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Tree List, a Dialog Object for Viewing, Assigning Values to, and Creating Hierarchical Data Structures

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000111688D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 4 page(s) / 80K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Blaha, C: AUTHOR

Abstract

A hierarchical data structure is a data structure that is made up of other hierarchical data structures and of data elements. Data elements are items of data that cannot be broken down into sub-items. Another term for hierarchical data structure is data tree.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Tree List, a Dialog Object for Viewing, Assigning Values to, and
Creating Hierarchical Data Structures

      A hierarchical data structure is a data structure that is made
up of other hierarchical data structures and of data elements.  Data
elements are items of data that cannot be broken down into sub-items.
Another term for hierarchical data structure is data tree.

Fig. 1 shows an example of a data tree.

      There are already established dialog objects that can be used
to show a data tree on a computer screen.  Fig. 2 shows such a tree
view.

      It lets the user hide sub-items that are not of current
interest and thereby make the tree view less cluttered.  It uses
symbols to indicate whether a particular item contains sub-items and,
if so, whether they are hidden or shown:

&cplus. This item contains sub-items, but they are hidden.
&cminus. This item contains sub-items and they are shown.
&cdot. This item does not contain sub-items; it is elemental.

      How can one not only display a hierarchical data structure, but
also provide means for a user to specify values for each of its
elements in a way that does not clutter the screen and that keeps the
relation between each element and its contents clear?

      This article describes a dialog object called a tree list.  The
tree list is based on several established concepts, but combines them
in a new way to create an entirely new type of dialog object:

o   It uses a collapsible and expandable tree view of a data
    structure that shows the name of each...