Browse Prior Art Database

Technique to Optimize Detailed List Layouts without Loosing Information

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000105404D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Dawson, CA: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Today, many applications show lists of items that include item details. These tend to take a table format where each row represents an item and each column a field or attribute of that item.

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Technique to Optimize Detailed List Layouts without Loosing Information

      Today, many applications show lists of items that include item
details.  These tend to take a table format where each row represents
an item and each column a field or attribute of that item.

      Some of these columns may be sparse, i.e., interesting to the
application when in use but often empty.  A library application that
shows the person who checked out a document or a mail application
that shows the action due date of a new piece of mail are but two
examples.

      How should these sparse fields be displayed?  Consider the
following solutions for the action due date problem.  OV/VM* reserves
space for them on each display, whether an item has a due date or
not.  This solution optimizes for very easy access to the information
but trades off screen real estate.  OV/2* LAN takes a different
approach.  It associates a special symbol with each mail item that
has an action due date.  Recipients are required to open the mail
item's properties to see the action due date.  This solution
optimizes screen real estate but not information access time as the
action required to display the due date is quite time-consuming; a
number of properties need to be fetched and formatted for display.

      Is there a solution that makes good use of screen real estate
and does not penalize access time?  If users had a responsive
technique to access sparse fields such as person checking o...