Browse Prior Art Database

Using the Current Position to Unify Command and Direct Manipulation Interfaces in Desktop Environments

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109424D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-24
Document File: 1 page(s) / 61K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hambrick, GM: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Problem Summary Eliminates functional differences between interface styles so that they are interchangeable (even within the same action), allowing the most efficient method to be used at any time. Description

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Using the Current Position to Unify Command and Direct Manipulation Interfaces in Desktop Environments

      Problem Summary
Eliminates functional differences between interface styles so that
they are interchangeable (even within the same action), allowing the
most efficient method to be used at any time.
Description

      In a desktop environment where system objects are visually
represented, commands are indicated by selecting the icon (or icons)
and some action that will be applied. Existing systems usually rely
on a single interface style, either direct manipulation of objects
(including menu items) by pointing and selecting, or by typing
commands that are parsed and executed.  The problem is that each
style can be more or less efficient depending on the circumstances.

      Our invention concerns unifying the action composition model
such that all desktop functions are specified in terms of a "current
position label."  Under this model, direct manipulation consists of
pointing at an object, position, or method (through a pointing device
such as a mouse or light pen, or through discreet relative movements
controlled by keyboard events), and generating the event that selects
it.  The same action can be accomplished through a command interface
by typing the object label and generating the same event that would
select that object when using direct manipulation.  Selecting an
object by typing requires typing its label, either a) the name of an
object, b) a...