Browse Prior Art Database

Trail Blazing Browser

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114584D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-29
Document File: 4 page(s) / 120K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Coulombe, JS: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Object-oriented programming systems frequently involve a complicated set of objects, most of which have multiple relationships with most of the other objects in the set. Many products provide one or more fixed function viewers, called browsers, that allow a user to examine a particular set of relationships between a subset of the objects.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 38% of the total text.

Trail Blazing Browser

      Object-oriented programming systems frequently involve a
complicated set of objects, most of which have multiple relationships
with most of the other objects in the set.  Many products provide one
or more fixed function viewers, called browsers, that allow a user to
examine a particular set of relationships between a subset of the
objects.

The trail blazing browser is based upon seven key points:
  1.  Ease of navigation
  2.  User psychological model of a path
  3.  User psychological model of the history of their navigation
  4.  Labels to show the user where they are and how they got there
  5.  Labels to show what the user is looking at
  6.  Scaleability
  7.  Ability to browse sophisticated models (in a single bound!)

      The trailblazing browser appears to the user as a row of
scrollable panes.  A scroll bar extends beneath all of the panes.
The number of panes visible at any time depends on the overall size
of the window and the computer screen.  Typically, three or four
panes will be visible on a fourteen inch monitor.  The contents of
each pane are identified by a label directly over each pane.

      When a user opens the browser, the left most pane will display
a list of functional modules or projects, which typically contain a
number of classes.  The classes typically contain a number of methods
(or member functions, depending on the language).  The contents of
the left most pane are fixed and can only contain higher level
containers of collections of classes and their methods.  This is
somewhat arbitrary, but it provides a useful and concrete anchor for
the user's psychological conceptual model for the use of the browser.

      When a user selects a functional module, project or other high
level container in the left most pane, a list of the contents of that
container appears in the pane to its right.  For example, the user
might select the payroll project in the leftmost pane and see a list
of
the classes comprising the payroll project in the next pane to the
right.

      When a class is selected, the methods (or member functions) of
that class are displayed in the next window to the right.  For
example,
the user might select the check class and see the methods for the
check
class in the next pane.

      Selecting a method in that pane shows the objects related to
that method in the next pane to the right, i.e., classes that use
that method, known as senders.  So, the user would see a list of
classes, not just its own, in the next pane to the right.

      The user can specify one of the many relationships that exist
to appear in the right hand pane by selecting a choice from a
pulldown menu, a popup menu, or a button accompanying the title of
that pane.

What the user sees:
  |-----------------|-----------------|--------------|-------------|
  |--Module---------|-Classes of Mod--|-Methods of --|-Senders of--|
  |-----------------|---------...