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User-Friendly Graphical Interface for Window Management Using Reference Frames

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000112435D
Original Publication Date: 1994-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 4 page(s) / 189K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chan, JC: AUTHOR [+6]

Abstract

Disclosed is a method of using "Reference Frames" for better window management on systems employing a Graphical User Interface (GUI). A Reference Frame can represent a portion of the screen or the entire screen (Fig. 1). It could be considered as a logical display, or a logical screen. There are four modes associated with the manipulations of a Reference Frame: the Reference Window mode, the Reference Pane mode, the Reference Metaphor mode and the Nest mode. A Reference Frame is not allowed to be in more than one mode at any time. However, multiple Reference Frames are allowed to exist at the same time (Fig. 1). The reason of using the Reference Frames is to provide a vehicle for a window user to easily control and manage the format of the display.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 32% of the total text.

User-Friendly Graphical Interface for Window Management Using Reference
Frames

      Disclosed is a method of using "Reference Frames" for better
window management on systems employing a Graphical User Interface
(GUI).  A Reference Frame can represent a portion of the screen or
the entire screen (Fig. 1).  It could be considered as a logical
display, or a logical screen.  There are four modes associated with
the manipulations of a Reference Frame: the Reference Window mode,
the Reference Pane mode, the Reference Metaphor mode and the Nest
mode.  A Reference Frame is not allowed to be in more than one mode
at any time.  However, multiple Reference Frames are allowed to exist
at the same time (Fig. 1).  The reason of using the Reference Frames
is to provide a vehicle for a window user to easily control and
manage the format of the display.

      When a Reference Frame is in a particular mode, we simply refer
to it by its mode name.  For example, when a Reference Frame is in
the Reference Pane mode, we simply call it a Reference Pane.  The
functions of each mode are described below.  When a Reference Frame
is in the Reference Window mode, the Reference Frame itself and all
the containing windows are fully expanded to within the boundary of
the frame (Fig. 2).  When a Reference Frame is in the Reference Pane
mode, the Reference Frame is represented by a small pane that is
usually within the range covered by the movement of a wrist (not an
arm) via a mouse device (Fig. 3).  It allows a user to anchor his/her
hand at the tip of his/her forearm to move the mouse device.  This is
a user-friendly feature since it provides users with a better control
mechanism for the cursor (pointer) movement and improves the
useability in the window environment.  The dimension of the Reference
Pane is generally obtained by linearly scaling down the dimension of
the Reference Frame.  When a Reference Frame is in the Reference
Metaphor mode, the Reference Frame is represented by a unique icon

(Fig. 4).  As mentioned earlier, more than one Reference Frame can
exist at one time.  However, a one-to-one correspondence must be
maintained between Reference Frames and icons.  A Reference Frame is
in the Nest mode only when it is "fetched" (dragged in) by another
Reference Frame (we call it the "Host Reference Frame") during the
period when the Host Reference Frame is either in the Reference
Metaphor mode or in the Reference Pane mode.

      When a Reference Frame is in the Reference Pane mode, the user
can drag selected application/service icons into the Reference Pane.
When an icon is moved into the Reference Pane, its shape and
dimension will be proportionally changed to reflect the shape and the
size of the original window using the same scaling factor used by the
Reference Pane.  For example, if an icon representing a window of
size 10" x 6" is to be brought into a Reference Pane of size 2"x2.4",
representing a Reference Frame of size 10"x...