electronic and driven
by the workstation mouse or some more suitable device such as a
tablet with stylus.  When two users are in communication, they both
would have a copy of the Chalkboard on their screens, both being
maintained as identical by the Person-to-Person software.  Thus each
user sees EXACTLY the same Chalkboard image as all other users in the
P2P conference.  A user actually sees the overlap of two separate
layers in the Chalkboard window.  All drawing operations are
performed in the Foreground layer, with the Background being used for
other information such as scanned image.  Thus, the Foreground
constitutes an annotation layer for static information contained in
the Background layer.

      Disclosed is a mechanism by which the contents of other windows
on the same screen may be copied into the Chalkboard Background and
then shared and annotated as previously described.  In order to
mirror a window, a user performs the...