Browse Prior Art Database

Concise Multi-Icon Representation for Multiple Icons

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000106260D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 101K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Shrader, TJL: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a concise grouping mechanism for related icons in the workplace shell environment of Presentation Manager* (PM) for OS/2 2.0*. In a windowed environment such as OS/2 PM, icons that represent application windows can be related, both similar in size and shape. Each instance of an application has its own icon which may or may not be identical to icons already on the desktop. Since these icons can have same picture and can be scattered around the desktop, it is not easy for the user to distinguish one from another. This disclosure addresses a solution for such a grouping representation.

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Concise Multi-Icon Representation for Multiple Icons

      Disclosed is a concise grouping mechanism for related icons in
the workplace shell environment of Presentation Manager* (PM) for
OS/2 2.0*.  In a windowed environment such as OS/2 PM, icons that
represent application windows can be related, both similar in size
and shape.  Each instance of an application has its own icon which
may or may not be identical to icons already on the desktop.  Since
these icons can have same picture and can be scattered around the
desktop, it is not easy for the user to distinguish one from another.
This disclosure addresses a solution for such a grouping
representation.

      In OS/2 2.0 PM, there are three kinds of icons for representing
application windows:  icons that represent unopened windows (or
programs), icons that represent opened windows (or instances of a
program), and icons that represent minimized windows (or minimized
instances of a program).  A program can have more than one icon for
opened and minimized windows because multiple instances of the
program can exist.  Since these icons may have the same picture and
possibly contain different background attributes, they can easily
confuse users.  Furthermore, these icons can be scattered around the
desktop window, and there is no easy way of grouping related icons
and arranging them.  This disclosure introduces the concept of a
"multi-icon" which may be used to group related icons together and to
provide an easy way of selecting an application window from the group
of icons.

      A multi-icon is an icon that represents a series of related
icons.  In some sense, it is similar to a folder icon since both of
them represent multiple icons.  However, the multi-icon represents
only related icons.  For example, in OS/2 2.0 a multi-icon can
represent the OS/2 system editor and multiple instances of editing
windows including minimized windows.  Another difference is that
adding and deleting an icon is done by the system.  Users may not
drop an icon into a multi-icon or drag an icon out from a multi-icon.
When a user double-clicks on a multi-icon with the right mouse
button, a pop-up menu appears.  Icons that the multi-icon represents
appear as choices in the pop-up menu.  This pop-up menu is like a PM
listbox whose items are icons with instance titles rather than just
text.  Different background attributes can be used for
differentiating minimized windows and unminimized windows for these
icons in the menu.  These attributes can be different colors or text
fonts.  Selecting an item from a multi-icon is same as selecting an
item from a listbox.

       When an icon becomes a multi-icon, its...